Photo of Holly Fechner

Holly Fechner

Holly Fechner advises clients on complex public policy matters that combine legal and political opportunities and risks. She leads teams that represent companies, entities, and organizations in significant policy and regulatory matters before Congress and the Executive Branch.

She is a co-chair of the Covington’s Technology Industry Group and a member of the Covington Political Action Committee board of directors.

Holly works with clients to:

  • Develop compelling public policy strategies
  • Research law and draft legislation and policy
  • Draft testimony, comments, fact sheets, letters and other documents
  • Advocate before Congress and the Executive Branch
  • Form and manage coalitions
  • Develop communications strategies

She is the Executive Director of Invent Together and a visiting lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She serves on the board of directors of the American Constitution Society.

Holly served as Policy Director for Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) and Chief Labor and Pensions Counsel for the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee.

She received The American Lawyer, "Dealmaker of the Year" award. in 2019. The Hill named her a “Top Lobbyist” from 2013 to the present, and she has been ranked by Chambers USA - America's Leading Business Lawyers from 2012 to the present.

On February 20, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) announced a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) task force in the House of Representatives, with the goal of developing principles and policies to promote U.S. leadership and security with respect to AI.  Rep. Jay Olbernolte (R-CA) will chair the task force, joined by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) as co-chair.  Several other senior members of the California delegation, including Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and retiring Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), will participate in the effort as well.Continue Reading New Bipartisan House Task Force May Signal Legislative Momentum on Artificial Intelligence

Recently, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced new legislation to address transparency and accountability for artificial intelligence (AI) systems, including those deployed for certain “critical impact” use cases. While many other targeted, bipartisan AI bills have been introduced in both chambers of Congress, this bill appears to be one of the first to propose specific legislative text for broadly regulating AI testing and use across industries.Continue Reading Bipartisan group of Senators introduce new AI transparency legislation

The field of artificial intelligence (“AI”) is at a tipping point. Governments and industries are under increasing pressure to forecast and guide the evolution of a technology that promises to transform our economies and societies. In this series, our lawyers and advisors provide an overview of the policy approaches and regulatory frameworks for AI in jurisdictions around the world. Given the rapid pace of technological and policy developments in this area, the articles in this series should be viewed as snapshots in time, reflecting the current policy environment and priorities in each jurisdiction.

The following article examines the state of play in AI policy and regulation in the United States. The previous article in this series covered the European Union.Continue Reading Spotlight Series on Global AI Policy — Part II: U.S. Legislative and Regulatory Developments

Unless Congress reaches an agreement to keep the lights on, the U.S. government appears headed for a shutdown at midnight on October 1.  As the deadline looms, stakeholders should not let the legislative jockeying overshadow another consequence of a funding lapse: regulatory delay.  Under normal circumstances, federal agencies publish thousands of rules per year, covering agriculture, health care, transportation, financial services, and a host of other issues.  In a shutdown, however, most agency proceedings to develop and issue these regulations would grind to a halt, and a prolonged funding gap would lead to uncertainty for stakeholders, particularly as the 2024 elections approach.  Another consequence is that more regulations could become vulnerable to congressional disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).Continue Reading Looming Shutdown Elevates Congressional Review Act Threat for New Regulations

On April 25, 2023, four federal agencies — the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) — released a joint statement on the agencies’ efforts to address discrimination and bias in automated systems. Continue Reading DOJ, FTC, CFPB, and EEOC Statement on Discrimination and AI

Today, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released its first Notice of Funding Opportunity for development of next-generation wireless infrastructure under the new Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund (“Innovation Fund”).  According to NTIA’s announcement, this first tranche of funding will include up to $140.5 million in grants, ranging from $250,000 to $50 million, specifically to support expanded testing and evaluation of the performance, security, or interoperability of open, interoperable (“open-RAN”) wireless networks.  Companies (both for- and nonprofit), higher education institutions, industry groups, and consortia of multiple organizations are eligible to apply.Continue Reading Commerce Department Issues First Funding Notice for Wireless Innovation Fund

On August 25, 2022, President Biden announced a new Executive Order (“EO”) addressing the Implementation of the CHIPS Act of 2022 (“CHIPS Act”).  The CHIPS Act was signed by President Biden on August 9, 2022, and, among other things, authorizes $39 billion in funding for new projects to establish semiconductor production facilities within the United States.  The new EO identifies the Administration’s implementation priorities for this CHIPS Act funding and creates the CHIPS Implementation Steering Council to aid with the rollout of administrative guidance.  In connection with the EO, the Department of Commerce launched CHIPS.gov, which is intended to be a centralized resource for potential applicants of CHIPS funding.  The EO and new website reflect the Administration’s intent to swiftly implement the CHIPS Act and increase the domestic production of semiconductors. Continue Reading Biden Administration Announces Priorities for the Implementation of the CHIPS Act of 2022

5G wireless technology has captured the attention of Congress.  At least 30 5G-related bills have been introduced in the House and Senate this Congress, signaling widespread interest by lawmakers in 5G. Several of these bills, addressing a range of issues including national security concerns, the promotion of U.S. leadership in international 5G standards-setting bodies, and the deployment of domestic 5G infrastructure, have passed through committee with strong bipartisan support.
Continue Reading Multiple Bipartisan 5G Wireless Bills Advance in Congress

Congress is working to better understand the growing Internet of Things (“IoT”) industry—and soon may be asking industry stakeholders for input.  On Wednesday, November 28, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation designed to provide Congress with greater insights into the inner workings of the IoT industry and to promote collaboration between IoT industry participants and the federal government.

The bill (H.R. 6032 (115)), known as the State of Modern Application, Research and Trends of IoT Act, or the “SMART IoT” Act, directs the U.S. Department of Commerce to conduct a study on the state of the “internet-connected device industry” in the United States.  Among other items, the bill requires the Commerce Department to undertake a survey of the IoT industry, and specifically calls on the Department to conduct outreach to IoT industry participants.  The results of the study would be compiled into a report to Congress that includes recommendations for growing the U.S. economy “through the secure advancement of internet-connected devices.”Continue Reading House Moves to Get “SMART” on the IoT Industry