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Category Archives: Legislation

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

Search Tips by Category – Congress.gov

This combination FAQ and search tips site is a keeper – via the experts and Congress.gov – thank you – https://www.congress.gov/resources/display/content/Search+Tips+by+Category 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

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

CRS Update: Who’s the Boss at the CFPB?

UPDATE: Who’s the Boss at the CFPB? – Valerie C. Brannon Legislative Attorney Jared P. Cole Legislative Attorney. January 11, 2018. “Update: On January 10, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied Leandra English’s request for a preliminary injunction, ruling that the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (Vacancies Act) authorized the President to… Continue Reading

Bill Would Establish Cybersecurity Inspections, Impose Mandatory Penalties, and Compensate Consumers for Stolen Data

“United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) today introduced the Data Breach Prevention and Compensation Act to hold large credit reporting agencies (CRAs) – including Equifax – accountable for data breaches involving consumer data. The bill would give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) more direct supervisory authority over data security at CRAs,… Continue Reading

Trump Justice Department Pushes for Citizenship Question on Census, Alarming Experts

ProPublica: “Two members of Congress are pushing back against a proposal by the Justice Department to add a question on citizenship to the 2020 census. In a letter sent to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who has the authority to decide on census questions, Reps. Jose Serrano and Grace Meng, both New York Democrats, call on… 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

Receive an Email when Member of Congress has New Remark Printed in CR

In Custodia Legis – “Congress.gov alerts are emails sent to you when a measure (bill or resolution), nomination, or member profile has been updated with new information. You can also receive an email after a Member has new remarks printed in the Congressional Record. Here are instructions on how to get an email after a Member… Continue Reading

California Senate to Hear EFF’s License Plate Cover Bill

EFF – “Across the country, private companies are deploying vehicles mounted with automated license plate readers (ALPRs) to drive up and down streets to document the travel patterns of everyday drivers. These systems take photos of every license plate they see, tag them with time and location, and upload them to a central database. These… Continue Reading