FY20 Spending Levels

As the House and Senate continue to negotiate FY20 spending levels, the Senate spent most of the week on the first appropriations bills to reach the floor in a package that includes the Commerce-Justice-Science, Agriculture, Interior, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development bills. After dispensing with several amendments, the Senate voted 84-9 this afternoon to adopt the package before turning to a second package that includes the Labor-HHS-Education, Defense, State-Foreign Operations, and Energy-Water bills. A procedural vote to take up that second package failed 51-41.

Deepfake Report Act of 2019

Last Thursday, the Senate passed Senator Rob Portman’s (R-OH) Deepfake Report Act of 2019 by unanimous consent. Portman and Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) launched the Senate Artificial Intelligence (AI) Caucus earlier this year. The bipartisan legislation requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to study deepfake technology, how it is used both domestically and overseas, and what countermeasures are available. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) introduced a bipartisan companion bill in the House.

Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2019

On the other side of Capitol Hill, House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR) announced this week that he will retire at the end of his term. Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) recently introduced the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2019, which would prevent people who work 30 days or less in a state outside of their home state from being required to file a state income tax return for the state they are visiting. A companion Senate bill introduced earlier this year has 35 bipartisan cosponsors.

Investing in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act

Bicameral lawmakers also recently introduced the Investing in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act to address estimates that nearly 50% of US jobs could be a risk due to automation. Specifically, the legislation would direct GAO to study barriers to and opportunities for training workers in industries in which automation will have an impact, create a Department of Labor grant program to support training programs for workers who are or may be displaced, and increase funding for National Dislocated Worker Grants.

USPTO Seeking Impact of AI on IP Law and Policy

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced this week that it is seeking information on the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on intellectual property law and policy. Comments are due by December 16.

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