By: S-3 Public Affairs
Fact of the Week: This week the House of Representatives passed all 12 appropriations bills prior to the start of the new fiscal year (October 1) for the first time since 2009. The last time all 12 appropriations bills were enacted prior to the start of the fiscal year was in 1996. Congress is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution through December 8.
In the Administration: President Trump this week will make his first appearance at the United Nations, with remarks on Tuesday. The Hill’s Max Greenwood adds, “Trump is also set to hold a spate of meetings with world leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.N. Secretary General António Guterres. He will also meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Korean President Moon Jae-In about North Korea’s rapidly advancing weapons program.”
Bloomberg’s Margaret Talev notes, “In addition to Trump and Haley, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, the president’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and his National Economic Council director, Gary Cohn, are all expected to attend events in New York next week. Two key foreign leaders will not be on hand: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.”
Next weekend President Trump will head to Alabama to campaign for Senator Luther Strange.
On the Hill:
Senate returns this week through Wednesday and is expected to complete work on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), with a cloture vote scheduled for Monday. Also in the Senate, various efforts are moving in the health care space, including bipartisan work on insurance market stabilization led by Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman and Ranking Member Alexander and Murray. In Senate committees this week:
Monday: House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee field hearing on “leadership failures” at the Manchester, NH VA medical center;
Tuesday: Senate Finance Committee hearing on business tax reform; Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act; Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting on various legislation and nominations and hearing on the nominations of Jon Huntsman (for Ambassador to Russia) and A. Wess Mitchell (for Assistant Secretary of State of European and Eurasian Affairs); Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee business meeting to consider various Interior, Energy, and FERC nominees and hearing on vegetation management requirements for electricity assets on federal lands; Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on Agriculture Department nominees Stephen Censky (for Deputy Secretary of Agriculture) and Ted McKinney (for Undersecretary of Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs); Senate HELP Committee hearing on the nominations of Carlos Muniz (for general counsel of the Education Department), Janet Dhillon (as member and designated chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), and Daniel Gade, Ph.D. (as member of the EEOC); Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on recent U.S. Navy incidents at sea;
Wednesday: Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on several District and Circuit Court nominations; Senate Environment & Public Works Committee hearing on the nominations of Michael Dourson, Matthew Leopold, David Ross, and William Wehrum as assistant administrators of EPA and Jeffrey Baran to be a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on the special needs of older Americans for disaster preparedness and response; Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Subcommittee hearing on end-of-year spending.
In the Media: Saturday’s Axios AM notes the rising trend in media’s coverage of itself in a quest to understand how the changing landscape, driven by technology, is influencing and shaping our lives. Business Insider reports, “CNN is set to launch a new technology-focused vertical about the changing media landscape on the West Coast. Titled ‘Pacific,’ the new franchise will be led by Senior Media Reporter Dylan Byers, and will focus on the powerful West Coast-based companies that have changed media, technology, and politics.” Axios’ Sara Fischer adds that CNN is not alone in this and is hosting an already-waitlisted event this week to unpack the trends.
By S-3 Public Affairs
Fact of the Week: As Amazon makes plans for its second U.S. headquarters, the Wall Street Journal shares a positive perspective on the impact that automation (and businesses like Amazon) can have. “The brick-and-mortar retail swoon has been accompanied by a less headline-grabbing e-commerce boom that has created more jobs in the U.S. than traditional stores have cut. Those jobs, in turn, pay better, because its workers are so much more productive. This demonstrates something routinely overlooked in the anxiety about the job-destroying potential of robots, artificial intelligence and other forms of automation. Throughout history, automation commonly creates more, and better-paying, jobs than it destroys. The reason: Companies don’t use automation simply to produce the same thing more cheaply. Instead, they find ways to offer entirely new, improved products. As customers flock to these new offerings, companies have to hire more people.”
This reporting is consistent with research from S&P Global which found, “automation as both a problem and a solution for job creation,” with new opportunities supported by education and training programs.
In the Administration: President Trump has spent the weekend at Camp David with cabinet members discussing hurricane preparedness and relief efforts as well as the fall legislative agenda, including tax reform.
On the Hill: When Congress returns this week the House will return its attention to the remaining appropriations package and the Senate will debate the National Defense Authorization Act. Meanwhile both the Senate HELP and Senate Finance Committees remain busy with continued efforts on stabilizing the insurance market.
Tuesday: Senate HELP Committee hearing on stabilizing the insurance market, with a focus on state flexibility; Senate Finance Committee hearing on issues impacting cost and coverage of healthcare; Senate Banking Committee hearing on the fintech landscape; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on nominations; Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on nominations; Senate Energy & Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing on the Department of Energy’s national laboratories; Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing on reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; Joint Economic Committee hearing on the gains from free digital trade; House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on “pressuring” North Korea; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the recommendations of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking; House Natural Resources Committee hearing on the SHARE Act and full committee markup of 7 bills (through Wednesday); House Science, Space & Technology Committee hearing on the resiliency of the electric grid; House Homeland Security Committee hearing on “Keeping America Secure in the New Age of Terror”; House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on regulation and competition of occupational licensing; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on the relationship between prudential regulation and monetary policy at the Federal Reserve; House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee hearings on reliability in the electricity industry and the impact of protectionist cross-border data flow policy on U.S. jobs; House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee hearings on infrastructure, with testimony from Coast Guard stakeholders and rail stakeholders; House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee hearings on VA mail management and legislative markup; The Hill: “Turning Genes into Medicine: Reimagining Our Health Care System” panel, featuring Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Patrick Meehan (R-PA); Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) holds Senate Homeland Security Committee minority roundtable on opioids sales and marketing;
- Wednesday: Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the long-term impact of immigration; Senate Commerce Committee hearing on automated truck safety technology and impact; Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on the OMB’s ongoing government-wide reorganization; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the use of carbon capture; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on a legislative proposal to impede North Korea’s access to finance; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearings on the President’s FY2018 budget request for Afghanistan and Pakistan, the crisis in Venezuela, and the future of democracy and governance in Liberia; House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee hearings on legislation reducing regulatory burdens for job creators and modernizing FDA regulation of over-the-counter drugs; House Ways & Means Subcommittee hearing on how the IRS resolves taxpayer disputes; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on assessing suspicious activity reporting efforts; House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee hearing on the Save Local Business Act; House Small Business Committee hearing on the effectiveness of the Small Business Administration’s Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) Program; House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing with economic development stakeholders’ perspectives on infrastructure; The Hill: “America’s Opioid Epidemic: Search for Solutions” panel,featuring Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY); Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduces the Medicare for All Act of 2017; The Atlantic Council hosts a conversation with Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) on immigration;
- Thursday: POLITICO Pro Policy Summit; Senate HELP Committee hearing on stabilizing the insurance market, with testimony from health care stakeholders; Senate Finance Committee hearing on individual tax reform; Senate Banking Committee hearing on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States; Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting on various nominations; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on policy options to support democracy in Venezuela; Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on FCC’s Lifeline program; Senate Agriculture Committee hearing about nutrition programs and the 2018 farm bill; House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee hearing on workforce programs under the Public Health Service Act; House Small Business Subcommittee hearing about how Small Business Administration entrepreneurial development programs have evolved with technology; Center for Climate and Energy Solutions event, with remarks from Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and John Barrasso (R-WY).
In the Media: The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is planning for significant investment in video. “Facebook’s thirst for video content pits it against traditional broadcasters such as Time Warner Inc.’s HBO and deep-pocketed tech companies such as Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc., which all are banking on video to capture the fleeting attention of users and seize billions of dollars in advertising that is expected to migrate from television to digital video. Apple Inc. is preparing its own billion-dollar war chest for content.”
By S-3 Public Affairs
Fact of the Week: Smartphones are about to get a lot smarter. Ahead of the next iPhone reveal, the New York Times reports on the “futurism” that your phone’s camera is expected to unleash as soon as 2018. “Here’s a peek into how the camera may come into play: As soon as you pick up your gadget, it will see you and know you are the owner and unlock the screen. Overseas, you will be able to point the camera at a restaurant menu to translate items into your native language. When shopping for furniture, you can point your phone camera at your living room floor and place a virtual rendering of a coffee table down to see how it looks and move around and peek underneath it.”
The Times notes, “All the tech giants are betting big on augmented reality,” including Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit. Futurism adds, “Eventually, ARCore might be combined with a visual search tool like Google Lens to transform the way we get information. … ARCore is evidence of Google’s determination to help us all make sense of what we see around us, and to be part of the movement to digitally enhance our world.”
In the Administration: As Congress returns, President Trump is scheduled to meet with House and Senate leaders to discuss both tax reform and likely hurricane relief funding, debt ceiling, and government funding measures.
The president is also expected to give a speech on tax reform in North Dakota on Wednesday.
On the Hill: Congress returns this week with its focus on emergency relief for Hurricane Harvey, as well as government funding and raising the debt ceiling. The administration’s request for relief funding included a call to quickly raise the debt ceiling as well to ensure the funds are accessible. Other September deadlines include reauthorizations of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, National Flood Insurance Program, and FAA. Additionally, in the Senate HELP Committee, bipartisan leaders are looking into health care stabilization efforts with hearings on Wednesday and Thursday, as well as continued discussion around tax reform.
- Monday: Labor Day – enjoy!
- Tuesday: House Rules Committee hearing on the Intelligence Authorization Act; Senate expected to vote on Timothy Kelly to serve as a U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia;
- Wednesday: Senate HELP Committee hearing on stabilizing the insurance market, with testimony from state insurance commissioners; Senate Homeland Security hearing on the “history and current reality of the U.S. health care system”; Senate Appropriations Subcommittee markups of the FY2018 Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations Bill and the FY2018 State & Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for various judicial nominees; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the U.S.-Turkey relationship; Senate Commerce Committee hearingon waste, fraud and abuse in the FCC’s Lifeline program; House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing on the sharing economy; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on EPA oversight; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on the financing of lone-wolf and small-scale terrorist attacks; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearings on Social Security and disability benefits and declining employment among working-age men;
- Thursday: Senate HELP Committee hearing on stabilizing the insurance market, with testimony from a panel of governors; Senate Appropriations Committee markup of the appropriations bills for Labor, HHS, and Education and State and Foreign Operations; Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting to vote on judicial nominations; Senate Finance Committee hearing on Children’s Health Insurance Program reauthorization; Senate Banking Committee executive session to vote on the nominations of Joseph Otting to be Comptroller of the Currency and of Randal Quarles to serve as the Federal Reserve Board of Governors’ vice chairman for supervision and hearing on North Korean sanctions policy; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on Interior Department and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominees; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on oversight of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), with testimony from FINRA President and CEO Robert Cook; House Foreign Affairs Subcommitteehearings on the State Department’s FY2018 budget in South Asia and FY2018 counterterrorism budget; House Armed Services Committee hearing on Navy readiness; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on the cybersecurity workforce; House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee hearing on private sector exploration of the moon;
- Friday: Govs. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and John Kasich (R-OH) discuss their bipartisan proposal to stabilize the insurance market at a Center for American Progress/American Enterprise Institute event.
In the Media: According to the advertising industry, attention spans have gotten even shorter – 6 seconds. AdWeek talked to several experts who all concluded the 6-second spots (which Google calls “bumper ads”) are potentially more powerful and effective than 15 or 30 seconds, particularly when targeting millennials. Expectations are that we will begin seeing more of these in the coming months as they emerge as a new normal come 2018.
Among the observations AdWeek shares:
- “They force you to be more focused;”
- “You sort of have to understand your subject matter, your medium, your production tools so much more intimately in order to make use of six seconds;”
- “If we’re trying to reach someone for the first time, the shorter the better.”
By S-3 Public Affairs
Fact of the Week: The C-Suite is not just starting to accept AI, but it is embracing and acknowledging its power and potential. AdWeek reports on a new IBM report which finds, “73 percent of CEOs predict AI will play a “key role” in their companies’ future. And more than 50 percent of the chiefs said they plan to adopt such technologies in the next two years.” The technology continues to develop. Just this week Wired reports, “Google’s DeepMind is developing an AI capable of ‘imagination’, enabling machines to see the consequences of their actions before they make them. … Its attempt to create algorithms that simulate the distinctly human ability to construct a plan could eventually help to produce software and hardware capable of solving complex tasks more efficiently.”
In the administration: This week has been billed “American Dreams Week,” while most attention will be on incoming chief of staff General Kelly, who is expected to be sworn in on Monday. President Trump will hold a cabinet meeting the same day and head to West Virginia Thursday for a campaign-style rally. Nick Ayers was sworn in Friday as Vice President Pence’s chief of staff and Jarrod Agen, Pence’s communications director was named today as deputy chief of staff to the Vice President. Deputy Homeland Security secretary Elaine Duke will serve as Acting Homeland Security secretary. The president is expected to sign the Russia sanctions bill this week.
Elsewhere in the administration: The FCC holds its monthly meeting Thursday.
On the Hill: House members are home in their districts for the August work period. The Senate returns to the Capitol on Monday evening. Focus remains on the path forward on FY2017 budget reconciliation, health care, and tax reform.
- Tuesday: Senate Finance Committee hearing on America’s affordable housing crisis; Senate HELP Committee nomination hearing to consider several subcabinet positions and Dr. Jerome Adams for Surgeon General; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to consider the nomination of Stephen B. King for ambassador to the Czech Republic; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on oversight of the EPA’s Superfund program;
- Wednesday: Senate Commerce Committee executive session to consider 8 bills and 11 pending nominations; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the FBI headquarters consolidation project; Senate Small Business Committee business meeting to consider several pieces of legislation; Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing on the Colombia peace process; Senate Energy & Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing on water security and drought preparedness;
- Thursday: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis testify at a closed Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the administration’s perspective of AUMF; Senate Finance Committee nomination hearing to consider Gilbert B. Kaplan for undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade and Matthew Bassett for assistant secretary of Health and Human Services; Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee hearing on reducing wildland fire risk; Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing on insurance fraud in America.
In the Media: CNBC reports that Facebook is on the brink of joining “a very exclusive club. … If Facebook rises to another high next week to close at or above a $500 billion valuation, it will join Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft as the only U.S. tech stocks to be so valued.” Recode adds that the social media platform continues to evolve. “Facebook says it wants to help publishers sell subscriptions. But Facebook says it doesn’t want a piece of the revenue those subscriptions generate, or any of the data involved in the transaction. Those details are emerging as Facebook talks to publishers about a subscription tool it wants to launch later this year, in conjunction with its Instant Articles program, where Facebook hosts publishers’ articles on its own mobile app.”
BONUS: S-3’s own Amos Snead talked to Axios’ Sara Fischer about the evolving public affairs trends: “We approach everything like a political campaign. … The narrative is moving quickly so it is essential that your media team understands the policy and knows the influential players. It only makes sense to have each of these expertise represented on one team.”
By Sara Fischer
Small Washington-based public affairs firms are going after business typically won by large agencies. They lure clients with political expertise capable of handling crisis communications, and then expand those partnerships by creating full-scale agencies that can do everything from digital ad placement, to media booking.
Here’s what some of the key players in Washington have to say about the landscape.
- “We approach everything like a political campaign,” says Amos Snead, founder and CEO of S-3 Public Affairs. “Clients benefit from our collective expertise in winning campaigns, navigating the halls of Congress, and working closely with national media. The narrative is moving quickly so it is essential that your media team understands the policy and knows the influential players. It only makes sense to have each of these expertise represented on one team.”
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!