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Category Archives: Congress

CRS – Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile

Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile February 10, 2017 – January 17, 2018 R44762

“This report presents a profile of the membership of the 115th Congress (2017-2018) as of January 3, 2018. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service. In the House of Representatives, there are 240 Republicans (including 1 Delegate and the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico), 197 Democrats (including 4 Delegates), and 4 vacant seats. The Senate has 51 Republicans, 47 Democrats, and 2 Independents, who both caucus with the Democrats. The average age of Members of the House at the beginning of the 115th Congress was 57.8 years; of Senators, 61.8 years, among the oldest in U.S. history. The overwhelming majority of Members of Congress have a college education. The dominant professions of Members are public service/politics, business, and law. Most Members identify as Christians, and Protestants collectively constitute the majority religious affiliation. Roman Catholics account for the largest single religious denomination, and numerous other affiliations are represented, including Jewish, Mormon, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Greek Orthodox, Pentecostal Christian, Unitarian Universalist, and Christian Science. The average length of service for Representatives at the beginning of the 115th Congress was 9.4 years (4.7 House terms); for Senators, 10.1 years (1.7 Senate terms). One hundred eleven women (a record number) serve in the 115th Congress: 89 in the House, including 5 Delegates and the Resident Commissioner, and 22 in the Senate. There are 48 African American Members of the House and 3 in the Senate. This House number includes two Delegates. There are 46 Hispanic or Latino Members (a record number) serving: 41 in the House, including 1 Delegate and the Resident Commissioner, and 5 in the Senate. Eighteen Members (13 Representatives, 2 Delegates, and 3 Senators) are Asian Americans, Indian Americans, or Pacific Islander Americans. This is also a record number. Two American Indians (Native Americans) serve in the House. The portions of this report covering political party affiliation, gender, ethnicity, and vacant seats will be updated as events warrant. The remainder of the report will not be updated.”

Public Sees Better Year Ahead; Democrats Sharpen Focus on Midterm Elections

Pew – Control of Congress a bigger voting factor than in recent midterms – “A majority of Americans say 2018 will be a better year than 2017, a shift from a year ago when public expectations were far less positive. The change has been driven almost entirely by Democrats, who are more likely than Republicans… Continue Reading

Twitter says it exposed nearly 700,000 people to Russian propaganda during US election

Twitter Public Policy News Release: “…As previously announced, we identified and suspended a number of accounts that were potentially connected to a propaganda effort by a Russian government-linked organization known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA). Consistent with our commitment to transparency, we are emailing notifications to 677,775 people in the United States who followed… Continue Reading

Report – Secret Origins of Evidence in US Criminal Cases

Human Rights Watch Report – Secret Origins of Evidence in US Criminal Cases “In the United States today, a growing body of evidence suggests that the federal government is deliberately concealing methods used by intelligence or law enforcement agencies to identify or investigate suspects—including methods that may be illegal. It does so by creating a… Continue Reading

U.S. Welfare Reform Efforts Have Been Based on an Availability of Work that Doesn’t Always Exist

“Hilary W. Hoynes, an NBER research associate and professor of economics and public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, specializes in the study of poverty, food and nutrition programs, and the impacts of government tax and transfer programs on low income families. In this video, she outlines successes and failures of federal efforts to… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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