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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Senate Commerce Committee plans to hold a subpoena vote to compel testimony from the top executives of Google, Facebook and Twitter for a hearing next month, the panel announced Thursday.

Why it matters: The subpoena threat is the latest move by lawmakers to pare back the tech industry's prized liability shield, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

  • Lawmakers want to hold another hearing on the topic with industry executives as legislative proposals work their way through Congress.

Context: On Wednesday, the Department of Justice unveiled suggested language to amend the law with the backing of the White House and Republican attorneys general.

What's happening: On Oct. 1, the Senate Commerce Committee will vote to authorize subpoenas for Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Google's Sundar Pichai and Twitter's Jack Dorsey.

But, but, but: It's doubtful Democrats will be on board, which puts the outcome of the subpoena vote in flux, though Republicans run the Senate Commerce Committee. On Thursday, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), the committee's ranking Democrat, said in a statement that she would not "participate in an attempt to use the committee’s serious subpoena power for a partisan effort 40 days before an election."

Go deeper

Updated Dec 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump slams McConnell for blocking vote on $2,000 stimulus checks

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday blocked Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) request to hold a vote on a House standalone measure that would boost the size of stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000 per person.

Why it matters: President Trump has demanded that the payments be increased, creating a rift between him and Senate GOP leadership ahead of a crucial runoff election in Georgia that will determine control of the chamber. He tweeted on Tuesday afternoon: "Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP. "

Sanders to delay defense veto override unless Senate votes on $2,000 payments

Photo: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty

Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) plans to filibuster the Senate’s veto override of the bipartisan defense bill unless the chamber holds a vote on the $2,000 stimulus payments included in the COVID relief bill, Politico reported Monday.

Why it matters: Though it's unlikely Sanders will stop the vote on the veto override, delaying it until New Year's Day could create new hurdles for the Republican Party.

27 mins ago - World

U.K. prosecutors charge third person in poisoning of former Russian spy

Emergency services members in biohazard encapsulated suits encasing the poisoning scene in a tent in Salisbury, England, in March 2018. Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images

U.K. prosecutors said they had enough evidence to charge Denis Sergeev, a member of the Russian military intelligence service, in the 2018 Salisbury nerve agent attack against a former Russian spy, according to AP.

Why it matters: Sergeev is the third person to face charges for the nerve agent attack against Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, both of whom survived.