September 8, 2020

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TechNet members to meet virtually with lawmakers for tech group's annual fly-in

By
Alex Gangitano
The Hill

TechNet, a trade group consisting of tech executives, will hold its virtual fly-in this week to connect its members like Google, Apple, eBay, DoorDash and Nasdaq, with lawmakers. 

The fly-in will take place Wednesday through Friday and members are slated to meet virtually with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer(D-N.Y.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House MajorityLeader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

They also plan to meet with Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.)and Steve Daines (R-Mont.). Other companies participating include Bloom Energy, Box and Silicon Valley Bank. 

The virtual meetings will cover TechNet’s lobbying priorities like freeing up capital for startups to remain solvent during the coronavirus pandemic, immigration and expanding opportunities, especially for women and people of color, through STEM education.

TechNet was part of a group of top business leaders who filed a lawsuit in July against the administration over newly issued limits on work visas following President Trump’s move to suspend the issuance of H-1B visas, H-2B visas, H-4 visas, L-1 visas and certain J-1 visas through the end of 2020.

“As we adjust to the ‘new normal,’ it is imperative that we enact policies that support startups all across our country.  They are the drivers of innovation, economic growth, and job creation,” John Chambers, TechNet co-founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures, told The Hill in a statement.

Other lobbying priorities include a comprehensive, targeted investment in emerging technologies to cement U.S. global leadership and digital trust in the age of innovation.

The companies will call on Congress to ensure the protection of consumer data by creating a uniform, federal privacy regime that empowers consumers, improves security requirements and enhances transparency.

The fly-in comes as the Department of Justice reportedly plans to file antitrust charges against Alphabet, the parent company of Google and YouTube, this month. The investigation into the company began in June 2019 but the timing to file charges is controversial with the upcoming election.

The virtual meeting will also cover topics like "Tech Rises to the Occasion on COVID-19,"which touts companies’ work to provide access to supercomputers to speed discovery of treatments and a vaccine, provide tele-learning platforms for free to teachers and families and launch initiatives to train people on digital skills.

“The tech industry has worked to meet the challenges 2020 has presented and has done so dedicated to improving the lives of our people and our country. Now, as we look towards the future, the technology industry is ready to help build a more vibrant, resilient, and equitable American economy. That is what we are discussing with policymakers this week,” Linda Moore, CEO of TechNet, told The Hill.

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