Here at DC Refined, we aim to be a place where readers can come and know they will be informed of the latest local entertainment and lifestyle news. Of course, in D.C., political news is as much our entertainment as the latest Kardashian drama. So, we are launching a new weekly series, Hill Happenings, intended to present the week’s current events from a bipartisan view, without commentary for your perusal. After all, you want to be as informed as possible before you hit up happy hour, don’t you?
Here’s what everyone is chatting about this week:
1. Zuckerberg testified before Congress: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in town this week, as he spent two days testifying before members of Congress regarding the Cambridge Analytica data leak. “The internet is growing in importance around the world ... I think it is inevitable that there will need to be some regulation,” Zuckerberg said. “My position is not that there should be no regulation, but I also think you need to be careful about what regulation you put in place."
2. Uber CEO in D.C.: Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was also visiting our fair city this week, as he sat on a panel with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to discuss the future of mobility. He announced that Uber would no longer be just a ride hailing service, and shared plans to partner with cities in order to help reduce car ownership and make transportation safer and more affordable to all via multiple platforms such as ride sharing, car rentals and bike shares.
3. Paul Ryan Retiring: House Speaker Paul Ryan announced he would not be seeking re-election in November, but clarified he would finish his term and not leave office early. “It is easy for it to take over everything in your life,” Ryan said. “If I’m here for one more term, my kids will only have ever known me as a weekend dad.”
4. U.S. military response to Syria attack undecided: After a suspected chemical attack by the Syrian government that killed 70 in a Damascus suburb last weekend, the U.S. has not yet decided upon a military response. President Trump initially suggested a missile strike was imminent tweeting "Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!’” But today, WH spokesperson Sarah Sanders said a final decision on military strikes had not been made and that “all options are on the table.”
5. Mike Pompeo Senate Confirmation Hearing: CIA Director Mike Pompeo was questioned by 21 members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in his quest to become Trump’s next Secretary of State. He answered questions on everything from his stances on a military strike in Syria to gay marriage.
6. Poisoning of Former Russian Spy: The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an international chemical weapons watchdog, confirmed Britain’s finding that Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with a nerve agent “of high purity.” Britain blames Russia for the attack that occurred on March 4, but Russia denies the allegations, and the OPCW’s report does not conclude who was behind the attack.
7. Balanced Budget Amendment Defeated in House: A vote of 233-184 in the House left a constitutional amendment that would require Congress not to spend more than it brings in defeated.