Agenda: 4/22/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

FACT OF THE WEEK

If you’re looking to reach influential young professionals, Cheddar is a good bet, and now it’s joining with Hulu. From its post on the news: “Cheddar, the leading live post-cable network, and premium streaming service Hulu today announced a distribution agreement that will bring Cheddar’s live linear network, exclusive morning and afternoon news briefs, and key highlights and select Cheddar Originals to Hulu. In addition to live and on-demand programming being made available on Hulu with Live TV plan, a library of content and exclusive daily news briefs will be available through Hulu’s on-demand service. The channel will launch later this month.

“According to Market Strategies International’s Cogent Reports, 1 in 5 millennials 18–24 know Cheddar (15% of 18–34). Cheddar viewers are decades younger than the average age of viewers of traditional news networks, with a median annual household income of $137,000. Hulu viewers have a median age of 31, about 25 years younger than the average broadcast TV viewers, and a median annual household income of $92,000.” For reference, the median household income in the United States is $57,617.

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IN THE MEDIA

AdAge shares a recent interview with Erik Requidan, the VP of programmatic strategy from the advertising marketing firm Intermarkets – behind websites including Drudge. AdAge notes, “Last October when Time magazine compiled its “most influential websites of all time,” it put the Drudge Report report squarely at No. 8. Eight! The conservative political news site hovers high in the top ten list of U.S. media publishers of the Marketers’ Intelligence Blog, too.” Requidan argues that the sites is more sophisticated than it appears to the regular user. He adds that the sites’ workability is also quite noteworthy, adding that 9 out of 10 users are keying in Drudge Report to go to directly.

Requidan also “mounts a spirited defense of the lowly banner ad, calling it ‘the workhorse of the industry.’”

IN THE ADMINISTRATION

This week President Trump will hold a campaign rally in Michigan. The Detroit News reports, “The April 28 rally will be his second trip to Michigan as president after a March 2017 visit to a mobility center in Ypsilanti.” The president is also set to give a speech on drug prices on Thursday. Politico reports, “Trump’s remarks are expected to coincide with a formal request for information from HHS on various drug pricing ideas, according to White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley.”

ON THE HILL

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday will address a joint meeting of Congress. On Monday the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to vote on Mike Pompeo’s nomination for Secretary of State. Also this week, the House is expected to consider the FAA Reauthorization bill. FY2019 appropriations hearings also continue this week.  

Monday (April 23): Senate vote on the confirmation of Stuart Duncan to be U.S. Circuit Court judge for the Fifth Circuit; Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting on various nominations, including Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State; House Homeland Security Subcommittee field hearing on federal support to high-risk urban areas (to be held in Staten Island, NY); American Bankers Association Government Relations Summit (through Wednesday);

Tuesday (April 24): Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on the state of rural America, with testimony from Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the posture of the Department of the Air Force, with testimony from Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein; Senate Finance Committee hearing on early impressions of the new tax law; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the FY2019 budget request of the U.S. Forest Service, with testimony from Interim Chief Vicki Christiansen; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on mitigating America’s cybersecurity risk; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the plight of international parental child abduction and its effect on American families; Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing on opportunities and challenges for maritime transportation; Senate HELP Committee executive session to vote on the Opioid Crisis Response Act, Over-the-Counter Drug, Safety, Innovation, and Reform Act, Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act, Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, and the nominations of Sharon Gustafson (to be general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and Jon Peede (to be chairman of the National Endowment of the Humanities); Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting and hearing on the nominations of Adm. Harry B. Harris, Jr. (to be ambassador to Australia), Jonathan Cohen (to be deputy representative to the United Nations), and Jackie Wolcott (to be ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency); House Rules Committee hearing on the FAA Reauthorization Act;

Wednesday (April 25): Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on the nomination of Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, MD, to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs; Senate Rules Committee hearing on improving procedures for the consideration of Senate nominations; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the nomination of Christopher Krebs to be undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Andrew Oldham (to be circuit judge for the Fifth Circuit) and district court nominees Alan Albright (for the Western District of Texas), Thomas Kleeh (for the Northern District of West Virginia), Peter Phipps (for the Western District of Pennsylvania), and Michael Truncale (for the Eastern District of Texas); Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing on enhancing the Mammal Protection Act; Joint Economic Committee hearing on how the innovation economy leads to growth; House Appropriations Subcommittee FY2019 budget hearings for the Department of Defense (with testimony in closed session from Defense Secretary James Mattis, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, Jr., and Undersecretary of Defense David Norquist), U.S. House of RepresentativesGovernment Accountability Office (with testimony from Comptroller General Gene Dodaro), Office of Housing and Federal Housing Administration (with testimony from General Deputy Assistant Housing Secretary Dana Wade, Library of CongressPipeline to the Workforce, and Agriculture and Financial Services member days; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on the future of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, with testimony from Commissioner Kevin McAleenan; House Natural Resources Committee oversight hearing on the “weaponization” of the National Environmental Policy Act and implications of environmental “lawfare”; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on HUD’s role in rental assistance and review of legislative proposals on rent reform; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on employer perspectives of the jobs gap; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearing to review VA’s life insurance programs;

Thursday (April 26): Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Department of Defense budget posture, with testimony from Defense Secretary James Mattis, Undersecretary of Defense David Norquist, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr.; Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting to consider the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act and Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee oversight hearing of HHS and DHS efforts to protect unaccompanied alien children from human trafficking and abuse; House Armed Services Subcommittee markups of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act; House Appropriations Subcommittee FY2019 budget hearings for the Department of Justice (with testimony from Attorney General Jeff Sessions), Securities and Exchange Commission (with testimony from Chairman Jay Clayton), Environment Protection Agency (with testimony from Administrator Scott Pruitt and CFO Holly Greaves), Federal Communications Commission (with testimony from Chairman Ajit Pai), Federal Transit Administration, Federal Highway Administration, and Maritime Administrator,U.S. Agency for International Development (with testimony from Administrator Amb. Mark Green), Labor/HHS public witnesses, and Homeland member dayHouse Intelligence Subcommittee closed hearing on the CIA’s FY2019 budget; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on the President’s FY2019 budget request for the Department of Homeland Security, with testimony from Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 EPA budget (with testimony from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt) and perspectives on CFIUS reformHouse Judiciary Committee hearing on the filtering practices of social media platforms; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the GAO’s 2018 duplication report; House Foreign Affairs Committee markup of the Department of State Authorization Act and subcommittee hearings on mass migration in Europe and grading counterterrorism cooperation with Gulf Cooperation Council states; House Financial Services Subcommittee oversight hearing of the SEC’s Division of Corporate Finance; House Natural Resources Subcommittee hearings on the importance of offshore energy revenue sharing for Gulf producing states and H.R.5317 and H.R.211House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on innovation in healthcare; House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee hearing on worker-management relations and the need to modernize federal labor law; House Science, Space & Technology Subcommittee hearing on the space weather landscape; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee markup of pending legislation;

Friday (April 27): Senate Judiciary Committee nominations hearingHouse Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on the financial institution perspective of implementation of FinCEN’s customer due diligence rule; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on combating robocalls and caller ID spoofing.

Agenda: 4/15/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

FACT OF THE WEEK

The next time you don’t change the font from default Calibri, perhaps consider the cost that companies go to to license typefaces. AdWeek reports, “Netflix has developed a new bespoke font called Netflix Sans that is clean, functional, subtly inspired by the brand’s famous logo—and perhaps most important of all, economical.

“One of the design leads, Noah Nathan… writes: With the global nature of Netflix’s business, font licensing can get quite expensive. Developing this typeface not only created an ownable and unique element for the brand’s aesthetic (moving Netflix away from Gotham, which is widely used in the entertainment industry), but saves the company millions of dollars a year as foundries move towards impression-based licensing for their typefaces in many digital advertising spaces.” Netflix is not the first company to develop its own font. Others include Apple, Google, IBM, and Samsung.

Another Netflix Nugget: The Washington Post reports, “Comcast said Friday that you will soon be able to purchase a Netflix subscription from the TV and Internet provider as part of a regular bundle of services.”

Bonus Fun Scroll: AdWeek has a separate post about the different typefaces used in popular logos.

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IN THE MEDIA 

Axios’ Sara Fischer reports in her weekly Media Trends newsletter on NBCUniversal’s “new advertising metric called CFlight, which will measure all advertising impressions across all of NBCU — whether those ads were consumed live, on-demand, on linear TV or digital platforms.” These metrics are used to measure the ad’s impact for ad buyers. Deadline reports that NBC cites “its successful measurement of total viewing at the PyeongChang Olympics in February — spanning live, time-shifted and on-demand, on any platform.”

IN THE ADMINISTRATION

President Trump is expected to host Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Washington Post reports, “Abe is set to arrive Tuesday at Trump’s winter resort in Palm Beach, Fla., for two days of meetings.”

ON THE HILL

Both the House and Senate are in session this week as FY2019 appropriations hearings continue. The House will also consider a series of IRS and identity-protection bills this week. The House Agriculture Committee will also markup the Farm Bill on Wednesday. 

Monday (April 16): Senate vote on cloture on the motion to concur in the House Amendment, with an amendment, to tribal labor sovereignty legislation; House Rules Committee hearing on the 21st Century IRS Act;

Tuesday (April 17): Senate Banking Committee hearing on the nominations of Thelma Drake (to head the Federal Transit Administration), Jeffrey Nadaner (to be assistant Commerce secretary for export enforcement) and Seth Appleton (to be assistant Housing and Urban secretary for policy development and research); Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the nominations of Navy Admiral Philip S. Davidson (to lead U.S. Pacific Command) and Air Force General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy (to lead U.S. North Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command) and subcommittee hearing on Navy shipbuilding programs; Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the promotion of Vice Admiral Karl Schultz to Admiral and to be Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on U.S. policy in Yemen (with testimony from Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield, Acting Assistant Defense Secretary for International Security Affairs Robert Karem, and Deputy Assistant USAID Administrator Robert Jenkins); Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to examine deferred maintenance and operational needs of the National Park Service; House Appropriations Subcommittee FY2019 budget hearings on the General Services Administration (with testimony from Administrator Emily Murphy), Food and Drug Administration (with testimony from FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb),Government Accountability Office (with testimony from Comptroller General Gene Dodaro), Office of Public and Indian Housing (with testimony from General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Dominique Blom), Indian Health Service (with testimony from Acting Director RADM Michael D. Weahkee), U.S. Coast Guard (with testimony from Commandant Paul F. Zukunft), Labor/HHS members day,Commerce, Science, and Justice member dayMilitary Construction member day (with testimony from Reps. Tim Walz, Claudia Tenney, John Rutherford, Mark Takano, and French Hill), and legislative branch members and outside witnessesHouse Financial Services Committee hearing to receive semi-annual testimony on the Federal Reserve’s supervision and regulation of the financial system from Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles and subcommittee hearing to review legislative proposals for housing choice voucher programs; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s FY2019 budget and oversight and perspectives on internet prioritizationHouse Ways and Means Committee hearing to receive federal perspectives on the jobs gap, with testimony from Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta; House Foreign Affairs Committee markup of the Export Control Reform Act, Global Food Security Reauthorization Act, Global Electoral Exchange Act, and Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act and subcommittee hearing on the U.S.-Taiwan relationship; House Armed Services Committee hearing on promoting the Defense Department’s culture of innovation and subcommittee hearing on the FY2019 budget request for missile defense and missile defeat programs; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing to examine Iran’s global terrorism network; House Judiciary Subcommittee hearings on Federal Bureau of Prisons oversight (with testimony from director Mark Inch) and safeguarding trade secrets in the U.S.House Oversight and Government Reform Joint Subcommittee hearing on continued oversight of the Internal Revenue Service; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee oversight hearing of the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act (with testimony from Surface Transportation Board Chairman Ann D. Begeman and Vice Chairman Deb Miller); House Natural Resources Committee legislative hearing on three marine conservation bills; The Federalist Society’s Sixth Annual Executive Branch Review Conference; U.S. Chamber of Commerce event on tax reform with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA); The Hill event on the Latino college graduation gap with Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Reps. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and Will Hurd (R-TX);

Wednesday (April 18): Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (with testimony from USPTO Director Andrei Iancu) and subcommittee hearing on strengthening and reforming America’s immigration court system; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the nominations of David Williams, Robert Duncan and Calvin Tucker to be governors of the U.S. Postal Service; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the role of states and the federal government in protecting groundwater; Senate Armed Services Subcommittee hearings on accelerating new technologies to meet emerging threats and Air Force modernizationSenate Finance and Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans hearing on the history and structure of the multiemployer pension system; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the Marrakesh VIP treaty; Senate Commerce Committee hearing on abusive robocalls and subcommittee hearing on Olympic abuse and the role of national governing bodies in protecting athletes; House Appropriations Subcommittee FY2019 budget hearings on the Office of Management and Budget (with testimony from OMB Director Mick Mulvaney), Congressional Budget Office (with testimony from Director Keith Hall), Department of Agriculture (with testimony from Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, World Agricultural Outlook Board Chairman Dr. Seth Meyer, and Acting Budget Officer DIehm-Linh Jones), U.S. Forest Service (with testimony from Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and U.S. Forest Service Interim Chief Vicki Christiansen), Census Bureau (with testimony from Acting Census Bureau Director Ron Jarmin and GAO Director of Strategic Issues Robert Goldenkoff and Director of Information Technology David Powner), The Judiciary (with testimony from Committee on the Budget of the Judicial Conference of the U.S. Chairman John W. Lungstrum and Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts Director James C. Duff), Office of Compliance (with testimony from Executive Director Susan Grundmann), Health and Human Services biodefense activities, and Transportation/HUD member dayHouse Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on U.S. policy in the Middle East (with testimony from Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield and Assistant Secretary of the State for European and Eurasian Affairs A. Wess Mitchell) and subcommittee hearings on the struggle for unity in Libya and the Dayton legacy and the future of Bosnia and the Western BalkansHouse Homeland Security Committee hearing on lessons learned on homeland threat information sharing; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearings on oversight and reform of the Defense Department’s 4th Estate and the FY2019 budget requests for Energy, Installations and Environment and ground force modernization; House Natural Resources Committee markup of 7 bills and subcommittee legislative hearing on the Power Counties Act; House Agriculture Committee markup of the Agriculture and Nutrition Act; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on top management and performance challenges identified government-wide by the inspector general community and subcommittee hearing on artificial intelligence and public policy; House Small Business Committee hearing to examine the Small Business Administration’s 7(a) loans to poultry farmers;

Thursday (April 19): Senate Banking Committee hearing to receive semi-annual testimony on the Federal Reserve’s supervision and regulation of the financial system from Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles; Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting to consider 8 judicial and Justice Department nominations, the Protecting Religiously Affiliated Institutions Act, and Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the posture of the Department of the Navy, with testimony from a panel including Navy Secretary Richard Spencer; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to examine rural energy challenges and opportunities; Senate Finance Committee hearing on opioid and substance use disorders in Medicare, Medicaid, and human services programs; House Appropriations Subcommittee FY2019 budget hearings on the State Department’s foreign operations programs (with testimony from State Department Inspector General Steve Linick and USAID Inspector General Ann Calvarsi Barr), Energy and Water member dayInterior member day, and public witnessesHouse Armed Services Subcommittee hearings on the Army’s FY2019 budget request readiness posture and military health system reformHouse Intelligence Subcommittee closed hearing on the FY2019 budget; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on combating robocalls and caller ID spoofing; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing to examine tax-exempt private activity bonds for All Aboard Florida’s Brightline passenger rail system;

Friday (April 20): House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee field hearing on concepts for the next Water Resources Development Act, to be held in Coos Bay, Oregon.

Agenda: 4/8/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

FACT OF THE WEEK

With the start of baseball season, there are more ways to catch games online. Mashable reports, “Twitter will live-stream weekly Major League Baseball games this upcoming season, renewing a partnership between the two companies that’s been in place since 2016. Twitter’s partnership is one component of MLB’s effort to distribute its games digitally and on social media. In addition to the Twitter deal, YouTube TV is a presenting sponsor of the World Series, and Facebook recently scored the exclusive rights to air 25 games this year. Unlike Facebook, Twitter broadcasts aren’t exclusive: Each stream is a simulcast with a team’s local TV broadcast.”

A push toward social media streaming fits with the MLB’s attempt to attract younger audiences. Morning Consult polling finds the audience for MLB tends to skew older and proposed changes to speed up the overall game time would likely not have an impact on viewership

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IN THE MEDIA

Recode shares an interview with Financial Times CEO John Ridding recalling the response when they put their content behind a paywall: “reactions in the tech world ranged from skeptical to ‘pretty hostile.’” But now that decision has paid off. “Now the CEO of the FT is feeling vindicated: Subscriptions to online reporting from the Nikkei-owned London-based business newspaper start at $350 per year, and readers are buying. Ridding said two-thirds of the FT’s 900,000 subscribers are digital customers, and subscriptions have overtaken advertising as the chief source of the company’s revenue, also representing about two-thirds of the total.”  

The FT’s approach is different in that, “Rather than giving readers a certain number of free articles per month — the ‘metered’ business model practiced by the New York Times, the Washington Post and Wired, among others — it has shifted in recent years to just give them unfettered access for free for the first month. ‘We thought, what do we really want to do?’ Ridding recalled. ‘We really want to achieve the habit in digital that people used to have in print. A metered model kind of goes against that because you’re, by definition, rationing. … Ideally, you spend a month with the FT, you get to appreciate it, you become a subscriber.’”

IN THE ADMINISTRATION

The Hill reports, “President Trump will meet with Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar next week at the White House as the Trump administration tries to encourage several Middle Eastern nations to reestablish diplomatic ties with the country. The White House said in a statement Thursday that Trump ‘looks forward to discussing ways to strengthen ties between the United States and Qatar and to advance our common security and economic priorities’ with Al Thani during the meeting Tuesday.”

President Trump will also head to Peru for the Summit of the Americas happening Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14.

ON THE HILL

Congress returns with all eyes looking to House and Senate hearings with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Committees will also continue work on FY2019 appropriations with several administration officials testifying.

Monday (April 9): Senate resumes consideration of the nomination of Claria Horn Boom to be U.S. District Judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky; House Homeland Security Committee field hearing on lessons learned and the path forward from Hurricane Harvey, to be held in Texas;

Tuesday (April 10): Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committee joint hearing on Facebook, social media privacy, and the abuse of data, with testimony from CEO Mark Zuckerberg; Senate HELP Committee hearing on the nomination of Sharon Gustafson to be general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the posture of the U.S. Transportation Command; Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee hearing on state perspectives of cooperative federalism under the Clean Air Act; Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing on the Summit of the Americas; House Rules Committee hearing on the Volcker Rule Regulatory Harmonization Act;

Wednesday (April 11): House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Facebook’s transparency and use of consumer data, with testimony from CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and subcommittee hearings on the state of restoration of Puerto Rico’s electric infrastructure and improving the ability of Medicare and Medicaid to provide care for patients in combating the opioid crisisHouse Financial Services Committee hearing on the 2018 semi-annual report of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, with testimony from Acting Director Mick Mulvaney; House Appropriations Subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 budgets of the Treasury Department’s International Programs (with testimony from Secretary Steven Mnuchin), Internal Revenue Service (with testimony from Acting Commissioner David Kautter), Department of the Interior (with testimony from Secretary Ryan Zinke, Office of Budget Director Denise Flanagan, and Deputy Assistant Secretary Olivia Barton Ferriter), Department of Homeland Security (with testimony from Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen), U.S. Strategic Command (with testimony in closed session from Gen. John E. Hyten), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (with testimony from RDML Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D.), National Institutes of Health (with testimony from NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins), and U.S. Capitol police, and to receive stakeholder perspectives on FY2019 budget rail safety and infrastructureSenate Appropriations Subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 budget requests of the Missile Defense Agency (with testimony from Director Lt. Gen. Samuel A. Greaves), Department of Agriculture (with testimony from Secretary Sonny Perdue and USDA Chief Economist Dr. Robert Johansson and Acting Budget Officer Diem-Linh Jones), Department of Transportation (with testimony from Secretary Elaine Chao), Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration (with testimony from Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Undersecretary for Nuclear Security Administrator Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, and Undersecretary for Science Paul Dabbar); House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the administration’s proposal for financing overseas development (with testimony from Overseas Private Investment Corporation President and CEO Ray Washburne) and subcommittee hearings on North Korea’s diplomatic gambit and an update on the Goldman Act; House Armed Services Committee hearing on the state of cyber operations today and subcommittee hearing to review the Department of Defense budget, strategy, policy, and programs for cyber operations and U.S. Cyber Command for FY2019 (with testimony from Assistant Defense Secretary Kenneth Rapuano and Michael Rogers, the commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency); House Natural Resources Committee markup of 5 bills and subcommittee legislative hearing on 4 national heritage and memorial billsHouse Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee roundtable policy discussion on saving taxpayer dollars and the federal real property database; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on local responses and resources to curtail the opioid epidemic; Senate HELP Committee hearing on the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee legislative hearing on the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies Act; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of Mark Bennett (to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit), Nancy Brasel (to be District Judge for the District of Minnesota), Robert Summerhays (to be District Judge for the Western District of Louisiana), Eric Tostrud (to be District Judge for the District of Minnesota), and Wendy Vitter (to be District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana); Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of Kirsten Madison (to be assistant secretary of State for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs) and Thomas Hushek (to be ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan); Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the nominations of Patrick Fuchs and Michelle Schultz to the Surface Transportation Board; Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on the nominations of Paul Lawrence (to be Veterans Affairs Undersecretary for Benefits) and Joseph Falvey, Jr. (to be a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims); Senate Finance Subcommittee hearing on market access challenges in China; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on prioritizing a culture of preparedness at FEMA, with testimony from Administrator Brock Long; Senate Budget Committee hearing on the CBO’s budget and economic outlook for FY2018-2028, with testimony from CBO Director Dr. Keith Hall; Senate Armed Services Subcommittee hearings on U.S. Special Operations Command’s efforts to transform the force for future security challengeshealth of the Department of Defense industrial base and its role in providing readiness to the warfighter, and U.S. nuclear weapons policy, programs, and strategyThe Hill’s Newsmaker Series event with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and Rep. Nanette Barragan (D-CA);

Thursday (April 12): Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nomination of Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the posture of the Department of the Army, with testimony from Army Secretary Mark Esper and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley; Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the FY2019 Labor Department budget request, with testimony from Secretary Alexander Acosta; Senate Finance Committee hearing on the 2018 tax filing season and future IRS challenges, with testimony from Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter; Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the status of preparation and response capabilities for the next hurricane season; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee hearing to review the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs; Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on fentanyl and the opioid crisis; House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the effects of tariff increases on the U.S. economy and jobs and subcommittee hearing to receive local perspectives on the jobs gap; House Budget Committee hearing on the Congressional Budget Office’s budget and economic outlook, with testimony from CBO Director Dr. Keith Hall; House Appropriations Subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 budgets of the Transportation Department (with testimony from Secretary Elaine Chao), National Guard and ReserveNational Aeronautics and Space Administration (with testimony from Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot), Government Publishing OfficeU.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (with testimony from CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and ICE Executive Associate Directors Matthew Albence and Derek Benner), Smithsonian Institution,architect of the Capitolenergy, installations and the environment, and investments in health workforce and rural communities (with testimony from Health Resources and Services Administration Associate Administrators Tom Morris and Luis Padilla); House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 budget request for the Transportation Security Administration and challenges facing the Department of Homeland Security’s consolidated headquarters projectHouse Armed Services Committee hearing on the FY2019 National Defense Authorization budget request from the Defense Department, with testimony from Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. and subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 budget request for combat aviation programs and the 355-ship Navy planHouse Intelligence Subcommittee closed hearing on the FY2019 budget; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on the FY2019 Energy Department budget; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearings on Federal Housing Finance Agency oversight and the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization ActHouse Administration Committee business meeting to consider the FDLP Modernization Act and Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act and hearing to examine the role of shared employees in the House; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on lessons learned and ways forward in global health supply chain management; House Natural Resources Subcommittee oversight hearings on the benefits of the Navajo generating station to local economies and FY2019 budget priorities for the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Power Marketing AdministrationsHouse Judiciary Subcommittee legislative hearing on the Permitting Litigation Efficiency Act and North Texas Water Supply Security Act; House Oversight and Government Reform joint subcommittee hearing on improper payments in state-administered Medicaid programs and subcommittee hearing on illegal immigrants and U.S. borders;

Friday (April 13): House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the FY2019 budget for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, with testimony from Administrator Brock Long; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on the FY2019 military personnel posture; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on challenges and opportunities for high octane fuels and high efficiency vehicles.

S-3 Public Affairs | April Look-Ahead

Senate is expected to consider: nominations including judges, and national security nominations (Secretary of State, Director of Central Intelligence); before the recess, the Majority Leader added to the Senate calendar (Rule 14) S.2629, Postal Service reform and S.5247, Right to Try.   

House is expected to consider: legislation regarding the Internal Revenue Service and related issues, and transportation issues.

CONTINUE READING

April 1: Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), chairman of the Appropriations Committee, will resign for health reasons, and will be succeeded by Cindy Hyde-Smith; Deadline for the EPA to determine average fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2022-2025

April 2: Larry Kudlow succeeds Gary Cohn as Director of the National Economic Council

April 4: Securities and Exchange Commission closed meeting

April 6: Labor Department releases monthly jobs report

April 9: John Bolton succeeds H.R. McMaster as National Security Advisor; Securities and Exchange Commission Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee meeting

April 11: Federal Reserve releases the minutes from the March 20-21 FOMC meeting; National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins is scheduled to testify before a House Appropriations Subcommittee budget oversight hearing; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing on the opioid crisis

April 12: Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the posture of the Department of the Army; Energy Secretary Rick Perry is scheduled to testify before a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy hearing; FCC Technological Advisory Council meeting

April 17: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) commissioners are scheduled to testify before a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy hearing; FCC monthly open commission meeting; Former FBI Director James Comey’s memoir, A Higher Loyalty, will be released

April 19: Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the posture of the Department of the Navy

April 24: Arizona 8th Congressional District special election; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the posture of the Department of the Air Force

April 26: Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Department of Defense budget posture; EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt scheduled to testify before a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment hearing

April 27: North and South Korea scheduled to hold a summit in the border village of Panmunjom

Agenda: 3/25/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

FACT OF THE WEEK

While NCAA upsets may have busted your bracket, it’s good news for some. Time reports, “By becoming the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1, the Retrievers made about $1.7 million for the America East Conference. Loyola-Chicago’s buzzer-beating run to the Sweet 16 will be worth double that to the Missouri Valley Conference. Nevada’s consecutive comebacks were also worth about $3.4 million for the Mountain West. The MVC and Mountain West will pocket at least as much from NCAA Tournament units as the Pac-12, which had three teams in the field, all bounced after one game each.

“Units are what the NCAA calls its revenue distributions from the basketball performance fund, which rewards teams for tournament performance. The NCAA Tournament generates more than $700 million in revenue for the association and its schools, the vast majority from its media rights deal with CBS and Turner.”

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IN THE MEDIA

Technology skills are not just something that are reported on – they’re also increasingly necessary within the newsroom. Columbia Journalism Review reports, “A new study from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism examines the career trajectories of New York City journalists to better understand how technical skills have developed in newsrooms since 2010. To do so, we collected the employment histories for 6,116 newsroom staffers and freelancers for newspaper, broadcast, and digital-first companies in the New York City metropolitan area. The 24,598 jobs worked by those individuals were manually aggregated from LinkedIn and verified using other sources, then coded for analysis.

“We find that data, analytic, and platform-based (DAP) jobs have grown substantially in newspaper and online media companies, now accounting for an estimated 9 percent of all jobs in those companies, while the share of traditional, non-DAP jobs decreased 8 percent in online media (9 percent in newspapers and 5 percent in broadcast). These skills have quickly become critical to the day-to-day functioning of newsrooms.”

IN THE ADMINISTRATION

Reuters reports, “U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that a comprehensive trade deal with South Korea was close to being done, and his Commerce Department chief said a deal could be formally announced next week.” Cleveland.com adds, “President Donald Trump will visit Richfield, Ohio on Thursday, March 29 to discuss his infrastructure initiatives, White House officials said Friday.”

ON THE HILL

The House and Senate are both out this week and next.

Agenda: 3/18/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

FACT OF THE WEEK

A recent Pew Research survey found, “26% of American adults now report that they go online “almost constantly,” up from 21% in 2015 …  Overall, 77% of Americans go online on a daily basis. … Among mobile internet users – the 83% of Americans who use the internet at least occasionally using a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device – 89% go online daily and 31% go online almost constantly. Among Americans who go online but not via a mobile device, by comparison, 54% go online daily and just 5% say they go online almost constantly.”

Not surprisingly, the numbers are higher for younger generations. “Younger adults are at the vanguard of the constantly connected: Roughly four-in-ten 18- to 29-year-olds (39%) now go online almost constantly and 49% go online multiple times per day. … Americans ages 30 to 49 are now about as likely as younger adults to use the internet almost constantly (36% versus 39%). The share of 30- to 49-year olds who say this has risen 12 percentage points since 2015.

CONTINUE READING

IN THE MEDIA

The newest way to reach a sophisticated audience: Branded Podcasts. FastCompany reports on a new trend in which companies, such as ZipRecruiter, are producing an entire podcast series that itself is the advertisement. The series, “amplify a brand’s story, and find an audience of like-minded folks delivered free to consumers.”

Why are companies making such a big investment? “Podcast advertising is on track to hit more than $220 million in 2017, up 85% from 2016. And now that Apple Podcasts is delivering analytics on listeners, advertisers can rest assured that listeners are paying attention. NPR says it’s found that 75% of listeners took action on a sponsored message.”

“Around 67 million people ages 12 and over listen to podcasts each month, according to findings that Edison Research published earlier this year. That’s 21% of Americans, or roughly the same number who use Twitter on a monthly basis. The audience tends to be affluent and educated, and really likes the shows that they click on—a whopping 85% of people who start a podcast listen to all or most of it.”

IN THE ADMINISTRATION

President Trump plans to travel to New Hampshire Monday. WMUR reports the president, “will hold an event at Manchester Community College and then stop at the Manchester Central Fire Station. Additional details have yet to be disclosed.” The president is expected to address the opioid epidemic.

“Next Thursday, three days after Trump’s visit, Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to make a political appearance at a fundraiser for Gov. Chris Sununu.”

ON THE HILL

Primary focus this week is on an omnibus government funding package; the current government funding bill expires Friday. Administration officials also head to the Hill this week to continue hearings on FY2019 budget requests.

Monday (March 19): Senate votes on the nomination of Kevin McAleenan to be commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and on cloture on motion to proceed to the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act; House Rules Committee meeting to consider the Alleviating Stress Test Burdens to Help Investors Act;

Tuesday (March 20): House Appropriations Subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 budget requests of the Departments of Commerce (with testimony from Secretary Wilbur Ross), Housing of Urban Development (with testimony from Secretary Ben Carson), Education (with testimony from Secretary Betsy DeVos), and National Nuclear Security AdministrationHouse Armed Services Committee hearing on the FY2019 budget request and acquisition reform progress, with testimony from Army Secretary Mark Esper, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, and subcommittee hearings on Navy readiness posture and options for submarine industrial base constructionSenate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the FY2019 budget request for the Energy Department, with testimony from Secretary Rick Perry; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on U.S. Strategic Command and subcommittee hearing on Marine Corps ground modernization in review of the FY2019 Defense Authorization request; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act; Senate Finance Committee hearing on the nominations of John Bartrum (to be assistant secretary of Health and Human Services for financial resources) and Lynn Johnson (to be assistant secretary of Health and Human Services for family support); Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee hearing on the nomination of John Ryder to the board of directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority; Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting to consider 7 resolutions, 5 treaties, and 7 nominations; Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing to examine NHTSA and automaker efforts to repair defective Takata airbag inflators; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s role in combating the opioid epidemic, with testimony from Acting DEA Administrator Robert Patterson, and the FY2019 Nuclear Regulatory Commission budgetHouse Natural Resources Subcommittee oversight hearing on the administration’s policy priorities of the FY2019 budget for Indian Affairs and Insular Areas and legislative hearing on two National Park Restoration Fund bills; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on the financial nexus of terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crime; House Judiciary Subcommittee hearings on law enforcement information sharing and preventable violence and the effectiveness of the transitional program for covered business method patentsHouse Small Business Subcommittee hearing on advancing apprenticeships for small business; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee legislative hearing on 4 bills and subcommittee legislative hearing on economic opportunity; House Oversight and Government Reform and Homeland Security Joint Subcommittee hearing to hear government perspectives on CDM security and modernization; House Education and Workforce Subcommittee hearing to examine the Labor Department’s proposed rule on association health plans; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing on the impacts of the 2017 wildfires in the United States; Business Roundtable and Farmers for Free Trade discussion on trade and American competitiveness with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and former Sen. Max Baucus (R-MT); Washington Post Live event on artificial intelligence, featuring Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Todd Young (R-IN);

Wednesday (March 21): House Ways and Means Committee hearing on U.S. trade policy agenda, with testimony from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and subcommittee hearing on implementation of MACRA’s physician payment policies; Senate Budget Committee hearing on the economic report of the President, with testimony from Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett; Senate Intelligence Committee open hearing on election security; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of Michael Scudder (to be Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit), Amy St. Eve (to be Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit), and Charles Williams (to be District Judge for the Northern District of Iowa); Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of Kirsten Madison (to be assistant secretary of State for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs) and Thomas Hushek (to be ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan) and subcommittee hearing on Lebanon’s stability and security challenges; Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on the FY2019 budget for veterans’ programs and FY2020 advance appropriations request; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee oversight hearing of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Senate Armed Services Subcommittee hearings on ballistic missile defense policies and programs and Navy shipbuilding programs in review of the FY2019 Defense Authorization request; House Appropriations Subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 budget requests of the Department of Agriculture (with testimony from Secretary Sonny Perdue), National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationOpen World Leadership Trust Fund, and Energy, Installations, and EnvironmentHouse Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the FY2019 foreign assistance budget, with testimony from USAID Administrator Mark Green and subcommittee hearings on U.S. responses to China’s foreign influence operations and implications of a U.S.-Saudi Arabia nuclear cooperation agreement for the Middle EastHouse Armed Services Subcommittee hearings to receive national security recommendations on state and non-state actor influence operations and on the FY2019 budget requests for ground force modernization and military personnel postureHouse Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on 25 bills to combat the opioid crisis; House Financial Services Committee markup of 8 bills; House Natural Resources Committee markup of 4 bills and subcommittee oversight hearing of the proposed FY2019 spending, priorities and missions of the Bureau of Reclamation and the Power Marketing Administrations; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee joint hearing on improper payments in state-administered Medicaid programs and hearing on bureaucratic challenges to hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico; House Science, Space & Technology Committee markup of the American Leadership in Space Technology and Advanced Rocketry Act, Commercial Space Support Vehicle Act, and Innovators to Entrepreneurs Act and subcommittee hearing on empowering U.S. veterans through technology; House Administration Committee hearing on the role of shared employees in the House; The Hill’s Newsmaker Series event with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Reps. Nanette Barragán (D-CA) and Joe Crowley (D-NY);

Thursday (March 22): Senate Finance Committee hearing on the President’s 2018 trade policy agenda, with testimony from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer; Senate Banking Committee oversight hearing of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, with testimony from Secretary Ben Carson; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on challenges in the Department of Energy’s atomic energy defense programs in review of the FY2019 Defense Authorization request, with testimony from Secretary Rick Perry; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to examine the 2018 Western Supply Outlook and three water infrastructure and drought resilience bills; Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing to examine enhancements to the Marine Mammal Protection Act; House Ways and Means Committee hearing on U.S. trade policy agenda, with testimony from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross; House Intelligence Committee business meeting to adopt the Committee’s investigative report into Russia’s active measures during the 2016 election; House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the FY2019 budget request of the Energy Department’s applied energy programs; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 budget request for nuclear forces and atomic energy defense activities and the Defense Department’s strategy, policy and programs for countering weapons of mass destruction in FY2019House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee legislative hearing on four communications bills; 

Friday (March 23): Stopgap government funding bill expires; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee field hearing on VA community care in North Carolina.

Agenda: 3/11/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

FACT OF THE WEEK

Mashable reports on how Slack employees use Slack themselves, and its incredible growth since its start: “Slack officially launched in 2014 as a side-project from Flickr cofounder Stewart Butterfield. When Fast Company spoke with Butterfield the next year, the service had 500,000 daily users. Now, it has more than 6 million daily users with at least 3 million more using it every week.”

Techcrunch adds a note about a new feature that seeks to help you stay organized in Slack. “Over two years after leaving Aol (now known as Oath) back in September 2015 to build a new startup, serial entrepreneur Ryan Block, with co-founder Brian LeRoux, is finally taking the wraps off the new venture:Begin, an intelligent app designed to help you keep track of things that you have to do, and when you should do them, as they come up in the stream of a messaging app. By extension, Begin is also solving one of the more persistent problems of messaging apps: losing track of things you need to remember in the wider thread of the conversation. Begin is launching today as an integration on Slack — which also happens to be one of its backers, by way of the Slack Fund.”

CONTINUE READING

THE MEDIA

With Opening Day approach (March 29 – Nats home opener April 5), Bloomberg reports, “Facebook Inc. reached a deal with Major League Baseball for exclusive rights to stream 25 afternoon games on the social network in the U.S. It’s the first time a major U.S. league has agreed to show regular season games exclusively on Facebook, which has been building a portfolio of live sports. MLB owners unanimously approved the move, the league said. Neither MLB nor Facebook disclosed the financial terms, though people with knowledge of the matter put the price at $30 million to $35 million.”

IN THE ADMINISTRATION

The Hill reports, “President Trump will visit California next week to inspect border wall prototypes along the U.S. border with Mexico, the White House said Wednesday. While there, Trump is expected to travel to San Diego to view the eight prototypes for the president’s long-promised border wall.

ON THE HILL

Budget negotiations continue both for current year funding as well as looking ahead to 2019 appropriations, with several cabinet officials testifying this week. Additionally, the Senate will continue consideration of legislation that will roll back some Dodd-Frank provisions. The House will consider legislation aimed at improving school safety as well as a number of financial services bills. Also Tuesday, the special election in Pennsylvania to fill former Rep. Tim Murphy’s seat.

Monday (March 12): Senate cloture vote on the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act; House Oversight and Subcommittee field hearing on the impact of the 2017 hurricane on the U.S. Virgin Islands, to be held in St. Thomas; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee field hearing on maximizing resources in Puerto Rico, to be held in San Juan; National League of Cities 2018 Congressional City Conference (through March 14)Federal Managers Association’s 80th National Convention (through March 14);

Tuesday (March 13): Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the FY2019 budget request for the Interior Department, with testimony from Secretary Ryan Zinke; Senate Armed Services Committeehearing on U.S. Central Command and Africa Command and subcommittee hearing on the cyber posture of the Services in review of the FY2019 defense authorization request; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Freedom of Information Act, including the administration’s progress on reforms; Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearings on investing in next generation broadband and state and local transportation needs; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on state fragility, growth, and development, with testimony from Commission on State Fragility, Growth and Development Chairman David Cameron; House Rules Committee meeting to consider the TAILOR Act, Regulation At Improvement Act, and Financial Institutions Examination Fairness and Reform Act; American Enterprise Institute eventon the opioid crisis with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT);

Wednesday (March 14): House Appropriations Subcommittee FY2019 budget hearings on the Air Force (with testimony from Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation (with testimony from a panel including Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman); House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing to review the FY2019 budget request for the Coast Guard and maritime transportation programs; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearings on space warfighting readinessthe Air Force’s FY2019 budget request for sea power and projection forces, and the FY2019 budget request for the Defense Department’s science and technology programs; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on the FY2019 budget request for the Transportation Security Administration; Senate Commerce Committee hearing on administration perspectives for rebuilding infrastructure, with testimony from Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the nominations of Theodore Garrish (to be assistant secretary of Energy for international affairs) and James Capos (to be director of the Energy Department’s Office of Minority Economic Impact); Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on legislative proposals to improve school safety and oversight of the Parkland shooting; Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing on the nominations of David Tryon (to be chief counsel of the Small Business Administrator) and Hannibal Ware (to be SBA’s inspector general); Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the Agriculture Creates Rural Employment (ACRE) Act; Senate Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on the Department of Energy atomic energy defense activities and programs; Senate Veterans’ Affairs and House Veterans’ Affairs Committee joint legislative presentation of multiple veterans service organizationsSenate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearings on Somalia’s current security and stability status and food securityHouse Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on protecting cutting-edge technology and national security through modernizing export controls; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing to examine recently expired tax provisions;House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the federal regulatory process and subcommittee hearing on the state of play for federal IT in 2018; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing to examine cryptocurrencies and ICO markets; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on legislation addressing cybersecurity and emergency response in Energy Department modernization and reauthorization of animal drug user fees ADUFA and AGDUFA; House Budget Committee oversight hearing of the Congressional Budget Office with testimony from former CBO Directors Alice Rivlin and Doug Holtz-Eakin, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget President Maya MacGuineas, and Bipartisan Policy Center senior advisor Sandy Davis; House Rules Committee meetingto consider the Financial Stability Oversight Council Improvement Act and Stress Test Improvement Act; House Natural Resources Committee markupof 6 bills; American Council on Renewable Energy’s Policy Forumwith keynote speeches from Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI); Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Energy Summit; Cato Institute event on the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, with House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA);Center for American Progress event on the future of Asia, with keynote remarks from Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX);

Thursday (March 15): Congress hosts the annual Friends of Ireland luncheonhosted by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) with President Donald Trump and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar scheduled to participate; House Appropriations Subcommittee FY2019 budget hearings for the Department of Health and Human Services (with testimony from HHS Secretary Alex Azar), Department of Transportation (with testimony from Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao), Department of Energy (with testimony from Energy Secretary Rick Perry), Department of Veterans Affairs (with testimony from VA Secretary David Shulkin), Army (with testimony from Army Secretary Mark Esper and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley), and the Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Inspector GeneralHouse Natural Resources Committee oversight hearing of the Interior Department’s policy priorities and FY2019 budget proposal, with testimony from Secretary Ryan Zinke, and subcommittee oversight hearing on abandoned hardrock mines and the role of non-governmental entities; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearings on the VA’s FY2019 budget requests for the Veterans Health Administration and Veterans Benefit Administration and Board of Veterans’ AppealsSenate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the State Department’s FY2019 budget request and redesign plans, with testimony from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on U.S. Pacific Command in review of the FY2019 defense authorization request; Senate HELP Committee hearing on the 340B drug discount program; House Homeland Security Committee hearing on preparedness, response, and rebuilding lessons from last year’s natural disasters and subcommittee hearingon U.S. Customs and Border Protection; House Armed Services Committee hearing on security challenges in Europe and posture for interstate competition with Russia and subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 budget requests for the Air Force’s airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance programsand national security space programs; House Science, Space & Technology Committee hearing on the FY2019 budget request for the National Science Foundation; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearings on the administration’s perspective of CFIUS and the monetization and illicit use of stolen data; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing on water resources projects and policy; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on the federal permitting process; House Foreign Affairs Committee markup of 2 bills and 2 resolutions; Heritage Foundation event on countering authoritarianism and advancing U.S. interests in Latin America, featuring keynote remarks from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); National Press Club Headliners luncheon with Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ); The Atlantic Council events on strategic oil product stockholding, with remarks from Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), and the U.S.-Georgia partnership, featuring keynote remarks from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Republic of Georgia President Giorgi Margvelashvili; 

Friday (March 16): House Financial Services Subcommittee oversight hearing of the SEC’s enforcement division; House Judiciary Subcommittee oversight hearing of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Agenda: 3/4/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

The natural food industry continues to grow, even attracting the attention of venture capitalists. The Wall Street Journal reports on the upcoming Natural Products Expo West, “the niche food sector’s version of the Consumer Electronics Show. … Sales of food made with less-processed ingredients have risen 15% since 2014, more than double the rate of conventional foods, according to Nielsen data. … Investors have also flocked to the event as venture capitalists and an increasing number of big banks look to food startups to try to drive returns. Venture-capital investors closed on more than $1.1 billion worth of food-product deals last year, more than five times the amount in 2012, according to an analysis by PitchBook Data Inc.” 

BONUS FACT: United Launch Alliance this week had its 126th successful launch.

CONTINUE READING

IN THE MEDIA

Digital Trends reports on a new report from Pew Research that finds, “Facebook and YouTube remain the leaders in terms of social media consumption. Pew reports that 68 percent of all Americans use Facebook, and three-quarters of those users access the site on a daily basis. Among those under the age of 65, Facebook appears to be a fairly universal platform, with a wide range of demographics represented on the site.

“While not a traditional social media site, YouTube does compete with similar sites for user screen time and advertiser dollars. We don’t know the details of YouTube’s financials, but Pew reports that it is doing a good job of capturing user attention. Roughly 74 percent of adults use YouTube (did that redesign help or hurt?), but that number gets even more impressive when looking at the 18-24 demographic. Among younger users, 94 percent of them say they visit YouTube on their computers or smartphones.”

IN THE ADMINISTRATION

President Trump is expected to sign new tariffs on steel and aluminum next week after he announced the move this past Thursday. The president is also reportedly meeting with video game makers this week in the wake of the Florida school shooting.

ON THE HILL

Negotiations continue toward a government funding bill this week, ahead of the March 23 deadline. Also this week the Senate will vote on a financial services bill – rolling back parts of Dodd-Frank. Reuters reports that the bill has strong bipartisan backing in the Senate and that the bill’s main sponsor, Senator Crapo is looking for policies to add to help accelerate passage in the House. Meanwhile, the House this week is expected to consider two bills aimed at easing EPA rules on air pollution.

Monday (March 5): Senate vote on the confirmation of three district court nominees; House Rules Committee meeting to consider the Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment Act and Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns Act; International Association of Fire Fighters legislative conference (through March 6); America Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference (through March 6);

Tuesday (March 6): Texas primaries; House Appropriations Subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 Treasury and Labor Department budgets, with testimony from Treasury and Labor Secretaries Steven Mnuchin and Alex Acosta; House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing to examine the administration’s infrastructure proposal, with testimony from Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on worldwide threats, with testimony from Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley Jr., and subcommittee hearing on Navy and Marine Corps aviation programsSenate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the nomination of James Reilly to be director of the U.S. Geological Survey; Senate Finance Committee hearing on protecting e-commerce consumers from counterfeits; Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committee joint legislative presentation of multiple veterans service organizations; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearings on the Navy’s FY2019 budget request for seapower and projection forcesnational security challenges and U.S. military activities in Africa, and Marine Corps readiness posture; House Financial Services Committee markup of FY2019 budget views and estimates; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee oversight hearing of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, with testimony from Assistant Commerce Secretary for Communications and Information David Redl; House Small Business Subcommittee hearing on rural broadband and the business case for small carriers; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing examining the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and roundtable discussion with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat; House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing to examine class action lawsuits against intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities; House Natural Resources Subcommittee oversight hearing on solutions to reduce the Interior Department’s maintenance backlog; House Science, Space & Technology Subcommittee hearing on the future of U.S. fusion energy research; House Education and Workforce Subcommittee hearing on strengthening welfare to work with child care; Roll Call Live/CQ News event on healthcare, with speakers including Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Sandy Levin (D-MI);

Wednesday (March 7): Joint Economic Committee hearing to receive the Economic Report of the President, with testimony from Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett; House Appropriations Subcommittee hearings on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s FY2019 budget, with testimony from Chairman Chris Giancarlo, and the Navy and Marine Corps’ FY2019 budget, with testimony from Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller, and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson; House Science, Space & Technology Subcommittee hearing on the NASA budget for FY2019, with testimony from Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot; Senate Budget Committee hearing on the Defense Department’s audit and business operations reform at the Pentagon; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of John Nalbandian (to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit), Kari Dooley (to be District Judge for the District of Connecticut), Dominic Lanza (to be District Judge for the District of Arizona), Jill Otake (to be District Judge for the District of Hawaii), and Joseph Hunt (to be Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Division), and subcommittee hearing on small business bankruptcy; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nomination of Joseph Macmanus to be ambassador to Colombia; Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committee joint legislative presentation of Veterans of Foreign Wars; Senate HELP Committee executive session to vote on various nominations; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee business meeting to consider the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act and nomination of Michael Atkinson to be inspector general of the intelligence community; Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on “stopping senior scams”; House Homeland Security Committee markup of 11 bills and subcommittee hearing on DHS’ efforts to strengthen its cybersecurity workforce following a recent GAO report; House Armed Services Committee hearing to assess military service acquisition reform and subcommittee hearings on U.S. strategic forces posture and the FY2019 budget request and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II programHouse Budget Committee hearing on CBO oversight with testimony from Members of the House; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee oversight and legislative hearing on two bills and two draft bills; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearings to review the State Insurance Regulation Preservation Act and two legislative proposals to reform the current data security and breach notification regulatory regimeHouse Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on emerging tech’s impact on retail operations and logistics and the future of transportation fuels and vehiclesHouse Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearings on long-term funding for highways and transit programs and implementation of Coast Guard programsHouse Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on challenges facing the Social Security Administration after over 5 years of acting commissioners; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on artificial intelligence and the federal government; House Natural Resources Committee markup of the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act, Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act Reauthorization and a bill to extend retained use estate in in the Virgin Islands; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on China’s role in Africa; House Administration Committee hearing on management of the Government Publishing Office; America’s Health Insurance Plans National Health Policy Conference (through March 8); Ripon Society event on “The New NAFTA” with Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX); The Latino Coalition legislative summit;

Thursday (March 8): Senate HELP Committee hearing on state leadership and innovation in the opioid crisis; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on U.S. European Command; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearings on Mobility and Transportation Command posture and Arlington National CemeteryHouse Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on U.S. public health preparedness for and response efforts to seasonal influenza; Democratic National Committee winter meeting (through March 10).

S-3 Public Affairs | March Look-Ahead

The Bipartisan Budget Act Congress passed last month provides funding through March 23. 

Senate is expected to consider: nominations; funding the federal government, gun control legislation, S.2155, the bipartisan Dodd/Frank reform legislation, and S.1693, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act. Also on the agenda is FAA extension/reauthorization and flood insurance.

House is expected to consider: funding the federal government; FAA extension/authorization.

CONTINUE READING

February 28-March 1: Rev. Billy Graham to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda
March 1: Federal Reserve Chairman Powell testifies before the Senate Banking Committee; Securities and Exchange Commission closed meeting; U.S. Chamber of Commerce 2018 Aviation Summit
March 4-6: America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington, DC
March 6: Texas primaries; House Appropriations Committee hearings on the FY19 budget for the Departments of Labor and Treasury; seventh round of NAFTA renegotiations in Mexico City conclude; Roll Call Live/CQ News event on healthcare.
March 7: House Appropriations Committee hearings on the FY19 budget for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Navy and Marine Corps; Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett testifies before the Joint Economic Committee
March 7-8: America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) National Health Policy Conference in Washington, DC
March 8: SEC Investor Advisory Committee quarterly meeting
March 9: Bureau of Labor Statistics releases monthly jobs report
March 9-18: South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference & Festivals in Austin, TX
March 13: Pennsylvania 18th Congressional District special election
March 14: House Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee hearing to evaluate recently expired tax provisions; Federal Innovation Summit in Washington, DC
March 18: Russian presidential election
March 20-21: Federal Open Market Committee meeting
March 20: Illinois primaries
March 22: Federal Communications Commission’s monthly open meeting
March 23: Government funding expires
March 26-April 6: House and Senate in recess

Agenda: 2/25/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

Axios’ Steve LeVine reports on a mobile payment platform that has seen incredible growth in the United States in recent years. “Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce rival to Amazon, is making its first big push into the American market with a substantial play by its affiliate, Alipay. It’s built around China’s two-week lunar new year celebration, which has brought thousands of Chinese tourists to the United States, most of whom prefer to spend at retailers that accept a mobile wallet. At home, some 520 million Chinese retail shoppers use Alipay. But last year they also took 135 million journeys abroad, including to Europe and the U.S. Given their payment preferences, shopping has been a stumbling block. But now, Alipay has payment agreements with some 170,000 North America retail locations, reports Fung Global Retail Tech’s Deborah Weinswig.”

CONTINUE READING

IN THE MEDIA

The Wall Street Journal reports on how media outlets are transferring data intelligence to the business side of their operations. “Publishers are increasingly building data science tools to boost web traffic and lure subscribers. Now, the New York Times is giving those tools to marketers to help drum up new business. The newspaper announced on Thursday the launch of a new team focused on adapting tools from groups specializing in data science, product and design, technology, and advertising. … The Times has already invested in tools to help understand its subscribers and their needs, which can be deployed for marketers. The new team will be able to work with T Brand Studio to help bring in more advertising clients and build more tailored branded content offerings. Other publishers have turned their capacities for data crunching into a business opportunity. In June, Bloomberg hired Havas Creative Group Chief Executive Andrew Benett, who has been using the company’s audience data in consultation with brands. The Washington Post adapted ‘Post Pulse,’ a tool for tracking the company’s trending stories, for clients including Sprint, BMW and Chevy.”

IN THE ADMINISTRATION

President Trump is expected to hold a meeting Tuesday to discuss biofuels policy, with participants including Senators Ted Cruz, Chuck Grassley, and Joni Ernst, as well as EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, and others. Reuters reports“The meeting comes as the oil industry and corn lobby – powerful forces in Washington – clash over the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a decade-old regulation that requires refiners to cover the cost of mixing biofuels such as corn-based ethanol into their fuel. Trump’s engagement reflects the high political stakes of protecting jobs in a key electoral state. Oil refiner Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), which employs more than a thousand people in Philadelphia, declared bankruptcy last month and blamed the regulation for its demise.”

ON THE HILL

Both the House and Senate return this week as negotiations on an omnibus spending package and an immigration bill continue. The House will vote on a financial services bill as well as a sex trafficking bill. The Senate on Monday will have a cloture vote on the nominations of Elizabeth Branch (to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit), Russell Vought (to be deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget), and four district court nominees.

NOTE: The House and Senate are in session this week but the House has canceled votes on Wednesday and Thursday for the late Rev. Billy Graham to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda.

Monday (February 26): House Rules Committee meeting to consider the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, the Comprehensive Regulatory Review Act, and a measure to place requirements on operational risk capital requirements for banking organizations; House Intelligence Committee business meeting on the adoption of the Committee’s FY2019 budget views and estimates letter; House Small Business Committee field hearing on closing the skills gap in workforce development;

Tuesday (February 27): House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the FY2019 foreign affairs budget, with testimony from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and subcommittee hearing on women’s role in countering terrorism; House Financial Services Committee hearing on monetary policy and the state of the economy, with testimony from Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to receive testimony on U.S. Cyber Command from National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael S. Rogers in review of the defense authorization request for FY2019; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of Kevin Moley (to be assistant secretary of State for international organization affairs) and Josephine Olsen (to be director of the Peace Corps); Senate HELP Committee hearing on the role of technology and data in preventing and treating opioid addiction; Senate Veterans Affairs’ Committee hearing on legislative presentation of disabled American veterans; House Ways and Means Committee markup of the Committee’s FY2019 budget views and estimates; House Agriculture Committee markup of the Committee’s FY2019 budget views and estimates; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on federalism implications of treating states as stakeholders, with testimony from Utah Governor Gary Herbert, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, and Idaho Governor Butch Otter; House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing on the state of aviation safety, with testimony from representatives of the FAA, NASA, NTSB, Department of Transportation, and the Airline Pilots Association; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on the state of the nation’s energy infrastructure; House Budget Committee oversight hearing of the Congressional Budget Office and the role of behavioral modeling in scoring and baseline construction; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on terrorism and Iran and defense challenges in the Middle East;House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearings on TSA’s outreach and traveler engagement efforts and industry recommendations to improve DHS contractor employee vettingHouse Natural Resources Subcommittee hearings on two coastal barrier bills and liquefied natural gas and U.S. geopolitics; House Small Business Subcommittee hearings on how excessive licensing hurts small business and a GAO report on how red tape affects community banks and credit unionsHouse Judiciary Subcommittee hearings on competition in the pharmaceutical supply chain and the proposed merger of CVS Health and Aetna and implementation of the Survivors’ Bill of Rights ActHouse Science, Space & Technology Subcommittee hearing on sexual harassment and misconduct in science; House Education and Workforce Subcommittee hearing on a more effective and collaborative OSHA;

Wednesday (February 28): Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to review FY2019 State Department budget request and redesign plans, with testimony from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; Senate Commerce Committee executive session to consider the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act and four nominees to the Federal Trade Commission and hearing on implementation of positive train control; Senate HELP Committee executive session to consider the Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Amendments, Childhood Cancer STAR Act, State Offices of Rural Health Reauthorization Act, and the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee business meeting to consider the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act and nomination of Michael Atkinson to be inspector general of the intelligence community; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee oversight hearing of the FBI headquarters consolidation project; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing on 5 bills; Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on legislative presentation of the American Legion; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings to receive an update on the restoration of Puerto Rico’s electric infrastructure and review legislative proposals to combat the opioid crisis and help communities balance enforcement and patient safety; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on Zimbabwe after Mugabe; House Natural Resources Subcommittee legislative hearing on four special resource study bills;

Thursday (March 1): Senate Banking Committee hearing on the semiannual monetary policy report to Congress, with testimony from Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of Robert Pence (to be ambassador to Finland) and Dr. Judy Shelton (to be executive director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development); Senate HELP Committee hearing on the nomination of John Ring to be a member of the National Labor Relations Board; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the administration’s framework for rebuilding infrastructure; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on cybersecurity in our nation’s critical energy infrastructure; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee hearing examining federal managers’ role in hiring.

 

S-3 PUBLIC AFFAIRS: A Winning Approach

Agenda: 2/18/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

FACT OF THE WEEK

The AP reports on how Olympic athletes are using social media to build their own brands prior to the games, winning endorsements before winning medals. The Olympic stage, however, has also dramatically boosted these athletes’ profiles. “Before breakout star Chloe Kim won gold in the snowboarding halfpipe event, her infectious personality and heartwarming origin story had already won her sponsorships from Toyota, Samsung, Visa and others. Of course, winning a gold medal amplifies an athlete’s reach. When Kim started the Olympics, she had 15,000 Twitter followers. She now has more than 285,000. She charmed thousands with tweets about eating ice cream and churros and being ‘hangry’ because she didn’t finish breakfast before her race. … While social media was around during prior Olympics, they have a much bigger presence this time around, with everything from Instagram “Stories” to auto-play videos on Twitter parlaying brand messages. The speed in which athletes break out to become stars happens more quickly now.”

CONTINUE READING

IN THE MEDIA

Spending the long weekend binge watching the Olympics? Chances are you are watching on broadcast TV.  Morning Consult’s Anna Gronewold writes, “For the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, NBC is making a big push with digital broadcasting, livestreaming 1,800 hours of coverage — what the network called a record for a Winter Olympics. But more than three-quarters of likely U.S. viewers say they plan to watch the games through traditional television broadcasts.”

Recode adds a note about the ongoing competition for the streaming rights for NFL Thursday Night Football. “Twitter, Amazon, YouTube and Verizon are the remaining bidders, according to multiple sources. Twitter paid $10 million for these digital streaming rights from the NFL in 2016; Amazon won them in 2017 for $50 million, with the latest renewal going for much more. Verizon is an existing NFL partner and already owns some mobile streaming rights for Thursday. YouTube is the only company without a prior streaming relationship with the league, though CEO Susan Wojcicki said just this week that she would ‘love to stream the NFL.’”

IN THE ADMINISTRATION

President Trump will travel to the Pittsburgh area on Wednesday, February 21, for a campaign rally. The Washington Examiner reports that this will “[mark] the 20th campaign rally Trump has held in Pennsylvania since 2015. ‘This rally will provide an excellent opportunity for the President to connect once again with hard working Americans in the local community,’ Michael Glassner, executive director of Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., said in a statement. ‘President Trump looks forward to an exciting visit to the Pittsburgh area to deliver the amazing news about our booming economy now that America is once again open for business.’”

ON THE HILL

The House and Senate are both out this week. The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) takes place Wednesday through Friday (February 21-24) at the Gaylord just outside D.C. with speakers including President Trump (Friday) and Vice President Pence. The National Governors Association Winter Meeting begins Friday through next Sunday (February 23-26) in D.C.

Agenda: 2/11/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

FACT OF THE WEEK:

Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods last year raised attention for the growing food delivery industry. Just this week Amazon announced free two hour Whole Foods delivery in a handful of markets (DC is not one yet, sorry). CNBC reports, “According to projections, 70 percent of shoppers will be buying some portion of their groceries online within five to seven years. That could equate to $100 billion in total spending. … The shift is already evident: 49 percent of all shoppers bought a packaged good online within the last three months. That includes 61 percent of millennials and 44 percent of baby boomers. It also includes 54 percent of affluent households and 40 percent of low-income households.”

This trend is making an impact not just on grocery stores but also on the restaurant industry. Bloomberg reports, “Yum! Brands Inc., the corporate parent of Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell, said Thursday it would buy a $200 million stake in GrubHub Inc., which will help deliver food from thousands of KFC and Taco Bell restaurants across the U.S., giving those chains a big lift in a growing market. … Yum is essentially acknowledging that, to build an audience for KFC and Taco Bell delivery, it needs access to GrubHub’s fast-growing customer base, which included 14.5 million active diners in the latest fiscal year.”

The New Yorker talked to several restaurants about the negative impact this is having on their businesses. “In 2016, delivery transactions made up about seven per cent of total U.S. restaurant sales. In a research report published last June, analysts at Morgan Stanley predicted that that number could eventually reach forty per cent of all restaurant sales, and an even higher percentage in urban areas and among casual restaurants, where delivery is concentrated.”

CONTINUE READING

IN THE MEDIA:

Recode reports on Snapchat’s latest effort to attract new advertisers: “Snap wants to attract new advertisers — specifically, it wants to attract advertisers who are spending money with its biggest competitor, Instagram. To lure them over, Snap is reaching out to those advertisers that are buying vertical video ads on Instagram and other competitors, and offering them free advertising credits to give Snapchat a try. … The program is technically open to advertisers who bought vertical video ads anywhere else online, but Instagram is the most likely place Snap will find new targets.”

IN THE ADMINISTRATION:

The White House is expected to release its FY2019 budget and infrastructure proposal both on Monday. OMB Director Mick Mulvaney will head to Capitol Hill for several budget hearings this week, beginning with the Senate Budget Committee on Tuesday and House Budget Committee on Wednesday. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin will testify at the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday and at the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday.

ON THE HILL:

It’s a busy week on Capitol Hill with several hearings on the White House Budget request. The Senate is also expected to begin debate on immigration on Monday evening. The House is expected to consider two financial services bills.

Monday (February 12): Senate Foreign Relations Committee closed hearing on the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, with testimony from Assistant Secretaries of State A. Wess Mitchell and Christopher Ford;

Tuesday (February 13): Senate Budget Committee hearing on the President’s FY2019 budget proposal, with testimony from Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney; Senate Intelligence Committee open hearing on worldwide threats; Senate HELP Committee hearing on reauthorization of FDA animal drug user fees; Senate Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on the Defense Department’s role in protecting democratic elections; House Rules Committee meeting on the TRID Improvement Act, Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act, and ADA Education and Reform Act;

Wednesday (February 14): Senate Finance Committee hearings on the President’s FY2019 budget with testimony from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in the morning and from Acting IRS Commissioner and Assistant Treasury Secretary for Tax Policy David Kautter in the afternoonSenate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of Joel Carson (to be a Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit), Colm Connolly (for a District of Delaware judgeship), William Jung (for a Middle District of Florida judgeship), Maryellen Noreika (for a District of Delaware judgeship), and Ryan Holte (for a Court of Federal Claims judgeship); Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the President’s four nominees to the Federal Trade Commission; Senate Small Business Committee hearing on the nominations of David Tryon to be chief counsel for advocacy of the Small Business Administration and Hannibal Ware to be its inspector general; Senate Armed Services Subcommittee hearings on the current readiness of U.S. forces and military and civilian personnel program and military family readiness; Senate HELP Committee hearing on the nomination of John Ring to be a member of the National Labor Relations Board; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs business meeting to consider the nominees for director and deputy director of the Office of Personnel Management, 9 bills, and 22 postal naming bills; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee legislative hearing on 19 National Parks bills; House Budget Committee hearing on the President’s FY2019 budget with testimony from Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney; House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the Department of Health and Human Services’ FY2019 budget request; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee oversight hearing of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with testimony from Deputy Administrator Heidi King and subcommittee hearings on the impact of healthcare consolidation and new source review permitting challenges for manufacturing and infrastructureHouse Financial Services Subcommittee hearings on the current data security and breach notification regulatory regime and 11 legislative proposals regarding derivativesHouse Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee joint hearing on emerging applications for blockchain technology; House Armed Services Committee hearing on the military and security challenges and posture in the Indo-Pacific region and subcommittee hearing on Air Force readiness posture; House Foreign Services Committee hearing on modernizing food aid and subcommittee hearings on Israel, the Palestinians, and the Administration’s peace plan and advancing U.S. interests through the Organization of American StatesHouse Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on artificial intelligence; House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee hearing on the government’s management of Native American schools; House Natural Resources Committee markup on 3 national monument and redesignation bills and subcommittee oversight hearing on the state of the nation’s water and power infrastructure; Bipartisan Policy Center event on budgeting for biodefense, featuring Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC);

Thursday (February 15): Senate Finance Committee hearing on the President’s FY2019 budget, with testimony from Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of Andrea Thompson (to be Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security), Francis Fannon (to be Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources), and Susan Thornton (to be Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs); Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee hearing on the state of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, with testimony from Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo; Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting to vote on the nominations of 4 judicial nominees and Adam Klein to be chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and on the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Defense Authorization request for U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Southern Command; House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the President’s FY2019 budget proposal, with testimony from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee oversight hearing of the Department of Health and Human Services; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearings on de-risking and its effect on access to financial services and the financial nexus of terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crimeHouse Homeland Security Subcommittee hearings on industry views of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program and TSA’s outreach and traveler engagement effortsHouse Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on the General Services Administration; House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on the effect of sanctuary city policies on the ability to combat the opioid epidemic; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearings on strategic competition with China and the FY2019 budget request for U.S. Special Operations Forces and CommandHouse Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee oversight hearing of positive train control implementation in the U.S.; House Natural Resources Committee legislative hearings on the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act and 5 bills and subcommittee oversight hearing on the costs of denying border patrol access; House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee hearing on mentoring, training, and apprenticeships for STEM education and careers; House Small Business Subcommittee hearing on how agritech is revitalizing the Heartland; House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee joint hearing on the implications of the opioid epidemic for America’s workplaces; The Ripon Society event on the goals of the Main Street Caucus, featuring Chairman Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Co-Chairs Jeff Denham (R-CA) and Fred Upton (R-MI); American Enterprise Institute event on securing the internet of things, with Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA); 

Friday (February 16): Senate Finance Subcommittee hearing on trade enforcement and infrastructure; House Energy and Oversight Subcommittee oversight hearing of the Federal Communications Commission; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on the administration’s perspective on CFIUS.

 

Agenda: 2/4/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

Still confused as to what bitcoin actually is? Square, the payment processing company, this week made an illustrated, digital story to explain it. The Verge writes, “The illustrations depict bitcoins as shiny letter Bs that can be chopped up into valuable fractions, kind of like a huge diamond. They’re made with “very complex math,” as explained by an illustration where computers with arms patch up a letter B while smiling. It goes on to cover exchanges, the blockchain, and even hints at the currency’s infamous volatility. The illustrated guide to Bitcoin is surprisingly clear, if looking at Dr. Seuss-esque cartoons that bear no semblance to reality can make an increasingly complex subject more comprehensible. To be fair, none of the text in the guide is wrong (depending on how you feel about the gold standard), and it does come with a disclaimer at the bottom to ‘please make wise financial decisions.’”

Expect bitcoin to be a topic of discussion next week when SEC Chairman Jay Clayton heads to the Hill Tuesday for a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

CONTINUE READING

IN THE MEDIA:

If you, your friend, or your kid has ever studied abroad, you’ve likely used WhatsApp. Recode this week reports, “Facebook and WhatsApp boasted record usership — 2.13 billion and 1.5 billion monthly active users, respectively — according to Facebook’s fourth-quarter earnings yesterday. That’s despite a small decline in the number of users in the U.S. and Canada. WhatsApp is now bigger than Messenger, its rival/sibling messaging app. It’s also far bigger than Instagram. Facebook’s namesake app, of course, remains, on top.” TechCrunch adds a note about WhatsApp’s growth noting the 1.5 billion monthly active users is, “compared to 1.3 billion monthly users and 1 billion daily active users in July. The massive growth makes Facebook’s choice to pay more than $19 billion to acquire WhatsApp look prescient.

BONUS MEDIA: The AP reports, “It’ll be much easier to watch the Super Bowl online for free this year. NBC won’t require proof of a cable or satellite TV subscription, meaning that anyone in the U.S. can watch the game online. Plus, you’ll be able to watch the game on a phone even if you aren’t a Verizon customer, as was a requirement before.”

IN THE ADMINISTRATION

President Trump heads to Cincinnati Monday where he will discuss the benefits of tax reform. The president is speaking at a factory that gave each of its employees $1,000 bonuses thanks to the tax bill. Vice President Pence this week heads to Japan ahead of his planned attendance at the Olympics in South Korea. More on his trip in Axios AM here

ON THE HILL

The Senate is in session this week and the House is scheduled to be in session through Wednesday; House Democrats are scheduled to attend a retreat in Maryland from Wednesday to Friday. The current government funding bill runs out on Thursday.

Monday (February 5): Senate vote on the confirmation of Andrei Iancu to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; House Rules Committee hearing on the Small Bank Holding Company Relief Act, the Mortgage Choice Act, and the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act; House Administration Committee markup of Congressional Accountability Act reform measures;

Tuesday (February 6): Senate Banking Committee hearing on the oversight role of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission in virtual currencies, with testimony from SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and CFTC Chairman J. Christopher GiancarloSenate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the administration’s South Asia strategy in Afghanistan, with testimony from Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and Assistant Defense Secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver; Senate HELP Committee hearing on the “gig economy” and the future of retirement savings; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on beneficial ownership and fighting international financial networks through transparency; Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing on lessons learned about data security and bug bounty programs from the Uber breach; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee hearing on spending uncertainty and cost to taxpayers caused by continuing resolutions, omnibus spending bills, and shutdown crises; House Financial Services Committee hearing on the annual report of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, with testimony from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; House Armed Services Committee hearing on national defense strategy and the nuclear posture review, with testimony from Defense Secretary James Mattis and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Paul J. Selva and subcommittee hearing on physiological episodes in fighter, attack, and training aircraft; House Agriculture Committee hearing on the state of the rural economy; House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on U.S. cyber diplomacy in an era of growing threats and subcommittee hearings on Syria and U.S.-Pakistan relationsHouse Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on the VA caregiver support program; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee business meetingHouse Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on removing barriers to prevent and treat opioid abuse and dependence in Medicare; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on Department of Energy modernization; House Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing on 3 national monument bills; House Education and Workforce Subcommittee hearing to review the policies and priorities of the Mine Safety and Health Administration; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on ensuring effective and reliable alerts and warnings;

Wednesday (February 7): Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the impact of federal environmental regulations and policies on American farming and ranching communities; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing to receive testimony on 15 bills; Senate Foreign Relations Committee closed hearing on Turkey; Senate Armed Services Subcommittee hearings on the Defense Department’s role in countering weapons of mass destruction and Army modernizationSenate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee roundtable on Department of Homeland Security reauthorization, with testimony from Deputy Secretary Elaine Duke, Under Secretary for Management Claire Grady, Acting DHS Inspector General John Kelly, and Government Accountability Office Comptroller General Eugene Dodaro; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on ensuring Social Security serves America’s veterans; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on prevention and accountability of senior leader misconduct;

Thursday (February 8): Stopgap government funding bill expires; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on energy infrastructure; Senate HELP Committee hearing on the impact of the opioid crisis on children and families.

S-3 Public Affairs | February Look-Ahead

The continuing resolution Congress passed last month runs through February 8.

Senate is expected to consider: nominations; a CR to fund the federal government through early March, immigration legislation, and long-term spending caps. Other items include S.2155, the bipartisan Dodd/Frank reform legislation; S.1693, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act; and U.S. Coast Guard reauthorization. Looking ahead, the agenda will include an FAA extension/reauthorization (expires at the end of March), debt limit (extraordinary measures expire in March), and flood insurance (is being carried through CRs). Health care extenders and disaster supplemental funding will also need to be addressed.

House is expected to consider: various bills; a CR to fund the federal government.

CONTINUE READING

January 31-February 2: House-Senate Republican legislative retreat at the Greenbrier in West Virginia
February 1: Securities and Exchange Commission closed meeting
February 2: Bureau of Labor Statistics releases monthly jobs report
February 3: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s term expires and Jerome Powell becomes chairman
February 4: Super Bowl LII
February 7: Filing deadline for Ohio’s Senate primary election in May
February 7-9: House Democratic Caucus holds its 2018 issues conference in Cambridge, Maryland
February 8: Stopgap government funding bill expires; International Trade Commission antidumping and countervailing duty investigative hearing on aluminum foil from China
February 9-25: 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea (Vice President Mike Pence will lead the Delegation and subsequently visit Seoul and Tokyo)
February 12: The earliest date the White House is planning to deliver its budget request to Congress
February 15: Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on the state of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, with testimony from Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo; International Trade Commission antidumping and countervailing duty investigative hearing on silicon metal from Australia, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and Norway
February 19: Presidents’ Day
February 19-23: House and Senate scheduled to be in recess
February 22: Federal Communications Commission’s monthly open meeting
February 26 – March 6: Seventh round of NAFTA renegotiations, to be held in Mexico City
February 27: Arizona 8th Congressional District special primary election

Politico Influence | What lobbyists thought of the State of the Union

By Marianne LeVine and Theodoric Meyer

With David Beavers and Garrett Ross

STATE OF THE UNION OFFERS FEW POLICY SPECIFICS ON INFRASTRUCTURE: Although many on K Street were watching the State of the Union address to see whether President Donald Trump would offer more specifics on his plan to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, the speech did not expand much on the president’s 2017 joint address to Congress. “The president set high expectations but was light on details,” said Stephen Martinko, government affairs counselor at K&L Gates. He added that while “the State of the Union was a strong signal that after more than a year of waiting, it’s now time for real work to begin on infrastructure,” much of that will depend on Congress. Jim Tymon, director of policy and management at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, told PI that he was mostly satisfied with the speech and did not expect much more information, but said that he was concerned that the president did not talk about addressing the long-term insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund as part of his infrastructure plan.

– The (trillion-dollar) question that remains for lobbyists (and Congress) is how the infrastructure project gets funded. In Tuesday night’s speech, Trump called for $1.5 trillion in funding, up from a previous request for $1 trillion. “I’m not sure if that increase … means that there’s additional federal dollars or that means that they’re counting on additional state, local or private sector dollars to make up that difference,” Tymon said.

– Reception to the speech was positive. Mike Ference, partner at S-3 Public Affairs, said in an email statement that Trump recognized that “the path forward on legislation this year must be bipartisan” by “outlining his framework for an infrastructure package.” Lisa Kountoupes, president of Kountoupes Denham Carr & Reid, said that “this was a strong speech that was well received by the President’s supporters.” She added that the big question that remains is whether “the White House will be able to compromise and work with Democrats to get the votes they need to enact the legislation everyone is interested in.” Steve Elmendorfa founder of and partner at Subject Matter, said that the speech “was different than past State of the Unions in that there was not a long forward-looking agenda, which is always disappointing for K Street.”

Continue reading at Politico…

Agenda: 1/28/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

CNBC reports, “At a growing number of restaurants, your money — or your cash at least — is no good. For a variety of reasons, more eateries are refusing to allow cash payment, and only accepting debit and credit cards.” They explain the costs associated with the shift are outweighed by the improved customer service that the speed of cashless payment provides. “Earlier this week in Seattle, the cashless trend expanded when the first “Amazon Go” grocery store opened. ‘Amazon Go’ is a convenience store without cashiers or checkout lines. You select your items and the payment information that’s stored on your phone is automatically charged as you walk out the door.” What’s next in this trend? Potentially Starbucks. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson this week told CNBC, “‘Thirty percent of our payments in the United States [are] done with a mobile phone … Over 40 percent is done with phones and Star Value cards with rewards. In China, over 60 percent of our tenders come from mobile payments.’”

CONTINUE READING

IN THE MEDIA:

Bloomberg reports, “Twitter Inc. is working on a new Snapchat-style feature that makes it easier to post videos on the social-media company’s app, according to people familiar with the matter, aiming to attract more users and cement a nascent turnaround. The San Francisco-based company has a working demo of the camera-centered product, according to people who have seen it, but the design hasn’t been finalized, nor has the timing of its debut. … The goal of the new feature is to entice people to share video clips of what’s happening around them.” TechCrunch adds that Twitter also rolled out a new advertising opportunity this week. Advertisers are now able to “sponsor Moments – the “Stories”-like feature that includes a series of tweets, often including images, GIFs and video – from select publishers.”

Snapchat is also making changes. Axios’ Sara Fischer reports, “Snapchat is launching a new feature that will let users share “Stories” (strings of user-generated or professionally-created photos and videos) outside of its app. … The move mimics the efforts of other platforms to expand content outside of their core app, like Twitter, which made tweets embeddable in 2011. … It will work by providing users links to share content when they press and hold on the Stories cover photo, or ‘tiles.’” Sara notes this comes after Snapchat’s effort to rebrand itself as a camera company, “The company says its camera function is ‘one of the most used cameras in the world,’ with over 3.5 billions Snaps created every single day.”

IN THE ADMINISTRATION:

President Trump will deliver his first State of the Union address on Tuesday evening. Fox News reports in a preview piece that in addition to recounting the successes of the past year, in particular tax reform, “President Trump will also push for $1 trillion in infrastructure investment. He intends to spotlight the need for rebuilding our depleted infrastructure to help America compete globally and create jobs, improve productivity, and keep Americans safe on roads and railways. According to staff familiar with the speech, President Trump will also put forth his legislative plan to eliminate bureaucratic permitting delays, focus on rural needs and give federal taxpayers a better return on investment – a novel concept all too often forgotten in Washington.

“The president will also address illegal immigration and DACA head-on. He will share his intention to help the so-called “Dreamers” – immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children through no fault of their own. But in exchange, he will require reforms to immigration and border security that will protect the jobs, safety and wages of American workers. The president will also continue his push for a wall along the porous southern border of the U.S. …

“Fresh from his trip to Davos in Switzerland, President Trump will also talk about trade, putting the world on notice that from now on, the U.S. will insist upon ‘fair’ and ‘reciprocal’ trade.”

ON THE HILL:

It is a short week on Capitol Hill as Republicans and Senate Democrats each depart for their annual policy retreats on WednesdayThe House will consider legislation aimed at protecting young athletes from sexual assault.

  • Monday (January 29): Senate vote on consideration of the motion to proceed on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act; House Rules Committee hearing on Senate amendments to the Child Protection Improvements Act of 2017; House Administration Committee markup of a resolution on the House’s anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy;
  • Tuesday (January 30): Senate Banking Committee hearing to receive testimony from Treasury Secretary Mnuchin on the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s annual report to Congress; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing to receive testimony from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee business meeting to consider various Energy and Interior Department nominations and hearing on the role of the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Forest Service in preparing for and responding to natural hazards; Senate Commerce Committee hearings on opportunities to support domestic seafood through aquaculture and implementation of the American Innovation and Competitiveness ActSenate HELP Committee hearing on accountability and risk to taxpayers in Higher Education Act reauthorization and subcommittee hearing roundtable on small business health plans; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the situation on the Korean Peninsula and U.S. strategy in the Indo-Pacific region; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the economic relationship between the U.S., Canada and Mexico; House Budget Committee oversight hearing of the Congressional Budget Office with testimony from Director Keith Hall; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearings on opportunities and challenges in the financial technology marketplace and how human traffickers exploit U.S. financial marketsHouse Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing to consider Member proposals for improvements to the IRS;House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on broadband infrastructure policy, including consideration of 25 bills and implementation of the Compounding Quality Act (with a panel including FDA Administrator Scott Gottlieb) and vote on the Ceiling Fan Energy Conservation Harmonization ActHouse Science, Space & Technology Committee hearing on Energy Department management priorities, with testimony from Undersecretaries Paul Dabbar and Mark Menezes; House Small Business Committee hearing on combating foreign cyber threats, with testimony from FBI Deputy Assistant Director Howard Marshall and Department of Homeland Security Deputy Assistant Secretary Richard Driggers; House Judiciary Committee markup of the Infrastructure Expansion Act; House Natural Resources Subcommittee legislative hearing on the Shash Jáa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument Act; House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing on evidence-based policymaking and the future of education; House Homeland Security Subcommittee joint hearing on the Department of Homeland Security’s role in surface transportation technologies; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on readying the U.S. military for future warfare; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing to examine reports on the EL FARO Marine casualty and the Coast Guard’s electronic health records;
  • WednesdayFriday (January 31-February 2): Congressional Republicans’ retreat in West Virginia.

Agenda: 1/21/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

FACT OF THE WEEK:

The US Chamber of Commerce recently partnered with Facebook and Morning Consult to figure out tech’s impact on small businesses. The survey found: “84% of small businesses in the U.S. use at least one major digital platform to provide information to customers,” but, “57% of small businesses surveyed said that lack of familiarity with available digital tools is a challenge.” The solution: to invest in training programs. Google CEO Sundar Pichai writing in Recode adds a note about programs they are rolling out to improve digital and tech skills training in a way that is more accessible and practical. “Moving beyond code and intensive degrees to these constant, lightweight and ubiquitous forms of education will take resources and experimentation. But that effort should help close today’s skills gaps, while making sure future skills gaps don’t open. That’s part of the reason Google has invested $1 billion over five years to help find new approaches to connect people to opportunities at work and help small and medium businesses everywhere grow in the digital economy.”

IN THE MEDIA:

Nielsen Digital Content Ratings recently looked at popular websites in an effort to gain a better understanding of who they are engaging on a consistent basis, “helping [publishers] to put the pieces of the consumer picture together for the first time using measurement metrics that are comparable to those used to measure TV audiences.”

Among the findings:

  • Buzzfeed reaches 83% of all millennials in a given month;

  • Mic reaches 40 million unique visitors each month, with an audience that is 56% female and 42% male;

  • Refinery 29 reaches 62% of millennial women and 88% of women ages 21 to 24.

IN THE ADMINISTRATION

The Washington Post reports, “This week, President Trump is scheduled to head to the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland,” with a speech scheduled for Friday. The president is also expected to meet with British Prime Minister May on the trip.

ON THE HILL

The House is scheduled to be adjourned for a district work period. The Senate is expected to vote at 1 a.m. on a government funding bill that would go through February 8th, which Speaker Ryan has indicated the House would pass, ending the shutdown.

Tuesday (January 23): Senate Banking Committee hearing on the nominations of Jelena McWilliams (to be a member of the board of directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), Marvin Goodfriend (to be a member of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors), and Thomas Workman (to be a member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council); Senate HELP Committee hearing on preparedness and response capabilities for 21st century public health threats; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to examine the performance of the electric power system under certain weather conditions; Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing on current and emerging threats in surface transportation security;

Wednesday (January 24): Senate Budget Committee oversight hearing of the Congressional Budget Office, with testimony from CBO Director Keith Hall; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of Michael Brennan (to be circuit judge for the Seventh Circuit), Daniel Desmond Domenico (to be district judge for the District of Colorado), and Adam Klein (to be reappointed chairman and member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board); Senate Commerce Committee field hearing on driving automotive innovation and federal policies, held at the Washington Convention Center; Senate Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on officer personnel management and the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act of 1980; Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on navigating critical decisions to turning 65;

Thursday (January 25): Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on global challenges and U.S. national security strategy, with testimony from former secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz and former deputy secretary of State Richard Armitrage; Senate Banking Committee hearing to receive administration perspectives on CFIUS reform, with testimony from Assistant Treasury Secretary for International Markets and Investment Policy Heath Tarbert, Assistant Commerce Secretary for Export Administration Richard Ashooh and Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy Eric Chewning; Senate HELP Committee hearings on Higher Education Act reauthorization and the nomination of Frank Brogan to be assistant secretary for elementary and secondary educationSenate Commerce Committee hearing to examine the Wireless Emergency Alert system, including recent system failures; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee field hearing to examine opportunities and challenges facing vehicle technologies, held at the Washington Convention Center; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee hearing on exploiting vulnerabilities in international mail in combatting the opioid crisis;

Friday (January 26): House Judiciary Committee field hearing on music policy issues at Fordham University School of Law, with testimony from Recording Academy President Neil Portnow and artists Aloe Blacc, Mike Clink, Booker Jones, and Tom Douglas.

Don’t Listen to Washington, Tourist Organizations Try Telling Foreigners

By Martha C. White

Persuading international travelers to visit the United States never used to be difficult. But things have gotten a little more complicated.

According to the Commerce Department’s National Travel and Tourism Office, the number of international visitors in the first half of 2017 fell 4 percent from a year earlier. Those in the travel industry point to factors like a global market that gives tourists more possible destinations, the strength of the dollar and tightening visa restrictions.

They also say the messages coming from the Trump administration — the latest example being President Trump’s vulgar comment about Haiti and African nations — play a role.

“Although the policy of the administration has not been targeted towards tourists, per se, tourists around the world are asking themselves whether they’re welcome in the United States,” said Daniel Korschun, associate professor of marketing at Drexel University, who focuses on the intersection of advertising and politics. “That’s surely a factor in the sagging performance.”

This week, the United States Travel Association plans to announce that industry groups are forming the Visit U.S. Coalition in an attempt to combat the slump through advocacy, lobbying, advertising and other methods. Members include the American Gaming Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

CONTINUE READING

Christopher Heywood, spokesman for New York City’s tourism organization, NYC & Company, said “negative rhetoric coming out of the current administration” was a driving force behind the group’s marketing last year, which featured the phrases “Welcoming the world” and “All are welcome.”

“We’re not a political group,” he said. “We’re a marketing group, but there was so much at stake, we needed to be more engaged.”

The nonprofit tourism organization Brand USA will begin its new marketing campaign with a sweeping, 40-minute film that showcases the United States through the lens of musical history. It hopes the approach the will convey that the United States embraces individuals and cultures from outside its borders.

“Travel has a way of transcending politics,” said Chris Thompson, president and chief executive of Brand USA. “I think our ability to use music, because it’s so compelling and inspirational, it really allows us to rise above any of that.”

The film will be shown at museums and similar locations in top overseas markets beginning next month, and will be augmented by digital and social promotion.

“That strategy could be a very interesting one because it gets across a lot of the wonderful cultural influences that have permeated life in the States from everywhere in the world,” said Damien Eley, executive creative director at the ad agency Mistress, which has worked with the Los Angeles tourism board on its campaigns. “It’s a nice device to be able to show the depth of culture and diversity in the States.”

Getting a tone of tacit recognition just right is a delicate feat. The destination marketing organizations of New York and Los Angeles, which ran campaigns explicitly highlighting their inclusivity last year, have employed similar strategies to evolve their messaging to be not anti-Trump but pro-destination.

“Travel isn’t about negativity at all,” said Brian Tolleson, managing partner at the agency Bark Bark, which worked with Orbitz on a diversity-focused campaign last year. Advertising that taps into negative sentiment risks alienating people, he said.

“To stand up for positive values might be the best we can do in the face of whatever may happen in the political climate,” Mr. Tolleson added.

When NYC & Company began its “True York City” campaign late last year, Mr. Heywood said, the intent was to draw attention to the city’s diversity of people, neighborhoods and cultural offerings. The organization enlisted an array of designers, chefs, writers and other residents to endorse the city’s hidden gems rather than just its iconic sights.

Mr. Tolleson said, “The instinct to talk about travel on a person-to-person level is something that helps disarm some of the negative political discourse.”

Los Angeles is evolving last year’s Everyone Is Welcome” campaign to highlight eclectic cultural offerings as well as inclusivity in a campaign that will begin next month.

“We want to drive visitation, too,” said Don Skeoch, chief marketing officer of Discover Los Angeles, the city’s destination marketing organization. “We have to pivot a bit.”

Although Los Angeles officials recently announced that a record 7.1 million people from outside the United States visited the city in 2017, Mr. Skeoch said appealing to millennial travelers with the promise of unique and personal experiences would keep the momentum going.

“We’ll emphasize high and low culture in this creative,” he said. “We have museums, but we’ll also look at street murals.”

In its promotions, Brand USA also works with travel and lifestyle personalities who have large social media followings in their countries, giving their endorsements more clout. “We’ve really gravitated more towards that — this being on the ground and in touch,” Mr. Thompson said.

Mr. Eley of Mistress said making inclusivity and tolerance part of their public profile was a way for cities to stand apart from the political invective.

“A city now has in their marketing armory a story of who they are and how they’re different from the current administration,” he said. “It’s certainly something that’s given L.A. a whole other avenue of their brand to fall back on and celebrate.”

Agenda: 1/14/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

FACT OF THE WEEK:

CNBC reports that as the value of bitcoin has made headlines, the demand for employees with these skills has also increased. “As the cryptocurrency universe grows, businesses are on the hunt for job candidates with experience in blockchain, the technology that supports popular digital tokens such as bitcoin and ethereum. Upwork, a freelancing firm, says blockchain is its fastest-growing skill category. … LinkedIn says there are now 28 times as many people citing cryptocurrency skills on their profiles and 5.5 times as many people with bitcoin skills as there were in October 2013. And from 2014 to 2017, LinkedIn has seen a 9.4-time increase in bitcoin-related postings within the financial services and insurance industry sector, as well as a 4.6-time increase for the software technology industry.”

CHASER: The Harvard Crimson notes that some economists see government interference or potential overregulation as a threat to the value of bitcoin. “Some Harvard Economics professors say the current high valuation of bitcoin—the founding coin of the international virtual currency boom—is unsustainable and will eventually drop, thanks in part to government regulation.”

BONUS FACT: United Launch Alliance this week had its first launch of 2018, “the 124th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006. It was also the 36th flight of the Delta IV rocket since its inaugural launch in 2002.”

CONTINUE READING

IN THE MEDIA

Bloomberg reports on the Virtual Reality trend that emerged from the Consumer Electronics Show. In addition to being “cheaper, lighter and less likely to require tethering to a smartphone or computer,” Bloomberg notes, “It also gives companies something to sell while they figure out augmented reality, widely believed to have more mass-market appeal than virtual reality.” What’s the difference? “VR isolates users while AR lays digital information over the real world, offering countless potential consumer and commercial applications—streaming basketball stats to fans during games, say, or sending instructions to mechanics repairing complicated equipment.

Recode adds a note about Facebook’s contribution to the potential VR trend.“Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to get one billion people using virtual realitya lofty goal considering there were just one million VR headsets shipped across the entire industry in last year’s third quarter.” The means to achieving this: “A new standalone VR headset exclusively for the Chinese market.”

IN THE ADMINISTRATION

President Trump is expected to travel to Pennsylvania next Thursday and discuss tax reform, ahead of a special election being held in March for a House of Representatives seat. Politico reports, “Trump’s visit to the district next week will take him to a manufacturing plant outside Pittsburgh.”

ON THE HILL

Congress returns this week with all eyes on a Friday government-funding deadline. Also on the Hill this week:  

Monday (January 15): Martin Luther King Jr. Day;

Tuesday (January 16): Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the Department of Homeland Security, with testimony from Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to examine the domestic and global energy outlook, with testimony from International Energy Agency Executive Director Dr. Fatih Birol; House Natural Resources Committee markup of 9 bills and subcommittee legislative hearing on the Jobs for Tribes Act; House Rules Committee hearing on the Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment Act, World Bank Accountability Act, and Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee field hearing on the Obama administration’s rapprochement with the Castro regime;

Wednesday (January 17): Senate Commerce Committee hearing on terrorism and social media, with testimony from Facebook Head of Global Policy Management Monika Bickert, YouTube Global Head of Public Policy and Government Relations Juniper Downs; Twitter Public Policy and Philanthropy Director Carlos Monje, and Foreign Policy Research Institute Fellow Clinton Watts; Senate Finance Committee hearing on the nominations of Dennis Shea to be the deputy U.S. trade representative in the Geneva office and C.J. Mahoney to be the deputy U.S. trade representative for investment, services, labor, environment, Africa, China, and the Western hemisphere; Senate Banking Committee executive session to vote on the nominations of Jerome H. Powell (to be chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve), Randal Quarles (to be a member of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors), Brian Montgomery (to be assistant secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Federal Housing Commissioner), Robert Hunter Kurtz (to be assistant secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development for Public and Indian Housing), and David Ryder (to be director of the U.S. Mint) and hearing on combating money laundering and other forms of illicit finance, with testimony from Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Crimes Sigal Mandelker and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division M. Kendall Day; Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the nominations of Michael Atkinson to be the inspector general of the intelligence community and Jason Klitenic to be general counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; Senate HELP Committee hearing on facing 21st century public health threats; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the unintended consequences of Medicaid and the opioid epidemic; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on America’s water infrastructure needs and challenges; Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing to receive a progress report on the implementation of 2017 VA reform legislation; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing to examine the Bureau of Reclamation’s title transfer process and potential benefits to federal and non-federal stakeholders; House Financial Services Committee markupof 17 bills to amend the Dodd-Frank Act; House Judiciary Committee markupof the Disclosing Foreign Influence Act; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on the opioid crisis and CMS actions to prevent opioid misuse; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee markup and vote on the Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act, Pharmaceutical Information Exchange Act, and Over-the-Counter Monograph Safety, Innovation, and Reform Act; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing on the state of the U.S. flag maritime industry; House Science, Space & Technology Subcommittee hearing to receive an update on NASA commercial crew systems development; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on the current state of the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on recent efforts to win the war against ISIS; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on the Denver Replacement Medical Center;

Thursday (January 18): Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committeehearing on the nominations of Melissa Burnison to be an assistant secretary of Energy for congressional and intergovernmental affairs and Anne Marie White to be an assistant secretary of Energy for environmental management; Senate Banking Committee hearing on CFIUS reform; Senate Commerce Committee executive session to vote on 7 nominations, including Ann Marie Buerkle to be chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Jim Bridenstine to be NASA administrator; Senate HELP Committee hearing on reauthorizing the Higher Education Act; Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on the long-term care needs of first responders injured in the line of duty; House Rules Committee hearing on Article I: effective oversight and the power of the purse; House Natural Resources Committee oversight hearingexamining the Interior Department’s actions to eliminate onshore energy burdens; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on the Internet of Things, manufacturing and innovation and modernizing the Superfund cleanup programHouse Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing on America’s water resources infrastructure; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearings on the capabilities of federal law enforcement agencies to share information related to transnational gangs and innovation at TSA;

Friday (January 19): Next government funding deadline; House Natural Resources Subcommittee oversight hearing examining deficiencies in the permitting process for offshore seismic research; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on legislation addressing LNG exports and PURPA modernization and continuing concerns over the Food and Drug Administration’s food-recall process.

Agenda: 1/7/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact  of the Week: The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon, “This year it is on track to spend as much on video content as Netflix did in 2017. … Amazon’s video business isn’t just its own potential profit center; it’s also a way to keep people in Amazon’s world longer, where they spend more money, Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said in October. Amazon Prime Video also makes customers more likely to renew their Prime subscriptions, he said.”

Bloomberg adds, “Amazon.com Inc. plans to bid for the rights to stream Premier League matches in the upcoming auction in the U.K., according to a source familiar with the matter, part of a broader strategy to bring more sports content to its global customers. The digital giant sees such sporting events as American football, tennis and soccer matches as a way to get more people to subscribe to Prime memberships, which include video streaming and convert occasional customers into more loyal shoppers.”

CONTINUE READING

In the Media: CNBC reports, “Music streaming service Spotify, which filed confidentially with U.S.regulators for an initial public offering on Wednesday, has 70 million subscribers, it said in a tweet on Thursday. Spotify, valued at as much as $19 billion last year, is targeting a direct listing in the first half of 2018. Spotify is the biggest global music streaming company and counts Apple and Amazon.com as its main rivals.” Note that this is the first ever direct listing of its kind (a good read from Bloomberg’s Matt Levine on why this approach is noteworthy).

In addition to music, as we noted last week, Spotify is making a big push in the podcasting space. Media and tech writer Tim Carmody writes for The Nieman Lab about his evolved opinion on the app: “I want to make the case for Spotify, the company with audio at its core, and that’s made a big leap in podcasts in the last year — not least because Spotify’s evolution helps explain what Apple and Google are up to.” He adds that he sees Spotify as, “one of the most interesting trajectories in media; and I firmly believe publishers should be paying close attention to how it works.”

In the Administration: President Trump heads to Nashville on Monday to speak at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 99th Annual Convention. The president also plans to attend the College Football Playoff national championship game in Atlanta on Monday night.

On the Hill: Both the House and Senate are in session this week, with negotiations continuing on a government funding bill. Additionally, HHS Secretary-Nominee Alex Azar appears before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, and the Senate will continue its work on district court nominations, with a cloture vote scheduled Monday and three other cloture votes filed.

Monday (January 8): Senate expected to vote on the nomination of William Campbell to be U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Tennessee; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs business meeting to vote on the nominations of Margaret Weichert to be deputy director for management in the Office of Management and Budget and Mark Greenblatt to be inspector general of the Export-Import Bank;

Tuesday (January 9): Senate Finance Committee hearing to consider the nomination of Alex Azar to be secretary of Health and Human Services; Senate HELP Committee hearing assessing the opioid crisis; Senate Banking Committee hearing on combating money laundering and illicit finance; Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing on attacks on U.S. diplomats in Cuba, with testimony from Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Francisco Palmieri, Diplomatic Security Assistant Director of International Programs Todd Brown, and Bureau of Medical Services Director Dr. Charles Rosenfarb; House Rules Committee hearing on FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearings on CFIUS and financial regulatory legislative proposals (the Community Financial Institution Exemption Act, Protecting Veterans Credit Act, Home Mortgage Reporting Relief Act, Community Bank Reporting Relief Act, and an amendment to the Truth in Lending Act); House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on Department of Energy modernization, with a panel including Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, Undersecretary for Science Paul Dabbar, Undersecretary for Nuclear Security Frank Klotz and Undersecretary of Energy Mark Menezes; House Natural Resources Subcommittee legislative hearing on the Shash Jáa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument Act; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on China’s pursuit of emerging and exponential technologies; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on border security from an agent and officer perspective;

Wednesday (January 10): Senate Judiciary Committee nominations hearingSenate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on America’s water infrastructure needs and challenges; House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on sanctions and financial pressure and subcommittee hearing on the implications of upcoming elections in the Western hemisphere for U.S. policy; House Armed Services Committee hearing to receive an update on the Financial Improvement and Audit Remediation (FIAR) Plan, with testimony from Undersecretary of Defense and Chief Financial Officer David Norquist; House Natural Resources Committee markup of the Swan Lake Hydroelectric Project Boundary Correction Act, Route 66 National Historic Trail Designation Act, National Memorial to Fallen Educators Act, Streamlining Environmental Approvals Act, and Alex Diekmann Peak Designation Act; House Science, Space & Technology Committee markup of the Low Dose Radiation Research Act; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing to examine Federal Reserve reform proposals; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearing on how veteran homebuyers are affected by home loan churning practices;

Thursday (January 11): Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on U.S. policy in post-ISIS Syria, with testimony from Ambassador David Satterfield, the acting assistant secretary of State for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs; Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting to consider Circuit Court nominees Stuart Kyle Duncan and David Ryan Stras and District Court nominee Fernando Rodriguez, Jr., and to consider the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act; Senate HELP Committee executive session to consider the nominations of 8 top officials in the Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services.

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!

S-3 Public Affairs | January Look-Ahead

The continuing resolution Congress passed last month, that runs through January 19, included several provisions worth noting:

  • Extended Title VII of FISA and the NFIP (Flood Insurance) for the length of the CR.
  • Provided $4.7 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations for missile defense, repair damaged Navy ships, and support the Administration’s South Asia strategy.
  • Appropriated $2.85 billion to provide CHIP payments for Q1 and Q2 of FY18.
  • Appropriated $2.1 billion for the Veterans Choice Fund.
  • Exempted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act from statutory PAYGO.

The Senate kept roughly 150 nominations on the executive calendar in status quo; however around 100 nominations were returned to the White House. This means the administration will have to re-nominate them with updated paperwork. Among the most significant are HHS Secretary nominee Alex Azar, Export-Import Bank nominee Scott Garrett, Labor Deputy Secretary nominee Patrick Pizzella, and Federal Reserve nominees Randal Quarles and Jerome Powell.

CONTINUE READING

_________________________________________________________________________________________

January 1: New Year’s Day

January 2: Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to resign his seat

 January 3: Senate returns from recess, with the swearing in of Senator-Elect Doug Jones (D-AL) and Senator-Designate Tina Smith (D-MN); Federal Reserve to release minutes from December’s Federal Open Markets Committee meeting

January 5: Bureau of Labor Statistics releases monthly jobs report

 January 6-7: President Trump to host House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at Camp David to discuss the 2018 legislative agenda

January 8: House returns from recess, beginning with a 6:30 p.m. vote series

January 9: Senate HELP Committee hearing assessing the opioid crisis; American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard delivers annual remarks on the state of American energy

January 10: U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue delivers annual remarks on the state of American business

January 11: Next deadline for President Trump to certify whether Iran is meeting its obligations under the nuclear deal; Securities and Exchange Commission’s Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee Meeting

January 12-17: Multiple waivers of U.S. sanctions on Iran under the nuclear deal stand to expire unless reauthorized

January 15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 18: U.S. Energy Association’s 14th Annual State of the Energy Industry Forum

January 19: Continuing resolution expires

January 23-28: Sixth round of NAFTA renegotiations in Montreal, Canada

January 24: Senate Commerce Committee field hearing on automotive innovation and federal policies, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center

 January 30: President Trump to deliver the State of the Union; Federal Communications Commission’s monthly open meeting

 January 31-February 2: House-Senate Republican legislative retreat at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia

Agenda: 12/31/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: Podcast popularity continued to grow throughout 2017. AdWeek notes, “In 2017, podcasting exploded into a seemingly bottomless ocean of content that Edison Research dubbed “the Infinite Dial,” with an estimated 15 percent of Americans listening to podcasts each week.” AdAge gives a look at what 2018 has in store for the medium: “As Spotify’s spotlight offers a high-profile listening platform for Android users, Google will engage to become a true cross-platform destination for podcasts. With both services gathering deep data, their recommendation algorithms will step up discovery and enhance the playlist culture. Next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is likely to confirm 2018 as the Year of Voice. Communicating with robots through voice-activated devices will become passѐ. With 70 percent of smart speaker owners listening to more audio since buying the devices, the industry will continue to benefit in the broader audio-on-demand context.”

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In the Media: TVNewser reports, “As Nielsen ratings continue to decline for the cable entertainment networks, there’s one genre that thrived in 2017: Cable news.” The year-end review had good news for all three major cable news networks, with Fox News topping the list in prime time and total day, MSNBC showing the most growth, and CNN showing “year-over-year audience growth in total day.”

Nevertheless, streaming continues to be a trend to watch for 2018. Pew research this year found, “About six-in-ten Americans ages 18 to 29 say the primary way they watch television now is with streaming services on the internet. … Overall, just 28% of Americans cite streaming services as the primary way they watch TV.”

In the Administration: President Trump next weekend will host Senate Majority Leader McConnell and House Speaker Ryan at Camp David to map out the 2018 agenda.

On the Hill: The Senate will return to the Capitol on January 3, and the House is scheduled to return to Washington on January 8. Reuters reports, “On Wednesday, Trump’s budget chief Mick Mulvaney and legislative affairs director Marc Short will meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan – both Republicans – and their Democratic counterparts, Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi, the White House said.” On the agenda: “immigration policy, government spending and other issues that need to be wrapped up early in the new year.”

2018 Calendars:

The House

The Senate 

WATCH: Bipartisan praise from Congressional leadership for newest S-3 Public Affairs team member, Matt Bravo! 

S-3 wishes everyone a happy, safe, and restful NYE. We’re looking forward to a great 2018!

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: 12/17/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: Fact of the Week: When your teenager family members are glued to their phones over the holidays, chances are they’re on Snapchat. Recode reports, “Some 79 percent of U.S. 13- to 18-year-olds surveyed said they have a Snapchat account, more than any other type of social media. Of that age group, 73 percent have an Instagram account, and just 57 percent say they are on Facebook. Respondents had to choose only one social network they could keep if they were ‘trapped on a deserted island.’ This time, 44 percent of teens picked Snapchat.” The most popular feature: messaging – which Instagram is now working to replicate as well, after having already implemented the stories feature.

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In the Media: The Wall Street Journal reports on a new trend in which social media “influencers” leverage their following to market a product, event, or service. The WSJ notes, “Regulators say such financial rewards—even those given to influencers without explicit demands in return—can run afoul of longstanding rules against deceptive marketing if they aren’t disclosed. Authorities in the U.S., the U.K., France and elsewhere are policing social media to ferret out potential offenders. FTC officials say that merely tagging a brand or business on social media is a form of endorsement that falls under its purview.”

In the Administration: Reuters reports, “President Donald Trump will lay out a new U.S. national security strategy on Monday based on his “America First” policy and will, among other items, make clear that China is a competitor, two senior U.S. officials said on Saturday.”

On the Hill: Congress returns for a busy final week of the year with tax reform and government funding legislation both on deck.

  • Monday (December 18): Senate vote on the confirmation of J. Paul Compton to be general counsel of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Owen West to be an assistant secretary of Defense; House Rules Committee hearing on the Systemic Risk Designation Improvement Act;
  • Tuesday (December 19): House expected to vote for final passage of tax reform, with a final Senate vote either in the evening or on Wednesday; Senate Banking Committee executive session to vote on the nominations of Scott Garrett to be president of the Export-Import Bank, Kimberly Reed to be first vice president, Spencer Bachus, Judith DelZoppo Pryor, and Claudia Slacik to be members of the board of directors, and Mark Greenblatt to be inspector general of the bank; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of Peter Hendrick Vrooman to be ambassador to the Republic of Rwanda and Joel Daies to be ambassador to the Gabonese Republic and the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe; Senate Rules and Administration Committee hearing on a resolution by Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) to change the procedures for consideration of nominations in the Senate; House Administration Committee markupof the House resolution implementing mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination guidelines each session of Congress; House Rules Committee hearing on the Senate amendment to the Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign Authorization Act (further Continuing Resolution); Senate amendment to the further Continuing Resolution; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee markup of pending legislation;
  • Wednesday (December 20): House Education and Workforce Committee hearing on the policies and priorities of the Education Department, with testimony from Secretary Betsy DeVos; Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee hearing on the freight movement.

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: 12/10/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: We’ve shared a lot about the trend toward video – and shorter video at that. AdWeek this weekend shared YouTube’s top 10 watched videos of 2017, “which amassed 633 million views, an 83-million increase from 2016’s top clips.”

In the Media: AdWeek reports, “Three months after ESPN transitioned to Nielsen’s total live audience number—which combines streaming and out-of-home viewing with traditional linear ratings—the sports network is sharing its first seven weeks of data, which sees millennial audience increases for its live sports broadcasts by as much as 33 percent. … While the new metric combines streaming and out-of-home data, ‘streaming is the vastly more meaningful number,’ said Meyers [ESPN’s svp of fan and media intelligence]. He noted that around half of all streaming occurs on connected TV or smart TV devices, which means that audiences are still watching that content on a TV screen even though it’s being streamed.”

Meanwhile The Wall Street Journal notes that Nielsen is feeling pressure from networks to update its definition of “live” viewership from online streaming. The “policy set in the early days of digital video recorders” is such that if you are more than 25 seconds behind “live,” you are not accounted for in live viewership – which is a key figure in setting ad rates, particularly for sports programs. “Nielsen said it’s working with clients to change its processing systems to redefine ‘live’ viewing for streaming content on TV sets to within three minutes.”

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In the Administration: The administration remains engaged and focused on congressional progress on tax reform, with the president expected to, “deliver a closing argument for the proposed Republican tax overhaul in a speech on Wednesday,” per BloombergAdditionally, the Fed is set to hold its final meeting of 2017 with an interest rate hike expected.

On the Hill: Congress this week will continue work on the tax reform package with the conference committee holding an open meeting on Wednesday.

  • Monday (December 11): Senate cloture votes on Circuit Court nominees Steven Grasz, Don Willett and James C. Ho; Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee business meeting to consider the nomination of Stephen Valden to be general counsel of the Department of Agriculture;
  • Tuesday (December 12): Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee business meeting to vote on the nominations of Linda Capuano to be administrator of the Energy Information Administration and Timothy Petty to be assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science and hearing to examine the permitting processes at the Interior Department and FERC for energy and resource infrastructure projects; Senate HELP Committee hearing on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report on drug affordability; Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act; Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearings on U.S. interests and coercive Russian diplomacy in European energy security and the future of ZimbabweSenate Commerce Subcommittee hearings on the state of the National Ocean Policy and the role of machine learning and artificial intelligence in digital decision-makingHouse Financial Services Committee markup of 15 bills; House Natural Resources Subcommittee oversight hearing examining consequences of America’s growing dependence on foreign minerals; House Judiciary Committee markup of the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and the Strengthening the Department of Homeland Security Secure Mail Initiative Act; House Rules Committee meeting to consider the Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act, the Privacy Notification Technical Clarification Act, the Corporate Governance Reform and Transparency Act, and the Strengthening Oversight of Iran’s Access to Finance Act; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearings on policies to support democracy and human rights in Cambodiaprotecting North Korean refugees, and the future of NAFTA; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings examining concerns of patient brokering and addiction treatment fraud and the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Program (CAFE) and greenhouse gas emissions standards for motor vehicles; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearing to receive updates on implementation of the Forever GI Bill and the Harry W. Colmery Educational Assistance Act; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing on addressing hurdles to economic development in Appalachia;
  • Wednesday (December 13): House-Senate tax conference committee meeting; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of Elizabeth L. Branch (to be Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit) and 5 district court appointments and subcommittee hearing on the consumer welfare standard in antitrust; Senate HELP Committee executive session to vote on the nominations of four top Labor and Education Department officials and hearing on implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act with respect to mental health needs; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee oversight hearing of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the strategic, political and legal considerations of using force and the examination of 4 treaties; Senate Commerce Committee executive session to vote on the National Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization Act, the National Integrated Drought Information System Reauthorization Act, the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act, Coast Guard promotions, and the nomination of Barry Lee Meyers to be Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere; Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee hearing about safeguarding American agriculture in a globalized world; Senate Armed Services Subcommittee hearing to receive an update on research, diagnosis and treatment for traumatic brain injury and concussion in service members; House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the Justice Department’s investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election with testimony from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee oversight hearing of the Bureau of Prisons and Inmate Reentry; House Natural Resources Committee markup of 16 bills; House Homeland Security Committee markup of 12 bills; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on the taxpayer experience with the IRS; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings examining the drug supply chain and the impacts and future of North American energy trade; House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee hearings on preventing head trauma and advancing solar energy technologyHouse Armed Services Subcommittee hearing addressing physiological episodes in fighter, attack, and training aircraft; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearing on the effectiveness of Veterans’ Affairs and Defense Department pre-discharge claims programs;
  • Thursday (December 14): Senate Homeland Services and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the nominations of Margaret Weichert (to be Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget) and John Dupuy (to be Inspector General at the Office of Personnel Management); Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on U.S. policy and strategy in the Middle East; Senate Foreign Relations Committee closed hearing to receive new counterterrorism guidance; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing examining CFIUS operations; House Natural Resources Subcommittee legislative hearing on the Grand Staircase-Escalante Bill; House Foreign Affairs Committee markup of the End Banking for Human Traffickers Act and the United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Extension Act.

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: 12/3/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: Recode reports, “Three quarters of all mobile traffic will be used for video in 2023, according to a new report by telecommunications equipment company Ericsson. That’s up from just over half of all traffic today. Not only will that be a bigger share but also a bigger pie, as more people watch more video on their smartphones.” The report adds that video is growing faster than social media use on mobile. “Social media consumption on mobile is also rising, but not as fast as video. Therefore, social media will represent a smaller share of mobile traffic in 2023 — eight percent — than its current 12 percent of mobile traffic.”

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In the Media: Spotify is taking data-driven advertising concepts off the internet and to billboards around the world. Talking to AdWeek, Spotify’s CMO Seth Farbman explains, “we’re not social media platform, but people do express themselves through music and through playlists just like they would express themselves through a tweet.” Once Spotify sifts through the “ridiculous amounts of data” it has, it works to make the ads concrete enough that people on the street will stop, read them in full, and laugh. “In general, the more concrete you can be, the the better it is and the easier it is to communicate. We take individual experiences, individual data points, and we use them to represent a broader feeling. If we just talked about how many people listened to this one song, or streamed this, or did this other thing, it stays up high. But when you get very concrete, so that in your mind you’re realizing this is a real person with real listening habits, real playlists, real playlist names, then it just cuts through the clutter.”

Note from S-3 PA: We are thrilled to welcome Andrea Riccio as we continue to grow our bipartisan public affairs team.

In the Administration: Axios reports, “President Trump is giving a speech Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, according to two sources with direct knowledge. A White House spokesman refused to confirm the report: ‘The President has always said it is a matter of when, not if. The President is still considering options and we have nothing to announce.'” The president is also expected to hold a campaign-style rally on Friday, December 8, in Pensacola, Florida.

On the Hill: Congress returns this week with continued progress on tax reform, after the Senate passed its measure over the weekend, as well as plans for a short-term government funding package to keep the government open until December 22. House and Senate leaders are expected to name conferees for the tax reform negotiations early this week. The Wall Street Journal has a helpful chart outlining the differences between the House and Senate packages.

  • Monday (December 4): Senate cloture vote on Secretary of Homeland Security nominee Kirstjen Nielsen;
  • Tuesday (December 5): Senate Banking Committee executive session to consider the nomination of Jerome Powell to be chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve and the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act; Senate HELP Committee hearing on four top Education and Labor Department officials; Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting on 5 bills and 2 nominations and hearing on shared authority over international accords; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the nominations of Dr. Timothy Petty (to be Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science) and Dr. Linda Capuano (to be Administrator of the Energy Information Administration) and subcommittee hearing to receive testimony on 7 bills; Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on prevention, treatment and recovery in addressing the opioid crisis; House Rules Committee hearing on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act;
  • Wednesday (December 6): Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about firearm accessory regulation and enforcement of federal and state reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the nomination of R.D. James to be assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works and subcommittee hearing on challenges facing Superfund and waste cleanup efforts following natural disasters; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on adapting to defend the homeland against the evolving international terrorist threat, with testimony from representatives of the Defense Department, the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing about countering terrorism, radicalization and promoting stability in North Africa, with testimony from Ambassador-at-Large and State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism and David Satterfield, the acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs; Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on opportunities and challenges for America’s aging workforce; House Rules Committee hearing on the Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales, and Brokerage Simplification Act; House Natural Resources Subcommittee legislative hearing on the Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Extension Act; House Science, Space & Technology Subcommittee hearings on NASA’s next four large telescopes and the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearings about advancing human rights to combat extremismBrexit negotiations, and U.S. policy toward TibetHouse Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on private sector perspectives of housing finance reform; House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee hearing examining opportunities and challenges of workplace leave policies for employers and working families;
  • Thursday (December 7): Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting to vote on 3 circuit court nominees and 7 district court nominees; Senate HELP Committee hearing on progress and the path forward for medical innovation in implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to receive testimony on Defense Department acquisition reform efforts; House Administration Committee hearing examining reforms to the Congressional Accountability Act and preventing sexual harassment in the congressional workplace; House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the FBI with testimony from Director Christopher Wray; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on the mission of the EPA, with testimony from Administrator Scott Pruitt; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on counterterrorism efforts in Africa, with testimony from Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and Mark Mitchell, the acting assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict; House Natural Resources Subcommittee oversight hearing of the Interior Department and legislative hearing on 4 bills; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearings examining the Office of Financial Research and legislative proposals for “a more efficient federal financial regulatory regime”House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing examining the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to counter weapons of mass destruction; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee oversight hearing of IT and cybersecurity at the Department of Veterans Affairs; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on the VA Medical Surgical Prime Vendor program; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee roundtable on emerging technologies in the trucking industry;
  • Friday (December 8): Government funding and debt ceiling deadline; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing examining the role of the Department of Energy in energy sector cybersecurity.

Click here for a full look at the December schedule. 

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!

S-3 Public Affairs | December Look-Ahead

Congress currently has a target adjournment date of December 15. Neither chamber will adjourn on that date, likely remaining in session until December 22.  

In addition to a tax reform conference report, there are a number of policy matters that could be acted upon. These include government funding bills (short term CR from Dec 8 – 22; longer term CR into Q1 2018), an extension of the federal flood insurance program, reauthorization of the children’s health insurance program, health care and related extenders, Iran sanctions, North Korea sanctions, third round of disaster relief, and section 702 FISA authorities. Congress may also consider legislation on deferred action for childhood arrivals and cost sharing reduction payments.


December 1: Securities and Exchange Commission closed meeting

December 4House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee field hearing on the impacts of the 2017 hurricane season on the U.S. Virgin Islands; release of Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions

December 5Senate Banking Committee markup of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank regulatory relief)

December 7Securities and Exchange Commission Dodd-Frank investor advisory committee meeting

December 8Government funding and debt ceiling deadline (extraordinary measures will be used to delay hitting the debt limit until sometime January 2018); authorization of the National Flood Insurance Program expires; Bureau of Labor Statistics releases monthly jobs report

December 11-15Sixth round of NAFTA renegotiations to take place in Washington, DC

December 12Senate special election in Alabama

December 12-13Federal Open Market Committee meeting and press conference

December 13Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on the consumer welfare standard in antitrust

December 14Federal Communications Commission meeting, with vote to repeal net neutrality rules; 60-day window expires for Congress to introduce legislation imposing statutory sanctions on Iran following the President’s non-certification of the nuclear deal

December 15Open Enrollment Period for 2018 ACA health insurance ends

December 25Christmas

December 26Likely certification of new senator from Alabama

December 31Section 702 of FISA expires

S-3 Continues To Expand Bipartisan Public Affairs Practice

Andrea Riccio Brings Years of House Democratic Communications Experience to the Growing Firm

WashingtonDC – S-3 Public Affairs announced today the addition of Andrea Riccio as a vice president, where she will work closely with the firm’s public affairs and communications team.

“The collaborative approach S-3 Public Affairs takes on behalf of its clients is forward-thinking and one of the reasons I’m looking forward to helping them continue to grow,” said Riccio. “S-3 is uniquely positioned to help clients communicate policy issues in a way that resonates to Beltway and grassroots audiences alike.”

Riccio comes to the firm from Porter Novelli’s public affairs and corporate communications practice in Washington, where she managed some of the firm’s largest accounts. Prior to that, she was deputy director of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC) under House Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and then-Chairman Steve Israel (D-NY). During her time with the DPCC, Riccio spearheaded House Democratic messaging during the 2016 election cycle and led multiple targeted campaigns.

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Riccio has extensive House experience as the former director of member services to then-Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and deputy chief of staff and key advisor to Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY). Riccio’s career in politics began as a campaign manager in a New Hampshire state senate race.

“Andrea’s unique ability to craft and implement communications strategies for the entire Democratic Caucus showcases her expertise in bringing diverse stakeholders together on important issues,” said Rep. Steve Israel. “Her depth of experience working for House Democratic Leadership will be an asset to S-3 Public Affairs.”

“From leading messaging for House Democrats during one of the most controversial campaigns of our time to running strategy for some of the most high-profile companies in DC, Andrea has proven herself an expert communicator,” said Amos Snead, Partner, S-3 Public Affairs. “Her experience, relationships, and understanding of the media, policy and political worlds will add unique value to our current and future clients. Our team has experienced rapid growth this past year, and continues to attract top talent from both sides of the aisle. We’re looking forward to seeing what Andrea brings to S-3 in 2018.”

Riccio’s addition comes shortly after S-3 announced Capitol Hill veteran and House of Representatives Floor Director Matt Bravo will be joining the firm in early 2018.

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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Agenda: 11/26/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: TechCrunch reports, “The final figures for Black Friday online sales are in, and it’s another record-breaking day for e-commerce in the U.S. Adobe says that shoppers spent $5.03 billion online,” with an increasing number of purchases made on mobile. “Purchases made on mobile devices have so far totaled a record 36.9 percent of all sales, and 54.3 percent of all site visits. This works out to just under $2 billion in sales. Smartphones accounted for 44.6% of visits and 26.0% of revenue.” In other Black Friday news, Jeff Bezos surpassed the $100-billion net worth mark.

In the Media: AdWeek reports on research from Nielsen that gives advertisers good news despite our decreasing attention spans on mobile. The research finds, “38 percent of brand recall, 23 percent of brand awareness and 25 percent of purchase intent is driven by video impressions shorter than two seconds, so decreasing attention spans aren’t necessarily a bad thing.”

Note from S-3: S-3 Public Affairs recently announced the addition of Capitol Hill veteran Matt Bravo, who most recently served as Floor Director to House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA). He will start work with the firm in 2018. Welcome to the team! 

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In the Administration: President Trump heads to the hill on Tuesday to address the Senate Republican Policy Committee’s during its weekly lunch ahead of expected floor action on the Senate tax bill. The president is also expected to meet with Speaker Ryan, Leader McConnell, and Minority Leaders Pelosi and Schumer later that day.

On the Hill: Congress returns this week with a busy year-end agenda, including continued progress on tax reform and an upcoming December 8 government funding deadline. Also this week, the House will vote on an anti-sexual harassment training resolution on Wednesday.

  • Monday (November 27): Senate roll call vote on the confirmation of Dabney Langhorne Freidrich, of California, to be District Judge for the District of Columbia;
  • Tuesday (November 28): Senate Banking Committee hearing on the nomination of Jerome Powell to be chairman of the Federal Reserve System’s Board of Governors and executive session to vote on the nominations of three Department of Housing and Urban Development assistant secretaries; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of Christopher Ford (to be assistant secretary of State for international security and non-proliferation) and Yleem Poblete (to be assistant secretary of State for verification and compliance); Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the nominations of Kenneth E. Allen, A.D. Frazier, Jeffrey Smith, and James R. Thompson III to be members of the board of directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority; Senate HELP Committee hearing on proposals to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as part of Higher Education Act reauthorization; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on modernizing anti-money laundering laws; House Rules Committee hearing on the Brownfields Enhancement, Economic Redevelopment, and Reauthorization Act; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee field hearing on combating the opioid crisis; House Homeland Security Subcommittee field hearing on stakeholder perspectives for securing public areas of transportation systemsCNN Town Hall Debate on taxes with Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tim Scott (R-SC), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT);
  • Wednesday (November 29): Senate HELP Committee hearing on the nomination of Alex Azar to serve as secretary of Health and Human Services; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee business meeting to consider the nominations of Kathleen Hartnett White (to be a member of the Council on Environmental Quality) and Andrew Wheeler (to be deputy administrator of the EPA) and 19 General Services Administration resolutions; Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the nomination of Barry Myers to be undersecretary of Commerce for oceans and atmosphere; Senate Judiciary Committee nominations hearingJoint Economic Committee hearing on the economic outlook, with testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen; House Rules Committee hearing on the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act; House Appropriations Subcommittee hearings on USDA’s role in disaster recovery and supplemental oversight hearings for the U.S. Forest ServiceU.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Small Business Administration and General Services AdministrationHouse Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on how companies’ decisions about data and content impact consumers and subcommittee hearing on the role of financial trading in the electricity markets; House Natural Resources Committee oversight hearing on modernizing the National Environmental Policy Act; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearings on the latest developments in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon and a global update on Alzheimer’s diseaseHouse Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee joint hearing on the regulatory reform task forces; House Science, Space & Technology Subcommittee hearing on the role of states in the future of the WOTUS rule; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on the role of Ginnie Mae in the housing finance system and joint subcommittee hearing on legislative proposals to counter terrorism and illicit finance; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing on emerging uses of unmanned aircraft systems in national airspace; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearing on the VA’s failure to address provider quality and safety concerns; House Education and Workforce Subcommittee hearing on the impact of financial challenges facing the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation;
  • Thursday (November 30): Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of M. Lee McClenny (to be ambassador to Paraguay), Carlos Trujillo (to be permanent representative to the Organization of American States), Kenneth J. Braithwaite (to be ambassador to Norway), and Brock Bierman (to be assistant administrator of USAID); Senate HELP Committee hearing on perspectives from states, communities and providers on the opioid crisis; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on recommendations for a future national defense strategy with testimony from outside experts; House Appropriations Subcommittee supplemental oversight hearings for the Interior Department and FEMA, and disaster relief for the Transportation Department and Federal Highway AdministrationHouse Intelligence Committee hearing on the Russia inquiry, with testimony from Erik Prince; House Homeland Security Committee hearing on keeping America secure in the new age of terror; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act, with testimony from NIH Director Francis Collins and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, identity verification in a post-breach world, and developments in combating online sex traffickingHouse Financial Services Subcommittee hearings on implementation and cybersecurity protocols of the Consolidated Audit Trail and the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions programsHouse Natural Resources Subcommittee legislative hearings on the Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Indian Affairs Water Project Streamlining Act and geothermal exploration and 3 other billsHouse Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on the role and impact of nationwide injunctions by district courts;
  • Friday (December 1): House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on community block grants and disaster recovery for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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: 11/19/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: CNN shares the story of how Square technology has helped small, struggling cities, recover. Webster City, Iowa – population 8,000 – is home to more than 40 businesses that use Square. The idea is “to cater to travelers passing through town often without cash. (Webster City is right off I-35, making it a pit stop on the way to Des Moines).” CNN adds, “About 2 million businesses nationwide use Square. The company continues to innovate with new products. It recently announced its first standalone cash register with its software and payments technology built inside. Square stock is up 175% this year, compared with 2016.”

Recode adds to Square’s success story, “Since its IPO, Square’s valuation has grown about four times to nearly $17 billion today.”

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In the Media: The Wall Street Journal reports, “Major online news publishers and technology companies have agreed to adopt a set of transparency standards set forth by industry consortium The Trust Project, in an attempt to help readers better assess the quality and reliability of the journalism they find on the web. A set of eight new “trust indicators” will enable publishers to volunteer key information about their journalism, including who it was written by, why it was written, how it was sourced and reported, and whether it’s news, opinion or sponsored content. Companies including The Economist, The Globe and Mail, the Independent Journal Review, Mic, Trinity Mirror and the Washington Post have agreed to implement the indicators this month, with other members of the 75-strong consortium expected to follow in the next six months.”

In the Administration: The President will host the National Thanksgiving Turkey Pardoning Ceremony at the White House on Tuesday. He will then head to Florida to celebrate Thanksgiving.

 On the Hill: The House and Senate are out this week for Thanksgiving. 

  • Monday: Senate Finance Subcommittee field hearing on NAFTA modernization;
  • Tuesday: Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee field hearing on the state of VA services in Ohio;
  •  Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving!
  •  Friday: Black Friday | BONUS Fact: New Morning Consult polling finds, “Fifty-eight percent of young adults said they prefer shopping on Black Friday, the traditionally in-store shopping holiday, while 42 percent said they favor Cyber Monday, which is usually tied to online shopping for the holidays. … Adults 45 and older prefer Monday’s online shopping experience during the holiday season, the poll showed.”

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!

S-3 Expands Congressional Reach; Adds Matt Bravo

Washington, DC – S-3 Public Affairs today announced the addition of Capitol Hill veteran Matt Bravo, who most recently served as Floor Director to House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA). He will start work with the firm in 2018.

“Matt Bravo has been a critical part of our Whip Office team from the start, and as floor director he has helped bring about many hard-earned legislative victories to the benefit of the American people. In more than a decade working on Capitol Hill, Matt has developed strong relationships with members of Congress and staff on both sides of the aisle, and while his counsel and friendship will be missed, I know Matt’s experience and expertise will serve him well in the next phase of his career,” said House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA).

Agenda: 11/12/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: More proof on the power of video: TechCrunch reports on how Instagram Stories and videos generally have helped to grow the social media platform. “As of June, video watch-time on Instagram is up 80 percent year-over-year and the number of videos shared is up 4x. From June 2016 to April 2017, Instagram grew monthly active users by 40 percentBefore Stories launched, there was a question about a per user Feed photo sharing decrease. A year after Stories launched, people younger than 25 spent 32 minutes per day on Instagram on average, and people 25 years and older spent more than 24 minutes per day. That compares to 21 minutes per day on average for all Instagram users in October 2014. Instagram Stories currently has more than 300 million daily active users, and that compares to Instagram’s total 500 million daily active users in September.”

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In the Media: Look for advertising in Podcasts to evolve in the coming year as more data about listeners becomes more widely available. Despite Podcasts being “about a decade old,” Bloomberg reports, “The medium … remains raw as a business. Partly that’s because audience data are primitive compared with, say, web writing. … Podcasters have very little access to even basic information about who’s listening, how many podcasts or episodes they’re listening to, or even how much of an individual episode they complete.” That’s likely to change soon: “Apple, which maintains a bit more than half of the overall podcasting market with its native Podcasts app, is expected soon to start releasing its data to podcast publishers. Suddenly, podcasters will know the demographics and geographic distribution of their listeners, if listeners actually finish episodes, if listeners skip over the commercials, whether listeners replay podcasts.” Forbes notes: “Sixty-one percent of Americans listen to digital radio monthly, and nearly a quarter listen to podcasts monthly.”

In the administration: President Trump is in the Philippines, the final stop on his Asia tour. The president is expected to have talks with Philippine President Duterte tomorrow before returning home. Administration officials remain actively engaged in the tax reform progress as well, continuing to push for quick action in Congress.

On the Hill: Tax reform remains top priority in both the House and Senate, with potential floor action in the House and an open executive session at the Senate Finance Committee. Also watch for completion of the National Defense Authorization Act.  

  • Monday: Senate Finance Committee open executive session to consider the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, beginning at 3pm; House Rules Committee hearing on the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act conference report and the 21st Century Flood Reform Act; The Wall Street Journal’s 10th Annual CEO Council Meeting (through Tuesday); The Heritage Foundation event on “educational freedom” for military and veteran service members with Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN);
  • Tuesday: House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing with testimony from Attorney General Jeff Sessions; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee business meeting to consider the nomination of Kirstjen Nielsen to lead the Department of Homeland Security; Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting to consider the Multilateral Aid Review Act and nomination of Eric Ueland to be undersecretary of State for management followed by a hearing on the authority to order the use of nuclear weapons and subcommittee hearing on American leadership in the Asia-Pacific; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the nominations of Anthony Kurta (to be principal deputy undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness), James McPherson (to be general counsel of the Department of the Army), and Gregory Maggs (to be a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces); Senate HELP Committee hearing on gene editing technology; Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee hearing on 4 bills; Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing on agriculture technology and data-driven farming; House Financial Services Committee markup of 23 bills; House Administration Committee hearing on preventing sexual harassment in the congressional workplace, with testimony from Reps. Jackie Speier (D-CA), Bradley Byrne (R-AL), and others; House Natural Resources Committee oversight hearing on financial accountability in territories’ disaster recovery efforts; House Rules Committee hearing on the VA Asset and Infrastructure Review Act; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on response and recovery to environmental concerns from the 2017 hurricane season; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee joint hearing on regulatory reform task forces progress, with testimony from representatives of the Departments of Agriculture, Education, and Health and Human Services; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on Brexit negotiations; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on the current threat at the U.S.-Canada border; The Hill’s “Digitalizing Infrastructure: Building A Smarter Future” with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI);
  • Wednesday: House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing on Labor Department policies and priorities, with testimony from Secretary Alexander Acosta; House Appropriations Subcommittee oversight hearing of Veterans Affairs’ electronic health records, with testimony from Secretary David Shulkin; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of circuit court appointees James Ho and Don Willett, district court nominees Calria Boom, John Broomes, Rebecca Grady Jennings, and Robert Wier, and the nomination of Pamela Bresnahan to be chair of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, and subcommittee hearing on the consumer welfare standard in antitrust; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee business meeting to consider reconciliation legislation that would authorize the Interior Secretary to establish an oil and gas program in the non-wilderness portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; Senate HELP Committee hearing on “encouraging healthy communities” with testimony from Surgeon General Jerome Adams and nomination hearing for several top Labor and Education Department positions; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing about promoting American leadership in reducing air emissions through innovation; Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing on attacks on U.S. diplomats in Cuba; Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on VA efforts to prevent and combat opioid over-medication; House Rules Committee hearing on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act; House Foreign Affairs Committee markup of 9 bills and resolutions and subcommittee hearing on U.S. economic strategy in Asia amid China’s Belt and Road Initiative; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the recommendations and reforms proposed by the inspectors general and subcommittee joint hearing on the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) Scorecard 5.0; House Natural Resources Committee legislative hearing on three tribal lands bills and subcommittee legislative hearing on National Park, Fish, and Wildlife Service bills; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on maximizing the value of cyber threat information sharing; CQ Roll Call’s “Energy Decoded” with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), and FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee;
  • Thursday: Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the nominations of John Rood (to be undersecretary of Defense for policy) and Randall Schriver (to be assistant secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific affairs); Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting to consider S.2070Senate Foreign Relations Committee closed hearing on counterterrorism guidance; Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing on Coast Guard readiness; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on 5G networks and “its potential to revolutionize American competitiveness”; The Federalist Society’s 2017 National Lawyers Convention (through Saturday);
  • Friday: House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee field hearing on best practices in veterans education and transition to civilian life.

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!

Top Lobbyists 2017

The S-3 team was again recognized in The Hill’s Top Lobbyist list for our deep reach throughout Congress and Washington, DC. Learn more about our growing team here.

The Hill
Top Lobbyists 2017: Hired Guns 
November 2, 2017
Rob Collins and Mike FerenceS-3 Group

“With close ties to House and Senate leadership, S-3 is well-positioned to help blue-chip clients in the biggest policy battles.”

Agenda: 10/29/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: For the first time in 14 years, McDonald’s is taking a step back and reviewing how it’s $2 billion annual global advertising budget is being used. The Wall Street Journal reports, “McDonald’s Corp. is conducting a review of its ad-buying account, as the fast-food company seeks to find more efficient ways to spend its advertising dollars around the globe.” Bob Rupczynski, McDonald’s vice president of global media and customer relationship management, joined McDonald’s this year after “developing a data-led approach to advertising for companies such as Kraft Heinz Co. … As part of its ad review, McDonald’s said it is moving away from a single global media agency and will instead select a small number of ad-buying agencies to work with globally.” Rupczynski says, “The goal of this is to find what is the most efficient way to reach the consumer” and to “ensure best-in-class media services and capabilities.”

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In the Administration: President Trump this week is expected to announce his choice for the next Fed Chair. The Wall Street Journal reports, “The day of the announcement is still unclear, and next week is a busy one for Fed officials and the president. … The Fed’s policy-setting committee, on which Mr. Powell sits, will hold a two-day meeting Tuesday and Wednesday, and Mr. Trump leaves for a trip to Asia first thing Friday morning, making a Thursday announcement possible.”

On the Hill: Primary focus this week is on the House Ways and Means Committee, expected to release tax reform legislation on Wednesday. The House is also expected to consider legislation to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program, to repeal IPAB, and the Resilient Federal Forests Act. The Senate is also expected to vote on several judicial nominees.

  • Monday: Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on authorizations for the use of military force, with testimony from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James MattisSenate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee business meeting to consider the nomination of Emily Murphy (to be administrator of the General Services Administration); House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing examining physical security and cybersecurity at U.S. ports;
  • Tuesday: Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on working with tech to find solutions for extremist content and Russian disinformation online, including a panel with representatives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google; Senate HELP Committee hearing on implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearings on oversight of the federal response to the 2017 hurricane season (with a witness panel including FEMA Administrator Brock Long) and cost overruns, information security, and accuracy of the 2020 census (with testimony from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Census Bureau Acting Director Ron S. Jarmin, and GAO Comptroller Eugene Dodaro); Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the nomination of John C. Demers to be assistant attorney general for national security at the Justice Department; Senate Commerce Committee hearing on four transportation nominations and subcommittee hearing exploring Native American subsistence rights and international treaties; House Rules Committee hearing on the Resilient Federal Forests Act;
  • Wednesday: Facebook, Twitter, and Google general counsels testify before open House and Senate Intelligence Committee hearings on social media influence in the 2016 elections; Senate Banking Committee hearing for Export-Import Bank nominees Scott Garrett (to be president), Kimberly Reed (to be first vice president), Mark Greenblatt (to be inspector general), and board of directors members Spencer Bachus, Judith Delzoppo Pryor, and Claudia Slacik; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of Leonard Grasz (to be Circuit Judge for the Eighth Circuit), Terry Doughty (to be District Judge for the Western District of Louisiana), Terry Fitzgerald Moorer (to be District Judge for the Southern District of Alabama), and Mark Saalfield Norris, Sr. (to be District Judge for the Western District of Tennessee); Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing for the nominations of Irwin Goldstein (to be undersecretary of state for public diplomacy) and several ambassadorial nominations; Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the nominations of Jim Bridenstine (to be administrator of NASA), Dana Baiocco (to be commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission), Neil Jacobs (to be assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction) and Nazakhtar Nikakhtar (to be assistant secretary of commerce for industry and analysis); House Homeland Security Committee hearing assessing FEMA’s preparedness and response capabilities, with testimony from FEMA Administrator Brock Long; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on FirstNet oversight and securing consumers’ credit data in the age of digital commerceHouse Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing reviewing 16 years of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan; House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on an insider’s look at the North Korean regime, with testimony from Thae Yong-ho, formerly North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the United Kingdom; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearings examining the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Program and vulnerabilities and opportunities for improvement in data securityHouse Judiciary Subcommittee hearings on net neutrality and the role of antitrustoversight of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, and the Heartbeat Protection ActHouse Appropriations Subcommittee oversight hearing of accountable soft power in the national interest, with testimony from USAID Administrator Mark Green; House Rules Committee hearing on Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act;
  • Thursday: Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the potential for oil and gas exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the nominations of Mark Esper (to be army secretary), Robert Wilkie (to be undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness), Joseph Kernan (to be undersecretary of defense for intelligence), and Guy Roberts (to be assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense); Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting to markup the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act; former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page testifies at a House Intelligence Committee hearingHouse Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on emergency response and energy infrastructure recovery efforts in the 2017 hurricane season and concerns over federal select agent program oversight of dangerous pathogens; House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing on central takeaways from the 2017 hurricane season; House Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing on three water-related bills; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on private sector perspectives towards sustainable housing finance and reform; Reps. Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) discuss the future of Puerto Rico at a Ripon Society event; Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) participate in a conversation on the opioid epidemic hosted by the Edward M. Kennedy Institute;
  • Friday: House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on legislative proposals to improve small business and community access to capital.

In the Media: AdWeek shares insights from Kay Hsu, the global Instagram lead at the Facebook Creative Shop. Kay explains the potential of Instagram stories in building a brand, telling a complicated story, and advertising in a format that feels more like a social experience than an ad. “Complex stories that have multiple messages can be tightened up to fit the modern attention spans of mobile users, or brands can use the space to stretch their story out. …  Brand content stops seeming like an advertisement, and instead acts as a compelling ongoing story that people are delighted to engage with.”

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: 10/22/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: FastCompany reports, “Venmo, the PayPal-owned mobile app best known for peer-to-peer money transfer, is morphing into a full-fledged digital wallet. As of yesterday, any mobile website that accepts PayPal will also accept Venmo as a form of payment. That makes Venmo a viable checkout option at over 2 million U.S. retailers.” This comes the same week that PayPal reported continued profit growth and strong projections for next year. The Wall Street Journal adds, “Total payment volume increased 30% to $114 billion, a new milestone, and around one-third of that volume came through a mobile device. PayPal counted 218 million active customer accounts at the end of the third quarter, also a record.”

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In the Administration: President Trump heads to the Hill on Tuesday to address the Senate Republican Policy Committee’s weekly luncheon meeting. This comes as the president and the Hill continue their drive to tax reform, including an op-ed from the president in USA Today. The president is also expected to declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency this week.

On the Hill: Both the House and Senate return this week with focus in the House on adopting the Senate-passed budget resolution so it can move forward with tax reform. The Senate on Monday is expected to take a procedural vote on House-passed disaster-relief legislation. The House is also expected to vote on “new sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program and on Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah militia,” per Reuters.

  • Monday: House Rules Committee meeting on H.R.469 (Sunshine for Regulations and Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act) and H.R.732 (Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act); House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) addresses the SIFMA Annual MeetingThe Milken Institute’s Future of Health Summit (through Tuesday), with speakers including Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Reps. Fred Upton (R-MI), Diana DeGette (D-CO), and Debbie Dingell (D-MI);
  • Tuesday: Senate Banking Committee hearing on the nominations of David Ryder (to be director of the U.S. Mint) and Hester Peirce and Robert J. Jackson Jr. (to be members of the SEC); Senate Finance Committee hearing on the nomination of Kevin McAleenan to be commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and open executive session to consider the nominations of Jeffrey Gerrish (to be a deputy U.S. Trade Representative), Gregory Doud (to be chief agricultural negotiator at the office of the U.S. Trade Representative), and Jason Kearns (to be a member of the International Trade Commission); Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on U.S. policy towards Burma; House Rules Committee hearing on the Senate amendment to the FY2018 budget; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on the federal government’s role in the insurance industry; House Appropriations Subcommittee oversight hearing on the role of facilities and administrative costs in supporting NIH-funded research; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing to examine HHS’s public health preparedness for and response to the 2017 hurricane season; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee joint hearing on regulatory reform task forces updates and oversight hearing of federal political advertisement laws and regulations; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on public-private solutions for cyber workforce education; House Veterans’ Affair Committee hearing on several bills and draft legislation; The Hill’s “America’s Opioid Epidemic: Aging & Addiction” event, with remarks from Reps. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK); Bloomberg Next: The Connected Future, featuring conversations with Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA), and FCC Commissioners Brendan Carr and Jessica Rosenworcel; The Heritage Foundation’s “The Business Perspective and Cost of Doing Nothing on Tax Reform” with remarks from Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and Business Roundtable President and CEO Joshua Bolten;
  • Wednesday: Joint Economic Committee hearing on the future of American economic growth, with testimony from Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the Wildfire Prevention and Mitigation Act and business meeting to consider the nominations of four assistant EPA administrators and a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Senate Banking Committee hearing on Department of Housing and Urban Development nominees Brian Montgomery (to be assistant secretary for housing), Robert Kurtz (to be assistant secretary for public and Indian housing), and Suzanne Tufts (to be assistant secretary for administration); Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee closed briefing on Nigeria security, with testimony from Donald Yamamoto, the acting assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of African Affairs and Mike Miller, the director of the State Department’s office of regional and arms transfers; Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the commercial satellite industry; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee business meeting to consider the nominations of Jeff T.H. Pon (to be director of the Office of Personnel Management), Michael Rigas (to be deputy director of the Office of Personnel Management), and Emily Murphy (to be administrator of the General Services Administration); House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on the President’s Iran decision; House Energy and Commerce Committee oversight hearing of the FCC, with testimony from Chairman Ajit Pai and commissioners Brendan Carr, Mignon Clyburn, Michael O’Rielly, and Jessica Rosenworcel and subcommittee hearing on federal efforts to combat the opioid crisis; House Financial Services Committee hearing examining the Equifax data breach and subcommittee hearing on private sector perspectives of sustainable housing finance; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee joint hearing on ongoing management challenges at IRS; House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on Down Syndrome research, with testimony from a panel including Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), and Pete Sessions (R-TX); House Administration Committee hearing on state voter registration list management; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearing examining how the VBA can effectively prevent and manage overpayments;
  • Thursday: Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on cyber technology and energy infrastructure; Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting to consider the Multilateral Aid Review Act, a resolution reaffirming U.S. commitment to human rights and the rule of law in Cambodia, and 18 ambassadorial nominations; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee hearing on lessons from state legislatures for improving oversight of the regulatory process; Senate HELP Committee hearing about free speech on college campuses; House Judiciary Subcommittee oversight hearing of the U.S. refugee admissions program.

In the Media: The Wall Street Journal reports that people spend an estimated “12 hours a day on average consuming tech and media, including moments when they are multitasking. … By 2021, Americans are projected to spend an additional 18 minutes a day with tech and media.” This comes from insights shared by Michael Wolf of Activate Inc. speaking at its WSJ D.Live technology conference. When it comes to trying to capture attention during those 12 hours, Wolf notes “the most fertile ground is the digital voice assistant found in smart speakers and smartphones.” Podcasts are also expected to see significant growth. “Activate estimates the U.S. podcast audience will nearly double to 112 million active monthly listeners in 2021.” Finally, “Revenue from online videos—including subscription streaming services, individual purchases and online ads—are expected to make up about 15% of the $200 billion U.S. market for television and video in 2018.”

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: 10/15/17

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