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  • Issue Brief posted May 26, 2016 by Rachel Sheffield, Daren Bakst Child Nutrition Reauthorization: Time for Serious Reform, Not Tinkering

    Congress is currently working on reauthorizing the federal child nutrition programs, which include school meal programs. The last time Congress reauthorized these programs, it passed the controversial Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010,[1] a major priority for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.[2] The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act made a number of…

  • Issue Brief posted May 23, 2016 by Justin Bogie, Daren Bakst, Nicolas Loris, Katie Tubb House Energy and Water Appropriations Bill: Makes Progress but Could Do More to Cut Spending

    This week, the Energy and Water appropriations bill is expected to be debated on the House floor. The second of 12 appropriations bills providing discretionary funding for the federal government, the bill provides funding for projects under the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Energy,…

  • Backgrounder posted May 23, 2016 by James L. Gattuso, Diane Katz Red Tape Rising 2016: Obama Regs Top $100 Billion Annually

    The number and cost of federal regulations increased substantially in 2015, as regulators continued to tighten restrictions on American businesses and individuals. The addition of 43 new major rules last year increased annual regulatory costs by more than $22 billion, bringing the total annual costs of Obama Administration rules to an astonishing $100 billon-plus in just…

  • Issue Brief posted May 20, 2016 by Daren Bakst Federal and State Governments Should Not Require Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food

    Genetically engineered food is widely used by food companies in their products. Genetic engineering involves an intentional and targeted change to an organism’s gene sequence or genetic makeup to give the organism a specific new trait.[1] This process can improve the quality and quantity of food. For example, such activity can generate pest-resistant crops or crops that…

  • Issue Brief posted May 18, 2016 by Justin Bogie, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D., Michael Sargent Senate Bill Should Cut Wasteful Programs and Provide Long-Term Sustainability for Highway Programs

    The Senate will soon consider the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. The THUD bill provides funding for the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. The 2017 bill provides a total of $56.5 billion in discretionary budget authority. This represents an $827 million decrease below the current funding level and…

  • Issue Brief posted May 17, 2016 by Justin Bogie Congress Should Exercise Restraint in Veterans Affairs Funding Bill

    This week, the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Military Construction and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) appropriations bill is likely to receive floor consideration in the House of Representatives. The first of 12 appropriations bills providing discretionary funding for the federal government, the bill provides funding to the Department of Defense and the VA for the following…

  • Issue Brief posted May 16, 2016 by Nicolas Loris Congress Should Rescind Unused Qualified Energy Conservation Bond Funds

    In an era of record deficits, Congress should explore every opportunity to save taxpayer money. One funding stream Congress should cut immediately is Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs). The federal government uses a number of policy tools to favor the production of one energy source over or another and subsidize or mandate energy efficiency. One such mechanism,…

  • Issue Brief posted May 13, 2016 by Anthony B. Kim, Katie Tubb Coal Plant Modernization: The Best Energy Option for Kosovo

    Since achieving its independence in 2008, the Republic of Kosovo has made progress toward stability and development. The once conflict-torn nation has been transitioning, albeit gradually, to a country that stands firmly for “stronger democracy, greater freedom, and growing economic potential.”[1] In facilitating Kosovo’s ongoing economic transformation, the U.S. should…

  • Backgrounder posted May 9, 2016 by Curtis S. Dubay, David R. Burton American Business Competitiveness Act: Good Steps Toward Business Tax Reform

    On January 13, 2016, Representative Devin Nunes (R–CA) introduced the American Business Competitiveness Act (ABC Act) to reform business taxation provisions of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.[1] The legislation would be a large step in the right direction for the business side of the tax code, as it makes the major changes that are necessary to fix the current broken…

  • Backgrounder posted April 28, 2016 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. The Glass–Steagall Act: Unraveling the Myth

    The 1933 Glass–Steagall Act is still admired by many who believe its separation of commercial and investment banking banned the high-risk activities that caused the Great Depression. Yet there are so many myths and falsehoods surrounding this notion—and the Act itself—that it is difficult to comprehend how little supporting evidence Congress uncovered prior to passing the…

  • Backgrounder posted April 28, 2016 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. The Myth of Financial Market Deregulation

    A persistent myth regarding the 2008 financial crisis is that it was caused by deregulation of financial markets. All such claims are wrong. From an aggregate perspective, the industry has always been regulated, and there has never been a substantial reduction in financial regulations in the U.S. during the past 100-plus years. Instead, this time period has included an…

  • Backgrounder posted April 28, 2016 by Diane Katz Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Limiting Americans’ Credit Choices

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was established under Title X of Dodd–Frank to “regulate the offering and provision of consumer financial products or services under the Federal consumer financial laws.”[1] Prior to its creation, authority for some 50 rules and orders stemming from 18 consumer-protection statutes[2] was divided among seven agencies.[3] But…

  • Executive Summary posted April 26, 2016 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. The Case Against Dodd–Frank: How the “Consumer Protection” Law Endangers Americans

    The Case Against Dodd–Frank: How the “Consumer Protection” Law Endangers Americans grew from a shared concern among the contributing authors about the direction that financial regulation in this country has taken since the 2007–2009 financial crisis due to the regulations of the 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Rather than dealing with the…

  • Issue Brief posted April 25, 2016 by Justin Bogie, Daren Bakst, Nicolas Loris, Katie Tubb 2017 Senate Energy and Water Appropriations: Bill Falls Short on Key Policies

    This week, the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill is expected to be debated on the Senate floor. The first of 12 appropriations bills providing discretionary funding for the federal government, the bill provides funding for projects under the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, the Department…

  • Backgrounder posted April 22, 2016 by David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D., Nicolas Loris, Katie Tubb, Kevin D. Dayaratna, Ph.D. The State of Climate Science: No Justification for Extreme Policies

    Hysteria over global warming is now pervasive in the federal government, driving not just the Obama Administration’s energy and environmental policies, but also those of nearly every federal department and agency.[1] Throughout his term in office, President Obama consistently has said that policy action to combat man-made global warming is imperative and urgent. On the…