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Jan. 23, 2019, 8:52 a.m. EST

McConnell tries to flip the script in shutdown with Thursday votes | Ocasio-Cortez, other ‘progressive flamethrowers’ join House Oversight Committee

FAANG companies get attention for lobbying moves

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By Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch


Reuters
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks last year.

McConnell tries to flip the script in shutdown standoff: By scheduling two votes on Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans are trying to change the narrative in the ongoing partial government shutdown, says a Hill report .

The votes look set to allow GOP lawmakers to argue that they are acting to end the shutdown after weeks in which only House Democrats have voted on such measures. The record-busting closure has now lasted 33 days.

McConnell set a key vote for Thursday afternoon in the Senate related to President Donald Trump’s offer on Saturday for ending the shutdown, which has been triggered by Trump’s demand of $5.7 billion for his proposed wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. That action then is on track to be followed by a vote on a House bill, supported by Democrats, to open shuttered agencies temporarily without providing wall money.

McConnell set a key vote for Thursday afternoon in the Senate related to President Donald Trump’s offer on Saturday for ending the shutdown, which has been triggered by Trump’s demand of $5.7 billion for his proposed wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. That action then is on track to be followed by a vote on a House bill, supported by Democrats, to open shuttered agencies temporarily without providing wall money.

As Republicans hold a slim 53-47 majority, neither bill is expected to achieve the usual 60-vote threshold to advance. The Thursday votes, at least, will give everyone clues as to what senators are willing to buck their parties, said a McClatchy report .

Ocasio-Cortez, other high-profile Democrats join key panel: The House Oversight Committee is adding a group of “progressive flamethrowers” to its ranks, as a Politico report dubbed them .

The new committee members include Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. Their addition to the panel comes after Democrats promised wide-ranging investigations of the Trump administration.

FAANG companies get attention for lobbying moves: Netflix /quotes/zigman/87598/composite NFLX +1.58%   has joined the membership ranks of the Motion Picture Association of America alongside the six major Hollywood studios, a Hollywood Reporter story noted .

It’s the first time in history that a non-studio has been granted entry to the top lobbying group, the story added.

Meanwhile, Alphabet’s Google /quotes/zigman/59539269/composite GOOGL +0.11%   and Facebook /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite FB -0.28%   set company records for annual lobbying spending in 2018 as Washington’s scrutiny of Silicon Valley ramped up, with the companies shelling out $21 million and $13 million, respectively, according to a Bloomberg News article .

Warner unveils bill aimed at avoiding shutdowns: Sen. Mark Warner has rolled out a bill that would prevent future government shutdowns , as the Virginia Democrat has introduced the Stop STUPIDITY (Shutdowns Transferring Unnecessary Pain and Inflicting Damage In The Coming Years) Act.

His bill comes after a similar measure was unveiled in early January by a group of Republican senators. Their bill would create automatic continuing resolutions and automatic spending decreases until a deal is reached, while Warner said he aims for “automatically renewing government funding at the same levels as the previous fiscal year, with adjustments for inflation.”

/quotes/zigman/87598/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 360.35
+5.61 +1.58%
Volume: 8.17M
April 18, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
134.46
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$154.88 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.22M
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/quotes/zigman/59539269/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 1,241.47
+1.33 +0.11%
Volume: 1.16M
April 18, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
28.41
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$860.93 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.39M
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/quotes/zigman/9962609/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 178.28
-0.50 -0.28%
Volume: 10.50M
April 18, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
23.54
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$513.54 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.57M
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Victor Reklaitis is MarketWatch's Money & Politics reporter and is based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter @VicRek.

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