Week in Review

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The U.S. House of Representatives passes a bill that would ban TikTok, the Biden Administration expands federal apprenticeship programs, and more…

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  • The U.S. House of Representatives voted 352-65 to pass a bipartisan bill that would ban the popular short-form video app TikTok in the United States if its Chinese owner, ByteDance, does not sell its stake in the company. Lawmakers supportive of the bill contend that TikTok poses a national security threat since the Chinese government could demand access to the data of TikTok’s consumers in the United States. Despite these claims, there is no evidence, as of yet, that TikTok has ever shared such information with the Chinese government. President Joe Biden has said that, if Congress passes the bill, he will sign it.
  • The Biden Administration released an executive order to expand the use of apprenticeships within the federal government. The order seeks to promote workforce development within the federal government and across other industries by modeling skills-based hiring, a hiring approach that focuses on a worker’s skills over their education or background. The Biden Administration argued that the use of apprenticeships lowers the barriers to well-paying jobs and increases diversity by attracting workers who would not otherwise have access to these roles.
  • Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin signed a bill into law that will ban legacy admissions at Virginia public colleges. The law was passed unanimously by the Virginia House and Senate and will take effect July 1, 2024. A spokesperson for Governor Youngkin said that “students can be encouraged to know their hard work and academic career will be recognized on its merit.”
  • The state of Florida and several civil rights groups agreed to a settlement clarifying the scope of the Parental Rights in Education Act, which Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law in 2022. Under the settlement, the Florida Board of Education will communicate to schools that classroom participants can discuss gender identity and sexual orientation—so long as it is not a part of classroom instruction. The settlement also provides that the 2022 law applies equally to LGBTQ+ and heterosexual people and that it does not apply to library books not used for classroom instruction.
  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) adopted a final rule permitting its regulated entities—Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks—to invest in mortgages encumbered by private transfer fee covenants. These mortgages, however, must fulfill the requirements for an FHFA program targeting investment in underserved markets. Private transfer fee covenants require that a fee is paid to a certain private actor every time a certain property is sold. By banning investment in properties subject to these covenants, the FHFA addressed concerns about funding private streams of income without benefitting homeowners. This new rule loosens this regulation to help achieve the policy goal of a larger affordable housing stock.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed new airworthiness directives for Boeing Company airplanes. The directives would correct issues the FAA identified to ensure the safety of certain Boeing aircraft models. In particular, the FAA seeks to fix an issue with spoiler deployments, a mechanism for brake efficiency, that causes the aircraft to roll to the right and, if not corrected, could cause the loss of control of the aircraft.
  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a final rule creating new safety standards for automatic residential garage door operators. The rule addressed aspects of automatic garage doors that could pose a safety risk, such as sensor technology and force sensitivity. The agency purports that the rule will enhance consumer safety by reducing garage door-related accidents.



  • In an essay in The Regulatory Review, Todd Rubin, then an Attorney Advisor at the Administrative Conference of the United States, analyzed the advantages and challenges of public-private partnerships (PPPs), which are a mechanism for federal agencies to provide services through private entities. Rubin emphasized that PPPs can benefit both the government, or the public side of the partnership, and the private entity, by giving them access to expertise and funding. The process of forming a PPP, however, presents legal complexities and potential inefficiencies. Rubin cautioned agencies to adhere to guidance from the Administrative Conference of the United States and use their provided collaborative website.