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Category Archives: Congress

Veteran CRS Researcher Explains Why He Quit

Washington Monthly – January/February 2015 – Why I Quit the Congressional Research Service – How Congress’s dysfunction has degraded its own in-house think tank. By Kevin R. Kosar: “My aspiration was to follow in the footsteps of these great researchers by using my knowledge of government organization to write the kinds of reports that might help Congress fix the USPSContinue Reading

The Politics of Financial Insecurity

“ analysis of Pew Research Center survey data collected in the fall lead-up to the 2014 midterm elections finds that at least as striking is the degree to which those who are financially insecure opt out of the political system altogether, and how that opting out disproportionately affects Democratic support. Financial security is strongly correlated withContinue Reading

Global Chilling: The Impact of Mass Surveillance on International Writers

PEN America – “Global Chilling: The Impact of Mass Surveillance on International Writers is a new report demonstrating the damaging impact of surveillance by the United States and other governments on free expression and creative freedom around the world. The report’s revelations, based on a survey of nearly 800 writers worldwide, are alarming. Concern aboutContinue Reading

Monthly Budget Review for December 2014

“The federal government’s budget deficit was $175 billion for the first three months of fiscal year 2015, $3 billion more than the shortfall recorded in the same period last year, CBO estimates. Revenues and outlays were both higher (by 11 percent and 9 percent, respectively) than they were at the same point in fiscal yearContinue Reading

The Political Question Doctrine: Justiciability and the Separation of Powers

CRS – The Political Question Doctrine: Justiciability and the Separation of Powers. Jared P. Cole, Legislative Attorney. December 23, 2014. “Article III of the Constitution restricts the jurisdiction of federal courts to deciding actual “Cases” and “Controversies.” The Supreme Court has articulated several “justiciability” doctrines emanating from Article III that restrict when federal courts will adjudicate disputes. One justiciability concept is the politicalContinue Reading

Human-Induced Earthquakes from Deep-Well Injection: A Brief Overview

CRS – Human-Induced Earthquakes from Deep-Well Injection: A Brief Overview. Peter Folger, Specialist in Energy and Natural Resources Policy; Mary Tiemann, Specialist in Environmental Policy. December 22, 2014. “The development of unconventional oil and natural gas resources using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has created new demand for wastewater disposal wells that inject waste fluids into deep geologic strata. An increasingContinue Reading

Congressional Oversight Manual

CRS – Congressional Oversight Manual. Alissa M. Dolan, Legislative Attorney; Elaine Halchin, Specialist in American National Government; Todd Garvey, Legislative Attorney; Walter J. Oleszek, Senior Specialist in American National Government; Wendy Ginsberg, Analyst in American National Government. December 19, 2014. “The Congressional Research Service (CRS) developed the Congressional Oversight Manual over 30 years ago, following a three-day December 1978 Workshop on Congressional Oversight and Investigations. The workshop was organizedContinue Reading

CBO Report on HR 30 Save Workers Act of 2015

As introduced in the House of Representatives on January 6, 2015 – “H.R. 30 would change how penalties are imposed under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on employers that do not offer insurance (or offer insurance that does not meet certain criteria) and that have at least one full-time employee receiving a subsidy through aContinue Reading

Federal Reinsurance for Terrorism Risk: An Update

“The federal program that provides insurance against the risk of terrorism expired at the end of 2014. Without such a program, taxpayers will face less financial risk, but some businesses will lose or drop their terrorism coverage and economic activity might slow if a large terrorist attack occurs. Last year, the Congress considered legislation toContinue Reading

New on LLRX – Tell the FCC to Require Read-Aloud for Future Kindles and Other E Ink Devices

Via – Tell the FCC to Require Read-Aloud for Future Kindles and Other E Ink Devices – David H. Rothman calls attention to a pivotal upcoming event for readers everywhere: On Jan. 28, 2015 if the Federal Communications Commission makes the right choice and sticks to its past inclinations, a regulatory waiver will expire. The waiver hasContinue Reading

Senators Seek Answers on Use of Cell Phone Surveillance Devices

EPIC: “Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have asked Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson several questions about the government’s use of cell site simulators or “Stingray” devices to track cell phones. According to the letter, the Senators previously asked FBI Director James ComeyContinue Reading

Foreign Intelligence Gathering Laws

Library of Congress – “This report contains information on laws regulating the collection of intelligence in the European Union, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, and Sweden. The report details how EU Members States control activities of their intelligence agencies and what restrictions are imposed on information collection.  All EU Member States follow EU legislationContinue Reading