European Union justice chief Didier Reynders is making the rounds in Washington (DC), meeting with top Biden officials to discuss ways to improve consumer protections online. He’s sitting down with Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director (and recently departed FTC commissioner) Rohit Chopra and Consumer Product Safety Commission Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric. Reynders wants to work with the US consumer protection agency leaders to better protect consumer finance and product safety online.
Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan is defending rules allowing so-called zombie votes, by which votes from FTC commissioners who leave the agency can count towards the commission’s current proceedings, even after said commissioners depart. The practice came to light recently after reporting by Politico revealed that as many as 20 votes from former Democratic Commissioner Rohit Chopra remained active, even after he left to become head of Biden’s Consumer Financial Protection Bu
Jessica Rosenworcel just gaveled her seventh monthly meeting as Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman and left-leaning telecom industry observers are growing increasingly anxious about the White House’s lack of a permanent choice. Speculation has run rampant about potential contenders, from former Obama-era FCC staffer Gigi Sohn to Free Press co-CEO Jessica González to sitting Commissioners Geoffrey Starks. The normally five-member FCC has been short a commissioner since January, and the resulting 2-2 deadlock has stalled Democratic agenda items like restoring net neutrality.
A coalition including broadband heavyweights AT&T, Charter, Comcast and Verizon is asking Congress and President Joe Biden to build off the recent $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit and craft “a long-term federally-funded broadband benefit program that the [Federal Communications Commission] would manage and administer to provide low-income individuals with enhanced fi
White House officials met privately with the CEOs of trade groups representing smaller internet service providers: America's Communications Association, the Competitive Carriers Association, NTCA, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Rural Wireless Association and the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association. Although some bigger ISPs balk at Biden’s proposal, these smaller trade groups have been playing a more carefu
A House Commerce hearing on March 22 showcased tense partisan divisions over potential broadband infrastructure fixes. The sparring comes as Biden’s advisers eye up to $3 trillion in proposed economic boosts that could be split across multiple packages and would include explicit broadband and 5G provisions.
Senate Democrats aren’t setting aside quite as much money as their House counterparts for Federal Communications Commission online learning efforts, according to the latest legislative text for the $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package. Although House Democrats had wanted $7.6 billion in FCC funding, the Senate version includes just $7.17 billion. Senators are gearing up for final votes on the bill soon.
Lawmakers and industry groups are jockeying to shape the broadband internet investments likely to be embedded in President Joe Biden’s infrastructure efforts. Senior Democrats like House Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) are eyeing a revival of their $100 billion package aimed at connecting the unconnected and funding programs to bolster digital equity, which is likely to take center stage in coming weeks. But Republicans, bless their hearts, bristle over bigger price tags and instead point to less costly ways to close the digital divide.
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) officially became the first woman to chair the Senate Commerce Committee, and she pledged to use the gavel to work on improving diversity in STEM fields. "To my fellow colleagues, all of you but particularly the women, I hope that we can do a better job on strategies to help women in the workforce, particularly in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math," she said.