With Omnibus, Trump Learning You Can’t Always Get What You Want
White House priorities reflected, but not some of the premier asks

Speaker Paul D. Ryan glances toward President Donald Trump during a Feb. 28 ceremony for the late Rev. Billy Graham at the Capitol. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters/Pool file photo)

Lawmakers defied President Donald Trump by excluding many of his demands in an emerging government spending bill. But the measure is not a complete loss for the commander in chief despite the late-game lobbying needed to secure his always tenuous support.

By mid-afternoon Wednesday, as lawmakers were saying final negotiations were underway, Trump’s signature was not yet certain. White House aides had gone silent on the matter, usually a sign the boss is unhappy. But the president signed off on the omnibus spending deal during an afternoon meeting with Speaker Paul D. Ryan, according to a Republican leadership source familiar with the meeting.

No Clear Path to Legislation for Lawmakers Expressing Outrage Over Facebook Revelations
Congress has historically taken a hands-off approach to tech oversight

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook, has not indicated whether he will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

Lawmakers, motivated by revelations of Facebook Inc.’s handling of users’ data, may take a look at proposals for new data safeguards — but it’s far from clear that Congress has a clear path from lawmakers’ anger over Facebook to legislative action.

Disclosures about Facebook’s relationship with Cambridge Analytica, and the latter’s behavior in the 2016 elections, may have given legislation greater urgency than was the case after companies such as Equifax Inc. lost the data of about 145 million consumers. But legislation doesn’t seem imminent and, to the extent it’s about data protection, may miss the mark.

Congress Could Split Payments to Broadcasters Over Two Years
Thune, Walden explore compensating spectrum moves over longer period of time

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., says members are exploring spreading out payments to broadcasters for spectrum moves from one year to two. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman John Thune says authorizers and appropriators are exploring whether to compensate broadcasters for giving up spectrum over two years rather than one, a change that could make it a more palatable item in spending bills.

The South Dakota Republican, who is also chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., are trying to secure about $1 billion to compensate broadcasters for giving up one part of the spectrum and move to another. But appropriators are balking at the sum.

Bipartisan Deal Opens Path to Reauthorizing FCC, Spectrum Sale
Walden, Pallone, Thune, Nelson all party to deal

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., left, and ranking member Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., helped make a deal on reauthorizing the FCC and forging a path for spectrum auctions. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Key House and Senate members unveiled a bipartisan agreement Friday on a Federal Communications Commission reauthorization that would provide the agency with more than $330 million annually in fiscal years 2019 and 2020.

The agreement also resolves issues that were slowing spectrum auctions for wireless technology.

DARPA Chief Touts Artificial Intelligence Efforts
Assertions push back on private sector worries about lagging behind

The head of the Pentagon's top research section says the United States is competitive when it comes to artificial intelligence research and development. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The United States is no laggard on investment and advances in artificial intelligence technologies, Steven Walker, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, told reporters on Thursday, disputing assertions by top U.S. technology executives that China was racing ahead.

“I think I’d put our AI, our country’s efforts, up against anybody,” Walker said at an event hosted by the Defense Writers Group. DARPA “helped create the field in the early 1960s” and since then has consistently invested in the three waves of artificial intelligence technologies, Walker said.

Opinion: Infrastructure Bill Shouldn’t Ignore Our Aging Water Systems
A proper plan must invest in water and promote innovation

New York City workers pump water out of a street hole after a water main break in 2014. For many localities, the age, condition, and even the location of pipes can be a mystery until something breaks. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images file photo)

Safe drinking water is the bedrock of public health. On that score, America is failing.

From lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan, to toxic levels of arsenic found in Texas, over the past decade tens of millions of Americans have likely been exposed to dangerously unsafe water.

Report: Cybercrime May Have Cost 0.8 Percent of 2016 Global GDP
Russia, North Korea and Iran named as top perpetrators of cybercrime

The growing spread of computer connectivity is leading to an explosion in cybercrime, a new report finds. (iStock)

Theft of personal data, loss of intellectual property and opportunity costs stemming from these and other cybercrimes in 2016 may have cost the global economy 0.8 percent — or as much as $600 billion — according to a report released Wednesday.

The growing spread of computer connectivity, easy availability of malware and the ability to monetize stolen information is leading to an explosion in cybercrime, according to the report, titled Economic Impact of Cybercrime. It was prepared by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, and McAfee, a computer security firm.

Digital Staffers Focus on Getting on Message
Democrats fighting to catch up to Republicans in numbers and training

GOP Labs brings in companies to train staffers in social media and digital platforms. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Breaking through the noise is a typical goal in communications, but this year, staffers just want to speak with one voice. They’re making coordination a priority within their parties.

That coordination is most obvious when multiple congressional offices blast out the same message with the same graphics on the same day. Whether it’s criticizing the Republican tax plan or celebrating Ronald Reagan’s birthday, it’s all from the same script.

No, You Didn’t Win a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card. Here’s Why You Saw a Weird Pop-Up Ad on
A malicious ad made it to a Google network

Staffers line the aisle at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee meeting on Jan. 24, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If you visited on a mobile device recently, you may have noticed a pop-up ad announcing that “You’ve been selected for a chance to get the $1,000 Amazon Gift Card, Apple iPhone X 256G or Samsung Galaxy S8!” (or something similar).

Sadly, you didn’t win anything. We know other news websites have had this issue as well, so you may have seen the same ad or a similar one elsewhere.

King Announces Lobster Emoji Officially Coming Soon
Maine senator pushed for the crustacean to be added to the list

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, touted his successful campaign for lobsters on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There will be a lobster emoji available for use later this year, thanks to the crustacean’s best advocate, Sen. Angus King of Maine.

Unicode Consortium, which manages the standard set of characters used by most major websites and applications, unveiled its new emoji characters in the 2018 release of the standard character set.