October 23, 2021, 11:21

Facebook reckoning comes as Jan. 6 inquiry heats up: The Note

Facebook reckoning comes as Jan. 6 inquiry heats up: The Note

The TAKE with Rick Klein

They’re coming at their outrage from decidedly different angles, which could stifle efforts to pass meaningful regulations more than any perceived technological illiteracy in Congress.

MORE: Biden says he'll 'work like hell' to get infrastructure agenda across finish line

But the timing could hardly be worse for social media companies, even aside from Monday’s bizarrely timed, though apparently unrelated, site outage. The House committee examining the events of Jan. 6 is picking up its pace on information gathering, scheduling formal witness interviews this week and, if necessary, seeking to enforce subpoenas for those who are unwilling to cooperate.

CBS News/60 Minutes via APFacebook whistleblower Frances Haugen talks with CBS’ Scott Pelley on “60 Minutes,” in an episode that aired Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021.

Among whistleblower Frances Haugen’s accusations is that Facebook relaxed safeguards surrounding election-related content too soon after Nov. 3, allowing misinformation and disinformation to spread and for the attempted insurrection to gain steam.

The company is pushing back at any such suggestion. Nick Clegg, the vice president of global affairs at Facebook, told CNN on Sunday that blame “lies squarely with the people who inflicted the violence and those who encouraged them, including President Trump.”

Facebook is also reiterating its calls for lawmakers to set “industry standards” for it and other companies to follow when it comes to regulating potentially harmful speech. Haugen, meanwhile, is setting something a hopeful tone ahead of her testimony, launching a website labeling herself an “advocate for public oversight of social media.”

That remains terrain that lawmakers are far from approaching with any unity of purpose. These won’t be the last difficult questions Facebook and other companies may be forced to face in the coming weeks.

The RUNDOWN with Averi Harper

With the fate of his agenda in the balance, President Joe Biden is voicing his frustration with two Democratic senators blocking the path forward for his multi-trillion dollar social spending plan.

Nathan Posner/ShutterstockSenator Joe Manchin talks to reporters as infrastructure negations continue in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 30th, 2021.

When asked by a reporter why he has been unable “to close the deal” on integral parts of his agenda, Biden clapped back.

“I was able to close the deal with 99% of my party,” Biden said before calling out singling out Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., without using their names. “Two. Two people — that’s still underway.”

MORE: Biden calls out Republicans for refusing to help raise debt ceiling

Biden also owned his plan and its price tag.

“I mean look, the legislation, both the Build Back Better piece, as well as the infrastructure piece, are things that I wrote,” Biden said, referring to the two bills. “These didn’t come from, God love them, Bernie Sanders, AOC, or anybody else. I wrote them.”

It remains to be seen if Biden’s hardening tone on Manchin and Sinema will yield any change, as the pair are still opposed. Manchin has even made an additional demand calling for the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal money from being used for abortion care, to be included.

The president met with progressives Monday evening, seemingly conceding that the ultimate legislation won’t be as large as the planned $3.5 trillion.

The TIP with Alisa Wiersema

The topline objective of Texas’ third special session of the year — the state’s once-in-a-decade redistricting process — is moving along expeditiously, but not without controversy. On Monday, the Senate redistricting committee advanced its proposed map to a full state Senate vote later this week, while bypassing requests for changes from two of the state’s most high-profile Democrats.

Alex Wong/Getty ImagesRep. Sheila Jackson-Lee speaks to members of the press after a House Democratic Caucus meeting with President Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol, Oct. 1, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

In their testimonies to the committee, Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee and Al Green asked the committee to reverse the redrawn boundaries of their Houston-area districts. The new district boundaries pit the two U.S. lawmakers who represent historically Black areas against each other.

MORE: House passes John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act

“You even went so far as listing […] the 18th District as ‘blank’ or ‘vacant’ and indicating that the 9th [District] had two persons, two sitting Congress persons, two incumbents, and you have them in essence running against each other. I am respectfully asking for these districts to be repaired, and the 18th Congressional District to be restored,” Jackson Lee said.

Although Republican State Sen. Joan Huffman, who leads the redistricting effort, said the changes comply with the Voting Rights Act, both representatives pointed out that the update separates existing Black communities. “It doesn’t look right for the only two persons in the state of Texas to be running against each other in a congressional district from the same party to be of African ancestry,” Green noted.

ONE MORE THING

Stephanie Grisham, one of former President Donald Trump’s most senior and longest-serving advisers, said she is “terrified” that her former boss may run for office again. In an exclusive interview with “Nightline” co-anchor Juju Chang, Grisham painted a grim picture of what could happen if Trump ends up running again in 2024. “I think he would foment more violence,” she said.

THE PLAYLIST

ABC News’ “Start Here” podcast. This Tuesday morning we’ll be speaking to ABC’s Zohreen Shah about the devastating oil spill in Southern California. Then, ABC News Senior Editorial Producer John Santucci explains what we learned about Trump’s political ambitions from his former press secretary Stephanie Grisham’s exclusive interview with ABC. And, ABC News Radio Entertainment Correspondent Jason Nathanson tells us about the IATSE union vote to authorize a nationwide TV and film production strike. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

  • President Joe Biden receives the president’s daily brief at 9 a.m. and will meet virtually with Democratic members of the House to discuss the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and his Build Back Better agenda at 10:15 a.m. He will then depart for Michigan, where he will visit the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324 training facility at 3 p.m., and he will deliver remarks on the bipartisan infrastructure bill and his Build Back Better agenda at 3:30 p.m. The president arrives back at the White House at 6:40 p.m.
  • The U.S. Senate will convene at 10 a.m.
  • Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen will testify in front of the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security at 10 a.m.
  • The House Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a hearing evaluating the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and its policies at 1 p.m.
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