By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: The Wall Street Journal reports on Mashable’s big bet on video, noting that Mashable is not alone in this shift. They note that the digital landscape has shifted in recent years, with initial excitement around new outlets leveling off and investors looking for clear returns. The solution: video. “Many companies seeking to accelerate growth to justify high valuations are banking on video, where ad spending is expected to grow to $9.4 billion this year, up 68% from 2015.”

In the Administration: President Trump is heading to Indiana on Wednesday to promote the tax reform plan expected to be released that day. Vice President Mike Pence will campaign for Senator Luther Strange (R-AL), on Monday, with the primary runoff on Tuesday.

On the Hill: The House and Senate return to Washington with busy schedules. Focus remains on possible health care legislation, with media events Monday and Tuesday and a hearing Monday at the Senate Finance Committee. Also this week, the White House and Republican leaders are expected to release their tax policy agenda on Wednesday, while House Republicans attend a half-day “tax-policy retreat.”

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Additional floor activity will likely include extensions to both the FAA authorization and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, both of which expire on September 30.

  • Monday: Senate Finance Committee hearing to consider the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson healthcare proposal, including testimony from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA); House Rules Committee meeting on the Increasing Opportunity through Evidence-Based Home Visiting Act and the Control Unlawful Fugitive Felons Act.

  • Tuesday: Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on special counsels and the separation of powers; Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting and hearing on managing security assistance to support foreign policy; Senate Banking Committee hearing on Securities and Exchange Commission oversight, with testimony from SEC Chairman Jay Clayton; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the reappointment of Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to consider Energy Department nominees Bruce J. Walker (to be Assistant Secretary of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability) and Steven E. Winberg (to be Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy); Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing on FTC stakeholder perspectives for improving consumer protection and general process; House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on State Department redesign, with testimony from Deputy Secretary John J. Sullivan; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on recommendations of Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on America’s nuclear waste management and storage policy; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee legislative hearing, with testimony from Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Steve King (R-IA), Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), Mike Coffman (R-CO), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Ron DeSantis (R-FL), John Rutherford (R-FL), and Veterans Affair Secretary David Shulkin; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on technology’s role in empowering consumers; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing on water stakeholders’ perspectives of infrastructure; House Homeland Security Subcommittee meeting on DHS efforts to improve aviation security; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on modernization of DHS financial systems; The Atlantic Council Transatlantic Forum on Strategic Communications, featuring opening remarks from Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI);  

  • Wednesday: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on threats to the homeland, with testimony from Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas J. Rasmussen; Senate Judiciary Committee business meeting to consider the nomination of Brian Benczkowski (to be an Assistant Attorney General) and the SAFER Act; Senate HELP Committee executive session on the nominations of Patrick Pizzella (to be Deputy Labor Secretary), Janet Dhillon (to be designated chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission); Daniel M. Gade (to be a member of the EEOC), and Carlos G. Muniz (to be general counsel of the Education Department); Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the nominations of Kathleen M. Fitzpatrick (to be Ambassador to Timor-Leste) and Daniel J. Kritenbrink (to be Ambassador to Vietnam) and the nominations of Richard Duke Buchan III (to be Ambassador to Spain), Richard Grenell (to be Ambassador to Germany), and Edward T. McMullen, Jr. (to be Ambassador to the Swiss Confederation and Liechtenstein); Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on suicide prevention; Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the nominations of Ann Marie Buerkle (to be Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission) and three other Commerce and Transportation Department positions; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on legislative solutions for forest management to mitigate wildfires; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing on National Parks oversight; House Agriculture Committee hearing on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s 2017 agenda; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearings on democracy in Rwanda and Burma’s campaign against the Rohingya; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on cybersecurity of the Internet of Things; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on the Family Self-Sufficiency Program; House Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing on reducing risks of catastrophic wildfire and improving forest resiliency; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearing on improving access to GI Bill-approved apprenticeship programs; Financial Services Roundtable event on tax reform, featuring House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA); 

  • Thursday: Senate Intelligence Committee is expected to meet with representatives from Twitter; Senate Banking Committee hearing on administration policy for North Korea sanctions enforcement; Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on perspectives for the 2018 farm bill; Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing on TSA modernization; House Foreign Affairs Committee markup of several foreign policy bills and resolutions; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on insurance for nonprofit organizations; House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on agency compliance with the Congressional Review Act.

In the Media: Twitter and Buzzfeed’s foray into live video programming premieres tomorrow morning (8-9 AM ET). Variety reports, “‘AM to DM’ will follow a traditional morning-show format, delivering the day’s top stories from staff reporters providing news and commentary on politics, social issues, technology, business and entertainment. But it will have some unique twists, given the nature of the medium: The show will feature “everyday Twitter heroes” who have captured the spotlight and focus on what people are saying on Twitter live, as it happens during the broadcast. Also planned are regular segments with guest ‘newsmakers and notables’ discussing current trends, personalities — and the best jokes from the twittersphere.”

ReCode notes that we should expect continued growth in original online video content. “Our phones are our Everydevice. We can watch whatever whenever (and do) which shows just how quaint the idea of primetime is.”

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

By: S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: This week the House of Representatives passed all 12 appropriations bills prior to the start of the new fiscal year (October 1) for the first time since 2009. The last time all 12 appropriations bills were enacted prior to the start of the fiscal year was in 1996. Congress is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution through December 8.

In the Administration: President Trump this week will make his first appearance at the United Nations, with remarks on Tuesday. The Hill’s Max Greenwood adds, “Trump is also set to hold a spate of meetings with world leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.N. Secretary General António Guterres. He will also meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Korean President Moon Jae-In about North Korea’s rapidly advancing weapons program.”

Bloomberg’s Margaret Talev notes, “In addition to Trump and Haley, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, the president’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and his National Economic Council director, Gary Cohn, are all expected to attend events in New York next week. Two key foreign leaders will not be on hand: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.”

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Next weekend President Trump will head to Alabama to campaign for Senator Luther Strange.

On the Hill:

Senate returns this week through Wednesday and is expected to complete work on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), with a cloture vote scheduled for Monday. Also in the Senate, various efforts are moving in the health care spaceincluding bipartisan work on insurance market stabilization led by Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman and Ranking Member Alexander and Murray. In Senate committees this week:

  • Monday: House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee field hearing on “leadership failures” at the Manchester, NH VA medical center;

  • Tuesday: Senate Finance Committee hearing on business tax reform; Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act; Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting on various legislation and nominations and hearing on the nominations of Jon Huntsman (for Ambassador to Russia) and A. Wess Mitchell (for Assistant Secretary of State of European and Eurasian Affairs); Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee business meeting to consider various Interior, Energy, and FERC nominees and hearing on vegetation management requirements for electricity assets on federal lands; Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on Agriculture Department nominees Stephen Censky (for Deputy Secretary of Agriculture) and Ted McKinney (for Undersecretary of Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs); Senate HELP Committee hearing on the nominations of Carlos Muniz (for general counsel of the Education Department), Janet Dhillon (as member and designated chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), and Daniel Gade, Ph.D. (as member of the EEOC); Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on recent U.S. Navy incidents at sea;

  • Wednesday: Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on several District and Circuit Court nominations; Senate Environment & Public Works Committee hearing on the nominations of Michael Dourson, Matthew Leopold, David Ross, and William Wehrum as assistant administrators of EPA and Jeffrey Baran to be a member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on the special needs of older Americans for disaster preparedness and response; Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Subcommittee hearing on end-of-year spending.

In the Media: Saturday’s Axios AM notes the rising trend in media’s coverage of itself in a quest to understand how the changing landscape, driven by technology, is influencing and shaping our lives. Business Insider reports, “CNN is set to launch a new technology-focused vertical about the changing media landscape on the West Coast. Titled ‘Pacific,’ the new franchise will be led by Senior Media Reporter Dylan Byers, and will focus on the powerful West Coast-based companies that have changed media, technology, and politics.” Axios’ Sara Fischer adds that CNN is not alone in this and is hosting an already-waitlisted event this week to unpack the trends.

To help those affected by the hurricane in the Virgin Islands, the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) has established the Fund for the Virgin Islands

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

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: As Amazon makes plans for its second U.S. headquarters, the Wall Street Journal shares a positive perspective on the impact that automation (and businesses like Amazon) can have. “The brick-and-mortar retail swoon has been accompanied by a less headline-grabbing e-commerce boom that has created more jobs in the U.S. than traditional stores have cut. Those jobs, in turn, pay better, because its workers are so much more productive. This demonstrates something routinely overlooked in the anxiety about the job-destroying potential of robots, artificial intelligence and other forms of automation. Throughout history, automation commonly creates more, and better-paying, jobs than it destroys. The reason: Companies don’t use automation simply to produce the same thing more cheaply. Instead, they find ways to offer entirely new, improved products. As customers flock to these new offerings, companies have to hire more people.”

This reporting is consistent with research from S&P Global which found, “automation as both a problem and a solution for job creation,” with new opportunities supported by education and training programs.

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In the Administration: President Trump has spent the weekend at Camp David with cabinet members discussing hurricane preparedness and relief efforts as well as the fall legislative agenda, including tax reform.

On the Hill: When Congress returns this week the House will return its attention to the remaining appropriations package and the Senate will debate the National Defense Authorization Act. Meanwhile both the Senate HELP and Senate Finance Committees remain busy with continued efforts on stabilizing the insurance market.

  • Tuesday: Senate HELP Committee hearing on stabilizing the insurance market, with a focus on state flexibility; Senate Finance Committee hearing on issues impacting cost and coverage of healthcare; Senate Banking Committee hearing on the fintech landscape; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on nominations; Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on nominations; Senate Energy & Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing on the Department of Energy’s national laboratories; Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing on reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; Joint Economic Committee hearing on the gains from free digital trade; House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on “pressuring” North Korea; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the recommendations of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking; House Natural Resources Committee hearing on the SHARE Act and full committee markup of 7 bills (through Wednesday); House Science, Space & Technology Committee hearing on the resiliency of the electric grid; House Homeland Security Committee hearing on “Keeping America Secure in the New Age of Terror”; House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on regulation and competition of occupational licensing; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on the relationship between prudential regulation and monetary policy at the Federal Reserve; House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee hearings on reliability in the electricity industry and the impact of protectionist cross-border data flow policy on U.S. jobs; House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee hearings on infrastructure, with testimony from Coast Guard stakeholders and rail stakeholdersHouse Veterans Affairs Subcommittee hearings on VA mail management and legislative markup; The Hill“Turning Genes into Medicine: Reimagining Our Health Care System” panel, featuring Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Patrick Meehan (R-PA); Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) holds Senate Homeland Security Committee minority roundtable on opioids sales and marketing;

  • Wednesday: Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the long-term impact of immigration; Senate Commerce Committee hearing on automated truck safety technology and impact; Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on the OMB’s ongoing government-wide reorganization; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the use of carbon capture; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on a legislative proposal to impede North Korea’s access to finance; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearings on the President’s FY2018 budget request for Afghanistan and Pakistanthe crisis in Venezuela, and the future of democracy and governance in LiberiaHouse Energy & Commerce Subcommittee hearings on legislation reducing regulatory burdens for job creators and modernizing FDA regulation of over-the-counter drugs; House Ways & Means Subcommittee hearing on how the IRS resolves taxpayer disputes; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on assessing suspicious activity reporting efforts; House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee hearing on the Save Local Business Act; House Small Business Committee hearing on the effectiveness of the Small Business Administration’s Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) Program; House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing with economic development stakeholders’ perspectives on infrastructure; The Hill: “America’s Opioid Epidemic: Search for Solutions” panel,featuring Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY); Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduces the Medicare for All Act of 2017; The Atlantic Council hosts a conversation with Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) on immigration;
  • Thursday: POLITICO Pro Policy Summit; Senate HELP Committee hearing on stabilizing the insurance market, with testimony from health care stakeholders; Senate Finance Committee hearing on individual tax reform; Senate Banking Committee hearing on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States; Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting on various nominations; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on policy options to support democracy in Venezuela; Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on FCC’s Lifeline program; Senate Agriculture Committee hearing about nutrition programs and the 2018 farm bill; House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee hearing on workforce programs under the Public Health Service Act; House Small Business Subcommittee hearing about how Small Business Administration entrepreneurial development programs have evolved with technology; Center for Climate and Energy Solutions event, with remarks from Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and John Barrasso (R-WY).

In the Media: The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is planning for significant investment in video. “Facebook’s thirst for video content pits it against traditional broadcasters such as Time Warner Inc.’s HBO and deep-pocketed tech companies such as Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc., which all are banking on video to capture the fleeting attention of users and seize billions of dollars in advertising that is expected to migrate from television to digital video. Apple Inc. is preparing its own billion-dollar war chest for content.”

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

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: Smartphones are about to get a lot smarter. Ahead of the next iPhone reveal, the New York Times reports on the “futurism” that your phone’s camera is expected to unleash as soon as 2018. “Here’s a peek into how the camera may come into play: As soon as you pick up your gadget, it will see you and know you are the owner and unlock the screen. Overseas, you will be able to point the camera at a restaurant menu to translate items into your native language. When shopping for furniture, you can point your phone camera at your living room floor and place a virtual rendering of a coffee table down to see how it looks and move around and peek underneath it.”

The Times notes, “All the tech giants are betting big on augmented reality,” including Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit. Futurism adds, “Eventually, ARCore might be combined with a visual search tool like Google Lens to transform the way we get information. … ARCore is evidence of Google’s determination to help us all make sense of what we see around us, and to be part of the movement to digitally enhance our world.”

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In the Administration: As Congress returns, President Trump is scheduled to meet with House and Senate leaders to discuss both tax reform and likely hurricane relief funding, debt ceiling, and government funding measures.

The president is also expected to give a speech on tax reform in North Dakota on Wednesday.

On the Hill: Congress returns this week with its focus on emergency relief for Hurricane Harvey, as well as government funding and raising the debt ceiling. The administration’s request for relief funding included a call to quickly raise the debt ceiling as well to ensure the funds are accessible. Other September deadlines include reauthorizations of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, National Flood Insurance Program, and FAA. Additionally, in the Senate HELP Committee, bipartisan leaders are looking into health care stabilization efforts with hearings on Wednesday and Thursday, as well as continued discussion around tax reform.

  • Monday: Labor Day – enjoy!
  • Tuesday: House Rules Committee hearing on the Intelligence Authorization Act; Senate expected to vote on Timothy Kelly to serve as a U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia; 
  • Wednesday: Senate HELP Committee hearing on stabilizing the insurance market, with testimony from state insurance commissioners; Senate Homeland Security hearing on the “history and current reality of the U.S. health care system”; Senate Appropriations Subcommittee markups of the FY2018 Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations Bill and the FY2018 State & Foreign Operations Appropriations BillSenate Judiciary Committee hearing for various judicial nominees; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the U.S.-Turkey relationship; Senate Commerce Committee hearingon waste, fraud and abuse in the FCC’s Lifeline program; House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing on the sharing economy; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on EPA oversight; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on the financing of lone-wolf and small-scale terrorist attacks; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearings on Social Security and disability benefits and declining employment among working-age men;
  • Thursday: Senate HELP Committee hearing on stabilizing the insurance market, with testimony from a panel of governors; Senate Appropriations Committee markup of the appropriations bills for Labor, HHS, and Education and State and Foreign Operations; Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting to vote on judicial nominations; Senate Finance Committee hearing on Children’s Health Insurance Program reauthorization; Senate Banking Committee executive session to vote on the nominations of Joseph Otting to be Comptroller of the Currency and of Randal Quarles to serve as the Federal Reserve Board of Governors’ vice chairman for supervision and hearing on North Korean sanctions policy; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on Interior Department and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominees; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on oversight of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), with testimony from FINRA President and CEO Robert Cook; House Foreign Affairs Subcommitteehearings on the State Department’s FY2018 budget in South Asia and FY2018 counterterrorism budgetHouse Armed Services Committee hearing on Navy readiness; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on the cybersecurity workforce; House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee hearing on private sector exploration of the moon;
  • Friday: Govs. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and John Kasich (R-OH) discuss their bipartisan proposal to stabilize the insurance market at a Center for American Progress/American Enterprise Institute event.

In the Media: According to the advertising industry, attention spans have gotten even shorter – 6 seconds. AdWeek talked to several experts who all concluded the 6-second spots (which Google calls “bumper ads”) are potentially more powerful and effective than 15 or 30 seconds, particularly when targeting millennials. Expectations are that we will begin seeing more of these in the coming months as they emerge as a new normal come 2018.

Among the observations AdWeek shares:

  • “They force you to be more focused;”
  • “You sort of have to understand your subject matter, your medium, your production tools so much more intimately in order to make use of six seconds;”
  • “If we’re trying to reach someone for the first time, the shorter the better.”

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