Nov. 25, 2014

Guest Observer Archive

Combating Global Warming: Make Taiwan Part of the Solution | Commentary

The 20th session of the Conference of the Parties is being hosted by Peru this year from Dec. 1 to 12. The COP 20 is an important stepping stone to forging a new universal climate agreement in 2015 at COP 21 in Paris. However, most members of Congress don’t realize that among the 195 member nations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Taiwan is absent, despite the fact that the island is one of the leading economies in the world, a thriving democracy in East Asia, and willing to commit to reducing its carbon emissions proactively. To this end, we call on U.S. Congress to pass a resolution in supporting Taiwan’s bid for observer status in the COP 20.

Keynes at Home, Smith Online: Why Internet is Not Telephony and Congress Should Let it Remain Free | Commentary

All governments tend to subscribe to the principle of “Keynes at home, Smith abroad” — or, advocate market deregulation abroad but retain government powers at home. In the days of electronic surveillance and privacy concerns, telecom authorities around the world are applying this principle to the Internet. But the ideas put forward by President Barack Obama on broadband regulation could backfire with unintended consequences for the global openness of the Internet. The new Republican-controlled Congress should maintain the bipartisan approach of light regulation that made the Internet so successful; otherwise, the U.S. leverage on Internet governance could be lost.

Brain Matter for the New GOP Congress | Commentary

Nothing better reflects a mashup of neglected issues than the designation of November as national recognition month for Alzheimer’s Awareness, Family Caregivers, Home Care and Long-Term Care. No significant headway has been made on any of these fronts — from sorely underfunded research on this fatal neurodegenerative disease, to caregivers as the “second victim,” to the bankrupting financial health consequences for families and society.

Finding Common Ground for the Small-Business Community | Commentary

The midterm elections mean a Republican majority with a vastly different congressional agenda. As many anticipate this new set of legislative priorities, there’s much discussion around the potential for a “grand bargain.” Polls have consistently shown Republican and Democratic voters overwhelmingly united on one key issue — growing America’s economy.

Congress Should Pursue Sound Policy on Patent Reform | Commentary

Voters sent a clear message in the 2014 midterm elections — not just that they wanted a change in leadership, but that they wanted Washington to work.

The Missing Element in the Fight Against Ebola | Commentary

In the impoverished areas of West Africa hit with Ebola, clean water is a luxury. When family and community members come in contact with an infected person, or the deceased, they risk deadly infection simply because they cannot adequately wash their hands.

Congress: In 2015 Finish the Job on Patent Trolls | Commentary

The 2013-14 Congress heard testimony from tech startups, businesses small and large, retailers, manufacturers, and bipartisan state attorneys general — just to name a few — and made a strong effort to address patent troll abuse that is vexing thousands of companies. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte heard the outcry, and his Innovation Act targeted those who exploit meritless patents to extort companies, oftentimes forcing them to pay settlements only because settling is cheaper than paying for a meritorious defense. The bill passed the House by a wide, bipartisan margin, and two Senate Committees had strong patent reform hearings before efforts to finalize a bill were shelved in late Spring.

The New Congress Can Change Asia-Pacific Trade | Commentary

The recent APEC Summit in Beijing was an impressive photo opportunity for President Barack Obama and a cast of Asia-Pacific leaders. But the midterms are of more importance to the forum’s original mandate of Asia-Pacific economic cooperation.

Congress Needs to Step Up and Support the Nuclear Negotiations With Iran | Commentary

Nov. 24 is the deadline for the United States, its partners and Iran to come to an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. No deal has been reached, but none is expected until the 11th hour. A comprehensive agreement offers the best path to assure that Iran will not build a nuclear weapon through technical assurances in exchange for the phased lifting of sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program. Congress’s sanctions may have helped bring Iran to the table, but some in Congress have proactively tried to undermine negotiations by threatening new sanctions. Without Congressional support, Iran will have little motive to implement a deal, and Iranian hardliners will be emboldened.

It's Time to Fund the Eisenhower Memorial | Commentary

When the Speaker appointed us to serve on the Eisenhower Memorial Commission, we were honored to help bring to life a memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower, a great general and a visionary president. Along with our commissioner colleagues, we reviewed numerous options for the memorial concept, deliberating how best could we capture and convey Eisenhower’s life and legacy.

The EPA Must Give Nuclear Energy Equal Consideration | Commentary

There is no doubt that the Earth’s climate has changed over the past 50 years, and it is clear that humans have contributed to the accumulation of greenhouse gases. While the science of climate change is evolving, the risks presented by rising temperatures around the globe are sufficiently large to justify enactment of policies at the national and international levels to reduce carbon emissions.

New Congress Needs to Save Startups from Patent Trolls | Commentary

Now that the midterms are over and Republicans have seized control of the Senate, there is hopeful talk of bipartisan cooperation in the few areas where agreement is possible in the next Congress. Patent reform, which has always had broad bipartisan support, is at the top of the list of legislation that can and should get done. Startups, in particular, are desperate for relief from patent troll abuse, and need the Senate to revive and pass the patent reform bill that was abruptly scuttled by Democratic leadership in May.

Expanded Exports of Liquefied Natural Gas would Lift the US Economy | Commentary

Sen. John Hoeven and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz’s recent discussion about liquefied natural gas exports legislation is about further expanding opportunity, investment, and jobs in an industry that has undergone and continues to undergo a dramatic transformation. And make no mistake, lawmakers’ hammering out a smooth LNG export approval process is about growth and benefits our nation’s small businesses.

After a Rainstorm of Voter Disenfranchisement in 2014, Congress Must Restore the Voting Rights Act | Commentary

While pundits continue chattering about the meaning of this month’s election, one debate should finally be put to rest: We need a fully restored Voting Rights Act. When a 5-4 Supreme Court majority gutted key provisions of the Voting Rights Act last year, civil rights leaders warned it would lead to widespread disenfranchisement and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg famously derided her colleagues’ decision as, “throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”

The Lesson From Europe's Broadband Breakdown | Commentary

Today a debate is being waged in Washington. Various approaches to preserving the open Internet are being weighed, and reclassification of broadband services under Title II of the Communications Act is still at the heart of the debate.

Fighting Ebola Requires Better Planning | Commentary

The number of Ebola cases in the United States may have subsided, but the epidemic in Africa is far from over. And while it is clear the U.S. health care system ultimately rose to the challenge of caring for multiple Ebola patients, the grave mistakes made in Texas should serve as a wake-up call. We must ensure our health care system is better prepared to diagnose, treat and prevent the spread of Ebola and other diseases, which is why we are proposing specific legislation to advance this vital goal.

The Grinch Who Taxed the Internet | Commentary

Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., seems poised to take one last shot at changing how online purchases are taxed. Reid has signaled he’ll bring the unpopular Marketplace Fairness Act up for a vote by tacking it onto the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which is headed for certain renewal.

Supreme Court Pits People v. Politics Again | Commentary

Political games are de rigueur in Washington and the Supreme Court is no exception. With its grant of review in King v. Burwell, the nation’s highest court has set the stage for yet another Affordable Care Act showdown.

Caribbean Medical Schools Can Help Reduce Doctor Shortages in Hispanic Communities | Commentary

Among some Washington policymakers and the media, there is an unfair bias against Caribbean medical schools. Caribbean schools specialize in training primary care physicians, who often return home to serve communities all across our nation. Many of these physicians are first turned away from medical schools in the United States because there are not sufficient openings to meet the high demand.

On Ebola Funding, Don't Forget Lessons from the AIDS Epidemic | Commentary

A well-founded sense of urgency gripped the recent Senate Appropriations Committee hearing about the proposed $6.2 billion emergency funding bill to combat the Ebola epidemic. Lives are being lost as Congress deliberates.