|TLJ News from July 16-20, 2013|
7/19. The Department of State (DOS) and ThinkProgress published a piece by Secretary of State John Kerry titled "Getting the U.S.-China Climate Partnership Right".
7/18. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) approved by voice vote the nomination of Todd Hughes to be a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals (FedCir). See also, story titled "Obama Nominates Todd Hughes for Federal Circuit" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,522, February 8, 2013.
7/18. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) approved by voice vote the nomination of Colin Bruce to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court (CDIll). He is an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois. He is moving rapidly through the confirmation process. President Obama nominated him on May 6. The SJC held a hearing on June 19.
7/18. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) approved by voice vote the nominations of Sara Lee Ellis and Andrea Wood to be Judges of the U.S. District Court (NDIll).
7/18. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) approved by voice vote the nomination of Madeline Haikala to be a Judge of the U.S. District Court (NDAlab).
More People and Appointments
7/18. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) approved by a vote of 18-0 the nomination of James Comey to be Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The fixed term of office is ten years. The term of outgoing Director Robert Mueller ends on September 4, 2013. See, S 1103 [LOC | WW] (112th Congress), and story titled "Senate Confirms Mueller for Two More Years" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,272, July 28, 2011.See also, story titled "Obama May Nominate Comey for FBI Director" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,568, May 31, 2013. The Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) held a hearing on his nomination on July 9. See, statement of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and archived webcast.
7/18. The Senate approved the nomination of Tom Perez to be Secretary of Labor by a vote of 54-46. See, Congressional Record, July 18, 2013, at Page S5806, and Roll Call No. 178. It was a straight party line vote. All of the Senate Democrats voted yes. All of the Senate Republicans voted no. Perez was previously the Obama administration's Assistant Attorney General (AAG) in charge of the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Civil Rights Division (CRD). The acting AAG is now Jocelyn Samuels. Perez and the CRD Deputy Assistant Attorney Generals have asserted by administrative fiat authority under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to regulate web sites, a wide range new information technologies, and IT devices. However, Republican opposition to his latest appointment has not been related to this. See, story titled "Obama Picks IT Nemesis Tom Perez to Be Secretary of Labor" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 2,535, March 18, 2013.
7/18. The Senate approved the nomination of Regina McCarthy to be Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by a vote of 59-40. See, Congressional Record, July 18, 2013, at Page S5806, and Roll Call No. 180.
USTR Froman Laments Suspension of WTO ITA Talks
7/17. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR) released a statement by USTR Michael Froman regarding suspension of negotiation of an expanded Information Technology Agreement (ITA) at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The current ITA was concluded in 1996. The People's Republic of China (PRC) joined the ITA in 2001 as a condition for joining the WTO.
Froman wrote that "The United States is extremely disappointed that it became necessary today to suspend negotiations to expand the Information Technology Agreement (ITA). Unfortunately, a diverse group of Members participating in the negotiations determined that China's current position makes progress impossible at this stage. We are hopeful that China will carefully consider the concerns it heard this week from many of its negotiating partners, and revise its position in a way that will allow the prompt resumption of the negotiations."
See also, WTO release of June 4.
People and Appointments
7/17. The Senate approved the nomination of Fred Hochberg to be President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States for a term expiring on January 20, 2017 by a vote of 82-17. See, Congressional Record, July 17, 2013, at Page S5758, and Roll Call No. 176.
Winters Joins MPAA
7/16. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) hired Shanna Winters as a SVP, Global Policy. She is a former long time staff assistant to former Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA).
She worked for former Rep. Berman on early versions of the patent reform bill, and on other intellectual property bills and issues, in staff positions at the House Judiciary Committee's (HJC) Subcommittee for Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property. Former Rep. Berman was for many years either the Chairman or ranking Democrat on the HJC's IP subcommittee.
She was then Democratic Chief Counsel for the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC). Before working in the House, she worked for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Rep. Berman lost his seat at the end of the 112th Congress. The California legislature redrew district boundaries in a manner that caused former Rep. Berman to run against Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) in the same district in both the primary and general elections in 2012. Rep. Sherman won. Former Rep. Berman now works in the Washington DC office of the law firm of Covington & Burling.
The MPAA stated in a release that "Winters will oversee the day-to-day operation of the MPAA's Global Policy team in addition to being responsible for a significant policy portfolio".
People and Appointments
7/16. The Senate approved the nomination of Richard Cordray to be Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP) for a term of five years by a vote of 66-34. See, Congressional Record, July 16, 2013, at Page S5715, and Roll Call No. 174. See also, statement by President Obama.
7/16. The People's Republic of China's (PRC) Ministry of Commerce (aka MOFCOM) issued a release regarding US PRC negotiation of a bilateral investment agreement.
7/16. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (OUSTR) released a statement regarding a meeting between USTR Michael Froman and European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Michel Barnier in Washington DC on July 16, 2013, regarding Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. It discloses that the two discussed, among other things, intellectual property, government procurement, and financial services.