CSG DC

In May, the World Trade Organization found country-of-origin labeling requirements, often referred to as COOL requirements, in the United States to be inconsistent with its international obligations. If Congress fails to repeal these requirements, Canada or Mexico may enact retaliatory trade actions valued at more than $3 billion against various companies across all 50 states.

As consumers continue to use the Internet to acquire goods, members of Congress are attempting to solve a quirk in tax law that is preventing states from collecting potential sales tax revenue. Bills in both the House and Senate aim to give states the authority to require out-of-state businesses selling online or through catalogs to collect taxes already owed under state law the same way local businesses do. Similar legislation failed to reach President Obama’s desk last Congress, but proponents are moving swiftly to ensure the bills remain at the top of the Congressional agenda.

Just seven months after the 2014 midterm elections ended, The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has released its comprehensive data on voting in the United States. The EAC is an independent, bipartisan commission serving as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration. Each election cycle the commission carries out the national election administration survey. In 2014, the survey included figures from the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA, or “motor voter”) and the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).

Recently Rep. David Cicilline proposed the Automatic Voter Registration Act (H.R. 2694) in an effort to protect the right to vote and expand access for eligible voters in the United States. The bill requires local motor vehicle departments to forward information to elections officials, who send the individual a notification that they will be registered to vote after 21 days. Anyone can opt out of registration before the 21-day window is up but otherwise...

Defense policy insiders are warning that a new round of base closures and realignments may be inevitable. Congress has blocked efforts in recent years to downsize military installations; however, pressures to cut defense spending and address the nation’s deficit are increasing the likelihood that military communities may face a new round of closures or realignments.

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