The mere mention of food stamps on Capitol Hill conjures up long held political stereotypes of Republicans reaching for the budget ax while Democrats reach out their hands, both a gross mischaracterization and oversimplification of a complex problem.
As the Agriculture committees in the House and Senate turn their attention to considering and reporting out a five-year farm bill this month, it’s important to consider how many Americans have felt the negative effects of not having a comprehensive bill.
The debate has been settled. The question is no longer whether private business can be mentioned in the same breath as global development. Instead, it’s how can poor countries take better advantage of the transformative nature of private enterprise?
We are at risk of an Internet “cold war” if the U.S. does not stand up to dangerous proposals from repressive regimes to control the Internet. As governments and members of civil society and industry gather in Geneva for the World Telecommunication/ICT Policy Forum, countries of the like continue to push efforts to give their governments new powers to suppress their citizens’ unfettered access to the Internet.
When he visited the Grand Canyon 100 years ago this month, President Theodore Roosevelt admonished Americans to “leave it as it is. You can not improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it. What you can do is to keep it for your children, your children’s children, and for all who come after you.”
It has been five years since the financial crisis struck, and progress in putting the unemployed back to work still lags, with no end in sight.
Members of the American Dental Association will be fanning out across Capitol Hill this week in an effort to educate and influence lawmakers regarding what they think will improve access to dental care.
We are on the cusp of finally realizing federal immigration reform in the United States. As our nation’s lawmakers debate this much anticipated bill, it is essential that we are diligent in ensuring that all aspiring citizens have a fair shot at the pathway to citizenship. There are those who believe that anyone with a criminal conviction, no matter how minor or old, should be shut out of this process and deported. I strongly disagree.
For too long our immigration system has had an exclusionary effect, leaving families separated and causing unimaginable heartache. Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders know this too well. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, for the first time in our nation’s history, excluded a group of people based purely on ethnicity.
In May we celebrate Older Americans Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the many contributions seniors make every day in our communities. It is also a time to reflect on what we can do, as policymakers, to ensure their lifetime of hard work is rewarded and their golden years are comfortable.
When we hear the words “immigration reform,” we probably assume that any rules coming out of the legislation will apply only to immigrants. Wrong.
Everyone can agree it is unacceptable for the IRS to target particular organizations based on political ideology. If that’s what agents at the IRS were up to, they were wrong and there should be consequences. The real problem, however, is not that the IRS is overly aggressive but that it has sat by idly while an ever-increasing number of groups blatantly violate the laws governing 501(c)(4) organizations. Where is the outrage over that?
National security has been at the top of Americans’ minds lately. We all want to feel safe as we go about our daily lives.
In 1998, Congress passed the Internet Tax Freedom Act, which placed a three-year moratorium on new Internet taxes. In April of 2000, I was proud to serve as chairman of the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce. Created by Congress, the commission was established to develop recommendations that would help further economic growth in the digital age. In our report to Congress, a majority of commissioners recommended that Congress maintain the moratorium on new Internet taxes. This week, unfortunately, the Senate reversed course. This is unfortunate because, while much has changed in the 13 years since we made our initial report to Congress, the recommendation to keep the Internet tax free is as relevant today as it was then.
By some measures, the economy is fantastic. Interest rates are low. The Dow has been hitting record highs, only to exceed them the next day. The S&P 500 just topped its previous high from October 2007, well before the recession started, and home prices are rallying. The New York Times has called it a “golden age for corporate profits.” Indeed, profit margins are at an all-time high.
Congressional interns are a valuable asset for Capitol Hill offices, performing many administrative functions. However, most offices do not have successful intern programs by any objective measurement. Interns are sometimes selected for the wrong reason (personal connections to the legislator), given very little training and are often supervised by the person who has the LEAST experience as a manager (the 22-year-old staff assistant — who was last year’s intern).
Recently, the Department of Defense released its annual report to Congress on China’s military capabilities and activities. Providing valuable information to Congress about China’s military, the report comes at an important time for Congress as it grapples with difficult decisions about defense cuts brought about by the sequester.
Last month, the U.S. government stood on the sidelines as much of the world united for the final push to eradicate polio. Now, Congress has a chance to put us back on track.
On an August night in 1998, our 15-month-old baby girl almost died. Shortly after receiving her measles, mumps and rubella vaccination, she developed a fever that we thought was either a normal response to the shot or possibly a summer virus. It seemed like any ordinary hot, humid Sunday evening in Kentucky.
Congress must ask the Environmental Protection Agency why, after more than 40 years of increasingly costly watershed management (WSM) technologies and best-management practices, water quality is continuing to deteriorate. Since enactment of the Clean Water Act in 1972, controlling point- and nonpoint-source nutrient and pollutant loading from watersheds into waterbodies has been the EPA’s sole method of addressing waterbody impairment. The agency failed to implement the third pillar of the CWA, waterbody management (WBM). A systems approach is needed to improve water quality using effective and cost-efficient WSM practices and WBM interventions so that freshwater impairment can be reversed and prevented in the near term at a much lower overall cost.