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Category Archives: Congress

Continued Bipartisan Support for Expanded Background Checks on Gun Sales

“Two years after the failure of Senate legislation to expand background checks on gun purchases, the public continues to overwhelmingly support making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks. Currently, 85% of Americans – including large majorities of Democrats (88%) and Republicans (79%) – favor expanded background checks, little changed from May 2013 (81%). The latest Pew Research Center poll of 2,002 adults, conducted July 14-20, finds that opinions about other gun policy proposals also are largely unchanged from two years ago, shortly after the December 2012 school shootings in Newtown, Conn. Nearly eight-in-ten (79%) favor laws to prevent people with mental illness from purchasing guns, 70% back the creation of a federal database to track all gun sales, while a smaller majority (57%) supports a ban on assault-style weapons…”

How Many Employers Could be Affected by the Cadillac Plan Tax?

Kaiser Family Foundation Issue Brief, August 2015: “As fall approaches, we can expect to hear more about how employers are adapting their health plans for 2016 open enrollments. One topic likely to garner a good deal of attention is how the Affordable Care Act’s high-cost plan tax (HCPT), sometimes called the “Cadillac plan” tax, isContinue Reading

Federal Debt and the Statutory Limit, August 2015

“The debt limit—commonly referred to as the debt ceiling—is the maximum amount of debt that the Department of the Treasury can issue to the public and to other federal agencies. That amount is set by law and has been increased over the years in order to finance the government’s operations. In March, the debt ceilingContinue Reading

An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: 2015 to 2025

“According to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimates, this year’s deficit will be noticeably smaller than what the agency projected in March, and fiscal year 2015 will mark the sixth consecutive year in which the deficit has declined as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) since it peaked in 2009. Over the next 10 years,Continue Reading

CRS – Effectiveness of the Community Reinvestment Act

The Effectiveness of the Community Reinvestment Act, Darryl E. Getter, Specialist in Financial Economics, January 7, 2015. “This report informs the congressional debate concerning the CRA’s effectiveness in incentivizing bank lending and investment activity to LMI borrowers. After a discussion of the CRA’s origins, it presents the CRA’s examination process and bank activities that areContinue Reading

Demand Progress coalition calls for systematic public access to non-confidential CRS reports

Via Demand Progress – a national grassroots group – August 24, 2015: “Dear Chairman Blunt, Chairman Miller, Ranking Member Schumer, Ranking Member Brady,and Vice Chairman Harper: We write in support of expanded public access to Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports. Longstanding congressional policy allows Members and committees to use their websites to disseminate CRS productsContinue Reading

FCW obtained official timeline of OPM data breach

FCW.com: “An official timeline of the Office of Personnel Management breach obtained by FCW pinpoints the hackers’ calibrated extraction of data and the government’s step-by-step response. It illuminates a sequence of events that lawmakers have struggled to pin down in public hearings with Obama administration officials. The timeline makes clear that the heist of dataContinue Reading

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing: Federal Aggravated Identity Theft

CRS report vai FAS – Mandatory Minimum Sentencing: Federal Aggravated Identity Theft – Charles Doyle, Senior Specialist in American Public Law. August 20, 2015. “Aggravated identity theft is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment for two years or by imprisonment for five years if it relates to a terrorism offense. At least thusContinue Reading

Intelligence Community and Its Use of Contractors: Congressional Oversight Issues

CRS via FAS – The Intelligence Community and Its Use of Contractors: Congressional Oversight Issue. L. Elaine Halchin, Specialist in American National Government. August 18, 2015. “Contractors have been and are an integral part of the intelligence community’s (IC’s) total workforce (which also includes federal employees and military personnel). Yet questions have been raised regardingContinue Reading

GPO and National Archives Make eCFR available for bulk download in XML

“The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) partners with the National Archives’ Office of the Federal Register (OFR) to make the electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR) available in XML format for bulk data download from GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys). OFR provides eCFR files to GPO and then GPO converts files into XML. The eCFRContinue Reading

Researcher claims Google can manipulate election results

Politico.com,Robert Epstein: “America’s next president could be eased into office not just by TV ads or speeches, but by Google’s secret decisions, and no one—except for me and perhaps a few other obscure researchers—would know how this was accomplished. Research I have been directing in recent years suggests that Google, Inc., has amassed far moreContinue Reading

A Macroeconomic Analysis of the President’s 2016 Budget

A Macroeconomic Analysis of the President’s 2016 Budget August 21, 2015 Report – “The President’s policies would make U.S. output larger over the next decade than it would be under current law – mostly by changing immigration laws. Such economic effects would feed back into the budget in ways that would reduce deficits.” “Each year, afterContinue Reading