Emerging Technologies Washington Update

October 18, 2018

Pardon Our Dust

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Week in Review

Last Thursday, Senate Democrats agreed to expedite 15 judicial and executive branch nominations in exchange for the Senate recessing through the midterm elections so that vulnerable candidates can focus on reelection. Among those confirmed by consent was James Morhard, the new NASA Deputy Administrator. The Senate also confirmed three new members of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: Adam KIein (Chairman), Edward Felten, and Jane Nitze.

On Monday, the President and First Lady visited areas of Florida and Georgia devastated by Hurricane Michael. The following day, the Administration formally notified Congress of its intention to enter into separate trade negotiations next year with the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Japan, starting a 90-day clock for negotiations to begin.

As expected, White House Counsel Don McGahn stepped down on Wednesday. The President announced several weeks ago that he would be leaving after Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation proceedings. Washington attorney Pat Cippollone will replace McGahn. Today, the President hits the campaign trail for Republican candidates in Montana, Arizona, and Nevada while Vice President Pence stumps in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

The Week Ahead

The House and Senate are both in recess until November 13, the week after the November 6 midterm elections. Upon its return, the Senate will take up House-passed Coast Guard reauthorization legislation and Michelle Bowman’s nomination to be a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Next Wednesday, the White House will host an event celebrating efforts to combat the nation’s opioid crisis during which the President is expected to sign into law a related package of legislation that overwhelmingly passed both chambers before Congress adjourned for the midterm campaign season. The President will also continue to campaign for Republican candidates, making visits to Texas and Wisconsin.