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Category Archives: Congress

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 questions raised by the pandemic are a range of legal issues. These include both short-term legal questions related to the unfolding outbreak as well as longer-term legal issues that are anticipated to persist in the wake of the crisis. Among the most immediate questions are those related to the scope of state and federal authorities concerning quarantine measures, travel and entry restrictions, the movement of medical goods, health care coverage, and the like. Of more ongoing concern may be legal issues ranging from those related to the development of vaccines, testing, treatments, and other medical countermeasures, to postponing national elections, to civil liability for COVID-19 exposure, to criminal actions related to hoarding and price gouging, to providing economic assistance to individuals and businesses,to foreclosure, eviction, and debt collection moratoria.This Legal Sidebar provides a list of legal resources discussing these and other legal topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be updated intermittently as additional legal issues emerge…”

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

Congressional Staff: Duties, Qualifications, and Skills

EveryCRSReport.com – Congressional Staff: Duties, Qualifications, and Skills Identified by Members of Congress for Selected Positions, R. Eric Petersen, Specialist in American National Government, March 10, 2020: “The roles, duties, and activities of congressional staff are matters of ongoing interest to Members of Congress, congressional staff, and observers of Congress. Members of the House and Senate… Continue Reading