Congress is making real progress on the first major rewrite of education law in more than a dozen years. These efforts may portend a rare legislative success for both Republicans and Democrats in a divided Washington.
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.
Challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will have to wait until a final rule is released. That’s according to a federal appeals court that rejected on procedural grounds an early challenge to the EPA’s proposed regulations to establish new greenhouse gas standards for existing power plants. The lawsuit, filed by 14 states and some of the nation’s largest coal companies, was the first in a wave of anticipated challenges to the EPA climate change rules. Legal experts say they expect some of those challenges to make it to the Supreme Court.
On May 27, 2015, the Obama administration issued new regulations that identify the waters and wetlands the federal government can regulate under the Clean Water Act, or CWA. The regulations are intended to resolve issues raised by several Supreme Court decisions that narrowed the reach of federal jurisdiction under the act.
The White House unveiled its semiannual regulatory agenda right before the Memorial Day weekend. The Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, also known as the Unified Agenda, details the rules that are under development throughout the federal government and covers more than 60 departments, agencies and commissions.
To ensure America remains competitive in the global market and has a vibrant economic future, we must invest in our nation’s infrastructure now. That’s the message leading voices from government, business and academia will bring to Washington, D.C., and events across the nation during national Infrastructure Week, May 11-15. Set against the backdrop of the Highway Trust Fund’s looming insolvency and the expiration of the federal transportation law known as MAP-21 at the end of May, the theme of this year’s Infrastructure Week—Investing in America's Economy—highlights policies and investments needed to revitalize the country’s infrastructure, rebuild the economy and create a competitive business environment.
When President Obama signed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 into law in April, he helped ensure more than 1 million children will continue to have health insurance. The Children’s Health Insurance Program—commonly known as CHIP—covers children from families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, yet do not earn enough to qualify for federal health insurance subsidies. In 2013, 8.1 million children were enrolled in CHIP, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The program has cut in half the rate of uninsured children, going from 14 percent in 1997 to 7 percent in 2012. CHIP originally had been set to expire this year due to the passage of the Affordable Care Act. When the U.S. Supreme Court made Medicaid expansion voluntary, states that chose not to expand their programs would have run into problems with insurance being lost for children whose families make too much to qualify for Medicaid should CHIP have expired.
When the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency bill in February, it took an important step toward ensuring the federal government considers the cost of regulations it places on state, tribal and local governments. The bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina and Rep. Loretta Sanchez of California, targets loopholes in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, also known as UMRA, which allows some regulatory agencies to circumvent public reporting requirements and avoid publicizing regulatory proposals. Similar legislation has passed the House with bipartisan support on four separate occasions.