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The House is moving toward a floor vote on an anti-sex-trafficking package that has been a major headache for internet companies.

Our thought bubble: If it passes, the package will be the first concrete legislation to come out of a renewed "techlash" in Washington. This is the end result of a year when Facebook and Google were putting out so many fires — on Russia and tech addiction and extremist content — that they weren't able to keep this one at bay.

What's happening: A key procedural committee said it will probably set up a vote on the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA) next week.

  • The plan is to combine that bill with Senate language that weakens the longstanding immunity for internet platforms from lawsuits related to user-generated content.
  • The Senate's version is called Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA).

The big question: Will the Senate language be modified from the version that passed a committee last year to make it more favorable to the online platform companies?

  • Currently, the only potential amendment listed for the bill does not include any of those modifications.
  • The trade group Internet Association, which represents Google and Facebook, backed a version of the Senate bill last year under significant pressure from outside groups and lawmakers. It also supported the House bill, which didn't go far enough for the lawmakers leading the charge in the Senate and was seen as toothless by trafficking victims' advocates.
  • Evan Engstrom, the director of the startup advocacy group Engine, opposes the effort. "Attaching SESTA to FOSTA does not add anything that will make it easier for prosecutors to stop bad actors online,” he says.

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Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

11 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.