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Category Archives: Congress

Executive Discretion as to Immigration: Legal Overview

CRS – Executive Discretion as to Immigration: Legal Overview. Kate M. Manuel, Legislative Attorney; Michael John Garcia, Legislative Attorney. November 10, 2014. “President Obama announced in June 2014 that he would seek “to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own” through administrative action. Although the Obama Administration has not yet announced the specific immigration actionsContinue Reading

The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2011

“In 2011, according to CBO’s estimates, average household market income—a comprehensive income measure that consists of labor income, business income, capital income (including capital gains), and retirement income—was approximately $81,000. Government transfers, which include benefits from programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance, averaged approximately $13,000 per household. The sum of those twoContinue Reading

Qatar: Background and U.S. Relations

CRS – Qatar: Background and U.S. Relations, Christopher M. Blanchard,  Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs. November 4, 2014. “Qatar, a small peninsular country in the Persian Gulf, emerged as a partner of the United States in the mid-1990s and currently serves as host to major U.S. military facilities. Qatar holds the thirdlargest proven natural gas reserves in the world, andContinue Reading

How CBO Analyzes the Effects of Changes in Federal Fiscal Policies on the Economy

“Analyzing the effects on the overall economy of changes in federal fiscal policies—that is, policies governing taxes and spending—requires complex modeling and a significant amount of time. CBO undertakes such analyses in certain reports and for some major pieces of legislation; some of those analyses include the feedback effects of changes in the economy onContinue Reading


“Welcome to OpenElections Our goal is to create the first free, comprehensive, standardized, linked set of election data for the United States, including federal and statewide offices. No freely available comprehensive source of official election results exists. The current options for election data can be difficult to find and use or financially out-of-reach for most journalists andContinue Reading

Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens

Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens. Perspectives on Politics / Volume 12 / Issue 03 / September 2014, pp 564-581 “Each of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politics—which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and two types of interest-group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism andContinue Reading

The Political Consequences of the Great Recession

Ruy Teixeira & John Halpin | Thursday, November 6, 2014 – Center for American Progress “American voters remain deeply pessimistic about their own economic prospects and those of the country as a whole and distrust all major institutions of government, including the president, Congress, and both major political parties. As a result, the 2014 electionsContinue Reading

Lack of Transparency Raises Serious Concerns about Planned Uranium Processing Facility

“Federal officials have refused to publicly release information about the cost and scope of a planned Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) in Tennessee, even as the project moves toward the design and construction phase. The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) has raised alarms about the scant details that have been revealed about the multi-billion dollar UPF projectContinue Reading

Cell Phones, Social Media and Campaign 2014

“Cell phones and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are playing an increasingly prominent role in how voters get political information and follow election news, according to a new national survey by the Pew Research Center. The proportion of Americans who use their cell phones to track political news or campaign coverage has doubled comparedContinue Reading

Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights

CRS – Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights, Kenneth Katzman,  Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, October 29, 2014 “Since the 2011 U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq, sectarian and ethnic divisions have widened, fueling a major challenge to Iraq’s stability and to Iraq’s non-Muslim minority communities. Many of Iraq’s Sunni Arabs have sided with radical Sunni Islamist insurgents as aContinue Reading

Largest Clean Air Act Settlement in History

Settlement with Hyundai and Kia protects consumers and ensures greenhouse gas emissions reductions “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice today announced an historic settlement with the automakers Hyundai and Kia that will resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations based on their sale of close to 1.2 million vehicles thatContinue Reading

Social Security: Cost-of-Living Adjustments

CRS – Social Security: Cost-of-Living Adjustments. Gary Sidor, Information Research Specialist, October 29, 2014. To compensate for the effects of inflation, Social Security recipients usually receive an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Benefits will be increased by 1.7% in 2015, following an increase of 1.5% in 2014. Social Security COLAs are based on changes in the Consumer Price Index for UrbanContinue Reading