By S-3 Public Affairs
Fact of the Week: Amazon delivered tough news to Blue Apron this week when it announced plans to break into the meal kit industry. Morning Consult polling finds high prices are the biggest challenge for existing meal kit companies, CNBC adding, “Amazon — known for keeping prices competitively low — could be looking to solve this problem, seeing opportunity in an evolving and expanding market. Amazon’s stock was climbing slightly higher Monday morning.” Blue Apron’s stock meanwhile has been tumbling since its IPO. CNBC shares a bit of optimism after trying each. “It felt like each kit was for a different kind of consumer. Amazon is selling meal kits for dummies. Blue Apron is selling meal kits for foodies. There may be room for both.”
In the Administration: This week the White House will focus on American Heroes Week with visits and events with the American Legion Boys Nation and American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation as well as for first responders later in the week. President Trump heads to Jamboree West Virginia on Monday, visiting the Boy Scouts of America, then to Ohio on Tuesday where he will hold a “Rally in the Valley.”
On the Hill: The final week before the House beings its August work period will be a busy one. The House will consider a Russia, Iran, and North Korea sanctions package as well as continued progress on appropriations and a number of other bills pertaining to Veterans. The Senate, which is not leaving town for a few more weeks, continues to focus on health care, with a vote as early asTuesday.
- Monday: Senate votes on the nomination of David Bernhardt as deputy Interior Secretary;Jared Kushner will be interviewed by Senate Intelligence Committee staff in a closed session;
- Tuesday: Senate Appropriations Subcommittee markups of the FY2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development & Related Agencies Appropriations Act and the FY2018 Commerce, Justice, Science & Related Agencies Appropriations Act; Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on risk management policy for the 2018 farm bill; Senate Banking Committee executive session to vote on various sub-Cabinet positions; Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing on pressure and engagement policy toward North Korea;Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee hearing on developing advanced clean energy technologies; House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on authorization for the use of military force and current terrorist threats; Jared Kushner appears before the House Intelligence Committee in a closed session; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on the President’s FY2018 budget proposal for Europe and Eurasia; House Natural Resources Committee markup of 21 bills (through Wednesday); House Financial Services Committee markup of five bills and a resolution directing the Treasury Secretary to turn over documents relating to President Trump’s financial connections to Russia; House Rules Committee meetingto address H.J.Res.111 (providing for congressional disapproval of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule on arbitration agreements) and H.R.3219 (Defense Department Appropriations Act); House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on FCC oversight and reauthorization; House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) speaks at a National Press Club Headliners Luncheon;
- Wednesday: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George testify before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the Treasury Department’s FY2018 budget request; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort were originally invited to testify, but reached an agreement to be privately interviewed first); House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Office of National Drug Control Policy reauthorization; Christopher Painter, the coordinator for cyber issues at the State Department, testifies at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on U.S. cyber diplomacy; Small Business Committee hearing on protecting small businesses from cyberattacks; House Agriculture Committee hearing on opportunities for agriculture in NAFTA renegotiations; House Science Subcommittee hearingon STEM and computer science education; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on theU.S.-Qatar relationship; House Homeland Security Committee markup of 6 bills and a resolution directing the Homeland Security Secretary to turn over documents relating to Department policies and activities at businesses owned or controlled by President Trump; Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduce carbon tax proposal at AEI;
- Thursday: Senate Banking Committee nomination hearing for Joseph Otting (to be Comptroller of the Currency) and Randal Quarles (to be Vice Chairman for Supervision of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors; Senate Appropriations Committee markup of the CJS, THUD, and legislative branch appropriations bills for FY2018; Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin gives his annual testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on the state of the international financial system; House Judiciary Committee hearing on the need for a balanced budget amendment; House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on antitrust concerns and the FDA approval process; House Natural Resources Committee hearing on three energy and environment bills; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific in the FY2018 budget; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee markup of H.Res.422 (urging China’s adherence to the “one country, two systems” policy” with Hong Kong), H.Res.445 (honoring the life of Liu Xiaobo), H.R.2732 (a prohibition on travel to North Korea), and H.R.3320 (to help Taiwan regain observer status in the World Health Organization).
In the Media: Millennials are on the way out and “generation Z now represents the largest potential TV audience of any age demographic.” Fast Company shares insights from Nielsen’s latest report on how different generations consume media. Of note, GenZ are younger (born between 1997-2015) and likely still live at home. Fast Company notes their habits are likely to change when the move out on their own, but it is not clear exactly how or what the landscape will look like at that time. AdWeek adds, “The report overall shows how the age of a diverse generation presents new opportunities for marketers. New technologies and forms of content continue to spread across generations, and there will be more to learn about how users interact with media down the line.”
Why does this matter? Advertisers and content creators alike will have to continue to think creatively about how to package ads, news, stories, and entertainment so it is easily consumed across a variety of screens.
By S-3 Public Affairs
Fact of the Week: Amazon Prime Day set new records growing, “by more than 60 percent compared to the same 30 hours last year. … More new members joined Prime on July 11 than on any single day in Amazon history.” Recode adds, “Within a couple of years, more U.S. households could be subscribers of Amazon Prime than cable or satellite TV, according to recent estimates of Amazon’s popular shipping and entertainment service. According to estimates from Morningstar, nearly 79 million people in the U.S. now have an Amazon Prime membership*, up from around 67 million at the end of last year. Based on Morningstar’s estimates of the average number of Prime memberships per household, that suggests about 66 million households have Amazon Prime memberships in 2017. That compares to a projected 90 million U.S. households that will pay for cable or satellite TV this year, according to S&P Global.”
In the Administration: President Trump approaches six months in office this week as the nomination process continues in Congress. The administration is expected to tomorrow (July 17) publish its objectives for NAFTA renegotiation if it hopes to begin renegotiations on August 16. This comes just ahead of a House Ways & Means Committee hearing Tuesday on NAFTA modernization. Additionally,The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis reports that Jared Kushner will head to Capitol Hill to address interns.
- Monday: A cloture vote is expected in the Senate on Patrick Shanahan’s nomination as deputy secretary of defense;
- Tuesday: Senate Finance Committee hearing on the nomination of David Kautter to serve asassistant secretary of the Treasury; Senate Foreign Relations, Armed Services, and Banking Committee nomination hearings for various ambassador-level and sub-Cabinet positionsincluding Callista Gingrich;
- Wednesday: Senate Commerce Committee hearing to consider the reappointments of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and member Jessica Rosenworcel, and the nomination of Brendan Carr to serve as a member of the FCC; Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing to consider the nominations of several sub-Cabinet positions; Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee hearing to consider the nominations of National Labor Relations Boardnominees Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel;
- Thursday: Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to consider the nominations for six Interior and Energy Department positions; Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting to consider several nominations, including Christopher Wray for FBI director.
On the Hill: As Senator McCain recovers from surgery in Arizona, Senate Majority Leader McConnell has postponed consideration of the Senate health care bill. Still expected this week: a CBO score on the revised Senate bill. Meanwhile the House is expected to release and mark up its budget and Appropriations remains busy, completing the rest of its 12 funding bills. Additionally, the House is expected to consider a number of Energy and Commerce bills regarding energy infrastructure and pipelines.
- Monday: Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan testifies before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to review the State Department FY2018 reauthorization; House Appropriations Committee markup of the FY2018 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Bill;
- Tuesday: Senate Finance Committee hearing on comprehensive tax reform with testimony from four former assistant secretaries to the Treasury for tax policy; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the “status and outlook for U.S. and North American energy and resource security;” House Appropriations Committee markup of the FY2018 Homeland Security and Interior Appropriations Bills; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearingon oversight of the 340B drug pricing program; House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing on FAST Act implementation; House Ways and Means Committee hearingon NAFTA modernization;
- Wednesday: Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Justice Department enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the Hunting Heritage and Environmental Legacy Preservation (HELP) for Wildlife Act (S.1514);House Appropriations Committee markup of the FY2018 State and Foreign Operations, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bills; House Natural Resources Committee hearing on five bills; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on tax reform;House Agriculture Committee hearing on the state of infrastructure in rural America; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on “Saudi Arabia’s Troubling Educational Curriculum;”
- Thursday: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on “The Postal Service’s Actions During the 2016 Campaign Season: Implications for the Hatch Act”;House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on bipartisan legislation to improve Medicare; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on monetary and fiscal policy.
In the Media: The Wall Street Journal reports on continued efforts by traditional magazines to break into online video. “Condé Nast and other legacy magazine publishers are redoubling their efforts in online video after learning from their stumbles over the past few years. Those who tried unsuccessfully to build centralized, destination-websites for their brands are now more concerned with distributing their work on platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and MSN. … As magazine print advertising revenue continues to weaken, video has become more critical. Advertisers are expected to spend $15.4 billion on video ads next year, according to eMarketer, up nearly threefold compared with 2014.” For Condé Nast, the shift is working. In May, it’s online video platform, the Scene, “attracted 98.3 million video views across Facebook, according to video analytics firm Tubular Labs—nearly triple the 36.4 million online video views the Scene generated in October 2016.”
By S-3 Public Affairs
Fact of the Week: Emojis are increasingly being used for search online as their use among smartphone users remains incredibly high. Digiday reports on a, “MojiLaLa study that found 86 percent of smartphone users in the U.S. regularly use emojis, and that number jumps to 96 percent among those 18 to 34.” Kayak is one of the latest companies to embrace emoji search, even allowing users to vote on which emoji corresponds with which trip destination, turning the feature from not just modern search, but also user engagement. What’s next? “Ad agencies believe it’s likely more brands will begin to experiment with emoji search. VML is one agency that is advising its clients to do so, mostly because they could take advantage of organic search on social platforms. Twitter, Instagram, Google, YouTube and, as of last week, WhatsApp, have all added the capability to search using emojis in the past two years.”
In the Administration: President Trump will return to Europe, heading to Paris on Friday for Bastille Day, at the invitation of President Macron. A CBO score of the president’s budget request is expected Thursday.
Nominations: Axios’ Mike Allen noted Friday that President Trump sent “87 nominations to the Senate in the month of June alone.”
Monday: The Senate is expected to confirm Neomi Rao to head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the Office of Management and Budget, aka regulatory czar. The Senate is also expected to invoke cloture on David Nye for US District Judge for the District of Idaho, with a final vote expected Wednesday.
Tuesday: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is expected to vote on David Glawe’s nomination to be under secretary for intelligence and analysis at the Department of Homeland Security. The committee will also vote on David Pekoske to head the TSA. Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold confirmation hearings for David Steele Bohigian, nominee for president of the Overseas Private Investment Corp., and Jay Patrick Murray, nominee for alternate US representative in the UN. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing for Navy Secretary nominee Richard V. Spencer.
Wednesday: Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for FBI Director Nominee Christopher Wray; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is expected to vote on Annie Caputo and David Wright, nominated to join the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Susan Parker Bodine to serve as an assistant EPA administrator. Also expected Wednesday: cloture vote on William Francis Haggerty, nominee for US Ambassador to Japan.
Thursday: Senate Finance Committee confirmation hearing for Kevin McAleenan, nominated for US Customs and Border Protection commissioner.
On the Hill: Congress returns from a July 4 spent at home with the focus remaining on health care in the Senate. All eyes in the Senate await a CBO score on updated language, expected later in the week. Focus in the House will be on NDAA. The House is also expected to consider H.R. 23, the Gaining Responsibility on Water Act, as well as a series of bills related to human trafficking. House Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane Black also raised the possibility of a markup as soon as this week.
Also this week:
Tuesday: House Appropriations Transportation-HUD Subcommittee markup; Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on pending health care legislation; Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing onconcurrent congressional and criminal investigations;
Wednesday: Fed Chairman Janet Yellen at the House Financial Services Committee; House Energy and Commerce Committeehearings on Combating the Opioid Crisis and Examining Medical Product Manufacturer Communications; House Appropriations Committee markup of FY2018 Agriculture Appropriations and FY2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bills; House Appropriations Subcommittee markups of FY2018 Interior Appropriations and Homeland Security Appropriations; Senate Appropriations Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Subcommitteemarkup of FY2018 spending bill with a full committee vote Thursday;House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Empowering Women in the Developing World and subcommittee hearings on the FY2018 Budget Request and Terrorism in Southeast Asia; House Agriculture Committee hearing on the Next Farm Bill; House Transportation Committee hearing on Implementing the Federal Assets Sale and Transfer Act; House Natural Resources Committee hearing onEvaluating Federal Offshore Oil and Gas Development on the Outer Continental Shelf; House Education and the Workforce Committeehearing on Redefining Joint Employer Standards; House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on Assessing VA’s Capital Asset Needs;Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on Examining the Problem of Visa Overstays; Senate Environment and Public Works Committeemarkup;
Thursday: House Financial Services Committee hearing on theImpact of the DOL Fiduciary Rule on Capital Markets; Senate Appropriations Transportation-HUD Subcommittee hearing on the DoT budget request with Secretary Chao testifying and a markup of MilCon-VA Appropriations; Fed Chairman Janet Yellen testifying at the Senate Banking Committee; House Ways and Means Committee hearing on tax reform and small businesses; House Foreign Affairs subcommitteehearing the FY2018 Budget Request; House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing on Opportunities for State Leadership of Early Childhood Programs; House Homeland Security Committeehearing on The Terrorist Diaspora: After the Fall of the Caliphate and subcommittee hearing on the Persistent Threat: al Qaeda’s Evolution and Resilience; House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Impact of Bad Patents on American Businesses; House Agriculture Committeehearing on the Future of Farming; House Veterans Affairssubcommittee hearings on Examining VA’s processing of Gulf War Illness Claims and an Examination of VA Productivity and Efficiency;
Friday: House Financial Services Committee Hearing on a Review of Fixed Income Market Structure; House Ways and Means Committeehearing on Social Security’s Solvency Challenge: Status of the Social Security Trust Funds; House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on the Tragic Case of Liu Xiaobo.
In the Media: For all the talk of the declining popularity of traditional TV, particularly broadcast, AdWeek reports, “Last week, advertisers were all about prime time—585 of them spent around $100 million on broadcast placement for new creative, about 13 percent of the $783 million advertisers spent on national broadcast placement overall, according to Kantar Media. Nearly half of the spending on new ads was devoted to prime-time programming. Most of that (28 percent) placement went during reality TV and competition shows.”
By S-3 Public Affairs
Fact of the Week: Axios’ Sara Fischer notes in her new weekly media trends newsletter, “Roughly 50% percent of ad dollars flow to Google and Facebook, America’s ‘Duopoly.’ Together they are expected to take 83% of every new ad dollar, according to calculations from Digital Content Next, the premium publishers association.” To put that in perspective, “Google’s ad revenue has almost caught up to all print ad revenue globally and Facebook’s ad revenue is quickly approaching all radio ad revenue globally.”
In the Administration: President Trump on Wednesday heads to Poland ahead of the G-20 summit, which begins Friday. Fox News reports, “Trump will also attend a summit in Warsaw devoted to the Three Seas Initiative … The initiative’s focused on expanding and modernizing energy and infrastructure ties in a region of Central Europe from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Adriatic and Black seas in the south.” The president will give a speech on Thursday, “at the site of a memorial to the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Germans, a Polish official says.”
Friday, President Trump will head to Hamburg, Germany for the G-20 summit where he is also expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Reuters notes a recent speech from German Chancellor Angela Merkel raising the “prospect of an open clash” between Merkel and President Trump. “Asked about Merkel’s comments, Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said the U.S. relationship with Germany was ‘as strong as ever’ and played down the discord. ‘Of course there are going to be differences in relations with any country, and we’ll talk frankly about those differences. The president enjoys those conversations,’ McMaster told reporters.”
On the Hill: The House and Senate are at home for the July 4 holiday as Senate leaders continue to look for a path forward on health care. The APreports that Senate Majority Leader McConnell remains committed to a simultaneous repeal and replace strategy, despite a tweet from President Trump. “McConnell told reporters after an event Friday in his home state of Kentucky that the Republican health care bill remains challenging but ‘we are going to stick with that path’ … ‘failure has to be possible or you can’t have success.’”
The Hill explains one Senate Republican tactic: update the CBO benchmark. “They say the CBO used data from March 2016 in coming up with the analysis that 22 million people would lose health insurance. By using a more recent benchmark from this year, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) argues that number might come down by as much as 6 million.”
In the Media: Wimbledon was the first sporting event live-streamed by Twitter last year. As it gets underway this year, TechCrunch notes Twitter’s continued growth in this space. “In the year since, Twitter has delivered a slew of live streamed sports, sports-related programming, news, concerts, and other events to its service, including streams from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NLL, college sports, even esports, and many more. …the cumulative effect – or, at least Twitter hopes – is that people will begin to think to check Twitter to see if something is being live streamed. And if Twitter can gain mindshare around live video even without deals as big as NFL games, that could long-term help boost its other metrics – like signed-in users, ad dollars, and more.”
Have a wonderful 4th of July!
By S-3 Public Affairs
Fact of the Week: Thursday, June 29, marks 10 years of the iPhone – with 1 billion having been sold over the past decade. USA Today looks at how the phone has changed over the years and what the next decade may bring. Some think, “many, if not most, of the sensor-driven products we’ll come to rely on will be so small, that they’ll be hidden inside walls, ceilings, furniture, maybe even our own bodies. It plays into the still evolving Internet of Things trend, and what technology watchers sometimes refer to as ambient computing.”
In the Administration: President Trump will have an eye on the Senate’s health care progress as he also meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday and hosts South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House on Thursday and Friday.
Administration officials remain busy on the Hill as hearings continue on the administration’s budget requests:
- Tuesday: Ambassador Nikki Haley at a House Appropriations Subcommittee on the United Nations budget; EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt; SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and Acting CFTC Chairman Chris Giancarlo; and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta testify atseparate Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearings;
- Wednesday: Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Department of the Interior budget requests;
- Thursday: NASA Acting Administrator Lightfoot Jr. and Senate Sergeant at Arms Frank R. Larkin and Matthew Verderosa, chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, testify at separate Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearings.
On the Hill: Focus will remain on the Senate’s efforts on health care, with a CBO estimate expected early this week. Under Senate Budget Rules, 20 hours of debate is required followed by a “vote-a-rama,” of amendments. If the 20 hours begins Monday, “vote-a-rama” would begin Thursdayevening.
- Monday: Senate Armed Services Subcommittees hold markups of the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act; House Appropriations Subcommittee markup of the FY2018 defense appropriations bill; Senate votes on Kristine Svinicki to be a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission;
- Tuesday: Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting to consider the nomination of Mark Green to serve as administrator of USAID; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on FISA Amendments Act reauthorization; Senate Armed Services Committee markup of the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (through the end of the week); House Natural Resources Committee markup of 22 bills; House Rules Committee markup of Kate’s Law, which will increase penalties on individuals who illegally reenter the country; House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee markup of the 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on U.S. equity market structure; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on self-driving vehicle legislation;
- Wednesday: Senate Commerce Committee nomination hearing for Steven Bradbury to begeneral counsel of the Transportation Department and Elizabeth Walsh to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce and director general of the U.S. Commercial Service; Ambassador Nikki Haley at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing about advancing U.S. interests at the United Nations; House Armed Services Committee markup of the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act; House Appropriations Subcommittee markup of the FY2018 agriculture appropriations bill; House Appropriations Subcommittee markup of the FY2018 energy and water appropriations bill; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on the impact of the Federal Reserve;
- Thursday: Senate Commerce Committee executive session on FAA reauthorization and to consider the nominations of Vice Admiral David P. Pekoske (Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security at the Transportation Security Administration), Robert L. Sumwalt III (member of the National Transportation Safety Board), and Derek Kan (Undersecretary of Transportation for policy); Senate Judiciary Committee business meeting to consider the nomination of Stephen Elliott for Assistant Attorney General for Legislative affairs and to consider a pair of human trafficking bills; Senate Banking Committee hearing on principles of housing finance reform;House Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing about access to oil and gas development on federal lands.
In the Media: The Wall Street Journal reports, “Social networking giant Facebook Inc. is moving its ambitions in TV-quality video to the front burner, taking meetings and making deals with an eye toward launching a slate of original programming by the end of summer, people familiar with the matter said.” Facebook is entering a crowded and shifting field, but brings with it a wealth of user data (Nielsen tracked 2.9 billion Facebook and Twitter interactions on TV this season alone) it says it will share with Hollywood. “The entertainment industry is eager to see if Facebook can translate the data it has on tastes and habits of nearly two billion monthly users into insights that make for more popular television.”
One thing reports suggest Facebook will not produce: the next House of Cards or Veep. It reportedly, “wants to steer clear of shows about children and young teens as well as political dramas, news and shows with nudity and rough language.”
By S-3 Public Affairs
S-3 PA Exclusive: We are hearing it is more and more likely the House will proceed on FY18 appropriations by moving a 12 bill omnibus. The House GOP leadership is tentatively planning to move this package the last week in July before the August recess. This idea has gained traction when it was first proposed by Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) gaining the support of key cardinals, conservatives, and congressional leaders. As a result, we expect the pace of subcommittee markups will increase. We are hearing that Defense approps will markup in subcommittee on June 26 and Agriculture and Legislative Branch are also possibilities for that week. We will provide more details on the strategy and schedule as they become available.
Fact of the Week: Just one day before reports confirmed Amazon was buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, Bloomberg reported Amazon’s interest in buying Slack for a reported $9 billion, which would have been “a deal that would be the biggest ever for the internet-commerce giant.” Recode’s Kara Swisher adds that Slack, “is in the midst of raising $500 million at a $5 billion post-money valuation, an effort that has attracted several potential buyers interested in taking out the company ahead of the funding,” but its founder and CEO, “has long wanted to build his own big company and adding an enormous funding round would allow Slack some breathing room to get to cash flow positive.”
In the Administration: Tech Week: President Trump’s American Technology Council is hosting its inaugural meeting on Monday. Recode reports, the meeting will include, “the chief executives of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Intel, Oracle, and others,” including VM Ware. They will, “discuss ways to modernize government and the services it offers its citizens — and tackle policy challenges like high-skilled immigration.” Tech Week will continue Thursday with a meeting organized by the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Buzzfeed reports attendees will discuss, “emerging technologies trends including the Internet of Things, commercial drones, and the funding of those companies.”
Also this week, President Trump will head to Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Wednesday for a campaign rally.
On the Hill: As talks on health care continue in the Senate, budget and nomination hearings dominate most of the public schedules.
- Secretary Perry on the Energy Department budget: Tuesday at a House Appropriations Subcommittee, Wednesday at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, Thursday at a Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources hearing.
- Secretary Zinke on the Interior Department budget: Tuesday at a Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources hearing, Wednesday at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, Thursday at a House Natural Resources Committee hearing.
- US Trade Representative Lighthizer on the President’s trade policy agenda and FY2018 budget at the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday; Wednesday at the House Ways & Means Committee.
- Tuesday: FDA Commissioner Gottlieb at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the FDA budget; FCC Chairman Pai and Commissioners Clyburn and O’Rielly at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the FCC budget;
- Wednesday: Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the Department of the Air Force budget; Veterans Affairs Secretary Shulkin at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the VA budget; Acting FBI Director McCabe at a House Appropriations Subcommittee on the FBI budget; Office of Management and Budget Director at a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the OMB budget;
- Thursday: National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the NIH budget.
Nomination Hearings: Tuesday: Senate Armed Services Committee hearing for Deputy Defense Secretary nominee Patrick Shanahan; Thursday: Senate Armed Services Committee hearing for Navy Secretary nominee Richard V. Spencer; Senate Agriculture Committee hearing for Commodity Futures Trading Commission nominee J. Christopher Giancarlo, who now serves in an acting capacity. Last week, President Trump also nominated Dawn Stump to serve on the CFTC.
Also this week:
- Tuesday: Speaker Ryan will give a “major” speech on tax reform at the National Association of Manufacturers summit; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “The Assault on the First Amendment on College Campuses”; Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee hearing on America’s water infrastructure; Georgia special congressional election;
- Wednesday: Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson testifies before the House Intelligence Committee as part of its Russia investigation; House Financial Services Committee session to markup legislation reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program.
In the Media: Variety reports on the “new normal” for cable news in the Trump era. “According to the Pew Research Center, viewership for the primetime schedules of CNN, Fox News and MSNBC increased 55% to 4.8 million viewers in 2016, while daytime cable viewership grew 36%. In the first half of this year, viewing levels have not shrunk. … it’s no surprise that combined viewing of the Big Three cable-news networks — Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC — is up 33% through the first week of June compared with the same period last year, according to data from Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser.” With increased audiences comes increased advertising spending. “Media buyers, who control millions of dollars in advertising spending, recognize these days that it’s hard to beat real-world politics for intrigue and suspense.”
Axios’ Amy Harder reported just this week about a new multi-month, multi-million dollar campaign on the economic and jobs benefits of wind energy, targeting the administration specifically. “The advertisements will run on cable, radio and digital outlets across Washington D.C., with the president, his new administration and Congress as the target audience. The ads will run on Fox and Friends, which Trump watches regularly, along with other influential cable shows.”
By S-3 Public Affairs
Fact of the Week: This town, the one that clung to its Blackberries well after the smartphone landscape boomed, is considered the #3 U.S. tech city. Bisnow reports, “The nation’s capital ranked as the No. 3 tech city in the U.S. in Cushman & Wakefield’s Tech Cities 1.0 report, coming in behind San Jose and San Francisco. … [The report] analyzed factors such as talent, capital and growth opportunity. The report also considered the region surrounding the cities, so D.C. benefited from biotech hubs in suburban Maryland and NoVa’s defense, cybersecurity and aerospace industries.” Next we need the Northern Virginia wine scene to catch up with the West Coast.
CONTINUE READING In the Administration: President Trump this week is shifting his focus to apprenticeships and domestic jobs. Reuters’ Roberta Rampton reports, “Next week will be ‘workforce development week’ where the White House highlights plans to combat the skills gap. …Trump’s plan has been in the works for months, led by his daughter Ivanka Trump, adviser Reed Cordish, and Trump’s secretaries of labor, education and commerce.” On the Hill: Administration officials will blanket Capitol Hill this week with continued hearings on the president’s budget request. Also this week: In the Media: We all know Twitter has made more headlines of late, butAdWeek also points out: “Video views have grown by 220 times on Twitter in the last 12 month.” Another one of the, “13 Noteworthy Digital Media and Marketing Stats From This Week,” as compiled by AdWeek: “Kantar Mediaanalyzed the $117.9 million spent on marketing in the U.S. last year by Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Pinterest. Facebook by far outspent its competitors in 2016, running campaigns to the tune of $80.7 million, which represents a 260 percent year-over-year increase.”
In the Administration: President Trump this week is shifting his focus to apprenticeships and domestic jobs. Reuters’ Roberta Rampton reports, “Next week will be ‘workforce development week’ where the White House highlights plans to combat the skills gap. …Trump’s plan has been in the works for months, led by his daughter Ivanka Trump, adviser Reed Cordish, and Trump’s secretaries of labor, education and commerce.”
On the Hill: Administration officials will blanket Capitol Hill this week with continued hearings on the president’s budget request.
Also this week:
In the Media: We all know Twitter has made more headlines of late, butAdWeek also points out: “Video views have grown by 220 times on Twitter in the last 12 month.” Another one of the, “13 Noteworthy Digital Media and Marketing Stats From This Week,” as compiled by AdWeek: “Kantar Mediaanalyzed the $117.9 million spent on marketing in the U.S. last year by Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Pinterest. Facebook by far outspent its competitors in 2016, running campaigns to the tune of $80.7 million, which represents a 260 percent year-over-year increase.”
By S-3 Public Affairs
Fact of the Week: While many retail stores figure out how best to navigate in an online-shopping world (e.g. J.Crew), Amazon is doing a bit of the opposite. Axios’ Alexi McCammond writes on its new Future of Work stream, “Amazon had $136b in sales last year — 43% of all online shopping. But there’s a lot more money to be made in the offline retail industry. In 2016, e-commerce only made up $1.9 trillion of the $22 trillion in total retail sales, according to eMarketer, so the upside of expanding into the offline market is massive.” Amazon “now has nine stores total — seven bookstores (with plans to open six more) and two grocery stores,” and it is “incorporating data it gathers online into the offline world, with the objective of broadening its already-commanding place in global retail.”
In the Administration: President Trump is shifting his focus to infrastructure, with plans Monday to outline his agenda for air traffic control reform in a White House event. Cincinnati.com reports the president will continue the week with a speech in Ohio on Wednesday. A White House spokeswoman told the outlet: “‘Next week President Trump will launch infrastructure week which is a critical pillar of the president’s agenda to promote job creation and grow the U.S.economy.’ …The president’s visit to southern Ohio will be part of a broader push by the White House to move ahead with Trump’s campaign promise to spend $1 trillion over 10 years on infrastructure investments, according to the White House.”
Rounding out the president’s Infrastructure Week:
Thursday: Governors and mayors will participate in a White House listening session on the efficient use of tax dollars for infrastructure projects.
Friday: President Trump will discuss regulatory changes to roads and railways in an address to the Transportation Department.
On the Hill: Both sides of the Capitol have packed schedules this week, but we expect most focus to be on Thursday’s scheduled testimony from James Comey, as well as FAA reauthorization, the House vote on the CHOICE Act, and continued hearings on the president’s budget. On top of the official business outlined below, conversations continue in the Senate on a path forward on health care.
Tuesday: House Rules Committee meets to consider the Financial CHOICE Act and the Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act; House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has announced a full House vote on the CHOICE Act this week; California special congressional election; New Jersey gubernatorial primary election;
Wednesday: Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers and Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act reauthorization; Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao testifies before a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on FAA reauthorization; Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly testifies before a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Department of Homeland Security reauthorization; Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta testifies before a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the Labor Department budget; House Financial Services Committee hearing on flood insurance reform;
Thursday: Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee, in an open session beginning at 10 am and a closed session beginning at 1 pm; Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao testifies before a House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee hearing on FAA reauthorization; Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke testifies before a House Appropriations Subcommittee on theInterior Department budget; HUD Secretary Ben Carson testifies before a House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of Housing and Urban Development budget; Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price testifies before the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee on the HHS budget;
Friday: Heritage Foundation’s “Principles for Tax Reform: A Conversation with the House Freedom Caucus”, featuring Freedom Caucus Chairman Meadows (R-NC) and Reps. Dave Brat (R-VA), Warren Davidson (R-OH), Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Mark Sanford (R-SC).
In the Media: Megyn Kelly returns to TV tonight with a one-on-one interview with Putin. Among her viewers, Forbes notes, the White House will likely be watching. Meanwhile, Cable News is still thriving in the Trump era. TV Newser shares key takeaways from a recent Pew report: “According to Pew’s analysis of SNL Kagan data, total revenue across Fox News, CNN and MSNBC was projected to increase by +19.5 percent in 2016, to a total of nearly $5 billion. This includes the two main sources of revenue: advertising and subscriber/licensing fees.”
By S-3 Public Affairs
Fact of the Week: This weekend we remember and honor all those who have given their lives for our country. CNN shares some history about Memorial Day: “Several towns claim to be the originators of Memorial Day but in 1966, Congress declared Waterloo, New York, to be the birthplace of the holiday. Memorial Day originally honored military personnel who died in the Civil War (1861-1865). The holiday now honors those who died in any war while serving with the United States. It is also called Decoration Day.” Enjoy the weekend!
In the Administration: President Trump is back in D.C. after more than a week abroad. The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker and Karen DeYoung report, “While critics at home had predicted major gaffes, the president made none. And Trump participated in and contributed to substantive meetings on issues ranging from counterterrorism and trade to climate change and migration.”
President Trump is already back on Twitter, but NBC’s Chuck Todd noted, for the first time he used the phrase “It is my opinion” at the start of his tweeting. President Trump is expected to announce a final decision on whether the U.S. will stay in the Paris climate accords: (though Axios is reporting this morning that he is saying the U.S. will leave). Senate Republican leaders this week sent President Trump a letter urging him to withdraw from the agreement.
On the Hill: Congress is home for the week but back in D.C., “Senate Republican staff will be working on a draft version of the Senate’s ObamaCare repeal-and-replace legislation during the upcoming recess, according to multiple senators,” The Hill’s Nate Weixel reports. Senate Majority Leader McConnell this week again acknowledged the obvious – this is a difficult process.
McConnell’s words are always carefully chosen. In the same Reuters interview, he “expressed optimism two parties can band together to pass legislation funding the federal government in the fiscal year starting on Oct. 1. He also noted good prospects for bipartisanship on a bill to expand sanctions against Iran, due for debate in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week, and renewal of a Food and Drug Administration user-fee program that expires later this year.”
June is already proving to be a busy month:
- Health reform lingering in the Senate,
- Tax reform discussions continuing in the House, Senate, and the White House,
- More nominations in the Senate,
- FDA user fees legislation.
In the Media: TV Newser notes that not all media are enjoying increased audiences in our new politically-obsessed society: “Cable news seems to be thriving in this polarized era of Trump, with politically-driven opinion programming delivering especially large year-over-year audience gains. Evening newscasts traditionally pride themselves on delivering viewers a mix of politics and human interest stories. Americans seem to want politics 24/7 these days, and they aren’t necessarily getting that from the evening newscasts.”
CNBC has also taken note, but rather than add to the already crowded space of political commentary, it is adding a different angle. “In an era when politics is seemingly dominating the cable news conversation, CNBC is looking to distinguish itself from the pack by bolstering its investigative journalism team.”