corporations

Campaigns, Parties Can Accept Free Service From Microsoft, FEC Says
Watchdogs warn ruling could open loophole for corporations looking to skirt campaign finance laws, influence lawmakers

Democratic National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Federal campaigns and national party committees can accept free security services from the Microsoft Corporation after a recent Federal Election Commission ruling.

But one watchdog group called it an unprecedented opening for corporations looking to influence lawmakers and skirt campaign finance laws.

Accountability Groups Back Boards Ban for Lawmakers
Chris Collins indictment on securities fraud provides some impetus

Interest groups are backing a ban, sponsored by Reps. Kathleen Rice (pictured here) and Tom Reed, on House members serving on the boards of publicly held companies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Government accountability groups are backing a resolution, to prohibit members of Congress from serving on the boards of publicly held companies.

Thirteen groups sent a letter this week to House lawmakers in support of a resolution introduced in August by GOP Rep. Tom Reed and Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice.

Donald Trump Googled Himself and Didn’t Like What He Saw
Tech firms have ‘RIGGED’ search results against him, president alleges

President Donald Trump lashed out at technology firms, singling out Google for what he says is biased search results intended to hurt him. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump went after technology firms Tuesday morning, singling out Google by alleging its search settings are biased against him.

He used a pair of morning tweets to, as he often does, paint himself and fellow conservatives as the victims of a liberal conspiracy. In this incarnation of what is a running Trump narrative, he used this search topic to make his point: “Trump News.”

How Joe Barton Struck Out
Retiring Texas Republican was thwarted by his own political instincts

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, faces retirement after a sex scandal. His career in Washington had already reached its peak. (CQ Roll Call)

Leadership be damned, Rep. Joe L. Barton thought. He knew he was right, and as soon as he was convinced of that, hardly anything in the world could move him.

Just a few months into his first term, the Texas Republican was angling for something between protest and revolution. House Democrats had voted to declare themselves the winner of a contested Indiana House race — in Republicans’ eyes, a theft. While his own party’s leadership urged restraint, Barton fumed.

Bipartisan Duo Proposes Prohibiting House Members From Serving on Public Company Boards
Resolution to amend House rules comes in wake of Chris Collins insider trading

Reps. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., pictured, and Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., are proposing a change in House rules to prohibit members from serving on boards of publicly-traded companies. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan New York duo is proposing a change in House rules that would prohibit members from serving on serving on the boards of publicly held companies, the latest fallout from the indictment of Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., for insider trading. 

Collins served on the board of Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotechnology company, and allegedly shared inside knowledge about Innate’s drug trial results with his son, who then made timely stock trades. 

Trump’s Threat to Leave the WTO Alarms Many, Even in Congress
And it might be a tipping point for Republicans on the Hill

President Donald Trump, here at the Capitol in June, says World Trade Organization members are not playing fair with America. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The United States once viewed the World Trade Organization as the wave of the future, an improvement over the aging General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade system and a hub of rules-based stability for countries — rich and poor, democratic and nondemocratic — engaged in the international buying and selling of goods and services.

Now President Donald Trump is eyeing the exit door from the WTO, a Geneva-based body the U.S. helped to create in 1995 to negotiate trade standards among its 164-member nations and to referee disputes among them using a playbook of agreed upon rules.

Wilbur Ross Calls Out Firms for Using Tariffs as ‘Excuse’ for Firings
Commerce secretary: EU trade talks will be fast-tracked

Farmland in the desert near Palmdale, Calif. Farm-state lawmakers are concerned the Trump administration’s sanctions will hurt their farmers. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross criticized companies that have fired workers because of those tariffs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross called out U.S. companies that blame President Donald Trump’s tariffs after laying off employees, saying they are using the White House’s trade policies as an “excuse.”

“Look at the actual statistics. A lot more jobs are being created,” Ross told pool reporters Thursday on Air Force One. He said the Trump administration’s employment data “do not show that employment is being hurt,” predicting “very good numbers for the June period.”

Appropriations, Trade Policy Keep K Street Swamped
Facebook among companies posting record tabs on federal lobbying

The political and policy uncertainty of the Trump era has continued to fuel business on K Street. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Work on appropriations bills and consternation over new tariffs helped keep K Street in business this year, as the midterm elections begin to cast a shadow over the Capitol.

Some of the biggest spenders on federal lobbying reported a slight dip in what they shelled out during the year’s second quarter versus what they posted during the first quarter. And some multi-client lobbying firms posted flat, or fewer, fees.

Tariffs Not Enough to Outsmart China, Experts Tell Lawmakers
Two House Foreign Affairs subcommittees held hearing Wednesday

The Senate-passed defense authorization bill includes a seven-year ban on sales of U.S-made parts to ZTE Corp., a Chinese telecommunications company. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images file photo)

The United States will have to use more than trade tariffs to force China to curb policies designed to give its state-owned enterprises a competitive edge over U.S. companies and undermine America’s technological future, experts on China told two House Foreign Affairs subcommittees on Wednesday.

The witnesses, at a hearing on Chinese trade practices, recommended strategies including using a new Justice Department anti-trust enforcement division that scrutinizes violations by foreign governments. They also said the United States should band together with trading partners to increase pressure on China to change discriminatory policies on intellectual property. In addition, the witnesses favored action on legislation in a House-Senate conference committee that would expand national security reviews of Chinese business transactions involving high-tech.

Opinion: The Numbers Tell the Story — Tax Cuts Work
Recent economic data run counter to the media and Democrats‘ narrative

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, here with Republican lawmakers unveiling the GOP tax plan last September, says Americans have gone from asking “Where are the jobs?” to asking “Where are more workers?” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Last October, not long before passage of the Republican tax cuts, Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” argued over taxes with his guest, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

“There has been no study that has been able to somehow reinforce this idea that tax cuts do translate to economic growth,” the NBC host said.