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Hill staffers cast doubt on chances of online safety regulation bill

Almost half of top Capitol Hill staffers are doubtful Congress will pass legislation to address online safety or social media regulation this year, our latest survey of congressional staffers found.

There’s been some movement on children’s online safety with the bipartisan Kids’ Online Safety Act, which would establish new federal safeguards for children online. But there’s opposition from Big Tech and House GOP leaders aren’t rushing to move on the measure.

Last week, Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) abruptly canceled the markup of the American Privacy Rights Act just before it was set to begin. The Washington Republican has been at odds with her party’s leaders over the legislation.

Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats were angry about the cancellation despite some of them having issues with that particular legislation.

House staffers are more pessimistic about passing online safety regulations than the Senate, with 48% saying it’s unlikely; only 39% of Senate staffers said it was unlikely. The survey was conducted June 3-21 in partnership with independent public affairs firm, LSG.

Want to take part in The Canvass? Our survey provides anonymous monthly insights from top Capitol Hill staffers and K Street leaders on key issues Washington is dealing with. Sign up here if you work on K Street. Click here to sign up if you’re a senior congressional staffer.

— Robert O’Shaughnessy

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