Obama Administration

News & Analysis as of

Reauthorization of GSP may allow refund of two years of import duties

On June 29, 2015, almost two years after it was allowed to lapse, President Obama renewed the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) trade program. GSP allows duty-free imports into the United States of qualifying goods from...more

Bienvenidos a Habana

And so it begins. After more than 50 years of icy relations, Jeffrey DeLaurentis (a U.S. diplomat at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana) delivered a note from President Barak Obama to Cuban President Raul Castro restoring...more

Obama Administration Proposes New Overtime Rules

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division announced its long-awaited proposal to amend 29 CFR Part 541, the “white collar” exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees. Somewhat...more

The War Against Cyber Threats: President Obama Ups the Ante

Focusing on overseas cyber threats, President Obama issued an Executive Order on April 1, 2015, which grants authorization to impose sanctions on individuals and entities engaged "in malicious cyber-enabled activities that...more

Congress Sends Fast-Track Trade Authority Bill to the President, Invigorating Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations

After several weeks of legislative wrangling, congressional leaders will send a bill to President Obama this week to give him fast-track authority to negotiate a trade deal that will potentially govern 40 percent of U.S....more

Congress Still Debating Fast Track Trade Authority for Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations

Congressional leaders are working to find a way to pass legislation that would give President Obama fast-track authority to negotiate a trade deal that will potentially govern 40 percent of U.S. imports and exports. The Trade...more

Energy & Commerce Committee Hearing on Administration's Approval of Medicaid Demonstrations

On June 24, 2015, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee is holding a hearing to examine the Obama Administration’s approval of Medicaid demonstration projects. According to a background memo, the panel will focus...more

German Parliament's IT-Security Act Covers Critical Infrastructure

On June 12, 2015, the German Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag) passed an Act to Improve the Security of Information Technology Systems ("IT-Security Act"). The new legislation requires operators of so-called critical...more

Chairmen of U.S. Congressional Environmental Committees Criticize EPA’s Failure to Consult Regarding the Potential Impacts of...

On June 15, 2015, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Congressman Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, sent a...more

DOL Presents: The Ghost of Violations Past

On May 28, 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed guidance for President Obama's infamous Executive Order 13673 – "Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces" (the Order). Although the stated purpose of the Order is "to...more

The Groundswell for Paid Sick Leave

One of the biggest challenges facing employers today is how to ensure compliance in the perennially evolving field of employee benefits. In that vein, employers in certain states and localities across the country must now...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights - June 2015 #3

With the King v. Burwell ruling expected by the end of the month, Congressional Republicans continue to offer contingency plans in the event of a ruling for the plaintiffs; and the Mississippi Insurance Commissioner proposes...more

Developments on the EB5 Program: the Administration, House and Senate Weigh In

The Regional Center part of the EB-5 immigrant investor program is set to sunset on September 30, 2015. Recent actions by the Obama Administration, the Senate and the House demonstrate this program now has significant...more

King v. Burwell – Will the Supreme Court Tip the ACA Dominos? Part 2

In our previous blog post, we evaluated the legal issues at stake in King v. Burwell. We will now examine some of the ramifications of a Supreme Court decision that goes against the Obama Administration, assuming such were to...more

King v. Burwell – Will the Supreme Court Tip the ACA Dominos? Part 1

The health care industry has been closely watching four cases challenging whether federal subsidies could be used to reduce costs to consumers for health insurance purchased on an Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchange in a state...more

DOL Investigation Tactics and Pending Proposed Rule Come Under Fire During House Hearing

In anticipation of the imminent release of the Department of Labor's proposed rule revising the white collar overtime exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a...more

5 Things to Know About Tenant Star

President Barack Obama signed the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015 into law on April 30, 2015. In part, the Act allows the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy to establish and implement a...more

Obama Administration Issues Final Rule on “Waters of the United States” - The Rule Will Expand The Universe Of "Waters" Subject To...

On May 27, 2015, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (collectively, the “agencies”) issued a final rule revising the regulatory definition of “Waters of the United...more

Department of Labor Seeks Information about Employees' Use of Smartphones

The Obama Administration used the occasion of Memorial Day weekend to release its required Semiannual Regulatory Agenda. The Agenda, which is not binding on the DOL, lists a number of items including two specifically related...more

Transgender Complaints on the Rise: What Should Employers Do?

The President, the EEOC and the Justice Department have announced that gender identity discrimination is prohibited sex discrimination under Title VII. Since these declarations, the number of lawsuits alleging gender identity...more

DOL Re-Proposes Fiduciary Rule

On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) re-proposed its rule expanding the definition of fiduciary. A re-proposed fiduciary definition was initially released in October of 2010, but the Department of Labor...more

DHS Asks Court to Dismiss Lawsuit Challenging H-4 Work Authorization

While the lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive action continues to garner headlines, an additional lawsuit has been filed contesting another part of the executive actions that DHS is attempting to implement. This...more

Polsinelli Podcast - An International Trade Issue That May Impact Your Business [Video]

There is a key new development for US companies and individuals dealing in international markets. The Obama Administration issued a new Executive Order that will subject certain individuals and entities engaging in so-called...more

Seven Things to Know About the Campus Accountability and Safety Act

In recent years, the Obama Administration and the Department of Education have aggressively increased their focus on how colleges and universities address sexual violence and harassment. ...more

Unusual Bipartisanship Makes New Free Trade Agreements More Likely

Major new free trade agreements are on the horizon. For the past several years, the Obama Administration has been negotiating two new major free trade agreements: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic...more

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