LEDE: Top Facebook exec Sheryl Sandberg is coming back to town.
She'll be taking meetings on the Hill tomorrow and Thursday. Sandberg will join Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchLobbying world Congress, stop holding 'Dreamers' hostage Drug prices are declining amid inflation fears MORE (R-Utah) on Wednesday for a meeting with Senate Republicans. "Republican Senators will have the opportunity to discuss many of the issues confronting the technology industry, including: privacy, high-skilled immigration, intellectual property protections, cross-border data flows, big data, computer science education, and free speech, among others," his office said in an advisory.
On Thursday, she'll meet with Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book Paul Ryan says it's 'really clear' Biden won election: 'It was not rigged. It was not stolen' Democrats fret over Trump-district retirements ahead of midterms MORE (R-Wis.) and participate in an event with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) as part of the Democrats' Innovation Agenda 2.0 event. Facebook is also holding an "Innovation Pop-Up" event where Sandberg will show lawmakers projects the company is working on, including demos of Oculus virtual reality headsets.
The only public appearance on her schedule is an event at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. As we reported this morning, she's going to face questions about last month's allegations that the company systematically downplayed conservative content and sources on its Trending Topics feature –- claims which it has denied. She'll be interviewed by Arthur Brooks, the think tank's president and an attendee at a meeting Facebook held with influential conservatives to tamp down the Trending Topics controversy.
NB: The AEI event was scheduled before the Trending Topics story broke.
FACEBOOK'S MESSAGE: Sandberg is going to focus during the trip on Facebook's big ten-year business roadmap, which is centered on three areas: virtual reality, artificial intelligence and connecting more people to the internet. "Technological innovation also comes with challenges -- it raises questions about what it means for people's lives, industries and governments," said Sandberg in a Facebook post earlier today. "We need to work together to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks."
BUT OTHER QUESTIONS LOOM: The company is facing questions about its association with board member Peter Thiel. He's the financier of Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker Media and a Donald Trump delegate, both associations that have brought Facebook questions from the press. It remains to be seen whether they will come up during Sandberg's visit to Washington. Thiel was relelected to the Facebook board earlier this week.
WHITE HOUSE TOUTS ITS TECH ADVOCACY: The White House on Tuesday released a list of 100 times President Obama and his administration supported "science, technology and innovation." The White House said it released the list to help mark the date last week when John Holdren became the longest serving presidential science advisor. He was confirmed to the position in March 2009.
WARREN JUMPS INTO INTERNET PRIVACY DEBATE: Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenIn Washington, the road almost never taken Senate poised to battle over Biden's pick of big bank critic Treasury says more rental aid is reaching tenants, preventing evictions MORE (D-Mass.) publicly backed the FCC's proposed rules that would regulate the privacy policies of companies that provide monthly internet service to customers. She said the absence of clear rules for those companies in the past have resulted in "dubious practices." She expressed particular "concern" with some company policies that "single out low-income consumers for differential treatment." Her letter singles out AT&T and Cable One for having worrisome policies.
ACLU RECOMMENDS 'NO' VOTE ON SURVEILLANCE EXPANSION: The ACLU sent senators a three-page letter opposing an amendment being debated on the Senate floor that would allow the FBI to access customer email records during terror investigations without court approval and would permanently extend a law that gives law enforcement greater ability to track so-called "lone wolf" terrorists. The civil liberties group said the amendment would "erode many of the reforms" made in sweeping surveillance reform passed last year. For more on how civil liberties groups are mobilizing against the surveillance amendment, click here.
TWO VOICES IN THE DEBATE ABOUT EMAIL RECORDS:
Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainWhoopi Goldberg signs four-year deal with ABC to stay on 'The View' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Meghan McCain: Country has not 'healed' from Trump under Biden MORE (R-Ariz.): "By the way, hello, we just had an attack in Orlando, 49 Americans were slaughtered and here we are arguing whether we should allow the FBI to find out, not the information in electronic communications, but just find out about electronic communications."
Sen Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOn The Money — House pushes toward infrastructure vote Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — EU calls out Russian hacking efforts aimed at member states Why Democrats opposing Biden's tax plan have it wrong MORE (D-Ore.): "Senate Republicans are pushing fake, knee-jerk solutions that will do nothing to prevent mass shootings or terrorist attacks. Like so many other proposals this amendment is a lose-lose: It won't make our country safer, but it will take away crucial checks and balances that protect our freedom."
The Senate is scheduled to vote to advance an amendment that would expand law enforcement's powers to get a customer's email records.
At 1 p.m., the Center for American Progress is holding a talk on the importance of computer science education in K-12.
At 1 p.m., a House Judiciary subcommittee will hold a hearing on the Speak Free Act.
At 4:30 p.m., AEI will hold a talk with Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Michelle Obama is now on Snapchat. The first lady launched an account on the social application on Tuesday in advance of a trip for her Let Girls Learn initiative that will take her to Africa and Europe.
Amazon won't donate to either the Republican or Democratic party conventions next month but will offer coverage of the events on two streaming video platforms, the company said on Tuesday.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky is the latest Silicon Valley executive to take a shot at Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE, the GOP's presumptive presidential nominee.
The House on Tuesday failed to pass a bill that would block federal subsidies from paying for cell phone service for poor people.
The wireless industry strongly criticized the bill ahead of the vote.
The Senate is heading toward a battle over expanding the FBI's surveillance powers, a week after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
Google and PayPal joined a group of tech and privacy advocates to urge Congress to block a pending expansion of federal hacking powers.
Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTo Build Back Better, we need a tax system where everyone pays their fair share Democrats say Biden must get more involved in budget fight Biden looks to climate to sell economic agenda MORE (D-Nev.) is voicing concerns with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler's plan to open up the market for set-top boxes.
Two senior lawmakers will host their colleagues at meetings with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg this week.
Senators on Tuesday pushed the head of a nascent communications network for first responders to make sure that it covers rural areas.
A Muslim woman says her Twitter is awash with spiteful attacks after an article highlighted her helping a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) panel.
A conservative watchdog group was temporarily blocked on Tuesday from interviewing former State Department officials under oath in what would have been the third lawsuit over Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry negative images are defining White House Heller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll MORE's emails to progress to that stage.
The Russian hackers believed to be behind the breach of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) also infiltrated the Clinton Foundation, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
A hacker on Tuesday published a trove of Hillary Clinton-related documents claimed to be stolen in the Democratic National Committee (DNC) breach.
Four federal agencies have failed to implement key security precautions for their networks, "with almost all of the systems having weaknesses in all, or most, of the control areas," according to an audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Scott Wong contributed.