Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 23, 2014

Posts in "Appropriations/Budget"

December 22, 2014

December 12, 2014

Weekly Wrapup: E-Rate Funding Cap Increase, Internet Tax Moratorium and IP Nominees

Among the happenings this week: the Federal Communications Commission increased the funding cap on the E-Rate program, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on intellectual property nominees, and the spending package to fund the federal government includes provisions such as an extension of the Internet tax moratorium.

  • The House passed a spending package to fund the federal government that includes an extension of the Internet tax moratorium through Oct. 1, 2015. It also includes a provision that would block the National Telecommunications and Information Administration from relinquishing its responsibilities over Internet domain names and other domain functions. The NTIA wants to shift those duties to organizations with a stake in the Internet, but Republicans have opposed the change. The Senate’s now considering the package.
  • The Federal Communications Commission approved a measure that would raise by $1.5 billion the funding cap for the E-Rate program that helps schools and libraries pay for Internet access. And since the program’s supported by Universal Service Fund fees, consumers will see up to $1.90 in additional fees on their phone bills each year.
  • Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, who is expected to be the next chairman of the Judiciary Committee, made clear that the nominations of Michelle K. Lee to be director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and Daniel H. Marti to be the White House’s intellectual property enforcement coordinator, wouldn’t advance in the 113th Congress, since there wasn’t enough time. But he also indicated that the nominations might be acted on early in the next Congress.
  • Technocrat had a Q&A with University of North Carolina law professor William P. Marshall about the Supreme Court case involving violent comments made on Facebook. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
  • The Telecommunications Industry Association organized a letter to FCC commissioners and House and Senate leaders opposing proposals to reclassify broadband as a common carrier as part of the FCC’s rewrite of net neutrality rules. Sixty companies signed on including IBM, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Cisco, and dLink.
  • BSA | The Software Alliance released a survey of roughly 1,500 business owners and decision makers in the U.S. and Europe on data analytics and among its U.S. findings: While 33 percent thought more than 10 percent of their company’s growth will be related to data analytics this year, 58 percent thought the same looking five years from now.

November 3, 2014

The Week Ahead: Antitrust, Crypto-Currencies and Farming & Space Tech Transfer

Attention will be focused on the mid-term elections this week, but there are other events happening as well that cover issues including antitrust, crypto-currencies and farming and space tech transfer.

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October 24, 2014

Who Might Replace Wolf on House C-J-S?

approps006 052411 445x291 Who Might Replace Wolf on House C J S?

A House Appropriations Committee markup. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

With Virginia Republican Frank R. Wolf retiring, the top seat on the House Appropriations Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee is opening up next Congress.

Under that subcommittee’s jurisdiction: the spending bill that covers the Justice Department, the Commerce Department (including the U.S Patent and Trademark Office), NASA, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Whoever replaces Wolf would be in a position to influence not just the dollars, but also the policy of several science and tech-related agencies (for example, though limitation provisions in the bill that prohibit spending for specified activities).

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August 1, 2014

Senate Appropriators Worry About ‘Gold Standard’ of Research, Too

House appropriators have worried the “gold standard” of science — the ability to reproduce results — isn’t being met in a significant amount of recent research. It looks like Senate appropriators have the same concern, at least as it applies to some biomedical research.

July 14, 2014

Botnets, the Video Marketplace and Permanent Internet Tax Ban Bill This Week

This week, activity on the Hill includes hearings on botnets and the future of the video marketplace as well as  House consideration of a permanent ban on taxing Internet access. Elsewhere in Washington, events on the IP transition, data analytics and Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference are on tap.

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June 25, 2014

Email Search Warrant Provision Added to Spending Bill

Kevin Yoder 13 030812 445x305 Email Search Warrant Provision Added to Spending Bill

Yoder. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Among the 12 annual spending bills that fund the federal government, the Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill is generally one of the more contentious. But during a markup of the House’s fiscal 2015 version, there wasn’t any fight when it came to an amendment targeting a law that allows federal agencies to obtain emails older than 180 days without a search warrant.

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June 23, 2014

AT&T-DirecTV Merger, FCC Funding, Digital Health Care This Week

Hold onto your seats because a slew of events and congressional hearings and markups are slated for the next few days, including multiple subcommittee meetings on the proposed AT&T-DirectTV merger.

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June 16, 2014

Cybersecurity, Mobile-Device Theft, Digital Readiness in the Week Ahead

Lawmakers are expected to take up at least a couple science and tech-related bills and hold a hearing on net neutrality. Off the Hill, events on mobile-device theft prevention, cybersecurity and digital readiness are on tap.

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June 11, 2014

SpaceX Brings Crew Vehicle to D.C.

photo 4 445x332 SpaceX Brings Crew Vehicle to D.C.

(Anne L. Kim/CQ Roll Call)

Commercial launch company SpaceX brought its new seven-seat crew vehicle across the country from California this week for a show-and-tell of sorts with lawmakers, especially those who decide how much money to spend each year on a NASA program that helps develop private space capabilities.

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