Congress Returned to Washington

Congress returned to Washington this week after its annual summer recess with just a handful of legislative days remaining before the fiscal year ends at the end of the month. While the Senate Appropriations Committee takes up its first FY21 spending measures today, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has already announced plans to bring a continuing resolution to the House floor next week to avert a government shutdown. Congressional leaders will also look to complete a conference on the FY21 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and bring the final product to the House and Senate floors before September 30.

Executive Branch Nominations

The Senate spent the week processing pending executive branch nominations, including Kelly Craft’s nomination to serve as US Representative to the United Nations General Assembly and Michelle Bowman’s nomination to sit on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, while the House began the week considering bills to block oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, and Eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Tech Task Force Roundtable

Today, the tech task force spearheaded by Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in partnership with Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) held another roundtable, this one focused on data portability. The task force’s sessions have been closed to the public. The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust was scheduled to hold the third in its series of hearings on online platforms and market power this morning with a focus on “The Role of Data and Privacy in Competition,” but the hearing was postponed due to a conflict with a full Committee session. It has not yet been rescheduled.

White House Happenings

President Trump will address the House Republicans in Baltimore tonight as the conference convenes for its annual retreat.

On Monday, the White House hosted a summit on artificial intelligence (AI) focused on government use during which representatives from the Departments of Defense and Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health reported on how their agencies are leveraging AI today and plan to do so in the future. Elsewhere, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Monday that his Department is meeting this week with companies impacted by the new French digital services tax (DST) after the US and France agreed during the recent G7 summit to spend 90 days seeking “an understanding” on an international agreement (for more, read here).

46th Annual Fordham Competition Law Institute Conference on International Antitrust Law and Policy

Earlier today, Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Makan Delrahim delivered remarks at the 46th Annual Fordham Competition Law Institute Conference on International Antitrust Law and Policy. He focused on the interaction between international antitrust authorities and how specific laws, such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation, influence policy and business practices outside of a nation’s jurisdiction. Delrahim noted that decisions that create global effects “[take] away the ability of every other jurisdiction to reach a different conclusion.” To remedy this, he suggested regulators employ concepts of comity to prevent overextension of competition law.

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