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A parade of experts has been flooding Washington to educate Congress on the benefits and harms of AI and how lawmakers should regulate the rapidly evolving technology.
“We’re visiting hundreds of people,” Todd Young (R-Ind.), who’s part of the Senate’s newly formed bipartisan group spearheading efforts on AI, said. “We want this to be highly consultative.”
The AI boom has jolted the usual sluggish pace on Capitol Hill, spurred by a mix of fear and excitement over the technology’s promise to reshape global economies and national security.
Lawmakers and interest groups are keen to influence any federal rules on the subject. Since May, a flurry of hearings and briefings have featured a total of almost 50 researchers, advocates, government officials, and industry executives, and hundreds of meetings took place behind the scenes. More hearings and legislation are being teed up for when Congress returns from recess in September.
These groups told Bloomberg Government they’ve been impressed with the speed and vigor of lawmakers’ AI study-up efforts. They say Congress is largely approaching the issue pragmatically and trying to avoid past failures to rein in tech giants. But some have raised concerns over what regulation might eventually look like, stressing that any new rules must target AI’s biggest risks, include oversight, and account for a wider range of threats. They also want Congress to pivot to action—fast.
Congress is being “admirably proactive,” said Samir Jain, vice president of policy at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a digital rights advocacy group that testified on AI in May and has been talking with congressional offices each week. “They’re asking many of the right questions. I think they’re still figuring out what direction they want to take.” Read more from Oma Seddiq and Elizabeth Kim.
- Around 1 p.m., President Joe Biden will speak in Arizona about his administration’s conservation efforts and the Inflation Reduction Act.
- Shortly after 3:30 p.m., Biden will participate in a lookout of the Grand Canyon at Grand Canyon National Park.
- Biden will then travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico to participate in an 8 p.m. campaign reception.
Biden’s Climate Agenda
Biden plans to block expanded uranium mining around the Grand Canyon by declaring the area a new national monument, White House officials said Monday.
Inventories of crude oil held at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve rose as the Biden administration starts refilling the caverns from their 40-year low, according to data from the Department of Energy.
Denise Keehner, director of the EPA’s chemicals office, is retiring, leaving organizations that work with the agency hoping for a replacement that has her management abilities and genuine desire to listen to diverse perspectives, according to recent interviews.
Attorneys general from Iowa and Nebraska filed a lawsuit for an injunction compelling the EPA to allow the year-round sale of E15 ethanol fuel blends.
Defense & Foreign Affairs
Senate Finance Committee leaders are planning to mark up legislation this fall that would alleviate double taxation for US and Taiwan businesses via the tax code — joining other proposals to bolster economic ties between the countries.
The Pentagon is bringing what it calls 21st century manufacturing to artillery production as the US tries to refill stockpiles depleted by deliveries to Ukraine in support of its war against Russia.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said America backs regional efforts to bring a diplomatic resolution to the “extremely troubling” situation in Niger, where a junta ignored demands to relinquish power and began announcing a new cabinet.
Politics, Probes, and 2024
It’s Election Day in several states, with a lot of attention on Ohio, where voters are making a decision that could make it harder for an abortion ballot issue to succeed later this year, Kathy Rizzo reports.
At issue is whether a supermajority or simple majority of the electorate should determine the outcome of future constitutional amendment proposals. More than 690,000 early ballots have already been cast. That’s more than every vote cast — early plus day-of — in legislative primaries last August. Largely because of the measure’s impact on the November abortion ballot question, out-of-state money has fueled the campaigns both for and against Issue 1.
There’s a lot less suspense around today’s gubernatorial primaries in Mississippi. Watch for Republicans to renominate incumbent Gov. Tate Reeves, setting up the November contest with Democrat Brandon Presley, who’s unopposed in the primary.
The White House is against Ohio’s GOP-backed abortion ballot referendum.
“The Biden-Harris administration strongly opposes attempts to take away a woman’s ability to have the ability to access reproductive health care, and we will continue to be loud and very clear about that,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Monday. Read more.
— With assistance from Katherine Rizzo.
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