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Category Archives: Congress

Report – Majority of Americans Believe Govt Does Bad Job Fighting Corruption

“The US faces a wide range of domestic challenges related to the abuse of entrusted power for private gain, which is Transparency International’s definition of corruption. Key issues include the influence of wealthy individuals over government; “pay to play” politics and the revolving doors between elected government office, for-profit companies, and professional associations; and the abuse of the US financial system by corrupt foreign kleptocrats and local elites. The current US president was elected on a promise of cleaning up American politics and making government work better for those who feel their interests have been neglected by political elites. Yet, rather than feeling better about progress in the fight against corruption over the past year, a clear majority of people in America now say that things have become worse. Nearly six in ten people now say that the level of corruption has risen in the past twelve months, up from around a third who said the same in January 2016. A new survey by Transparency International, the US Corruption Barometer 2017, was carried out in October and November 2017. It shows that the US government and some key institutions of power still have a long way to go to win back citizens’ trust. The results show:

  • 44 per cent of Americans believe that corruption is pervasive in the White House, up from 36 per cent in 2016.
  • Almost 7 out of 10 people believe the government is failing to fight corruption, up from half in 2016.
  • Close to a third of African-Americans surveyed see the police as highly corrupt, compared to a fifth across the survey overall.
  • 55 per cent gave fear of retaliation as the main reason not to report corruption, up from 31 per cent in 2016.
  • 74 per cent said ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption.
  • Office of the President seen as most corrupt…”

House Intel Committee Releases Glenn Simpson Testimony Transcripts

“The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence today voted to publish the transcripts of testimony provided to the committee by Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. The November 8 transcript is available here and the November 14 transcript is available here.” See also Feinstein: American People Deserve Opportunity to Read Glenn Simpson, Fusion GPS Transcript Continue Reading

CRS – Transatlantic Relations in 2018

Transatlantic Relations in 2018. January 10, 2018. IN10847. “As the second year of the Trump Administration begins, a degree of uncertainty lingers over transatlantic relations. The U.S.-European partnership could face challenges in 2018. Following the election of President Trump, numerous European officials and analysts expressed concern about the future trajectory of U.S.-European relations, particularly the… Continue Reading

Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act and Selected Policy Issues

CRS report – Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) and Selected Policy Issues. January 10, 2018. R45073. “Some observers assert the financial crisis of 2007-2009 revealed that excessive risk had built up in the financial system, and that weaknesses in regulation contributed to that buildup and the resultant instability. In response,… Continue Reading

Introduction to the Legislative Process in the U.S. Congress

CRS report – Introduction to the Legislative Process in the U.S. Congress, January 10, 2018 R42843. “This report introduces the main steps through which a bill (or other item of business) may travel in the legislative process—from introduction to committee and floor consideration to possible presidential consideration. However, the process by which a bill can… Continue Reading

Statement to Congress: Oppose Proposals To End Independent Federal Reserve Funding

Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) sent a statement to the House Financial Services Committee regarding proposals to end independent funding for Federal Reserve bank regulation and supervision. “On behalf of Americans for Financial Reform (AFR), we are writing to stateour opposition to legislative proposals that would end independent funding for Federal Reserve supervision and regulation… Continue Reading

Smart Toys and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998

Smart Toys and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 – CRS Legal Sidebar – Gina Stevens, Legislative Attorney. January 8, 2018: “A growing number of devices in American households, including televisions, appliances, security systems, and heating and cooling devices, rely on Internet connectivity to perform a range of functions. And the “Internet of… Continue Reading

Receive an Email when Member of Congress has New Remark Printed in CR

In Custodia Legis – “Congress.gov alerts are emails sent to you when a measure (bill or resolution), nomination, or member profile has been updated with new information. You can also receive an email after a Member has new remarks printed in the Congressional Record. Here are instructions on how to get an email after a Member… Continue Reading

Feinstein: American People Deserve Opportunity to Read Glenn Simpson, Fusion GPS Transcript

“Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the transcript of Glenn Simpson’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee [This testimony is from August 22, 2017] with the support of committee Democrats. Simpson is the co-founder of Fusion GPS. “After speaking with majority and minority committee staff for 10 hours, Glenn Simpson requested… Continue Reading

Crowdsourcing letters to representatives for transparency and accountability

“From-Congress is an attempt to collect letters sent by representatives to their constituents. These letters often contain statements by the rep about positions that might otherwise be difficult to discover. This project exists to increase the amount of transparency and accountability of representatives in their districts…The project is created and run by Evan Conrad, who… Continue Reading

Military Service Records, Awards, and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Source

CRS report via FAS – Military Service Records, Awards, and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources. Nese F. DeBruyne, Senior Research Librarian; Barbara Salazar Torreon, Senior Research Librarian. January 2, 2018. “This guide provides information on locating military unit histories and individual service records of discharged, retired, and deceased military personnel. It also provides… Continue Reading

Acquisition Reform in the FY2016 – FY2018 National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAAs)

CRS report via FAS – Acquisition Reform in the FY2016-FY2018 National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAAs) Moshe Schwartz, Specialist in Defense Acquisition. January 4, 2018″Congress has long been interested in defense acquisition and generally exercises its legislative powers to affect defense acquisitions through Title VIII of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), entitled Acquisition Policy, Acquisition… Continue Reading