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Category Archives: Congress

Overcoming Barriers to Deployment of Plug-in Electric Vehicles

“In the past few years, interest in plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) has grown. Advances in battery and other technologies, new federal standards for carbon-dioxide emissions and fuel economy, state zero-emission-vehicle requirements, and the current administration’s goal of putting millions of alternative-fuel vehicles on the road have all highlighted PEVs as a transportation alternative. Consumers are also beginning to recognize the advantages of PEVs over conventional vehicles, such as lower operating costs, smoother operation, and better acceleration; the ability to fuel up at home; and zero tailpipe emissions when the vehicle operates solely on its battery. There are, however, barriers to PEV deployment, including the vehicle cost, the short all-electric driving range, the long battery charging time, uncertainties about battery life, the few choices of vehicle models, and the need for a charging infrastructure to support PEVs. What should industry do to improve the performance of PEVs and make them more attractive to consumers? At the request of Congress, Overcoming Barriers to Deployment of Plug-in Electric Vehicles identifies barriers to the introduction of electric vehicles and recommends ways to mitigate these barriers. This report examines the characteristics and capabilities of electric vehicle technologies, such as cost, performance, range, safety, and durability, and assesses how these factors might create barriers to widespread deployment. Overcoming Barriers to Deployment of Plug-in Electric Vehicles provides an overview of the current status of PEVs and makes recommendations to spur the industry and increase the attractiveness of this promising technology for consumers. Through consideration of consumer behaviors, tax incentives, business models, incentive programs, and infrastructure needs, this book studies the state of the industry and makes recommendations to further its development and acceptance.”

CBO Answers to Questions About Dynamic Analysis

Keith Hall, CBO Director – “In May, the Congress adopted a concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2016. That resolution requires CBO, to the greatest extent practicable, to incorporate macroeconomic effects into its 10-year cost estimates for major legislation that Congressional committees approve. Such estimates must also include, when practicable, a qualitative assessmentContinue Reading

Report – Who Has Your Digital Back?

Who Has Your Back? 2015: Protecting Your Data From Government Requests. July 2, 2015 | By Parker Higgins: “We live digital lives—from the videos shared on social networks, to location-aware apps on mobile phones, to log-in data for connecting to our email, to our stored documents, to our search history. The personal, the profound, andContinue Reading

Federal Reserve Board releases first determination of aggregate consolidated liabilities of all financial companies

“The Federal Reserve Board on [July 1, 2015] released its first determination of the aggregate consolidated liabilities of all financial companies in accordance with section 622 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which prohibits any financial company from combining with another company if the resulting company’s liabilities exceed 10 percent of the aggregate consolidated liabilities of allContinue Reading

Secret court authorizes continued telephone metadata collection

The Guardian UK: “After a decade in the shadows, a secretive surveillance court that authorises the bulk collection of American telephone records seized on its last chance to show off a little personality on Tuesday [June 30, 2015]. “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, well, at least for 180 days,” wrote judge MichaelContinue Reading

GPO releases Congressional Member Guide App -114th Congress

“The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) has released the Mobile Member Guide app for the 114th Congress. The mobile Web app provides the public with quick, easy access to information on Members of the 114th Congress; the features include their picture, party affiliation, hometown, home state, and length of service. The app allows users toContinue Reading

Appointment and Confirmation of Executive Branch Leadership

CRS report – Appointment and Confirmation of Executive Branch Leadership. Henry B. Hogue, Specialist in American National Government; Maeve P. Carey, Analyst in Government Organization and Management. June 22, 2015. “The Constitution divides the responsibility for populating the top positions in the executive branch of the federal government between the President and the Senate. ArticleContinue Reading

Procedures for Congressional Action in Relation to Nuclear Agreement with Iran

CRS report – Procedures for Congressional Action in Relation to a Nuclear Agreement with Iran. Valerie Heitshusen, Analyst on Congress and the Legislative Process; Richard S. Beth, Specialist on Congress and the Legislative Process. June 23, 2015. “An April 2015 framework for negotiations on a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran suggests that a final agreementContinue Reading

What Do Rating Agencies Think about “Too-Big-to-Fail” Since Dodd-Frank?

Liberty Street Economics – New York Fed – First in a two-part series, Gara Afonso and João Santos: “Did the Dodd-Frank Act end ‘‘too-big-to-fail’’ (TBTF)? In this series of two posts, we look at this question through the lens of rating agencies and financial markets. Today we begin by discussing rating agencies’ views on thisContinue Reading

Indictment of former House speaker Dennis Hastert

Washington Post – Federal prosecutors on Thursday indicted former House speaker J. Dennis Hastert on bank-related charges. Find out more about the case.

CFPB consumer complaint database

“[June 25, 2015] the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) [went] live with an enhanced public-facing consumer complaint database. It includes for the first time over 7,700 consumer accounts of problems they are facing with financial companies concerning mortgages, bank accounts, credit cards, debt collection, and more. The CFPB is also publishing a Request for InformationContinue Reading

Massive Government Data Breach Even Worse than Reported

EPIC:  “A Congressional hearing on the Office of Personnel Management data breach has now revealed one of the worst data breaches in US history. The agency initially reported that the personal information of 4 million government employees was obtained, but news reports suggest the breach was much larger–exposing the social security numbers of more thanContinue Reading