By S-3 Public Affairs

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

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

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IN THE MEDIA

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

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

IN THE ADMINISTRATION

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

ON THE HILL

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

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

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

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

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

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