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The Week Ahead: Trump delivers budget; senators interview FTC nominees

Budget matters

President Donald Trump is set to send his fiscal 2019 budget to Congress on Feb. 12, just three days after he signed a government funding bill that lifted the debt limit for a full year and added $400 billion in new spending. With various groups estimating the new budget deal stands to push the deficit over $1 trillion in the coming years, the White House is hoping to use Trump's 2019 budget to rein in spending somewhat, according to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. Speaking during a Feb. 11 interview on "Fox News Sunday," Mulvaney said the Office of Management and Budget has updated its 2018 budget along with working on Trump's 2019 spending plan.

"What we're doing is ... saying, look, you don't have to spend all of this money. These are spending caps. They're not spending floors. So, you don't have to spend all that. So, we are going to show how you can run the government without spending all of that," he said, adding that Trump's "budget does bend the trajectory down" on the deficit.

For 2018, the Office of Management and Budget encouraged agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission, to cut spending below the prior fiscal year by 5% or more. As such, the FCC requested a budget with a 5.2% reduction from fiscal 2017. While some of the reduced spending was set to be accomplished by closing an off-site warehouse and reducing the number of on-site printers and copy machines, much of the savings was set to come from a reduction in employees. The budget envisioned the FCC keeping 1,448 full-time equivalent employees, a figure that Democrat Commissioner Mignon Clyburn noted was a historic low, representing "the fewest number of FTEs in more than 30 years."

Now, based on Mulvaney's remarks, it is possible, if not likely, that further reductions will be pushed.

All five FCC commissioners will get a chance to talk about the agency's budget and operations during a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. The subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., plans to hold a hearing Feb. 16 titled "Federal Communications Commission: Budget and Oversight." Representatives will be looking to get an update from the commission on its priorities for the coming year, including broadband deployment, the future of 5G wireless technology, FCC reauthorization legislation and more.

"Next week's hearing builds on this subcommittee's ongoing oversight efforts and our commitment to a transparent, accountable FCC," Blackburn said in a statement.

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Congress:
Feb. 13 The Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing on the president's fiscal year 2019 budget at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Feb. 14 The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation will convene a hearing at 10 a.m. ET to consider the president's nominees to serve as Federal Trade Commissioners.
Feb. 14 - 15 The Senate Committee on Finance will hold a series of hearings on the president's fiscal year 2019 budget.
Feb. 15 The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry will hold a hearing at 9:30 a.m. ET titled "State of the CFTC: Examining Pending Rules, Cryptocurrency Regulation, and Cross-Border Agreements." The chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, J. Christopher Giancarlo, will testify.
Feb. 16 The House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing at 9 a.m. ET entitled "Federal Communications Commission: Budget and Oversight." All five FCC commissioners will testify on their priorities for the coming year, including broadband deployment, the future of 5G and FCC reauthorization legislation.
FCC events
Feb. 13 FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly will join AT&T Inc. Chief Regulatory and State External Affairs Officer Joan Marsh for an in-depth discussion of 3.5 GHz technology and policy issues.
Industry events
Feb. 11 - 14 The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners will host its Winter Policy Summit featuring committee meetings and general sessions with policy updates related to utility regulation.
Feb. 12 The American Enterprise Institute will host an event titled "Cryptocurrencies and blockchain: Techno-gold or fool's gold?"
Feb. 12 The Congressional Internet Caucus Academy will host a discussion titled "What's Next For Net Neutrality?" The talk will cover developments on the state level, the prospects for litigation and possibilities on Capitol Hill.
Feb. 12 - 13 The National Cable Television Cooperative will host its Winter Educational Conference featuring educational forums, technology exhibits and presentations from various cable executives.
Feb. 13 The Federal Communications Bar Association will host a lunch event titled "Mass Media and Video Programming and Distribution Committees Brown Bag Lunch."
Feb. 13 The Center for Strategic & International Studies will host an event titled "Winning the Frontier: U.S.-Japan Cooperation on Global Standards for Emerging Technologies, from AI to 5G."
Feb. 15 The NG911 Institute will host its 911 Annual Technology Showcase focused on the next generation of 911 services.
Feb. 15 Verizon Communications Inc. will host an event titled "United States v. Carpenter: Implications on Technology and Privacy." The case centers on whether there is a reasonable expectation of privacy for cell site location information shared with a cellular provider and, in turn, whether law enforcement must obtain such data with a warrant based on the probable cause standard.
Feb. 15

The American Constitution Society and the Center for Democracy and Technology will host an event titled "The Microsoft-Ireland Case: Do U.S. Warrants Work In Foreign Lands?"

Feb. 15

Next Century Cities will host a briefing titled "The Importance of Local Voices in Broadband Decisions."

Feb. 15

The Federal Communications Bar Association will host an event titled "Robocalling – What's Next on The TCPA Front at The FCC And Beyond."

Cybersecurity events:
Feb. 14 The Brookings Institution will host an event titled "The federal Cybersecurity Framework four years later: What's next for cybersecurity?" The event will look at the National Institute of Standards and Technology's "Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity," which was designed to combat cybersecurity risks against critical infrastructure.
Feb. 15 American Enterprise Institute will host an event titled "Securing the Internet of Things: A conversation with Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA)." The event will focus on the Cyber Shield Act and efforts to improve the cybersecurity of devices.
Company events:
Feb. 13 Apple Inc. will hold its annual shareholder meeting.
Feb. 14 Interpublic Group of Cos. Inc., CenturyLink Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. will report their earnings results.
Feb. 15 Omnicom Group Inc. and CBS Corp. will report their earnings results.

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