Fast internet service is crucial to the modern economy, and closing the digital divide is seen as a step toward shrinking the persistent gaps in economic opportunity, educational achievement and health outcomes in America. In some areas with spotty or no service, children do their homework in Wi-Fi-equipped buses or fast-food restaurants, small businesses drive to internet hot spots to send sales pitches and medical records are transported by hand on thumb-drive memory sticks.
Accurate measurements on the reach of broadband matter because the government’s statistics are used to guide policy and channel federal funding for underserved areas.
Republican men and women are deeply divided over how to confront the results of a brutal midterm election that decimated the ranks of female GOP lawmakers in the House.
Most House Republicans have so far shown little appetite for performing an autopsy on the 2018 election cycle and publicly identifying the root of their tough losses, which were stark among female voters, particularly in the suburbs.
Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, tapped to lead U.S. Central Command, and Lt. Gen. Rich Clarke, up to head U.S. Special Operations, acknowledged on Tuesday that they may receive fewer resources to perform their missions.
Clarke argued that SOCOM is positioned to be an important player in great power competition. Working with allies and partners that Russia and China do not have, he said, “we can counter some of their malign activities.” He offered no specifics, and lawmakers did not press him.
Yet the repeated questions, from Republicans and Democrats, highlighted a hazy future for the two commands.
“There’s not a smoking gun, there’s a smoking saw,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in a pointed reference to statements by the president and other administration officials that there was no “smoking gun” linking the de facto Saudi ruler to Khashoggi’s slaying.
“You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MBS and that he was intricately involved in the demise of Mr. Khashoggi,” Graham added, using the crown prince’s initials.
Appetite for a rancorous fight over the border wall with Mexico subsided over the weekend following Bush’s death. The 41st president’s passing upended what was expected to be an intense week of negotiations ahead of a Dec. 7 funding deadline.
Instead, lawmakers and much of Washington will spend the next few days remembering Bush, who was known for his character, steadiness and ability to cut deals with the other side.
Lawmakers are facing an end-of-the-year traffic jam with legislation piling up and a tight schedule that leaves them little wiggle room.
Leadership is juggling a backlog of must-pass bills and nominations as well as eleventh-hour requests from rank-and-file members as legislators try to cram as much as possible into the final days of the work year. Republicans, in particular, are feeling pressure to make a last-ditch effort as they prepare to cede control of the House to Democrats in January.
The Oversight Committee is expected to be a hotbed of investigative activity, ranging from emoluments probes to oversight of ethics rules and record management including the use of encrypted messaging apps that disappear communications by government officials.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) is expected to emerge as the chief defender of Trump administration policies and officials on the panel. The committee also takes the lead on the largely bipartisan issue of IT management and FITARA oversight.