Agenda: 10/15/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: Technology continues to disrupt the way we work. Next up: marketing. AdWeek reports, “But since 2011, the handful of tools in the marketing technology marketplace has ballooned to more than 3,800. And they’ve evolved from simply automating repetitive tasks to generating their own competitive insights. … When content can be created instantly, targeted and distributed instantly, and then tweaked and optimized instantly, marketing becomes a whole new ballgame. … For companies, keeping pace requires investing not just in the right people, but in the right tools.”

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In the Administration: President Trump is expected to have lunch with Senate Majority Leader McConnell tomorrow ahead of an important week in the Senate for tax reform. The two are expected to discuss the legislative calendar for the coming months.

On the Hill: Focus in the Senate this week is on passing the FY2018 budget resolution so it can move forward with tax reform. The Senate is also expected to consider an aid package passed in the House last week. Finally, the Senate is also expected to name conferees on the FY2018 Defense Authorization bill. The House is on a district work period this week.

  • Monday: Senate vote on the nomination of Callista Gingrich to be ambassador to the Holy See;
  • Tuesday: Senate Appropriations Subcommittee markups of the FY2018 Interior, Environment & Related Agencies Appropriations Bill and the FY2018 Homeland Security Appropriations BillSenate Intelligence Committee hearing on the nomination of Christopher Sharpley to serve as inspector general of the CIA; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of five circuit and district judges; Senate Banking Committee hearing on consumer data security and credit bureaus; Senate HELP Committee hearing on the cost of prescription drugs;
  • Wednesday: Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the Justice Department, with testimony from Attorney General Jeff Sessions; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of Thomas Carter to serve as the U.S. representative on the Council of International Civil Aviation Organization, Jennifer Gillian Newstead to be a State Department legal adviser, and Manisha Singh to be an assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs; Senate HELP Committee executive session on various Labor Department, Education Department, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and National Labor Relations Board nominations; Senate Environment & Public Works Committee business meeting to consider various EPA, Transportation Department and Nuclear Regulatory Commission nominees; CNN Town Hall Debate on President Trump’s tax plan featuring Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX); Axios event on healthcare with Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Tim Kaine (D-VA);
  • Thursday: Senate Appropriations Committee markup of the FY2018 Interior and FY2018 Homeland Security Appropriations Bills; Senate HELP Committee hearing examining how healthy choices can improve health outcomes and reduce costs; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on modernizing the Food for Peace program and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) delivers remarks on reforming international emergency food aid assistance at the American Enterprise Institute.

In the Media: The New York Times acknowledged the value that news consumers place on social media and the changing dynamics in the media today, announcing new social media guidelines aimed at maintaining unbiased reporting. “The New York Times announced on Friday an updated and expanded set of guidelines for our journalists’ use of social media. The new guidelines underscore our newsroom’s appreciation for the important role social media now plays in our journalism, but also call for our journalists to take extra care to avoid expressing partisan opinions or editorializing on issues that The Times is covering.”

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

Agenda: 10/8/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: AIM will officially end on December 15 of this year, but its impact on how we communicate is now a multi-billion dollar industry. The Wall Street Journal reports, “While AIM remained in the mainstream for a decade, … A new set of internet titans emerged. Apple, Facebook and Google rolled out communications platforms and spawned a multibillion-dollar chat-app industry that owes more than a little debt of gratitude to AIM.” Just as AIM is shutting down, applications like Slack and Facebook’s Workplace Chat are continuing to evolve, all building on what AIM made mainstream. Mashable reports this week, “Facebook has finally released a beta version of Workplace Chat, a desktop messaging service for businesses. The new messaging service is essentially a competitor to Slack.” Meanwhile, CNBC adds, “Slack Technologies has secured a partnership with Oracle to integrate the tech giant’s enterprise software products into the popular workplace messaging app.” #ThanksAIM

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In the Administration: President Trump is expected to deliver a tax reform speech in Pennsylvania on Wednesday. Additionally, The Washington Post reports, “President Trump is expected to announce next week that he will “decertify” the international nuclear deal with Iran, saying it is not in the national interest of the United States and kicking the issue to a reluctant Congress. … Trump is expected to deliver a speech, tentatively scheduled for Oct. 12, laying out a larger strategy for confronting the nation he blames for terrorism and instability throughout the Middle East.”

Also this week: the fourth round of NAFTA renegotiations begins Wednesday.

On the Hill: The House returns to Washington on Tuesday with plans to consider a disaster relief measure. The Senate is in recess this week.

In the Media: Pew Research shares key insights on the continuing rise of digital, mobile, and social new consumption. A big part of the increase over the past year has been largely attributed to older Americans. “Roughly two-thirds (67%) of those ages 65 and older now get news on a mobile device, a 24-percentage-point jump from 2016 and about three times the share in 2013. … For the first time in Pew Research Center surveys, more than half (55%) of Americans ages 50 and older report getting news on social media sites, a 10-percentage-point jump from 2016.”

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

Agenda: 10/1/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: Cities across the country are competing for the attention of Amazon as it decides where to invest $5 billion and bring 50,000 jobs. In Amazon’s quest for a new headquarters, everyone from volunteers in mayors’ offices to students at Wharton are vying for the contract. The New York Times shares more stories on the outreach happening across the country (including several plays on Alexa). Applications are due October 18. Just as the tax reform debate picks up inside the Beltway, this competition is also generating conversation about how these cities can make their tax structures most attractive to Amazon.

BONUS: Axios’ Sara Fischer shares highlights from last week’s Advertising Week conference in New York City. “A lot of scrolling: “The average person scrolls through 300 feet of mobile content every day,” said Andrew Keller, Facebook’s Global Creative Director.”

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In the Administration: President Trump is scheduled to deliver a speech Monday marking “Cut the Red Tape Day.” The Washington Examiner reports, “Trump will outline regulatory obstacles in his speech Monday, which will cast his deregulation push as the signature initiative of his presidency, according to the White House. He is expected to outline his accomplishments as well as efforts still to come. …The speech will be followed by breakout sessions at 10 federal agencies, including the departments of Agriculture, Energy, Interior and others. But the Environmental Protection Agency is not on the list, according to a White House agenda shared with the Washington Examiner.”

The president also indicated his intention to sign an executive order allowing for the purchase of health insurance across state lines.

President Trump and Vice President Pence plan to visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday, with Pence also visiting the US Virgin Islands.

On the Hill: The House is expected to consider the FY2018 congressional budget resolution, paving the way for tax reform, with a Rules Committee hearing Tuesday and a floor vote expected Thursday. Additionally, the House and Senate will hold several hearings on the Equifax breach, including testimony from Former Equifax CEO Richard Smith: House Energy and Commerce on Tuesday, Senate Banking and Judiciary Committees on Wednesday, and House Financial Services Committee.

  • Tuesday: Senate Finance Committee hearing on international tax reform; Joint Economic Committee hearing on tax reform and entrepreneurship; Senate Banking Committee hearing on the Wells Fargo accounts scandal, with testimony from CEO and President Timothy J. Sloan; Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on the administration’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; Senate HELP Committee hearing on the Every Student Succeeds Act and executive session on the nominations of several Labor Department, Education Department, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission positions; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the nominations of Bruce Walker (to be Assistant Secretary of Energy for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability) and Steven Winberg (to be Assistant Secretary of Energy for Fossil Energy), hearing on energy storage technologies, and subcommittee hearing on 7 bills; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the political and security situation in Afghanistan; Senate Foreign Relations Committee nomination hearings for Ambassador to India and for Ambassadors to Cameroon, Niger, Mauritania, Angola, Zambia, and Mauritius and Seychelles; House vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act; House Natural Resources Committee legislative hearing on the Recreation Not Red-Tape Act and full markup on 9 bills; House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on online sex trafficking and the Communications Decency Act; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity mission; House Financial Services Committee hearing on sustainable housing finance, with testimony from Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Melvin L. Watt; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on cybersecurity of the Internet of Things; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on patient access to investigational drugs; House Science Committee hearing on electric grid resiliency; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on securing the peace after the fall of ISIL; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on Iraq and Syria genocide emergency relief and accountability;
  • Wednesday: Senate Intelligence Committee press conference on the status of the Russia investigation; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of various Circuit and District Court nominees; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the nominations of assistant EPA administrators Michael Dourson, Matthew Leopold, David Ross, and William Wehrum; Senate HELP Committee hearing on Labor Department and National Labor Relations Board nominations; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the nomination of John M. Mitnick to be Department of Homeland Security general counsel; Senate Foreign Relations Committee nominations hearing and hearing on the future of Iraq’s minorities; Senate Commerce Committee executive session to consider four bills and five nominations, including self-driving vehicle legislation and several Commerce Department positions; Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on the nominations of Melissa Sue Glynn (to be assistant secretary of Veterans Affairs for enterprise integration), Cheryl Mason (to be chairman of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals) and Randy Reeves (to be undersecretary of Veterans Affairs for memorial affairs); House Financial Services Committee hearing on the SEC’s agenda, operations, and budget, with testimony from Chairman Jay Clayton; House Natural Resources Committee legislative hearing on 3 tribal bills and full markup on 9 bills; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on the IRS’ IT modernization efforts; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee stakeholder hearing on the air quality impacts of wildfires; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on the GAO’s review of the State Department’s antiterrorism assistance program;

  • Thursday: House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the U.S. response to the Rohingya crisis; Senate Finance Committee hearing on the nominations of Jeffrey Gerrish (to be Deputy U.S. Trade Representative of Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Industrial Competitiveness), Gregory Doud (to be the U.S. Trade Representative’s chief agricultural negotiator), and Jason Kearns (to be a member of the International Trade Commission); Senate HELP Committee hearing on the federal response to the opioid crisis;

  • Friday: Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee field hearing on efficient approaches to reducing industrial energy costs.

In the Media: A new report by the Morning Consult finds, “63 percent of U.S. adults report seeing more ads, and three-quarters of Americans agree that internet ads are intrusive.” That said, the survey found, “67 percent of U.S. consumers aren’t willing to pay more for a service without ads.” Despite the increasing focus on digital ads, TV are still found to be the most entertaining. “TV advertisements are the only kind that more than half of those surveyed agree are entertaining: Sixty percent of U.S. adults said that about television ads, compared to 41 percent who agree that social media ads entertaining, or the 38 percent who say the same about internet ads.”

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

Agenda: 9/24/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: The Wall Street Journal reports on Mashable’s big bet on video, noting that Mashable is not alone in this shift. They note that the digital landscape has shifted in recent years, with initial excitement around new outlets leveling off and investors looking for clear returns. The solution: video. “Many companies seeking to accelerate growth to justify high valuations are banking on video, where ad spending is expected to grow to $9.4 billion this year, up 68% from 2015.”

In the Administration: President Trump is heading to Indiana on Wednesday to promote the tax reform plan expected to be released that day. Vice President Mike Pence will campaign for Senator Luther Strange (R-AL), on Monday, with the primary runoff on Tuesday.

On the Hill: The House and Senate return to Washington with busy schedules. Focus remains on possible health care legislation, with media events Monday and Tuesday and a hearing Monday at the Senate Finance Committee. Also this week, the White House and Republican leaders are expected to release their tax policy agenda on Wednesday, while House Republicans attend a half-day “tax-policy retreat.”

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Additional floor activity will likely include extensions to both the FAA authorization and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, both of which expire on September 30.

  • Monday: Senate Finance Committee hearing to consider the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson healthcare proposal, including testimony from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA); House Rules Committee meeting on the Increasing Opportunity through Evidence-Based Home Visiting Act and the Control Unlawful Fugitive Felons Act.

  • Tuesday: Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on special counsels and the separation of powers; Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting and hearing on managing security assistance to support foreign policy; Senate Banking Committee hearing on Securities and Exchange Commission oversight, with testimony from SEC Chairman Jay Clayton; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the reappointment of Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to consider Energy Department nominees Bruce J. Walker (to be Assistant Secretary of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability) and Steven E. Winberg (to be Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy); Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing on FTC stakeholder perspectives for improving consumer protection and general process; House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on State Department redesign, with testimony from Deputy Secretary John J. Sullivan; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on recommendations of Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on America’s nuclear waste management and storage policy; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee legislative hearing, with testimony from Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Steve King (R-IA), Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), Mike Coffman (R-CO), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Ron DeSantis (R-FL), John Rutherford (R-FL), and Veterans Affair Secretary David Shulkin; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on technology’s role in empowering consumers; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing on water stakeholders’ perspectives of infrastructure; House Homeland Security Subcommittee meeting on DHS efforts to improve aviation security; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on modernization of DHS financial systems; The Atlantic Council Transatlantic Forum on Strategic Communications, featuring opening remarks from Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI);  

  • Wednesday: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on threats to the homeland, with testimony from Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas J. Rasmussen; Senate Judiciary Committee business meeting to consider the nomination of Brian Benczkowski (to be an Assistant Attorney General) and the SAFER Act; Senate HELP Committee executive session on the nominations of Patrick Pizzella (to be Deputy Labor Secretary), Janet Dhillon (to be designated chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission); Daniel M. Gade (to be a member of the EEOC), and Carlos G. Muniz (to be general counsel of the Education Department); Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the nominations of Kathleen M. Fitzpatrick (to be Ambassador to Timor-Leste) and Daniel J. Kritenbrink (to be Ambassador to Vietnam) and the nominations of Richard Duke Buchan III (to be Ambassador to Spain), Richard Grenell (to be Ambassador to Germany), and Edward T. McMullen, Jr. (to be Ambassador to the Swiss Confederation and Liechtenstein); Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on suicide prevention; Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the nominations of Ann Marie Buerkle (to be Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission) and three other Commerce and Transportation Department positions; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on legislative solutions for forest management to mitigate wildfires; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing on National Parks oversight; House Agriculture Committee hearing on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s 2017 agenda; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearings on democracy in Rwanda and Burma’s campaign against the Rohingya; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on cybersecurity of the Internet of Things; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on the Family Self-Sufficiency Program; House Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing on reducing risks of catastrophic wildfire and improving forest resiliency; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearing on improving access to GI Bill-approved apprenticeship programs; Financial Services Roundtable event on tax reform, featuring House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA); 

  • Thursday: Senate Intelligence Committee is expected to meet with representatives from Twitter; Senate Banking Committee hearing on administration policy for North Korea sanctions enforcement; Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on perspectives for the 2018 farm bill; Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing on TSA modernization; House Foreign Affairs Committee markup of several foreign policy bills and resolutions; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on insurance for nonprofit organizations; House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on agency compliance with the Congressional Review Act.

In the Media: Twitter and Buzzfeed’s foray into live video programming premieres tomorrow morning (8-9 AM ET). Variety reports, “‘AM to DM’ will follow a traditional morning-show format, delivering the day’s top stories from staff reporters providing news and commentary on politics, social issues, technology, business and entertainment. But it will have some unique twists, given the nature of the medium: The show will feature “everyday Twitter heroes” who have captured the spotlight and focus on what people are saying on Twitter live, as it happens during the broadcast. Also planned are regular segments with guest ‘newsmakers and notables’ discussing current trends, personalities — and the best jokes from the twittersphere.”

ReCode notes that we should expect continued growth in original online video content. “Our phones are our Everydevice. We can watch whatever whenever (and do) which shows just how quaint the idea of primetime is.”

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

Agenda: 9/17/17

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.”

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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 spaceincluding 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.

To help those affected by the hurricane in the Virgin Islands, the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) has established the Fund for the Virgin Islands

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

Agenda: 9/10/17

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.

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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 stakeholdersHouse 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 Pakistanthe crisis in Venezuela, and the future of democracy and governance in LiberiaHouse 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.”

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

Agenda: 9/3/17

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.”

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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 BillSenate 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 budgetHouse 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.”

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

Agenda: 7/30/17

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.”

CONTINUE READING

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.   

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 AppleAlphabet 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.”

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

Washington Media Trend: Niche firms take on PR giants

By Sara Fischer

Read the full article at Axios…

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.”

Agenda: 7/23/17

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.”

CONTINUE READING

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.

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.

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call(202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

Agenda: 7/16/17

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.”

CONTINUE READING

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 16This 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.

Nominations:

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.

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.”

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call(202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

Agenda: 7/9/17

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.”

CONTINUE READING

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.”  

  • MondayThe 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.

  • TuesdaySenate 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 TSASenate 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.

  • WednesdaySenate 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.

  • ThursdaySenate 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:

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.”

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

Agenda: 7/2/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the WeekAxios’ 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.”

CONTINUE READING

In the Administration: President Trump on Wednesday heads to Poland ahead of the G-20 summit, which begins FridayFox 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, newsconcerts, and other events to its service, including streams from the NFL, MLBNBANHLNLLcollege 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

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

 

Agenda: 6/25/17

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.”

CONTINUE READING

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:

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.”
 

As always, please feel free to contact Rob Collins, Mike Ference, John Scofield, or Amos Snead or call(202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

Agenda: 6/18/17

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.

CONTINUE READING

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.

Budget Hearings:

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:  

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.”

As always, please feel free to contact Rob Collins, Mike Ference, John Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

Agenda: 6/11/17

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.”

  • Tuesday: President Trump, Ivanka Trump, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and Gov. Scott Walker will tour and participate in a roundtable discussion at Waukesha County Technical College in Wisconsin;
  • Wednesday: Ivanka Trump convenes a CEO roundtable discussion of workforce development and apprenticeship programs at the White House; President Trump will address apprenticeships and worker training programs in a speech at the Labor Department;
  • Thursday: President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Ivanka Trump, and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta will participate in a roundtable discussion at the White House with eight governors from states with workforce development initiatives.

On the Hill: Administration officials will blanket Capitol Hill this week with continued hearings on the president’s budget request.

  • Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford on the Defense Department budget: Monday at House Armed Services, Tuesday at Senate Armed Services, Wednesday at Senate Appropriations, Thursday at House Appropriations;
  • Acting ICE Director Homan, Customs and Border Protection Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner Wagner and U.S. Border Patrol Acting Chief Provost at the House Appropriations Subcommittee Tuesday on the Customs and Border Protection budget;
  • Secretary Mnuchin on the Treasury Department’s budget: Monday at House Appropriations, Tuesday at Senate Budget; Wednesday at House Appropriations on the International Programs budget;
  • Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein expected at the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on the Justice Department budget on Tuesday; Attorney General Sessions at the Senate Intelligence Committee;
  • Secretary Sonny Perdue and Department of Agriculture Chief Economist Dr. Robert Johansson on the Agriculture budget at Senate Appropriations Tuesday;
  • Secretary Chao on the Transportation budget: Tuesday at Senate Appropriations, Thursday at House Appropriations;
  • Secretary Tillerson on the State Department budget: Tuesday atSenate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, Wednesday at House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Appropriations Subcommittee in the afternoon;
  • Secretary Price on Thursday at the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the HHS budget;
  • Administrator Pruitt Thursday at the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the EPA’s budget;
  • Acting Director Andrew McCabe Friday at the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the FBI budget;

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.”

As always, please feel free to contact Rob Collins, Mike Ference, John Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

Agenda: 6/4/17

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.”

CONTINUE READING

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:

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.

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.”

As always, please feel free to contact Rob Collins, Mike Ference, John Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

Agenda: 5/28/17

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!

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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.”

As always, please feel free to contact Rob Collins, Mike Ference, John Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

Agenda: 5/21/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: Get ready to start reading a lot more about AI. Mashable recaps Google’s developer keynote this past week noting, “Google CEO Sundar Pichai described the fundamental shift from a mobile-first landscape to an AI-first one.” Google is exploring, carefully, ways to embrace and use AI to help, rather than ways to avoid and protect against it. At the same time GE and Partners HealthCare, “on Wednesday launched an ambitious initiative to employ artificial intelligence to improve medical care.” The Boston Globe reports, “AI technology is part of the growing digital health field, which was about $61 billion globally in 2013 and is expected to grow to $233 billion in 2020, according to Deloitte. Massachusetts is home to hundreds of digital health companies, including startups.”

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In the Administration: The frantic pace of work will not slow down with President Trump’s first major foreign trip: it’s long and covers a lot of territory (Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy, and Belgium – Axios has a good breakdown of the agenda and who is joining).

While the president is away: OMB Director Mick Mulvaney Tuesday will send the administration’s detailed budget proposal to the Hill. What to watch:

  • How big of a stamp did Jared and Ivanka have on the budget? (e.g. paid family leave courtesy of Ivanka);
  • How does the Hill react?;
  • How much does the administration address mandatory programs?

The New York Times’ Alan Rappeport has a good preview of the Defense components.

Also this week:

On the Hill: Congress (and the markets) are worried about the legislative agenda. The House this past week held its first hearing on tax reform and the Senate continues to explore paths forward on health care (CBO score for House bill is expected Wednesday). Complicating the health care conversation are President Trump’s recent statements expressing his desire to end Obamacare cost sharing reduction subsidy payments, which would put another strain on insurance companies.

This week:

In the Media: TV Newser shares a new Harvard study that shows media coverage of President Trump’s administration has been overwhelmingly negative. Not surprisingly, the report also confirms we’re seeing a lot more coverage of the White House than in recent administrations. “President Trump dominated media coverage in the outlets and programs analyzed, with Trump being the topic of 41 percent of all news stories—three times the amount of coverage received by previous presidents.”

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

Agenda 5/14/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: Since January, Congress embraced the Congressional Review Act to undo 14 regulations, saving $3.7 billion and 4.2 million hours of paperwork. “This was the first Congress to successfully use the CRA to repeal a regulation since 2001.” The Senate Republican Policy Committee (citing estimates from the American Action Forum), highlights the 14 regulations that have been undone this year through the CRA. This past week marked the final week to use the CRA. Moving forward, the primary driver of regulatory change is in the hands of the departments and agencies. This includes implementing President Trump’s executive order calling for regulatory reform.

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In the Administration: Noticeably absent from the Comey news: Jared & Ivanka – both of whom were also literally out of town during the first House health care speedbump. CNN’s Betsy Klein chronicles when the couple has been absent during major moments in the Trump White House. This comes as reports again rise about the narrowing of Trump’s inner circle. Not to worry, Axios’ Alexi McCammond writes, “Trump’s loyal and most trusted inner circle is Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Hope Hicks, and Keith Schiller (the man who delivered the letter to Comey).”
This week in the administration:

On the Hill: The House returns to a busy agenda after a week at home.

In the Media: Axios’ Stef Knight writes, “Despite the wall-to-wall media coverage, most Americans — according to Facebook interactions — cared less about James Comey being fired than other big moments so far in the Trump administration.” Knight reminds us what we all forgot throughout the presidential campaign: President Trump’s supporters absorb and respond to the news much differently than those of us who occupy the Acela corridor. President Trump may have also lost sight of this, however, as rumors swirl about his desire for press staff shakeups and his statements about ending the daily press briefing.

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

Agenda 5/7/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: Bloomberg’s Matt Levine shared a report this week that finds meetings with the president is good for companies. The report reads, “Using novel data on White House visitors from 2009 through 2015, we find that corporate executives’ meetings with key policymakers are associated with positive abnormal stock returns.” Levine explains “it is good when businesses understand the law, and lawmakers understand business.” We’ve already seen this remain true in the Trump White House, with business leaders going directly to the president in efforts to prevent or respond to his policies (or tweets).   

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In the Administration: The administration got its White House celebration on health care this week, but now it must navigate the Senate. TheWashington Post’s Sean Sullivan, Abby Phillip, and Paul Kane note this will a big moment for the president’s relationship with Senate Majority Leader McConnell. McConnell remained largely silent throughout the House’s efforts on health care. “McConnell is cool and deliberative while Trump is hot and impetuous. But they have privately developed what people close to them say is a respectful relationship.” Remember though, “It was McConnell, after all, who helped hand Trump his only major congressional victory during his first 100 days in office: the confirmation of Gorsuch to the high court.”

What the White House will have to learn: “the methodical pace at which the Senate moves is necessary.”

On the Hill: While House members are back in their districts, the Senate has a busy week in Washington. On the floor will be the FDA Commissioner nomination, and the committees will take up the following:

In the Media: Axios’ Mike Allen this morning pointed to the Trump-bump national media outlets continue to enjoy, but Columbia Journalism Review notes the same is not true at the local level. CJR writes, “A potentially crucial local story went uncovered at a number of Gannett-owned newspapers this week. The big news? More reductions in the ranks of journalists at some of the titles owned by the Virginia-based media conglomerate. The scope? Gannett executives refuse to say. …

 Their continued decline comes as national media have been bolstered by digital investment and, more recently, renewed interest since the election of President Donald Trump. Despite debate over the centralization of the national press on the coasts, however, less attention is paid to how atrophy at the local level plays into media bubbles and drops in public trust.”

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

Agenda 4/30/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

A note from S-3 Public Affairs: We are thrilled this week to welcome Arjun Mody to our growing team!

 Fact of the Week: Startups are on the rise. Bloomberg reports, “The Bloomberg U.S. Startups Barometer rose 0.6 percent from a year earlier, marking the first year-over-year increase since the end of 2015.” AxiosKia Koklitcheva adds, “The ‘Internet of Things’ category is starting to mature in terms of startup investments, according to a new report from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Wing.” While there were fewer deals in 2016, there was more money invested – with the most in the automotive and health tech spaces.

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In the Administration: President Trump marked is first 100 days with a campaign-style rally “100 miles away from Washington’s swamp,” in Pennsylvania. As Washington celebrated the White House Correspondents’ Association, President Trump reconnected with his campaign rhetoric – America first and media criticism. All this while his administration shifts its focus to tax reform, hoping it will deliver the major legislative win the president is looking for.

Notably absent from his first 100 days op-ed in The Washington Post: any mention of health reform. That was left to Kellyanne Conway writing in The USA Today, giving it a passing mention: “It took President Obama more than a year to pass Obamacare. It has taken President Trump a matter of weeks to fashion a replacement for Obamacare that lowers costs, increases access and improves quality in health care.”

On the Hill: Focus will remain on a spending bill after Congress on Friday bought itself an extra week to negotiate.

While the partisan debate over health care (both bigger picture repeal/replace and more immediately how to handle the cost-sharing reductions payments) is also sure to continue, there are some members in the Capitol who are ready to move on. Reps. Jim Himes and Charlie Dent write in the Washington Post this weekend: “As a start, and consistent with the president’s priorities, we have a unique opportunity to make progress on a desperately needed national infrastructure program and an overhaul of our uncompetitive and byzantine tax code.”

Also this week:

In the Media: Look no further than recent ESPN layoffs to understand just how drastically the media landscape is changing. The New York Times reports, “The “Worldwide Leader in Sports,” as ESPN brands itself, laid off scores of journalists and on-air talent on Wednesday, showing that even the most formidable media kingdom was vulnerable to the transformation upending the sports broadcasting industry as more and more people turn away from cable television.”

While most of the media world grapples with changing consumption habits, political media, is focused on how to navigate the changing Washington landscape – a shift on full display at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner.

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

POLITICO Influence

By Theodoric Meyer

SPOTTED: At S-3 Public Affairs’ anniversary party last night at Stanton & Greene on Capitol Hill, according to a PI tipster: Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer; Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.); Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), and wife, Amey Rulon-Miller; Reps. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), David Valadao (R-Calif.), John Rutherford (R-Fla.), Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.V.), Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), Martha Roby (R-Ala.), Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.) and Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.); Kelley Hudak and Matt Bravo of Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s office; Adam Carasso of the Senate Finance Committee; Ken Johnson of Sen. Mark Warner’s office; Jeff Shockey of Boeing; and Adam Peterman of T-Mobile, along with the whole S-3 team.

Continue reading at Politico…

POLITICO Influence

By Theodoric Meyer

FIRST IN PI – S-3 PUBLIC AFFAIRS ADDS BARRASSO AIDE: Arjun Mody, a top aide to Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), is leaving the Hill to join S-3 Public Affairs as a principal. Mody is currently the policy director for the Senate Republican Policy Committee, which Barrasso chairs. Barrasso praised Mody is a statement, saying he had “rewritten the playbook on running an effective policy committee for Senate Republicans.” He’ll start later this month. Mody is the third recent hire for S-3, which has also brought aboard Kate Dickens, a former chief of staff to former Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), and Todd Wooten, a former senior tax and energy counsel to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on the Finance Committee.

Continue reading at Politico…

S-3 Adds Senate Leadership Policy Expert

Washington, DC– S-3 Public Affairs today announced the addition of Capitol Hill veteran and senior Senate leadership aide Arjun Mody. Arjun departs the Senate as the top policy expert to Republican Policy Committee Chairman and Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY).

“Arjun has led my leadership offices for more than six years. In that time, he managed nearly every policy issue in the Senate with great skill,” said Barrasso. “He has rewritten the playbook on running an effective policy committee for Senate Republicans. I will miss his good counsel, trustworthiness, and friendship. I know he will thrive at S-3.”

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“Arjun brings not only a deep understanding of complex policy issues, but also an in-depth knowledge of the current political landscape. Having spent years in senior level positions in the Senate, he understands what it takes to move the needle in the current political climate,” said John Scofield, Partner S-3 Public Affairs. “We are proud of what we are building at S-3 Public Affairs. We have some of the best talent in town from the House and the Senate, policy and press world. We are thrilled about this newest addition to our team.”

Arjun Mody joins S-3 from his current role as Policy Director for the Senate Republican Policy Committee, a key part of the leadership team in the U.S. Senate. In this capacity he directed and served as senior staff to the Chairman, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY). Mody joins Kate Dickens and Todd Wooten who recently joined S-3 from Senator Kirk’s office and Senator Wyden’s Finance staff respectively.

About S-3 Public Affairs

Anchored by John Scofield, Mike Ference, Rob Collins, and Amos Snead, S-3 Public Affairs brings together the best in government and public relations to develop and execute a comprehensive and cohesive strategy for our clients.

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Facebook’s challenge

By Sara Fischer

Facebook makes the majority of its revenue from advertising, and an inability to get ahead of the controversies affects their bottom line. “You have to be constantly monitoring your ads, knowing how they’re playing and where they are,” says Noelle Clemente, Vice President, S-3 Public Affairs.

Continue reading at Axios…

Supreme Court confirmation week: Neil Gorsuch’s game plan

By Ryan Lovelace

Judge Neil Gorsuch’s team, anticipating roadblocks as he prepares for Senate confirmation hearings this week, is executing a carefully crafted plan to gain Democratic support for his Supreme Court nomination.

“The biggest challenge you have is don’t let him get too far away from who he is,” said Rob Collins, a strategic adviser to the White House on the confirmation battle. “Everyone, politicians, human beings, they’re at their best when they’re authentic. And if he, just based on his incredible track record and acumen for the law, if he presents his case just as he believes it, as he sees it, he’ll do great. He’s one of the most genuine, authentic people I’ve ever met. He’s impressive. I think when the American people see the hours upon hours of testimony he’s going to deliver, they’ll realize he’s an impressive, smart, earnest guy.”

Continue reading at Washington Examiner… 

S-3 Expands Its Reach, Firm Adds Bipartisan, Bicameral Professionals

Washington, DC– S-3 Public Affairs today announced the addition of two team members, Todd Wooten and Kate Dickens, both seasoned Hill veterans.

S-3 Public Affairs takes a holistic approach to public affairs. Recognizing the changing landscape and playbook in DC, the firm is anchored by the best policy, media and political minds. Working as an integrated team, we stay ahead of the game in a quickly moving environment, delivering the best insights, strategy and ultimately wins for clients.

“Todd and Kate bring with them decades of Hill experience, adding particular expertise and reach in the U.S. Senate,” said John Scofield, Managing Partner at S-3 Public Affairs. “This year has proven that to win you need to stay ahead of the conversation at every turn- House, Senate, White House, agency, and media. The addition of Kate and Todd positions our firm and our clients for continued success in a dynamic and challenging political climate.”

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Todd Wooten has served on three Senate Committees for four different Senators. Prior to joining S-3, he served as Senior Counsel for Energy and Tax on the Senate Finance Committee and coordinated the Committee’s outreach to businesses and organizations. Todd brings additional Senate experience from his time at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee and as the Legislative Director for Senator Debbie Stabenow.

Todd was also the Director of Southeast Climate Resource Center at Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. In that capacity, Todd worked to bring Duke’s resources to policymakers throughout the region with a specific focus on local governments. Before his time at Duke, Todd served as senior director for governmental issues at Van Ness Feldman, an energy policy law firm based in Washington, D.C., and prior to that, as legislative counsel to Senator Blanche Lincoln.

Kate Dickens joined S-3 after serving almost two decades working in senior positions for leading Republicans in both the House and Senate. Most recently as chief of staff to former Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Kate oversaw the Senator’s political, policy, and communications operations and helped lead bipartisan negotiations that led to legislative victories on trade, healthcare, and national security. Immediately prior to joining S-3, Kate volunteered for the presidential transition operation for the 2017 Inauguration.

Kate’s congressional experience also includes serving as legislative director to then-Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE), a foreign and domestic policy aide to then-Rep. Connie Morella (R-MD), and almost a decade of experience building bipartisan coalitions as the executive director of the House Republicans’ Tuesday Group caucus.

About S-3 Public Affairs

Anchored by John Scofield, Mike Ference, Rob Collins, and Amos Snead, S-3 Public Affairs brings together the best in government and public relations to develop and execute a comprehensive and cohesive strategy for our clients.

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POLITICO Influence

By Theodoric Meyer

FIRST IN PI — S-3 PUBLIC AFFAIRS ADDS TWO: S-3 Public Affairs is bringing on two longtime Senate staffers, including the firm’s first Democrat. Kate Dickens is joining the firm after serving as chief of staff to Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who lost reelection. And Todd Wooten comes from the Senate Finance Committee, where he was senior energy and tax counsel under Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Continue reading at Politico…

S-3 Public Affairs Expands with Three New Hires

Washington, DC– S-3 Public Affairs today announced the hire of three new staff members as the firm continues to grow, positioning itself to navigate the new administration, Congress and media. S-3 Public Affairs has added Stephanie Genco as Vice President, Alyson Chwatek as Associate, and Shawn Paternak as Associate.

S-3 Public Affairs takes an integrated approach to public affairs. Recognizing the changing landscape and playbook in DC, the firm is anchored by the best policy, media and political minds. Working together, we are able to stay ahead o the game in a quickly moving environment, delivering the best insights and strategy for our clients.

CONTINUE READING

“We are excited to add these talented new team members to S-3 Public Affairs. Our strategic policy approach combined with our public affairs campaign experience have become valuable assets for our clients the past year. Our growth shows that there is a quantifiable advantage to have an integrated multi-discipline approach to the public policy arena,” said Rob Collins, Partner, S-3 Public Affairs. “2017 is already proving to be a historic year. S-3 Public Affairs continues to recruit the talent necessary to help our clients drive the narrative and impact policies important to them.”

Genco joins S-3 Public Affairs as Vice President after two years as Deputy Policy Director at the National Republican Congressional Committee. Genco also brings with her years of Capitol Hill communications experience, having served as Communications Director to Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), as well as Communications Liaison for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Press Secretary for the House Committee on Homeland Security. Genco was also an Independent Expenditure Researcher during the NRCC for the 2010 cycle.

Chwatek joins S-3 Public Affairs as Associate, with years of finance and development experience with the bipartisan firm, No Labels.

Pasternak joins S-3 Public Affairs as Associate, bringing with him years of research, rapid response and media analysis experience, most recently at America Rising.

About S-3 Public Affairs

Led by Capitol Hill veterans John Scofield, Mike Ference, Rob Collins and Amos Snead, S-3 Public Affairs brings together the best in government and public relations to develop and execute a comprehensive and cohesive strategy for our clients.

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POLITICO Influence

By Isaac Arnsdorf

S-3 Public Affairs hired Stephanie Genco as vice president, Alyson Chwatek as associate, and Shawn Pasternak as associate. Genco spent two years as deputy policy director at the National Republican Congressional Committee and was communications director for Reps. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and Diane Black (R-Tenn.). Chwatek comes from bipartisan firm No Labels. Pasternak most recently worked at opposition research PAC America Rising.

Continue reading at Politico…

New Coalition Aims to Keep Momentum on 21st Century Cures

By Mary Ellen McIntire

Groups that supported the House passage of H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act, are joining a coalition to ensure that the legislation keeps up momentum, the group announced today.

Members of the 21st Century Cures Coalition include businesses, patient groups and medical technology groups that supported the bill as it moved through the House, a spokesman for the coalition said. A complete list of members has not been finalized. The coalition is currently being funded by a few individual donors, though that could also grow, the spokesman said.

“The House of Representatives already voiced their resounding support for this initiative with a 344-77 vote in favor last July,” the group said on its website. “Now it’s the Senate’s turn to help patients by taking action to support the 21st Century Cures Act.”

“With strong backing for 21st Century Cures on both sides of the aisle and a supportive administration, it’s time to act, and patients can’t afford to wait,” the description goes on.

The Senate is taking a more piecemeal approach to drafting companion legislation to the bill. The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is working on several smaller bills they hope to turn into a more comprehensive bill, though committee members have doubted how successful they will be.

The coalition’s formation is not in response to the Senate’s path forward, the spokesman said. Rather, the group wants to keep attention on the bill. Mainly, they’ll be launching a public relations campaign to keep attention on the legislation. S3 Public Affairs is the firm that will drive that campaign.

POLITICO Influence

By Isaac Arnsdorf

FIRST IN PI…FIRST DOWN: S-3 Group- the boutique lobbying firm anchored by John Scofield, Mike Ference, Rob Collins and Martin Delgado- and Amos Snead’s Bryant Row Public Affairs are merging to form S-3 Public Affairs. The principals already collaborated frequently, shared office space and were friends. (Snead and Ference both worked for Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) when he was House whip.) Now they’re hoping to build out their operation as a one-stop shop. S-3’s stable includes JPMorgan, Koch, the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, Google, Halliburton, Northrop Grumman and Boeing.

Continue reading at Politico...