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EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track

EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track? James E. McCarthy, Specialist in Environmental Policy; Claudia Copeland, Specialist in Resources and Environmental Policy. February 9, 2016.

“Since Barack Obama was sworn in as President in 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed and promulgated numerous regulations to implement the pollution control statutes enacted by Congress. Critics have reacted strongly. Many, both within Congress and outside of it, have accused the agency of reaching beyond the authority given it by Congress and ignoring or underestimating the costs and economic impacts of proposed and promulgated rules…This report provides background information on EPA regulatory activity during the Obama Administration to help address these issues. It examines major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at EPA since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of rules not yet promulgated (including identification of related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA’s estimates of costs and benefits, where available. The report includes tables showing which rules remain under development, and an Appendix describing major or controversial rules finalized since 2009..”

CRS – Social Security Primer

Social Security Primer, Dawn Nuschler, Specialist in Income Security. February 9, 2016. “The Social Security program was established in the 1930s and has been modified by Congress many times over the years. Today, Social Security provides monthly cash benefits to retired or disabled workers and their family members, and to the family members of deceasedContinue Reading

CRS – The Islamic State and U.S. Policy

The Islamic State and U.S. Policy. Christopher M. Blanchard, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs; Carla E. Humud, Analyst in Middle Eastern and African Affairs. February 9, 2016. “The Islamic State (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL/ISIS, or the Arabic acronym Da’esh) is a transnational Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist groupContinue Reading

Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations

CRS report – Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations, Christopher M. Blanchard Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, February 5, 2016. “The kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ruled by the Al Saud family since its founding in 1932, wields significant global influence through its administration of the birthplace of the Islamic faith and by virtue of itsContinue Reading

Iran’s Nuclear Program: Tehran’s Compliance with International Obligations

CRS Report – Iran’s Nuclear Program: Tehran’s Compliance with International Obligations. Paul K. Kerr, Analyst in Nonproliferation. February 8, 2016. “Several U.N. Security Council resolutions required Iran to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) investigation of its nuclear activities, suspend its uranium enrichment program, suspend its construction of a heavy-water reactor andContinue Reading

Jobs With the Best (and Worst) Job Security – 24/7 Wall Street

“The U.S. unemployment rate reached 10% in October 2009, the highest since 1983, and the peak since the Great Recession ended in June 2009. Since then, unemployment has fallen steadily to its current level of 4.9%. Not all the nation’s industries have recovered at the same pace. Increased job opportunities and wage hikes have beenContinue Reading

A Worldwide Survey of Encryption Products

“In this paper, [available for download as part of the Berkman Publication Series on SSRN at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2731160] which is modeled on a similar effort in 1999 by researchers from George Washington University, Berkman Fellow Bruce Schneier and collaborator Kathleen Seidel together with Harvard College student Saranya Vijayakuma identify and survey 865 encryption products from 55Continue Reading

Report Finds Possible Health Effects Associated with Formaldehyde in Select Laminate Flooring

“The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) analysis of data from an investigation led by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that formaldehyde levels observed in select laminate wood flooring products could cause short-term irritation forContinue Reading

CDC Highlights Programs that Reduce U.S. Health Disparities

“A supplement to the CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, highlights programs that reduce disparities by race/ethnicity, geography, disability, and/or sexual orientation across a range of different health conditions. “Reducing and eliminating health disparities is fundamental to building a healthier nation,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D.,Continue Reading

Approaches to Making Federal Highway Spending More Productive

Federal spending on highways does not correspond very well with how the roads are used. “CBO examines three approaches lawmakers could consider to make highway spending more productive: “Federal spending on highways (or, synonymously, roads) totaled $46 billion in 2014, roughly a quarter of total public spending on highways. About 95 percent of that amountContinue Reading

Demographic and Economic Profiles of South Carolina’s Electorate

“In advance of the South Carolina primaries on Feb. 20 and Feb. 27, the U.S. Census Bureau presents a variety of statistics that give an overall profile of the state’s voting-age population and industries. Statistics include: Voting-age population and estimate of eligible voters (i.e., citizens age 18 and older). Breakdown of voting-age population by raceContinue Reading

Women Also Know Stuff

Women Also Know Stuff: “So often while planning a conference, brainstorming a list of speakers, or searching for experts to cite or interview, it can be difficult to think of any scholars who aren’t male. We’ve all been there… you just know that a woman has got to be studying that topic… but who? This site isContinue Reading