By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: Thursday, June 29, marks 10 years of the iPhone – with 1 billion having been sold over the past decade. USA Today looks at how the phone has changed over the years and what the next decade may bring. Some think, “many, if not most, of the sensor-driven products we’ll come to rely on will be so small, that they’ll be hidden inside walls, ceilings, furniture, maybe even our own bodies. It plays into the still evolving Internet of Things trend, and what technology watchers sometimes refer to as ambient computing.”

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In the Administration: President Trump will have an eye on the Senate’s health care progress as he also meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday and hosts South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House on Thursday and Friday.

Administration officials remain busy on the Hill as hearings continue on the administration’s budget requests:

On the Hill: Focus will remain on the Senate’s efforts on health care, with a CBO estimate expected early this week. Under Senate Budget Rules, 20 hours of debate is required followed by a “vote-a-rama,” of amendments. If the 20 hours begins Monday, “vote-a-rama” would begin Thursdayevening.

  • Monday: Senate Armed Services Subcommittees hold markups of the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act; House Appropriations Subcommittee markup of the FY2018 defense appropriations bill; Senate votes on Kristine Svinicki to be a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission;
  • Tuesday: Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting to consider the nomination of Mark Green to serve as administrator of USAID; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on FISA Amendments Act reauthorization; Senate Armed Services Committee markup of the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (through the end of the week); House Natural Resources Committee markup of 22 bills; House Rules Committee markup of Kate’s Law, which will increase penalties on individuals who illegally reenter the country; House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee markup of the 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on U.S. equity market structure; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on self-driving vehicle legislation;
  • Wednesday: Senate Commerce Committee nomination hearing for Steven Bradbury to begeneral counsel of the Transportation Department and Elizabeth Walsh to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce and director general of the U.S. Commercial Service; Ambassador Nikki Haley at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing about advancing U.S. interests at the United Nations; House Armed Services Committee markup of the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act; House Appropriations Subcommittee markup of the FY2018 agriculture appropriations bill; House Appropriations Subcommittee markup of the FY2018 energy and water appropriations bill; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on the impact of the Federal Reserve;
  • Thursday: Senate Commerce Committee executive session on FAA reauthorization and to consider the nominations of Vice Admiral David P. Pekoske (Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security at the Transportation Security Administration), Robert L. Sumwalt III (member of the National Transportation Safety Board), and Derek Kan (Undersecretary of Transportation for policy); Senate Judiciary Committee business meeting to consider the nomination of Stephen Elliott for Assistant Attorney General for Legislative affairs and to consider a pair of human trafficking bills; Senate Banking Committee hearing on principles of housing finance reform;House Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing about access to oil and gas development on federal lands.

In the Media: The Wall Street Journal reports, “Social networking giant Facebook Inc. is moving its ambitions in TV-quality video to the front burner, taking meetings and making deals with an eye toward launching a slate of original programming by the end of summer, people familiar with the matter said.” Facebook is entering a crowded and shifting field, but brings with it a wealth of user data (Nielsen tracked 2.9 billion Facebook and Twitter interactions on TV this season alone) it says it will share with Hollywood. “The entertainment industry is eager to see if Facebook can translate the data it has on tastes and habits of nearly two billion monthly users into insights that make for more popular television.”

One thing reports suggest Facebook will not produce: the next House of Cards or Veep. It reportedly, “wants to steer clear of shows about children and young teens as well as political dramas, news and shows with nudity and rough language.”
 

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

By S-3 Public Affairs

S-3 PA Exclusive:  We are hearing it is more and more likely the House will proceed on FY18 appropriations by moving a 12 bill omnibus. The House GOP leadership is tentatively planning to move this package the last week in July before the August recess. This idea has gained traction when it was first proposed by Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) gaining the support of key cardinals, conservatives, and congressional leaders. As a result, we expect the pace of subcommittee markups will increase. We are hearing that Defense approps will markup in subcommittee on June 26 and Agriculture and Legislative Branch are also possibilities for that week. We will provide more details on the strategy and schedule as they become available.

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Fact of the Week: Just one day before reports confirmed Amazon was buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, Bloomberg reported Amazon’s interest in buying Slack for a reported $9 billion, which would have been “a deal that would be the biggest ever for the internet-commerce giant.” Recode’s Kara Swisher adds that Slack, “is in the midst of raising $500 million at a $5 billion post-money valuation, an effort that has attracted several potential buyers interested in taking out the company ahead of the funding,” but its founder and CEO, “has long wanted to build his own big company and adding an enormous funding round would allow Slack some breathing room to get to cash flow positive.”

In the Administration: Tech Week: President Trump’s American Technology Council is hosting its inaugural meeting on Monday. Recode reports, the meeting will include, “the chief executives of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Intel, Oracle, and others,” including VM Ware. They will, “discuss ways to modernize government and the services it offers its citizens — and tackle policy challenges like high-skilled immigration.” Tech Week will continue Thursday with a meeting organized by the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Buzzfeed reports attendees will discuss, “emerging technologies trends including the Internet of Things, commercial drones, and the funding of those companies.”

Also this week, President Trump will head to Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Wednesday for a campaign rally.

On the Hill: As talks on health care continue in the Senate, budget and nomination hearings dominate most of the public schedules.

Budget Hearings:

Nomination Hearings: Tuesday: Senate Armed Services Committee hearing for Deputy Defense Secretary nominee Patrick Shanahan; Thursday: Senate Armed Services Committee hearing for Navy Secretary nominee Richard V. Spencer; Senate Agriculture Committee hearing for Commodity Futures Trading Commission nominee J. Christopher Giancarlo, who now serves in an acting capacity. Last week, President Trump also nominated Dawn Stump to serve on the CFTC.

Also this week:  

In the Media: Variety reports on the “new normal” for cable news in the Trump era. “According to the Pew Research Center, viewership for the primetime schedules of CNN, Fox News and MSNBC increased 55% to 4.8 million viewers in 2016, while daytime cable viewership grew 36%. In the first half of this year, viewing levels have not shrunk. …  it’s no surprise that combined viewing of the Big Three cable-news networks — Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC — is up 33% through the first week of June compared with the same period last year, according to data from Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Wieser.” With increased audiences comes increased advertising spending. “Media buyers, who control millions of dollars in advertising spending, recognize these days that it’s hard to beat real-world politics for intrigue and suspense.”

Axios’ Amy Harder reported just this week about a new multi-month, multi-million dollar campaign on the economic and jobs benefits of wind energy, targeting the administration specifically. “The advertisements will run on cable, radio and digital outlets across Washington D.C., with the president, his new administration and Congress as the target audience. The ads will run on Fox and Friends, which Trump watches regularly, along with other influential cable shows.”

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

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: This town, the one that clung to its Blackberries well after the smartphone landscape boomed, is considered the #3 U.S. tech city. Bisnow reports, “The nation’s capital ranked as the No. 3 tech city in the U.S. in Cushman & Wakefield’s Tech Cities 1.0 report, coming in behind San Jose and San Francisco. … [The report] analyzed factors such as talent, capital and growth opportunity. The report also considered the region surrounding the cities, so D.C. benefited from biotech hubs in suburban Maryland and NoVa’s defense, cybersecurity and aerospace industries.” Next we need the Northern Virginia wine scene to catch up with the West Coast.

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In the Administration: President Trump this week is shifting his focus to apprenticeships and domestic jobs. Reuters’ Roberta Rampton reports, “Next week will be ‘workforce development week’ where the White House highlights plans to combat the skills gap. …Trump’s plan has been in the works for months, led by his daughter Ivanka Trump, adviser Reed Cordish, and Trump’s secretaries of labor, education and commerce.”

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

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

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

Also this week:

In the Media: We all know Twitter has made more headlines of late, butAdWeek also points out: “Video views have grown by 220 times on Twitter in the last 12 month.” Another one of the, “13 Noteworthy Digital Media and Marketing Stats From This Week,” as compiled by AdWeek: “Kantar Mediaanalyzed the $117.9 million spent on marketing in the U.S. last year by Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Pinterest. Facebook by far outspent its competitors in 2016, running campaigns to the tune of $80.7 million, which represents a 260 percent year-over-year increase.”

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

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: While many retail stores figure out how best to navigate in an online-shopping world (e.g. J.Crew), Amazon is doing a bit of the opposite. Axios’ Alexi McCammond writes on its new Future of Work stream, “Amazon had $136b in sales last year — 43% of all online shopping. But there’s a lot more money to be made in the offline retail industry. In 2016, e-commerce only made up $1.9 trillion of the $22 trillion in total retail sales, according to eMarketer, so the upside of expanding into the offline market is massive.” Amazon “now has nine stores total — seven bookstores (with plans to open six more) and two grocery stores,” and it is “incorporating data it gathers online into the offline world, with the objective of broadening its already-commanding place in global retail.”

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In the Administration: President Trump is shifting his focus to infrastructure, with plans Monday to outline his agenda for air traffic control reform in a White House event. Cincinnati.com reports the president will continue the week with a speech in Ohio on Wednesday. A White House spokeswoman told the outlet: “‘Next week President Trump will launch infrastructure week which is a critical pillar of the president’s agenda to promote job creation and grow the U.S.economy.’ …The president’s visit to southern Ohio will be part of a broader push by the White House to move ahead with Trump’s campaign promise to spend $1 trillion over 10 years on infrastructure investments, according to the White House.”

Rounding out the president’s Infrastructure Week:

On the Hill: Both sides of the Capitol have packed schedules this week, but we expect most focus to be on Thursday’s scheduled testimony from James Comey, as well as FAA reauthorization, the House vote on the CHOICE Act, and continued hearings on the president’s budget. On top of the official business outlined below, conversations continue in the Senate on a path forward on health care.

In the Media: Megyn Kelly returns to TV tonight with a one-on-one interview with Putin. Among her viewers, Forbes notes, the White House will likely be watching. Meanwhile, Cable News is still thriving in the Trump era. TV Newser shares key takeaways from a recent Pew report: “According to Pew’s analysis of SNL Kagan data, total revenue across Fox News, CNN and MSNBC was projected to increase by +19.5 percent in 2016, to a total of nearly $5 billion. This includes the two main sources of revenue: advertising and subscriber/licensing fees.”

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