CategoryFederal

Federal Register weekly update: 1,446 pages added

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity, accounting for both regulatory and deregulatory actions.

From May 16 through May 20, the Federal Register grew by 1,446 pages for a year-to-date total of 31,092 pages.

The Federal Register hit an all-time high of 95,894 pages in 2016.

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 507 documents:

  • 411 notices
  • Seven presidential documents
  • 28 proposed rules
  • 61 final rules

Five proposed rules, including an amendment to Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) standards for commercial water heating equipment from the Energy Department, and three final rules, including an increase to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) travel promotion fee from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection were deemed significant under E.O. 12866—defined by the potential to have large impacts on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments. Significant actions may also conflict with presidential priorities or other agency rules. The Biden administration has issued 77 significant proposed rules, 94 significant final rules, and one significant notice as of May 20.

Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project. The project is a neutral, nonpartisan encyclopedic resource that defines and analyzes the administrative state, including its philosophical origins, legal and judicial precedents, and scholarly examinations of its consequences. The project also monitors and reports on measures of federal government activity.

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U.S. Reps. Bourdeaux, McBath among three Democrats running in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District May 24 primary

Carolyn Bourdeaux, Lucy McBath, and Donna McLeod are running in the Democratic primary in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District near Atlanta on May 24, 2022. Bourdeaux and McBath are current members of the U.S. House of Representatives facing each other due to redistricting. The primary is one of five U.S. House races with two incumbents running for the same congressional district this year.

Emily Wilkins wrote in Bloomberg Government that “The area’s influx of mostly non-White voters over the past decade helped Rep. Lucy McBath flip a Republican-held district in the northern suburbs in 2018 and Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux do the same with a neighboring district to the east two years later…The Republican-controlled legislature redrew the two swing congressional districts, creating instead districts that are solidly red and blue, and ensuring Democrats will have one fewer seat in the delegation after the 2022 midterms.” Bloomberg Government reported that Bourdeaux represents 57% of the residents in the new 7th District and McBath represents 12%.

Bourdeaux defeated Rich McCormick (R), 51% to 49%, to win an open-seat race in the 7th District in 2020 after she lost to then-incumbent Rob Woodall (R) in 2018 by 433 votes. That margin was the closest U.S. House election in 2018 by the number of votes. Bourdeaux has highlighted her work for the constituents of the district, saying on her website, “Since being sworn in January of 2021, Congresswoman Bourdeaux has been a leading advocate in Congress for health care, voting rights, racial and social justice, small business, infrastructure, and critical issues of broad importance to Gwinnett County and the 7th district community.”

McBath defeated incumbent Karen Handel (R) in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in 2018, 50.5% to 49.5%. She won a rematch against Handel in 2020, 55% to 45%. As Rachel Garbus wrote in Atlanta magazine, “Gun safety and reform has always been McBath’s key platform; her son was a victim of gun violence in 2012, and his death inspired her political career.” At a recent debate, McBath said, “I’m running in this race because I simply believe that we should not allow Gov. Kemp, the Republican Party or the NRA gun lobby to dictate who represents our communities in Washington.”

Wilkins wrote that “The congresswomen have near-identical voting records. In the 117th Congress, both have largely kept to the party line—96% for Bourdeaux and 97% for McBath, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis.” Garbus wrote in Atlanta magazine that “While both candidates are thoroughgoing Democrats, McBath is further to the left than Bourdeaux, whose centrist stance has alienated some progressives.”

Bourdeaux has received endorsements from former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young (D), former U.S. Sen Sam Nunn (D-Geo.), and four incumbent Georgia state representatives. McBath was endorsed by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), U.S. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), and the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund.

If no candidate receives a majority of the vote in the primary, the top two finishers will meet in a runoff election on June 21. As of May 17, three race ratings outlets classify the general election as Solid or Safe Democratic.

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Iowa sees the fewest candidates running for the U.S. House in at least a decade

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Iowa this year was March 18, 2022. Ten candidates are running for Iowa’s four U.S. House districts, including four Democrats and six Republicans. That’s 2.5 candidates per district, less than the 4.5 candidates per district in 2020 and the four in 2018.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Iowa was apportioned four districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  • The 10 candidates running this year are the fewest candidates running for Iowa’s U.S. House seats since at least 2012, when 11 candidates filed.
  • All four incumbents are running for re-election, meaning there are no open seats this year. 
  • The Republican primary in the 3rd district is the only contested primary this year. That’s the fewest contested primaries since at least 2012, when three primaries were contested. There were four contested primaries each year from 2014 to 2020. 
  • No incumbent is facing a primary challenger. That’s the lowest number since 2014, when no incumbent faced a primary challenger either. One incumbent faced a primary challenger in both 2020 and 2018, and two incumbents did in 2016. 
  • Candidates filed to run in the Republican and Democratic primaries in all four districts, so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year.

Iowa and six other states — California, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota — are holding primary elections on June 7. In Iowa, the winner of a primary election is the candidate who receives the greatest number of votes, even if he or she does not win an outright majority of votes cast for the office being sought.

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Georgia has the most candidates running for the U.S. House in at least a decade

The filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Georgia this year was March 11, 2022. Eighty-two candidates are running for Georgia’s 14 U.S. House districts, including 31 Democrats and 51 Republicans. That’s 5.86 candidates per district, more than the 5.5 candidates per district in 2020 and the 3.42 in 2018.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  1. This is the first election to take place under new district lines following the 2020 census. Georgia was apportioned 14 districts, the same number it was apportioned after the 2010 census.
  2. The 82 candidates running this year are the most candidates running for Georgia’s U.S. House seats since at least 2012, when 44 candidates ran.
  1. Two seats — the 6th and the 10th — are open, meaning no incumbents are running. That’s one less than in 2020 when three seats were open. There were no open seats in 2018, one in 2016, and three in 2014.
  2. Rep. Jody Hice (R), who represents the 10th district, is running for Georgia Secretary of State. Thirteen candidates — five Democrats and eight Republicans — are running to replace him, the most candidates running for a seat this year. 
  3. Rep. Lucy McBath (D), who represents the 6th district, is running in the 7th district this year. She is the only incumbent running in a different district than the one she currently represents. 
  4. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (D), the incumbent in the 7th district, is running for re-election. That makes the 7th district the only district featuring two incumbents running against each other.
  5. There are eight contested Democratic primaries this year, the same number as in 2020 and 2018. 

There are nine contested Republican primaries, one more than in 2020 and the highest number since at least 2012. 

  1. There are eight incumbents in contested primaries this year, the most since at least 2012. 
  1. Five incumbents are not facing any primary challengers. 
  2. Candidates filed to run in the Republican and Democratic primaries in all 14 districts, so no seats are guaranteed to either party this year. The last year in which a party was guaranteed a seat because no candidate from the other party filed was 2018, when then-incumbent Rep. John Lewis (D) ran unopposed in the general election for the 5th district. 

Georgia and two other states — Alabama and Arkansas — are holding primary elections on May 24. A candidate must receive a majority of votes in order to win a primary election in Georgia. If no candidate wins an outright majority of votes cast, a runoff primary between the top two vote-getters will be held on June 21.

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Davis wins Democratic primary for North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District

Donald Davis defeated Erica Smith and two other candidates in the Democratic primary for North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Incumbent G.K. Butterfield (D) did not file to run for re-election.

WRAL’s Bryan Anderson wrote: “Central to Davis’ campaign was an argument about electability, where he sought to persuade Democratic voters that his more centrist policies and track record of working with Republicans could make him the likeliest candidate to keep the seat in Democrats’ hands.”

Davis has held a seat in the state Senate since 2013. Davis was first elected to the state Senate in 2008 but lost his re-election bid in the 2010 general election. Davis ran unopposed in the 2012 state Senate primary and general elections. Davis said, “As a veteran, a minister, and a state senator, I’ve rolled up my sleeves and gone to work for our neighbors and families. When I am sworn in as our next congressman, we will focus on the fight ahead — transforming the future of our region and rural America.” He has campaigned on rebuilding the rural economy and said he would “continue to fight for affordable healthcare, voting rights and protect a woman’s right to choose” in Congress.

Smith served in the North Carolina Senate from 2015 to 2020. Smith filed to run for U.S. Senate in 2022, but switched her candidacy to the U.S. House following Butterfield’s retirement announcement in November 2021. Smith campaigned on what she called a platform for progress, which she said included raising the minimum wage, strengthening unions, supporting small, family farms, and investing in fisheries and wind energy. Smith said, “For three terms as a State Senator I fought for a more progressive, democratic North Carolina. I fought to raise the minimum wage, legalize marijuana, make it easier to vote, secure a woman’s right to choose, provide rural broadband, expand Medicaid, and more. Now I’m running for Congress, because I’ve seen enough of the state and the country to know that the problems I originally identified in my own rural county are everywhere.”

Jullian Bishop Sr. and Jason Spriggs also ran in the election.

Three independent race forecasters consider the general election to Lean Democratic.



Federal Register weekly update: Tops 10,000 total documents

Image of the south facade of the White House.

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity, accounting for both regulatory and deregulatory actions.

From May 9 through May 13, the Federal Register grew by 2,208 pages for a year-to-date total of 29,646 pages.

The Federal Register hit an all-time high of 95,894 pages in 2016.

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 580 documents:

  • 470 notices
  • 11 presidential documents
  • 32 proposed rules
  • 67 final rules

Two proposed rules, including changes to rules governing Carrier Automated Tariffs from the Federal Maritime Commission, and five final rules, including an amendment to the National Marine Sanctuaries program regulations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were deemed significant under E.O. 12866—defined by the potential to have large impacts on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments. Significant actions may also conflict with presidential priorities or other agency rules. The Biden administration has issued 72 significant proposed rules, 91 significant final rules, and one significant notice as of May 13.

Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project. The project is a neutral, nonpartisan encyclopedic resource that defines and analyzes the administrative state, including its philosophical origins, legal and judicial precedents, and scholarly examinations of its consequences. The project also monitors and reports on measures of federal government activity.

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U.S. weekly unemployment insurance claims rise to 200,000

New applications for U.S. unemployment insurance benefits rose 19,000 for the week ending April 30 to a seasonally adjusted 200,000. The previous week’s figure was revised up from 180,000 to 181,000. The four-week moving average as of April 30 rose to 188,000 from a revised 180,000 as of the week ending April 23.

The number of continuing unemployment insurance claims, which refers to the number of unemployed workers who filed for benefits at least two weeks ago and are actively receiving unemployment benefits, fell to 1.4 million for the week ending April 23. Reporting for continuing claims lag one week. The continuing claims figure was the lowest since January 1970.

Unemployment insurance is a joint federal and state program that provides temporary monetary benefits to eligible laid-off workers who are actively seeking new employment. Qualifying individuals receive unemployment compensation as a percentage of their lost wages in the form of weekly cash benefits while they search for new employment.

The federal government oversees the general administration of state unemployment insurance programs. The states control the specific features of their unemployment insurance programs, such as eligibility requirements and length of benefits.

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Fetterman wins Democratic U.S. Senate primary in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman defeated three other candidates in the May 17, 2022, Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, including U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, and Alexandria Khalil. Incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey (R)—who was first elected to the Senate in 2010—did not run for re-election.

Based on unofficial returns, Fetterman received 59% of the vote. Lamb was second with 26%, Kenyatta third with 10%, and Khalil was fourth with 4%.

Fetterman served as the mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, from 2005 to 2019 and was elected lieutenant governor in 2018. He finished third in the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania for the U.S. Senate in 2016. Fetterman’s top campaign priorities were adopting a single-payer healthcare system, legalizing marijuana, and supporting LGBTQIA+ rights. His campaign website describes him as “a different kind of Democrat,” saying, “John doesn’t look like a typical politician, and more importantly, he doesn’t act like one.” Marc Levy of the Associated Press described Fetterman as “irreverent, blunt and, well, something to see. At 6 feet 8, he is tattooed and goateed, his head is clean shaven, and he is most often seen wearing shorts — even in winter — and casual work shirts.”

Lamb worked as an assistant U.S. attorney and was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives after defeating Rick Saccone (R), 49.9% to 49.5%, in a March 2018 special election. He was re-elected to the U.S. House later in 2018 and in 2020.

Fetterman had endorsements from affiliates of the United Steelworkers and the United Food and Commercial Workers unions, the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association, and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws PAC. Lamb received endorsements from The Philadelphia Democratic Party, local chapters of the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D).

According to campaign finance reports through April 27, Fetterman raised $16.0 million and spent $14.2 million on the race. Lamb raised $6.1 million and spent $4.8 million.

Fetterman will face the winner of the Republican primary in the Nov. 8 general election. Pennsylvania is one of two states holding a U.S. Senate election in 2022 with a Republican incumbent that President Joe Biden (D) carried in the 2020 presidential election. Biden defeated former President Donald Trump (R) in the state, 50% to 49%. In the 2016 presidential election, Trump carried Pennsylvania with 48.2% of the vote to Hillary Clinton’s (D) 47.5%. 

Pennsylvania is also one of six states with one Democratic and one Republican U.S Senator as of the 2022 U.S. Senate elections. Christopher Wilson of Yahoo News wrote that the race for Toomey’s seat “might be the Democratic Party’s best chance to gain a Senate seat in the fall.”

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Sandy Smith wins North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District Republican primary

Sandy Smith defeated Sandy Roberson and six other candidates in the Republican Party primary for North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Incumbent G.K. Butterfield (D) did not run for re-election

Smith was the Republican nominee for the district’s 2020 general election, winning the Republican primary with 77.3% of the vote. She lost Butterfield in the general election, receiving 45.8% of the vote to Butterfield’s 54.2%. “The Democrats are scared of me,” Smith said. “I have fulfilled my first campaign promise of 2020 and that was to send G.K. Butterfield packing…If I had not done so well he would be still running today.” Smith worked as a business executive and farmer. “I’m the America First fighter and I am going to go to Washington and fight for you,” Smith said.

Roberson was elected Mayor of Rocky Mount, North Carolina in 2019. He also served as managing partner of Health View Capital Partners. Roberson said he “made a career of getting things done, delivering results, meeting budgets, and holding others accountable” and would “prioritize fiscal responsibility, defend our Second Amendment rights, and protect the sanctity of life” and “ensure the needs of American citizens always come first and empower law enforcement to do their job.”

Will Aiken, Brad Murphy, Ernest Reeves, Brent Roberson, Billy Strickland, and Henry Williams also ran in the Republican primary.

Butterfield represented the district since winning the 2004 general election, defeating Greg Dority (R) 64-36%. The Cook Political Report rated the general election as Likely Democratic.



Val Hoyle wins Oregon’s 4th Congressional District Democratic primary

Val Hoyle defeated Doyle Canning, Andrew Kalloch, John Selker, and four other candidates in the Democratic Party primary for Oregon’s 4th Congressional District on May 17, 2022. Incumbent Peter DeFazio (D), who represented the district since 1987, did not run for re-election. 

Hoyle was elected Oregon Commissioner of Labor and Industries in 2018. Hoyle was a member of the Oregon House of Representatives, representing District 14 from 2009 to 2017. Hoyle ran for Oregon Secretary of State in 2016 and lost in the Democratic primary, receiving 34% of the vote. Hoyle emphasized her experience in office, with her campaign manager saying, “Val is the only candidate in this race with a record of passing climate legislation. In the Oregon Legislature, she supported the bill to eliminate coal energy in Oregon and led the fight to pass Oregon’s clean fuels program.”

Canning ran in the 2020 Democratic primary for Oregon’s 4th Congressional District and lost DeFazio, receiving 15% of the vote. Canning worked as a community organizer and attorney and was vice chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon Environmental Caucus. “Oregon voters are hungry for a climate champion for Congress in 2022. I have been in this fight for 20 years, working on some of the most important climate battles of our time, including the successful defeat of the Jordan Cove project in 2021,” Canning said.

Kalloch worked as an attorney for the ACLU of New York, a policy advisor for the NYC Comptroller, and in global public policy for Airbnb. He has been affiliated with the City Clubs of Eugene and Portland, the Technology Association of Oregon, the Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing, and the PDX Chapter of Braver Angels. “From my time as a civil rights attorney at the ACLU to my experience as a top policy adviser in city government and my work in Global Public Policy with Airbnb, I have used every institution of power to deliver results for American families,” Kalloch said.

Selker’s career experience includes working as a university professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University. Selker also served as co-director of the Center for Transformative Environmental Monitoring Programs and the Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory at the university. “We must provide a society where people can thrive, and pass on an environment where future generations can be as inspired and sustained as we are by the splendor of nature,” Selker said.

Sami Al-Abdrabbuh, Steve Laible, Jake Matthews, and G. Tommy Smith also ran in the Democratic primary.

The Cook Political Report rated the general election as Likely Democratic. In the 2020 general election, DeFazio defeated Alek Skarlatos (R) with 52% of the vote to Skarlatos’ 46%.