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Category Archives: Congress

2015 Long-Term Budget Outlook

CBO -“The long-term outlook for the federal budget has worsened dramatically over the past several years, in the wake of the 2007–2009 recession and slow recovery. Between 2008 and 2012, financial turmoil and a severe drop in economic activity, combined with various policies implemented in response to those conditions, sharply reduced federal revenues and increasedContinue Reading

Federal Reserve Monetary Policy Report July 15 2015

Monetary Policy Report submitted to the Congress on July 15, 2015, pursuant to section 2B of the Federal Reserve Act “The overall condition of the labor market continued to strengthen over the first half of 2015, albeit at a more moderate pace than in 2014. So far this year, payroll employment has increased by aboutContinue Reading

Twitter archive project at LC deemed a failure

Politico: “In the spring of 2010, the Library of Congress announced it was taking a big stride toward preserving the nation’s increasingly digital heritage — by acquiring Twitter’s entire archive of tweets and planning to make it all available to “How Tweet It Is!” the library said in an exuberant blog post, which generated fanfareContinue Reading

Support continues for public release of CRS reports paid for by taxpayers

Roll Call – “The walls between members of the public and Capitol Hill’s exclusive division of policy and legal analysts are too tall, according to transparency advocates both inside and outside of Congress. Such sentiment is prompting their calls to lawmakers with jurisdiction over the Library of Congress and the House clerk’s office to examine making publicContinue Reading

Hacking of federal personnel data called “treasure trove of information”

Washington Post, Ellen Nakashima: “The massive hack last year of the Office of Personnel Management’s system containing security clearance information affected 21.5 million people, including current and former employees, contractors and their families and friends, officials said Thursday. That is in addition to a separate hack – also last year — of OPM’s personnel databaseContinue Reading

Understanding the Long-Term Budget Outlook

CBO Director Keith Hall testifies on the long-term budget outlook before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, July 9, 2015: “The long-term outlook for the federal budget has changed little since last year, according to CBO’s projections. If current laws remained generally unchanged in the future, federal debt held byContinue Reading

Systemically Important or “Too Big to Fail” Financial Institutions

CRS – Systemically Important or “Too Big to Fail” Financial Institutions. Marc Labonte, Specialist in Macroeconomic Policy. June 30, 2015. “Although “too big to fail” (TBTF) has been a longstanding policy issue, it was highlighted by the near-collapse of several large financial firms in 2008. Financial firms are said to be TBTF when policy makersContinue Reading

Regulatory agencies post public sections of resolution plans

“The Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) on Monday posted the public portions of annual resolution plans for 12 large financial firms.  Each plan must describe the company’s strategy for rapid and orderly resolution under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the event of material financial distress or failure of the company.Continue Reading

The USA Freedom Act: A Partial Response to European Concerns about NSA Surveillance

Swire, Peter. The USA Freedom Act: A Partial Response to European Concerns about NSA Surveillance. Working Paper GTJMCE 2015-1. Sam Nunn School of International Affairs  – Georgia Institute of Technology. “In June 2015, the Congress adopted and President Obama signed the USA Freedom Act, the biggest pro-privacy change to U.S. intelligence law in nearly 40Continue Reading

SEC and CFTC Turn to Swaps and Security-Based Swaps Enforcement

Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation – July 5, 2015 – Annette L. Nazareth, Davis Polk & Wardwell:  “The week of June 15, 2015 saw two of the first publicly announced enforcement actions brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) to enforce security-based swapContinue Reading

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 areContinue Reading

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