http://s3publicaffairs.com/wp-content/uploads/S-3-logo_website.png200200Scott Graveshttp://s3publicaffairs.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_header_medgreytext_223x80.pngScott Graves2017-07-24 08:00:212017-07-24 09:21:40S-3 PUBLIC AFFAIRS: A Full Service Communications Firm
Fact of the Week: Amazon delivered tough news to Blue Apron this week when it announced plans to break into the meal kit industry. Morning Consult polling finds high prices are the biggest challenge for existing meal kit companies, CNBC adding, “Amazon — known for keeping prices competitively low — could be looking to solve this problem, seeing opportunity in an evolving and expanding market. Amazon’s stock was climbing slightly higher Monday morning.” Blue Apron’s stock meanwhile has been tumbling since its IPO. CNBC shares a bit of optimism after trying each. “It felt like each kit was for a different kind of consumer. Amazon is selling meal kits for dummies. Blue Apron is selling meal kits for foodies. There may be room for both.”
In the Administration: This week the White House will focus on American Heroes Week with visits and events with the American Legion Boys Nation and American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation as well as for first responders later in the week. President Trump heads to Jamboree West Virginia on Monday, visiting the Boy Scouts of America, then to Ohio on Tuesday where he will hold a “Rally in the Valley.”
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.
Fact of the Week: Amazon Prime Day set new records growing, “by more than 60 percent compared to the same 30 hours last year. … More new members joined Prime on July 11 than on any single day in Amazon history.” Recode adds, “Within a couple of years, more U.S. households could be subscribers of Amazon Prime than cable or satellite TV, according to recent estimates of Amazon’s popular shipping and entertainment service. According to estimates from Morningstar, nearly 79 million people in the U.S. now have an Amazon Prime membership*, up from around 67 million at the end of last year. Based on Morningstar’s estimates of the average number of Prime memberships per household, that suggests about 66 million households have Amazon Prime memberships in 2017. That compares to a projected 90 million U.S. households that will pay for cable or satellite TV this year, according to S&P Global.”
In the Administration: President Trump approaches six months in office this week as the nomination process continues in Congress. The administration is expected to tomorrow (July 17) publish its objectives for NAFTA renegotiation if it hopes to begin renegotiations on August 16. This comes just ahead of a House Ways & Means Committee hearing Tuesday on NAFTA modernization. Additionally,The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis reports that Jared Kushner will head to Capitol Hill to address interns.
Monday: A cloture vote is expected in the Senate on Patrick Shanahan’s nomination as deputy secretary of defense;
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.”
Fact of the Week: Emojis are increasingly being used for search online as their use among smartphone users remains incredibly high. Digiday reports on a, “MojiLaLa study that found 86 percent of smartphone users in the U.S. regularly use emojis, and that number jumps to 96 percent among those 18 to 34.” Kayak is one of the latest companies to embrace emoji search, even allowing users to vote on which emoji corresponds with which trip destination, turning the feature from not just modern search, but also user engagement. What’s next? “Ad agencies believe it’s likely more brands will begin to experiment with emoji search. VML is one agency that is advising its clients to do so, mostly because they could take advantage of organic search on social platforms. Twitter, Instagram, Google, YouTube and, as of last week, WhatsApp, have all added the capability to search using emojis in the past two years.”
In the Administration: President Trump will return to Europe, heading to Paris on Friday for Bastille Day, at the invitation of President Macron. A CBO score of the president’s budget request is expected Thursday.
Nominations: Axios’ Mike Allen noted Friday that President Trump sent “87 nominations to the Senate in the month of June alone.”
Monday: The Senate is expected to confirm Neomi Rao to head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the Office of Management and Budget, aka regulatory czar. The Senate is also expected to invoke cloture on David Nye for US District Judge for the District of Idaho, with a final vote expected Wednesday.
Tuesday: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is expected to vote on David Glawe’s nomination to be under secretary for intelligence and analysis at the Department of Homeland Security. The committee will also vote on David Pekoske to head the TSA. Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold confirmation hearings for David Steele Bohigian, nominee for president of the Overseas Private Investment Corp., and Jay Patrick Murray, nominee for alternate US representative in the UN. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing for Navy Secretary nominee Richard V. Spencer.
Wednesday: Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for FBI Director Nominee Christopher Wray; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is expected to vote on Annie Caputo and David Wright, nominated to join the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Susan Parker Bodine to serve as an assistant EPA administrator. Also expected Wednesday: cloture vote on William Francis Haggerty, nominee for US Ambassador to Japan.
Thursday: Senate Finance Committee confirmation hearing for Kevin McAleenan, nominated for US Customs and Border Protection commissioner.
On the Hill: Congress returns from a July 4 spent at home with the focus remaining on health care in the Senate. All eyes in the Senate await a CBO score on updated language, expected later in the week. Focus in the House will be on NDAA. The House is also expected to consider H.R. 23, the Gaining Responsibility on Water Act, as well as a series of bills related to human trafficking. House Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane Black also raised the possibility of a markup as soon as this week.
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.”
Fact of the Week: Axios’ Sara Fischer notes in her new weekly media trends newsletter, “Roughly 50% percent of ad dollars flow to Google and Facebook, America’s ‘Duopoly.’ Together they are expected to take 83% of every new ad dollar, according to calculations from Digital Content Next, the premium publishers association.” To put that in perspective, “Google’s ad revenue has almost caught up to all print ad revenue globally and Facebook’s ad revenue is quickly approaching all radio ad revenue globally.”
In the Administration: President Trump on Wednesday heads to Poland ahead of the G-20 summit, which begins Friday. Fox News reports, “Trump will also attend a summit in Warsaw devoted to the Three Seas Initiative … The initiative’s focused on expanding and modernizing energy and infrastructure ties in a region of Central Europe from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Adriatic and Black seas in the south.” The president will give a speech on Thursday, “at the site of a memorial to the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Germans, a Polish official says.”
Friday, President Trump will head to Hamburg, Germany for the G-20 summit where he is also expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Reuters notes a recent speech from German Chancellor Angela Merkel raising the “prospect of an open clash” between Merkel and President Trump. “Asked about Merkel’s comments, Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said the U.S. relationship with Germany was ‘as strong as ever’ and played down the discord. ‘Of course there are going to be differences in relations with any country, and we’ll talk frankly about those differences. The president enjoys those conversations,’ McMaster told reporters.”
On the Hill: The House and Senate are at home for the July 4 holiday as Senate leaders continue to look for a path forward on health care. The APreports that Senate Majority Leader McConnell remains committed to a simultaneous repeal and replace strategy, despite a tweet from President Trump. “McConnell told reporters after an event Friday in his home state of Kentucky that the Republican health care bill remains challenging but ‘we are going to stick with that path’ … ‘failure has to be possible or you can’t have success.’”
The Hillexplains one Senate Republican tactic: update the CBO benchmark. “They say the CBO used data from March 2016 in coming up with the analysis that 22 million people would lose health insurance. By using a more recent benchmark from this year, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) argues that number might come down by as much as 6 million.”
In the Media:Wimbledon was the first sporting event live-streamed by Twitter last year. As it gets underway this year, TechCrunch notes Twitter’s continued growth in this space. “In the year since, Twitter has delivered a slew of live streamed sports, sports-related programming, news, concerts, and other events to its service, including streams from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NLL, college sports, even esports, and many more. …the cumulative effect – or, at least Twitter hopes – is that people will begin to think to check Twitter to see if something is being live streamed. And if Twitter can gain mindshare around live video even without deals as big as NFL games, that could long-term help boost its other metrics – like signed-in users, ad dollars, and more.”
Fact of the Week: Thursday, June 29, marks 10 years of the iPhone – with 1 billion having been sold over the past decade. USA Today looks at how the phone has changed over the years and what the next decade may bring. Some think, “many, if not most, of the sensor-driven products we’ll come to rely on will be so small, that they’ll be hidden inside walls, ceilings, furniture, maybe even our own bodies. It plays into the still evolving Internet of Things trend, and what technology watchers sometimes refer to as ambient computing.”
In the Administration: President Trump will have an eye on the Senate’s health care progress as he also meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday and hosts South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House on Thursday and Friday.
Administration officials remain busy on the Hill as hearings continue on the administration’s budget requests:
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.”
S-3 PA Exclusive: We are hearing it is more and more likely the House will proceed on FY18 appropriations by moving a 12 bill omnibus. The House GOP leadership is tentatively planning to move this package the last week in July before the August recess. This idea has gained traction when it was first proposed by Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) gaining the support of key cardinals, conservatives, and congressional leaders. As a result, we expect the pace of subcommittee markups will increase. We are hearing that Defense approps will markup in subcommittee on June 26 and Agriculture and Legislative Branch are also possibilities for that week. We will provide more details on the strategy and schedule as they become available.
Fact of the Week: Just one day before reports confirmed Amazon was buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, Bloomberg reported Amazon’s interest in buying Slack for a reported $9 billion, which would have been “a deal that would be the biggest ever for the internet-commerce giant.” Recode’s Kara Swisher adds that Slack, “is in the midst of raising $500 million at a $5 billion post-money valuation, an effort that has attracted several potential buyers interested in taking out the company ahead of the funding,” but its founder and CEO, “has long wanted to build his own big company and adding an enormous funding round would allow Slack some breathing room to get to cash flow positive.”
In the 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.”
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.
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;
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;
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.”
Fact of the Week: While many retail stores figure out how best to navigate in an online-shopping world (e.g. J.Crew), Amazon is doing a bit of the opposite. Axios’ Alexi McCammond writes on its new Future of Work stream, “Amazon had $136b in sales last year — 43% of all online shopping. But there’s a lot more money to be made in the offline retail industry. In 2016, e-commerce only made up $1.9 trillion of the $22 trillion in total retail sales, according to eMarketer, so the upside of expanding into the offline market is massive.” Amazon “now has nine stores total — seven bookstores (with plans to open six more) and two grocery stores,” and it is “incorporating data it gathers online into the offline world, with the objective of broadening its already-commanding place in global retail.”
In the Administration: President Trump is shifting his focus to infrastructure, with plans Monday to outline his agenda for air traffic control reform in a White House event. Cincinnati.com reports the president will continue the week with a speech in Ohio on Wednesday. A White House spokeswoman told the outlet: “‘Next week President Trump will launch infrastructure week which is a critical pillar of the president’s agenda to promote job creation and grow the U.S.economy.’ …The president’s visit to southern Ohio will be part of a broader push by the White House to move ahead with Trump’s campaign promise to spend $1 trillion over 10 years on infrastructure investments, according to the White House.”
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.”
Fact of the Week: This weekend we remember and honor all those who have given their lives for our country. CNN shares some history about Memorial Day: “Several towns claim to be the originators of Memorial Day but in 1966, Congress declared Waterloo, New York, to be the birthplace of the holiday. Memorial Day originally honored military personnel who died in the Civil War (1861-1865). The holiday now honors those who died in any war while serving with the United States. It is also called Decoration Day.” Enjoy the weekend!
In the Administration: President Trump is back in D.C. after more than a week abroad. The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker and Karen DeYoung report, “While critics at home had predicted major gaffes, the president made none. And Trump participated in and contributed to substantive meetings on issues ranging from counterterrorism and trade to climate change and migration.”
President Trump is already back on Twitter, but NBC’s Chuck Todd noted, for the first time he used the phrase “It is my opinion” at the start of his tweeting. President Trump is expected to announce a final decision on whether the U.S. will stay in the Paris climate accords: (thoughAxios 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 againacknowledged 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.”
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 Globereports, “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.”
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?
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.
Monday: House Rules Committee meeting on the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act; U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the confirmation of Terry Branstad to serve as the ambassador to China;
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.”
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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:
Tuesday: President Trump meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (where they are likely to discuss the administration’s decision to arm Syrian Kurds);
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.
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).
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.”
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.” Axios’ Kia 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
“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.
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.
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.”
http://s3publicaffairs.com/wp-content/uploads/washington-examiner-square.jpg400400Tazewell Joneshttp://s3publicaffairs.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_header_medgreytext_223x80.pngTazewell Jones2017-03-20 15:39:212017-05-15 20:13:11Supreme Court confirmation week: Neil Gorsuch's game plan
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.”
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.
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.).
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.
“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.
http://s3publicaffairs.com/wp-content/uploads/S-3-logo-e1495573061112.png160160Tazewell Joneshttp://s3publicaffairs.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_header_medgreytext_223x80.pngTazewell Jones2017-01-05 16:44:422017-05-31 17:13:31S-3 Public Affairs Expands with Three New Hires
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.
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.
http://s3publicaffairs.com/wp-content/uploads/Morning-Consult-Logo.jpeg400400Tazewell Joneshttp://s3publicaffairs.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_header_medgreytext_223x80.pngTazewell Jones2016-02-29 16:36:522017-05-23 16:37:06New Coalition Aims to Keep Momentum on 21st Century Cures
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.