Today the Senate Commerce Committee quickly moved tech several bills that Republican committee leadership hope have a chance of becoming law during the Trump era. Some of the highlights:

  • One bill, MOBILE Now, encourages the deployment of more wireless spectrum and is a favorite of John Thune, the committee's chair.
  • Two public safety bills which both try, among other things, to make it easier to access 911.
  • A bill that requires the Federal Communications Act to consolidate a number of reports on competition into one.

Bonus round: Lawmakers also advanced Trump's nominees to lead the Commerce and Transportation departments. Both positions are increasingly interacting with Silicon Valley.

Brass tacks: These are bills that were on the table in the last Congress, but didn't make it to the president's desk for signature. Thune's broader priorities for the next two years include a bipartisan compromise on the issue of net neutrality and getting broadband deployment into the Trump administration's infrastructure plan.

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Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Voters in Wisconsin, Michigan urged to return absentee ballots to drop boxes

Signs for Joe Biden are seen outside a home in Coon Valle, Wisconsin, on Oct. 3. Photo by KEREM YUCEL via Getty

Wisconsin Democrats and the Democratic attorney general of Michigan are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes, warning that the USPS may not be able to deliver ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Driving the news: The Supreme Court rejected an effort by Wisconsin Democrats and civil rights groups to extend the state's deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3. In Michigan, absentee ballots must also be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.

29 mins ago - Technology

Facebook warns of "perception hacks" undermining trust in democracy

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Facebook warned Tuesday that bad actors are increasingly taking to social media to create the false perception that they’ve pulled off major hacks of electoral systems or have otherwise seriously disrupted elections.

Why it matters: "Perception hacking," as Facebook calls it, can have dire consequences on people's faith in democracy, sowing distrust, division and confusion among the voters it targets.

Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage"

Former President Barack Obama launched a blistering attack on President Trump while campaigning for Joe Biden in Orlando on Tuesday, criticizing Trump for complaining about the pandemic as cases soar and joking that he's "jealous of COVID's media coverage."

Driving the news: Trump has baselessly accused the news media of only focusing on covering the coronavirus pandemic — which has killed over 226,000 Americans so far and is surging across the country once again — as a way to deter people from voting on Election Day and distract from other issues.