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The Daily Countable: Late night deal on $$$ trillion+ spending bill, and... Do we need a Digital Protection Agency?

by Countable | Updated on 3.22.18

Welcome to Thursday, friends.

Ever taken a Facebook quiz? You know the ones, "What's your Hogwarts house?" or "What breed of dog are you?" Those fun, seemingly innocuous widgets opened the door for Cambridge Analytica to harvest the personal data of tens of millions of people. Not so innocuous after all, right? It begs the question: Should the government establish a Digital Protection Agency? Here's what a DPA might do. Tell your Reps what you think.

On the Radar

  • After yesterday's alarm bells of possibly another government shutdown, it appears Congressional leaders have reached a deal on the $1.3 trillion dollar funding bill to finish out the fiscal year. Countable has the bill summary here.

  • Following President Trump's proposal to use capital punishment to help combat the opioid epidemic, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has issued a memo to U.S. attorneys about when they should seek the death penalty in drug trafficking cases. Read what Sessions is saying about when capital punishment should be used here.

Under the Radar

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed a comprehensive - and potentially groundbreaking - plan to combat tobacco addiction in the United States. Nicotine levels, alternative nicotine-delivery products, flavorings…you smoke it, it’s in there. The public comment period is now open—so read up on the FDA's plan here, then share your first- and second-hand comments.

Your Gov at a Glance 👀

The White House: President Trump in DC

  • President Trump signs a Presidential Memorandum targeting China’s economic aggression.
  • Participates in a panel discussion at the Generation Next Summit.
  • The president and first lade host the Greek Independence Day Celebration.

The House of Representatives: In Session

  • Potentially voting on a bill to provide $1.3 trillion to fund the government through the end of fiscal year 2018 in September.
  • The House is then expected to adjourn whenever it passes the bill and begin a two week spring recess for Easter and Passover.

The Senate: In Session

  • The Senate will likely take procedural steps to begin the consideration of the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill. If a unanimous consent agreement is reached, a vote on its passage could occur.

Committee Watch

  • The House Intelligence Committee will meet to vote on declassifying additional information from its report on Russia's active interference in the 2016 elections.

Tomorrow's Preview

  • If the Senate hasn't passed the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, it could hold a passage vote if a unanimous consent agreement is reached. Absent such an agreement, it will debate the bill until Senate rules allow a vote -- potentially early Saturday morning.
  • The House isn't expected to be in session, but will be if it still has to vote to send the omnibus to the Senate. It's set to return on Tuesday, April 10 following the spring recess for Easter and Passover.

But Wait! There's More!

And, in the End…

When they finish up this marathon work session, lawmakers are heading home for a couple of weeks for the Easter and Passover holidays. For us at Countable it's the perfect opportunity to bring you some stories that are off the beaten path -- interesting bills and ideas simmering in Washington, events happening in government agencies outside of Congress, and especially your thoughts on what legislation lawmakers should be tackling. So please be in touch and let me know what we at Countable can bring you more of -- in the next two weeks and beyond.

—Andrea Seabrook

​ Talk to Managing Editor Andrea Seabrook via email, andrea [at] countable.us, or on twitter, @RadioBabe. And don’t forget to keep in touch @Countable.

Countable

Written by Countable

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(31)
  • Jan
    03/22/2018
    ···

    Rescind the tax scam. Billionaires don't need the tax breaks, working people do. Easier to balance a budget when you don't give away more than you take in.

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  • prog-feminist
    03/22/2018
    ···

    Remember when trump promised to reduce the deficit in his first four years? It's now higher than it was under Obama and I'm curious how he's going to manage to begin to chip away at all that debt (esp with his stance on arming teachers in schools and the ludicrous amount of money that would take)

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  • Jason
    03/22/2018
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    No DACA, no deal.

    Like (19)
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  • Donna
    03/22/2018
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    What ever happened to DACA protection BEFORE BUDGET AGREEMENT????? WE WILL NOT FORGET when WE VOTE 2018 and 2020.

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  • Larry
    03/22/2018
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    Death penalty to sell dope to dope heads? First of all, the whole drug war is a fantasy, how did Prohibition work? Secondly, at least, during Prohibition, they honored the Constitution and create an amendment to create the power to prohibit a substance. With the drug war, they just seem to ignore the fact they don't have the legal authority.

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  • Hillary
    03/22/2018
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    This is a SPENDING bill, not a funding bill. We have enough fire power to destroy the planet many times over and still that isn’t enough? How about FUNDING books and supplies for public education so we have an educated public? How about funding healthcare for all so we have a healthy workforce and healthy children and healthy retired workers and care for mentally ill? How about FUNDING safe infrastructure which will also firm up our economy? Saving money for billionaires and millionaires doesn’t put cash back into the stream of our local economy. Hiring unemployed workers to build roads and work on bridges puts nearly every penny back into the circle of earning and spending.

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  • Leon
    03/22/2018
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    No more spending! We need reductions not increases!

    Like (6)
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  • Benjamin
    03/22/2018
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    We don’t need more money we need to use the money we already have more wisely and to support the people not the government

    Like (5)
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  • RadicalModerate
    03/22/2018
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    Please slash military spending and eliminate income taxes to regular people.

    Like (4)
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  • Zach
    03/22/2018
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    Yes. Europe has GDPR. We need the same.

    Like (3)
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  • Jim2423
    03/23/2018
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    Many folks don’t realize a lot of military equipment lie in limbo, lacking parts to make them operational. Pilots lack hours of flying due to waylaid planes. We need to get our equipment back in ready status. Planes were just one item in lack of repair. Past administrations with held maintenance budgets for military equipment. When you slide backwards it takes an enormous amount to get back on track.

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  • Kathy
    03/23/2018
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    I love the Party of Fiscal Conservatives, low taxes, less government such BS. The only time the deficit is of concern to the Republicans is when Democrats are in office. Every single time Republicans are in control they run the DEFICIT UP. They throw a bone to their voters and they believe the garbage. Republicans ONLY concern about all the FREE STUFF (WELFARE )for the Rich and Corporations period. Let see how many more trillions added to the deficit before 45 leave office.

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  • D
    03/22/2018
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    Just another farce

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  • kymber
    03/22/2018
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    I am a conservative and I don’t support this crazy spending bill at all. I’d rather not fund the wall than give Democrats billions to blow on community development and all the goodies they’ve packed into this bill. GOP needs to get their act together and remember they are supposed to be fiscally conservative!!! Stop spending so much!!

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  • KYvoter
    03/22/2018
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    I love it!! Push all your agenda before November because it will all be over for anything else you would like. Your gravy train will be out of there and some new, responsible government will be watching every move you make and kicking it out!

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  • Caren
    03/22/2018
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    Yes. Consumers information must be protected. Too many companies sell the information of individuals to make a profit at our expense. When did that become appropriate.

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  • Bullmom
    03/22/2018
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    Zickerberg should be held accountable- he’s the one making the $$$$$ and lots of them - and he NEVER is held responsible- AND DACA is not part of the budget process - it is a SEPARATE issue -

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  • Robert
    03/22/2018
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    I thought that what the FCC was supposed to do? Oh wait ajit Pai just privatized it so now he doesn’t care. He was just in it to act as a political whore for DJT

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  • Cynthia
    03/22/2018
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    Republicans may no longer claim to be the fiscally Conservative party.

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  • NoHedges
    03/23/2018
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    Yes, we need a formal agency for data protection. No, we do NOT NEED a data protection agency that is assembled by those same leaders who chose to use Cambridge Analytica with the express intent of micro targeting by whatever means necessary. The billions being spent on the military motive is quickly discernible by the appointment of Bolton. He wants war, he is preparing for war, and just like every thing else Trump wants, Congress is going to have hell to pay until he gets it.

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