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David Cicilline on Technology

 

 


Regulate and hold accountable big tech companies

During the congressional hearings, each CEO got dozens of questions, with David Cicilline, the House Antitrust Subcommittee Chair who has overseen an investigation of the companies' monopoly power. "Some need to be broken up; all need to be properly regulated and held accountable," he said, pointing out that each company controls a "key channel of distribution," whether it be an App Store or an ad market, and uses data gathering to protect and extend its power of private government," he warned.
Source: Antitrust, by Amy Klobuchar, p.255 , Apr 27, 2021

Repair Amtrak in NE corridor to support jobs and save energy

Infrastructure improvements to the Northeast corridor take on new urgency as an investment in job and economic opportunities that will help reduce energy costs and generate sustained economic activity. The NE corridor has a passenger rail infrastructure. However, the infrastructure to support that transportation is dated and ove- burdened. We can put people back to work now making these repairs.
Source: 2011 House of Representatives website, "Amtrak" , Aug 18, 2011

Voted NO on protecting cyber security by sharing data with government.

Congressional Summary:

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:

Opponent's Argument for voting No:
Reference: Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act; Bill H.R.624 ; vote number 13-HV117 on Apr 18, 2013

Voted NO on terminating funding for National Public Radio.

    Congressional Summary: To prohibit Federal funding of National Public Radio and the use of Federal funds to acquire radio content, including:
  1. broadcasting, transmitting, and programming over noncommercial educational radio broadcast Corporation for Public Broadcasting was created in 1967. Today, we have multiple listening choices; NPR [has become an] absurd anachronism. It is time to move forward and to let National Public Radio spread its wings and support itself.

    Opponent's Argument for voting No:
    [Rep. Waxman, D-CA]: This bill will cripple National Public Radio, public radio stations, and programming that is vital to over 27 million Americans. We are now voting to deny the public access to one of our Nation's most credible sources of news coverage. This bill does not save a penny. This legislation does not serve any fiscal purpose, but it does serve an ugly ideological one. This legislation is not about reforming NPR. It is about punishing NPR. It is vindictive, it is mean-spirited, it is going to hit the smallest stations in rural areas particularly hard. Public radio is indispensable for access to news that's hard to get, especially where broadband service is limited.

    Reference: Prohibit Federal Funds for NPR; Bill H.1076 ; vote number 11-HV192 on Mar 17, 2011

    Sponsored investing $1 billion in transportation projects.

    Cicilline co-sponsored TIGER Grants Act

    Congressional Summary: TIGER Grants for Job Creation Act: Congress finds the following:

    1. The economy is struggling to recover from the recession. The unemployment rate is nearly 8%.
    2. The American Society of Civil Engineers' 2009 Report Card for America's Infrastructure estimated that there is a $549 billion shortfall in investments in roads and bridges and an additional $190 billion shortfall in investments in transit.
    3. TIGER, formally known as the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant program, is a nationwide competitive grant program that creates jobs by funding investments in transportation infrastructure.
    An additional amount for National Infrastructure Investments of $1 billion shall become available, and shall be exempt from any sequestration.

    Opponent's argument against bill:(The Reason Foundation, July 6, 2012):

    The US Constitution authorizes Congress "to regulate Commerce...among the several States." However, the five non-motorized transportation projects, the six transit projects and the six multimodal projects TIGER Grants have funded serve no national need. Some of the port, passenger rai

    Source: H.R.1124 13-H1124 on Mar 13, 2013

    Apply copyright inheritance to same-sex couples.

    Cicilline co-sponsored H.R.238 & S.23

    Congressional Summary: Revises the definition of "widow" concerning the transfer of a copyright to an author's spouse following the author's death. Declares that an individual is the widow of an author if they were legally married at the time of the author's death, even if they could not marry in their home state. (Currently, only the author's surviving spouse under the law of the author's domicile at the time of death is considered a widow.)

    Supporters reasons for voting YEA: (by Human Rights Campaign, hrc.org): This bill would fix wording in the Copyright Act that currently prevents some same-sex couples from receiving inheritance rights. Because of restrictions in current law, some agencies--including the Copyright Office and the Social Security Administration--do not recognize same-sex couples living in states without same-sex marriage equality.

    Background: (Wikipedia.com on "U.S. v. Windsor"): Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer, a same-sex couple residing in New York, were lawfully married in Canada, in 2007. Spyer died in 2009, leaving her entire estate to Windsor. Windsor sought to claim the federal estate tax exemption for surviving spouses. She was barred from doing so because the IRS said the exemption only applies to heterosexual couples under the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and compelled her to pay $363,053 in estate taxes. The Supreme Court rules 5-4 to overturn DOMA as unconstitutional. [This bill applies that Supreme Court ruling to copyright law].

    Opponents reasons for voting NAY: (PopVox blog postings on H.R.238 & S.23):

    Source: Copyright and Marriage Equality Act 15_H238 on Jan 9, 2015

    Let NSF decide research grants, not Congress.

    Cicilline voted NAY Scientific Research in the National Interest Act

    Congressional Summary: Scientific Research in the National Interest Act: This bill directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to award federal funding for basic research and education in the sciences only if the grant promotes the progress of science in the United States, is worthy of federal funding, and is in the national interest.

    Support on GovTrack.us: Lead sponsor Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX-21)--chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee--noted the millions of dollars the NSF has doled out for purposes he considers less than worthwhile. In particular, he cited a few examples he considered particularly egregious, including:

    Opposition on GovTrack.us: The Science Committee's ranking member, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30) called the bill anti-science. She wrote, "Most Members of Congress lack the relevant expertise to fairly evaluate the merits of any particular grant. If we do not trust the Nation's scientific experts to make that judgement, then who are we to trust?" Johnson also noted that the NSF already has a rigorous review process, only funding about 1/5 of grant proposals.

    White House Opposition: Contrary to its stated purpose, [HR.3293] would add nothing to accountability in Federal funding for scientific research, while needlessly adding to bureaucratic burdens and overhead at the NSF. It would replace the clarity of the [current rules implemented in] 1950, with confusing language that could cast a shadow over the value of basic research.

    Legislative outcome: Passed House 236-178-26 (roll call 70, CR H684) on 2/11/16; bill died in Senate committee. The White House had threatened to veto the bill if it passed the Senate.

    Source: Congressional vote 16-HR3293 on Jul 29, 2015

    Sponsored bill for net neutrality for open internet.

    Cicilline voted YEA Save the Internet Act

    Summary by Vox.com: The US House of Representatives just†passed a bill to bring Obama-era net neutrality rules back to the internet. This time, they want to make these regulations law so the Federal Communications Commission canít overturn them easily. President Trump has said he will veto the bill should it make it to his desk. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the bill "dead on arrival in the Senate".

    Statement in support by Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA-16): "The internet has a profound impact on America's economy and the social fabric of our nation. It is an important tool to connect individuals to each other and businesses with consumers, said Costa. "Ensuring a free and open internet, with equal access to all, is essential if we are to preserve the American dream."

    Statement in opposition by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC-8): "If this legislation became law, the Internet would be slower, more expensive, less free and controlled by Washington," said Rep. Hudson. "This would hurt our rural communities the most. I'll continue to work to keep the Internet free from government intervention and open."

    Statement in opposition by Rep. Don Bacon (R-NC-8): "Previous regulations led to additional expenses for 80% of providers in rural areas leading to delayed or reduced network expansion and services," said Rep. Bacon. "This bill would also lay the groundwork for the government for eventually taxing the internet." The internet is now operating under the same regulations that governed, and facilitated its expansive growth, from the mid 1990's until 2015. Some Democrats predicted that the return of those regulations would lead to limited access of the internet. None of those scenarios came true.

    Legislative outcome: Bill passed House 232-190-10 on April 10, 2019, rollcall #167. [The 116th Congress terminated with no Senate action on this bill].

    Source: Congressional vote 19-HR1644 on Mar 8, 2019

    2021-22 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Technology: David Cicilline on other issues:
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    Page last updated: Jan 23, 2022