What you should know in Washington: Ransomware attacks outpace US efforts | Bloomberg Government – Bloomberg Government | NutSocia

Amid ongoing attacks on governments and the private sector, the US is hosting the International Counter Ransomware Summit starting Monday.

The gathering comes as the pace and sophistication of ransomware attacks is increasing faster than the U.S.’s ability to keep up with efforts to disrupt and recover from them, a senior Biden administration official said Sunday . Noting a spike in attacks as bitcoin became more widespread, the official called the threat limitless.

The summit brings together nearly three dozen countries to tackle the vicious surge in one of the most challenging cybersecurity threats that can cripple hospitals and shut down major gas pipelines.

Firms including CrowdStrike Holdings, Mandiant and Microsoft will also attend the summit, the White House said. Continue reading.

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

On the radars of lawmakers

GOP leader promises China probe if Republicans win House

House Republicans would set up a committee to study how Covid-19 is spreading from China, focusing on military and economic threats emanating from Beijing if the GOP gains control in the Nov. 8 congressional election said Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

  • The US is waiting to see the change in leadership in China will affect economic relations between the countries and continue to defend American interests until Beijing implements reforms, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said. Continue reading.

Democrats seek justice probe into controversial Pebble Mine in Alaska

House Democrats want the Justice Department to investigate allegations the former leader of a group pushing a proposed copper and gold mine in Alaska has lied to Congress about the size and scope of the project.

Klobuchar says tech companies should be held accountable for “amplifying” hate

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said she doesn’t trust Elon Musk to operate Twitter, and called for legislation stripping tech companies of their legal immunities when they “amplify” hate speech or vote-rigging.

  • Three days after Musk bought Twitter, the tech billionaire posted and deleted a tweet promoting a baseless anti-LGBTQ conspiracy theory about the recent attack on the House Speaker’s husband Nancy Pelosi‘s (D-Calif.) in San Francisco. Davey Alba and Daniel Zuidijk have more.

GOP asks Treasury Department to store global tax treaty files and requests information

Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee want the Treasury Department to retain documents and communications related to the OECD-led global tax treaty while pressing the department for details on how the measure will affect US revenue.

GOP asks Yellen if IRS funds are used for bank reports

Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee want clarification on whether the $80 billion in new funds made available to the IRS would be used to monitor individual bank accounts.

Elections 2022

Join BGOV’s latest area code webinar: The Bloomberg government’s election experts will offer their outlook for the 2022 midterm elections in a webinar on November 1. They will offer their opinions on the issues driving the struggle for control of Congress and the key races in the final week of the election. Register here .

Biden travels to Florida and New Mexico for campaign events

President Joe Biden will travel to Florida on Tuesday to attend a political event for the Democratic National Committee, Senator nominee Val Demings and gubernatorial nominee Charlie Crist. Biden will then travel to New Mexico for a DNC rally on Thursday.

  • When Biden sat for an interview for a panel of six young activists Organized by NowThis News, it was intended as a backdoor for the White House to one of the fastest growing political and news social media platforms that the White House itself does not have direct access to: TikTok Inc. Read more.
  • The President cast an early vote in the midterms while Democrats face a difficult road to maintaining control of their majorities in Congress. “I’m going to be across the country” during the final stretch of campaigning before the Nov. 8 election, Biden said Saturday after the Delaware vote. Continue reading.

One party dominance makes these hopefuls shoo-ins for Congress

Texas Republican Wesley Hunt is so intent on winning a seat in the House of Representatives that he’s focused on helping his party win in counties where the odds aren’t so much in the GOP’s favor.

Fetterman knocks Oz out as a ‘fraud’ days after rocky debate

Pennsylvania Senate nominee John Fetterman lashed out at his GOP opponent Mehmet Oz at a fundraiser on Friday, days after a rocky debate performance raised concerns about Democrats’ ability to retain control of the Senate.

Inflation and economy top US voters in midterm poll

Inflation and the economy top US voters ahead of the midterm elections, with a majority of registered Republicans prioritizing economic issues, according to an ABC News/Ipsos poll.

More politics & probes

Biden blames violent rhetoric for attack on Pelosi’s husband

Biden blamed the attack on Pelosi’s husband on political rhetoric, including denial of the 2020 election result, saying, “This conversation produces the violence.”

  • Pelosi said her husband continues to recover following surgery to repair a fractured skull and serious injuries to his right arm and hands. Continue reading.
  • The attack on Pelosi’s home underscored the potential for violence of the escalating threats and misogyny directed at the California Democrat in recent years. Continue reading.

Some Trump workers won’t speak to prosecutors, DA says

Some prosecution witnesses in the Trump Organization fraud case will not meet with prosecutors, prosecutors said in court during jury selection.

Trump’s legal advisor is appealing Jan. 6 filing orders

Former California law school dean John Eastman wants the US 9th Circuit to review orders from a trial judge asking him to turn over his records to the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack.

From the Supreme Court

Ivy-Educated Thomas and Sotomayor share Affirmative Action

Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas overcame humble beginnings and racial discrimination before gaining elite educations, but they bring very different views on racially conscious college admissions to the Supreme Court when it comes to weighing the challenges of affirmative action.

Veterans, First Time Advocate Argumenting Fate of Affirmative Action

The six barristers arguing in the Supreme Court over the future of affirmative action on college admissions include High Court veterans, a novice and barristers of color.

around the administration


  • Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, local children will be trick-or-treated by firefighters, nurses, police officers and members of the National Guard at the White House tonight.

Russia suspends grain export deal with Ukraine; Biden bangs movement

Russia has pulled out of a deal to allow Ukrainian grain exports from Black Sea ports after drone strikes on its naval vessels, a move that threatens to exacerbate the global food crisis and push prices higher again. “It’s just outrageous,” Biden told reporters in Delaware. “It will increase hunger.”

  • Poland chose Westinghouse Electric from the USA to build its first nuclear power plant, thereby tightening ties with Washington following the Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine. Continue reading

New England Utility is asking Biden to declare an energy emergency

New England’s largest utility is imploring Biden to begin preparing emergency response to prevent a potential winter natural gas shortage.

White House discusses Mississippi drought with CEOs

The Biden administration on Friday held a virtual meeting with industry leaders about historically low water levels along the Mississippi River, the White House said in a statement.

Meta’s Zuckerberg to testify in FTC merger dispute against VR deal

Meta Platforms said it plans to call CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify in the Federal Trade Commission’s challenge to the proposed acquisition of a virtual reality startup.

CFTC ready to deny political gambling in US ahead of November polls

The top US derivatives regulator is poised to reject a plan that could allow Americans to bet on politics ahead of next month’s election.

Banks seek guidance on who is liable for Open Banking data fraud

Banks express concern that the CFPB’s plans to share consumer data with fintech novices fail to spell out how liability in the event of fraud could be shared.

Opportunity zone tracking difficult amid federal and state overlaps

States piggybacking on the Federal Opportunity Zone Program have poured millions into tax incentives to spur construction of residential homes, boutique hotels, and commercial real estate projects.

Expanded Medicaid coverage for new mothers accepted by states

More than 30 states are working with the Biden administration to ensure new moms have expanded health coverage after the public health emergency ends.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brandon Lee in Washington blee@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Giuseppe Macri at gmacri@bgov.com; Michaela Ross at mross@bgov.com

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