What to Know in Washington: AI Unites Bipartisan Senate Group

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The face of the artificial intelligence fever sweeping the US — OpenAI CEO Sam Altman — gripped Washington this May when he pleaded under oath for the first time for Congress to regulate the technology. Yet behind the scenes on Capitol Hill, an unexpected crew knew that plea was coming and started to assemble.

The bipartisan group of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) have been meeting almost weekly since Altman’s testimony, racing to formulate rules that protect Americans from AI’s worst threats, such as biological weapons and mass unemployment, but also promote the technology’s potential to cure diseases and curb hunger.

Adding to that challenge: Such legislation would need to pass a deeply divided Congress facing a packed agenda, a largely unsuccessful history of regulating technology, and an upcoming election heightening partisan politics. Still, in interviews with the senators, former staffers, and close observers, optimism is running high that the rare but mighty alliance can pull off the extraordinarily complex task of confronting AI.

Each senator brings legislative prowess to the table: Schumer is building on recent bipartisan dealmaking, Young spearheaded negotiations on last year’s successful CHIPS and Science Act, Rounds’ national security knowledge can address AI’s risks, and Heinrich back in 2019 founded the Senate’s AI caucus that championed several initial measures. Read Oma Seddiq’s full deep dive on the Senate’s AI supergroup.


  • President Joe Biden departs the White House shortly before 5 p.m. to travel to the G-20 Summit in New Delhi, India.
  • Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will gaggle aboard Air Force One.


  • The Senate meets at 10 a.m. to vote on Biden’s nominees to the Federal Reserve and FCC.

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What Else We’re Watching

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To contact the reporters on this story: Giuseppe Macri in Washington at gmacri@bgov.com; Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com

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