Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 24, 2014

Posts in "Congressional Affairs"

October 24, 2014

Weekly Wrapup: Spectrum Incentive Auction, ECPA & Online Sales Tax Bill

Among some of the news in tech policy this week: the Federal Communications Commission announced a delay of the spectrum incentive auction as well as a pause on its 180-day review of the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable and AT&T-DirecTV transactions. In case you missed it, Technocrat had posts on Sen. Orrin G. Hatch‘s call for enactment of legislation targeting abusive patent litigation and changes to electronic privacy law next Congress as well as the state of play on the online sales tax bill.

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

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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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October 22, 2014

Potential Big Differences in Net Worth Between Top Lawmakers on Some Tech Panels

Ever wonder how rich some of the most influential lawmakers in tech policy are?

Technocrat looked through Roll Call’s rankings of all lawmakers’ wealth (based on financial disclosure forms covering 2013), and organized chairmen and ranking members of some tech-related committees and subcommittees by panel. The list below isn’t exhaustive of all the tech-related panels, but what we’ve noticed so far are some potential big disparities between some of the top lawmakers who might sit right next to each other on the dais.

For example, on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., has a minimum net worth of $108.05 million while ranking member John Thune, R-S.D., has a minimum net worth of $90,000.

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October 21, 2014

Hatch Calls for ECPA, ‘Patent Troll’ Legislation in Next Congress

 

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Sen. Orrin Hatch the leaves the Senate side carriage entrance of the Capitol. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In prepared remarks for a speech Tuesday detailing a wide-ranging “innovation agenda” for the next Congress, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, called for enactment of legislation targeting abusive patent litigation as well as changes to electronic privacy law.

In his written remarks for a speech at Overstock.com in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Utah Republican said about a patent litigation bill: “I intend to do everything in my power next Congress to pass such legislation.”

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October 20, 2014

Leahy Wants Comcast Pledge of No Paid Prioritization

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Sen. Patrick Leahy speaks with reporters before the Senate luncheons in the Capitol in March 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As federal regulators continue to review Comcast’s proposal to acquire Time Warner Cable and as the Federal Communications Commission seeks to draft net neutrality rules, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is calling on Comcast to promise that it won’t engage in paid prioritization.

In a letter to Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen on Monday, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., wrote:

In a May blog post, you wrote that Comcast does not intend to enter into paid prioritization agreements. I welcome that assertion, but I remain gravely concerned that if such agreements are permitted [under the FCC's net neutrality rules], market incentive may drive Comcast and other Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to change that position in the future.

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October 17, 2014

Weekly Wrapup: Encryption, Patent Office and Robots

FBI Director James B. Comey’s remarks on encryption and law enforcement access to data, the nomination of Michelle K. Lee to head the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and a Q&A on robots and the law were among the highlights from the last few days. Check out the Mid-Week Catchup for happenings from earlier this week.

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October 15, 2014

Mid-Week Catchup: Drones, Dropbox and “Double Irish” Tax Arrangements

455240850 445x302 Mid Week Catchup: Drones, Dropbox and Double Irish Tax Arrangements

A drone flies over vineyards of the Pape Clement castle, belonging to Bordeaux winemaker Bernard Magrez in the soutwestern French town of Pessac. (JEAN PIERRE MULLER/AFP/Getty Images)

In case you missed it, some highlights from news this week include stories about Dropbox, drones and “Double Irish” tax arrangements.

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October 14, 2014

Google Steps Up Lobbying

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Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt, second from left, arrives for a subcommittee hearing on “The Power of Google: Serving Consumers or Threatening Competition?” (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

CQ Weekly’s Shawn Zeller writes in a story for this week’s issue of the magazine about Google’s struggle to “balance the outspoken liberal views of its founders with its desire to play the Washington game.”

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The Week Ahead: FCC Meeting and the Future of Internet Regulation Event

The Federal Communications Commission holds an open meeting, the American Red Cross holds an event on video games and the laws of war and Tim Berners-Lee, Vinton G. Cerf and others are scheduled to participate at a Duke event on the future of Internet regulation.

Tuesday

The Society of Professional Journalists and the Medill School of Journalism hold a panel discussion on net neutrality and media.

The American Red Cross hosts an event on video games and the laws of war.

Wednesday

The Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative hosts a panel discussion on net neutrality rules and wireless Internet.

The Heritage Foundation hosts an event on regulation of the video marketplace.

Thursday

The Advisory Committee to the Congressional Internet Caucus hosts a panel discussion on whether an update of the Communications Act needs to include the Internet.

The United States Institute of Peace hosts an event on the impact of technology on Afghanistan’s democratic process.

Friday

The Federal Communications Commission holds an open meeting.

Duke Law Center for Innovation Policy hosts an event titled “Internet Regulation in 2020.”

October 10, 2014

Weekly Recap: Net Neutrality, Mobile ‘Cramming’ and a Spacewalk

Among the highlights in happenings from the past few days: President Barack Obama talked net neutrality, AT&T Mobility agreed to a $105 million settlement over mobile “cramming” allegations, and an astronaut popular on Twitter took his first spacewalk outside the International Space Station. That and more news highlights as well as some Technocrat posts are below. For happenings from earlier this week, check out the Mid-Week Catchup.

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