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Category Archives: Congress

CRS – Encryption: Frequently Asked Questions

Encryption: Frequently Asked Questions, Chris Jaikaran, Analyst in Cybersecurity Policy. September 28, 2016. “Encryption is a process to secure information from unwanted access or use. Encryption uses the art of cryptography to change information which can be read (plaintext) and make it so that it cannot be read (ciphertext). Decryption uses the same art of… Continue Reading

Agencies Post Public Sections of “Targeted Submissions” for Eight Firms

“The Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) on Tuesday posted the public portions of the required “targeted submissions” for the eight systemically important, domestic banking institutions. To foster transparency, the agencies required all of the firms to file a public portion of their targeted submissions. In April of this year, the… Continue Reading

Paper – Learning Distributed Representations of Institutions and Their Legal Text

Gov2Vec: Learning Distributed Representations of Institutions and Their Legal Text – John J. Nay (Submitted on 21 Sep 2016 (v1), last revised 25 Sep 2016 (this version, v2)) “We compare policy differences across institutions by embedding representations of the entire legal corpus of each institution and the vocabulary shared across all corpora into a continuous… Continue Reading

GAO Report – Actions Are Needed to Help Ensure the Completeness of Political Conversion Data

Office of Personnel Management: Actions Are Needed to Help Ensure the Completeness of Political Conversion Data and Adherence to Policy, GAO-16-859: Published: Sep 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 2016. “When a new president takes office in January, scores of new political appointees will join the federal workforce. What happens to the old appointees? Some… Continue Reading

CRS – Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions, Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs. September 21, 2016. “The comprehensive nuclear accord (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA), finalized on July 14, 2015, provides Iran broad relief from U.S., U.N., and multilateral sanctions on Iran’s energy, financial, shipping, automotive, and other sectors. Sanctions were suspended or lifted upon the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) certification on… Continue Reading

Will FAA take over non-military control of space traffic control “The Federal Aviation Administration might be extending its commercial air traffic control responsibilities into space. The House passed a bill Sept. 22 by a vote of 425-0 to investigate what role the FAA might play in directing commercial and foreign space traffic. The bill would authorize a study of the impact such a shift… Continue Reading

The Atlantic – What Congress Is Actually Good at

Michelle Cottle is a contributing editor at The Atlantic: “Because while some of Congress’s flashier oversight crusades reek of politics, the committees are in many ways doing the Lord’s work. It’s just that no one hears much about the not-so-sexy, not-so-partisan probes that actually seek to improve government. “No doubt there have been some abuses… Continue Reading

Researching Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Resources for Congressional Staff

Researching Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Resources for Congressional Staff, Jerry W. Mansfield, Lead Information Services Coordinator. September 19, 2016. “This report is designed to introduce congressional staff to selected governmental and nongovernmental sources that are useful in tracking and obtaining information on federal legislation and regulations. It includes governmental sources, such… Continue Reading

CRS – Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer

Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer. John F. Sargent Jr., Specialist in Science and Technology Policy. September 15, 2016. “Nanoscale science, engineering, and technology—commonly referred to collectively as “nanotechnology”—is believed by many to offer extraordinary economic and societal benefits. Congress has demonstrated continuing support for nanotechnology and has directed its attention particularly to three topics that may… Continue Reading

GPO and LC begin digital release of all Congressional Records

“The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) partners with the Library of Congress (LC) to release the digital bound Congressional Records from 1991-1998 on GPO’s govinfo. This release covers debates of the 102nd thru 105th Congresses. This era of Congress covers historical topics such as: The Persian Gulf War Bill Clinton’s Presidency NAFTA Enactment of the… Continue Reading

CRS Report – FDA Regulation of Medical Devices

FDA Regulation of Medical Devices, Judith A. Johnson, Specialist in Biomedical Policy, September 14, 2016. “Prior to and since the passage of the Medical Device Amendments of 1976, Congress has debated how best to ensure that consumers have access, as quickly as possible, to new and improved medical devices and, at the same time, prevent… Continue Reading

Advocacy Groups to Congress – Strengthen Congressional Oversight of Intelligence Community

September 13, 2016 via 33 organizations: “Dear Speaker Ryan and Minority Leader Pelosi, We write to express our concerns about congressional oversight of intelligence activities. Congress is responsible for authorizing and overseeing these programs. In recent years, experts and policymakers have expressed concern that congressional oversight efforts are falling short. Experts have put forth reform… Continue Reading