Issues & Industries

Trump’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy Arrives This Spring

The Trump administration will release a national strategy for artificial intelligence in the spring of 2019, according to a senior White House official.

The strategy will focus on setting priorities for investment in AI-related research and development, preparing the U.S. workforce for the economic opportunities and challenges posed by AI, and identifying ways to preserve the U.S.’s technological advantage, said Lynn Parker, assistant director of artificial intelligence at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), at a Dec. 4 conference.

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Campaign Cash Follows GOP Senator Who May Be Drug-Price Firewall

Pharmaceutical industry political action committees gave more to John Barrasso than to any other senator in the recent election, even though his committee assignments won’t put him in a particularly good place to drive health policy.

But Barrasso (R-Wyo.) will be the third-highest ranking senator, Republican Conference chairman, in January and those donations could end up paying off for drug companies in the new Congress.

Trump Team Back to Drawing Board on Health Care After Midterms

The Trump administration, undeterred by the Republicans’ loss of their House majority in the midterm elections, wants to resume chipping away at Obamacare in the coming year.

Key Democrats Are Selling Medicare Buy-in Over Medicare for All

Before they consider giving Medicare to all Americans, an influential crop of Democrats will push to let some buy into the public health insurance for seniors.

The push to create what is known as a Medicare buy-in program is slated to come from Democrats in both the House and Senate with seats on key panels early in the year.

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Pa. Political Consultant Guilty in Federal Campaign Finance Case

A veteran political consultant was convicted of causing illegal campaign contributions and falsifying campaign finance reports when he worked for the campaigns of retiring Rep. Robert Brady and former Rep. Marjorie Margolies.

Lawmakers Plan Two-Week Stopgap, Delaying Border Wall Standoff

Lawmakers plan to avert a shutdown at the end of the week with a two-week stopgap measure, giving the fight over border wall funding a new deadline.

The stopgap will last two weeks, bumping the deadline back from Dec. 7 to Dec. 21, according to two congressional aides.

Republican Senators’ Fight Holding Up Drug and Pandemic Bills

Two Republican senators are blocking health-care legislation each had hoped to pass in the end-of-year lame duck session of Congress, in an unusual intraparty feud,

Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) have placed holds on each other’s bills and are in a standoff that might result in neither bill being passed.

Medicare for All Tough Pill for Many House Democrats to Swallow

Newly elected House Democrats who ran on a single-payer health insurance platform will find their campaign promise easier to make than to keep. While the “Medicare for All” battle cry caught fire with progressive voters in safely Democratic districts, only 3 percent of Democrats who ousted Republicans in competitive districts supported universal, single-payer health care.

DISA Seeks Network Upgrades Ahead of Pentagon’s Cloud Move

The Defense Information Systems Agency is planning major upgrades to the Pentagon’s classified and unclassified networks, according to twosolicitations released Nov. 15. The move represents a key technical milestone that will enable the department’s shift to cloud computing.

The Largest Federal Contract Is About to Get Bigger: This Is IT

Use of the General Services Administration’s Schedule 70 for information technology products and services has decreased substantially in the last decade, but recent trends indicate that’s about to change.

In fiscal 2010, $9.1 billion in task-order obligations went through IT-70. In fiscal 2017, just $6.3 billion was spent through the schedule.