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  • Issue Brief posted April 24, 2014 by Helle C. Dale, Brett D. Schaefer Time to Reform U.S. International Broadcasting

    Congressional efforts are currently under way to reorganize U.S. international broadcasting (USIB). Although the draft legislation is not publicly available, these are several key issues that any bill should address. Poor Governance The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees most major civilian assets of USIB, is dysfunctional and should be reformed or…

  • Issue Brief posted April 23, 2014 by Ana Quintana Crisis in Venezuela: UNASUR and U.S. Foreign Policy

    Earlier this month, Secretary of State John Kerry urged Congress not to respond to the Venezuelan government’s deadly crackdown against the democratic opposition. Recent high-level talks between the Venezuelan government and select members of the opposition have led the Secretary to mistakenly believe that the crisis will soon end. Additionally, he urged Congress to avoid…

  • Issue Brief posted April 23, 2014 by Diem Nguyen Salmon, Dakota Wood Congress Should Support the Marines’ New Amphibious Combat Vehicle Plan

    For the past several years, the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) has been working to better understand how the amphibious operations environment has changed and what those changes mean for relevant capabilities and operational concepts. A confluence of technological difficulties, changing operational requirements, and constrained budgets has forced the Corps to alter course…

  • Backgrounder posted April 23, 2014 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D., John L. Ligon Basel III Capital Standards Do Not Reduce the Too-Big-to-Fail Problem

    Many experts recognize that the government will still step in to support some financial institutions rather than allow them to go through bankruptcy. This “too-big-to-fail” doctrine remains at least as prominent now—and as costly to taxpayers—as it was prior to the 2008 crisis, partly because the Dodd–Frank bill exacerbated the problem. For instance, in the…

  • Issue Brief posted April 21, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky EEOC Loses Again on Background Checks

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) crusade to bring “disparate impact” claims against employers conducting criminal and credit background checks on prospective employees took another huge hit recently after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected the EEOC’s appeal of the dismissal of its claim in EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Education…

  • Issue Brief posted April 18, 2014 by Rachel Greszler Job Creation: Policies to Boost Employment and Economic Growth

    Nearly five years since the official end of the great recession in June 2009, 10.5 million Americans are unemployed, and the labor force participation rate remains near a 35-year low.[1] The weak labor market exists despite trillions of dollars in fiscal and monetary stimulus aimed at boosting employment and economic growth. Rather than increase the size of the federal…

  • Issue Brief posted April 18, 2014 by John L. Ligon, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Fannie and Freddie 2.0: The Senate Does Not Get the Government Out of the Market

    In an effort to reform the nation’s housing finance system, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D–SD) and ranking member Mike Crapo (R–ID) have announced that they will hold a markup for their bill on April 29, but many details still have to be ironed out. Given that close to 100 percent of the U.S. mortgage market is now backed by the federal government, it…

  • Issue Brief posted April 17, 2014 by James Sherk, Rachel Greszler Paycheck Fairness Act Would Reduce Pay and Flexibility in the Workplace

    In the name of protecting women from discrimination, the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) would allow employees to sue businesses that pay different workers different wages—even if those differences have nothing to do with the employees’ sex. These lawsuits can be brought for unlimited damages, giving a windfall to trial lawyers. Any financial benefits they reap, however,…

  • First Principles Series Report posted April 17, 2014 by Nelson Lund, Ph.D. The Second Amendment and the Inalienable Right to Self-Defense

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. —Amendment II Modern debates about the meaning of the Second Amendment have focused on whether it protects a private right of individuals to keep and bear arms or a right that can be exercised only through militia…

  • Issue Brief posted April 15, 2014 by David Inserra, Charles "Cully" Stimson The DREAM Act in the NDAA: Wrong for National and Homeland Security

    Under current law, lawful permanent residents (LPRs) are eligible to volunteer to serve in the United States military. If they pass the strict qualification requirements applicable to all who seek to serve, they can serve in the armed forces of the United States, and once they are in the armed forces, they may apply for expedited consideration for U.S. citizenship, which…

  • White Paper posted April 15, 2014 by Paul Rosenzweig The Proposed Transfer of the IANA Function to ICANN

    This paper is substantially similar to, though somewhat modified from, testimony I presented to the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, during a hearing on April 10, 2014. Introduction In March 2014, the Department of Commerce announced its intention to transfer the Internet Assigned Name Authority (IANA)…

  • Backgrounder on April 14, 2014 President Obama’s 2015 Budget: How Government Expansion Will Limit Opportunity, Slow Economic Growth, and Erode Financial and National Security

    President Obama’s 2015 Budget—A Vision of Big and Expensive Government as a Necessity for American Success Romina Boccia “Change won’t come from the top, I would say. Change will come from a mobilized grass roots.”[1] This was President Obama in his memoir, Dreams from My Father. Yet the President’s 2015 budget presents a vision of federal government involvement at…

  • Issue Brief posted April 11, 2014 by Diane Katz U.S. Export–Import Bank: Corporate Welfare on the Backs of Taxpayers

    Congress will soon debate the fate of the U.S. Export–Import Bank (Ex–Im), which doles out financing to favored corporations and credit to foreign governments. Proponents claim that such taxpayer bankrolling creates jobs and fills “gaps” in private financing.[1] In fact, the bank is a conduit for corporate welfare beset by unreliable risk management, inefficiency, and…

  • Center for Policy Innovation Discussion Paper posted April 11, 2014 by Patrick Louis Knudsen An Analysis of Selected Budget Process Reforms

    Since adoption of the congressional budget process in 1974, the procedure has rarely unfolded precisely on schedule or as planned. Conflicts large and small have been common, deadlines have been breached, and rules have been stretched to meet the demands of the moment. Customarily, Congress has found a way back to something resembling the “regular order” intended by the…

  • Backgrounder posted April 10, 2014 by Ryan T. Anderson, Leslie Ford Protecting Religious Liberty in the State Marriage Debate

    Abstract For years, a central argument of those who favor same-sex marriage has been that all Americans should be free to live and love as they choose, but does that freedom require the government to coerce those who disagree into celebrating same-sex relationships? A growing number of incidents demonstrates that the redefinition of marriage and state policies on sexual…