NASA Space Exploration Plans

Returning to Washington after the July 4 recess with just a handful of legislative days remaining before the August recess, the Senate spent the balance of the week on judicial and executive branch nominations. In the meantime, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Aviation held a hearing on NASA’s space exploration plans. The full Committee also advanced several pending nominations and bills (see below for additional details).

FY20 National Defense Authorization Act

The House spent the majority of its floor time on its FY20 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Elsewhere, the House Homeland Security Committee held another hearing Wednesday on facial recognition. During the hearing, Chairman Thompson (D-MS) said that Congress has not authorized Customs and Border Protection to use the technology to track US citizens and requested additional information from the agency on its policies.

Online Data as Personal Property

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Collins (R-GA) released draft principles on Wednesday for forthcoming legislation aimed at ensuring online data is considered a user’s personal property. “Congress should empower people to protect their data and their privacy as their own property. Once people have that ability, it is my hope and expectation that online service providers will respond by innovating new and better means of servicing consumers that don’t threaten to over-intrude on consumers’ data privacy in the first place,” said Collins. Rep. Schakowsky, who is leading efforts within the House Energy and Commerce Committee to produce draft comprehensive privacy legislation, confirmed this week that she does not plan on releasing a proposal before the August recess.

White House Happenings

On Monday, the President spoke at the White House on his Administration’s environmental agenda, including investing in and exporting technologies such as carbon capture. On Tuesday, he hosted Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for a bilateral meeting before signing an executive order on Wednesday aimed at improving kidney care in the United States.


Today, the FCC is holding a summit on implementation of SHAKEN/STIR, a caller ID authentication framework to combat illegal robocalls and caller ID spoofing, while the White House hosts a summit on social media. Senator Blackburn (R-TN) and Rep. Gaetz (R-FL) are expected to attend alongside conservative social media personalities.

Read more in McGuireWoods Consulting’s Emerging Technologies Washington Update.