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Category Archives: Congress

Federal workers are returning to the office

Washington Post – Some members of Congress say they shouldn’t be. “With the number of coronavirus cases increasing across much of the country, leading members of Congress on civil service issues are challenging orders by federal agencies for teleworking federal employees to return to their regular worksites. “I think we have to press the pause button immediately,” Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), chairman of the House Government Operations subcommittee, said in an interview. “There is no data that could make one comfortable that it is safe to return fully to work and to the status quo. In fact, all of the data suggest the opposite.” Senators representing Maryland and Virginia will send a letter Thursday morning to the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management warning against premature reopenings that could lead to new coronavirus cases…“Reopening too quickly by ending maximum telework threatens to erase the progress made against the virus and endanger the health and safety of federal employees and everyone else in an agency’s region through increased community spread,” says the letter, signed by Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Mark R. Warner (D-Va.)…”

Jacqueline Simon, policy director of the American Federation of Government Employees, though, testified that “there should be no reopening unless and until federal agencies have the full capacity to test, protect, trace, and inform their workforces, and unless and until genuine, objective data on the status of the pandemic shows it has subsided.”…

Audit Finds Facebook’s Decisions Were ‘Setbacks for Civil Rights

The New York Times – “An independent audit faulted the social network for allowing hate speech and disinformation to thrive — potentially posing a threat to the November elections. Auditors handpicked by Facebook to examine its policies said that the company had not done enough to protect people on the platform from discriminatory posts and… Continue Reading

Programs to Collect Data on Law Enforcement Activities: Overview and Issues

CRS report via LC – Programs to Collect Data on Law Enforcement Activities: Overview and Issues, July 6, 2020: “The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN,while he was in the custody of law enforcement, and several other recent high-profile deaths of African Americans at the hands of police,have generated interest in legislation to reform… Continue Reading

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loan Level Data

Department of the Treasury SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loan Level Data To download all Paycheck Protection Program data, click here. Paycheck Protection Program Loans of $150,000 and above by State Click here to download Paycheck Protection Program loan data by state for loans of $150,000 and above. The data for all 56 states and territories is available… Continue Reading

Coronavirus will undermine trust in government, ‘scarring body and mind’ for decades, research finds

Washington Post – “Two new working papers present complementary data showing that the coronavirus pandemic will leave a deep psychological scar on the nation for years to come. The first, led by Julian Kozlowski of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, finds that the experience of the coronavirus and ensuing recession could make people… Continue Reading

House Democrats release the most detailed climate plan in US political history

“Plan Would Put Americans Back To Work, Save Lives, And Help the United States Reach Net Zero By 2050 – On Tuesday, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chair Kathy Castor (D-FL), members of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis unveiled a comprehensive plan titled “Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy… Continue Reading

Many Americans See Exaggeration, Conspiracy Theories and Partisanship in COVID-19 News

“As Americans continue to process a steady flow of information about the coronavirus outbreak – from changing infection and death rates to new testing protocols and evolving social distancing guidelines – they give the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health organizations the highest rating when it comes to getting the facts… Continue Reading

Public’s Mood Turns Grim; Trump Trails Biden on Most Personal Traits, Major Issues

New National Survey by Pew Research Center – Just 17% say they are ‘proud’ when thinking about state of the U.S. – “With less than five months until the 2020 elections, Americans are deeply unhappy with the state of the nation. As the United States simultaneously struggles with a pandemic, an economic recession and protests… Continue Reading

Stimulus check update, status, amount, eligibility

CNET – Everything to know about the IRS payment – “Answers to all your stimulus payment questions are here. Find out how much of the $1,200 you could receive, see if the IRS has scheduled your 2020 check yet, learn when your money will arrive and more…We’ll help you understand: If you’re eligible to receive… Continue Reading

Republicans, Democrats Move Even Further Apart in Coronavirus Concerns

“As the number of coronavirus cases surges in many states across the United States, Republicans and Democrats increasingly view the disease in starkly different ways, from the personal health risks arising from the coronavirus outbreak to their comfort in engaging in everyday activities. These differences extend to opinions about whether a new stimulus package will… Continue Reading

Demographic report on protests shows how much info our phones give away

Buzzfeed: “On the weekend of May 29, thousands of people marched, sang, grieved, and chanted, demanding an end to police brutality and the defunding of police departments in the aftermath of the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. They marched en masse in cities like Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, empowered… Continue Reading

“No-Knock” Warrants and Other Law Enforcement Identification Considerations

CRS Sidebar via LC – “No-Knock”Warrants and Other Law Enforcement Identification Considerations, June 23, 2020: “In the wake of protests over the death of George Floyd while in police custody, some Members of Congress have expressed interest in passing legislation that would alter the policing practices of federal, state, and local law enforcement officers. One… Continue Reading