Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Congress

Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response

CRS - Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response. Christopher M. Blanchard, Coordinator - Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs; Carla E. Humud, Analyst in Middle Eastern and African Affairs; Mary Beth D. Nikitin, Specialist in Nonproliferation. June 27, 2014. “Fighting continues across Syria, pitting government forces and their foreign allies against a range of anti-government insurgents, some of whom also are fightingContinue Reading

Paper- Changes to Equity Markets Require Structural Reforms

“Regulatory policy has not kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in our stock market within the last few decades, according to a CFA white paper on market structure. The white paper analyzes those market changes and proposes reforms that are designed to foster transparency, ensure high market quality, minimize conflicts of interest, guaranteeContinue Reading

Contribution of Exports to Economic Growth and Important Role of the Export-Import Bank

Joint Economic Committee, Vice Chair - The Contribution of Exports to Economic Growth and the Important Role of the Export-Import Bank, September 9, 2014. “Exports make a critical contribution to U.S. economic growth and job creation. Ninety-five percent of the world’s potential customers live outside of the United States, and exports offer an opportunity for AmericanContinue Reading

Monthly Budget Review for August 2014

“The federal government ran a budget deficit of $589 billion for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2014, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates—$166 billion less than the shortfall recorded over the same period last year. Through the end of August, revenues were about 8 percent higher and outlays were about 1 percent higherContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Crop Insurance, Defense Infrastructure, DOD Education Benefits, Medicaid, Contractor Controls, DoD Special Operations

CROP INSURANCE: Considerations in Reducing Federal Premium Subsidies, GAO-14-700: Published: Aug 8, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2014. DEFENSE INFRASTRUCTURE: DOD Needs to Improve Its Efforts to Identify Unutilized and Underutilized Facilities, GAO-14-538: Published: Sep 8, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2014. DOD EDUCATION BENEFITS: Action Is Needed to Ensure Evaluations of Postsecondary Schools Are Useful, GAO-14-855: Published: Sep 8, 2014. Publicly Released:Continue Reading

Minority Staff Dissenting Views: IRS Targeting Tea Party Groups

“The Majority staff on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has issued the foregoing report titled IRS and TIGTA Management Failures Related to 501(c)(4) Applicants Engaged in Campaign Activity. The primary conclusion of the Majority staff report is that, contrary to common understanding and widespread reporting, the IRS actually exhibited no bias in its review ofContinue Reading

Subcommittee Releases Report and Dissenting Views on IRS Handling of 501(c)(4) Applications

“Today, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Senator Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., released a 224-page Report [PDF] summarizing the Subcommittee’s bipartisan investigation into problems with how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has processed applications for tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(4) of the tax code. TheContinue Reading

‘Competitiveness’ Has Nothing to Do With It

Kleinbard, Edward D., ‘Competitiveness’ Has Nothing to Do With It (August 5, 2014). Tax Notes, Forthcoming; USC CLASS Research Papers Series No. CLASS 14-26; USC Legal Studies Research Papers Series No. 14-34. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2476453. “The recent wave of corporate tax inversions has triggered interest in what motivates these tax-driven transactions now. CorporateContinue Reading

18F launches alpha foia.gov

Via E Pluribus Unum, Alexander B. Howard: “18F, the federal government’s new IT development shop, has launched a new look at the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in the form of a open source application hosted on Github. Today’s announcement is the most substantive evidence yet that the Obama administration will indeed modernize the Freedom of Information Act, as the UnitedContinue Reading

Minimum Wage Legislation Database – NCSL

National Conference of State Legislatures: “Minimum wage bills from the current legislative session are available in a searchable database. You can search by state, bill number, author, status or keyword, or track all minimum wage-related bills by leaving the search boxes blank. You also can track specific issues, by selecting a topic, including proposed increases to theContinue Reading

Study: Government Blocks Specific Journalists From Accessing Information

David Sorota: “As states move to hide details of government deals with Wall Street and as politicians come up with new arguments to defend secrecy, it was revealed this week that many government information officers block specific journalists they don’t like from accessing information. The news comes as 47 federal inspectors general sent a letter to lawmakers criticizing “seriousContinue Reading

The executive order that led to mass spying, as told by NSA alumni

Cyrus Farivar - Ars Technica: [Executive Order] 12333 is used to target foreigners abroad, and collection happens outside the US,” whistleblower John Tye, a former State Department official, told Ars recently. “My complaint is not that they’re using it to target Americans, my complaint is that the volume of incidental collection on US persons is unconstitutional.” The document, known inContinue Reading