With Daniel Lippman
CHAMBER, INTERNET ASSOCIATION BASH TRUMP’S EXECUTIVE ORDER: President Donald Trump hasn’t shied away from criticizing individual companies since his election, including Lockheed Martin, General Motors and Amazon. But his escalating feud with Twitter following its decision to append fact-checking labels to two of his tweets about mail-in ballots on Tuesday might be his most direct confrontation with an American company. “Twitter is doing nothing about all of the lies & propaganda being put out by China or the Radical Left Democrat Party,” Trump tweeted this morning. “They have targeted Republicans, Conservatives & the President of the United States.”
— Trump’s executive order on Thursday, which called for new regulations to punish “social media companies that engage in censoring or any political conduct,” drew criticism from Twitter and unusually sharp condemnation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Regardless of the circumstances that led up to this, this is not how public policy is made in the United States,” the Chamber said in a statement. “An executive order cannot be properly used to change federal law.”
— The Chamber’s support is also noteworthy because, unlike Facebook or Google, Twitter doesn’t have a vast Washington lobbying operation to fight back. The company spent less than $1.5 million on Washington lobbying last year, according to disclosure filings, and retains only three outside lobbying firms: Integrated Solutions Group, the Joseph Group and Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas. Twitter is a member of the Internet Association, though, which also condemned Trump’s executive order. Jon Berroya, the trade group’s interim president and chief executive, said in a statement that the order seemed “designed to punish a handful of companies for perceived slights.”
TRIAL LAWYERS LOBBY AGAINST LIABILITY PROPOSALS: As colleges and universities as well as much of corporate America lobby for liability protections, the American Association for Justice is pushing back. The trade group, which represents trial lawyers, and a coalition of other groups sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday urging them not to make it harder for nursing homes to be sued over coronavirus deaths. “As a nation, we cannot tolerate rewarding nursing homes for years of cost cutting and profit maximizing by relieving them of responsibility,” they wrote.
— The American Association for Justice is battling the proposals by arguing that “the facts and the data make clear that there is no wave of litigation” threatening businesses, Julia Duncan, a lobbyist for the trade group, told PI. While the Chamber and other groups have warned about the threat of potential lawsuits, she said such groups are only trying “to gin up fears so they can get out of being held accountable.” The Chamber, for its part, wrote in a letter to lawmakers last week that “each day brings news of more lawsuits that have already been filed.”
RESTAURANTS RENEW CALL FOR HELP: The National Restaurant Association, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and an array of other trade groups and companies are calling on Congress for aid again as efforts to pass another coronavirus relief bill drag on. “We write to encourage Congress to work with the National Restaurant Association toward providing additional, targeted relief to help an essential American industry as it struggles to deal with the ongoing COVID crisis,” they wrote in a letter today to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, McConnell and Schumer. The National Restaurant Association previously asked for a dedicated relief fund for the industry worth $240 billion.
COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SHUT OUT OF RELIEF EFFORTS: “The commercial real estate industry, whose retail, hotel and restaurant tenants are among the industries slammed the hardest by the economic crisis, can’t catch a break in Washington,” POLITICO’s Katy O’Donnell reports. “Despite the industry’s lobbying clout — and its connection to President Donald Trump’s business empire — it has been all but overlooked in the federal government’s vast economic relief efforts over the last 10 weeks.”
— “The record $2 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress in March included provisions allowing homeowners to delay mortgage payments and protecting tenants from eviction, but no comparable relief for commercial property owners and tenants. … Industry lobbyists — who have sounded alarms since March that the crisis will cause broader and deeper damage to the $15 trillion market than the 2008 financial crisis did — say the situation is getting desperate.”
IF YOU MISSED IT ON THURSDAY: “When they passed another bill this month to help the tens of millions of Americans left unemployed and hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, Democrats in the House of Representatives touted the $3 trillion legislation’s benefits to working people, renters, first responders and others struggling to get by,” ProPublica’s Jake Pearson reports. “They made no mention of the defense contractors. Tucked away deep in the nearly 2,000-page Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions, or HEROES, Act, is a section that will funnel money to defense and intelligence companies and their top executives, according to experts.”
— The Albright Stonebridge Group has hired Gérard Araud, Luca Bader and João Sanches as senior advisers. Araud was previously the French ambassador to the U.S. Bader is a former top aide to former Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. Sanches was previously Novartis Brazil’s head of government affairs and corporate communications.
— Campbell O’Connor is joining GCI Health’s media team as an account supervisor. He’s currently a senior account executive on the health care team in Edelman’s Washington office.
Team Joyce for Pennsylvania (Rep. John Joyce, Re-Joyce PAC, NRCC)
Victory 2020 (AB PAC, Unite the Country)
DAM MAN PAC (Leadership PAC: Rep.-elect Tom Tiffany,
Sunshine State Conservative Alliance (Super PAC)
Alignment Government Strategies: Kallner & Associates on behalf of Worthington Industries
Ballard Partners: American Health Associates, Inc.
Banner Public Affairs, LLC: ESC Solutions
BGR Government Affairs: Ambulnz
BGR Government Affairs: Lyndra Therapeutics
BGR Government Affairs: Mass General Brigham Incorporated
BGR Government Affairs: SAS Institute Inc.
BGR Government Affairs: Ultimate Air Shuttle
Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, L.L.P.: North Carolina Rural Center
Capitol City Group, Ltd.: USA Rare Earth
EQV Strategic: National Pork Producers Council
EQV Strategic: RAI Services Company
Fonda & Associates, LLC: Borsetta
Forbes-Tate: Tyson Shared Services, Inc.
Haake & Associates: Ecolog Kasowitz
Benson Torres LLP: Security Manufacturers Coalition (“SMC”)
Markup LLC: Markup LLC
Mercury Public Affairs, LLC: BrightStar Home Care
Porterfield, Fettig & Sears, LLC: National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders (NAAHL)
Veng Group: SixteenThirty Fund
Vita Inclinata Technologies, Inc.: Vita Inclinata Technologies, Inc.
Mr. Robert Zimmer: ClearCapital.com, Inc
The Policy Group, Inc.: National Pork Producers Council
The Policy Group, Inc.: RAI Services Company