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Category Archives: Congress

So you want to comment on a regulation? Here’s how

How to effectively comment on regulations. August 2018. Adam Looney, Director, Center on Regulation and Markets, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution.
“The Trump administration has made its deregulatory agenda clear since inauguration day. The administration’s actions have ranged from sweeping rollbacks of major rules that have garnered media attention, to smaller orders and guidance withdrawals instructing agencies to ignore previous rules. Brookings’ has been keeping track of these actions, big and small. While you may have heard of some, such as proposals to roll back the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, others have received relatively little attention despite having big impacts on regulation and the federal government’s role. These changes have been both lauded and criticized by relevant constituencies. Whether you support or oppose ongoing regulatory changes, Americans have the right to participate in the regulatory process and to comment on these proposed rules. Agencies are required to solicit, take seriously, and respond to comments from the public, and typically open a comment period of 30 to 60 days after announcing a proposed rule to accept comments. Effective comments can and do influence the rulemaking process. However, few people take advantage of the opportunity to comment, and even fewer comment effectively. Comments influence rules only to the extent that they bring forth relevant facts, evidence, and insights to rule makers. So how can you comment on proposed rules? As a former civil servant and current Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, I’ve seen both sides of the rulemaking process—both in developing and enacting rules and offering input on how to improve these rules. Through that process, I’ve gained insight into what is helpful and what isn’t, but have also been frustrated that information on how to make a comment is hard to find or unclear. Drawing on advice from colleagues and the experiences of regulatory experts, this how-to guide outlines why commenting is important, what information is important to include, and how to write and submit a comment. The guide describes what information your comment should include, how to structure your comment, where to find rules under comment, what information is helpful, and more.”

Researcher study – U.S. House candidates vulnerable to hacks

Reuters: “Three of every 10 candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives have significant security problems with their websites, according to a new study by independent researchers that underscores the threat hackers pose to the November elections…A team of four independent researchers led by former National Institutes for Standards and Technology security expert Joshua… Continue Reading

Agencies Could Better Leverage Review Processes and Public Outreach to Improve Burden Estimates

Paperwork Reduction Act: Agencies Could Better Leverage Review Processes and Public Outreach to Improve Burden Estimates, GAO-18-381: Published: Jul 11, 2018. Publicly Released: Aug 10, 2018. Each year, nearly every adult and business provides some form of information to a federal agency, whether via tax forms or benefits applications. Agencies estimate the time and resources… Continue Reading

Senate Judiciary Cmte releases first round of Kavanaugh’s White House documents

The Hill: “The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday publicly released its first tranche of documents from Brett Kavanaugh’s work in the George W. Bush White House. The batch being released, totaling more than 5,700 pages, is part of more than 125,000 pages given to the committee last week by the George W. Bush Presidential Library.… Continue Reading

United States Legislative Markup XML

“The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) is collaborating with the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, and the Office of the Federal Register on parallel projects to convert a subset of enrolled bills, public laws, the Statutes at Large, the Federal Register, and the… Continue Reading

For most U.S. workers, real wages have barely budged in decades

Pew Research Center: “On the face of it, these should be heady times for American workers. U.S. unemployment is as low as it’s been in nearly two decades (3.9% as of July) and the nation’s private-sector employers have been adding jobs for 101 straight months – 19.5 million since the Great Recession-related cuts finally abated… Continue Reading

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Education

CRS report via FAS: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Education, August 1, 2018: “Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Education Educational tools enabled by AI have recently attracted attention for their potential to improve education quality and enhance traditional teaching and learning methods. Although there is no single consensus definition, AI generally allows computers to perform tasks that… Continue Reading

What The District?! Explore How Your Voting District Has Evolved

ACLU – “For better or worse, the way Congressional districts are drawn can determine who wins elections, which communities are represented, and what laws are passed. Explore how your own district has changed (sometimes dramatically) over time.” Most state legislatures have the power to draw new congressional district boundaries. Enter your zip code and you… Continue Reading

The Essential Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh Reader: What Cases Should You Read?

The Essential Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh Reader: What Cases Should You Read?, CRS Legal Sidebar, July 25, 2018 “Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, whom President Trump has nominated to fill the impending Supreme Court vacancy caused by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s retirement from the Court, has amasseda voluminous record of judicial writings during his legal career.… Continue Reading

Judicial Opinions of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh and his very bigly paper trail

CRS report via FAS – Judicial Opinions of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, Michael John Garcia, Coordinator, Acting Section Research Manager, July 23, 2018. “On July 9, 2018, President Trump announced the nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) to succeed Supreme Court… Continue Reading

Special IG reports U.S. wasted more than $15 billion in past 11 years in Afghanistan

NBC News: “The watchdog charged with tracking government spending in Afghanistan has released its first estimate of the total amount of money wasted there — a staggering $15.5 billion over 11 years — but says even that figure is probably “only a portion.” In response to a request from three congressman in 2017, the Special… Continue Reading

Trump Twitter posts are focus of Mueller obstruction investigation

The New York Times: “For years, President Trump has used Twitter as his go-to public relations weapon, mounting a barrage of attacks on celebrities and then political rivals even after advisers warned he could be creating legal problems for himself. Those concerns now turn out to be well founded. The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller… Continue Reading