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Lawmakers push new bills to deter call centers from leaving the US
Measures adds to ongoing legislative efforts at the state level

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey has reintroduced a bill to protect U.S. call center workers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Anyone who’s had to call customer service in recent years knows the current reality: A vast majority of companies have moved their call centers overseas to save money.

But states, urged on by advocates for U.S. workers, have been fighting back. Two dozen have considered or are considering legislation to deter the moves, and a few have passed bills.

Graham: tech companies should ‘earn’ liability shield
Graham said he wants to work with tech giants and others to create a list of “best business practices” for protecting minors online

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., talks with reporters after the Senate Policy luncheons in the Capitol on June 25, 2019. Graham said he wants to hold big tech companies more accountable by making them “earn” liability protections. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Changes may be coming to the provision in communications law that limits web platforms, like Facebook and Google, from being sued for user content, if Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham has his way.

Following a hearing on protections for children from internet predators before his committee Tuesday, Graham said he wants to hold big tech companies more accountable by making them “earn” liability protections. Those “were given to make sure the industry would flourish, mission accomplished. However, the liability protections now have to be modified so that you earn them,” the South Carolina Republican said.

Sinclair’s purchase of regional sports networks draws ire of Booker, Sanders and Warren
Three Democratic presidential hopefuls cite the broadcast group’s power in local TV

Three 2020 presidential candidates are asking  Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, about the acquisition of 21 regional sports networks by Sinclair. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sens. Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have gotten together to criticize the acquisition of 21 regional sports networks by Sinclair Broadcast Group, asking what the FCC and the Justice Department might be doing about it.

The sports channels, which televise major professional and college sports to regional audiences, came up for sale as a condition of the Disney acquisition of what had been Fox assets. 

Sen. Rubio wants to stop Huawei from filing U.S. patent lawsuits
‘We should not allow China government backed companies to improperly use our legal system against us,’ Rubio said in a tweet

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., talks with reporters after the Republican Senate Policy Luncheon on May 14, 2019. Rubio filed an amendment to a defense authorization bill barring Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from pursuing intellectual property claims against U.S. Companies if the administration finds the company poses an "undue risk" to telecommunication systems. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Marco Rubio wants to make sure that the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies can’t pursue intellectual property claims against U.S. companies if the administration finds the company poses an “undue risk” to telecommunication systems.

The Florida Republican filed the amendment to a defense authorization bill. It anticipates a finding from the Commerce Department that Huawei poses the risk and comes amid reports that the Chinese company is considering taking U.S. companies to court over patent disputes.

Graham, Klobuchar introduce internet ads bill to boost transparency
The bill would treat internet and social media campaign ads like current political ads on radio, TV and print

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., looks over papers before the start of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the "Department of Justice’s Investigation of Russian Interference with the 2016 Presidential Election" on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Attorney General Bill Barr testified during the hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan bill to boost the transparency of political and campaign ads posted on social media and the internet is expected to be reintroduced Wednesday by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Mark Warner, D-Va.

The bill, first introduced in the 115th Congress, would treat internet and social media campaign ads like current political ads on radio, television and in print, which have to disclose publicly who paid for them.

Meet Roll Call’s new Heard on the Hill reporters

Clyde McGrady and Kathryn Lyons of CQ Roll Call are photographed in Russell Building on Friday, April 5. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Clyde McGrady and Kathryn Lyons introduce you to the personalities behind the policy and politics on Capitol Hill

Despite U.S. spying warnings, Huawei 5G reportedly gets U.K. approval
The U.K. gave the Chinese company approval despite concerns over poor software quality and potential spying backdoors

A pedestrian talks on the phone while walking past a Huawei Technologies Co. store on January 29, 2019, in Beijing, China. The United Kingdom has reportedly approved Huaewi Technologies to build some parts of the country's 5G telecom network.  (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

British Prime Minister Theresa May last week reportedly approved China’s Huawei Technologies to build some parts of the country’s 5G telecom network despite concerns about the company’s poor software quality and dangers of potential spying backdoors that could funnel information to Beijing.

At a meeting last week of the U.K.’s National Security Council, led by May, the decision to allow Huawei to proceed with supplying parts of the 5G network, including antenna and other non-core elements, was taken despite opposition from key cabinet ministers, The Telegraph reported, citing unnamed sources.

One thing Barr didn’t redact: the f-bomb
The attorney general and his team blacked out many a word, but they let obscenities stand

President Donald Trump had some choice words for the special counsel’s Russia investigation, the redacted report reveals. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The special counsel’s report may be groaning with redactions, but there’s one thing the Justice Department didn’t blot out — profanity.

That’s right, we’re talking f-bombs, bastards and your garden-variety bullshit.

Nationalization question hangs over White House’s 5G announcement
FCC chair reiterates his agency’s stance that a free-market approach is the key to beating China in ‘the race to 5G.’

From left, chairman Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., shakes hands with Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, before the start of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on Aug. 16, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Announcing the latest phase of his plan to implement a fifth-generation broadband network throughout the United States, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Friday reiterated his agency’s stance that a free-market approach to implementation is the key to beating China in “the race to 5G.” 

Nationalizing 5G and selling spectrum access wholesale, as some have proposed — including President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign manager — is “the wrong answer for American consumers at the end of the day,” Pai told reporters on a conference call.

Sen. Blumenthal joins chorus offering robocall remedy with ROBOCOP Act
Americans received roughly 47.8 billion robocalls last year, nearly half of them were from scammers

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is one of many lawmakers to introduce legislation to combat robocalls. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Richard Blumenthal was the latest in a chorus of lawmakers from both parties to decry robocalls, an irritant that afflicts nearly anyone in the U.S. who owns a mobile phone.

The Connecticut Democrat on Monday reintroduced the so-called ROBOCOP Act that would require mobile phone companies to provide free robocall-blocking technology to their customers.