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Google CEO Sundar Pichai's hearing before House postponed for Bush funeral

The hearing has not yet been rescheduled, but is expected to happen next week.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai's testimony on the company's social media practices will be postponed by a state funeral for President George H.W. Bush.
James Martin/CNET

Google CEO Sundar Pichai's testimony before Congress on the company's social media practices will be postponed because of the state funeral for former President George H. W. Bush, a House Judiciary Committee spokeswoman confirmed.

Pichai was originally scheduled to testify Wednesday before the committee in Washington, to address allegations of bias against conservatives on the company's platforms. Pichai skipped a high-profile tech hearing in September that included Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

A state funeral for Bush, who died Friday at the age of 94, is also scheduled for Wednesday at the National Cathedral in Washington. Wednesday will be a national day of mourning.

Pichai's hearing has not yet been rescheduled, but Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said in an interview with Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures show that he expects it to happen next week.

"But we expect that to occur and it's very, very important that it do occur," he said, according to a Reuters account of the interview.

Aside from questions of conservative bias, lawmakers are expected to ask Pichai about Project Dragonfly, an effort to build a censored search engine for China. Lawmakers are also expected to press Google on data collection, including a bug that left users' personal information exposed on its Google Plus social network for two years. After the bug was disclosed, Google announced it would shut down the social network in August. 

Pichai is also expected to attend a separate meeting at the White House along with other tech leaders including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz. That meeting, scheduled for Dec. 6, is still on track for that date, a White House spokeswoman said. 

Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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First published Dec. 2 at 10:20 a.m. PT.
Update, Dec. 3 at 11 a.m. PT: Adds confirmation of hearing postponement and context about White House meeting.