Jan 24, 2017

Senate Republicans get their tech agenda moving

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.

Go deeper

American carnage

Protesters race up a hill to avoid tear gas in Philadelphia, June 1. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The list of victims has swiftly grown since George Floyd died in police custody just eight days ago.

The big picture: Protests against police brutality have turned into a showcase of police brutality, with tear gas and rubber bullets deployed against crowds. The police have the arsenals at their disposal, but we're also seeing law enforcement officers becoming targets.

McConnell blocks resolution condemning Trump's actions against peaceful protesters

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked a resolution introduced by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday that would have condemned the use of tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful protesters outside the White House on Monday in order to allow President Trump to walk to St. John's Church.

What they're saying: "Justice for black Americans in the face of unjust violence, and peace for our country in the face of looting, riots, and domestic terror. Those are the two issues Americans want addressed," McConnell said on the Senate floor.

George W. Bush breaks silence on George Floyd

Goerge Bush in Michigan in 2009. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush (R) wrote in a statement Tuesday that he and his wife, Laura, are "anguished" by the death of George Floyd, and said that "it is time for America to examine our tragic failures."

Why it matters: It's a stark juxtaposition when compared to fellow Republican President Trump's response to current civil unrest. While Trump has called for justice in Floyd's death, he's also condemned protestors and threatened to deploy military personnel if demonstrations continue.