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Category Archives: Congress

COVID-19: China Medical Supply Chains and Broader Trade Issues

CRS Report – COVID-19: China Medical Supply Chains and Broader Trade Issues – R46304 April 6, 202o: “The outbreak of CoronavirusDisease2019 (COVID-19), first in China, and then globally, including in the United States, is drawing attention to the ways in which the U.S. economy depends on manufacturing and supply chains based in China.This report aims to assess current developments and identify immediate and longer range China trade issues for Congress.An area of particular concern to Congress is U.S. shortages in medical supplies—including personal protective equipment (PPE) and pharmaceuticals—as the United States steps up efforts to contain COVID-19 with limited domestic stockpiles and insufficient U.S. industrial capacity. Because of China’s role as a global supplier of PPE, medical devices, antibiotics, and active pharmaceutical ingredients, reduced export from China have led to shortages of critical medical supplies in the United States. Exacerbating the situation, in early February 2020, the Chinese government nationalized control of the production and distribution of medical supplies in China—directing all production for domestic use—and directed the bureaucracy and Chinese industry to secure supplies from the global market. Now apparently past the peak of its COVID-19 outbreak, the Chinese government may selectively release some medical supplies for overseas delivery, with designated countries selected, according to political calculations…”

Legal Issues Related to the COVID-19 Outbreak and Overview

CRS Legal Sidebar Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress – Legal Issues Related to the COVID-19 Outbreak: An Overview Updated March 30, 2020: “The COVID-19 outbreak has rapidly shifted the congressional agenda in recent weeks, while altering the daily lives of millions of American residents. Alongside the many medical, economic, social, and public policy… Continue Reading

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act—Tax Relief for Individuals and Businesses

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act—Tax Relief for Individuals and Businesses March 20, 2020 – March 31, 2020 R46279 – “Congress is considering a number of proposals that seek to mitigate the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. One such proposal, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (S. 3548),… Continue Reading

COVID-19 investment in museums and libraries

Federal Government Invests $50M in Museums, Libraries to Address Digital Divide: “The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced that the President has signed the CARES Act, which designates $50 million in coronavirus response funding for IMLS. Following passage in the House of Representatives earlier today, both chambers of Congress approved of the Coronavirus… Continue Reading

CRS – Federal Reserve Emergency Lending

CRS Report – Federal Reserve: Emergency Lending, Updated March 27, 2020. “The 2007-2009 financial crisis led the Federal Reserve (Fed) to revive an obscure provision found in Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 344) to extend credit to nonbank financial firms for the first time since the 1930s.” See also CRS Report… Continue Reading

COVID-19: State and Local Shut-Down Orders and Exemptions for Critical Infrastructure

EveryCRSReport – COVID-19: State and Local Shut-Down Orders and Exemptions for Critical Infrastructure, March 26, 2020 – “Since the onset of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States, public officials have issued numerous emergency directives closing non-essential businesses and facilities and instructing non-essential workers to stay home. However, these directives have generally… Continue Reading

Opinion – A Silent Spring Is Saying Something

Roger Cohen’s essay in the NYT: A Silent Spring Is Saying Something – The eerie inhumanity of Donald Trump. “This is the silent spring. The planet has gone quiet, so quiet you can almost hear it whirling around the sun, feel its smallness, picture for once the loneliness and fleetingness of being alive.This is the spring… Continue Reading

CRS – Federal Workforce Statistics Sources: OPM and OMB

Federal Workforce Statistics Sources: OPM and OMB – Julie Jennings, Senior Research Librarian; Jared C. NagelSenior Research Librarian – Updated March 25, 2020 – “This report describes online tools, reports, and data compilations created by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that contain statistics about federal employees… Continue Reading

WaPo Live Coronavirus Updates – US and around the world

Access to these Washington Post updates is free – Live updates: Confirmed coronavirus cases approach 500,000 worldwide; Senate passes stimulus, but new U.S. jobless claims shatter decades-old record – “Much of the world’s population is now living under some sort of coronavirus-related restrictions as the total number of confirmed cases worldwide approaches 500,000. In Washington,… Continue Reading

A case history in how Congress dealt with the Great Influenza

Roll Call: “In October 1918, during the depths of the influenza pandemic, Rep. Martin D. Foster, an Illinois Democrat, wanted to pass a bill to bolster the depleted ranks of doctors who could be called on to treat local outbreaks. It seemed like a good idea — tens of thousands of doctors were then serving… Continue Reading

CRS – National Emergency Powers

CRS Report – National Emergency Powers, Elaine Halchin, Specialist in American National Government, Updated March 23, 2020: “The President of the United States has available certain powers that may be exercised in the event that the nation is threatened by crisis, exigency, or emergency circumstances (other than natural disasters, war, or near-war situations). Such powers… Continue Reading