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  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted January 31, 2014 by Cassandra Lucaccioni , Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D. Top Homeland Security Priorities for Congress in 2014

    The world today is more dangerous than it was on September 10, 2001. Threats to the homeland have increased as the President’s leadership has caused the U.S. to lose respect and influence on every front. After at least 61 thwarted terrorist attacks in the U.S.,[1] those who are committed to destroying America’s way of life cannot be ignored. Protection of the homeland…

  • Commentary posted September 4, 2013 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Amendments for Liberty

    Mark Levin’s new book (The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic, published by Simon & Schuster) should be required reading for conservative bloggers, reporters, radio talk-show hosts, state legislators, members of Congress, and grassroots activists all over America. It provides a coherent plan to restore our constitutional republic, reversing the damage…

  • Backgrounder posted August 15, 2013 by Emily Goff House Water Resources Development Act: Ditch Senate Bill Blunders, Reform the Army Corps

    For the first time since 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I) will soon propose a new Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). Traditionally, WRDA bills authorize the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to spend billions of taxpayer dollars to study and construct water infrastructure projects as part of its Civil Works…

  • Backgrounder posted August 2, 2013 by Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., Edmund F. Haislmaier, Joseph A Morris Congress in the Obamacare Trap: No Easy Escape

    High anxiety is gripping Capitol Hill. The reason: On January 1, 2014, Members of Congress and their staff will lose their current employment-based health insurance and will instead be offered coverage in the health insurance exchanges established under the new health care law.[1] In April, Politico reported that “Congressional leaders in both parties are engaged in…

  • Legal Memorandum posted July 18, 2013 by Paul Rosenzweig Congress Doesn’t Know Its Own Mind— And That Makes You a Criminal

    Imagine a criminal law that stated simply “do not use drugs.” Such a law would be absurdly vague and impossible to enforce. What about, for example, drugs taken by accident (because an individual did not know that his or her bourbon contained Rohypnol); or drugs that were not illegal (like aspirin); or drugs that an individual thought were legal but, contrary to his or…

  • Issue Brief posted June 24, 2013 by Robert Rector, Jessica Zuckerman Schumer–Corker–Hoeven Amendment Fails on Securing the Border and Halting Illegal Immigration

    On Friday, Senators Bob Corker (R–TN) and John Hoeven (R–ND), joined by Senator Charles Schumer (D–NY), introduced an amendment to the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill (S. 744). The amendment, which when incorporated into the bill ballooned it to nearly 1,200 pages, is touted as putting teeth into the border security provisions of the Gang of Eight’s amnesty…

  • Issue Brief posted April 8, 2013 by Baker Spring, Jack Spencer Mixed Oxide Fuel Facility in South Carolina Needs Congress’s Support

    The Department of Energy (DOE) is constructing a facility at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina to produce mixed oxide (MOX) fuel, which consists of uranium oxide and plutonium oxide, for use in nuclear power reactors. This building project follows from a 2000 agreement with Russia to dispose of 34 metric tons of surplus weapons plutonium by each country. The DOE…

  • Backgrounder posted March 25, 2013 by Paul Rosenzweig, Daniel J. Dew Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Undermining the Criminal Intent Requirement

    Developed over the course of hundreds of years, the Anglo–American legal system contains several key provisions that, when used properly, guard against wrongful criminal convictions. These protections are critical: Not only do they defend Americans from false accusations and Kafka-esque legal proceedings, but they also demand that police and prosecutors proceed with…

  • Testimony posted March 6, 2013 by James L. Gattuso “REINS Act of 2013”: Promoting Jobs, Growth, and Competitiveness

    Testimony before The Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Committee on the Judiciary United States House of Representatives March 5, 2013 Mr. Chairman, Ranking member Cohen, members of the subcommittee: My name is James Gattuso. I am Senior Research Fellow in Regulatory Policy at The Heritage Foundation. Thank you for inviting me to be here…

  • Issue Brief posted February 26, 2013 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. U.N. Arms Trade Treaty: Congress Should Show Leadership in Advance of the ATT Negotiations

    Next month, the United Nations will hold a second negotiating conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The first conference, held in July 2012, failed to reach consensus agreement on a treaty text. Before that conference, both the Senate and House played a constructive role in the treaty process by making their wide-ranging concerns about the ATT clear to the executive…

  • Issue Brief posted December 18, 2012 by Michaela Dodge National Security and Defense: Comparing Congress and The Heritage Foundation's Policy Positions

    To provide for the common defense is one of the primary constitutional responsibilities of the federal government. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is a federal law that annually specifies the budget and expenditures of the Department of Defense (DOD). In addition to funding, this law can also be a vehicle for good and bad policies. Therefore, lawmakers abuse…

  • Issue Brief posted December 5, 2012 by John Malcolm Indian Tribal Lands and the Carcieri Fix

    Retiring Senator Daniel Akaka (D–HI) has indicated, with the support of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV) and the Obama Administration, that he intends to push his “Carcieri Fix” (S. 676) during the lame-duck session of Congress. The bill would give the Secretary of the Interior largely unbridled discretion to turn over tens of thousands of acres of private land to…

  • Issue Brief posted September 26, 2012 by J.D. Foster, Ph.D. Obama Could Prevent a Made-in-Washington Recession

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecasts a recession for 2013. Forecasters rarely anticipate a recession. Almost by definition, recessions surprise. Some unexpected force or forces conspire to so disrupt the economy that it contracts. What makes this recession different, and predictable, is that the disruptive force is Washington policies and, even more,…

  • Issue Brief on September 24, 2012 Cybersecurity: The Latest Research and Analysis

    In the age of modern warfare, the threat of a cyber attack is often overlooked. Focus tends to lie more on physical threats, such as missile defense and nuclear weapons. However, one of the greatest threats to national security is a lack of cybersecurity. Politicians have tried to bring legislation to the floor in an effort to “do something” to protect the nation from…