GOP lawmakers look to see what SCOTUS decision on agency rulemaking means for current administration

With the Supreme Court overturning the way federal agencies issue regulations, the top Republicans are asking agencies how it affects them.

  • The Supreme Court overturned a 40-year-old precedent at the core of how federal agencies issue regulations. Now top Republicans on two House committees are asking agencies how they’re affected by the decision. They’re asking the Environmental Protection Agency, and the departments of Transportation and Homeland Security about regulations or regulatory decisions made under the Biden administration. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Missouri) joins House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Kent.) in sending the letters. They say some of these agency rules are based on interpretations of the law that could be challenged following the court’s ruling.
  • In a vote of 55 to 37, the Senate has confirmed Anne Wagner as the third and final member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority. Wagner's confirmation to the role means the three-member FLRA will now be able to break ties when settling disputes between unions and agencies. Several federal unions lauded Wagner's confirmation Wednesday, saying the decision will bring the FLRA to a fully operational status. The FLRA is responsible for administering the government's labor-management relations program.
  • Persistent federal leadership vacancies are making it harder for agencies to fulfill their missions. Across government, there are hundreds of senior positions requiring a presidential nomination and confirmation from the Senate. But many of those positions have remained empty for years. That’s according to new analysis from the Partnership for Public Service. 21 positions have been completely vacant since the Obama administration. And since 2016, more than 80 roles have been unfilled more than half the time. The persistent vacancies are a result of the Senate confirmation process becoming increasingly difficult, the Partnership says.
  • The IRS collects $1 billion in overdue tax revenue, after launching a crackdown on millionaires not paying what they owe. The agency targeted 1,600 individuals last fall, with more than $1 million in annual income and more than $250,000 in tax debt. Audit rates for high-wealth individuals fell over the last decade and have been at “historic lows.” But IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel says the IRS is staffing up and using tools like artificial intelligence to beef up enforcement. “Our message for these taxpayers is that now that we are resourced, we can do the job of ensuring that they pay.”
    (IRS recovers $1B in crackdown on taxes owed by millionaires - Federal News Network )
  • In three cities on July 31, the General Services Administration wants to bring the power of artificial intelligence to bear for federal websites and other digital services. GSA and industry sponsors are hosting a hackathon in Washington, DC, Atlanta and New York City and putting up $10,000 in prize money to ask experts to help answer a simple question: How should federal websites evolve to meet the future where Americans will increasingly rely on generative AI tools to find information and access services? Individuals and teams of no more than five people must register by July 29.
    (GSA to host Artificial Intelligence Hackathon July 31 - General Services Administration)
  • The Defense Department needs another month to figure out the new development path for the IT systems to support background investigations. The 90-day sprint to get the National Background Investigation Service's IT systems back on track wasn't enough. The DoD now says it will take another month to rebaseline the requirements and redo the funding model and oversight of the troubled modernization effort. Milancy Harris, the undersecretary of Defense for intelligence and security, told Senate lawmakers yesterday that this is not a restart of the program. "We are looking to make sure we can use what has been built. We are exploring exactly what needs to happen going forward to ensure we meet the full level of capability that is expected from this system."
  • The Senate Armed Services Committee wants to limit funding for U.S. Cyber Command’s Joint Cyber Warfighting Architecture until the commander provides a detailed plan on the future of the platform. A provision in the 2025 defense policy bill says the command can’t spend more than ninety five percent of allocated funds until there are more details for ceasing the current architecture's continued development. The committee wants the plan to include timelines, coordination with the military services, descriptions of proposed capability sets and additional authority or resources needed to move to the next phase.
    (Senate to limit funding for CYBERCOM’s JCWA - Senate Committee on Armed Services)
  • The Senate Armed Services Committee wants the Defense Department to develop a plan to budget for the costs associated with artificial intelligence in defense programs. If passed, the 2025 defense policy bill would require the Chief Data and Artificial Intelligence Officer office to have a plan that assesses the current programs containing artificial intelligence components and the costs associated with the data needs required to train and maintain artificial intelligence models. The Defense Secretary would begin the implementation of the plan four months after its release.
    (Senate to require cost budgeting plan for AI - Senate Committee on Armed Services)
  • New legislation in the Senate would put a White House office in charge of harmonizing federal cybersecurity regulations. Homeland Security Committee Chairman Gary Peters (D-Mich.) introduced the Streamlining Federal Cybersecurity Regulations Act this week. The bill would set up an interagency harmonization committee led by the Office of the National Cyber Director. It would require all agencies, including independent regulators, to consult with the committee before issuing new cyber rules.
    (Peters and Lankford introduce bipartisan bill to harmonize federal cybersecurity regulations - Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs)
  • The White House is out with new cybersecurity guidance. Agencies need to submit an updated zero trust implementation plan to the White House by Nov. 7. That’s according to fiscal 2026 cybersecurity budget guidance released yesterday. In addition to investing in zero trust capabilities, the memo directs agencies to prioritize secure software development and a strong cyber workforce. Agencies will also need to make sure they have funding set aside to transition to post-quantum cryptography. The new memo comes as Congress continues to debate appropriations for fiscal 2025.

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