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Reps. Meeks, Waters, Butterfield, and Lee at Lyft HQ. Photo: Scott Rosenberg/Axios

Tech companies are moving too slowly to remedy under-representation of African Americans in their ranks, senior members of the Congressional Black Caucus said Tuesday on a swing through Silicon Valley.

Why it matters: Regulation of the tech industry looks like more of a real possibility in the wake of Facebook's privacy controversy. If Democrats win control of the House in November, many of these representatives will be in a position to spotlight this issue — and even promote legislation.

Addressing an event at Lyft's China Basin headquarters, Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Gregory Meeks (D-NY) said the Black Caucus's two previous visits to Silicon Valley had produced promises but little progress in increasing African American employment in tech, currently at around 5%, or in boosting their numbers in leadership and board positions.

"We're going to demand that these companies become more diverse," Butterfield said.

Ideas on the table:

  • Hold tech companies with government contracts to federal diversity rules.
  • Require the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to collect more data on the tech industry, not only about the breakdown of employee populations but also about salary, promotion and investments.
  • Expand the principles of the Community Reinvestment Act, which requires financial institutions to meet the needs of lower-income communities, to cover the tech industry.

What they're saying:

  • Lee: "We're revving it up a bit... We're going to push forward very aggressively."
  • Waters: "This is taking too long... I'm about to hit some people on the head with a hammer."

Go deeper

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.

1 hour 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.

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.

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