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Category Archives: Congress

Science and Technology Issues in the 117th Congress

CRS Report – Science and Technology Issues in the 117th Congress. May 5, 2021: “The federal government supports scientific and technological advancement directly by funding and performing research and development, and indirectly by creating and maintaining policies that encourage private sector efforts. Additionally, the federal government regulates many aspects of S&T activities. This report briefly outlines a key set of science and technology policy issues that may come before the 117th Congress. Many of these issues carry over from previous Congresses, and represent areas of continuing Member interest. Examples include policies on taxation, trade, intellectual property, commercialization of basic scientific research and other overarching issues that affect scientific and technological progress. Other issues may represent new or rapidly evolving areas affected by the threats of pandemic diseases, climate change, and malicious cyber activities, among others. Examples covered in this report include infectious disease modeling and forecasting, digital contact tracing and digital exposure notification, hydrogen pipelines,and expansion of emerging information and communications technologies such as 5G. These and other S&T-related issues that may come before the 117th Congress are grouped into 10 categories: Overarching S&T Policy Issues, Agriculture, Biotechnology and Biomedical Research and Development, Climate Change and Water, Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, Information Technology, Physical and Material Sciences, and Space. Each of these categories includes concise analysis of multiple policy issues. The material presented in this report should be viewed as illustrative rather than comprehensive. Each section identifies CRS reports, when available, and the appropriate CRS experts to contact for further information and analysis..”

Assessing the social and emotional costs of mass shootings with Twitter data

Brookings Blog – Assessing the social and emotional costs of mass shootings with Twitter data, Mary Blankenship and Carol Graham. May 5, 2021. “Mass shootings that result in mass casualties are almost a weekly occasion in the United States, which—not coincidentally—also has the most guns per capita in the world. Viewed from outside the U.S.,… Continue Reading

AI.gov, home of the National AI Initiative

“Welcome to AI.gov, home of the National AI Initiative and connection point to ongoing activities to advance U.S. leadership in AI. The National AI Initiative Act of 2020 became law on January 1, 2021, providing for a coordinated program across the entire Federal government to accelerate AI research and application for the Nation’s economic prosperity… Continue Reading

New citation tool for Congress.gov users

In Custodia Legis – “Last month, Robert publicized the addition of historic materials to Congress.gov, including the bound Congressional Record going back to 1951 and the Statutes at Large back to 1973. This month, we are very happy to be introducing a citation tool for Congress.gov users. Over the years, many of our patrons have… Continue Reading

Afghanistan: Background and U.S. Policy: In Brief

CRS – Afghanistan: Background and U.S. Policy:In Brief Updated March 25, 2021: “Afghanistan emerged as a significant U.S. foreign policy concern in 2001, when the United States, in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, led a military campaign against Al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban government that harbored and supported it. In… Continue Reading

Two Memos With Enormous Constitutional Consequences

The Atlantic – “What’s astonishing is that presidential criminal immunity has no grounding in actual law. It’s not in the Constitution or any federal statute, regulation, or judicial decision. It is not law at all.” “One conclusion is apparent following Donald Trump’s four years in office: A sitting president is perhaps the only American who… Continue Reading

What’s Breaking Through? Congressional Reactions, Prioritization, and Digital Amplification

Precision: Ever wonder whether bipartisan agreement is gone forever? Or, whether it’s possible for progressives, conservatives, and those in the middle to find common ground on critical issues? Us too. That’s why we’re diving deep to look at what’s breaking through among three core groups of Senators and Representatives that carry weight across both chambers… Continue Reading

Report – Biden staffing makes history

Axios: “President Biden put his Cabinet in place faster than any other administration since President Reagan, the White House Office of Presidential Personnel says in a report provided first to Axios. By the numbers: Biden has announced his intent to nominate 233 people for Senate-confirmed jobs — more nominees than any past administration at the… Continue Reading

Tax Evasion at the Top of the Income Distribution – Theory and Evidence

NBER Paper – “This paper studies tax evasion at the top of the U.S. income distribution using IRS micro-data from (i) random audits, (ii) targeted enforcement activities, and (iii) operational audits. Drawing on this unique combination of data, we demonstrate empirically that random audits underestimate tax evasion at the top of the income distribution. Specifically,… Continue Reading

Apportionment and Redistricting Following the 2020 Census

CRS Insight – Apportionment and Redistricting Following the 2020 Census, April 27, 2021: “…The Clerk of the House sends each governor a certificate indicating a state’s number of Representatives within 15 calendar days of receiving the President’s apportionment message. Each state receives the number of Representatives noted in the President’s statement, beginning at the start… Continue Reading

Qui Tam: The False Claims Act and Related Federal Statutes

CRS Report – Qui Tam: An Abridged Look at the FalseClaims Act and Related Federal Statutes, Updated April 26, 2021: “Qui tam statutes enlist the public to sue to recover civil penalties and forfeitures from those who have defrauded the government. Qui tam rewards those who sue in the government’s name (called relators) with a… Continue Reading