OVERNIGHT TECH: Apple CEO to push for tax changes

In recent years, many large tech companies like Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Google have been hit with criticism for keeping millions of dollars of profits overseas rather than bringing them back to the U.S. 

Clyburn set to take over FCC: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and Commissioner Robert McDowell will step down on Friday. Commissioner Mignon Clyburn will take over as acting chairman on Monday. 

Recording Academy slams Pandora: The Recording Academy, the organization that hosts the Grammy Awards, slammed online radio-streaming service Pandora on Thursday for pushing a bill that would modify the royalty rules for Internet radio stations. 

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In a letter to Academy members, Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow said Pandora is trying to rally music artists' support for legislation that would ultimately result in lower royalty payments to record labels and artists. The bill, the Internet Radio Fairness Act, was introduced last session and is expected to be introduced again this year by its author Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). 

"With all due respect to Pandora, we do not need Wall St. media companies speaking for music creators," Portnow writes. 

When pushing for the legislation late last year, Pandora said it simply wanted to be subject to the same royalty standard that cable and satellite radio services are. These digital radio services play lower royalty fees than Internet radio stations do.

The company believes this would lower the royalty rates they pay for streaming songs, which would help them maintain profitability.


ON TAP

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Friday morning to consider the privacy threat of domestic drones. The witnesses will be John Villasenor of the Brookings Institution, Gregory McNeal of Pepperdine University School of Law, Tracey Maclin of Boston University School of Law and Chris Calabrese of the American Civil Liberties Union.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Senate postpones action on H-1B: The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday postponed action on visas for high-skilled workers, an issue that has split members of the Gang of Eight. Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and rin Hatch (R-Utah) have yet to reach agreement on a controversial package of amendments covering H-1B visas for high-skilled workers.

Dems accuse GOP of distorting spectrum law: House Democrats urged the FCC on Thursday to reject the advice of a group of Republicans on the upcoming auction of broadcast TV licenses. 

The Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats accused House Republicans of seeking to "advance a one-sided re-interpretation of the goals and meaning" of the law authorizing the auction and trying to "spin the legislative history in a way that inaccurately reflects the intent of Congress."

Senate panel rejects E-Verify changes: The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday rejected a proposal requiring the government to implement the E-Verify program to combat illegal immigration 18 months after enactment of immigration reform.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) joined two Republican members of the Gang of Eight, Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.), and 10 Democrats to defeat the amendment.

Gov. Walker would use online tax to lower income tax: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) promised on Wednesday to lower state income taxes if Congress approves online sales tax legislation. 

House Dem: DHS in need of some 'soul searching' after departures: Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), the ranking member of the House subcommittee on Cybersecurity, told Department of Homeland Security officials in an oversight hearing on Thursday that she was concerned over the string of departures of senior cybersecurity officials in the past six months.

“What it does say about the department’s cyber organization when it cannot retain its senior cyber leadership as well? ... DHS needs to do some soul-searching and identify why their senior leaders have been leaving,” said Clarke.

Hatch: Tech visas key to his support on immigration: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) defended his amendments on visas for highly skilled workers in the Gang of Eight's immigration bill on Thursday, saying the proposed changes are key to winning his support and getting other GOP votes for the sweeping measure.

"We've got to iron out the H-1B situation so it doesn't push businesses to hire people overseas, which is what the current language will do, and everyone who looks at it knows that," Hatch told reporters Thursday afternoon. 

Anonymous plans attack of energy sector: The hacker activist group Anonymous said it plans to target the oil-and-gas sector in a June 20 operation.

Lawmakers raise privacy concerns over Google Glass: Eight members of Congress expressed concern on Thursday about the privacy implications of Google's wearable computer, Google Glass.

They worried that the device could allow users to identify people on the street and look up personal information about them, such as their address, marital status, work history and hobbies.


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