Quick hits: New Jersey news in brief for Monday, Jan. 25

The Washington Watch, featuring updates from New Jersey’s congressional delegation in the nation’s capital:

Malinowski wants social media companies to stem ‘extreme, radicalizing content’

U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., wants social media companies “to make permanent and platform-wide changes to limit the frictionless spread of extreme, radicalizing content.”

In a statement, Malinowski said it’s “something they’ve shown they are capable of doing but are consciously choosing not to.”

“Social media platforms’ algorithms are designed to feed each of us increasingly hateful versions of what we already hate, and fearful versions of what we already fear, so that we stay glued to our screens for as long as possible,” Malinowski said.

Malinowski joined U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., in sending letters to Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet, including Google and YouTube.

Bill would require president, vice president to release tax returns

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J., is co-sponsoring legislation that would require the presidents and vice presidents to publicly disclose their 10 most recent federal income tax returns.

Pascrell, who tried to obtain the Trump tax returns in Congress, is sponsoring the bill with U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-California. The proposal would also apply to major party candidates for the presidency and vice-presidency.

“Being able to scrutinize the tax returns of a man or woman seeking to attain the most powerful position on earth is a low bar, and one that candidates long abided until 2016,” Pascrell said in a statement.

Sires plans legislation for a $1 billion tax-credit program

U.S. Rep. Albio Sires, D-N.J., plans to reintroduce the Better Education and Skills Training (BEST) for America’s Workforce Act.

“Our legislation would create a competitive, $1 billion tax-credit program to encourage job training partnerships between community colleges and local businesses in order to match those who are unemployed with small businesses that need qualified workers,” Sires said in a statement. “The bill would also provide local businesses that hire long-term unemployed workers up to $4,000 in tax credits for the tuition costs at a community college to train each worker hired to fill a job that requires a specific certificate or other training credential.”

Van Drew asks Comcast to eliminate data overage penalties

U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., sent Comcast a letter asking the company to scrap penalties it plans to charge customers who exceed their data limits.

“South Jersey has been beaten down by COVID. It is disgusting to profit off of the pain of this pandemic,” Van Drew said in a statement. “I am calling on Comcast to remove these onerous penalties that will impact families across our region.”

Smith quits Twitter over ‘security concerns’

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., halted his Twitter account over “security concerns” and to help the country and his district “move toward unity during this difficult time.”

“Divisive and hate-filled tweets have become far too frequent and impede the healing so needed today,” Smith’s office said in a statement.

His office still has Facebook and Instagram pages.

– The Center Square

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