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Category Archives: Congress

CRS – Telemarketing Regulation: National and State Do Not Call Registries

Telemarketing Regulation: National and State Do Not Call Registries. Kathleen Ann Ruane, Legislative Attorney. August 14, 2014

“Today, it is axiomatic that telemarketers in the United States generally are not permitted to place outgoing telemarketing calls to phone numbers on the national do not call list, unless an exception applies. This was not always the case, however. The National Do Not Call Registry was implemented by Congress and by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to widespread frustration on the part of citizens with what was perceived to be abusive telemarketing practices. Particularly irritating and invasive were the numerous calls to residences on the part of telemarketers during dinner hours. In an
attempt to address these complaints, Congress granted the FTC and the FCC the authority to regulate telemarketing practices. From these initial grants of regulatory authority grew the National Do Not Call Registry. The development and implementation of the national do not call list was not straightforward. No single law creates the list. Instead, it developed from a combination of statute and regulation over time, as Congress and the federal agencies tasked with the responsibility of regulating telemarketing developed strategies to better alleviate perceived consumer harm. This report will outline the laws underpinning the national do not call list, describe the regulations implementing the list, answer some of the most frequently asked questions related to the list, and discuss the possible penalties for violating the rules. The report will also briefly discuss some of the ways the various states have implemented their own do not call lists.”

 

RegData is an innovative new way of measuring the size and scope of US federal regulation

“RegData [beta], developed by Patrick A. McLaughlin, Omar Al-Ubaydli, and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, improves dramatically on the existing methods used to quantify regulations. Previous efforts to assess the extent of regulation in the United States have used imprecise variables such as the number of pages published in the Federal Register orContinue Reading

Sequestration Update Report: August 2014

“By law, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is required to issue a report by August 15 of each year that provides estimates of the caps on discretionary budget authority in effect for each fiscal year through 2021. Minor adjustments to the caps for 2014 have been made since CBO’s previous report on the topic, whichContinue Reading

Help Celebrate 103rd birthday of Eldest Surviving Civil Rights Activist, Amelia Boynton­ Robinson

Aug. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ - “Amelia Boynton ­Robinson, the oldest of the surviving veterans of the 1965 Selma, Alabama Civil Rights Movement, will celebrate her 103 birthday this coming August 18. Still completely mentally alert and combative, Boynton­Robinson states that not only does she intend to attend the 50th anniversary commemoration of the passage of the VotingContinue Reading

Senator Schumer Calls On Regulators to Make Fitness Data Private

EPIC – Senator Charles Schumer has denounced the data collection practices of “activity trackers” such as FitBit. “Activity trackers” are mobile devices that record highly personal information about the wearer and constantly analyze the wearer’s activities, including their diet, exercise, sleep, and even sexual habits. However, it is not clear whether federal privacy law protects this personal data fromContinue Reading

Reducing the Budget Deficit: Overview of Policy Issue

Reducing the Budget Deficit: Overview of Policy Issues. Marc Labonte, Specialist in Macroeconomic Policy. August 7, 2014. “The federal budget has been in deficit (i.e., spending has exceeded revenues) since 2002, and deficits were significantly larger from 2009 to 2012 than in any other year since World War II. As a result, the federal debt held by theContinue Reading

NSA’s Internet Metadata Program Was Sharply Criticized By FISA Judges – EPIC

“Documents Obtained by EPIC Lawsuit Show NSA’s Internet Metadata Program Was Sharply Criticized By FISA Judges While Congressional Oversight Lagged for Year: In a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Justice, EPIC has obtained many documents about the NSA’s Internet Metadata program. These include the Government’s original FISA application seeking authorization to collect data from millions of e-mails, as wellContinue Reading

Failing Expectations: Fourth Amendment Doctrine in the Era of Total Surveillance

Sylvain, Olivier, Failing Expectations: Fourth Amendment Doctrine in the Era of Total Surveillance (July 28, 2014). 49 Wake Forest Law Review 485. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2473101 “Today’s reasonable expectation test and the third-party doctrine have little to nothing to offer by way of privacy protection if users today are at least conflicted about whetherContinue Reading

Differences in negativity bias underlie variations in political ideology – Research

University of Nebraska-Lincoln. (2014, July 31). Political attitudes derive from body and mind: ‘Negativity bias’ explains difference between liberals and conservatives. [fulltext. PDF]  “Disputes between those holding differing political views are ubiquitous and deep-seated, and they often follow common,recognizable lines. The supporters of tradition and stability, sometimes referred to as conservatives, do battle with theContinue Reading

An introduction to the Congress.gov legislative information website

“Congress.gov is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information. The site provides access to accurate, timely, and complete legislative information for Members of Congress, legislative agencies, and the public. It is presented by the Library of Congress (LOC) using data from the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, the OfficeContinue Reading

IRS IG Audit Report – Affordable Care Act

Affordable Care Act: Accuracy of Responses to Exchange Requests for Income and Family Size Verification Information and Maximum Advance Premium Tax Credit Calculation. July 3, 2014, Reference Number: 2014-43-044. “As of March 31, 2014, the IRS received more than 27 million IFSV [Income and Family Size Verification] information requests and more than 11 million APTC requests. Our review of theContinue Reading

Worthy Memorial for President and General Eisenhower Needed; Chronic Mismanagement Plagues Process

“The House Natural Resources Committee’s Majority oversight staff released a report [July 25, 2014] entitled “A Five-Star Folly: An Investigation into the Cost Increases, Construction Delays, and Design Problems That Have Been a Disservice to the Effort to Memorialize Dwight D. Eisenhower.” The current proposal for the Memorial, created by Frank Gehry’s architecture firm, has facedContinue Reading