Congressional Digest

PRO & CON UPDATES


    Immigrant Military Enlistment

By , Editor,
June 05, 2015

On May 14, the House of Representatives stripped language from the Defense Department Authorization bill that would have pushed the Secretary of Defense to consider allowing undocumented immigrants to serve in the military. The provision would have applied to those eligible for a path to citizenship under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — the group known as DREAMers, after the Development, Relief, and Education for Alient Minors (DREAM) Act. The DREAM Act has been introduced several times in Congress but has failed to pass. It covers certain individuals who arrived in the United States as minors…

Read more...

    Pentagon Sexual Assault Survey

By , Editor,
May 28, 2015
Tags:

A new Pentagon report based on an independent survey found that the prevalence of sexual assault in the military has dropped. The survey showed that 20,300 sexual assaults occurred within the military’s ranks in 2014, down from an all-time high of 26,000 in 2012 but still higher than the 19,000 reported in 2010. The 2014 figure represents 4.9 percent of women and 1 percent of men in the active duty forces. The 2014 RAND Military Workplace Study also determined that reports of sexual assault are up 11 percent over the previous year and 70 percent over 2012, with one in…

Read more...

    Dietary Guildelines

By , Editor,
May 18, 2015
Tags:

In February, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee submitted its Scientific Report to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Agriculture. The committee was charged with examining where sufficient “new scientific evidence is likely to be available that may inform revisions to the current guidance or suggest new guidance.” Based on their research, the committee concluded that “a healthy dietary pattern is higher in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, seafood, legumes, and nuts; moderate in alcohol (among adults); lower in red and processed meat; and low in sugar sweetened foods and drinks and refined…

Read more...

    Equal Pay Protections

By , Editor,
May 05, 2015
Tags:

The Equal Pay Act of 1964 made it illegal to pay employees different wages based on their sex. In addition, the National Labor Relations Act says that employers cannot prevent employees from discussing wages and other issues. And in 2009, Congress passed, and President Obama signed, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which amends the 1964 Civil Rights Act to state that the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal pay lawsuit resets with each new paycheck affected by that discriminatory action. Nevertheless, the gap between men’s and women’s wages has persisted. Although the wage gap varies by State…

Read more...

    Wind Energy Production

By , Editor,
April 22, 2015
Tags:

Federal subsidies for wind production began under the Administration of President Jimmy Carter with passage of the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act and the Energy Tax Act. When these subsidies failed to make the industry competitive, Congress, in 1992, created the Production Tax Credit (PTC) to give it a boost. The PTC gives wind energy producers a tax credit of 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity generated. Although originally intended as a temporary measure, the PTC has been continually extended by Congress under pressure from the wind industry and renewable energy advocates. A setback occurred on January 29, 2015,…

Read more...

    Student Loan Repayment

By , Editor,
April 16, 2015
Tags:

Many Americans have outstanding undergraduate student loans with interest rates of 7 percent or higher; however, those who took out loans during the 2013-2014 school year pay a rate of 3.86 percent under the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act, passed by Congress in 2013. On March 18, 2014, Senators Elizabeth Warren (MA-D) and Representative Joe Courtney (CT-D) introduced the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act. The legislation would allow those with college loan debt to refinance at the lower interest rates. The rates would be slightly higher for graduate student loans. The cost would be paid for by requiring…

Read more...

    Terrorism and Social Media

By , Editor,
March 27, 2015
Tags:

On January 27, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade held a hearing on “The Evolution of Terrorist Propaganda: The Paris Attack and Social Media.” The purpose was to explore the question of whether U.S. companies like Twitter, YouTube, and Facbook are doing enough to stop or limit social media use by terrorists. Subcommittee Chair Ted Poe (TX-R) said that groups like ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) “have hosted press conferences, raised money on Twitter, and other social media,” likening such practices to “letting our enemies take out an ad in the New York…

Read more...

    U.S.–China Climate Change Deal

By , Editor,
March 17, 2015
Tags:

On November 11, during his visit to China, President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping jointly announced a landmark agreement on climate change that sets ambitious carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction targets for each country. Under the agreement, the United States will double its current pollution reduction, which so far has seen CO2 emissions fall roughly 10 percent below 2005 levels. The new target will be a reduction of 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. China has pledged to reach peak CO2 emissions “around 2030” and to “increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption…

Read more...

    Concealed Guns

By , Editor,
March 17, 2015
Tags:

Legislation recently introduced in both houses of Congress would allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons across State lines. 
The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act has been introduced by Senator John Cornyn (TX-R) as S. 498 and by Representative Richard Nugent (FL-R) as H.R. 402. Under the bill, gun owners with concealed carry permits from their State would be able to bring their firearms to any other State with concealed carry laws. All 50 States and the District of Columbia have some form of “concealed carry” — which generally refers to the practice of carrying a concealed firearm on one’s…

Read more...

    Keystone Update

By , Editor,
January 28, 2015
Tags:

Republicans in Congress are following through on their pledge to make approval of the Keystone XL pipeline an early item on their agenda as they take control of both the House and Senate. On January 9, the House easily approved a bill (H.R. 3) authorizing the pipeline’s construction; however, the vote, which was 266 to 157, fell short of the two-thirds majority necessary to override a presidential veto. On the same day, the Nebraska Supreme Court, after months of deliberation, reached a decision that allowed a route for the pipeline to cross the State. The case focused on whether the…

Read more...
X
Username
Password

Email Address
Email Address Again
Forgot username/password?