|Senate Passes Tax Bill With Broadband
5/15. The Senate passed
Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. More specifically, the
Senate incorporated S 1054 into
the House version of the bill, as an amendment, and then passed HR 2.
The vote on final passage was 51-49.
The House passed its version of HR 2 on May 9 by a vote of 222-203. See,
Roll Call No. 182.
While the main features of the Senate bill are not related to information technology, some
provisions of the bill as passed are technology related. For example, the Senate
added an amendment that provides for the expensing of certain broadband
expenditures. The bill also includes a one year extension of the enhanced
deduction for corporate contributions of computer equipment for educational
purposes. The bill would also revise the property subject to Section 179
expensing to include certain software.
Broadband Expensing. On May 15 the Senate approved by unanimous
consent, Amendment 593. Sen. Conrad Burns
(R-MT), Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
and others offered this amendment on May 14. This amendment would amend the
Internal Revenue Code to allow the expensing of certain broadband internet
This amendment is very similar to the stand alone bill,
S 160, introduced on
January 14, 2003, by Sen. Burns and others. S 160, in turn, built upon
legislation offered in the 107th Congress by Sen. Rockefeller and others --
S 88 (107th)
and HR 267
(107th). See, story titled "Sen. Burns and Sen. Baucus Introduce Broadband
Expensing Bill" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 587, January 21, 2003.
The text of the Amendment 593 is published in the Congressional Record,
May 14, 2003, at pages S6324-6.
Burns (at right) stated in the Senate that this amendment "provides some incentives to
accelerate the deployment of broadband high-speed Internet access across the
country. ... What this amendment does is affords tax incentives for the buildout
of broadband. Although many urban and suburban areas now have access to
broadband connections, many rural areas across the country and, of course, in
Montana do not."
He explained that "Our amendment would create a temporary tax incentive for
providers in the form of expensing, allowing an immediate deduction of a capital
expenditure in the first year of service rather than depreciating that
investment over time. In the case of the current generation broadband
investments in rural and underserved areas, the bill would allow a 50 percent
expensing on the investment, with the rest to be depreciated according to the
normal depreciation schedules. And where the providers build out next generation
broadband networks, which are typically more expensive, the bill would provide
for 100 percent expensing in that year." See, Congressional Record, May
14, 2003, at pages S6198-9.
Sen. Rockefeller stated that "What the Burns Rockefeller broadband amendment
does is it says to broadband providers, if you will extend your networks to
hard-to-reach, underserved and/or rural areas, you will get a break on your
taxes. As the distinguished Senator from Montana indicated, it also encourages a
leapfrog to the next generation. It has two different categories of tax breaks
depending upon what generation of broadband you are dealing with. In any event,
it is going to be faster than the DSL and cable modem services most typical
today." See, Congressional Record, May 14, 2003, at page S6199.
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) also spoke
in support of the amendment. He said that "One of our greatest challenges is to
close this growing economic gap in access to computers and the Internet. If we
do not act to close it now, the ``digital divide´´ will soon become an
unacceptable opportunity gap. The broadband tax incentive is an important step
in developing a national broadband policy." See, Congressional Record,
May 14, 2003, at pages S6198-9.
Deductions for Contributions of Computer Equipment. The Senate also agreed to Amendment 644, as modified, by unanimous consent.
The amendment would extend through through December 31, 2004, several provisions
that are scheduled to expire on December 31, 2003. One of these provisions
provides an enhanced deduction for corporate contributions of computer equipment
for educational purposes.
Expensing Off the Shelf Software. The House version of HR 2 contains a
Section 202, titled "Increased Expensing for Small Business". It would amend
Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code, which is codified at
§ 179, and titled "Election to expense certain
depreciable business assets". HR 2 would add to the definition of "Section 179
property" several items, including certain off the shelf software.
Specifically, it would add "computer software (as defined in section
197(e)(3)(B)) which is described in section 197(e)(3)(A)(i), to which section
167 applies, and which is placed in service in a taxable year beginning after
2002 and before 2008". (Parentheses in original.)
The Senate version of the legislation contains a similar, but differently
worded, "off the shelf software" provision. See, Section 107 of Senate bill.
|Senate Passes Tax Bill with Limitation of
Deduction for Charitable Contributions of Intellectual Property
5/15. The Senate passed
Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.
More specifically, the Senate incorporated S 1054 into
the House version of the bill, as an amendment, and then passed HR 2. The
vote on final passage was 51-49.
The House passed its version of HR 2 on May 9.
The Senate passed bill, but not the House passed bill, contains a Section 364
titled "Limitation of Deduction for Charitable Contributions of Patents and
Similar Property". It would limit the amount of deductions for charitable
contributions of patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and other
It would amend Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code, which is codified at
26 U.S.C. § 170.
This section provides for the deduction of charitable contributions made within
the tax year. Subsection 170(e) provides for the
deduction of certain contributions of ordinary income and capital gain property.
This subsection, as amended by the House bill, would provide that the "amount
of any charitable contribution of property otherwise taken into account under
this section shall be reduced by the sum of ... the amount of gain which would
not have been long-term capital gain if the property contributed had been sold
by the taxpayer at its fair market value (determined at the time of such
contribution), and ... in the case of a charitable contribution ... of any
patent, copyright, trademark, trade name, trade secret, know-how, software, or
similar property, or applications or registrations of such property ... the
amount of gain which would have been long-term capital gain if the property
contributed had been sold by the taxpayer at its fair market value (determined
at the time of such contribution)." (Parentheses in original.) The new language
is in bold.
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), who
is the Chairman of the Senate Finance
Committee and the sponsor of S 1054, discussed this provision with
Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) during
Senate debate. Congressional Record, at pages S6456-7.
Santorum stated that ""This section would limit the deduction
for charitable contributions of patents and similar properties. It is my
understanding that this provision would include a limitation on tax deductions
for donation of the following items: any
patent, copyright, trademark, trade name, trade secret, know-how,
software, or similar property, or applications or registrations of such
property. The effective date of this limitation would apply to contributions
made after May 7, 2003."
He continued that "I have a specific concern about this provision. I
understand the intent behind this change is to eliminate abuses
associated with deductions claimed under IRC 170(e)(1)(B). What has resulted,
however, is the unintended consequence of capturing legitimate and pending
contributions that were in the process of being formalized, but not enacted by
the effective date." He referenced two pending transactions in the state of
Sen. Grassley stated that "We have
learned that there is widespread abuse involving donations of patents and
similar property. We made this provision effective May 7, 2003, so that abusive
donations could not be rushed to completion if a later effective date was
|Senate Rejects Amendment to Make R&D Tax
5/15. The Senate passed
S 1054, Jobs and
Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.
More specifically, the Senate incorporated S 1054 into
HR 2, the House version
of the bill, as an amendment, and then passed HR 2. The vote on final passage
was 51-49. During its consideration of the bill, the Senate rejected an
amendment offered by Sen. Maria Cantwell
(D-WA) that would have further extended the research and development tax credit.
The House passed its version of HR 2 on May 9, without any provision
extending the R&D tax credit.
Amendment 577, offered by Sen. Cantwell and others, would have amended
Section 41 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the research
credit, to increase the rates of the alternative incremental credit, and to
provide an alternative simplified credit for qualified research expenses.
This amendment is very similar to a stand alone bill,
S 664, which
was introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch
(R-UT) and others on March 19, 2003. Sen.
Hatch has long been one of the leading proponents in the Senate for making the
R&D tax credit permanent.
This amendment was defeated when the Senate rejected a motion to waive the
budget point of order against the Cantwell amendment by a vote of 49-50. See,
Roll Call No. 154. This motion would have required a 3/5 majority to pass.
It was a nearly straight party line vote. Democrats supported the amendment.
Republicans opposed it. Sen. Zell Miller
(D-GA) voted with the Republicans. Sen.
Hatch voted for the amendment.
Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO) did not vote.
Sen. Cantwell stated that "First, it
will extend the research credit through
June 30, 2014, which is the end of this reconciliation period. Second, it will
increase the rates of the alternative incremental credit; and third, it will
create a new alternative simplified credit for qualified research expenses."
She added that "The major investments in nano-technology and biotechnology,
in software, and
in the computer sciences take several years of investments. So what we are
talking about is giving businesses the predictability they want to see in
research and development so they can move ahead." See, Congressional
Record, May 14, 2003, at page S6191.
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), the ranking
Democrat on the Senate Finance
Committee, stated that "the R&D tax credit
has been an issue before us for quite some time,
almost as long as I can remember since I have been in the Senate. The basic
questions are, Should we extend the R&D tax credit and, second, should we make
it permanent? Much too often the Congress has decided, yes, to extend the
credit, which I agree with, but not to make it permanent. For the life of me, I
cannot understand why we have not made this credit permanent."
He added that "Making the R&D tax credit permanent will give U.S.
in the technology sector, the confidence that those companies can invest in
research and development and not have to keep guessing whether Congress is going
to extend or not extend this tax credit." See, Congressional
Record, May 14, 2003, at page 6192.
(at right) stated that "this is another example where I must rise in
opposition to an amendment, but not because of the good intent or because I have
a disagreement with the amendment, but because of how it is accomplished. And
most of that is on the side of where they take the money to pay for the proposal
in this amendment, or any other amendment that we have had before us. I am very
confident that we will extend the R&D credit this year. I call the attention of
my colleagues to the fact that the President has proposed extending it in his
budget. I note that the extension is paid for in this amendment by eliminating
partial exclusion of dividends, and this exclusion of dividends is meant to
encourage the investment we are talking about here."
He added that "While the purpose of the R&D credit is very important,
as it encourages
higher levels of technology development and innovation which brings about
greater productivity, it does not help small businesses that will provide so
many new jobs for the economy under our underlying legislation."
Sen. Grassley concluded that "Right now, I have to consider this
amendment counterproductive in that it
slashes job-creating provisions to give generous tax breaks to large
corporations to do research and development. Many may ask: Why do rich
corporations need a tax break to do something that is essential to their
business anyway? As I indicated, I do support the R&D tax credit, but I also
support, more importantly and more eminently, the provisions of this bill which
are more broad based in helping to create jobs and doing it in a balanced way,
not in the targeted way of this amendment. There is nothing wrong with the
amendment. It is just the wrong time and wrong place." See, Congressional
Record, May 14, 2003, at pages S6193-4.
|House Committee Holds Hearing on Class
Action Reform Bill
5/15. The House Judiciary
Committee held a hearing on
the Class Action Fairness Act of 2003. This bill would, among other things,
amend 28 U.S.C. § 1332,
regarding diversity of citizenship. It would provide federal jurisdiction in
certain class actions with a minimum total of aggregated claims where any member
of a class of plaintiffs is a citizen of a state different from any defendant.
The bill would also require increased judicial scrutiny of class action
settlements that provide for coupon and other non-cash settlement payments to
plaintiffs. It would also prohibit geographic discrimination in awards to
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA),
Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) and others
introduced this bill on March 6, 2003. It is a re-introduction of
(107th), which passed in the House by a vote of 233-190. See, story titled
"Reps. Goodlatte and Boucher Re-Introduce Class Action Fairness Act" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 619, March 10, 2003.
Rep. Goodlatte (at
right) stated that "This bill will help end the forum shopping abuses and
resultant extortionate settlements that plague class action litigation today ...
Real plaintiffs with real grievances will be assured that settlements which give
the lawyers millions and coupons to their clients will be stopped.”
Viet Dinh, Assistant Attorney General for the
Office of Legal Policy, stated
in his prepared
testimony, that the Department of
Justice supports the bill. He stated that
"Class action abuses, however, have taken a toll on our legal system. All too
often, class actions represent a lawyer’s rush to the courthouse in order to
select the most favorable State forum before duplicative actions purporting to
represent the same victims with the same claims are filed in other States. In
essence, it becomes a race to the courthouse for the attorneys to see who among
them can file and then settle his or her case the fastest and thereby collect
attorney’s fees. The losers in this race are the victims who often gain little
or nothing through the settlement, yet are bound by it in perpetuity."
See also, prepared testimony of other witnesses: Lawrence Mirel
(District of Columbia Department of Insurance and Securities Regulation),
(O'Melveny & Myers), and
(Public Citizen Litigation Group).
NPRM Regarding Long Distance
5/15. The Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) announced, but did not release, a Further
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) regarding the regulatory framework for
local phone companies offering long distance service.
The FCC issued a
press release [3 pages in PDF] describing this FNPRM. It states that this
item "seeks comment on the regulatory classification of Bell Operating Companies
(BOCs) and independent local exchange carriers (LECs), if and when these
carriers provide in-region, interstate and international, interexchange services
outside of a separate affiliate."
The FCC further stated that "Once a BOC is authorized under
section 271 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (1996 Act) to provide
in-region, long distance service, it is subject to statutory separate affiliate
requirements designed to address potential discrimination and cost
misallocation. These section 272 separate affiliate requirements sunset in each
state, as prescribed by the 1996 Act, three years after a BOC gains permission
to provide long distance in an in-region state, unless extended by the FCC."
This FCC release states that this FNPRM asks for public comments regarding
"Whether there is a continued need for dominant carrier regulation of BOCs'
in-region long distance service after sunset of the section 272 separate
affiliate requirements", "With respect to independent LECs, whether or not they
should be classified as non-dominant or dominant in the provision of in-region
long distance service if the FCC modifies or eliminates the separate affiliate
requirements currently imposed on independent LECs", and "Whether there are
alternative regulatory approaches – besides dominant carrier regulation -- to
address any potential anticompetitive behavior."
Michael Copps and
Jonathan Adelstein released a
statement [PDF]. The wrote that "Last December, the Commission decided
to allow the separate affiliate requirements in section 272 to sunset in New
York. This was done without, we believed, the detailed requisite market analysis
and over the objections of our state colleagues. By revisiting these issues now
in this proceeding, the Commission has an opportunity to get them right."
This is CC Docket No. 00-175 and WC Docket No. 02-112. For more information, contact
Robert Tanner or Pam Megna at firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com or 202-418-1580.
|FCC Sets Deadlines for Comments on News
Corp.'s DirecTV Deal
5/16. The Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) announced deadlines for comments in its proceeding regarding News
Corporations' proposed acquisition of an interest in DirecTV. Comments are due
by June 16. Reply comments are due by July 1, 2003.
On April 9, 2003 General Motors (GM) and
Hughes Electronics announced
that "GM intends to split off Hughes, and simultaneously sell GM's 19.9 percent
economic interest in Hughes to News Corp. ... for $14 per share, or
approximately $3.8 billion." See, Hughes
release. Direct broadcast satellite service (DBS) provider
DirecTV is a unit of Hughes. See, story
titled "GM, Hughes and News Corps Announce Directv
Deal" in TLJ
Daily E-Mail Alert No. 643, April 14, 2003.
On May 2, 2003, GM, Hughes and News Corp. submitted an application to the FCC
requesting approval of the transfer of licenses associated with the transaction.
The proceeding is in the nature of an antitrust merger review.
The FCC stated in its
notice [7 pages in PDF] that "If
approved, the proposed transaction will permit News Corp. to hold the single
largest block of shares in Hughes, thus providing News Corp. with a
de facto controlling interest over Hughes and its
subsidiaries, including DIRECTV Holdings, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Hughes which provides DBS service in the United States, as well as Hughes
Network Services, Inc., a facilities-based provider of very small aperture
terminal (``VSAT´´) network systems, and PanAmSat Corporation, a
global facilities-based provider of geostationary-satellite orbit fixed
The FCC added that "Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive officer of
News Corp., will become chairman of Hughes,
and Chase Carey, News Corp.'s former co-chief operating officer, will become
president and chief executive officer of Hughes."
The FCC notice also states that "The Applicants claim that approval of the proposed
transaction will create direct and tangible public interest benefits without
producing any public interest harms in any relevant market. ... Specific claimed
benefits include ... aggressively to ensure that broadband services are
available to as many American consumers as possible".
On May 8, 2003, Rupert Murdoch testified before the
House Judiciary Committee.
He argued that there are neither horizontal nor vertical merger concerns
associated with the proposed transaction. He also said in his
that "News Corp. will work aggressively to build on the services already
provided by Hughes to make broadband available throughout the U.S., particularly
in rural areas." See, story titled "Murdoch Defends News Corp.'s DirecTV
Deal" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 659, May 12, 2003.
The FCC also stated that "Because this proceeding involves broad
public policy issues, the proceeding will be treated as ``permit but disclose´´
for purposes of the Commission's ex parte rules. See generally 47
C.F.R. §§ 1.1200-1.1216."
This is MB Docket No. 03-124. For more information, contact Marcia Glauberman at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 202 418-7046 or Linda
Senecal at email@example.com or 202 418-7044.
5/16. The Bureau of Industry and Security
(aka Bureau of Export Administration) published a
notice in the Federal Register requesting public comments on its proposal
titled "Best Practices for Exporters/Re-exporters and Trade Facilitation/Freight
Forwarding Companies Regarding the Transit, Transshipment, and Reexport of
Dual-Use Items". These "best practices" are recited in the notice. The deadline
to submit comments is June 16, 2003. For more information, contact Rick Cupitt
at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202 482-1459.
See, Federal Register, May 16, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 95, at Pages 26567 - 26569.
5/16. The National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST) published a
notice in the Federal Register announcing, and requesting public comments
document [12 pages in PDF] titled "Draft Federal Information Processing
Standard (FIPS) 199 on Standards for Security Categorization of Federal
Information and Information Systems". The NIST states that this document
"defines requirements to be used by Federal agencies to categorize information
and information systems, and to provide appropriate levels of information
security according to a range of risk levels. This draft standard establishes
three potential levels of risk (low, moderate, and high) for each of the
security objectives of confidentiality, integrity, and availability. The levels
of risk are based on what is known about the potential impact or harm. Harmful
events can impact agency operations (including mission, functions, image or
reputation), agency assets, or individuals (including privacy). The levels of
risk consider both impact and threat, but are more heavily weighted toward
impact." The deadline for comments is August 14, 2003. For more information,
contact Ron Ross at 301 975-5390 or
email@example.com. See, Federal Register, May 16, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 95, at
Pages 26573 - 26574.
5/14. The House Science Committee
(HSC) held a hearing on cyber security research and development. See, prepared
testimony of Arden
Bement, Director of the National Institute
of Standards and Technology (NIST);
McQuery, Under Secretary for Science and Technology at the Department of
testimony of Rita
Colwell, Director of the National Science Foundation
(NSF); and prepared
testimony of Anthony Tether,
Director of the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency (DARPA). See also,
charter and HSC
5/16. Representatives of the Department of
Justice (DOJ), Federal
Trade Commission (FTC), U.S. Postal Service (USPS), and other government
agencies hosted an event in Washington DC to tout recent enforcement actions
related to internet fraud. The DOJ issued a
indictments, complaints, and criminal informations, most of which have been
returned or filed since January of 2003. However, some of these actions date
back several years. Several were previously reported in the TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert. "High-tech scam artists who think they can hijack the Internet should
think again," said Michael
Chertoff, Assistant Attorney General. See, DOJ
Chertoff's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals (3rdCir) is currently being
considered by the Senate. Also, on May 15, the FTC and other government agencies
hosted an event in Dallas, Texas, to tout recent enforcement actions related to
unsolicited bulk e-mail. See,
|Senate to Take Up Defense Authorization Bill
5/19. The Senate Armed
Services Committee (SASC) completed its markup of the defense authorization
bill on May 9. On May 13, Sen. John Warner
(R-VA), the Chairman of the SASC, introduced
S 1050, the
"National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004", which reflects the
Committee markup. The full Senate is scheduled to begin consideration of the
bill on May 19. This is a huge bill. Many provisions are information technology
The bill authorizes the appropriation of $10.7 Billion for science and
technology projects, provides for network centric wireless communications
R&D, revises spectrum management, provides for Department
of Defense (DOD) use of private sector IT services, amends the Clinger Cohen Act
regarding DOD procurement of IT equipment, creates a program to monitor and
analyze the research activities and capabilities of foreign nations, and
provides for education in math, science, engineering, technology, and
See also, Sen. Warner's
summary of the bill, and
Report No. 108-046.
$10.7 Billion Authorized for Science & Tech. Section 202 of the
Senate bill authorizes
the appropriation of $10,705,561,000 for "science and technology projects".
Network Centric Wireless Communications R&D. Section 234 provides that
"The Secretary of Defense shall carry out a program of research and development
to promote greater bandwidth capability with high-speed network-centric
communications". In particular, "the Secretary shall ... identify areas of
advanced wireless communications in which research and development, or the
leveraging of emerging technologies, has significant potential to improve the
performance, efficiency, cost, and flexibility of advanced network-centric
It further provides that the Secretary shall "develop a coordinated plan for
research and development on (i) improved spectrum access through
spectrum-efficient network-centric communications systems; (ii) networks,
including complex ad hoc adaptive network structures; (iii) end user devices,
including efficient receivers and transmitter devices; (iv) applications,
including robust security and encryption ..."
Spectrum Management. Section 803 provides that "Not later than one
year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall
revise and reissue Department of Defense Directive 4650.1, relating to
management and use of the radio frequency spectrum, last issued on June 24,
1987, to update the procedures applicable to Department of Defense management
and use of the radio frequency spectrum." See,
Defense Directive 4650.1 [PDF].
This section would also require "that each military department or Defense
Agency carrying out a program for the acquisition of a system that is to use the
radio frequency spectrum consult with the official or board" to be designated by
the Secretary of Defense.
DOD Use of Private Sector IT Services. Section 812 authorizes, but
does not require, the Secretary of Defense to "carry out a pilot program for use
of a best value criterion in the selection of sources for performance of
information technology services for the Department of Defense".
This section further provides, subject to certain exceptions, that "Under the
pilot program ... the Secretary shall procure information technology services
necessary for or beneficial to the accomplishment of the authorized functions of
the Department of Defense ... from a source in the private sector if performance
by that source represents the best value to the United States ..."
DOD Procurement of IT Equipment. Section 822 provides that "The
Secretary of Defense shall establish a board of senior acquisition officials to
administer the implementation of the policies and requirements of chapter 113 of
title 40 in procurements of information technology equipment determined by the
Secretary as being an integral part of a weapon or a weapon system".
Moreover, this section provides that this board shall ensure that "issues of
spectrum availability, interoperability, and information security are
appropriately addressed in the development of weapons and weapon systems".
Monitoring Research of Other Nations. Section 231 is titled "Global
Research Watch program in the Office of the Director of Defense Research and
Engineering". This section creates a "Global Research Watch", the goal of which
is to "monitor and analyze the basic and applied research activities and
capabilities of foreign nations in areas of military interest, including allies
and competitors". It would also "establish and maintain an electronic database
on international research capabilities, comparative assessments of capabilities,
cooperative research opportunities, and ongoing cooperative programs".
This section further provides that "Information in electronic databases of
the Global Research Watch program shall be maintained in unclassified form and,
as determined necessary by the Director, in classified form in such databases".
SMET/IT Education. Section 233 authorizes the Secretary of Defense to
"support educational programs in science, mathematics, engineering, and
technology", by, among other things, entering into contracts, making "grants of
financial assistance", and providing "cash awards".
Section 533 makes certain enlisted personnel eligible for "a program of
education in information assurance as a participant in the Information Security
Sen. Warner also stated in his summary of the bill that it authorizes "$7.0
million for information assurance technologies, including a $3 million increase
for the Information Assurance Scholarship Program which trains the next
generation of information assurance professionals to defeat the increasing
threat of cyber-terrorism."
More Tech Provisions. Section 361 provides that "The Secretary of
Defense may sell working-capital funded services of the Defense Information
Systems Agency to a person outside the Department of Defense for use by that
person in the performance of the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet contract."
Section 232 provides for a biennial strategic plan by the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Section 911 provides that "The Under Secretary of the Air Force, in
consultation with the Director of Defense Research and Engineering, shall
develop a space science and technology strategy and shall review and, as
appropriate, revise the strategy annually."
The bill also added $60.0 Million to the administration's request for the
Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) communications satellite. The DOD
website describes this as
"next generation highly secure, high capacity communications satellites and
ground command and control system as a follow-on capability to DoD’s current
Milstar communications satellite program."
The bill also added $80.0 Million to the administration's request to accelerate
the Global Positioning System III (GPS III) next generation navigational satellite.
|House to Take Up Defense Authorization
5/19. The House Armed Services
Commitee (HASC) completed its markup of
its version of the defense authorization bill, on May 14. The House is
scheduled to take up this bill beginning on Wednesday, May 21. This is a huge
bill with many technology related provisions.
This bill is sponsored by Rep. Duncan
Hunter (D-CA), the Chairman of the HASC. The HASC approved this bill by a
vote of 58-2. See also,
HASC summary of HR 1588 and Report No. 108-106.
Section 202 of the House bill provides that "$10,893,077,000 shall be
available for the Defense Science and Technology Program", which is slightly
more than the Senate proposal.
The HASC summary states that "Defense science and technology programs are
critical to maintaining U.S. military technological superiority in the face of
evolving threats to U.S. national security interests around the world. However,
the Administration’s budget request for science and technology of 2.7 percent of
the total DOD budget does not meet the goal of three percent established by the
2001 Quadrennial Defense Review. In addition, the committee is concerned that
the military services’ science and technology budget requests are not sufficient
to meet their transformation goals. As such, the committee recommends $10.9
billion ($662 million more than the Administration’s request) for the DOD
science and technology program, including $2 billion for the Army, $1 billion
for the Navy, $2.3 billion for the Air Force, and $4.7 billion for Defense
Agency science and technology (including $2.9 billion for DARPA, the Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency)." (Parentheses in original.)
The House bill, like the Senate bill, adds $60 Million to the President's
request for the AEHF system. The HASC summary states that "The Advanced
Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military satellite communication system (MILSATCOM),
provides secure, global communications to support U.S. and allied forces on the
land or sea, and in the air. It also connects strategic activities such as
nuclear operations, theater missile defense, space operations, and intelligence.
The committee recommends $838.1 ($60 million more than the Administration’s
request) for AEHF." (Parentheses in original.)
The HASC summary also states that "The Advanced Wideband System is a
high-capacity tactical communications system that, once developed, is intended
to provide greatly enhanced communications for the warfighter. However, much of
the system is not mature, and the final transformational communications
architecture has yet to be determined. Slightly less funding will allow
technology maturation and risk reduction, while freeing resources for urgently
needed nearer term systems, such as the Advanced EHF MILSATCOM. Therefore, the
committee recommends $359.3 million ($80 million less than the Administration's
request to better pace program growth) for the Advanced Wideband System."
The House bill, at Section 1429, authorizes telecommuting at federal
Like the Senate bill, the House bill allows certain enlisted members to
receive instruction in the information security scholarship program at the Naval
The House bill, at Section 331, provides that the "Chief Information Officer
of the Department of Defense and the Chief Information Officer of a military
department shall ... encourage the use of performance-based and results-based
|Monday, May 19
The House will meet at 12:30 PM for morning hour and at 2:00 PM for
legislative business. It will consider several non tech related items under
suspension of the rules. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 PM. See,
Republican Whip Notice.
The Senate will meet at 2:00 PM for morning hour. At 2:30 PM it will begin
the Defense Department Authorization bill. At 5:00 PM it will vote on the
nomination of Maurice Hicks to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court (WDLa).
The Supreme Court will return from a recess that it began on Monday, May.
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM. The Federal
Communications Commisssion's (FCC)
Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) will host a public workshop on
cognitive radio technologies. See,
and agenda [PDF]. This event will be webcast. For more information,
contact Michael Marcus at 202 418-2418 or
mike.marcus @fcc.gov or Jim Schlichting at 202 418-1547 or
Location: FCC, Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th Street, SW.
|Tuesday, May 20
The House will meet at 9:00 AM for morning hour and at 10:00 AM for
legislative business. It will consider several non tech related items under
suspension of the rules.
9:00 AM. Chris
Israel, of the Commerce Department's
Technology Administration, will speak at the
Young Entrepreneurs Leadership Network Conference on the significance of
technology, entrepreneurship and cooperation in a knowledge based economy.
Location: Organization of American States,
17th Street & Constitution Ave., NW.
RESCHEDULED FROM MAY 15. 2:00 PM. The
Committee will hold a hearing to examine the
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and issues presented by the re-authorization
of the expiring preemption provisions. Howard Beales, Director of the
Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Bureau of
Consumer Protection, will testify. Location: Room 538, Dirksen Building.
6:00 - 8:15 PM. The Federal Communications
(FCBA) will host a continuing legal education (CLE) program titled "What
Every Communications Practitioner Should Know About Sarbanes Oxley and
Corporate Compliance". The speakers will include Tom Hickey (Assistant
General Counsel, Nextel), Barry Summer (Assistant Director, Division of
Corporation Finance, SEC), and Andrew Hruska (Office of the Deputy Attorney
General). Location: Dow Lohnes & Albertson, 1200 New Hampshire Avenue, NW,
Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) regarding AOL Time Warner's
petition [58 pages in PDF]
requesting relief from the FCC's January 22, 2001 Memorandum Opinion and Order
(MOO) approving the merger of AOL and Time Warner, and imposing conditions upon AOL
Time Warner regarding instant messaging services. Specifically, AOL Time Warner seeks
relief from the condition restricting its ability to offer internet users streaming
video advanced Instant Messaging based high speed services (AIHS) via AOL Time
Warner broadband facilities.
Deadline to submit requests to the U.S. Patent
and Trademark Office (USPTO) to present oral testimony at it May 30 hearing
regarding its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend its regulations to
implement the Madrid Protocol Implementation Act of 2002 (MPIA). See,
notice in the Federal Register, March 28, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 60, at Pages
15119 - 15138.
|Wednesday, May 21
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. It is scheduled
to begin consideration of the defense authorization bill.
9:00 - 11:00 AM. The U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office (USPTO) and the U.S.
Copyright Office (CO) will hold a
meeting to discuss the preparation of a new text of the Hague Jurisdiction and
Enforcement of Judgments Convention. See,
notice. Location: USPTO, 2121 Crystal Drive, Crystal Park 2, Suite 902,
9:00 AM. Bruce
Mehlman, of the Commerce Department's
Technology Administration, will speak on "Tech Transfer and Opportunities
for Future Commercialization" at the COMDEX Innovation Forum on Tech Transfer.
Location: Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert Street, NW.
9:30 AM. The Senate Commerce
Committee will hold a hearing on unsolicited bulk e-mail. Press contact:
Rebecca Hanks 202 224-2670 or Andy Davis at 202 224-6654. Location: Room 253,
10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary
Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of
Hewitt Pate to be
Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice's
Antitrust Division. Press contact:
Margarita Tapia at 202 224-5225. Location: Room
226, Dirksen Building.
10:00 AM. The Senate Banking
Committee will hold a hearing titled "National Export Strategy". The
witnesses will be Donald Evans (Secretary of Commerce), Philip Merrill
(President of the Export Import Bank of the United States), Thelma Askey
(Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency), Peter Watson (President of
the Overseas Private Investment Corporation), Hector Barreto (Administrator of
the Small Business Administration). See,
Location: Room 538, Dirksen Building.
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM. The NetChoice
Coalition and The New Republic (TNR) will
host a symposium on "Spam, Privacy and E-Commerce". The scheduled
speakers are Scott Shipman (eBay), Gary
Doernhoefer (Orbitz), Michael Mayor
(direct e-mail marketer), Ramsen Betfarhad (Majority Counsel,
House Commerce Committee),
Peter Filon (Minority Counsel, House Commerce Committee), Rob Courtney (Center for Democracy and Technology), and Jeff
Rosen (TNR). For More Information, contact Mark Blafkin at 202 331-2130 x104
Location: The Hall of States, 444 North Capitol, Room 383.
10:45 AM. Chris
Israel, of the Commerce Department's
Technology Administration, will participate in a panel at the
Incubator Association Annual Conference. He will also release two reports
titled "Business Incubation: Emerging Trends for Profitability and Economic
Development in the U.S., Central Asia, and the Middle East" and "A National
Benchmarking Analysis of Technology Business Incubator Performance and
Practices." Location: Richmond Marriot, Richmond, VA.
12:00 NOON. The Federal Communications Bar
Association's (FCBA) Transactional Practice Committee will host a brown
bag lunch. The topics will include "the purposes of opinions within the
context of various transactions and typical regulatory opinion language". The
speakers will include
Quale (Skadden Arps) and James
Rogers (Latham & Watkins). RSVP to Margery
Singleton at 202 637-2200 or
margery.singleton @lw.com Location: Latham & Watkins, 555 11th Street, NW,
12:15 PM. The Federal Communications Bar
Association's (FCBA) Mass Media Practice Committee will host a brown bag
lunch titled "Getting Ready for Radio Station License Renewal". The speakers
will include Roy Stewart, Chief of the of the
Federal Communications Commission's (FCC)
Office of Broadcast Licence
Policy, and Peter Doyle, Chief of the FCC's
Audio Division. RSVP to Wendy Parish
at firstname.lastname@example.org. Location: NAB, 1771 N
St., NW, 1st Fl. Confr. Rm.
? 2:00 - 3:00 PM. The House Homeland
Security Committee's (HHSC) Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Science, and Research
& Development will hold a hearing titled "Homeland Security Science and
Technology: Preparing for the Future." The witnesses will include
McQueary, Under Secretary of the Department
of Homeland Security (DHS). The HHSC lists this hearing as scheduled for
2:00 PM, while the DHS lists it at 10:00 AM. Location: Room 2118, Rayburn Building.
6:00 - 8:00 PM. D.C. Bar Association's Intellectual Property Law Section
will host a continuing legal education (CLE) program titled "Recent
Developments in Technology Transfer with the Federal Government: Focus on
Intellectual Property". The speakers will be Paul Gottlieb (Assistant
General Counsel, Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property, Department of
Energy), Holly Svetz (Morrison & Foerster), and Richard Litman. The prices to
attend range from $70 to $90. Location: DC Bar Conference Center, 1250 H
Street NW, B-1 level.
Deadline to submit comments to the
Copyright Office (CO) in response to its
notice of proposed rules that rules would "govern SoundExchange, an
unincorporated division of the Recording Industry Association of America,
Inc., when it functions as the designated agent for the purpose of receiving
royalty payments and statements of accounts from nonexempt subscription
digital transmission services which make digital transmissions of sound
recordings under a statutory license." See, Federal Register, April 21, 2003,
Vol. 68, No. 76, at Pages 19482 - 19485.
Extended deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its
Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) [MS Word] titled "In the Matter of Second
Periodic Review of the Commission’s Rules and Policies Affecting the Conversion
To Digital Television". This is MB Docket No. 03-15, RM 9832, and MM Docket
Nos. 99-360, 00-167, and 00-168. See also,
notice in the Federal Register, February 18, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 32, at
Pages 7737-7747. And see,
notice [PDF] extending deadlines.
Deadline to submit "white papers" to the
Office of Science and Technology Policy' (OSTP) High End Computing
Revitalization Task Force (HECRTF) regarding high end computing. See,
notice in the Federal Register, May 14, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 93, at Page
|Thursday, May 22
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business.
9:30 AM. The Senate Commerce
Committee will hold yet another hearing on media ownership. Press contact:
Rebecca Hanks 202 224-2670 or Andy Davis at 202 224-6654. Location: Room 253,
10:00 AM. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on
telecommunications in Indian country. Location: Room 485, Russell Building.
2:00 PM. The Senate Judiciary
Committee will hold a hearing on several pending
judicial nominations, including Richard Wesley (Second Circuit), Ronnie Greer
(Eastern District of Tennessee), Thomas Hardiman (Western District of
Pennsylvania), Mark Kravitz (District of Connecticut), John Woodcock (District
of Maine). Press contact: Margarita Tapia at 202 224-5225. Location: Room
226, Dirksen Building.
2:30 PM. The Senate Commerce
Committee's Subcommittee on Communications will hold a hearing to examine
wireless broadband in rural areas. Location: Room 562, Dirksen Building.
|Friday, May 23
The House will meet at 9:00 AM for legislative business.
10:00 - 11:30 AM. The Federal Communications
Commission's (FCC) Media Security and Reliability Council will hold a
notice in Federal Register: November 19, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 223, at Page
69742. For more information, contact Barbara Kreisman at 202-418-1600.
Location: FCC, 445 12th St. SW Room TW-C305.
Deadline to submit to the Department of
Commerce (DOC) nominations for award of the
National Medal of Technology.
notice in the Federal Register, February 14, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 31, at
|Monday, May 26
Memorial Day. The House and Senate will be in recess for the Memorial Day District
Work Period from May 26 through May 30.
5/13. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME),
Sen. Bill Frist (R-TN), and others
introduced S 1053,
the "Genetic Nondiscrimination Act of 2003", a bill to prohibit
discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health
insurance and employment. It was referred to the
Senate Committee on Health, Education,
Labor, and Pensions.
5/13. S 1050,
the Senate version of the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year
2004", requires a report
on the potential uses of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for homeland security
missions. This version of the defense authorization bill was introduced on May
13. The Senate is scheduled to begin consideration of this bill on May 19. See,
pages in PDF], at page 9, written by the
Senate Armed Services Committee.
1588, the House version of the "National Defense Authorization Act for
Fiscal Year 2004", authorizes appropriations for the
development of facial recognition technology. The
House Armed Services Committee (HASC) approved
the bill on May 14 by a vote of 58-2. The House is scheduled to begin
consideration of this bill on May 21. See,
HASC summary of the bill.
5/16. The Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) published a
notice in the Federal Register stating that the
Prevention and Privacy Compact Council will hold a meeting on June 24-25,
2003. The topics addressed at the meeting may include the exchange of criminal
history records, fingerprint records, the "Noncriminal Justice Outsourcing
Initiatives", and "extending federal civil criminal justice applicant background
investigation to include criminal records checks of friends, relatives and
associates". Consistent with the FBI's commitment to making the policy making
activities and operations of government open and accessible to the public in a transparent
manner, the meeting will be held in
West Yellowstone, Montana, and will not be webcast. See, Federal Register,
May 16, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 95, at Pages 26649 - 26650. See also,
Yellowstone fly fishing guide.
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