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Category Archives: Congress

Investigative Report – Why Mass Shootings Keep Happening

Are we helpless to stop mass shootings? Is anyone even trying to stop them? The good news is that the answers are No and Yes. The bad news: The person loading up hasn’t gotten the news. Tom Junod, Esquire, october 24, 2014. “SINCE SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, according to the START terrorism database, there have been twentyContinue Reading

Subcommittee Finds Wall Street Commodities Actions Add Risk To Economy, Businesses, Consumers

News release: “Wall Street banks have become heavily involved with physical commodities markets, increasing risks to financial stability, industry, consumers and markets, a two-year investigation by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has found. The investigation’s findings, contained in a 396-page bipartisan report, add important new details to the public debate about the breakdown of theContinue Reading

Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2015 to 2024

“The Congress faces an array of policy choices as it confronts the prospect of large annual budget deficits and further increases in the already-large government debt that are projected to occur in coming decades under current law. To help inform lawmakers about the budgetary implications of changing federal policies, CBO periodically issues volumes of policyContinue Reading

Demystifying Dodd-Frank: 12 Ways it Reforms the Financial System

Lauren Oppenheimer and Jim Kessler – Third Way: “Four years after its passage, Dodd-Frank remains one of the most important yet least understood laws passed in recent decades. It was designed to reduce the frequency and severity of future financial crises. It sought to overhaul the regulatory structure of Wall Street and the banking industry—from the issuingContinue Reading

2014 Federal Insurance Office Annual Report on the Insurance Industry

“The Report begins with an overview of the insurance industry that presents and analyzes the financial performance and condition of the key U.S. insurance industry sectors, i.e., the life and health (L/H) sector and the property and casualty (P/C) sector. The industry financial overview also includes analysis of insurance industry capital markets activity, the increasingContinue Reading

Audit Faults State Dept’s Kabul Embassy Security Management

Via POGO: “A federal audit has found problems with the State Department’s oversight of security at the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan. The audit, issued November 3, showed that, years after the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and long after Washington policymakers pledged to bolster protection for diplomats in danger zones, the StateContinue Reading

The Big Bank Theory: Breaking Down the Breakup Arguments

“The 2008 financial crisis threw into sharp relief the issue of “too-big-to-fail” (TBTF)—the challenge posed by financial institutions that were bailed out on concerns that their failure would cause damage to the rest of the financial system and the overall economy. Since then, policymakers and regulators have wrestled with how to address this problem. TheContinue Reading

Engel, Smith Offer Bill to Improve Culture Preservation, Curb ISIL Funding

“Representative Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), chair of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations today announced that they have introduced legislation to improve American efforts to preserve cultural property around the world and cut offContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – 2013 Government Shutdown, DOE and Enriched Uranium, Nuclear Commerce

2013 Government Shutdown: Three Departments Reported Varying Degrees of Impacts on Operations, Grants, and Contracts. GAO-15-86, October 15. 2014 Department of Energy: Interagency Review Needed to Update U.S. Position on Enriched Uranium That Can Be Used for Tritium Production. GAO-15-123, October 14. Nuclear Commerce: Additional Actions Needed to Improve DOE’s Export Control Process. GAO-15-124, OctoberContinue Reading

Contracting with Inverted Domestic Corporations

CRS – Contracting with Inverted Domestic Corporations: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Kate M. Manuel, Legislative Attorney; Erika K. Lunder, Legislative Attorney. November 7, 2014. “Recent reports that certain entities continued to receive federal government contracts after reincorporating overseas have prompted questions about current and proposed restrictions on contracting with “inverted domestic corporations.” These questions are shaped, in part, byContinue Reading

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