This Week in Washington…

Posted on November 13, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized |

TOP 5 STORIES THIS WEEK

WHITE HOUSE

CONGRESS

POLITICS

BUDGET, ECONOMY & FINANCE

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

  • The U.S. and China announced historic new commitments to curb emissions ahead of next year’s United Nations climate talks with China pledging to limit rising emissions by 2030.
  • Polling from the Pew Research Center indicates that more Americans now oppose fracking than support it, by a ratio of 47 percent to 41 percent.
  • Senate Republican leaders announced that Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy will have a seat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee if he wins his runoff election in Louisiana by defeating Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.
  • Jim Prentice, premier of the oil-sands-rich Canadian province of Alberta, said he’s “cautiously optimistic” about winning U.S. approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.
  • The free-market advocacy organization Americans for Prosperity sent a letter to Congress on Monday urging lawmakers not to renew a now-expired tax credit—the renewable-electricity production tax credit that has given wind energy a major boost—during the lame-duck session.
  • Illinois lawmakers on Nov. 6 approved rules on high-volume oil and gas drilling that will allow for hydraulic fracturing in the state, but kept a number of details under wraps.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS & DEFENSE

HEALTH CARE

TECHNOLOGY

  • President Obama urged the Federal Communications Commission to claim expansive new powers over the Internet to protect net neutrality by enacting the “strongest possible” regulations.
  • Internet giants like Facebook and Google have been conspicuous by their relative silence in the net-neutrality debate, even after President Obama threw his full support behind Title II regulation.
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture to end debate on the USA Freedom Act, which would usher in a series of reforms to the government’s most controversial domestic-spying program, more than a year after Edward Snowden’s leaks exposed it publicly.
  • AOL acknowledged it had decided to end its affiliation with the American Legislative Exchange Council, making it the latest in a string of high-profile tech companies to recently bolt from the conservative group.
  • The U.S. Postal Service announced publicly that its computer networks had been breached due to a large-scale data hack, and that the Chinese government is suspected of being involved.
  • The U.S. and China agreed to drop tariffs for tech in a deal that expands the Information Technology Agreement to potentially cover $1 trillion in trade.

OTHER NEWS

QUOTES

  • “I was expecting them, but the shock was still very big for me. It is hard to be a hacker, but even harder to erase your tracks.” — Marcel-Lehel Lazar, known by the alias “Guccifer,” on being apprehended for targeting politicians and celebrities (New York Times)
  • “Let me just be clear: I’m not saying that all Muslims are terrorists, nor do I say that all Muslims support terrorism. But we have an obligation to face the truth about who the enemy is and what they want to accomplish to have any chance of defeating them.” — Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., in a speech at Liberty University (Bloomberg)
  • “At some point, something came over Israel so that everyone has his own ideas—and everyone else is an enemy. It’s a dialogue among deaf people, and it is getting more and more serious.” — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (The New Yorker)
  • “Her role since she has been at the White House is one of the broadest and most expansive roles that I think has ever existed in the West Wing.” — Former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, on Valerie Jarrett (The New Republic)
  • “We’re trying to take what the Republican and Democratic parties produce for a short season and produce something good for the next 30 years in the rest of the world. It’s high cotton for us in an election year.” — Ruston Seaman, whose company uses discarded campaign signs to create solar-powered LEDs for use in developing countries (Wall Street Journal)
  • “I’m there alone on this big river in the middle of nowhere in Chile, and what went through my mind was Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon 2.” — Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, on relocating his own shoulder during a kayaking trip (Yahoo)
  • “We threw an election and nobody came.” — Democratic strategist Darry Sragow, on the 21.4 percent turnout among eligible voters in California’s gubernatorial race (Al Jazeera)

CHARTS AND GRAPHICS

Future events

  • Thursday, Nov. 13 – The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will hold a debate, “What is the Appropriate Legal Framework for Net Neutrality: Section 706 vs. Title II?” at 2:45 p.m. in 2168 Rayburn.
  • Friday, Nov. 14 – The Free State Foundation will hold a seminar, “Thinking the Unthinkable: Imposing the ‘Utility Model’ on Internet Providers,” at 8:45 a.m. at 529 14th St. NW.
  • Thursday, Nov. 13 to Saturday, Nov. 15 – Women in Government will hold its fifth annual Healthcare Summit at 400 New Jersey Ave. NW.
  • Friday, Nov. 14 – The Alliance for Health Reform and the Commonwealth Fund will hold a briefing, “Health Insurance Marketplaces, Round II: Results and Expectations,” at noon at 50 Massachusetts Ave. NE.
  • Thursday, Nov. 13 – The George Washington University Global Women’s Institute will hold a launch event for “I Am Malala: A Resource Guide for Educators,” on global girls’ education issues, at 3 p.m. at 805 21st St. NW.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 18 – The Aspen Institute will hold a discussion, “Achieving College and Career-Readiness: What Do We Know About Common Core Implementation, and How Can We Know More?” at 9:30 a.m. at 1 Dupont Cir. NW.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 19 – The Heritage Foundation will hold a discussion, “Common Core: How We Got Here and Where We Are Headed,” at 4 p.m. at 214 Massachusetts Ave. NE.
  • Friday, Nov. 14 – The Center for Strategic and International Studies will hold a conference, “Formulating a New Foreign Policy Approach Toward Russia,” at 9 a.m. at 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW.
  • Thursday, Nov. 13 – The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies will hold a discussion, “Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gases: The EPA Clean Power Proposal and the Role of the States,” at 4:30 p.m. at 1619 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • Monday, Nov. 17 – The George C. Marshall Institute will hold a discussion, “The New Congress and U.S. Energy Policy,” at noon at 300 First St. SE.
  • Friday, Nov. 14 – The Center for American Progress Action Fund will hold a forum, “What Is the True Impact of the 2014 Midterm Elections and Where Do We Go from Here?” at 10 a.m. at 1333 H St. NW.
  • Thursday, Nov. 13 to Friday, Nov. 14 – The Commercial Finance Association will hold its 70th annual convention, “Turning Insights Into Opportunities,” at 2660 Woodley Rd. NW.
  • Thursday, Nov. 13 to Friday, Nov. 14 – The Committee for Economic Development will hold its 2014 Fall Policy Conference at 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
  • Friday, Nov. 14 – The Law and Economics Center at George Mason University School of Law will hold a discussion, “A Symposium on Consumer Credit and the American Economy,” at 8 a.m. at 3301 Fairfax Dr. in Arlington.
  • Thursday, Nov. 13 – The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of P. David Lopez to serve as general counsel and Charlotte Burrows to serve as a member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, at 2:30 p.m. in 430 Dirksen.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 18 – The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Western Hemisphere Subcommittee will hold a hearing, “Unaccompanied Alien Children: Pressing the Administration for a Strategy,” at 2 p.m. in 2172 Rayburn.
  • Saturday, Nov. 15 – President Obama will arrive in Brisbane, Australia, where he will participate in G-20 events and deliver an address at the University of Queensland.
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