Richard Blumenthal

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.

Justice Department seeks to halt Democrats’ lawsuit against Trump
DOJ lawyers asked a federal appeals court to throw out or freeze the lawsuit led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Jerrold Nadler

Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., talks with counsel Norman Eisen during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on June 20, 2019. The Justice Department sought Monday to block a lawsuit requesting a federal appeals court throw out or freeze a lawsuit alleging President Donald Trump violated the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Justice Department sought Monday to stop what they say would be “intrusive discovery” into President Donald Trump’s personal financial affairs, in a lawsuit brought by more than 200 Democratic members of Congress that raises separation-of-powers questions.

The government’s lawyers asked a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., to throw out or freeze the lawsuit led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., which alleges Trump violated the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

Forget the White House. Will the World Cup women take Pelosi up on her invite?
Speaker on U.S. women’s team: ‘Show them the money’

(Photo illustration by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: July 9, 12:45 p.m.

Before the newly minted U.S. women’s World Cup champions could even empty all their celebratory champagne bottles in the locker room, Speaker Nancy Pelosi had invited the players to Capitol Hill, a move that could have implications for the gender pay gap debate. The invite also stands in contrast to the ambivalent reaction from President Donald Trump, who has clashed publicly with the team.

Progress on federal data privacy bill slows in both chambers
Consensus is elusive, say congressional aides, industry sources and lobbyists

Senate Commerce Chairman Roger Wicker says “there has been no timetable” for a data privacy bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers and industry groups want to pass a federal data privacy law this year, but progress on the measure has slowed. It’s now unclear whether legislation resembling California’s tough requirements on the tech industry can clear hurdles in Congress and be signed into law before the end of the year. 

Small bipartisan groups of lawmakers in both chambers are working on draft legislation that was supposed to have been unveiled in May but has been delayed and is now expected to be released sometime before the August congressional recess. 

Klobuchar, others prod Uber, Lyft on recall safety
Minnesota senator leads group of Democrats questioning ride-sharing giants

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is leading a letter to Uber and Lyft abour unresolved recalls in the cars used by their drivers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar is prodding the leadership of Uber and Lyft about the safety of their drivers using recalled vehicles.

Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat and 2020 White House hopeful, is leading a letter to the ride-sharing companies and is being joined by three senior Democratic members of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Trump’s pick to lead the Pentagon brings military experience and political savvy to his new job
A former Raytheon lobbyist, Esper has also been an Army officer and congressional staffer

Sen. Jack Reed, left, speaks with Army Secretary Mark Esper before the start of an Armed Services hearing in March. President Donald Trump on Tuesday tapped Esper to be acting Defense secretary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Mark Esper has been an Army officer, congressional staffer and corporate lobbyist. Now the Army secretary is the third person President Donald Trump has tapped to lead the Pentagon, at least temporarily.

In two tweets Tuesday afternoon, Trump announced that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan was out after six months on the job — and was withdrawing from consideration for the permanent post to “devote more time to his family.” Esper, in turn, got promoted and a ringing endorsement from the commander in chief.

Senate Democrats prioritize defense amendments to boost election security
Schumer makes public push for McConnell to allow NDAA votes on election security

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is prioritizing election security amendments to the NDAA. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

In one of the few chances they have to offer amendments this year, Senate Democrats are trying to prioritize efforts to keep Russia from further meddling in U.S. elections.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer made that clear Tuesday morning, highlighting Democrat-led efforts to amend the fiscal 2020 national defense authorization measure that is in line for floor consideration after several nomination votes.

Sen. Blumenthal resumes crusade against sports blackouts
Connecticut Democrat wants to end local blackouts of home NFL games

Sen. Richard Blumenthal is again proposing a bill to end sports blackouts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Democratic senator is renewing his crusade to eliminate sports blackouts.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal wants sports leagues to make live programming available through alternate means when cable distributors and satellite operators get into contract disputes with broadcasters that can lead to events being pulled off the air.

KFC, the Grim Reaper and an epically long bill reading: Congressional Hits and Misses
Week of April 29, 2019

An aide adjusts the name plate for Attorney General William Barr before a House Judiciary Committee hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers grill Barr about past testimonies on Mueller report

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., looks over papers before the start of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, May 1. Attorney General William P. Barr testified during the hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)