In the News
Overnight Tech: Dems push for independent House cameras | GOP unveils convention app | Privacy concerns over free NYC Wi-Fi
July 5, 2016
By Mario Trujillo and David McCabe
LEDE: Six House Democrats have introduced legislation that would allow reporters to "record and broadcast" images of the House floor any time a member is present.
The bill led by Rep. Ami Bera(Calif.) is a reaction to the Democrats' day-long sit-in on gun legislation last month, which gained prominence on social media after Republicans gaveled out of session and turned off the cameras.
The incident highlighted an important feature of congressional floor coverage: The majority party is ultimately in control of the cameras in the chamber, not C-SPAN or other media organizations. A handful of members have supported increased independence. But a rule change would face an uphill slog, since neither GOP or Democratic leadership appear open to it.
COSPONSORS: Check out the cosponsors of the legislation here. They include Mike Quigley (Ill.), Scott Peters (Calif.), Brenda Lawrence (Mich.), Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.) and Barbara Lee (Calif.)
GINGRICH TALKING HEALTH APPS AMID VEEPSTAKES: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may be coming to Capitol Hill to testify about mobile health applications in the midst of heated speculation as to whether he will get the Republican vice presidential nod. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, said he's currently planning for Gingrich to appear before the panel next Wednesday. "That's the plan," he told The Hill after voting on Wednesday. "Now, obviously, there are other things going on in his world so I don't know if that interferes -- but yeah, several months ago, this all seemed like a good idea." The comments come as Gingrich is one of several people under consideration to be presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump's running mate. Read our scoop here.
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THE PRIVACY TRADEOFF OF FREE WI-FI: The Village Voice highlighted some of the downsides of New York's new free public Wi-Fi stations throughout the city, specifically the privacy concerns. A pair of companies in charge of the project have ties to Google, and a major factor in their decision to wire the city for free is to serve up targeted advertising.
A MORE DANGEROUS WORLD: Michael Steinbach, an executive assistant director with the FBI, said U.S. success in squeezing ISIS's territory in Iraq and Syria could create a more dangerous world in the short term because of social media and the internet. "My perspective is that as we have success on the ground in Syria and Iraq we may see [a] more dangerous world in the short term because they will try to message that to their advantages to conduct attacks world wide," he said during a Senate hearing.
MCCASKILL GOES AFTER TRUMP AT ISIS/SOCIAL MEDIA HEARING: During a hearing on the spread of terrorism online, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) took a shot at GOP presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump for his previous calls for a temporary ban on all Muslims and the insinuation that they are complicit in some U.S. attacks.
"Not only is this strategy in opposition from recommendations from every expert that our staff has spoken with, it is also in complete conflict with American principles and values. And most importantly it would actually make the United States of America less safe. This extremist rhetoric play right into ISIS's hands," she said.
CORNYN ON FBI SURVEILLANCE POWER: Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) is not giving up on his push to let law enforcement obtain a customer's electronic communications records with subpoena-like National Security Letters. After the proposal fell a vote short of advancing last month, he penned an op-ed in The Dallas Morning News calling it a "bipartisan priority that has united a lot of people."
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
House lawmakers are working to bring former Speaker Newt Gingrich, a potential vice presidential pick for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, back to Capitol Hill for a public appearance less than a week before the party's national convention.
The federal government has recalled more than 500,000 hoverboards over safety concerns.
Republican senators are calling for a revote on a controversial plan that would make it easier for the FBI to get a person's electronic records without a warrant.
The entire federal government is exempt from consumer protection laws that limit unwanted robocalls, the Federal Communications Commission decided in a ruling issued Tuesday night.
The House on Tuesday evening passed two bills aimed at improving conditions for startup investing.