In this week’s roundup, MMG looks at what’s to come following Congress’ Easter recess, the increasing scrutiny of tech companies by lawmakers amid Facebook’s data privacy controversy, and the emergence of Rep. Steve Scalise as the likely next speaker of the House.
Recess Is Upon Us. What’s Next?
Congress is out of session for two weeks for its Easter recess, having passed the spending bill that MMG reported on in a previous roundup. As such, things have been quiet on the legislative front.
As we look toward the return of Congress, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, will continue to negotiate the inclusion of various bills in the Dodd-Frank regulatory relief bill passed by the Senate. Hensarling cited two bills included in the omnibus spending package as examples of the bipartisanship that’d he’d like to see in the regulatory relief bill: HR 4267, which generally doubles the amount of leverage that business development companies can use, and HR 4792, which directs the Securities and Exchange Commission to identify unique challenges faced by small businesses in areas affected by natural disasters. It is possible that these bills were included in an attempt to appease Rep. Hensarling, though he has indicated that he will continue to push for the inclusion of his bills. The GOP leadership has indicated that he will have until early summer to do so.
Mark Zuckerberg to Testify over Data Issues
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, will testify in front of Congress, CNN reports. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has invited Zuckerberg, along with the CEOs of Twitter and Google. In the wake of data breaches with Facebook, these internet giants have come under increased scrutiny—something that was already occurring as big tech has slowly fallen out of favor with Washington politicians generally.
… these internet giants have come under increased scrutiny—something that was already occurring as big tech has slowly fallen out of favor with Washington politicians generally.
Will Steve Scalise Become the Next Speaker of the House?
Quite possibly, Politico reports. Rep. Steve Scalise, the Louisiana Republican who has gained some star power following his miraculous recovery from gunshot wounds last summer, has indicated that he would be interested in becoming the speaker of the House, provided the timing was right. A classic conservative, Scalise has been in favor of repealing the Affordable Care Act, and he was instrumental as the House majority whip in the passage of the tax reform law last year.
Author’s Note: Due to the recess we won’t be publishing a policy roundup next week. Wishing you very happy times with your friends and family!
Ben Marsico is ACG Global’s manager of legislative and regulatory affairs.