Would you keep your Netflix account if it started running ads? CNBC reports, “Almost one-quarter (23 percent) of consumers say they would drop their subscription if the streaming service included ads, according to a study conducted by Hub Entertainment Research.Less than half (41 percent) said they would definitely or probably keep Netflix even with ads. The study found that if Netflix offered a lower subscription price to offset ads, it might retain some subscribers who would otherwise leave the streaming service. If rates were lowered by $3 per month while including ads, the percentage who said they would cancel drops from 23 percent to 16 percent, while 50 percent said they would likely stay subscribed.”
“Netflix plans to spend more than $8 billion this year on more than 700 original shows,” and tomorrow night at the Emmy Awards, Netflix is up with the most nominations — 112 in total — defeating HBO for the first time in 17 years.
IN THE MEDIA
Not on Snapchat? You may start seeing Snap content anyway across other media platforms. Axios’ Sara Fischer reports, “Snapchat is letting more than 20 news partners create curated ‘stories’ with user-generated content from its platform as part of a new content push on its media section, Discover. … The move is part of a broader push by Snapchat to help more people discover and interact with the billions of user-generated photos and videos uploaded to its platform everyday. It also lowers the barrier to entry for media partners to get on Discover, which will help Snapchat add scale to its editorially curated media section. … The launch partners are Brut, CNN, Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail, Daquan, Dodo, Harper’s Bazaar, iHeart, The Infatuation, Jukin, Lad Bible, Love Stories TV, Mic, NBC News, NBC Sports, NBC, Today Show, New York Post, NowThis, Overtime, Refinery 29, Telemundo, The Tab, Viacom, Vice, Wave.TV and Whalar.”
Mashable adds, “For publishers, Snapchat content could prove to be a valuable resource. Though Snapchat videos have gone viral in the past, it hasn’t always been easy for media companies to access the content in the way that they can with Twitter and other social media platforms. By opening up Snapchat’s public-facing content to them, these publishers can now take advantage of Snapchat in a much more meaningful way. For Snap, which has been struggling with user growth in the wake of a disastrous redesign, the new partnerships will help ensure that its content will be seen by more people, even if it’s outside of the Snapchat app.”
IN THE ADMINISTRATION
CNBC reports, “President Donald Trump is expected to visit the areas affected by Hurricane Florence next week, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement Friday. … Sanders said that President Trump will travel to the affected areas early to the middle of next week, ‘once it is determined his travel will not disrupt any rescue or recovery efforts.’”
CNN adds, “A majority of cell phone users will receive an alert on Thursday, September 20, with the header ‘Presidential Alert’ and the message, ‘THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.’ WEA was technically launched in April of 2012, but this will be the first time FEMA has tested the system on the presidential level in hopes to work out the kinks, the agency said in a press release this week.”
ON THE HILL
The Senate is in this week with focus on Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination as well as additional work on government funding.
Monday (September 17): Senate voteon the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act and opioids legislation; House Natural Resources Subcommittee oversight hearing: “Historic Leasing in the National Park System: Assessing Challenges and Building on Successes” (to be held in Hot Springs, AR);
Tuesday (September 18): Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting on 9 pending nominations and hearing on the status of U.S.-Russia arms control efforts with testimony from representatives of the State and Defense Departments; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the implications of reinterpretation of the Flores settlement agreement for border security and illegal immigration incentives, with testimony from representatives of the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice and the Government Accountability Office; Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committeehearing: “Reducing Health Care Costs: Examining How Transparency Can Lower Spending and Empower Patients”; Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing: “Fintech: Examining Digitization, Data, and Technology”; Senate Armed Services Subcommittee closed hearing on interagency coordination in the protection of critical infrastructure, with testimony from representatives of the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense; Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee hearing: “Fish Fights: An Examination of Conflicts Over Ocean Resources”; Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committeebusiness meeting to consider the VA nominations of Tamara Bonzanto (to be assistant secretary for accountability and whistleblower protections) and James Gferer (to be assistant secretary for information and technology); National Press Club Headliners Luncheon on the 2018 elections with Emily’s List President Stephanie Schriock; Opening of the 73rd session of theUnited Nations General Assembly;
Thursday (September 20): Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meetingto consider the nomination of 10 judicial nominations, including Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and the DETER Act and Justice for Victims of Lynching Act.
The State of the Screens takes a look at the actual cost of advertising on TV versus digital and finds that TV’s expensive reputation may not match its value, depending on the audience you are trying to reach. “There are more minutes of video advertising delivered daily from TV during Judge Judy than all of YouTube across all of America every day. The math. Judge Judy has roughly 10M average viewers watching 8 minutes of ads every day. That is 80M minutes of advertising every day from a single 30-minute show!”
“TV may have the scale and digital may have the growth, but smart brands are planning/buying these together and taking advantage of the strengths of each. Local video advertising is projected to increase to $37B by 2022.
Local video ad spend in 2022 (% of total):
Television: $29.8B (80%);
Digital: $5.3B (14%);
Other: $2.0B (6%).”
MediaPost predicts the landscape will continue to change. “I believe that better use of data, science and software is going to enable TV companies to drive higher prices over the next three or four years’ prices … and still deliver even better and more predictable ROI for advertisers. That will happen, and most folks will win. TV networks will get more yield on their audience. Advertisers will get more customers. Nielsen and other data companies will sell more targeting and measurement data. And consumers will get more relevant ads.”
IN THE MEDIA
Digiday reports on advances in the Podcast advertising space. “Podcasting has long had a reputation among advertisers as being low-tech, hard to measure and reliant on a quaint ad format, but its players are stepping up their efforts to dispel those notions. On Sept. 6, companies from NPR and Westwood One to How Stuff Works gathered at the fourth annual IAB Podcast Upfront. But in contrast with past events, where the emphasis was on content, this time presenters focused on products like targeted marketplaces, attribution and retargeting tools to attract brand advertisers, who have mostly ignored podcasting because of the medium’s measurement issues.
“Some media agencies are skeptical that new stabs at measurement will work, while others see it as a sign that the medium is finally catching up to the obsession with measurement that’s encroaching on other forms of digital advertising. … Podcast is small relative to other digital mediums, but revenue is projected to more than double in size, to $659 million by 2020, according to an IAB/PwC study. Legacy media companies continue to invest in the space: Univision was a first-time presenter at this year’s upfront. And compared to other digital mediums, podcasting has been fairly low-tech — more than two-thirds of its ads were host-read, and under 60 percent were dynamically inserted in 2017, the IAB/PwC study said — a reputation that podcasters seem determined to shed.”
IN THE ADMINISTRATION
President Trump is traveling to Missouri next week to campaign for Josh Hawley.The Hill reports, “Trump’s reelection campaign announced Thursday that Trump would travel to Cape Girardeau, Mo., for a rally Sept. 13 on behalf of Hawley, who is currently Missouri’s attorney general.” The president will also travel to Jackson, Mississippi for a campaign rally Friday in support of Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith according to local media reports.
ON THE HILL
Congress returns Wednesday with continue work towards a government funding package. The Senate continues its work on nominations with a cloture vote scheduled for Wednesday for Charles Rettig to be the IRS commissioner.
Monday (September 10): House Natural Resources Subcommitteeoversight field hearing on the federal Columbia River power system (to be held in Pasco, WA);
Tuesday (September 11): New Hampshire primaries; Brookings Institutionevent on the anniversary of the global financial crisis (through Wednesday);
Wednesday (September 12): Rhode Island primaries; Senate to resume considerationof the nomination of Charles Rettig to be IRS commissioner;Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on countering Russia; House Rules Committee hearing on the Save American Workers Act; House Foreign Affairs Subcommitteehearing to review current developments in Ethiopia; Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe briefing on free-trade zones; 48th Annual Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference(through Sunday); The Hill event on infant and early childhood education, with speakers including Reps. Nanette Barragán (D-CA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA);
Thursday (September 13): New York primaries for state and local office; Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on implementation of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, with testimony from Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, Federal Reserve Board of Governors Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Jelena McWilliams, and National Credit Union Administration Chairman J. Mark McWatters; Senate Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committeehearing on perspectives of U.S. agricultural trade, with testimony from U.S. Department of Agriculture Chief Economist Dr. Robert Johansson, Undersecretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney, and U.S. Trade Representative Chief Agricultural Negotiator Gregg Doud; Senate Budget Committee hearing to receive an update on transparency at the Congressional Budget Office, with testimony from CBO Director Keith Hall; Senate Finance Committeehearingon the nomination of Gail Ennis to be inspector general of the Social Security Administration; Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting to consider 9 pending nominations and hearing on Russia’s role in Syria and the Middle East, with testimony from representatives of the State and Defense Departments and USAID; Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on evolving threats to the homeland; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to examine the role of U.S. LNG in meeting European energy demand; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on advanced nuclear technology and the benefits of licensing accident tolerant fuels for commercial nuclear reactors;Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committeehearing on emerging transportation technologies; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing to evaluate federal disaster response and recovery efforts; House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on oversight of U.S. sanctions policy and markup of a Democratic resolution requesting the President and Secretary of State transmit records related to communications between President Trump and Vladimir Putin; House Small Business Committee hearing on how the opioid epidemic affects small business; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on air quality impacts of wildfires and examining barriers to expanding innovative, value-based care in Medicare; House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommitteehearing on the state of positive train control implementation, with testimony from a panel including the heads of the Federal Railroad Administration and National Transportation Safety Board; House Armed Services Subcommitteehearingon Army Futures Command, with testimony from Undersecretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy and U.S. Army Futures Commanding General John Murray;House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearings on 2 bills and the role of the interagency program office in VA electronic health record modernization; House Science, Space and Technology Subcommitteejoint hearing to examine the underlying science and impacts of glider truck regulations; House Appropriations Subcommittee oversight hearing on the NASA James Webb Space Telescope; House Rules Subcommittee Members’ Day hearing on proposed rule changes for the 116th Congress; House Natural Resources Subcommittee legislative hearing on an Indian lands bill; House Homeland Security Committee markup of 5 bills; Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europebriefing on black and minority populations in Europe;The Hill’s Newsmaker Seriesevent featuring Reps. Peter King (R-NY) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX);
Friday (September 14): House Energy and Commerce Subcommitteehearings on solutions to strengthen U.S. public safety communications and reducing maternal mortality; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on U.S. policy toward Syria, with testimony from representatives of the State Department and USAID; House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing to examine sober living homes; American Enterprise Institute conferenceon the 10th anniversary of the financial crisis, with keynote remarks from House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX); Washington Post Live eventon space, with speakers including Vice President Mike Pence and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
Senator John McCain will be laid to rest today following a week of moving tributes.The Washington Post reports, “Just 35 Americans have laid in state or honor at the U.S. Capitol — an elite group of American history’s most revered public servants, military leaders and private citizens.”
FACT OF THE WEEK
CNN reports, “WeWork could become the largest office tenant in Manhattan. The company is negotiating a lease in 1 World Trade Center to take over about 200,000 square feet in the building, a source close to the deal told CNNMoney. WeWork recently became the second-largest renter of office space in the borough, according to a Cushman & Wakefield reportearlier this month. WeWork trails just about 74,000 square feet behind JPMorgan’s New York tenancy. If the deal goes through, WeWork would surpass the bank. …
“In the first half of 2018, WeWork snapped up eight times as much newly leased space in the United States as the next nine largest firms combined, according to Cushman & Wakefield. There’s room for more: Coworking makes up just 1% of total office space in the United States, according to the report.”
IN THE MEDIA
The Information reports, “Amazon.com is planning to launch a free, advertising-supported video service for the estimated 48 million people who use its Fire TV streaming video devices, say people familiar with the situation. The new service, which is being developed by Amazon’s IMDB subsidiary, will join a growing collection of efforts by Amazon to tap into the $70 billion TV ad market. The company has already introduced ad-supported shows on IMDB, expanded video ads on its gaming site Twitch and run ads on NFL games on Prime Video, its primary streaming service. …
“Amazon’s ad business—mostly search ads and product sponsorships sold on its site and across the web—is growing faster than much of the rest of the company. It makes up most of the ‘other’ segment in Amazon’s earnings statements, growing 132% to $2.2 billion in the second quarter.Wall Street firm Cowen estimates it will generate $8 billion in revenue from the category this year.”
IN THE ADMINISTRATION
Trade discussions are expected to begin again Wednesday between the United States and Canada (CNBC). The president is also expected to visit South Dakota on Friday for a fundraiser for Kristi Noem. Politico Playbookadds, “Tuesday: The president will have lunch with VP Mike Pence, and then meet with the United States Travel Association CEOs. Wednesday: The amir of Kuwait will come to the White House. Thursday: Trump will go to Billings, Montana.”
ON THE HILL
The House and Senate both return this week with attention in the Senate on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination hearings. The Senate could also consider legislation pertaining to the opioid crisis. The House is expected to consider legislation to provide more guidance to students taking out college loans as well as to vote to go to conference on Defense Appropriations.
Monday (September 3): Labor Day;
Tuesday (September 4): Senate Judiciary Committeehearings begin on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court; Senate voteon the nomination of Elad Roisman to be a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission; House Rules Committeehearing on the Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act and Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act;
Wednesday (September 5): Senate Intelligence Committee open hearing on foreign influence operations’ use of social media platforms; Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee hearing on the impact of zero tariffs on U.S. autoworkers; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearingassessing the value of the NATO alliance and subcommittee hearing on the “China challenge” and security and military developments; Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee executive session to consider 8 pending bills and nominations and oversight hearing of the Transportation Security Administration, with testimony from Administrator David Pekoske;Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on the nominations of Tamara Bonzanto (to be assistant secretary of Veterans Affairs for accountability and whistleblower protection) and James Gferer (to be assistant secretary of Veterans Affairs for information and technology); Farm Bill House-Senate Conference Committee meeting; House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Twitter transparency and accountability with testimony from CEO Jack Dorsey and subcommittee hearing on opportunities to improve healthcare; House Ways and Means Committeemarkup of 4 bills and a resolution requesting documents from the President related to its tariff strategy for China;House Rules Committee hearing on the Community Safety and Security Act; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearings on the future of moneyand the cost of regulation on affordable multifamily development; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing on innovation in surface transportation; House Natural Resources Committeemarkup of 12 bills and subcommittee legislative hearing on 2 title transfer bills; House Education and Workforce Subcommittee hearing on rebuilding the workforce through apprenticeships; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearings on VHA’s sterile processing problems and legislative hearing on 3 bills; Heritage Foundation event: “Let Entrepreneurs Raise Capital Using Finders and Private Placement Brokers,” with keynote remarks from Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC);
Friday (September 7): House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on terrorist groups and their means of financing; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing: “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: Water Resources Projects and Policy, Part II”.”
The Senate is expected to consider: The first week will focus on nominations. Other items the Senate may consider this month: legislation relating to opioids; FAA reauthorization; and conference reports as they become available (E&W/MilCon/LegBranch minibus; Interior/FSGG/Ag/Thud minibus; DoD/LaborHHS minibus; Farm Bill). Floor consideration for the Kavanaugh nomination could be the last week.
The House is expected to consider: The first week will include a motion to go to conference on the DoD/LaborHHS minibus, legislation related to LNG, and legislation on criminal aliens. Other items the House will consider this month: Healthcare package; Tax 2.0; and conference reports.
Expiring Provisions:FAA, PAHPA, VAWA, and government funding.
Trade: Expect the President to impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports after the September 6 comment deadline; the Commerce Department’s Sec. 232 tariffs report on autos could also be issued this month.
September 1-2: Memorial services for John McCain at Washington National Cathedral and the U.S. Naval Academy
September 3: Labor Day
September 4: Senate Judiciary Committee hearings begin on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh
September 5: Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on foreign operations’ use of social media platforms, with testimony from senior executives of Facebook, Twitter, and Google; House Energy and Commerce Committeehearing on Twitter’s algorithms and content monitoring, with testimony from CEO Jack Dorsey; Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committeehearing on the impact of zero tariffs on U.S. autoworkers; 2018 Farm Bill Senate-House Conference Committee meeting
September 6: Delaware primaries; Comment deadline on tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports
September 7: Bureau of Labor Statistics releases monthly jobs report
September 10: Oral arguments in a Texas case seeking a preliminary injunction halting enforcement of the Affordable Care Act are scheduled to begin
September 11: New Hampshire primaries
September 12: Rhode Island primaries; Apple to release new iPhones
September 13: New York primaries for state and local offices; FT Pharma Pricing and Value Summit, with speakers including Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma; Securities and Exchange Commission Investor Advisory Committee meeting
September 20: Securities and Exchange Commission investor roundtable on recently proposed rules regarding the obligations of financial professionals to investors to be attended by Chairman Jay Clayton and Commissioners Kara Stein and Robert Jackson
Quartz reports on a new survey exploring the “culture versus strategy” debate. The review finds that the more senior you are in the organization, the more emphasis you are likely to put on culture. “There is a marked tilt in favor of culture in the higher levels of the organization, with the numbers moving almost steadily toward culture as you move from individual contributor to CEO.”
“Why are senior leaders likely to value culture more than executives further down in the organization? … First, managers, unlike their superiors, have little opportunity to shape culture and are therefore likely to undervalue it to some degree. Second, as leaders rise higher they gain a more comprehensive view of the organization’s many moving parts and see culture as the means of aligning all those parts around strategy. Third, because more senior leaders manage people who manage other people, they must rely on the culture, rather than direct contact, to ensure constructive interpersonal dynamics throughout their organizations.”
IN THE MEDIA
Axios’ Mike Allen shares good news for Hollywood. The AP reports, “After the cataclysmic, the-sky-is-falling summer of 2017, when overall grosses slid 14.6 percent from the year before, Hollywood has rebounded. Ticket sales in North America this summer are up 11.3 percent, according to comScore. The comeback is even more pronounced when you factor in that the annual Marvel movie kickoff to summer slid just ahead of the official first weekend of May start, shifting the $678.5 million domestic for Disney’s ‘Avenger: Infinity War’ to the spring. Amid a remarkably turbulent time for the movie business, this summer has been surprisingly, almost weirdly, steady.”
What’s to thank? “MoviePass, the flailing subscription service, has claimed responsibility. Subscription moviegoing has surely had an additive effect, bringing more regular visitors to theaters. But how much? There’s no statistical evidence of MoviePass boosting bottom lines, and studio executives downplay its influence as minimal. … MoviePass, which this week reduced its plan to three movies a month, says it accounts for 6 percent of all domestic tickets. Mid-summer, AMC trotted out its own $20-a-month subscription option, attracting 260,000 subscribers in its first seven weeks. AMC on Thursday said that’s translated to about 1 million admissions or about 4 percent of U.S. moviegoers at AMC theaters, the country’s largest chain.”
But perhaps it’s just better movies. “Jeff Bock, senior box-office analyst for Exhibitor Relations, said it’s difficult to extrapolate how big a driver subscription services have been, though he credited the copious attention and drama around MoviePass with fueling moviegoing awareness. He’s more inclined to point to the improved studio project, specifically sequels like ‘Incredibles 2,’ ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ and ‘Deadpool 2.’ ‘The one thing that was very different from last year’s sequels is that people wanted to see these. That’s what it comes down to,’ said Bock. ‘You can say Hollywood’s running on good credit and that’s probably one of the reasons people are coming out weekend after weekend.’”
BONUS: Bloomberg reports, “Amazon.com Inc. is in the running to acquire Landmark Theaters, a move that would vault the e-commerce giant into the brick-and-mortar cinema industry, according to people familiar with the situation.”
IN THE ADMINISTRATION
The White House is hosting an event Monday honoring agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.
ON THE HILL
The Senate returns on Monday and will resume consideration of the minibus appropriations bill. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is expected to meet with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday.
Monday (August 20): Senate Commerce Committeefield hearing on pipeline safety in the Great Lakes (to be held in Traverse City, MI); Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee field oversight hearing to review the federal role in preventing flooding events in Ellicott City, MD;
Tuesday (August 21): Primaries in Alaska and Wyoming; Senate Banking Committee hearing on the current effectiveness of Russia sanctions and potential for next steps, with testimony from representatives of the Treasury, Homeland Security and State Departments; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on U.S.-Russia relations, with testimony from representatives of the State and Treasury Departments; Senate Armed Services Committeehearing on the nominations of Alan Shaffer (to be deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and management), Veronica Daigle (to be assistant secretary of Defense for readiness and force management), Robert McMahon (to be assistant secretary of Defense for sustainment), E. Casey Wardynski (to be assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs),and Alex Beehler (to be assistant secretary of the Army for energy, installations, and environment); Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing to examine CMS efforts to fight Medicaid fraud and overpayments, with testimony from CMS Administrator Seema Verma and GAO Comptroller General Eugene Dodaro; Senate Judiciary Subcommitteehearing on cyber threats to the nation’s critical infrastructure; Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee hearing on energy efficiency of blockchain and similar technologies; Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Subcommittee hearing on financial literacy and retirement security;
Wednesday (August 22): Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting to consider 4 pending nominations and hearing on the nominations of Kevin Sullivan (to be ambassador to Nicaragua), Francisco Palmieri (to be ambassador to Honduras), and Karen Williams (to be ambassador to Suriname); Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on pending nominations; Senate Finance Committee hearing on the nominations of Michael Faulkender (to be assistant Treasury secretary for economic policy) and Elizabeth Darling (to be Commissioner on Children, Youth, and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services); Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committeehearing on the nominations of William Bryan (to be undersecretary of Homeland Security for science and technology) and Peter Gaynor (to be deputy FEMA administrator); Senate Rules & Administration Committee business meeting to consider the Secure Elections Act; Senate Energy & Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing on 14 public lands bills; Senate Indian Affairs Committee oversight hearing to examine efforts to maintain and revitalize native language for future generations;
Thursday (August 23): Senate Banking Committee executive session to vote on the nominations of Kathy Kraninger (to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), Kimberly Reed (to be president of the Export-Import Bank), Elad Roisman (to be a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission), Michael Bright (to be president of the Government National Mortgage Association), Rae Oliver (to be inspector general of the Department of Housing and Urban Development), and Dino Falaschetti (to be director of the Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Research); Senate Commerce Committeehearing on the nominations of Kelvin Droegemeier (to be director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy), Jim Morhard (to be deputy NASA administrator), and Joel Szabat (to be assistant Transportation secretary for aviation and international affairs); Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee hearing on science and stewardship at the National Institutes of Health, with testimony from NIH Director Francis Collins; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nomination of David Fischer (to be ambassador to Morocco); Democratic National Committee summer meeting in Chicago, IL (through Saturday).
The Hill reports, “NASA successfully launched Sunday humanity’s first ever probe to the sun, kicking off a daring seven-year mission to better understand Earth’s closest star. Carried on United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket, the Parker Solar Probe blasted off from Space Launch Complex 37 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 3:31 a.m., a day after it was originally scheduled to launch. The Parker Solar Probe will get as close as 3.83 million miles to the sun’s surface, which is about 95 percent of the way to the surface from Earth and is within the outer atmosphere known as the corona.”
Axios adds the Parker Solar Probe is the, “fastest-moving man-made object ever, traveling at 340,000 miles per hour. Why it matters: At a press conference on Thursday, project scientist Nicola Fox said that engineers and scientists have been waiting 60 years to be able to develop the right technology to build this type of probe. ‘We know a lot about the sun,’ she said, but there are key mysteries that will be unsolvable until a spacecraft can reach closer to its surface.’”
IN THE MEDIA
Streaming TV is becoming increasingly popular but are still facing challenges when it comes to profit. Digiday reports, “so-called skinny bundles — virtual multichannel video programming distributors, or virtual ‘MVPDs,’ in TV industry terms — reach more than 6 million subscribers,” and they are looking to more targeted advertising as one means to help them turn a profit.“The virtual MVPDs are positioning themselves as providers of true addressable advertising — or the ability to target individual households and potentially even individual TV viewers. Similar to cable and satellite distributors, virtual MVPDs have two minutes of ad inventory for every hour of programming on the channels in their services. Sling TV, DirecTV Now and FuboTV are already selling into these ad slots. Hulu has gradually started to sell into its live TV service over the past month, and YouTube plans to do the same by the start of the next broadcast TV season this fall.”
IN THE ADMINISTRATION
President Trump is headlining a fundraiser on Monday for Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY).
ON THE HILL
The House is out this week while the Senate returns to Washington for the second half of the week.
Tuesday (August 14): Primaries in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Connecticut, and Vermont;
Wednesday (August 15): Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing on 18 National Parks bills, with testimony from National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith; National Press Club Newsmaker Program event with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Francis Cissna;
Thursday (August 16): Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee hearing on oversight of the Federal Communications Commission, with testimony from Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioners Michael O’Rielly, Brendan Carr, and Jessica Rosenworcel; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nomination of David Hale to be undersecretary of State for political affairs; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to consider Energy Department nominees William Cooper (to be general counsel) and Lane Genatowski (to be director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy); Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing to examine implementation of Clean Water Act Section 401 and the Water Quality Certification Improvement Act of 2018; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee hearing on oversight of efforts to protect unaccompanied alien children from human trafficking and abuse; House Financial Services Subcommittee field hearingon the role of federal housing and community development programs to support opioid and substance use disorder treatment and recovery (to be held in Lexington, KY).
The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry extends beyond baseball. TechCrunchreports that Boston is passing New York in venture investments this year. “After years of trailing New York City in total annual venture investment, Massachusetts is taking the lead in 2018. Venture investment in the Boston metro area hit $5.2 billion so far this year, on track to be the highest annual total in years. The Massachusetts numbers year-to-date are about 15 percent higher than the New York City total.That puts Boston’s biotech-heavy venture haul apparently second only to Silicon Valley among domestic locales thus far this year. And for New England VCs, the latest numbers also confirm already well-ingrained opinions about the superior talents of local entrepreneurs.”
The primary driver: biotech. “So far this year, biotech and healthcare have led the New England dealmaking surge, accounting for the majority of invested capital.”
The president is in Bedminster, NJ, for the week. The Hill reports, “The Trump administration on Monday is set to re-impose the first batch of Iran sanctions since the U.S. withdrew from the nuclear deal. The more significant tranche of sanctions, including on oil sales, won’t come back into force until November.”
ON THE HILL
The House and Senate are both out this week.
Tuesday (August 7): Ohio 12th Congressional District special election and primaries in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee field briefing on wildfire management and response (to be held in Hamilton, MT);
Thursday (August 9): House Transportation and Infrastructure Committeefield hearing on continued oversight of the California high-speed rail project (to be held in Sacramento, CA);
Senate is expected to consider: nominations; appropriations (Defense & Labor-HHS); FAA reauthorization; potentially WRDA and legislation relating to opioids.
House is in recess: Conference committees will be ongoing on appropriations covering at least seven bills; Farm Bill conference.
July 31-August 1: Federal Reserve Federal Open Market Committee meeting
August 1: Senate Intelligence Committee open hearing on the use of social media platforms in foreign influence operations; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the EPA’s agenda, with testimony from Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler
August 2: Tennessee primaries; President Trump holds a rally in Wilkes-Barre, PA; Federal Communications Commission open meeting; Securities and Exchange Commission closed meeting; Senate Foreign Relations Committee to examine NATO; Senate Banking Committee meeting to consider nominations, including nominations to lead the CFPB and Export-Import Bank
August 3: Bureau of Labor Statistics releases monthly jobs report
Week of August 6: Senate recesses for one week; the House is in recess through September 4
August 7: Ohio 12th congressional district special election; Primaries in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington
August 11: Hawaii primaries
August 13: Public comment period closes on proposed EPA rule on considering costs and benefits in the rulemaking process
August 14: Primaries in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Vermont and runoffs in South Dakota
August 15: Senate Commerce Committee hearing to examine the Federal Communications Commission
August 21: Primaries in Alaska and Wyoming
August 23-25: Democratic National Committee summer meeting in Chicago, IL
August 27: World Trade Organization dispute settlement body meeting
August 28: Primaries in Arizona and Florida and runoffs in Oklahoma; Energy Information Administration publishes monthly energy review
Axios Login reports, “It may not have the traditional moat to fend off competition, but Slack has nonetheless managed to build quite the castle by out-executing its rivals. Tech-industry business wisdom says successful companies need a moat — a way to keep competitors from easily seizing their markets and customers. Slack was often criticized as a castle without a moat, and thus ripe for plundering. Yet rivals big and small have failed to conquer Slack. The latest evidence came in a deal Thursday, in which Atlassian announced it is shutting down rival business chat services Hipchat and Stride, selling the intellectual property to Slack, and investing in the company. … Slack is still private, but shares of Atlassian rose more than 18% following the news.”
IN THE MEDIA
Pew’s most recent State of the News Media report this week rolled out its fact sheet on the state of Cable News. The report finds of CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC in 2017, “the evening news audience declined while the daytime audience remained stable.” Among the other key findings:
“Total revenue across the three channels increased by 10% in 2017 to a total of $5 billion, according to SNL Kagan estimates.
“Total newsroom spending by the three channels combined increased by 6% in 2017 to a total of $2.3 billion, according to estimates by SNL Kagan. Newsroom spending at the three major financial networks [CNBC, Fox Business, and Bloomberg] was $703 million, a 3% change.
“About 2,900 employees worked as reporters, editors, photographers, camera operators and film and video editors in cable TV newsrooms in 2017, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics. This is on par with 2004 – in spite of fluctuations over the last 14 years – but is up 33% from 2014 when about 2,200 people worked in cable TV newsrooms.”
IN THE ADMINISTRATION
President Trump heads to both Florida and Pennsylvania next week for campaign rallies. The president heads to Tampa on Tuesday for a “Make America Great Again” rally. Politico Playbook writes, “Trump will sign ‘Strengthening Career and Technical Education For The 21st Century Act’ into law, and then he will go to Tampa for a roundtable on workforce development and a political rally.” The Orlando Sentinel adds the president will also campaign for “U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, whose Republican campaign for governor has been surging of late. The president also is expected to stump for Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is running to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.”
Philly Voice reports the president, “is slated to be in Wilkes-Barre on Aug. 2 for a Make America Great Again rally and to support U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta’s campaign for the Senate against incumbent Bob Casey.”
ON THE HILL
The Senate is back this week with a busy schedule, expected to consider a “minibus” appropriations package including Interior-Environment, Financial Services, Agriculture-FDA, and Transportation-Housing Urban Development funding bills; confirmation of an 11th Circuit judge; a four-month flood insurance extension; and the National Defence Authorization Act Conference Report.
Monday (July 30): Senate executive session to consider the nomination of Britt Grant to be U.S. Circuit Court Judge for the Eleventh Circuit and pending cloture motions on the minibus appropriations bill, National Flood Insurance Program reauthorization, and conference report on the National Defense Authorization Act; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee field hearing on VA long-term care (to be held at Ventura County Office of Education at Camarillo, CA);
Tuesday (July 31): Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on immigration enforcement and family reunification efforts (with testimony from a panel including representatives of Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Citizenship and Immigration Services) andsubcommittee oversight hearing on the structure of the federal courts; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of Michael Hammer (to be ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo), Kyle McCarter (to be ambassador to Kenya), and Stephanie Sullivan (to be ambassador to Ghana); Senate HELP Committee hearing on reducing health care costs and decreasing administrative spending; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee roundtable policy discussion on the impact of opioids on economic development in Appalachia (to be held in Somerset, PA);
Wednesday (August 1): Senate Intelligence Committeeopen hearing on the use of social media platforms in foreign influence operations; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee business meeting to consider pending nominations and resolutions and hearing on the EPA agenda, with testimony from Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of R. Clarke Cooper (to be assistant secretary of State for political-military affairs) and John Richmond (to be director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking); Senate Judiciary Committee nominations hearing; Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committeehearing on 15 bills; Senate Commerce Committee executive session to consider 10 pending bills and nominations and subcommittee hearing on the search for life and utilizing science to explore the solar system and make new discoveries;
Thursday (August 2): Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearingassessing the value of the NATO alliance.
Business Insider breaks down some of the key differences the two generations see between themselves.
Gen Z have always had cell phones, text messaging, social media, whereas many of these technologies did not exist when millennials were growing up.
“Millennials were more likely to work a traditional teen job;” whereas “Gen Zs are more likely to earn money from a “side hustle”
“Millennials tended to believe that a college education was worth it, even if it meant student debt,” while “Gen Zs are wary of student loans.”
Millennials are much more brand oriented than Gen Z, who cares more about showing off trends on social media.
IN THE MEDIA
Snapchat sees as an opportunity to attract more ad dollars and is making changes to do just that. AdAge reports, “Snapchat and Nielsen, doubling down on their partnership, are now offering marketers the ability to make targeted ad buys based on offline data, in similar fashion to other popular social media platforms. A marketer can use Nielsen audience data, for instance, to target someone on Snapchat who purchased lipstick at a retail store offline. The offering provides some 30,000 segments and includes Nielsen Buyer Insights and Nielsen Catalina Solutions, which are primarily based on offline loyalty card and credit card data.”
“The move is similar to what Snapchat already provides through Oracle, but the addition of Nielsen makes the company a more serious player on par with platforms such as Twitter and Pinterest, says Josh von Scheiner, founder and creative director at social media agency VonShine Industries.”
IN THE ADMINISTRATION
WIBW reports, “President Donald Trump is coming to Kansas City next week. The White House says he will speak next Tuesday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars 119th Annual Convention. ‘He will address the Veterans of Foreign Wars 119th Annual Convention,’ Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said. ‘President Trump is committed to our veterans, and his work to reform the VA, and to ensure veterans are given the care and support they deserve. The President looks forward to being with the more than 4,000 veterans in attendance.’ … Trump’s visit comes just days after he endorsed Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder in a Kansas district that Hillary Clinton narrowly carried in 2016.”
ON THE HILL
The House and Senate are both in this week with attention in the House on a Flood Insurance extension, the NDAA conference report, and legislation aimed at certain portions of the Affordable Care Act, including the medical device tax. The Senate is expected to consider Robert Wilkie’s nomination for Veterans Affairs Secretary.
Monday (July 23): House Rules Committee hearing to consider the Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Account Act, Increasing Access to Lower Premium Plans and Expanding Health Savings Account Act, and the Protect Medical Innovation Act; House Democrats eventwith Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) to unveil “Make It In America” jobs and economic plan;
Thursday (July 26): Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the funding priorities for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, with testimony from USTR Robert Lighthizer; Senate Finance Committee hearing on the nominations of Justin Muzinich (to be deputy secretary of the Treasury) and Michael Desmond (to be chief counsel for the IRS and an assistant general counsel to the Treasury Department) and subcommittee hearing on improving tax administration today; Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the nominations of Rick Dearborn (to be a member of Amtrak’s board of directors) and Martin Oberman (to be a member of the Surface Transportation Board); Senate HELP Committee hearing on modernizing apprenticeships to expand opportunities; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee hearing on the challenges and opportunities of the proposed government reorganization of OPM and GSA; Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting to consider various bills, resolutions, and nominations; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee joint hearing on the Federal Trade Commission’s enforcement of Operation Chokepoint-related businesses; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization and an update on the merit-based incentive payment system; House Science, Space & Technology Committee hearing on the James Webb Space Telescope program breach and its implications, with testimony from Northrop Grumman CEO Wesley Bush and JWST Independent Review Board Chairman Tom Young.
The use of blockchain technology is now expanding into the advertising space.The Wall Street Journal reports, “Anheuser-Busch InBev, AT&T Inc., Kellogg Co., Bayer AG, and Nestle SA are among advertisers that are starting to use the nascent technology to figure out whether their ads are viewed by real people, not computer-generated bots, and how much of their spending is siphoned off by middlemen. … ‘The objective here is not about savings, it’s more about transparency to make sure we are reaching consumers in the most relevant way,’ said Lucas Herscovici, a global marketing vice president at Anheuser-Busch, one of the world’s biggest advertisers. A-B has tested a solution from mobile ad-tech firm Kiip that records ad campaign data to the blockchain.”
“As with other new technology in the ad industry, blockchain will get widespread adoption only when prominent advertisers start demanding it as part of their campaigns.” The report believes this is still several years out, but the concept has some passionate advocates working to get others on board.
IN THE MEDIA
Bloomberg reports, “Netflix Inc., home of “The Crown” and “Stranger Things,” set a new high for digital streaming, overtaking reigning champion HBO in Emmy award nominations for the first time. Netflix secured 112 nominations — more than any other network — while HBO received 108, according to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. … Netflix’s accolades follow a rapid ascent in the television world. After its start two decades ago as a DVD-by-mail operation, the company has become a Hollywood powerhouse, signing popular producers, comedians and actors for original content. The company spends about $8 billion a year on new shows and films, far exceeding HBO and other competitors.”
IN THE ADMINISTRATION
President Trump is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland on Monday. Vice President Pence is also expected to visit St. Louis this week, attending a tax event and a fundraiser for Josh Hawley.
ON THE HILL
The House is expected to take up its next appropriations package — Interior-Environment and Financial Services — this coming week. The Senate continues its work on nominations next week with votes expected for Scott Stump as assistant secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the Education Department. Senator McConnell has also filed for cloture on Randal Quarles for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors as well as for judges for the Fifth and Ninth US Circuit Courts of Appeals.
Monday (July 16): Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committeefield hearing to examine the effects of tariffs on Wisconsin businesses, to be held in Milwaukee; House Rules Committee hearing on the FY2019 Interior, Environment, Financial Services, and General Government Appropriations Act; House Judiciary Committee field hearing on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Canine Training Center; The Atlantic Council event on Russia’s interference in elections, featuring Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL); Center for American Progress event on strengthening American democracy, featuring House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), John Sarbanes (D-MD), and Terri Sewell (D-AL); Pew Charitable Trusts event on rising drug prices featuring Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME);
Tuesday (July 17): Senate Banking Committeehearing on the semiannual monetary policy report, with testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell; Senate Environment and Public Works Committeehearing on a discussion draft of the Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2018; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to examine the Department of the Interior’s final list of critical minerals;Senate HELP Committee hearing on eliminating excess healthcare spending and improving quality and value for patients; House Judiciary Committee hearing on the content filtering practices of social media giants, with testimony from Facebook head of global policy management Monika Bichert, YouTube global head of public policy and government relations Juniper Downs, and Twitter public policy senior strategist Nick Pickles; House Rules Committee meeting on a resolution expressing the sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the U.S. economy; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee business meeting and subcommittee hearings on potential recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and reducing barriers to opportunity for tribal energy resources; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearingto examine capital regimes for financial institutions; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearings on combating fraud in Medicare and modernizing the Stark Law; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on the benefits of rural broadband and state efforts to improve transparency of health care costs for consumers; House Natural Resources Subcommitteehearing on 8 federal land bills; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on implementation of the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act and House Veterans Affairs’ and Small Business Subcommittees’ jointhearing on achieving government-wide verification of service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses; House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee hearing to examine the summer food service program; POLITICO Pro Summit;
Wednesday (July 18): Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing to review the administration’s government reorganization proposal, with testimony from Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director for Management Margaret Weichert; Senate Finance Subcommittee hearing on trade and commerce at U.S. ports of entry; Senate Foreign Relations Committeehearing on the nominations of Brian Bulatao (to be undersecretary of State for management) and Denise Natali (to be assistant secretary of State for conflict and stabilization operations); Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to examine federal investment in DNA analysis; Senate Commerce Committeehearing to examine innovations in shark research and technology; Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on supporting economic stability and self-sufficiency as Americans with disabilities and their families age; House Financial Services Committee hearing on monetary policy and the state of the economy, with testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and subcommittee hearing on digital currency and the future of money; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearingon the effects of tariffs on U.S. agriculture and rural communities; House Agriculture Committee hearing on cryptocurrencies and oversight of new assets in the digital age; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on the role of energy storage in the nation’s electricity system and oversight of the Federal Trade Commission; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing on 2017 disaster recovery and preparing for the 2018 hurricane season; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee joint hearing on information technology preparations for the 2020 Census and on regulatory divergence and failure of the administrative state; House Homeland Security Subcommitteehearing to examine efforts by the U.S. Secret Service to meet mission challenges; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on current developments in Central Asia; House Natural Resources Committee markup of 10 bills;
Thursday (July 19): Senate Banking Committee hearing on the nominations of Kathleen Kraninger to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Kimberly Reed to be president of the Export-Import Bank; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the nominations of Dennis Kirk (to be chairman of the Merit Systems Protection Board), Julia Clark and Andrew Maunz (to be members of the Merit Systems Protection Board), and Carmen McLean (to be an associate judge of the Superior Court of D.C.); Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the nominations of Mary Neumayr to be a member of the Council on Environmental Quality and John Fleming to be Assistant Commerce Secretary for Economic Development; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on administration reorganization and modernization proposals for the Departments of Energy and Interior; House Intelligence Committee hearing on China’s threat to American government and private sector research and innovation leadership; House Energy and Commerce Subcommitteehearing to examine implementation of 21st Century Cures Act’s mental health initiatives; U.S. Chamber of Commerce conference on retirement, with speakers including Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Assistant Labor Secretary Preston Rutledge.
FROM POLITICO INFLUENCE — NFL DRAFTS WOOTEN: Todd Wooten, a principal at S-3 Public Affairs, will take a three-month leave of absence to manage temporarily the NFL‘sfederal government relations division, as the group searches for a permanent replacement for Jocelyn Moore. Moore was recently promoted to executive vice president of communications and public affairs.
*** PRESS RELEASE***
Wooten to Take Temporary Leave to Manage NFL’s Washington Office
July 9, 2018– S-3 Public Affairs principal Todd Wooten will take a three-month leave of absence from the firm to manage the National Football League’s (NFL) Washington office while a search is conducted to replace Jocelyn Moore, who was promoted to the position of Executive Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs last week. Wooten joined S-3 Public Affairs in February of 2017. Prior to joining S-3, he served as Senior Counsel for Energy and Tax on the Senate Finance Committee and coordinated the Committee’s outreach to businesses and organizations. Wooten will manage the NFL’s federal and state government relations efforts and assist in the search for a permanent replacement for Moore.
“We will miss Wooten around the office but look forward to him rejoining us in October. The NFL will be well served in the interim by his intellect, professionalism and keen instincts,” said John Scofield, Managing Partner at S-3 Public Affairs.
“We are pleased to have Todd join us during this time of transition,” said Jocelyn Moore, the NFL’s Executive Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs. “He is the ideal person to lead our DC office while we search for a full-time executive. We are grateful to the S-3 Group for accommodating this assignment.”
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 to clients.
Harvard Business Review is out with a new look at how CEOs spend their time. The report tracked 27 CEOs “for a full quarter (three months) each.” Among the findings:
“The leaders in our study worked 9.7 hours per weekday, on average. They also conducted business on 79% of weekend days, putting in an average of 3.9 hours daily, and on 70% of vacation days, averaging 2.4 hours daily.”
About half (47%) of a CEO’s work was done at company headquarters. The rest was conducted while visiting other company locations, meeting external constituencies, commuting, traveling, and at home. Altogether, the CEOs in our study worked an average of 62.5 hours a week.”
“The top job in a company involves primarily face-to-face interactions, which took up 61% of the work time of the CEOs we studied. Another 15% was spent on the phone or reading and replying to written correspondence. The final 24% was spent on electronic communications.”
“In our study about half (46%) of a CEO’s time with internal constituencies was spent with one or more direct reports, and 21% of it was spent only with direct reports. The total time spent with direct reports ranged from a low of 32% of time with internal constituencies to a high of 67%.” The variation depended on confidence in the direct report.
“On average, the leaders in our study had 37 meetings of assorted lengths in any given week and spent 72% of their total work time in meetings.”
IN THE MEDIA
The Wall Street Journal reports on another effort to make TV advertising more targeted to specific audiences. “Roku Inc. said it is launching a marketplace where TV networks can sell commercial space that targets specific audiences, adding to an array of companies trying to make TV advertising more targeted.” The idea is that the networks will sell ad space to Roku’s “Audience Marketplace,” and then, “will be able to use its viewing data to help advertisers target specific customers.”
“Roku, which sells devices that stream TV programming, has growing ambitions in the advertising business. The company reported $75 million in first quarter revenue from its platform business, which includes advertising and content services like licensing and accounts for 55% of the company’s revenue. … Roku’s initiative is one of several aimed at updating the antiquated TV ad business. Fox, Turner, Viacom and NBCU recently joined forces to create a separate consortium to help advertisers figure out which shows are likely to reach specific audiences. AT&T Inc. also has considered creating a marketplace for TV and digital ad inventory. It’s unclear how much commercial space the media companies will be willing to sell in the Roku marketplace. TV networks typically allocate two minutes of ad time per hour to TV distributors, who then sell the space to local advertisers. The TV networks then sell national ads aimed at broad groups of people in their portion of the programming.”
IN THE ADMINISTRATION
The Seattle Times reports, “The White House says President Donald Trump will make a stop in Montana next week. Spokeswoman Lindsay Walters says Trump will travel to the state on July 5. She didn’t say what the president would be doing, but the visit is expected to include a campaign appearance on behalf of state auditor Matthew Rosendale, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate.”
The Senate is expected to consider: nominations; legislation relating to opioids (Rule 14); S.2800, America’s Water Infrastructure Act; FAA reauthorization; and appropriations. It is expected the NDAA conference report and a flood insurance extension will be available to vote on by the end of the work period.
The House is expected to consider: Natural resources legislation; welfare reform, JOBS ACT 3.0, appropriations mini-bus (FSGG-Interior); healthcare/tax related legislation; flood insurance extension; NDAA conference report; and potentially a FAA reauthorization/extension.
July 1: Mexican general election (Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wins)
July 6: U.S. to implement a 25% tariff on 818 Chinese products worth approximately $34 billion; Bureau of Labor Statistics releases monthly jobs report
Week of July 9: President Trump to announce nominee for the Supreme Court seat being vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy; House and Senate return from recess
July 11-12: NATO meeting of heads of state and government in Brussels, Belgium
July 12: Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to deliver address at The Economic Club of Washington, DC; Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Risk Advisory Committee holds its first public meeting
July 13: President Trump to make a “working visit” in Britain with Prime Minister Theresa May
July 15: Federal Election Commission second quarter filing deadline
July 16: President Trump to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland; Securities and Exchange Commission Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee meeting
July 17: POLITICO Pro Summit, including conversations with FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Kevin McIntyre, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan; Alabama primary runoffs (Rep. Roby)
July 19-20: Commerce Department public hearing on autos 232 investigation
July 24: Georgia primary runoffs (Governor’s race)
July 25: Washington Post Live event with Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson
July 31: National Flood Insurance Program expires; Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement takes effect
July 31-August 1: Federal Reserve Federal Open Market Committee meeting
Bloomberg reports on Instagram’s new TV video feature, launched this week to the platform that “has reached 1 billion monthly active users. … Unlike on Instagram, the videos in IGTV won’t be limited to just one minute — they can be up to an hour long. People will also be able to comment on the videos and send them to friends. Instagram says it’s not immediately paying for any content on the app, nor will it start with any advertising. But eventually, it plans to make sure people making popular videos have a way to make money from their efforts, the company said.”
Recode explains, “Instagram wants to be TV for young people. … Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom has a straightforward argument: Teens are watching less TV, but they’re watching more video on Instagram than ever before.”Recent Pew research shows Instagram is used by 72% of teens.
IN THE MEDIA
Voice may be the new online search. The Wall Street Journal reports on the growing trend to advertise through voice assistants and brands’ new effort to develop the most creative, effective ways to reach consumers through this new technology. “The goal is to connect with people—many of whom have a growing aversion to traditional ads—where they are spending time and in a way that enhances rather than interrupts what they are doing.” The WSJ shares the story of spirits company Diageo which has developed a “skill” for Amazon’s Alexa that shares drink ideas with users. “When people use online search to find drink recipes, more than 80% go out to buy the liquor brand mentioned in the suggested recipe, according to Mr. Thompson [Diageo’s chief marketing officer]. That’s a good indicator of the potential for voice, he says, describing it as the ‘search of the future.’”
The WSJ adds, “Digital ad agency VaynerMedia is among the agencies looking to capitalize on brands’ growing interest in this area.” … VaynerMedia’s founder and CEO, “says he already has expanded his voice group to about 15 people and plans to nearly double that by the end of the year. He says the practice expects to generate revenue this year in the low seven figures from voice-assistant app projects that cost brands between $75,000 and $150,000, as well as seven-figure retainer deals with clients who want continuing support in the voice category.
IN THE ADMINISTRATION
Per Playbook: “Monday: The president will host Jordan King Abdullah and Queen Rania at the White House and then he will go to West Columbia, South Carolina, for an event for Gov. Henry McMaster. Tuesday: The president will meet with the Associated Builders and Contractors national executive committee. … Wednesday: The president will have lunch with the secretary of State, he’ll meet with the president of Portugal and then he will go to Fargo, North Dakota, for a rally. Thursday: Trump will travel to Milwaukee and Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. Friday: The president will mark the six-month anniversary of the tax bill.”
ON THE HILL
The House and Senate are both in this week with focus in the House on defense spending as well as continued immigration work. The House is also expected to vote to go to conference with the Senate on the National Defense Authorization Act. The Senate has scheduled votes Monday on three appropriations bills – Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and MilCon-VA.
Monday (June 25): House Rules Committee meeting on the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, Endangered Salmon and Fisheries Predation Prevention Act, and general debate of the FY2019 Department of Defense Appropriations Act; Heritage Foundation event on the importance and responsibility of congressional oversight, with keynote remarks from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA);27th World Gas Conferencein Washington, DC (through Friday);
Tuesday (June 26): Primaries in New York, Maryland, Utah, Colorado, and Oklahoma and primary runoffs in Mississippi and South Carolina; Senate Appropriations Subcommittee markups of the FY2019 Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bills; Senate Finance Committeehearing on challenges in today’s prescription drug market, with testimony from Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar; Senate Judiciary Committeehearingon implementation of and next steps for a survivors’ bill of rights andsubcommittee hearing to examine shell companies and virtual currencies as avenues for foreign influence; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to consider Department of Energy nominees Teri Donaldson (to be Inspector General), Dr. Christopher Fall (to be director of the Office of Science), Karen Evans (to be Assistant Secretary of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response), and Daniel Simmons (to be Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy); Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the nomination of Lt. Gen. Stephen Lyons to head U.S. Transportation Command; Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing on U.S. policy in Europe, with testimony from Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs A. Wess Mitchell, and business meeting to consider 5 bills and 7 nominations; Senate Banking Committee hearing on legislative proposals to increase access to capital; Senate HELP Committee executive session to consider 5 bills, including reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, and the nominations of Scott Stump (to be Assistant Secretary of Education for Career, Technical, and Adult Education) and John Lowry III (to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans’ Employment and Training); House Appropriations Committee markup of the FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act; House Rules Committee meeting to consider amendments to the FY2019 Department of Defense Appropriations Act; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on VA electronic health record modernization and subcommittee hearing on hiring and retaining veterans for the modern workforce; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearings on oversight of the federal government’s approach to lead-based paint and mold remediation in public and subsidized housing and the international and domestic implications of de-risking; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on the shifting geopolitics of oil and gasand the discussion draft of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Reauthorization Act; House Judiciary Committee markup of H.Res.938, directing the Attorney General to provide documents related to the investigation of Justice Department and FBI decisions regarding the 2016 election, and H.Res.928, directing the Attorney General to provide documents relating to the President’s use of the pardon power; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommitteehearing to receive stakeholder perspectives on commercial space transportation regulatory reform; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on access to public lands and the effects of Forest Service road closures; House Natural Resources Subcommittee legislative hearing on 3 offshore renewable energy bills; Washington Post Live event on tax reform, with speakers including Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX); Heritage Foundation eventon the importance of free-market principles in American healthcare, with keynote remarks from Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar; The Hill eventon measuring performance and patient care, with speakers including Deputy Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX); The Atlantic Council event on global innovation, with keynote remarks from Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO);
Wednesday (June 27): Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on the nomination of Robert Wilkie to be secretary of Veterans Affairs; Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing to review the FY2019 budget request for the State Department, with testimony from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo;Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to examine eligibility requirements for the Radiation Exposure Compensation Program and subcommittee hearing to examine the competitive impact of the T-Mobile/Sprint merger; Senate HELP Committee hearing on understanding the cost of healthcare in America and how to reduce costs; Senate Commerce Committee executive session to consider 8 bills and 4 nominations; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Medicaid fraud and overpayments and roundtable on FAST-41 and the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council; Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform hearing to receive testimony from members of the House and Senate on improvements to the budget and appropriations process; House Financial Services Committee hearing on oversight of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, with testimony from Secretary Ben Carson, and markup of 8 bills; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing to examine the administration’s government-wide reorganization plan; House Small Business Committee hearing on ZTE as a threat to America’s small businesses; House Natural Resources Committeemarkup of 5 bills; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on crisis in the Republic of the Cameroon; House Science, Space & Technology Subcommittee hearing on bolstering data privacy and mobile security and an assessment of IMSI catcher threats and markup of the National Quantum Initiative Act, National Institute of Standards and Technology Reauthorization Act, and American Space SAFE Management Act; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee markup of pending legislation; POLITICO Playbook event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY); Washington Post Live eventwith House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA); POLITICO Space event with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine; American Enterprise Institute event on Federal Reserve reform, with Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY);
Thursday (June 28): Senate Appropriations Committeemarkup of the FY2019 Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bills; Senate Finance Committee hearing on the nomination of Charles Rettig to be commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service; Senate Banking Committeehearing on legislative proposals to examine corporate governance; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of Donald Lu (to be ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic) and Randy Berry (to be ambassador to the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal); Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting to consider 8 judicial nominations, the KIWI Act, and the Music Modernization Act; House Intelligence Committeeclosed markup of the FY2019 Intelligence Authorization Act; House Judiciary Committee hearing on reauthorization of the Debbie Smith Act; House Foreign Affairs Committee markup of 3 resolutions and 2 bills; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on Army and Marine Corps depot policy issues and infrastructure concerns;
Friday (June 29): Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing on opportunities and challenges with the Small Business Administration’s federal contracting programs;
Digiday reports on Slack’s latest advertising effort aimed at expanding its user base beyond “Silicon Valley startups, media companies and agencies. … Slack touts more than 8 million daily active users. There are more than 3 million paid users, and its 70,000 paid teams include 65 percent of Fortune 100 companies. Now, Slack is focused on attracting more enterprise customers amid competition from Facebook’s Workplace and older workplace communication software options. … To reach those traditional office workers, Slack is running TV ads on morning shows like ‘Good Morning America’ and ‘CBS This Morning’ before 9 a.m. and during the workday on networks like CNBC and Bloomberg TV.”
“Slack also is running online display and YouTube ads during the workday. The three 15-second video spots are focused on finance, marketing and sales. … Slack is also tapping into the hype around the World Cup. As part of the “Collaboration” campaign and titled #PoweredBySlack, Slack partnered with Fox Sports through the help of marketing and media agency Noble People. Slack is sponsoring the Fox Sports Hub in Los Angeles, the physical studio space for commentators.”
IN THE MEDIA
Pew Research offers new insights into digital news media habits. “In the U.S., roughly nine-in-ten adults (93%) get at least some news online (either via mobile or desktop), and the online space has become a host for the digital homes of both legacy news outlets and new, ‘born on the web’ news outlets.” These outlets are finding readers through various outlets.“Digital-native news outlets are also adopting other outreach and engagement methods. About eight-in-ten (83%) of these outlets offer newsletters, and 86% have an official presence on Apple News. A large majority (71%) release podcasts, and 63% allow comments on their articles.”
BONUS Media Trend: While digital and TV-based advertising seem increasingly integrated from the consumer perspective, they are still being purchased separately. MediaPost reports, “While a slight majority — 53% — of advertiser and agency executives say they now plan TV/video as one “holistic” medium, they don’t necessarily execute it that way,according to findings of Advertiser Perceptions 2018 Video Advertising Convergence Report. The report finds that only 40% of ad execs say they actually buy TV and video as part of an integrated team.”
IN THE ADMINISTRATION
Politico reports, “President Donald Trump will huddle with House Republicans in a rare Tuesday evening conference meeting on immigration, seeking to clarify his support for a newly released GOP bill shielding Dreamers from deportation. The conference will start at 5:30 p.m. and comes just a few days before House Republicans are slated to vote on a pair of immigration bills dealing with the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.”
ON THE HILL
The House and Senate are both in for what should be a busy week on the Hill. The House is continuing its work addressing the opioid crisis with several more bills expected. Attention remains on potential immigration-related votes later in the week. The Senate is expected to complete its work on the National Defense Authorization Act on Monday with votes on cloture on the motion to proceed with the minibus appropriations package expected as well.
Monday (June 18): Senate Judiciary Committeehearing on FBI and DOJ actions in advance of the 2016 election, with testimony from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray; Senate resumes consideration of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act and votes on cloture on the motion to proceed with the minibus appropriations package;
Tuesday (June 19): Washington, DC primary; Senate Appropriations Subcommittee markups of the FY2019 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, FY2019 Financial Services and Government Appropriations Bill, and FY2019 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill; Senate Commerce Committeehearing on examining data privacy risks to Cambridge Analytica and other Facebook partners; Senate HELP Committee hearing on the 340B drug pricing program; Senate Armed Services Committee hearingon the nomination of Lt. Gen. Austin S. Miller to be commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and general and commander of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the EB-5 investor visa program, with testimony from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Francis Cissna; Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on changing the trajectory of Alzheimer’s by reducing risk, detecting early symptoms, and improving data; House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees joint oversight hearing on FBI and DOJ actions in advance of the 2016 election, with testimony from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz; House Rules Committee meeting on the Individuals in Medicaid Deserve Care that is Appropriate and Responsible in its Delivery Act, Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act, and Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act; House Homeland Security Subcommitteefield hearing on DHS coordination with state and local partners to fight the opioid epidemic (in Harrisburg, PA);
Wednesday (June 20): Senate Finance Committeehearing on current and proposed tariff actions administered by the Commerce Department, with testimony from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and subcommittee hearingon trade and commerce at U.S. ports of entry, with testimony from a panel including U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan; Senate Intelligence Committee open hearing on the policy response to Russian interference in the 2016 elections; Senate Rules & Administration Committeehearing on state and local perspectives of election security preparations; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Fourth Circuit nominees A. Marvin Quattlebaum, Jr., and Julius Ness Richardson, and district court nominees Roy Altman (Southern District of Florida), Raul Arias-Marxuach (District of Puerto Rico), and Rodolfo Armando Ruiz II (Southern District of Florida); Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the nominations of William McIntosh and Peter Wright to be assistant administrators of the EPA; Senate Commerce Committeehearing on the nominations of Geoffrey Starks (to be a member of the FCC) and Peter Feldman (to be a member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission);Senate Foreign Relations Committeehearing on USAID resources and redesign, with testimony from USAID Administrator Mark Green; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Medicaid fraud and overpayments, with testimony from GAO Comptroller General Eugene Dodaro and Health and Human Services Inspector General Daniel Levinson; Senate Banking Subcommittee hearing on combating money laundering and other forms of illicit finance; House Appropriations Committee markup of the FY2019 State and Foreign Operations and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education appropriations bills and the revised report on budget allocations for FY0219; House Foreign Affairs Committeehearing on U.S. policy toward Afghanistan, with testimony from Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alice G. Wells and subcommittee hearings on outcomes and oversight of the Trump-Kim summit and human rights concerns in Sri Lanka; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommitteehearing on holding Cuban leaders accountable; House Natural Resources Committeemarkup of 4 bills; House Financial Services Committeehearing on empowering a pro-growth economy by cutting taxes and regulatory red tape and subcommittee hearing on illicit use of virtual currency and law enforcement response; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on IRS and DOJ efforts to return taxpayers’ seized funds; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on the benefits of tax reform on the energy sector and consumers and an examination of the GAO audit series of HHS cybersecurity; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on pain management and opioids prescription management and reporting transparency in military health system reform;House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee hearing on reducing barriers to economic mobility and growth in occupational licensing; Washington Post Health 202 Liveevent, with speakers including HHS Secretary Alex Azar and Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Michael Bennet (D-CO); The Hill event on technology’s role in the opioid epidemic, with speakers including Reps. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) and Tim Ryan (D-OH);
Thursday (June 21): Senate Appropriations Committee markup of the FY2019 State and Foreign Operations, Homeland Security, and Financial Services Appropriations bills; Senate Judiciary Committeeexecutive business meeting to consider 4 nominees and the KIWI Act; Joint Economic Committeehearing on the need for U.S. leadership on digital trade; House Financial Services Committee oversight hearing of the Securities and Exchange Commission, with testimony from Chairman Jay Clayton; House Armed Services Committeehearing on military technology transfer and threats, impacts, and solutions for the Department of Defense and subcommittee hearing on aviation mishap prevention; House Intelligence Committeeclosed hearing on the role and mission of the Defense Intelligence Agency; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on posture, proliferation, and the future of arms control as it relates to Russian and Chinese nuclear arsenals; House Judiciary Subcommittee hearings on the need for new federal judges, the Bankruptcy Administration Improvement Act, and the state of intellectual freedom in America; House Natural Resources Committee legislative hearings on 5 federal land management bills and 2 mineral leasing bills; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing on implementation of the PIPES Act; House Education and the Workforce Subcommitteehearing to review developments, trends and statistics in the U.S. labor market and American workforce; House Small Business Subcommittee hearing on how federal regulations impact America’s small farmers; Bloomberg Governmentinvitation-only breakfast eventwith Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS);
“11.6 percent of CEOs are on Twitter: Out of 1,395 CEOs from Fortune 1000, Business Roundtable, and Fast Company’s Most Innovative, 163 were active on Twitter.
“CNBC is the most relied upon news outlet for CEOs: The New York Times and Bloomberg as the next most relied upon.
“64% of journalists followed by CEOs write about business.”
IN THE MEDIA
The Wall Street Journal reports, “[Instagram] is preparing to launch a new feature that will include long-form video, according to people familiar with the matter. The feature, which could allow videos of up to an hour in length, will focus on vertical video, or video that is taller than it is wide, one of the people said. Until now, Instagram hasn’t allowed users to post any videos longer than one minute.”
Perhaps this is due to the growing number of digital video consumers. “The audience for original digital video, defined by the Interactive Advertising Bureau as ad-supported, professionally produced and distributed digitally, has grown substantially in recent years. An IAB report estimated earlier this year that the audience among U.S. adults has expanded from 45 million in 2013 to 72 million in 2018, or by 60%.” CNBC adds, “Digital video advertising is exceptionally lucrative, with revenue projected to reach $19.81 billion by 2020, according to eMarketer.”
IN THE ADMINISTRATION
President Trump is in Singapore for the Tuesday summit with Kim Jong Un. The president is expected to meet with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday.
ON THE HILL
The House will consider a series of opioid-related bills beginning this week and continuing next week. The House Energy and Commerce Committee has the full preview here. The Senate is expected to continue work on the National Defense Authorization Act Monday evening.
Monday (June 11): Senatevote on the motion to proceed with the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act; House Natural Resources Committeefield hearing to examine the effects of mismanagement of the cormorant in the Great Lakes Region, to be held at Alpena Community College in Alpena, MI;Heritage Foundation eventon farm subsidy reforms with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA);
Tuesday (June 12): Primaries in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Virginia; Senate HELP Committeehearing on the President’s plan to lower drug prices, with testimony from Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar; Senate Appropriations Subcommittee markups of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies and Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bills; Senate Finance Committee hearing on the nominations of Jeffrey Kessler (to be assistant secretary of Commerce), Elizabeth Copeland and Patrick Urda (to be judges of the U.S. Tax Court), and Amy Karpel and Randolph Stayin (to be members of the International Trade Commission) and open executive session to consider the Helping to End Addiction and Lessen Substance Use Disorders Act; Senate Banking Committee executive session to vote on Federal Reserve nominees Richard Clarida and Michelle Bowman; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee oversight hearing of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Senate Judiciary Committeehearing on ensuring law enforcement is equipped to target election interference; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs roundtable to examine the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Program; House Rules Committeemeetingto consider the Transitional Housing for Recovery in Viable Environments Demonstration Program Act, Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act, and Securing the International Mail Against Opioids Act; House Judiciary Committeefield hearing on oversight of the ATF national canine division, to be held at Warren County Government Center in Front Royal, VA;POLITICO Playbookinterview with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA); The Hill eventon maternal and child health, with speakers including Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), and Gwen Moore (D-WI);
Wednesday (June 13): Senate Agriculture Committee business meeting on the 2018 Farm Bill; Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, with testimony from Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator David Redl; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on sexual harassment and workplace misconduct in the federal judiciary; Senate Foreign Relations Committeehearing on the nominations of Kimberly Breier (to be assistant secretary of State for Western Hemisphere affairs), Kenneth George (to be ambassador to Uruguay) and Joseph Mondello (to be ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago); Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on the nomination of John Lowry III (to be assistant secretary of Labor for veterans’ employment and training); Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing to examine the effects of emerging autonomous technologies on infrastructure and subcommittee oversight hearing of the Army Corps’ regulation of surplus water and the role of states’ rights; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee hearingon the Contra Costa Canal Transfer Act, Arbuckle Project Maintenance Complex and District Office Conveyance Act, and Bureau of Reclamation Pumped Storage Hydropower Development Act; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs business meeting to consider 3 nominations, 15 bills, and 13 postal naming bills; House Appropriations Committeemarkup of the FY2019 Defense and Financial Services appropriations bills and subcommittee markup of the State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill; House Financial Services Committee hearing to receive an update from Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting and subcommittee hearing on ensuring effectiveness and transparency in securities law enforcement; House Natural Resources Committee markup of 5 bills; House Foreign Affairs Subcommitteehearing on ensuring resources match objectives in the Middle East and North Africa, with testimony from Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield and USAID Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for the Middle East Maria Longi; House Armed Services Subcommitteehearing on the Department of Defense aviation safety mishap review and oversight process; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee legislative hearing on draft bills to improve the management of VA healthcare facilities; House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing on charter schools; Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans hearing on employer perspectives of multiemployer pension plans; Washington Post Live event on mental health and well-being in America, with speakers including Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Brian Schatz (D-HI);
Thursday (June 14): Senate Appropriations Committee markups of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, and Legislative Branch appropriations bills; Senate Banking Committee hearing to receive an update from an update from Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting; Senate Foreign Relations Committeehearing on the nominations of Harry B. Harris Jr. (to be ambassador to Korea), Tibor Peter Nagy Jr. (to be assistant secretary of State for African affairs), and David Schenker (to be assistant secretary of State for Near Eastern affairs); Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting to consider 8 nominations, the Preventing Drug Diversion Act, the CREATES Act, and the KIWI Act;House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on democracy promotion in a challenging world; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on Navy and Air Force depot policy issues and infrastructure concerns; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards Program and understanding the digital advertising ecosystem; House Science, Space & Technology Subcommittee hearing on NASA cost and schedule overruns; House Small Business Subcommittee hearing on the small business workforce shortage; Annual Congressional Baseball Game;
Friday (June 15): House Energy and Commerce Subcommitteehearing on the state of U.S. public health bio-preparedness.
Recode shares key takeaways from the annual Code Conference at which Mary Meeker shared her Internet Trends Report:
“2017 was the first year in which smartphone unit shipments didn’t grow at all. As more of the world become smartphone owners, growth has been harder and harder to come by. The same goes for internet user growth, which rose 7 percent in 2017, down from 12 percent the year before. With more than half the world online, there are fewer people left to connect.
“People, however, are still increasing the amount of time they spend online. U.S. adults spent 5.9 hours per day on digital media in 2017, up from 5.6 hours the year before. Some 3.3 of those hours were spent on mobile, which is responsible for overall growth in digital media consumption.”
IN THE MEDIA
MediaWeek reports, “Six-second video ads are on the rise in a big way. The number of vendors running this ad format is up 300% compared to the same quarter last year, according to Extreme Reach’s Q1 2018 Video Advertising Benchmark Report.
The TV and video ad technology firm says it expects “exponential increases” in six-second ad adoption, driven by completion rates significantly higher than other forms of video advertising. The ad format, which gained in popularity in the latter half of 2017, now accounts for 2.8% of all video ads, up from only 0.4% in Q1 of 2017.”
Perhaps this is the result of their popularity.AdWeek reports on a “recent study by Adweek and AI company GumGum,” that finds, “unskippable six-second pre-rolls, as well as interactive/shoppable videos are tops among effectiveness by 10 percentage points. Unskippable six-second pre-rolls are seen as 27 percent very effective and 54 percent effective, while the interactive videos were deemed 29 percent very effective and 52 percent effective.”
IN THE ADMINISTRATION
President Trump will travel to Quebec Friday for the start of the G-7. Tensions are expected to be high. CNBC reports, “Already, G-7 finance ministers, meeting in British Columbia over the weekend, chastised the U.S. for the trade skirmishes brewing across the world.”
The House returns Tuesday and this week it is expected to consider the Water Resources Development Act as well as several appropriations bills. The Senate is back Monday continuing its work on nominations. Get a fulllook ahead for June here as well.
Tuesday (June 5): Primaries in California, New Jersey, Alabama, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota; Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 budget requests of the Department of Education (with testimony from Secretary Betsy DeVos) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission (with testimony from CFTC Chairman Christopher Giancarlo and SEC Chairman Jay Clayton) and markups of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bills; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearingon the nominations of Georgette Mosbacher (to be ambassador to Poland), Stephen Akard (to be director of the Office of Foreign Missions), and Mark Rosen (to be executive director of the International Monetary Fund); Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the 2018 Wildland Fire Outlook and Wildland Fire Management Programs, with testimony from Interim Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen and Office of Wildland Fire Director Jeff Rupert; Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearings on the Digital Coast partnership program and preventing abuse in Olympic and amateur athletics; House Rules Committee meeting to consider the Water Resources Development Act, the Senate amendment to the Project Safe Neighborhood Grants Program Authorization Act, and general debate on the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act;
Wednesday (June 6): Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of David Porter (to be Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit) and district court nominees Holly Brady (Northern District of Indiana), Andrew Brasher (Middle District of Alabama), James Hanlon (Southern District of Indiana), David Morales (Southern District of Texas), and Lance Walker (District of Maine) and subcommittee hearing on China’s campaign to infiltrate and exploit U.S. academia; Senate Appropriations Subcommittee closed hearingto review defense innovation and research funding, with testimony from Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Director Steven Walker; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018 and subcommittee hearing on war powers and the effects of unauthorized military engagements on federal spending; Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing on stakeholder perspectives of the future of the International Space Station; Senate Indian Affairs Committee business meeting to consider the nomination of Tara Sweeney to serve as assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs;House Committee on Education and the Workforcehearing on the policies and priorities of the Department of Health and Human Services, with testimony from Secretary Alex Azar; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on ending U.S. participation in the Iran nuclear deal; House Rules Committeemeeting to consider amendments to the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act; House Homeland Security Committeemarkup of 10 bills; House Natural Resources Committee markup of 6 bills and subcommittee legislative hearingon 4 onshore energy development bills; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearings on H.R.1511, the Homeless Children and Youth Actand improving transparency and accountability at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; House Energy and Commerce Subcommitteehearing on reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on consumer-directed health plans; House Small Business Committeehearing on millennials and the gig economy; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearingon the U.S. role in Arctic maritime transportation; Washington Post Daily 202 Live event with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT);
Thursday (June 7): Senate Appropriations Committeemarkup of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bills; Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting to consider 6 nominations and the Preventing Drug Diversion Act; House Natural Resources Subcommittee oversight hearing on management priorities of the U.S. Forest Service, with testimony from Interim Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearings on advancing U.S. business investment and trade in the Americas and human rights in Vietnam; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on the status of Social Security’s trust funds; House Energy and Commerce Subcommitteehearing on improving the hydropower licensing process; House Science, Space & Technology Subcommittee hearing on the electric grid of the future; House Small Business Subcommittee hearing to examine VA’s resources for veteran-owned small businesses; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommitteehearings on the potential health effects of burn pit exposure among veteransand efforts to memorialize veterans; Washington Post eventon the future of aviation, with speakers including Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao; Faith and Freedom Coalition Road to Majorityconference (through June 9);
Friday (June 8): House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on questions regarding the U.S. Census.
The Senate is expected to consider: nominations; America’s Water Infrastructure Act (WRDA); FAA Reauthorization; and potentially the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act which would carry with it CFIUS reform (FIRRMA).
The House is expected to consider: WRDA, Appropriations bills, Opioid related legislation, and potentially revisit the Farm bill.
June 1: Waiver on steel and aluminum tariffs for U.S. allies, including the European Union, Canada, and Mexico, set to expire – the President has indicated the tariffs will go into effect; Bureau of Labor Statistics releases monthly jobs report; Atlantic hurricane season starts
June 12: U.S. ceremony to open the American Institute in Taiwan; Primaries in Nevada, Maine, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Virginia; Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to testify before the Senate HELP Committee on the President’s blueprint to lower drug prices; Ruling expected in the AT&T-Time Warner antitrust trial; POLITICO Playbook interview with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA)
June 15: Trump administration expected to outline Chinese goods that will be subject to new tariffs
June 19: Arkansas primary runoff elections
June 22: House expected to vote on the farm bill; OPEC meeting, in Vienna, Austria; Deadline for filing written comments on the Commerce Department’s Section 232 investigation into auto parts
June 26: Primaries in New York, Maryland, Utah, Colorado, and Oklahoma and primary runoffs in Mississippi and South Carolina
June 30: Trump administration expected to outline Chinese technology that will be subject to new tariffs; Special election for Texas’ 27th Congressional District
https://s3publicaffairs.com/wp-content/uploads/S-3-logo_website-6.png200200Tara Bauerhttp://s3publicaffairs.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_header_medgreytext_223x80.pngTara Bauer2018-06-01 09:00:332018-05-31 15:36:55S-3 Public Affairs | June Look-Ahead
You may know WhatsApp as the messaging platform you download to keep in touch with friends or family who are abroad, but for marketers, it’s becoming a big deal. Inc. reports, “Remember when Facebook spent a whopping $19 billion on messaging platform WhatsApp? It turns out, that investment might just pay off. Not only does WhatsApp have 1.5 billion monthly users (and counting), but it’s also the second largest story-sharing product Facebook has after Instagram (sorry, Snapchat). Marketers are getting the message, too, and are using WhatsApp to connect with millennials and Gen Z. The great news? Mobile messaging app users are really open to it: according to a recent Nielsen Facebook Messaging Survey, 67 percent said they expect to use chat more for communicating with businesses over the next two years, and 53 percent are more likely to shop with a business they can message directly.”
IN THE MEDIA
Variety reports, “Netflix is sharply steering its new content spending toward original projects, with around 85% of new spending going to original TV shows, films and other productions, according to chief content officer Ted Sarandos. … Meanwhile, Netflix also sees an opportunity to bulk up unscripted content. As much as 40% of viewing on U.S. television is unscripted programming, versus around 7% on Netflix.”
But don’t look for live sports or news on Netflix quite yet. When asked about it, Sarandos said, “‘When it’s the next best use of $10 billion, that’s when we’ll do a big sports deal,’ he said, adding that there ‘are a lot of good alternatives’ to news programming.”
Meanwhile, Bloomberg adds, “Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg [think The Little Mermaid and Shrek] has secured about $800 million in financing for his video startup NewTV, which the company will use to fund high-end TV series that have YouTube-length episodes, according to people with knowledge of the matter. … NewTV will use the money to finance shows that are roughly the duration of a typical YouTube clip, but at a cost more on a par with a Netflix Inc. series. Each NewTV series will cost about $5 million to $6 million per hour, the people said, but individual episodes won’t run much longer than 15 minutes. ‘Jeffrey wants to take what Apple and Netflix and HBO are doing, and translate it into 10-minute-or-less shows,’ said Rich Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG LLC.”
IN THE ADMINISTRATION
The administration is still working toward a June summit with North Korea as the advance team heads to Singapore today to begin preparations. Politico reports, “President Donald Trump on Saturday said that the plan for a June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore ‘hasn’t changed’ and is ‘moving along very nicely.’”
ON THE HILL
Congress is out this week with members home in their states and districts.
Monday (May 28): Memorial Day;
Tuesday (May 29): Senate Finance Subcommitteefield hearing to examine efforts to prevent opioid misuse in Medicare and Medicaid, to be held in Bensalem, PA;
Wednesday (May 30): House Homeland Security Subcommittee field hearing on the border and the opioid crisis, to be held in Phoenix, AZ, with a panel including Gov. Doug Ducey;
Thursday (May 31): House Science, Space & Technology Committee field hearing on reauthorization of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, to be held in Huntington Beach, CA;
Friday (June 1): House Natural Resources Committee field hearing to examine natural gas and oil shale opportunities in Western Colorado, to be held in Grand Junction, CO.
AdAge reports on a new review of the effectiveness of the 6-second ad. The ads were tested next to 15- and 30-second spots “from three different well-known, general interest brands, including Hershey’s, in different combinations and sequences.” The takeaways:
“Six-second ads have a more positive impact when used to reinforce a message already delivered by a longer ad.”
“When used exclusively, 15-second ads were seen as twice as effective as 6-second ads and 30-second ads.”
IN THE MEDIA
As podcast popularity continues to grow so too does the focus on advertising opportunities, the platform technology, and metrics around the medium. TechWorld explains why: “Podcast listeners are a burgeoning demographic that might come to represent one of the most lucrative channels available to advertisers. Between 2015 and 2016, the number of Brits tuning into podcasts grew 27 percent to 4.7 million, while across the pond, almost 40 percent of Americans listen to podcasts, while 24 percent tune in monthly, representing the captive ears of 60 million potential consumers.”
AdExchanger (h/t Morning Consult Brands) notes that the podcast technology itself is dated, but “Digital audio and broadcast radio companies see an opportunity to fix the podcast experience for users by making it look and feel more like digital audio, where content is recommended to listeners before they know they want it. Through recommendations, these platforms can open more inventory by making back-catalog episodes easier to find. They can also collect more data on listening habits and share that with advertisers.”
“Pandora and Spotify have the technology, infrastructure and data to reinvent the listener experience by applying algorithms to recommend content for users, like they do in music. … Radio giants iHeartMedia and NPR are also establishing themselves as podcast destinations … IHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s streaming app, has 100 million monthly active users, and NPR’s streaming app NPR One gets 4 million podcast listeners every week. … As audio and radio giants fix the podcast user experience, they’re also opening the doors for smarter podcast advertising,” but there’s a concern that programmatic advertising could change the listener experience.
IN THE ADMINISTRATION
South Korean President Moon Jae-in is set to visit the White House on Tuesday. Newsday reports, “President Donald Trump is expected to return to Long Island next Wednesday for a forum on the MS-13 gang, Rep. Peter King said Thursday. King (R-Seaford) said he has been working with the White House on the event, which is tentatively scheduled to be held at the Morrelly Homeland Security Center in Bethpage.”
ON THE HILL
It’s a busy week on the Hill in advance of the holiday weekend. Focus is on the National Defense Authorization Act and next steps on the Farm Bill. The House is also expected to consider a Senate-passed Dodd-Frank reform bill and right-to-try legislation. The Senate is also expected to pass the MISSION Act to improve Veterans’ health care options.
Monday (May 21): Senate executive session to consider the nominations of Dana Baiocco (to be commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission), Jelena McWilliams (to be chair of the board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), and James Randolph Evans (to be ambassador to Luxembourg); Senate Armed Services Subcommittee closed markup of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act; House Rules Committee hearing to consider the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, Right to Try Act, and general debate on the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act;
Wednesday (May 23): Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 budget requests for the Indian Health Service(with testimony from a panel including Acting Director Rear Adm. Michael Weahkee) and NASA(with testimony from Administrator Jim Bridenstine), and committee business meeting to consider 302(b) subcommittee allocations and markups of the energy and water development and agriculture appropriations bills; Senate Armed Services Committee closed markup of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of Britt Grant (to be Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit), Allen Winsor (to be District Judge for the Northern District of Florida), Patrick Wyrick (to be District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma), and Edward Felten and Jane Nitze (to be members of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board) and subcommittee hearing on exploited loopholes affecting unaccompanied alien children; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the nominations of Emory Rounds (to be director of the Office of Government Ethics), Kelly Higashi (to be an associate judge of D.C. Superior Court), and Frederick Nutt (to be controller of the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Federal Financial Management); Senate Budget Committee hearing on the GAO report to reduce federal duplication and overlap; Senate Banking Committee hearing on the status of the housing finance system, with testimony from Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Melvin Watt; Senate HELP Committee executive session to consider the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act; House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the State Department’s budget, operations, and policy priorities, with testimony from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and subcommittee hearings on U.S. engagement in Asia’s diplomatic and security structure, Chinese investment and influence in Europe, and combating transnational criminal threats in the Western hemisphere; House Homeland Security Committee hearing on post-caliphate ISIS and threat implications for America and the West; House Appropriations Committee markup of the FY2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill and report on FY2019 budget allocations;House Natural Resources Committee markup of 6 bills; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearings on 11 legislative proposals to help fuel capital and growth on Main Street and the impact of autonomous vehicles on the future of insurance; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on tax reform and small business; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee legislative hearing on 5 bills; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommitteejoint hearing on the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act; House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee hearing on regulatory reform; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing to examine the Olympic community’s ability to protect athletes from sexual abuse;Heritage Foundation event on tradewith Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Sens. Ben Sasse (D-NE) and Joe Manchin (D-WV); CNN town hall eventwith House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA);
Thursday (May 24): Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to review the FY2019 State Department budget request, with testimony from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Senate Armed Services Committee closed markup of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act (through Friday if not completed on Thursday); Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting to consider 13 bills and nominations; Senate Banking Committeehearing on cybersecurity risks to the financial services industry; Senate Finance Committee hearing on rural healthcare in America.
Bisnow reports, “In Los Angeles, WeWork’s more than 12,000 members across 16 locations generate $4.4B in gross domestic product, nearly 1% of the county’s annual output, and contribute a portion of the $93M in personal and business taxes collected in California, according to an economic study released Wednesday.” Recode adds that the coworking company is also increasing its focus on security with a new hire, Cory Louie, who is responsible for “overseeing both digital and physical security for WeWork’s nearly 250,000 members.”
Recode adds, “Part of Louie’s task will be combining and growing both the digital and physical security teams at WeWork, which are currently separate. Rajaraman also confirmed WeWork is exploring providing ‘security as as service,’ meaning it could add custom security features for its fast-growing big-business enterprise customers, who currently make up 23 percent of membership.”
BONUS Mother’s Day Fact: Via the USA Today, “The holiday is the $30.8 billion floral industry’s second busiest, after Valentine’s Day and tied with Christmas. And with the National Retail Federation predicting that Americans will spend $2.6 billion on flowers this Mother’s Day, florists are working overtime and bulking up their staffs to meet the demand.”
IN THE MEDIA
AdWeek reports on the new annual Interactive Advertising Revenue Report, conducted by PwC, that finds digital advertising – specifically mobile video – is now king. AdWeek writes, “digital advertising revenues continued to climb in 2017, rising 21 percent to $88 billion in the U.S.”
“While 2017 was yet again another record year for digital ad revenue, it was also the first time online ad spend surpassed the combined total of TV, broadcast and cable advertising, according to PwC. Much of that growth was driven by mobile, which accounted for $49.9 billion in digital revenue—or around 57 percent of the total for the year. Social media also sped up the pace of its growth, increasing 36 percent to now account for about a quarter of all online ad revenue.
“Banner advertising revenue was up 22.6 percent to $8.4 billion in the fourth quarter, while video increased 31.4 percent year over year to total $3.6 billion. In fact, mobile video finally surpassed desktop video. In 2016, mobile video accounted for $4 billion in revenue while desktop accounted for $4.9 billion. Last year, mobile video grew to $6.2 billion while desktop video grew to just $5.7 billion.”
IN THE ADMINISTRATION
President Trump is expected at the Capitol on Tuesday for the Senate Republican weekly policy lunch. Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) said of the meeting, “Our conference looks forward to discussing the key accomplishments of tax cuts and historic economic growth here at home, and the opportunity for peace on the Korean Peninsula that lies ahead.”
Additionally, NATO Secretary General Jens Stolenberg is expected to visit President Trump at the White House on Thursday, ahead of the alliance’s annual summit in July.
Trade will also be a big focus this week. Speaker Ryan has also set a deadline of this Friday for completed NAFTA negotiations in order for the House to consider it this year. The Wall Street Journal adds that the USTR is hosting a three-day series of hearings on the proposal tariffs on Chinese products this week.
ON THE HILL
Focus in the House is on the Farm Bill. Majority Leader McCarthy also indicated action on a series of law enforcement related legislation to mark National Police Week. The Senate will continue its work on judicial nominations.
Monday (May 14): Opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem; Senate voteon the confirmation of Michael Scudder and Amy St. Eve, both to be Circuit Judges for the Seventh Circuit; Administration briefingon the President’s drug pricing program with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb; National Press Club Headliners Luncheon with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross;
Tuesday (May 15): Primary elections in Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon, and Pennsylvania; President Trump to attend the Senate Republican Policy Committee weekly luncheon meeting; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the authorities and resources needed to protect and secure the U.S., with testimony from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen; Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing on the state of small business in America, with testimony from Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon; Senate HELP Committee hearing to examine oversight reports on the 340B drug pricing program; Senate Banking Committeeexecutive session and hearing on the nominations of Richard Clarida (to be vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors) and Michelle Bowman (to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board); Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the nomination of William Evanina to be director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to consider the nomination of Aimee Jorjani to be chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on protecting and promoting music creation for the 21st century; Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing on trends in mobile technologies; Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing on the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act; House Rules Committeehearing on the Agriculture and Nutrition Act, an amendment to the Veterans Cemetery Benefit Correction Act to incorporate the VA Mission Act, and the Protect and Serve Act; House Appropriations Subcommitteemarkup of the FY2019 interior, environment, and related agencies appropriations bill; Washington Post Live event on healthcare with CMS Administrator Seema Verma;
Wednesday (May 16): Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the nominations of Joseph Gruters (to be director of the Amtrak board of directors), Jennifer Homendy (to be a member of the National Transportation Safety Board), and Heidi King (to be administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and subcommittee hearing to examine administration perspectives on the future of the International Space Station; Senate Foreign Relations Committeebusiness meeting on the nomination of Francis Fannon to be assistant secretary of State for energy resources and hearing on authorizing the use of military force; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Cambridge Analytica and the future of data privacy; Senate Indian Affairs Committee business meeting to consider 2 bills and oversight hearing on the safety and security at Bureau of Indian Education schools; House Appropriations Committee markup of the FY2019 energy and water and agriculture, rural development, Food and Drug Administration, and related agencies appropriations bill and subcommittee markup of the FY2019 transportation and housing and urban development, and related agencies appropriations bill; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the President’s Management Agenda; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearings on oversight of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement(with testimony from division co-directors Stephanie Avakian and Steven Peiken) and implementation of FinCEN’s customer due diligence rule (with testimony from director Kenneth Blanco); House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on telecommunications, global competitiveness, and national security and legislation addressing new source review permitting reform; House Rules Committeehearing on amendments to the Agriculture and Nutrition Act; House Homeland Security Committee markup of 9 bills; House Natural Resources Committee markup of 6 bills and subcommittee legislative hearing on the Tribal Jobs Protection and Energy Security Act; House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee hearing to examine proposals to simplify and modernize retirement plan administration; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee member day hearing to receive testimony and proposals on the Department of Veterans Affairs;
On May 9th, S-3 Public Affairs and the Visit U.S. Coalition hosted a Congressional briefing on reversing the recent declines in international visitors to the United States. The briefing included Roger Dow, President and CEO of the US Travel Association; Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the National Retail Federation; Neil Bradley, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Stephen Moore from The Heritage Foundation.
Panelists discussed how international inbound travel can grow the economy and support American jobs. In 2016 alone, more than 70 million arrivals spent nearly $250 billion and generated 11 percent of exports. Panelists made the case that supporting programs like Brand USA, a public-private partnership that doesn’t spend a dime of taxpayer dollars, are key in promoting the U.S. as a premier international tourist destination. Investing in the Visa Waiver program was also touted as a way to increase our share of the global travel market, while ensuring that vetted travelers can enter the U.S. efficiently and securely.
For more information on the Visit U.S. Coalition, click here.
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Fast Company reports, “Hulu has added 3 million subscribers since January, and now has more than 20 million users in the U.S. That’s still well behind Netflix, which reported 55 million paid U.S. subscribers in April, though Hulu is now growing at a faster clip. (Netflix added 1.96 million U.S. subscribers last quarter.)”
Even a cord-cutting and streaming becomes more popular, chances are your TV is still where you’re watching. “Hulu says 78% of its viewing occurs on TV devices in the living room. Netflix recently came to a similar conclusion, showing how TV still dominates even in the streaming video age.”
IN THE MEDIA
The Washington Post is working to make ads more useful to users with a new product: Showcase. Digiday reports, “Showcase — as shown in the mockup below — is an event recommendation ad unit that combines an advertiser’s message with things like recipes and ticket sales. Designed with sports, entertainment and real estate advertisers in mind, the ad displays a feed of a venue’s upcoming events and a buy button that takes the user to the venue’s site.” Jeffrey Turner, the new “head of ad product overseeing the Post’s Research Experimentation and Development team,” explains the goal of these types of ads: “A brand doesn’t want a negative experience for a user. So it’s the value exchange we’re really after.”
IN THE ADMINISTRATION
The AP reports, “President Donald Trump’s campaign says he’ll talk about the economy and recent tax cuts during a rally in Indiana next week. The campaign says the May 10 rally will be held at Atlantic Aviation in South Bend.”
ON THE HILL
Congress is back with continued work on FY2019 budget requests in both chambers. The Senate will continue its work on judicial nominations with cloture votes beginning Monday. The House is set to consider a series of small business-focused bills as well as legislation regarding nuclear waste.
Monday (May 7): Senate executive session to resume consideration of Kurt Engelhardt, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit, and cloture motions on Engelhardt and five other Circuit Court nominees; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee business meeting to consider the nominations of Christopher Krebs (to be undersecretary of the National Protection and Programs Directorate at the Department of Homeland Security), and David Williams and Robert Duncan (to be governors of the U.S. Postal Service); House Rules Committee hearing to consider the Citizens’ Right to Know Act, Standard Merger and Acquisitions Reviews Through Equal Rules Act, and a measure of congressional disapproval of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule relating to auto lending; House Appropriations Subcommittee markup of the FY2019 energy and water appropriations bill;
Wednesday (May 9): Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the nomination of Gina Haspel to be director of the CIA; Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 budget requests for the Department of Defense (with testimony from Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr.) and Department of Veterans Affairs(with testimony from Assistant Secretary of Veterans for Management and CFO Jon Rychalski and Undersecretary for Memorial Affairs Randy Reeves); Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of Ryan Bounds (to be Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit), J. Campbell Barker (to be District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas), Susan Brnovich (to be District Judge for the District of Arizona), Chad Kennedy (to be District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania), Jeremy Kernodle (to be District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas), and Maureen Ohlhausen (to be Judge of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims); Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of Jonathan Cohen (to be deputy representative of the U.S. to the United Nations), Joseph Cella (to be ambassador to the Republic of the Fiji Islands), David Cornstein (to be ambassador to Hungary), Eliot Pedrosa (to be director of the Inter-American Development Bank), and Jackie Wolcott (to be representative to the Vienna office of the U.N. and to the International Atomic Energy Agency) and subcommittee hearing on developing a multilateral and strategic response to international predatory economic practices; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee hearing on U.S. spending in Afghanistan; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee legislative hearing on America’s Water Infrastructure Act; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee oversight hearing of law enforcement programs at the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service; Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on the nomination of Tara Mac Lean Sweeney to be assistant secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior; House Armed Services Committee markup of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act; House Appropriations Subcommittee markups of the FY2019 agriculture appropriations bill and FY2019 commerce, justice, and science appropriations bill, and hearings to receive testimony from American Indian/Alaska Native public witnesses and FY2019 Defense Member Day; House Science, Space & Technology Committee hearing to review the FY2019 Department of Energy budget proposal, with testimony from Secretary Rick Perry; House Foreign Affairs Committee markup of 4 bills and subcommittee hearing on protecting civil society, faith-based actors, and political speech in sub-Saharan Africa; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on legislative options to address the jobs gap; House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee hearing on private-sector solutions for closing the skills gap; House Small Business Committee hearing on how small businesses empower people with developmental disabilities; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommitteejoint hearing on program integrity for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program;
Thursday (May 10): Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearings on the FY2019 budget requests for the Department of Interior (with testimony from Secretary Ryan Zinke and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget, Finance, Performance, and Acquisition Olivia Barton Ferriter), Department of Health and Human Services (with testimony from Secretary Alex Azar), and Department of Commerce (with testimony from Secretary Wilbur Ross); Senate Armed Services Committeehearing on the nominations of Dr. Lisa Porter (to be deputy undersecretary of Defense for research and engineering), James Stewart (to be assistant secretary of Defense for manpower and reserve affairs), Dr. James Anderson (to be assistant secretary of Defense for strategy, plans and capabilities), Gregory Slavonic (to be assistant secretary of the Navy for manpower and reserve affairs), and Dr. Charles Verdon (to be deputy administrator for defense programs at the National Nuclear Security Administration); Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting to consider four circuit and district court nominees and the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on modernizing development finance; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing to examine the state of electric transmission infrastructure; House Appropriations Subcommittee hearings to receive testimony from American Indian/Alaska Native public witnesses and State and Foreign Operations Member Day; House Budget Committee hearing to receive Members’ testimony on the FY2019 budget resolution.
May 7: NAFTA talks to resume in Washington; House Appropriations Subcommittee markup of the FY2019 energy and water appropriations bill
May 8: Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia primaries; POLITICO Playbook interview with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA); Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to examine Puerto Rico’s electric grid
May 9: Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the nomination of Gina Haspel to be director of the CIA; House Armed Services Committee markup of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act; The Hillevent on small business and entrepreneurship with speakers including Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)
May 10: Federal Communications Commission monthly open meeting; The Washington Post event on energy with speakers including Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Kevin McIntyre; The Atlantic Council event on the role and responsibility of a global company, with Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz
May 12: Next deadline for President Trump to extend sanction waivers to Iran for compliance with the nuclear deal
May 14: Ceremony to open the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem
May 15: Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon, and Pennsylvania primaries
May 22: Arkansas, Georgia, and Kentucky primaries and Texas primary runoffs
May 28: Memorial Day
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Recode reports that there have been twice as many tech IPOs in 2018 as there were at this point last year. “The IPO market grew even hotter on Friday as two highly valued companies — the electronic signature startup DocuSign and the software company Smartsheet — began trading and saw their share prices jump 30 percent to 40 percent. That’s just what bankers shoot for when executing public listings.
“Those two join 15 other tech companies that have debuted on the public markets in 2018 — more than double the number of companies that went public at this point last year, according to IPO research company Renaissance Capital. … The 16 IPOs this year (excluding Spotify, which didn’t raise any money) generated $8.3 billion for the companies. That figure was only $4.4 billion by this point in 2017, according to Renaissance Capital.”
IN THE MEDIA
The Wall Street Journal reports on a new study demonstrating the benefits of buying digital video noting, “the size, diversity and purchasing intentions of viewers of original web video and says they’re somewhat more receptive to advertising messages from brands.” The report was prepared by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and it finds, “the [digital video] audience among U.S. adults has expanded from 45 million in 2013 to 72 million in 2018, an increase of 60% … They also skew younger and more diverse, according to the report. About 60% of the audience is 34 years old or younger, giving marketers access to a significant swath of millennial and Gen Z viewers. About 43% of the viewership of original digital video is nonwhite compared with 36% of the total U.S. population, according to the report.”
The report, “comes at the outset of the annual NewFronts, a weeklong spree of presentations where companies from the New York Times and Vice to YouTube and Oath court marketers in an attempt to secure advertising commitments for their upcoming slates of programming. The IAB, an online advertising trade body, hosts the NewFronts. “Digital video publishers are aiming to pry loose more dollars from advertisers who have been slow to shift their budgets from TV to new video formats. This year, upfront digital ad spending is estimated to grow 25% to $3.64 billion, according to eMarketer. Upfront TV ad spending, meanwhile, is expected to increase 3% to $20.3 billion.”
IN THE ADMINISTRATION
The Wall Street Journal reports, “President Donald Trump said he was sending a delegation of his top economic advisers to Beijing [this] week to try to settle trade disputes that have upset U.S.-China relations and rattled markets world-wide. … The members of the U.S. team will include Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro. Mr. Trump didn’t say specifically when next week the trip would occur, but a person familiar with the discussions said they team is likely to be in Beijing around May 3 and May 4.”
ON THE HILL
The House and Senate are both back in their home districts and states this 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.
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.
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 Subcommitteehearing 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 Representatives, Government 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 Congress, Pipeline 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;
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.
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 Committeehearing 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 day, Military Construction member day (with testimony from Reps. Tim Walz, Claudia Tenney, John Rutherford, Mark Takano, and French Hill), and legislative branch members and outside witnesses; House 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 prioritization; House Ways and Means Committeehearing 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);
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 day, Interior member day, and public witnesses; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearings on the Army’s FY2019 budget request readiness posture and military health system reform; House 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.
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
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 considerationof 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;
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 Subcommitteehearing on challenges and opportunities for high octane fuels and high efficiency vehicles.
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.
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
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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.”
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.
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.
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.”
“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 voteson 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;
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 Committeehearing 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 Committeehearing 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 FY2019; House 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.
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.”
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.
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 readiness, the 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 Subcommitteehearing 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 hearingon 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 organizations; Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearings on Somalia’s current security and stability status and food security; House Foreign Affairs Committee hearingon 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 hearingto 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 Forum, with 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);
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.”
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 voteon 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 Committeehearing 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 programs; Senate 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 Committeejoint legislative presentation of multiple veterans service organizations; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearings on the Navy’s FY2019 budget request for seapower and projection forces, national 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);
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.
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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.”
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.
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;
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 Subcommitteehearing on Zimbabwe after Mugabe; House Natural Resources Subcommitteelegislative 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.
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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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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 Houseis 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 hearingon 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 meetingon the TRID Improvement Act, Protecting Consumers’ Access to Credit Act, and ADA Education and Reform Act;
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 Committeehearing 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 Committeeexecutive 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 crime; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearings on industry views of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program and TSA’s outreach and traveler engagement efforts; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on the General Services Administration; House Judiciary Subcommitteehearing 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 Command; House 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 Subcommitteejoint hearing on the implications of the opioid epidemic for America’s workplaces; The Ripon Societyevent 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 Subcommitteehearing on the administration’s perspective on CFIUS.
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.
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.”
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 voteon 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 Committeehearing on the Small Bank Holding Company Relief Act, the Mortgage Choice Act, and the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act; House Administration Committeemarkup of Congressional Accountability Act reform measures;
Tuesday (February 6): Senate Banking Committeehearing 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 Giancarlo; Senate Foreign Relations Committeehearing 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 Committeehearing on the “gig economy” and the future of retirement savings; Senate Judiciary Committeehearing on beneficial ownership and fighting international financial networks through transparency; Senate Commerce Subcommitteehearing on lessons learned about data security and bug bounty programs from the Uber breach; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommitteehearing on spending uncertainty and cost to taxpayers caused by continuing resolutions, omnibus spending bills, and shutdown crises; House Financial Services Committeehearing on the annual report of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, with testimony from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; House Armed Services Committeehearing 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 Committeehearing on the state of the rural economy; House Foreign Affairs Committeehearing on U.S. cyber diplomacy in an era of growing threats and subcommittee hearings on Syria and U.S.-Pakistan relations; House Veterans’ Affairs Committeehearing on the VA caregiver support program; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee business meeting; House Ways and Means Subcommitteehearing on removing barriers to prevent and treat opioid abuse and dependence in Medicare; House Energy and Commerce Subcommitteehearing on Department of Energy modernization; House Natural Resources Subcommitteehearing 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 Subcommitteehearing 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 Subcommitteehearing 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 modernization; Senate 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 Subcommitteehearing on prevention and accountability of senior leader misconduct;
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.
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
https://s3publicaffairs.com/wp-content/uploads/S-3-logo_website-6.png200200Tara Bauerhttp://s3publicaffairs.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_header_medgreytext_223x80.pngTara Bauer2018-02-01 16:35:342018-02-01 16:35:34S-3 Public Affairs | February Look-Ahead
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,presidentof 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 Elmendorf, a 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.”
https://s3publicaffairs.com/wp-content/uploads/politico.png800800Tara Bauerhttp://s3publicaffairs.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_header_medgreytext_223x80.pngTara Bauer2018-01-31 16:30:302018-02-01 16:33:59Politico Influence | What lobbyists thought of the State of the Union
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.’”
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 Wednesday. The House will consider legislation aimed at protecting young athletes from sexual assault.
Monday (January 29): Senate voteon 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;
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 Subcommitteehearing 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 education; Senate 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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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 Committeehearing 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 Subcommitteefield 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 Committeehearing 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;
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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.”
Inthe 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 n