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Category Archives: Congress

GAO Reports – Capitol Preservation Fund, Energy Savings Performance Contracts, Immigration Benefits System, Military Training, Nonproliferation, Senate Preservation Fund

Capitol Preservation Fund: Audit of Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014 Transactions, GAO-15-586R: Published: Jun 17, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 17, 2015. Energy Savings Performance Contracts: Additional Actions Needed to Improve Federal Oversight, GAO-15-432: Published: Jun 17, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 17, 2015. Immigration Benefits System: Better Informed Decision Making Needed on Transformation Program, GAO-15-415: Published:Continue Reading

Confidence in U.S. Institutions Still Below Historical Norms

Gallup: “Americans’ confidence in most major U.S. institutions remains below the historical average for each one. Only the military (72%) and small business (67%) — the highest-rated institutions in this year’s poll — are currently rated higher than their historical norms, based on the percentage expressing “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidenceContinue Reading

Federal and State Funding of Higher Education

Pew, A changing landscape – “States and the federal government have long provided substantial funding for higher education, but changes in recent years have resulted in their contributions being more equal than at any time in at least the previous two decades. Historically, states have provided a far greater amount of assistance to postsecondary institutions andContinue Reading

How U.S. Surveillance Still Subverts U.S. Competitiveness

Beyond the USA Freedom Act: How U.S. Surveillance Still Subverts U.S. Competitiveness, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, June 2015, Daniel Catrol and Alan McQuinn | JUNE 2015: “Almost two years ago, ITIF described how revelations about pervasive digital surveillance by the U.S. intelligence community could severely harm the competitiveness of the United States if foreign customersContinue Reading

22nd Annual ABA Real Estate Survey Report

“The 22nd Real Estate Lending Survey had the participation of 182 banks. The data was collected from March 4, 2015 to April 17, 2015, and in most cases reports calendar year or year – end results. In other cases, data reflect current activities and expectations at the time of data collection. Of the survey participants,Continue Reading

H.R. 2685 – FY2016 Department of Defense Appropriations

H.R. 2685 – FY2016 Department of Defense Appropriations 114th Congress Report – House of Representatives – 1st Session 114-139. June 5 2015. “BILL TOTALS – Appropriations for most military functions of the Department of Defense are provided for in the accompanying bill for fiscal year 2016. This bill does not provide appropriations for military con-Continue Reading

CRS – Israel: Background and U.S. Relations

Israel: Background and U.S. Relations, Jim Zanotti, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs. June 1, 2015. “Since Israel’s founding in 1948, successive U.S. Presidents and many Members of Congress have demonstrated a commitment to Israel’s security and to maintaining close U.S.-Israel cooperation. Common perceptions of shared democratic values and religious affinities have contributed to the strongContinue Reading

USA FREEDOM Act Reinstates Expired USA PATRIOT Act Provisions

CRS Legal Sidebar USA FREEDOM Act Reinstates Expired USA PATRIOT Act Provisions but Limits Bulk Collection 6/4/2015: “Following a contentious debate and passagein the Senate, the USA FREEDOM Act (H.R. 2048) was signed into law onJune 2, 2015. The new law contains eight titles, spanning a range of national security topics from reauthorizing expired investigativeContinue Reading

Information Security Oversight Office’s Report for Fiscal Year 2014

“The Information Security Oversight Office’s (ISOO) Report for Fiscal Year 2014, as required by Executive Order 13526, “Classified National Security Information” (the Order). This report provides statistics and analysis of the system of classification and declassification based on ISOO’s review of Departments’ and Agencies’ programs. It also contains the status of agency self-assessment reporting, theContinue Reading

Data Collection From Consumers Continues Without Transparency

National Journal – “Don’t be fooled: Congress may have finally passed the bill reining in the National Security Agency’s bulk-surveillance programs  [USA Freedom Act of 2015], but your data is still being collected on the Internet. Lost in the debate over the NSA is the fact that companies like Google and Facebook continue to vacuumContinue Reading

Congress.gov adds new features

Please see the full posting by Andrew Weber: “So far, 2015 has been a great year for Congress.gov.  First, we launched email alerts in February. Then, we added treaty documents and more in March.  With today’s update, improvements have been made to search (results, command line and advanced), alerts, browse, and accessibility. The Federalist Papers haveContinue Reading

Watchdogs Needed: Top Government Investigator Positions Left Unfilled for Years

Testimony of Danielle Brian, Executive Director, Project On Government Oversight, before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee regarding “Watchdogs Needed: Top Government Investigator Positions Left Unfilled for Years” June 3, 2015. “At their best, Offices of Inspector General (OIG) are essential to a well-functioning federal government. IG offices recover billions of dollars inContinue Reading