Agenda: 2/4/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

Still confused as to what bitcoin actually is? Square, the payment processing company, this week made an illustrated, digital story to explain it. The Verge writes, “The illustrations depict bitcoins as shiny letter Bs that can be chopped up into valuable fractions, kind of like a huge diamond. They’re made with “very complex math,” as explained by an illustration where computers with arms patch up a letter B while smiling. It goes on to cover exchanges, the blockchain, and even hints at the currency’s infamous volatility. The illustrated guide to Bitcoin is surprisingly clear, if looking at Dr. Seuss-esque cartoons that bear no semblance to reality can make an increasingly complex subject more comprehensible. To be fair, none of the text in the guide is wrong (depending on how you feel about the gold standard), and it does come with a disclaimer at the bottom to ‘please make wise financial decisions.’”

Expect bitcoin to be a topic of discussion next week when SEC Chairman Jay Clayton heads to the Hill Tuesday for a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

CONTINUE READING

IN THE MEDIA:

If you, your friend, or your kid has ever studied abroad, you’ve likely used WhatsApp. Recode this week reports, “Facebook and WhatsApp boasted record usership — 2.13 billion and 1.5 billion monthly active users, respectively — according to Facebook’s fourth-quarter earnings yesterday. That’s despite a small decline in the number of users in the U.S. and Canada. WhatsApp is now bigger than Messenger, its rival/sibling messaging app. It’s also far bigger than Instagram. Facebook’s namesake app, of course, remains, on top.” TechCrunch adds a note about WhatsApp’s growth noting the 1.5 billion monthly active users is, “compared to 1.3 billion monthly users and 1 billion daily active users in July. The massive growth makes Facebook’s choice to pay more than $19 billion to acquire WhatsApp look prescient.

BONUS MEDIA: The AP reports, “It’ll be much easier to watch the Super Bowl online for free this year. NBC won’t require proof of a cable or satellite TV subscription, meaning that anyone in the U.S. can watch the game online. Plus, you’ll be able to watch the game on a phone even if you aren’t a Verizon customer, as was a requirement before.”

IN THE ADMINISTRATION

President Trump heads to Cincinnati Monday where he will discuss the benefits of tax reform. The president is speaking at a factory that gave each of its employees $1,000 bonuses thanks to the tax bill. Vice President Pence this week heads to Japan ahead of his planned attendance at the Olympics in South Korea. More on his trip in Axios AM here

ON THE HILL

The Senate is in session this week and the House is scheduled to be in session through Wednesday; House Democrats are scheduled to attend a retreat in Maryland from Wednesday to Friday. The current government funding bill runs out on Thursday.

Monday (February 5): Senate vote on the confirmation of Andrei Iancu to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; House Rules Committee hearing on the Small Bank Holding Company Relief Act, the Mortgage Choice Act, and the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act; House Administration Committee markup of Congressional Accountability Act reform measures;

Tuesday (February 6): Senate Banking Committee hearing on the oversight role of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission in virtual currencies, with testimony from SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and CFTC Chairman J. Christopher GiancarloSenate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the administration’s South Asia strategy in Afghanistan, with testimony from Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and Assistant Defense Secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver; Senate HELP Committee hearing on the “gig economy” and the future of retirement savings; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on beneficial ownership and fighting international financial networks through transparency; Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing on lessons learned about data security and bug bounty programs from the Uber breach; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee hearing on spending uncertainty and cost to taxpayers caused by continuing resolutions, omnibus spending bills, and shutdown crises; House Financial Services Committee hearing on the annual report of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, with testimony from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; House Armed Services Committee hearing on national defense strategy and the nuclear posture review, with testimony from Defense Secretary James Mattis and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Paul J. Selva and subcommittee hearing on physiological episodes in fighter, attack, and training aircraft; House Agriculture Committee hearing on the state of the rural economy; House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on U.S. cyber diplomacy in an era of growing threats and subcommittee hearings on Syria and U.S.-Pakistan relationsHouse Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on the VA caregiver support program; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee business meetingHouse Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on removing barriers to prevent and treat opioid abuse and dependence in Medicare; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on Department of Energy modernization; House Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing on 3 national monument bills; House Education and Workforce Subcommittee hearing to review the policies and priorities of the Mine Safety and Health Administration; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on ensuring effective and reliable alerts and warnings;

Wednesday (February 7): Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the impact of federal environmental regulations and policies on American farming and ranching communities; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing to receive testimony on 15 bills; Senate Foreign Relations Committee closed hearing on Turkey; Senate Armed Services Subcommittee hearings on the Defense Department’s role in countering weapons of mass destruction and Army modernizationSenate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee roundtable on Department of Homeland Security reauthorization, with testimony from Deputy Secretary Elaine Duke, Under Secretary for Management Claire Grady, Acting DHS Inspector General John Kelly, and Government Accountability Office Comptroller General Eugene Dodaro; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on ensuring Social Security serves America’s veterans; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on prevention and accountability of senior leader misconduct;

Thursday (February 8): Stopgap government funding bill expires; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on energy infrastructure; Senate HELP Committee hearing on the impact of the opioid crisis on children and families.

Agenda: 1/21/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

FACT OF THE WEEK:

The US Chamber of Commerce recently partnered with Facebook and Morning Consult to figure out tech’s impact on small businesses. The survey found: “84% of small businesses in the U.S. use at least one major digital platform to provide information to customers,” but, “57% of small businesses surveyed said that lack of familiarity with available digital tools is a challenge.” The solution: to invest in training programs. Google CEO Sundar Pichai writing in Recode adds a note about programs they are rolling out to improve digital and tech skills training in a way that is more accessible and practical. “Moving beyond code and intensive degrees to these constant, lightweight and ubiquitous forms of education will take resources and experimentation. But that effort should help close today’s skills gaps, while making sure future skills gaps don’t open. That’s part of the reason Google has invested $1 billion over five years to help find new approaches to connect people to opportunities at work and help small and medium businesses everywhere grow in the digital economy.”

IN THE MEDIA:

Nielsen Digital Content Ratings recently looked at popular websites in an effort to gain a better understanding of who they are engaging on a consistent basis, “helping [publishers] to put the pieces of the consumer picture together for the first time using measurement metrics that are comparable to those used to measure TV audiences.”

Among the findings:

  • Buzzfeed reaches 83% of all millennials in a given month;

  • Mic reaches 40 million unique visitors each month, with an audience that is 56% female and 42% male;

  • Refinery 29 reaches 62% of millennial women and 88% of women ages 21 to 24.

IN THE ADMINISTRATION

The Washington Post reports, “This week, President Trump is scheduled to head to the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland,” with a speech scheduled for Friday. The president is also expected to meet with British Prime Minister May on the trip.

ON THE HILL

The House is scheduled to be adjourned for a district work period. The Senate is expected to vote at 1 a.m. on a government funding bill that would go through February 8th, which Speaker Ryan has indicated the House would pass, ending the shutdown.

Tuesday (January 23): Senate Banking Committee hearing on the nominations of Jelena McWilliams (to be a member of the board of directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), Marvin Goodfriend (to be a member of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors), and Thomas Workman (to be a member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council); Senate HELP Committee hearing on preparedness and response capabilities for 21st century public health threats; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to examine the performance of the electric power system under certain weather conditions; Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing on current and emerging threats in surface transportation security;

Wednesday (January 24): Senate Budget Committee oversight hearing of the Congressional Budget Office, with testimony from CBO Director Keith Hall; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of Michael Brennan (to be circuit judge for the Seventh Circuit), Daniel Desmond Domenico (to be district judge for the District of Colorado), and Adam Klein (to be reappointed chairman and member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board); Senate Commerce Committee field hearing on driving automotive innovation and federal policies, held at the Washington Convention Center; Senate Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on officer personnel management and the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act of 1980; Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on navigating critical decisions to turning 65;

Thursday (January 25): Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on global challenges and U.S. national security strategy, with testimony from former secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz and former deputy secretary of State Richard Armitrage; Senate Banking Committee hearing to receive administration perspectives on CFIUS reform, with testimony from Assistant Treasury Secretary for International Markets and Investment Policy Heath Tarbert, Assistant Commerce Secretary for Export Administration Richard Ashooh and Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy Eric Chewning; Senate HELP Committee hearings on Higher Education Act reauthorization and the nomination of Frank Brogan to be assistant secretary for elementary and secondary educationSenate Commerce Committee hearing to examine the Wireless Emergency Alert system, including recent system failures; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee field hearing to examine opportunities and challenges facing vehicle technologies, held at the Washington Convention Center; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee hearing on exploiting vulnerabilities in international mail in combatting the opioid crisis;

Friday (January 26): House Judiciary Committee field hearing on music policy issues at Fordham University School of Law, with testimony from Recording Academy President Neil Portnow and artists Aloe Blacc, Mike Clink, Booker Jones, and Tom Douglas.

Agenda: 1/14/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

FACT OF THE WEEK:

CNBC reports that as the value of bitcoin has made headlines, the demand for employees with these skills has also increased. “As the cryptocurrency universe grows, businesses are on the hunt for job candidates with experience in blockchain, the technology that supports popular digital tokens such as bitcoin and ethereum. Upwork, a freelancing firm, says blockchain is its fastest-growing skill category. … LinkedIn says there are now 28 times as many people citing cryptocurrency skills on their profiles and 5.5 times as many people with bitcoin skills as there were in October 2013. And from 2014 to 2017, LinkedIn has seen a 9.4-time increase in bitcoin-related postings within the financial services and insurance industry sector, as well as a 4.6-time increase for the software technology industry.”

CHASER: The Harvard Crimson notes that some economists see government interference or potential overregulation as a threat to the value of bitcoin. “Some Harvard Economics professors say the current high valuation of bitcoin—the founding coin of the international virtual currency boom—is unsustainable and will eventually drop, thanks in part to government regulation.”

BONUS FACT: United Launch Alliance this week had its first launch of 2018, “the 124th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006. It was also the 36th flight of the Delta IV rocket since its inaugural launch in 2002.”

CONTINUE READING

IN THE MEDIA

Bloomberg reports on the Virtual Reality trend that emerged from the Consumer Electronics Show. In addition to being “cheaper, lighter and less likely to require tethering to a smartphone or computer,” Bloomberg notes, “It also gives companies something to sell while they figure out augmented reality, widely believed to have more mass-market appeal than virtual reality.” What’s the difference? “VR isolates users while AR lays digital information over the real world, offering countless potential consumer and commercial applications—streaming basketball stats to fans during games, say, or sending instructions to mechanics repairing complicated equipment.

Recode adds a note about Facebook’s contribution to the potential VR trend.“Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to get one billion people using virtual realitya lofty goal considering there were just one million VR headsets shipped across the entire industry in last year’s third quarter.” The means to achieving this: “A new standalone VR headset exclusively for the Chinese market.”

IN THE ADMINISTRATION

President Trump is expected to travel to Pennsylvania next Thursday and discuss tax reform, ahead of a special election being held in March for a House of Representatives seat. Politico reports, “Trump’s visit to the district next week will take him to a manufacturing plant outside Pittsburgh.”

ON THE HILL

Congress returns this week with all eyes on a Friday government-funding deadline. Also on the Hill this week:  

Monday (January 15): Martin Luther King Jr. Day;

Tuesday (January 16): Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the Department of Homeland Security, with testimony from Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing to examine the domestic and global energy outlook, with testimony from International Energy Agency Executive Director Dr. Fatih Birol; House Natural Resources Committee markup of 9 bills and subcommittee legislative hearing on the Jobs for Tribes Act; House Rules Committee hearing on the Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment Act, World Bank Accountability Act, and Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee field hearing on the Obama administration’s rapprochement with the Castro regime;

Wednesday (January 17): Senate Commerce Committee hearing on terrorism and social media, with testimony from Facebook Head of Global Policy Management Monika Bickert, YouTube Global Head of Public Policy and Government Relations Juniper Downs; Twitter Public Policy and Philanthropy Director Carlos Monje, and Foreign Policy Research Institute Fellow Clinton Watts; Senate Finance Committee hearing on the nominations of Dennis Shea to be the deputy U.S. trade representative in the Geneva office and C.J. Mahoney to be the deputy U.S. trade representative for investment, services, labor, environment, Africa, China, and the Western hemisphere; Senate Banking Committee executive session to vote on the nominations of Jerome H. Powell (to be chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve), Randal Quarles (to be a member of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors), Brian Montgomery (to be assistant secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Federal Housing Commissioner), Robert Hunter Kurtz (to be assistant secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development for Public and Indian Housing), and David Ryder (to be director of the U.S. Mint) and hearing on combating money laundering and other forms of illicit finance, with testimony from Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Crimes Sigal Mandelker and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division M. Kendall Day; Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the nominations of Michael Atkinson to be the inspector general of the intelligence community and Jason Klitenic to be general counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; Senate HELP Committee hearing on facing 21st century public health threats; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the unintended consequences of Medicaid and the opioid epidemic; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on America’s water infrastructure needs and challenges; Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing to receive a progress report on the implementation of 2017 VA reform legislation; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing to examine the Bureau of Reclamation’s title transfer process and potential benefits to federal and non-federal stakeholders; House Financial Services Committee markupof 17 bills to amend the Dodd-Frank Act; House Judiciary Committee markupof the Disclosing Foreign Influence Act; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on the opioid crisis and CMS actions to prevent opioid misuse; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee markup and vote on the Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act, Pharmaceutical Information Exchange Act, and Over-the-Counter Monograph Safety, Innovation, and Reform Act; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing on the state of the U.S. flag maritime industry; House Science, Space & Technology Subcommittee hearing to receive an update on NASA commercial crew systems development; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on the current state of the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee hearing on recent efforts to win the war against ISIS; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on the Denver Replacement Medical Center;

Thursday (January 18): Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committeehearing on the nominations of Melissa Burnison to be an assistant secretary of Energy for congressional and intergovernmental affairs and Anne Marie White to be an assistant secretary of Energy for environmental management; Senate Banking Committee hearing on CFIUS reform; Senate Commerce Committee executive session to vote on 7 nominations, including Ann Marie Buerkle to be chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Jim Bridenstine to be NASA administrator; Senate HELP Committee hearing on reauthorizing the Higher Education Act; Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on the long-term care needs of first responders injured in the line of duty; House Rules Committee hearing on Article I: effective oversight and the power of the purse; House Natural Resources Committee oversight hearingexamining the Interior Department’s actions to eliminate onshore energy burdens; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on the Internet of Things, manufacturing and innovation and modernizing the Superfund cleanup programHouse Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing on America’s water resources infrastructure; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearings on the capabilities of federal law enforcement agencies to share information related to transnational gangs and innovation at TSA;

Friday (January 19): Next government funding deadline; House Natural Resources Subcommittee oversight hearing examining deficiencies in the permitting process for offshore seismic research; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on legislation addressing LNG exports and PURPA modernization and continuing concerns over the Food and Drug Administration’s food-recall process.

Agenda: 1/7/18

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact  of the Week: The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon, “This year it is on track to spend as much on video content as Netflix did in 2017. … Amazon’s video business isn’t just its own potential profit center; it’s also a way to keep people in Amazon’s world longer, where they spend more money, Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said in October. Amazon Prime Video also makes customers more likely to renew their Prime subscriptions, he said.”

Bloomberg adds, “Amazon.com Inc. plans to bid for the rights to stream Premier League matches in the upcoming auction in the U.K., according to a source familiar with the matter, part of a broader strategy to bring more sports content to its global customers. The digital giant sees such sporting events as American football, tennis and soccer matches as a way to get more people to subscribe to Prime memberships, which include video streaming and convert occasional customers into more loyal shoppers.”

CONTINUE READING

In the Media: CNBC reports, “Music streaming service Spotify, which filed confidentially with U.S.regulators for an initial public offering on Wednesday, has 70 million subscribers, it said in a tweet on Thursday. Spotify, valued at as much as $19 billion last year, is targeting a direct listing in the first half of 2018. Spotify is the biggest global music streaming company and counts Apple and Amazon.com as its main rivals.” Note that this is the first ever direct listing of its kind (a good read from Bloomberg’s Matt Levine on why this approach is noteworthy).

In addition to music, as we noted last week, Spotify is making a big push in the podcasting space. Media and tech writer Tim Carmody writes for The Nieman Lab about his evolved opinion on the app: “I want to make the case for Spotify, the company with audio at its core, and that’s made a big leap in podcasts in the last year — not least because Spotify’s evolution helps explain what Apple and Google are up to.” He adds that he sees Spotify as, “one of the most interesting trajectories in media; and I firmly believe publishers should be paying close attention to how it works.”

In the Administration: President Trump heads to Nashville on Monday to speak at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 99th Annual Convention. The president also plans to attend the College Football Playoff national championship game in Atlanta on Monday night.

On the Hill: Both the House and Senate are in session this week, with negotiations continuing on a government funding bill. Additionally, HHS Secretary-Nominee Alex Azar appears before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, and the Senate will continue its work on district court nominations, with a cloture vote scheduled Monday and three other cloture votes filed.

Monday (January 8): Senate expected to vote on the nomination of William Campbell to be U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Tennessee; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs business meeting to vote on the nominations of Margaret Weichert to be deputy director for management in the Office of Management and Budget and Mark Greenblatt to be inspector general of the Export-Import Bank;

Tuesday (January 9): Senate Finance Committee hearing to consider the nomination of Alex Azar to be secretary of Health and Human Services; Senate HELP Committee hearing assessing the opioid crisis; Senate Banking Committee hearing on combating money laundering and illicit finance; Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing on attacks on U.S. diplomats in Cuba, with testimony from Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Francisco Palmieri, Diplomatic Security Assistant Director of International Programs Todd Brown, and Bureau of Medical Services Director Dr. Charles Rosenfarb; House Rules Committee hearing on FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearings on CFIUS and financial regulatory legislative proposals (the Community Financial Institution Exemption Act, Protecting Veterans Credit Act, Home Mortgage Reporting Relief Act, Community Bank Reporting Relief Act, and an amendment to the Truth in Lending Act); House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on Department of Energy modernization, with a panel including Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, Undersecretary for Science Paul Dabbar, Undersecretary for Nuclear Security Frank Klotz and Undersecretary of Energy Mark Menezes; House Natural Resources Subcommittee legislative hearing on the Shash Jáa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument Act; House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on China’s pursuit of emerging and exponential technologies; House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on border security from an agent and officer perspective;

Wednesday (January 10): Senate Judiciary Committee nominations hearingSenate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on America’s water infrastructure needs and challenges; House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on sanctions and financial pressure and subcommittee hearing on the implications of upcoming elections in the Western hemisphere for U.S. policy; House Armed Services Committee hearing to receive an update on the Financial Improvement and Audit Remediation (FIAR) Plan, with testimony from Undersecretary of Defense and Chief Financial Officer David Norquist; House Natural Resources Committee markup of the Swan Lake Hydroelectric Project Boundary Correction Act, Route 66 National Historic Trail Designation Act, National Memorial to Fallen Educators Act, Streamlining Environmental Approvals Act, and Alex Diekmann Peak Designation Act; House Science, Space & Technology Committee markup of the Low Dose Radiation Research Act; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing to examine Federal Reserve reform proposals; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearing on how veteran homebuyers are affected by home loan churning practices;

Thursday (January 11): Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on U.S. policy in post-ISIS Syria, with testimony from Ambassador David Satterfield, the acting assistant secretary of State for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs; Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting to consider Circuit Court nominees Stuart Kyle Duncan and David Ryan Stras and District Court nominee Fernando Rodriguez, Jr., and to consider the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act; Senate HELP Committee executive session to consider the nominations of 8 top officials in the Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services.

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!

Agenda: 12/31/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: Podcast popularity continued to grow throughout 2017. AdWeek notes, “In 2017, podcasting exploded into a seemingly bottomless ocean of content that Edison Research dubbed “the Infinite Dial,” with an estimated 15 percent of Americans listening to podcasts each week.” AdAge gives a look at what 2018 has in store for the medium: “As Spotify’s spotlight offers a high-profile listening platform for Android users, Google will engage to become a true cross-platform destination for podcasts. With both services gathering deep data, their recommendation algorithms will step up discovery and enhance the playlist culture. Next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is likely to confirm 2018 as the Year of Voice. Communicating with robots through voice-activated devices will become passѐ. With 70 percent of smart speaker owners listening to more audio since buying the devices, the industry will continue to benefit in the broader audio-on-demand context.”

CONTINUE READING

In the Media: TVNewser reports, “As Nielsen ratings continue to decline for the cable entertainment networks, there’s one genre that thrived in 2017: Cable news.” The year-end review had good news for all three major cable news networks, with Fox News topping the list in prime time and total day, MSNBC showing the most growth, and CNN showing “year-over-year audience growth in total day.”

Nevertheless, streaming continues to be a trend to watch for 2018. Pew research this year found, “About six-in-ten Americans ages 18 to 29 say the primary way they watch television now is with streaming services on the internet. … Overall, just 28% of Americans cite streaming services as the primary way they watch TV.”

In the Administration: President Trump next weekend will host Senate Majority Leader McConnell and House Speaker Ryan at Camp David to map out the 2018 agenda.

On the Hill: The Senate will return to the Capitol on January 3, and the House is scheduled to return to Washington on January 8. Reuters reports, “On Wednesday, Trump’s budget chief Mick Mulvaney and legislative affairs director Marc Short will meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan – both Republicans – and their Democratic counterparts, Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi, the White House said.” On the agenda: “immigration policy, government spending and other issues that need to be wrapped up early in the new year.”

2018 Calendars:

The House

The Senate 

WATCH: Bipartisan praise from Congressional leadership for newest S-3 Public Affairs team member, Matt Bravo! 

S-3 wishes everyone a happy, safe, and restful NYE. We’re looking forward to a great 2018!

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!

Agenda: 12/17/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: Fact of the Week: When your teenager family members are glued to their phones over the holidays, chances are they’re on Snapchat. Recode reports, “Some 79 percent of U.S. 13- to 18-year-olds surveyed said they have a Snapchat account, more than any other type of social media. Of that age group, 73 percent have an Instagram account, and just 57 percent say they are on Facebook. Respondents had to choose only one social network they could keep if they were ‘trapped on a deserted island.’ This time, 44 percent of teens picked Snapchat.” The most popular feature: messaging – which Instagram is now working to replicate as well, after having already implemented the stories feature.

CONTINUE READING

In the Media: The Wall Street Journal reports on a new trend in which social media “influencers” leverage their following to market a product, event, or service. The WSJ notes, “Regulators say such financial rewards—even those given to influencers without explicit demands in return—can run afoul of longstanding rules against deceptive marketing if they aren’t disclosed. Authorities in the U.S., the U.K., France and elsewhere are policing social media to ferret out potential offenders. FTC officials say that merely tagging a brand or business on social media is a form of endorsement that falls under its purview.”

In the Administration: Reuters reports, “President Donald Trump will lay out a new U.S. national security strategy on Monday based on his “America First” policy and will, among other items, make clear that China is a competitor, two senior U.S. officials said on Saturday.”

On the Hill: Congress returns for a busy final week of the year with tax reform and government funding legislation both on deck.

  • Monday (December 18): Senate vote on the confirmation of J. Paul Compton to be general counsel of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Owen West to be an assistant secretary of Defense; House Rules Committee hearing on the Systemic Risk Designation Improvement Act;
  • Tuesday (December 19): House expected to vote for final passage of tax reform, with a final Senate vote either in the evening or on Wednesday; Senate Banking Committee executive session to vote on the nominations of Scott Garrett to be president of the Export-Import Bank, Kimberly Reed to be first vice president, Spencer Bachus, Judith DelZoppo Pryor, and Claudia Slacik to be members of the board of directors, and Mark Greenblatt to be inspector general of the bank; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of Peter Hendrick Vrooman to be ambassador to the Republic of Rwanda and Joel Daies to be ambassador to the Gabonese Republic and the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe; Senate Rules and Administration Committee hearing on a resolution by Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) to change the procedures for consideration of nominations in the Senate; House Administration Committee markupof the House resolution implementing mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination guidelines each session of Congress; House Rules Committee hearing on the Senate amendment to the Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign Authorization Act (further Continuing Resolution); Senate amendment to the further Continuing Resolution; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee markup of pending legislation;
  • Wednesday (December 20): House Education and Workforce Committee hearing on the policies and priorities of the Education Department, with testimony from Secretary Betsy DeVos; Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee hearing on the freight movement.

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!

Agenda: 12/10/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: We’ve shared a lot about the trend toward video – and shorter video at that. AdWeek this weekend shared YouTube’s top 10 watched videos of 2017, “which amassed 633 million views, an 83-million increase from 2016’s top clips.”

In the Media: AdWeek reports, “Three months after ESPN transitioned to Nielsen’s total live audience number—which combines streaming and out-of-home viewing with traditional linear ratings—the sports network is sharing its first seven weeks of data, which sees millennial audience increases for its live sports broadcasts by as much as 33 percent. … While the new metric combines streaming and out-of-home data, ‘streaming is the vastly more meaningful number,’ said Meyers [ESPN’s svp of fan and media intelligence]. He noted that around half of all streaming occurs on connected TV or smart TV devices, which means that audiences are still watching that content on a TV screen even though it’s being streamed.”

Meanwhile The Wall Street Journal notes that Nielsen is feeling pressure from networks to update its definition of “live” viewership from online streaming. The “policy set in the early days of digital video recorders” is such that if you are more than 25 seconds behind “live,” you are not accounted for in live viewership – which is a key figure in setting ad rates, particularly for sports programs. “Nielsen said it’s working with clients to change its processing systems to redefine ‘live’ viewing for streaming content on TV sets to within three minutes.”

CONTINUE READING


In the Administration: The administration remains engaged and focused on congressional progress on tax reform, with the president expected to, “deliver a closing argument for the proposed Republican tax overhaul in a speech on Wednesday,” per BloombergAdditionally, the Fed is set to hold its final meeting of 2017 with an interest rate hike expected.

On the Hill: Congress this week will continue work on the tax reform package with the conference committee holding an open meeting on Wednesday.

  • Monday (December 11): Senate cloture votes on Circuit Court nominees Steven Grasz, Don Willett and James C. Ho; Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee business meeting to consider the nomination of Stephen Valden to be general counsel of the Department of Agriculture;
  • Tuesday (December 12): Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee business meeting to vote on the nominations of Linda Capuano to be administrator of the Energy Information Administration and Timothy Petty to be assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science and hearing to examine the permitting processes at the Interior Department and FERC for energy and resource infrastructure projects; Senate HELP Committee hearing on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report on drug affordability; Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act; Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearings on U.S. interests and coercive Russian diplomacy in European energy security and the future of ZimbabweSenate Commerce Subcommittee hearings on the state of the National Ocean Policy and the role of machine learning and artificial intelligence in digital decision-makingHouse Financial Services Committee markup of 15 bills; House Natural Resources Subcommittee oversight hearing examining consequences of America’s growing dependence on foreign minerals; House Judiciary Committee markup of the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and the Strengthening the Department of Homeland Security Secure Mail Initiative Act; House Rules Committee meeting to consider the Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act, the Privacy Notification Technical Clarification Act, the Corporate Governance Reform and Transparency Act, and the Strengthening Oversight of Iran’s Access to Finance Act; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearings on policies to support democracy and human rights in Cambodiaprotecting North Korean refugees, and the future of NAFTA; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings examining concerns of patient brokering and addiction treatment fraud and the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Program (CAFE) and greenhouse gas emissions standards for motor vehicles; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearing to receive updates on implementation of the Forever GI Bill and the Harry W. Colmery Educational Assistance Act; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing on addressing hurdles to economic development in Appalachia;
  • Wednesday (December 13): House-Senate tax conference committee meeting; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of Elizabeth L. Branch (to be Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit) and 5 district court appointments and subcommittee hearing on the consumer welfare standard in antitrust; Senate HELP Committee executive session to vote on the nominations of four top Labor and Education Department officials and hearing on implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act with respect to mental health needs; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee oversight hearing of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the strategic, political and legal considerations of using force and the examination of 4 treaties; Senate Commerce Committee executive session to vote on the National Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization Act, the National Integrated Drought Information System Reauthorization Act, the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act, Coast Guard promotions, and the nomination of Barry Lee Meyers to be Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere; Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee hearing about safeguarding American agriculture in a globalized world; Senate Armed Services Subcommittee hearing to receive an update on research, diagnosis and treatment for traumatic brain injury and concussion in service members; House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the Justice Department’s investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election with testimony from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee oversight hearing of the Bureau of Prisons and Inmate Reentry; House Natural Resources Committee markup of 16 bills; House Homeland Security Committee markup of 12 bills; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on the taxpayer experience with the IRS; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings examining the drug supply chain and the impacts and future of North American energy trade; House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee hearings on preventing head trauma and advancing solar energy technologyHouse Armed Services Subcommittee hearing addressing physiological episodes in fighter, attack, and training aircraft; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearing on the effectiveness of Veterans’ Affairs and Defense Department pre-discharge claims programs;
  • Thursday (December 14): Senate Homeland Services and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the nominations of Margaret Weichert (to be Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget) and John Dupuy (to be Inspector General at the Office of Personnel Management); Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on U.S. policy and strategy in the Middle East; Senate Foreign Relations Committee closed hearing to receive new counterterrorism guidance; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing examining CFIUS operations; House Natural Resources Subcommittee legislative hearing on the Grand Staircase-Escalante Bill; House Foreign Affairs Committee markup of the End Banking for Human Traffickers Act and the United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Extension Act.

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!

Agenda: 12/3/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: Recode reports, “Three quarters of all mobile traffic will be used for video in 2023, according to a new report by telecommunications equipment company Ericsson. That’s up from just over half of all traffic today. Not only will that be a bigger share but also a bigger pie, as more people watch more video on their smartphones.” The report adds that video is growing faster than social media use on mobile. “Social media consumption on mobile is also rising, but not as fast as video. Therefore, social media will represent a smaller share of mobile traffic in 2023 — eight percent — than its current 12 percent of mobile traffic.”

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In the Media: Spotify is taking data-driven advertising concepts off the internet and to billboards around the world. Talking to AdWeek, Spotify’s CMO Seth Farbman explains, “we’re not social media platform, but people do express themselves through music and through playlists just like they would express themselves through a tweet.” Once Spotify sifts through the “ridiculous amounts of data” it has, it works to make the ads concrete enough that people on the street will stop, read them in full, and laugh. “In general, the more concrete you can be, the the better it is and the easier it is to communicate. We take individual experiences, individual data points, and we use them to represent a broader feeling. If we just talked about how many people listened to this one song, or streamed this, or did this other thing, it stays up high. But when you get very concrete, so that in your mind you’re realizing this is a real person with real listening habits, real playlists, real playlist names, then it just cuts through the clutter.”

Note from S-3 PA: We are thrilled to welcome Andrea Riccio as we continue to grow our bipartisan public affairs team.

In the Administration: Axios reports, “President Trump is giving a speech Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, according to two sources with direct knowledge. A White House spokesman refused to confirm the report: ‘The President has always said it is a matter of when, not if. The President is still considering options and we have nothing to announce.'” The president is also expected to hold a campaign-style rally on Friday, December 8, in Pensacola, Florida.

On the Hill: Congress returns this week with continued progress on tax reform, after the Senate passed its measure over the weekend, as well as plans for a short-term government funding package to keep the government open until December 22. House and Senate leaders are expected to name conferees for the tax reform negotiations early this week. The Wall Street Journal has a helpful chart outlining the differences between the House and Senate packages.

  • Monday (December 4): Senate cloture vote on Secretary of Homeland Security nominee Kirstjen Nielsen;
  • Tuesday (December 5): Senate Banking Committee executive session to consider the nomination of Jerome Powell to be chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve and the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act; Senate HELP Committee hearing on four top Education and Labor Department officials; Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting on 5 bills and 2 nominations and hearing on shared authority over international accords; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the nominations of Dr. Timothy Petty (to be Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science) and Dr. Linda Capuano (to be Administrator of the Energy Information Administration) and subcommittee hearing to receive testimony on 7 bills; Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on prevention, treatment and recovery in addressing the opioid crisis; House Rules Committee hearing on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act;
  • Wednesday (December 6): Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about firearm accessory regulation and enforcement of federal and state reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the nomination of R.D. James to be assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works and subcommittee hearing on challenges facing Superfund and waste cleanup efforts following natural disasters; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on adapting to defend the homeland against the evolving international terrorist threat, with testimony from representatives of the Defense Department, the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing about countering terrorism, radicalization and promoting stability in North Africa, with testimony from Ambassador-at-Large and State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism and David Satterfield, the acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs; Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on opportunities and challenges for America’s aging workforce; House Rules Committee hearing on the Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales, and Brokerage Simplification Act; House Natural Resources Subcommittee legislative hearing on the Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Extension Act; House Science, Space & Technology Subcommittee hearings on NASA’s next four large telescopes and the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearings about advancing human rights to combat extremismBrexit negotiations, and U.S. policy toward TibetHouse Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on private sector perspectives of housing finance reform; House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee hearing examining opportunities and challenges of workplace leave policies for employers and working families;
  • Thursday (December 7): Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting to vote on 3 circuit court nominees and 7 district court nominees; Senate HELP Committee hearing on progress and the path forward for medical innovation in implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to receive testimony on Defense Department acquisition reform efforts; House Administration Committee hearing examining reforms to the Congressional Accountability Act and preventing sexual harassment in the congressional workplace; House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the FBI with testimony from Director Christopher Wray; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on the mission of the EPA, with testimony from Administrator Scott Pruitt; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on counterterrorism efforts in Africa, with testimony from Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and Mark Mitchell, the acting assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict; House Natural Resources Subcommittee oversight hearing of the Interior Department and legislative hearing on 4 bills; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearings examining the Office of Financial Research and legislative proposals for “a more efficient federal financial regulatory regime”House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing examining the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to counter weapons of mass destruction; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee oversight hearing of IT and cybersecurity at the Department of Veterans Affairs; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on the VA Medical Surgical Prime Vendor program; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee roundtable on emerging technologies in the trucking industry;
  • Friday (December 8): Government funding and debt ceiling deadline; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing examining the role of the Department of Energy in energy sector cybersecurity.

Click here for a full look at the December schedule. 

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!

Agenda: 11/26/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: TechCrunch reports, “The final figures for Black Friday online sales are in, and it’s another record-breaking day for e-commerce in the U.S. Adobe says that shoppers spent $5.03 billion online,” with an increasing number of purchases made on mobile. “Purchases made on mobile devices have so far totaled a record 36.9 percent of all sales, and 54.3 percent of all site visits. This works out to just under $2 billion in sales. Smartphones accounted for 44.6% of visits and 26.0% of revenue.” In other Black Friday news, Jeff Bezos surpassed the $100-billion net worth mark.

In the Media: AdWeek reports on research from Nielsen that gives advertisers good news despite our decreasing attention spans on mobile. The research finds, “38 percent of brand recall, 23 percent of brand awareness and 25 percent of purchase intent is driven by video impressions shorter than two seconds, so decreasing attention spans aren’t necessarily a bad thing.”

Note from S-3: S-3 Public Affairs recently announced the addition of Capitol Hill veteran Matt Bravo, who most recently served as Floor Director to House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA). He will start work with the firm in 2018. Welcome to the team! 

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In the Administration: President Trump heads to the hill on Tuesday to address the Senate Republican Policy Committee’s during its weekly lunch ahead of expected floor action on the Senate tax bill. The president is also expected to meet with Speaker Ryan, Leader McConnell, and Minority Leaders Pelosi and Schumer later that day.

On the Hill: Congress returns this week with a busy year-end agenda, including continued progress on tax reform and an upcoming December 8 government funding deadline. Also this week, the House will vote on an anti-sexual harassment training resolution on Wednesday.

  • Monday (November 27): Senate roll call vote on the confirmation of Dabney Langhorne Freidrich, of California, to be District Judge for the District of Columbia;
  • Tuesday (November 28): Senate Banking Committee hearing on the nomination of Jerome Powell to be chairman of the Federal Reserve System’s Board of Governors and executive session to vote on the nominations of three Department of Housing and Urban Development assistant secretaries; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of Christopher Ford (to be assistant secretary of State for international security and non-proliferation) and Yleem Poblete (to be assistant secretary of State for verification and compliance); Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the nominations of Kenneth E. Allen, A.D. Frazier, Jeffrey Smith, and James R. Thompson III to be members of the board of directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority; Senate HELP Committee hearing on proposals to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as part of Higher Education Act reauthorization; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on modernizing anti-money laundering laws; House Rules Committee hearing on the Brownfields Enhancement, Economic Redevelopment, and Reauthorization Act; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee field hearing on combating the opioid crisis; House Homeland Security Subcommittee field hearing on stakeholder perspectives for securing public areas of transportation systemsCNN Town Hall Debate on taxes with Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tim Scott (R-SC), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT);
  • Wednesday (November 29): Senate HELP Committee hearing on the nomination of Alex Azar to serve as secretary of Health and Human Services; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee business meeting to consider the nominations of Kathleen Hartnett White (to be a member of the Council on Environmental Quality) and Andrew Wheeler (to be deputy administrator of the EPA) and 19 General Services Administration resolutions; Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the nomination of Barry Myers to be undersecretary of Commerce for oceans and atmosphere; Senate Judiciary Committee nominations hearingJoint Economic Committee hearing on the economic outlook, with testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen; House Rules Committee hearing on the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act; House Appropriations Subcommittee hearings on USDA’s role in disaster recovery and supplemental oversight hearings for the U.S. Forest ServiceU.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Small Business Administration and General Services AdministrationHouse Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on how companies’ decisions about data and content impact consumers and subcommittee hearing on the role of financial trading in the electricity markets; House Natural Resources Committee oversight hearing on modernizing the National Environmental Policy Act; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearings on the latest developments in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon and a global update on Alzheimer’s diseaseHouse Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee joint hearing on the regulatory reform task forces; House Science, Space & Technology Subcommittee hearing on the role of states in the future of the WOTUS rule; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on the role of Ginnie Mae in the housing finance system and joint subcommittee hearing on legislative proposals to counter terrorism and illicit finance; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing on emerging uses of unmanned aircraft systems in national airspace; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearing on the VA’s failure to address provider quality and safety concerns; House Education and Workforce Subcommittee hearing on the impact of financial challenges facing the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation;
  • Thursday (November 30): Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of M. Lee McClenny (to be ambassador to Paraguay), Carlos Trujillo (to be permanent representative to the Organization of American States), Kenneth J. Braithwaite (to be ambassador to Norway), and Brock Bierman (to be assistant administrator of USAID); Senate HELP Committee hearing on perspectives from states, communities and providers on the opioid crisis; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on recommendations for a future national defense strategy with testimony from outside experts; House Appropriations Subcommittee supplemental oversight hearings for the Interior Department and FEMA, and disaster relief for the Transportation Department and Federal Highway AdministrationHouse Intelligence Committee hearing on the Russia inquiry, with testimony from Erik Prince; House Homeland Security Committee hearing on keeping America secure in the new age of terror; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings on implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act, with testimony from NIH Director Francis Collins and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, identity verification in a post-breach world, and developments in combating online sex traffickingHouse Financial Services Subcommittee hearings on implementation and cybersecurity protocols of the Consolidated Audit Trail and the effectiveness of U.S. sanctions programsHouse Natural Resources Subcommittee legislative hearings on the Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Indian Affairs Water Project Streamlining Act and geothermal exploration and 3 other billsHouse Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on the role and impact of nationwide injunctions by district courts;
  • Friday (December 1): House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on community block grants and disaster recovery for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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!

Agenda: 11/19/17

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: CNN shares the story of how Square technology has helped small, struggling cities, recover. Webster City, Iowa – population 8,000 – is home to more than 40 businesses that use Square. The idea is “to cater to travelers passing through town often without cash. (Webster City is right off I-35, making it a pit stop on the way to Des Moines).” CNN adds, “About 2 million businesses nationwide use Square. The company continues to innovate with new products. It recently announced its first standalone cash register with its software and payments technology built inside. Square stock is up 175% this year, compared with 2016.”

Recode adds to Square’s success story, “Since its IPO, Square’s valuation has grown about four times to nearly $17 billion today.”

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In the Media: The Wall Street Journal reports, “Major online news publishers and technology companies have agreed to adopt a set of transparency standards set forth by industry consortium The Trust Project, in an attempt to help readers better assess the quality and reliability of the journalism they find on the web. A set of eight new “trust indicators” will enable publishers to volunteer key information about their journalism, including who it was written by, why it was written, how it was sourced and reported, and whether it’s news, opinion or sponsored content. Companies including The Economist, The Globe and Mail, the Independent Journal Review, Mic, Trinity Mirror and the Washington Post have agreed to implement the indicators this month, with other members of the 75-strong consortium expected to follow in the next six months.”

In the Administration: The President will host the National Thanksgiving Turkey Pardoning Ceremony at the White House on Tuesday. He will then head to Florida to celebrate Thanksgiving.

 On the Hill: The House and Senate are out this week for Thanksgiving. 

  • Monday: Senate Finance Subcommittee field hearing on NAFTA modernization;
  • Tuesday: Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee field hearing on the state of VA services in Ohio;
  •  Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving!
  •  Friday: Black Friday | BONUS Fact: New Morning Consult polling finds, “Fifty-eight percent of young adults said they prefer shopping on Black Friday, the traditionally in-store shopping holiday, while 42 percent said they favor Cyber Monday, which is usually tied to online shopping for the holidays. … Adults 45 and older prefer Monday’s online shopping experience during the holiday season, the poll showed.”

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!