The Senate’s parliamentarian ruled that Democrats’ plan to give 8 million immigrants a path to citizenship could not be achieved through the reconciliation process.
The “Justice for J6” rally planned for Saturday on Capitol Hill has presented a dilemma for Republicans, who are toiling to avoid dredging up memories of the Jan. 6 riot.
The subject is guns. The password is safety.
Senator Mitch McConnell says Republicans will not support raising the federal borrowing limit. Weeks before a potential default, Democrats do not appear to have a strategy for doing so.
The stripped-down measure is intended to demonstrate party unity in the face of Republican opposition to new federal voting standards.
In both the House and the Senate, Democrats are working to resolve their internal differences on a huge social policy measure that will require near-total unity to pass.
The Democrat spent two decades building consensus to rein in war authorizations that have been stretched beyond their original intent. The Afghanistan withdrawal has complicated the debate.
The stripped-down measure is intended to demonstrate party unity in the face of Republican opposition to new federal voting standards.
Two decades after the Sept. 11 attacks, there are again dozens of unfilled Senate-confirmed national security positions.
Senior Democrat and Republican aides with expertise in immigration law and the budget met with Elizabeth MacDonough, the Senate parliamentarian.
White House officials believe the law is a legitimate and legal way to combat the pandemic, though they acknowledge it has never been used to require vaccines.
At the heart of a budget bill is a powerful mechanism that would cut the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, which are fueling climate change.
Five committees will start drafting the components of Democrats’ far-reaching legislation in an arduous process that could take several days.
It starts by acknowledging the gravity of his blunders.
Lawmakers seek to win the backing of voters by emphasizing the tangible benefits of sweeping legislation that Congress will consider in the coming weeks.
The plan calls for an initial investment of at least $15 billion — half of what President Biden initially proposed.
It sure feels that way sometimes.
It’s impossible to conclude that the president has been pulling out all the stops to defend voting rights.
The House’s voting rights legislation named for the civil rights leader John Lewis seeks to counter the Supreme Court’s longstanding bid to undermine the Voting Rights Act.
Roger Wicker, Republican of Mississippi, Angus King, independent of Maine, and John Hickenlooper, Democrat of Colorado, said on Tuesday that they were experiencing symptoms.
With two giants calling the shots and collecting whatever tolls they see fit, mobile software makers have long complained that app stores take an unfair cut of the cash that should be flowing directly to developers. Hearing those concerns, a group of senators introduced a new bill this week that, if passed, would greatly diminish Apple and Google’s ability to control app purchases in their operating systems and completely shake up the way that mobile software gets distributed.
The new bill, called the Open App Markets Act, would enshrine quite a few rights that could benefit app developers tired of handing 30 percent of their earnings to Apple and Google. The bill, embedded in full below, would require companies that control operating systems to allow third party apps and app stores.
It would also prevent those companies from blocking developers from telling users about lower prices for their software that they might find outside of official app stores. Apple and Google would also be barred from leveraging “non-public” information collecting through their platforms to create competing apps.
“This legislation will tear down coercive anticompetitive walls in the app economy, giving consumers more choices and smaller startup tech companies a fighting chance,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), who introduced the bipartisan bill with Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). Klobuchar chairs the Senate’s antitrust subcommittee and Blackburn and Blumenthal are both subcommittee members.
Senator Blackburn called Apple and Google’s app store practices a “direct affront to a free and fair marketplace” and Sen. Klobuchar noted that their behavior raises “serious competition concerns.”
The bill draws on information collected earlier this year from that subcommittee’s hearing on app stores and competition. In the hearing, lawmakers heard from Apple and Google as well as Spotify, Tile and Match Group, three companies that argued their businesses have been negatively impacted by anti-competitive app store policies.
“… We urge Congress to swiftly pass the Open App Markets Act,” Spotify Chief Legal Officer Horacio Gutierrez said of the new bill. “Absent action, we can expect Apple and others to continue changing the rules in favor of their own services, and causing further harm to consumers, developers, and the digital economy.”
The Coalition for App Fairness, a developer advocacy group, praised the bill for its potential to spur innovation in digital markets. “The bipartisan Open App Markets Act is a step towards holding big tech companies accountable for practices that stifle competition for developers in the U.S. and around the world,” CAF executive director Meghan DiMuzio said.
Hoping to head off future regulatory headaches, Apple dropped its own fees for companies that generate less than $1 million in App Store revenue from 30 to 15 percent last year. Google followed suit with its own gesture, dropping fees to 15 percent for the first $1 million in revenue a developer earns through the Play Store in a year. Some developers critical of the companies’ practices saw those changes as little more than a publicity stunt.
Developers have long complained about the high tolls they pay to distribute their software through the world’s two major mobile operating systems. That fight escalated over the last year when Epic Games circumvented Apple’s payments rules by allowing Fortnite players to pay Epic directly, setting off a legal fight that has huge implications for the mobile software world. Following a May trial, the verdict is expected later this year.
Unlike Apple, Google does allow apps to be “sideloaded,” installed onto devices outside of the Google Play Store. But documents unsealed in Epic’s parallel case against Google revealed that the Play Store’s creator knows the sideloading process is a terrible experience for users — something the company brings up when pressuring developers to stick with its official app marketplace.
The counterargument here is that official app stores make apps safer and smoother for consumers. While Apple and Google extract heavy fees for selling mobile software through the App Store and the Google Play Store, the companies both argue that streamlining apps through those official channels protects people from malware and allows for prompt software updates to patch security concerns that could jeopardize user privacy.
Adam Kovacevich, a former Google policy executive who leads the new tech-backed industry group Chamber of Progress, called the new bill “a finger in the eye” for Android and iPhone owners.
“I don’t see any consumers marching in Washington demanding that Congress make their smartphones dumber,” Kovacevich said. “And Congress has better things to do than intervene in a multi-million dollar dispute between businesses.”
At least in Google’s case, the counterargument has its own counterargument. Android has long been notorious for malware, but apparently most of that malicious software isn’t making its way onto devices through sideloading — it’s walking through the Google Play Store’s front door.
It almost derailed the bipartisan infrastructure bill’s passage.
The blueprint, which would expand Medicaid, provide free preschool and community college, and fund climate change programs, passed along party lines and faces an arduous path ahead.
The approval came after months of negotiations and despite deficit concerns, reflecting an appetite in both parties for the long-awaited spending package.
There’s a reason progressives keep losing Democratic primaries.
The longest-serving U.S. senator in Michigan history, Mr. Levin was regarded by colleagues and Washington observers as a paragon of probity.
When it comes to user-interface design, 911 is about as good as it gets. It’s the “most recognized number in the United States,” Steve Souder, a prominent 911 leader, points out. Simple, fast, and it works from any telephone in the United States. No matter what the emergency is, the call takers on the other side will triage and dispatch assistance.
I’ve taken that ubiquity and simplicity for granted over the past three parts of this EC-1 on RapidSOS as we’ve looked at the startup’s origin story, business and products, as well as its partnerships and business development engine. The company is deeply enmeshed with 911, which means that the prospects of 911 as a system will heavily determine the trajectory of RapidSOS in the coming years, or at least, until its international expansion hits scale and it isn’t so dependent on the U.S. market.
Right now, a $15 billion funding bill to invest in NG911 has been proposed in Congress as part of the LIFT America infrastructure bill that is currently winding its way through the appropriations process and negotiations between Democratic and Republican leaders.
Now, you might think, “911, how could they screw that up?” But this is America, and you’d be surprised.
Despite the daily heroic work of tens of thousands of 911 personnel who keep this brittle system afloat, the reality today is that America’s emergency call infrastructure is in a perilous state. After more than a decade of heavy advocacy, the transition to the “next generation” of 911 (dubbed NG911), which would replace a voice-centric model with an internet-based one designed around data streams, has been trundling along, with some early traction but little universality.
As a Congressional Research Service report described it just a few years ago, “funding has been a challenge, and progress has been relatively slow.” Three years later, the words are just as true as they were then.
Given that RapidSOS’ future ultimately relies on a competent government capable of providing core infrastructure, this fourth and final part of the EC-1 will look at the current state of 911 services and what their prospects are, and finally, how one should ultimately judge RapidSOS given all that we have seen.
The three-digit number that feels like it is three-digits old
911 was invented in the late 1960s to unify America around one emergency number. Early forays to create emergency lines had sprouted up across cities and states, but each used their own system and telephone number, creating massive complications for travelers and people living on jurisdictional boundaries. President Lyndon Johnson’s 1967 crime task force recommended creating a single number for emergency calls as a crime-prevention tool, and on February 16, 1968, the first 911 call was dialed in Haleyville, Alabama.
The F.B.I. said some of the 4,500 tips it received about Justice Brett Kavanaugh were given to the Trump White House, leading some Democrats to call the process a sham.
A looming deadline and a last-minute need for a new revenue source are complicating a deal that was announced nearly a month ago.
An obscure federal office operated for more than a decade as an “unaccountable police force” inside the Commerce Department, using extreme and unauthorized tactics.
Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, offered draft legislation to remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances and begin regulating and taxing it.
The increasing regulation of ESG (environmental, social, governance) disclosure reporting may have started in the public markets, but will almost certainly have downstream effects for private market actors — for founders, companies and investors.
Since his confirmation as the chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in April, Gary Gensler has made reforming ESG disclosures concerning climate change risk and human capital a top priority. The SEC’s regulatory agenda confirms as much. And Gensler is not alone in his focus on ESG at the federal level.
President Joe Biden issued an executive order encouraging regulators to assess climate-related financial risk. At the end of March, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wrote on Twitter that “our future livelihoods … depend on the financial sector to build a more sustainable and resilient economy.” Congress is considering measures that would require increased ESG disclosures, including the Improving Corporate Governance Through Diversity Act, the Diversity and Inclusion Data Accountability and Transparency Act and the Climate Risk Disclosure Act.
This renewed federal focus on ESG issues will bolster the SEC’s effort to create disclosure practices for public companies and mutual funds. Regardless of whether these federal policies around ESG come to pass, they reflect a momentum that will almost certainly impact private markets:
- Firms that want to go public — whether via SPAC, direct listing or traditional IPO — may have to seriously consider board diversity or environmental reporting in conjunction with — or well in advance of — their debuts.
- Private companies seeking to align with public companies as vendors or partners may be expected to meet specific ESG requirements before the engagement.
- Startup founders and venture funds raising capital may work to maintain the largest target market by proactively scoping ESG engagements to ensure they meet criteria for investors who may have their own ESG-focused investment requirements.
In his confirmation hearing before the Senate in early March, Gensler said, “Markets — and technology — are always changing. Our rules have to change along with them.”
The federal government is moving to increase regulation around ESG disclosure requirements with the goals of establishing greater transparency and metrics for public companies.
The federal government is moving to increase regulation around ESG disclosure requirements with the goals of establishing greater transparency and metrics for public companies. These requirements are a response to the changing markets — demands from consumers, scrutiny from investors and a general insistence for higher corporate standards from society at large.
Private markets aren’t immune to these forces. Already, three-quarters of investors in a 2020 survey said it was very important to measure the success of sustainability initiatives, but they also said there’s been a lack of clarity on how to define and measure outcomes.
To be sure, private markets are not headed toward full-scale adoption of ESG regulations. They will not be subject to the same reporting or disclosures framework as their public counterparts. Not today, and possibly not for some time.
But we may begin to see private investors, funds and companies adapting to get ahead of ESG regulation and position themselves to effectively operate in a new — albeit adjacent — regulatory environment. In their case, the rules may not change — but the game could.
Senator Maggie Hassan, a former governor of her state, is working to burnish her centrist image without making political waves.
How would you like to live in the state of New York City?
A former Democratic centrist senator says too many lawmakers come to Washington to obstruct rather than be constructive.
A growing movement supports independent investigations and prosecutions of sexual assault cases, outside of the military chain of command.
House progressives say they can bring down the bipartisan bill if they do not get their priorities too, but as White House lobbying steps up, other Democrats have different ideas.
The legislation would invest in traditional research and development, clashing with a broad Senate measure that focuses on cutting-edge technology to compete with China.
Moderate Republicans said they believed that the $1.2 trillion bill, which they suggested they could now begin drafting, would have enough G.O.P. support to pass the Senate.
He made headlines by fighting for an oil pipeline and reading the Pentagon Papers aloud. After 25 years of obscurity, he re-emerged with a quixotic presidential campaign.
The admission was an attempt by the White House to salvage what had been one of the signature successes for a president who hopes to cement a legacy as a bipartisan deal maker.
The president has long pitched himself as both solidly progressive and committed to bipartisanship. His deal with Republicans, coupled with assurances to liberals, attempts to marry the two.
Democrats hope to include climate and clean energy in a second bill. It could be Biden’s last chance to pass major global warming legislation.
The bipartisan agreement is a significant victory, but Democratic leaders say it can pass only once a far larger social policy bill is complete.
Here’s what you need to know at the end of the day.
While party leaders have long worried about the discriminatory effects of such laws, many now see other restrictive voting measures pushed by Republicans as a more urgent threat.
Lawmakers were set to take a tentative framework to the White House on Thursday. Administration officials signaled the president was prepared to support it, pending final details.
Backers of the elections bill hope Republican obstruction will lead to a change in Senate rules, but Democratic holdouts remain firm.
A sweeping election overhaul bill was blocked in the Senate. What does its failure teach us about the fate of other Democratic priorities and future of voting rights?
The For the People Act had little chance of testing the limits of what if anything is still possible in Washington. Oddly, it was so far from passage that it may provide some hope, because so many avenues remain to be pursued.