Construction Industry News

Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission

U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 10:00 a.m., entitled, “Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission.” As part of the Committee’s oversight responsibilities, the hearing will have a broad scope covering every aspect of the agency and major policy issues before the Commission.

“From video policy to spectrum, the FCC’s decisions have an enormous effect on the future of our technology economy,” said Thune. “This hearing presents an opportunity for committee members to raise issues with the agency’s top decision makers and evaluate the need for legislative initiatives.”
 
Witnesses:

- The Honorable Tom Wheeler, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
- The Honorable Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
- The Honorable Michael O’Rielly, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
- The Honorable Ajit Pai, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
- The Honorable Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission

Hearing Details:
 
Full Committee Hearing
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
10:00 a.m.
 
Full Committee hearing entitled “Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission”
 
This hearing will take place in Senate Russell Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available at www.commerce.senate.gov.

For reporters interested in reserving a seat, please contact the press gallery:

• Periodical Press Gallery – 202-224-0265

• Radio/Television Gallery – 202-224-6421

• Press Photographers Gallery – 202-224-6548

• Daily Press Gallery – 202-224-0241

Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid or service, including closed captioning service for the webcast hearing, should contact Stephanie Gamache at 202-224-5511 at least three business days in advance of the hearing date.

Thune Remarks on Future of 5G Wireless

U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, delivered a keynote speech for “The Next Generation of Wireless: 5G Leadership in the U.S.” conference.

Coast Guard Reauthorization Enacted into Law

President Obama signed into law H.R. 4188, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015. The bill will reauthorize the Coast Guard for two years.

Major infrastructure repairs at JFK Federal Building sited in President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Proposal

GSA news releases - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 12:00am
President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Proposes Major Investments in Infrastructure, New Fund to Modernize Information Technology Systems

Joseph P. Addabbo Federal Building in Queens Gets Needed Repairs as Part of President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget

GSA news releases - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 12:00am
President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Proposes Major Investments in Infrastructure, New Fund to Modernize Information Technology Systems

President’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Request: Strengthening Federal Infrastructure in the Great Lakes Region 5

GSA news releases - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 12:00am
President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Proposes Major Investments in Infrastructure, New Fund to Modernize Information Technology Systems

President’s 2017 Budget Request Includes $248M to Complete Calexico Land Port Modernization Project

GSA news releases - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 12:00am
President’s 2017 Budget Request Includes $248M to Complete Calexico Land Port Modernization Project

President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Proposes Major Investments in Infrastructure, New Fund to Modernize Information Technology Systems

GSA news releases - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 12:00am
President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Proposes Major Investments in Infrastructure, New Fund to Modernize Information Technology Systems

Five FCC Commissioners to Testify March 2

“From video policy to spectrum, the FCC’s decisions have an enormous effect on the future of our technology economy,” said Thune. “This hearing presents an opportunity for committee members to raise issues with the agency’s top decision makers and evaluate the need for legislative initiatives.”

Senator Seeks to Boost Anti-Drone Technologies at Airports

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of a renewed push to protect air travelers from the threat posed by drones, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) says he plans to offer a measure to boost federal efforts to research, test and deploy various technologies to keep drones away from sensitive areas, such as our nation’s airports. 

Nelson, the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee which oversees the FAA, says he plans to insert the measure in legislation the panel is currently working on to reauthorize the agency. 

Nelson discussed the plan at a meeting today in Orlando with airport directors from all across Florida.

"Right now, it seems no one in the federal government is willing to take the lead to bolster and install technologies that could protect airports from the threat posed by drones," Nelson said.  

A number of companies are developing drone-mitigation technologies that would, among others, be able to shut down a drone that strays into a no-fly-zone, such as an airport, or deploy advanced sensors to detect and intercept drones attempting to enter sensitive areas.

Last month, Nelson called on the heads of the FAA and NASA, along with the departments of Defense and Homeland Security, to work together to mitigate the safety and security risks associated with drones. 

That request came on the heels of a recent report that ranked Miami and Orlando among the top cities nationally with close calls between aircraft and drones.

GSA Opens Federal Acquisition Gateway for Public Access

GSA news releases - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 12:00am
Transparent Access to Site Allows Non-Federal Users to Explore Tools and Content

Ensuring Intermodal USF Support for Rural America

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chair of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, will hold a hearing on future funding for rural communications on Thursday, February 4, at 10:30 a.m.
 
The hearing will examine the Federal Communications Commission’s Universal Service Mobility Fund and Connect America Fund, with particular emphasis on which entities and technologies should be eligible to receive support.
 
Witnesses:
 
- Mr. Darrington Seward, Managing Partner, Seward and Son Planting Company
- Mr. Steven K. Berry, President & CEO, Competitive Carriers Association (CCA)
- Mr. Jimmy Carr, CEO, All Points Broadband, testifying on behalf of Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA)
- Mr. Michael Rapelyea, Vice President for Government Affairs, ViaSat, Inc. 
 
* Witness list subject to change

Hearing Details:
 
Thursday, February 4, 2016
10:30 a.m.
 
Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet hearing
 
This hearing will take place in Senate Russell Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.

For reporters interested in reserving a seat, please contact the press gallery:

• Periodical Press Gallery – 202-224-0265

• Radio/Television Gallery – 202-224-6421

• Press Photographers Gallery – 202-224-6548

• Daily Press Gallery – 202-224-0241

Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid or service, including closed captioning service for the webcast hearing, should contact Stephanie Gamache at 202-224-5511 at least three business days in advance of the hearing date.

Thune Statement on House Introduction of FAA Legislation

Sen. John Thune, the chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, which exercises legislative jurisdiction over the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), issued the following statement on introduction of a bill to reauthorize and reform federal aviation programs in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Thune Statement on EU-US “Privacy Shield” Data Transfer Agreement

The European Union and the United States’ "Privacy Shield" agreement a needed victory for job creation.

Commerce Announces Subcommittee Hearing on Funding for Rural Communications

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chair of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, will hold a hearing on future funding for rural communications on Thursday, February 4th at 10:30 a.m.
 
The hearing will examine the Federal Communications Commission’s Universal Service Mobility Fund and Connect America Fund, with particular emphasis on which entities and technologies should be eligible to receive support.
 
Witnesses:
 
- Mr. Darrington Seward, Managing Partner, Seward and Son Planting Company
- Mr. Steven K. Berry, President & CEO, Competitive Carriers Association (CCA)
- Mr. Jimmy Carr, CEO, All Points Broadband, testifying on behalf of Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA)
- Mr. Michael Rapelyea, Vice President for Government Affairs, ViaSat, Inc. 
 
* Witness list subject to change

Hearing Details:
 
Thursday, February 4, 2016
10:30 a.m.
 
Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet hearing
 
This hearing will take place in Senate Russell Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.

GSA Seeks Ideas for Innovative Redevelopment Opportunity of McIntyre Building

GSA news releases - Fri, 01/29/2016 - 12:00am
GSA Seeks Ideas for Innovative Redevelopment Opportunity of McIntyre Building

ICYMI: The DeLorean is Back!

Thanks to passage of the FAST Act transportation bill, a company will build “replica 1982 DeLoreans under a low-volume manufacturing bill approved by the federal government”...

In the Huffington Post: Sen. Thune and Rep. Issa - Suffer in Silence or Pay Up

Now that your child or loved one has run that holiday gift through the paces of life for a few weeks, you might be contemplating singing its praises or sounding off on its shortcomings in an online, or even offline, review. Your critique would contribute to an ecosystem of consumer feedback steering potential buyers away from poor values or toward a deserving business. This is America, and it's your right to sound off -- isn't it?

Yet criticism of your gift could be very expensive because of a "gag clause" buried in the terms of service of your purchase. A consumer gag clause, sometimes referred to as a non-disparagement clause, is language you did not negotiate in a contract's fine print that tells customers: if you criticize our business, you owe us money.

Failure to pay a gag clause penalty could have far-ranging consequences, including having the business report your non-payment to a credit rating agency as an unpaid debt. This actually happened to a Utah family who, according to testimony before Congress, spent years disputing a $3,500 charge based on a critical review of a $20 Christmas gift purchase.

Gag clauses can appear in transactions where you might not expect them. One site that advises photographers on how to deal with clients actually encourages freelance shutterbugs to include gag clauses as a best practice. "Can you stop [a customer] from bad-mouthing your business? No," the site cautions. "But you can spell out the possible repercussions to [her], and any other bad client for that matter, with a non-disparagement clause for professional photographers."

As Americans make more purchase decisions through free information gathered via the Internet, online reviews play an increasingly important role in selecting a hotel for a vacation, buying a gift, or choosing a professional contractor. But when some businesses block tough but truthful criticism, the trustworthiness of such reviews is diminished -- even for businesses that don't engage in the practice.

We introduced the bipartisan Consumer Review Freedom Act, in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, to protect the spirit of our Constitution's First Amendment right to free speech by prohibiting these gag clauses. Our legislation, which the Senate has already approved, would stop these egregious gag clauses while still preserving the right of a business to defend itself against false claims, including any manufactured by competitors.

What our proposal enacts is a common-sense approach to protecting consumer rights and an extraordinary free market system of customers that holds businesses accountable in a digitally-connected world. Through this legislation, we can stop gag clauses before the practice goes viral and guarantee your right as a consumer to inform and learn from others. Until the Consumer Review Freedom Act is enacted, however, that right is in jeopardy.

GSA Issues Phase II of the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the FBI Headquarters Consolidation Project

GSA news releases - Fri, 01/22/2016 - 12:00am
President’s FY 2017 Budget Will Include Funding in Support of Full Consolidation

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