Republican and Democratic Retreats

Congress was in session this week, though the Senate recessed for Republican and Democratic retreats on Wednesday and Thursday.

Section 230

House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline (D-RI) is planning to introduce legislation to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to make platforms liable for running “demonstrably false” political ads. The bill will be the latest in a series of legislative proposals to reform the landmark law and comes on the heels of last week’s Department of Justice public workshop.

President Trump Concludes India Trip

On Tuesday, President Trump concluded a 36-hour trip to India. He was accompanied by a high-level delegation that included Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, and about a dozen others. Although the visit did not secure a “mini” trade deal as was originally intended, it did showcase the strength of the US-India relationship and the friendship between President Trump and Prime Minister Modi. As a participant in the delegation, it was reported that Chairman Pai spoke to Indian counterparts about spectrum issues including 5G.

Coronavirus Appropriations

Stateside, the President requested $2.5 billion in supplementary appropriations to protect the United States from the spread of the coronavirus as multiple congressional committees of jurisdiction have been convening hearings on various aspects of the crisis. Negotiations continue as Senate Democrats have put forth their own proposal for $8.5 billion in spending. In the meantime, President Trump announced during a Wednesday evening press conference that Vice President Mike Pence would lead the U.S. effort to manage the response to the virus. The administration Thursday announced that State Department Ambassador-At-Large Debbie Birx will serve as the administration’s coronavirus “czar.”

CCPA Implementation

Meanwhile, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sent a letter on Tuesday to the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Commerce and House Energy and Commerce Committees providing an update on California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) implementation. He also urged Congress to adopt federal privacy legislation that, at a minimum, provides the rights to access, correct, and delete personal data that has been collected; to minimize data collection, processing, and retention; to data portability among services; and; to know what data is collected and processed and for what reasons. He also urged Congress to make clear that state attorneys general have parallel enforcement authority and to adopt a private right of action, while warning against preemption.

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