Public Policy

Latest Public Policy News


22 Million People Lose Health Care Under Senate Trumpcare Plan, CBO Says

The Congressional Budget Office says 22 million people would lose health care under the Senate’s version of Trumpcare that Senate Republicans are racing to bring to a vote this week without hearings. That’s just 1 million fewer people than the non-partisan CBO estimated would lose healthcare by 2026 under the House version of Trumpcare. President Donald Trump called the House bill “mean” and said he hoped the Senate version would have more “heart.” The Senate’s plan… Read


FTC Sues To Block Merger Of Fantasy Sports Giants DraftKings And FanDuel

Updated with DraftKings/FanDuel statement: The Federal Trade Commission just threw a flag on the proposed merger of fantasy sports sites DraftKings and FanDuel. The regulatory agency — working with Attorneys General for California and D.C. — authorized a suit to stop the deal, charging it would violate antitrust laws. The complaints were filed today at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. An administrative trial is scheduled to start November 21. "This… Read


‘House Of Lies’ Creator Calls Donald Trump’s Cuba Policy “Idiocy”

House Of Lies Cuba

House Of Lies creator Matthew Carnahan is furious about President Donald Trump's decision to roll back relations with Cuba. Carnahan shot the Showtime series’ fifth-season finale in Havana last year – and plans to return to shoot a new series there entirely – but fears the new restrictions could make it more difficult for future collaborations between Cuban and American filmmakers. "I'm f*cking pissed," he told Deadline. "I'm really f*cking pissed. It's idiocy, plain and… Read


Court’s Pro-FCC Decision Strengthens Prospects For Sinclair-Tribune Merger

Tribune Media shares are  up 5.8% in mid-day trading, and Sinclair Broadcast Group is +3.0%, after the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. agreed to let an FCC decision that should ease the way for TV station mega-mergers take effect while judges consider its merits. At issue is an FCC rule that only counts half of the viewers reached via UHF stations when determining whether a merger of TV station owners would exceed the government’s ceiling. Companies are supposed to be… Read


President Trump Renominates Jessica Rosenworcel To FCC

Jessica Rosenworcel

Looks like Jessica Rosenworcel will regain her job as an FCC commissioner, although the circumstances have some agency watchers scratching their heads. Shortly before midnight the White House announced President Trump’s decision to nominate Rosenworcel — a Democrat who had served on the commission from 2012 until January 2017. Her term expired in mid 2015, but the Senate Commerce Committee allowed her to stay until the end of 2016 while it declined to deal with President… Read


Net Neutrality Supporters Plan July 12 “Day Of Action” To Block Rollback Effort

Supporters of vigorous net neutrality protections including Amazon, Reddit, Kickstarter, and the American Civil Liberties Union are gearing up for a July 12 “day of action” to protest FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s effort to relax the rules. Web companies will use their sites to call attention to the matter. Many companies including Netflix used the same strategy in September 2014 when they lobbied for stronger open internet rules. “We’ll provide tools for everyone to make it… Read


Sinclair & Other Station Biggies Hit Back As Court Stays FCC Ownership Rule

The D.C Circuit Court of Appeals today stayed a vote by the FCC to reinstate a rule that would ease restrictions on TV station mergers. The ruling (read it here) allows the court time to further review the rule, known as the UHF discount, which had been scrapped last fall. New FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was among the dissenters in that September 2016 decision to abandon the rule, and its reinstatement was seen as a driver in allowing Sinclair to make its $3.9 billion… Read


Donald Trump Pulls Out Of Paris Climate Accord In Ironically Set Rose Garden Ceremony

Donald Trump Paris Accord

President Donald Trump fulfilled a campaign promise on the Paris climate accord, announcing that “pulling out” was getting his final rose in a ceremony appropriately held at the White House Rose Garden. “In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord,” Trump announced today. The Paris deal was just “the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the… Read


Donald Trump’s Proposed 2018 Budget Would Ax NEA & Public Broadcasting

President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 federal budget released today would cut federal spending by $4.5 trillion over the next 10 years and do so by drastically slashing or eliminating social programs like Medicaid and food stamps, student aid and Planned Parenthood. It also proposes scrapping the National Endowment for the Arts and eventually the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which helps fund PBS and National Public Radio. The plan for FY 2018, which begins… Read


FCC Kicks Off Effort To Roll Back Net Neutrality Rules

It’s game on in the fight over net neutrality. In a 2-to-1 vote along party lines today, the FCC authorized a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to undo the 2015 decision to enforce open internet rules under Title II of the Communications Act. That empowers the agency to regulate the medium as a common carrier similar to phones. The FCC will seek public comment for 90 days — up to August 16 — and could vote on the matter as early as October. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai made it clear… Read


Hollywood Urges Congress To Stand Up To Donald Trump And Fund NEA, NEH & CPB

Hollywood responded en masse today to President Trump's threat to eliminate federal funding of the arts and humanities. In a letter sent to Congress, the MPAA and numerous other groups – including a dozen entertainment industry unions – are urging lawmakers to stand up to Trump and fully fund the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The president's budget would eliminate the NEA's… Read


Brillstein Boss Among Former U.S. Attorneys Seeking Special Counsel In Russia Probe

James Comey

A group of 180 former U.S. Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the Southern District of New York have sent a bipartisan letter to Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein asking that the Department Of Justice appoint a special counsel “to oversee the FBI’s continuing investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 Presidential election and related matters.” The signees include Jon Liebman, the chairman and CEO of Brillstein Entertainment Partners. The… Read