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Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act

CRS – Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act, C. Stephen Redhead, Specialist in Health Policy; Janet Kinzer, Information Research Specialist. September 12, 2014. “Congress is deeply divided over implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the health reform law enacted in March 2010. Since the ACA’s enactment, lawmakers opposed to specific provisions in the ACA or the entire law have debated implementation of the law on numerous occasions and considered multiple bills to repeal, defund, delay, or otherwise amend the law. Most of the legislative activity on these ACA-related bills has taken place in the House. The legislation includes stand-alone bills as well as provisions in broader, often unrelated measures that would (1) repeal the ACA in its entirety and, in some cases, replace it with new law; (2) repeal, or by amendment restrict or otherwise limit, specific provisions in the ACA; (3) eliminate appropriations provided by the ACA and rescind all unobligated funds; (4) replace the mandatory appropriations for one or more ACA programs with authorizations of (discretionary) appropriations, and rescind all unobligated funds; and (5) block or otherwise delay implementation of specific ACA provisions. A few bills containing provisions to amend the ACA that have attracted sufficiently broad and bipartisan support have been approved in both the House and the Senate and signed into law. Some lawmakers have used the annual appropriations process in an effort to eliminate funding for the ACA and address other concerns they have with implementation of the law. ACA-related provisions have been included in enacted appropriations acts in each of the last four years (i.e., FY2011-FY2014). In the FY2014 appropriations cycle, disagreement between the House and the Senate over the inclusion of various ACA provisions in the FY2014 continuing resolution (CR) temporarily shut down programs and activities across the federal government.”

New Report on Combating Antibiotic Resistance

White House: “Today, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released a report to the President, Combating Antibiotic Resistance. The report was released simultaneously with a National Strategy on Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria as well as with a Presidential Executive Order, emphasizing to the Nation the importance of addressing this growing challenge. The evolution of antibiotic resistanceContinue Reading

IG Report – Millions Wasted on Communication Towers in Afghanistan

Jessica Murphy - POGO: “According to a new report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the State Department paid $6.5 million for six communication towers that were never used as intended. This high cost exceeded the State Department’s initial recommended limit of $2 million per contract. In 2010, the State Department began constructing a network of communicationContinue Reading

Government reliance on private data collections leaves gap when information disappears

FCW.com – Colby Hochmuth: “By the end of the month, data collected on federal stimulus spending over the past five years will disappear from public view — not because the website, which always had an expiration date, will be gone, but because the government doesn’t own the data. Dun & Bradstreet does. The Recovery.gov website tracks federalContinue Reading

The Treasure of Diverted Trash – Report

“Landfills are a significant source of heat-trapping GHGs in the United States. They are the nation’s third-largest source of methane emissions, producing 18 percent of that pollutant. Since methane has 34 times more global warming potential than CO2, and since landfill size is only increasing, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, must take action on this issue. On September 15,Continue Reading

Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?

CRS – Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out? Noah P. Meyerson,  Analyst in Income Security. August 28, 2014. “The Social Security Trustees project that, under their intermediate assumptions and under current law, the Disability Insurance (DI) trust fund will become exhausted in 2016 and the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) trust fund will becomeContinue Reading

Declassified Articles from Studies in Intelligence: CIA’s In-House Intelligence Journal

CIA Library: ” This collection of released documents consists of a selection of declassified Studies in Intelligence articles from the 1970s to 2000s. The documents reveal the CIA’s place in conducting U.S. foreign policy. The Agency cannot plan or act today without being influenced in some way by its collective past or the historical experiences that these documentsContinue Reading

New GAO Reports: Depot Maintenance, Healthcare.gov, IGs, Large Partnerships, Secure Flight, VA Health Care

DEPOT MAINTENANCE: Accurate and Complete Data Needed to Meet DOD’s Core Capability Reporting Requirements, GAO-14-777: Published: Sep 18, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 18, 2014. HEALTHCARE.GOV: Information Security and Privacy Controls Should Be Enhanced to Address Weaknesses, GAO-14-871T: Published: Sep 18, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 18, 2014. INSPECTORS GENERAL: Improvements Needed in the Office of Inspector General’s Oversight of the Denali Commission, GAO-14-320: Published: SepContinue Reading

Poverty: 2012 and 2013

“The poverty rate is a key economic indicator often used by policy makers to evaluate current economic conditions within communities and to make comparisons between sectors of the population. It measures the percentage of people whose income fell below the poverty threshold. Federal and state governments use poverty estimates to allocate funds to local communities.Continue Reading

Patent Citations and Stock Performance: Constructing a Dynamic Industry Classification

Gay, Sebastien and Karger, Ezra, Patent Citations and Stock Performance: Constructing a Dynamic Industry Classification (September 15, 2014). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2496414 “Researchers in academia and the private sector use industry classifications to compare growth across and between industries, to construct industry indices, and to control for industry-level correlations of stocks over time. ButContinue Reading

EIA – Saudi Arabia Country Analysis Brief

“Saudi Arabia has 16% of the world’s proved oil reserves, is the largest exporter of total petroleum liquids in the world, and maintains the world’s largest crude oil production capacity. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest holder of crude oil proved reserves and was the largest exporter of total petroleum liquids in 2013. In 2013, SaudiContinue Reading

H.R. 4387, FSOC Transparency and Accountability Act

CBO – As ordered reported by the House Committee on Financial Services on June 20, 2014 “H.R. 4387 would allow all members of the governing bodies of certain agencies that are represented on the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC)—the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Board of Governors ofContinue Reading