The Senate spent the week considering another slew of judicial nominations, but on Tuesday, Senate Democrats tried to force a vote on House-passed net neutrality legislation. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Wicker (R-MS) objected. The effort was largely symbolic on the one year anniversary of the FCC repealing Obama-era net neutrality regulations. The Democratic-controlled House passed the Save the Internet Act earlier this year with little expectation of the Republican-controlled Senate taking it up. Wicker and Senator Sinema (D-AZ) announced a bipartisan net neutrality working group earlier this year, but have not yet offered a proposal.
On the other side of the Capitol, the House brought its first FY20 appropriations bills to the floor in a “minibus” that included the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education, Defense, State-Foreign Operations, Energy-Water, and Legislative Branch bills. A final vote is expected early next week amid a veto threat from the White House.
Today, the House Intelligence Committee holds a hearing on the “National Security Challenges of Artificial Intelligence, Manipulated Media, and “Deepfakes.”
T-Mobile and Sprint Merger
Elsewhere, 10 state attorneys general led by Xavier Becerra (CA) and Tish James (NY) filed a suit on Tuesday to block the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, which is still undergoing review at the Department of Justice. FCC Chairman Pai endorsed the merger last month, arguing that the companies’ commitments will help close the digital divide in rural America and advance US leadership in 5G. The attorneys general of Colorado, DC, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, Virginia, and Wisconsin joined the suit.
Read more in McGuireWoods Consulting’s Emerging Technologies Washington Update.