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.
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.
- Secretary Perry on the Energy Department budget: Tuesday at a House Appropriations Subcommittee, Wednesday at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, Thursday at a Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources hearing.
- Secretary Zinke on the Interior Department budget: Tuesday at a Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources hearing, Wednesday at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, Thursday at a House Natural Resources Committee hearing.
- US Trade Representative Lighthizer on the President’s trade policy agenda and FY2018 budget at the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday; Wednesday at the House Ways & Means Committee.
- Tuesday: FDA Commissioner Gottlieb at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the FDA budget; FCC Chairman Pai and Commissioners Clyburn and O’Rielly at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the FCC budget;
- Wednesday: Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the Department of the Air Force budget; Veterans Affairs Secretary Shulkin at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the VA budget; Acting FBI Director McCabe at a House Appropriations Subcommittee on the FBI budget; Office of Management and Budget Director at a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the OMB budget;
- Thursday: National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins at a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the NIH budget.
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:
- Tuesday: Speaker Ryan will give a “major” speech on tax reform at the National Association of Manufacturers summit; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “The Assault on the First Amendment on College Campuses”; Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee hearing on America’s water infrastructure; Georgia special congressional election;
- Wednesday: Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson testifies before the House Intelligence Committee as part of its Russia investigation; House Financial Services Committee session to markup legislation reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program.
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.”