Business

Facebook posts biggest quarterly lobby tab, as business, health interests dominate K Street
Impeachment is not slowing down lobbying efforts

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in 2018. Facebook spent a record amount on lobbying this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Facebook is on pace to spend more on federal lobbying this year than ever before, according to public disclosures out this week, as the social media giant’s CEO prepares to testify Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

The company — at the center of debates over the spread of false information, data privacy and others — spent $12.3 million to lobby the federal government in the first nine months of the year. In 2018, Facebook shelled out $12.6 million for 12 months of lobbying.

New York City eyes regulation of facial recognition technology
Bills under consideration would require businesses, landlords to disclose use of technology

A photo of the New York Police Department’s security center in Manhattan, which uses facial recognition technology (Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Legislation that would begin to regulate the use of facial recognition technology in the country’s most populous city could soon be made into law.

While cities around the country move to ban facial recognition and other types of biometric surveillance outright, the City Council here is taking a piecemeal approach, considering bills that would require businesses and landlords to disclose their use of the technology.

Democrats could tie paychecks to testimony in impeachment inquiry
Little-used provision would deny pay to administration officials seen as stonewalling House investigators

House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, and the heads of the Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees, in an Oct 1. letter raised the possibility of senior administration officials not getting paid for any time spent stonewalling congressional investigators. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats are threatening to force Trump administration officials’ compliance with their impeachment inquiry by targeting something they hold dear: their paychecks.

Democrats have twice referenced using an obscure provision in the annual Financial Services spending bill, referred to as Section 713, that says any federal employee who “prohibits or prevents, or attempts or threatens to prohibit or prevent” another official from communicating with lawmakers shouldn’t be paid during that time.

Republican effort to censure Adam Schiff halted
The censure resolution was introduced by Arizona Republican Andy Biggs, who leads the House Freedom Caucus

House Republicans' attempt to censure Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., was tabled Monday. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans tried to force a vote Monday evening to censure House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, accusing the California Democrat of purposely misleading the public in his comments on the Intelligence Committee’s interactions with a whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry.

The House voted 218-185 on a motion from House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer to table, or dispose with, the censure effort, without a direct vote on the substance of the Republicans’ claims.

Four appropriations bills slated for Senate floor this week
A procedural vote to take up the bill could occur Tuesday or early Wednesday

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks in the Capitol on Oct. 16, 2019. The chamber expects to jump-start the appropriations process, taking up four spending bills with bipartisan support this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate leaders plan to jump-start the stalled appropriations process by taking up a package of four spending bills this week that have strong bipartisan support.

Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby, an Alabama Republican, announced plans to bring to the floor a package that combines the fiscal 2020 Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, Interior-Environment, and Transportation-HUD bills. The Appropriations Committee had advanced all four measures on unanimous votes.

Impeachment news roundup: Oct. 21
OMB officials refuse to testify about Ukraine deal while Republicans move to censure Schiff

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Republicans will introduce a privileged motion to censure Rep. Adam B. Schiff, who is overseeing the impeachment investigation. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is seeking details from the acting Director of National Intelligence and the intelligence community inspector general about efforts to protect the whistleblower who provided information about the conversation between President Donald Trump and the president of Ukraine.

The New York Democrat expressed concern amid ongoing and public attacks from Trump and threats to expose his or her identity. 

Mick Mulvaney, from Washington reformer to chief of graft
No matter what he says, don’t get over it, America

Mick Mulvaney is now at the center of an international corruption scandal he not only tolerated, but may have championed, Murphy writes. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

OPINION — In 2008, days after political newcomer Mick Mulvaney won a seat in the South Carolina state Senate, he told a local newspaper that many voters had suggested that he run for the U.S. House seat held by Democrat John Spratt instead. “I couldn’t stop laughing,” Mulvaney said. “I’m perfectly happy being in the Senate.”

But within a year, Mulvaney was not only challenging Spratt, he defeated him handily in 2010 on a message of reforming Washington and slashing federal spending. “There’s a few things I just think we all believe,” he said in one campaign ad. “We cannot continue to spend money we don’t have.”

Candidate’s ex-senator dad lobbies for Chinese tech firm. That could be a problem
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman advising son Matt, and China’s ZTE

Matt Lieberman, son of former Sen. Joe Lieberman, is running for Senate in Georgia.  (Screenshot/Lieberman for Senate/YouTube)

U.S. national security experts of all political stripes agree: Chinese tech behemoth ZTE is a threat.

The company is a leading candidate to provide new markets with 5G networks, a lightning-fast wireless service that will support advanced technological applications.

Road ahead: House to take up Turkey sanctions while Senate turns to appropriations
Election security bill also on House floor amid impeachment inquiry; Cummings’ services Thursday and Friday

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff make their way to the floor Friday for the last House votes of the week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

This week the House will consider a package of sanctions against Turkey and an election security measure, while the Senate will finally bring some fiscal 2020 appropriations bills to the floor.

Meanwhile, the House’s impeachment inquiry marches on, with five witness depositions scheduled for this week. 

Private equity is a driving force for economic opportunity
New report highlights industry’s growing role in boosting over 25 million U.S. jobs

A new report by Ernst & Young, in partnership with the American Investment Council, offers a previously unreported look at private equity’s growing role in directly supporting nearly 9 million U.S. jobs and its positive contributions to over 17 million more. (Screenshot/American Investment Council/YouTube)

OPINION — Ambitious new programs are central to every presidential campaign, on the right or the left. Whether it’s a border wall or universal health care, voters want to hear what candidates will do and how they intend to pay for it. Of course, the latter part of that question often comes with an unspoken addendum: How will you pay for it — without taxing me?

For some, the answer has been to attack an industry that benefits public-sector pensions, universities and foundations without having to address the consequences of their policy proposals. But what might make for a good stump speech on the campaign trail can ultimately have a very real impact for millions of middle-class American families that stand to benefit most from a vibrant economy. Fortunately, there’s still plenty of time for leading candidates to study the capital flows driving new opportunities for American workers — and none stand out more than private equity.