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Policy Archive

Individual Universities Write to Judiciary Panel Leaders on Patent Legislation

As lawmakers make another effort to pass legislation targeting abusive patent litigation, universities are continuing to let them know they have problems with proposals they think go too far.

Growing Bipartisanship in Support of a Slower Withdrawal of U.S. Troops From Afghanistan

It’s starting to look like the United States will keep military forces in Afghanistan longer than planned. A growing number of key Senate Democrats have quietly joined Republicans and Pentagon leaders in advocating a slower withdrawal and a longer stay for U.S. troops because of concern about the security situation.

Difficult Questions for Advocates of Independent Air Traffic Control Operations | Commentary

By Kevin DeGood

K Street Donors Make Early White House Picks | K Street Files

They’re not billionaire industrialists poised to bankroll millions in the 2016 campaign, but K Street still matters to the crop of aspiring presidential candidates.

Keystone Process Tells Tale of Two Houses | Procedural Politics

Do you remember Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California promising last fall to return the new Congress to the regular order? The initial test came on the first major bill in the well of both houses, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act. Whereas the Senate produced a veritable gusher of amendments with all hands at the wellhead, the House reverted to a narrowly-constricted flow tube controlled by a few valve masters.

Blumenauer: Replace Gas Tax With Road Usage Charge

Speaking to the second annual conference of the Mileage-Based User Fee Alliance on Tuesday, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D – Ore., pitched the idea of pairing an increase in the gasoline tax with a pilot program to support state experiments in taxing drivers by how many miles they drive.

The Other Kind of ISIS War: in Cyberspace

Forget about the actual bombing campaign(s) against the Islamic State group for now. There’s a surprising amount of war being waged against, and by, the group online.

State Moves to Help Dominion Solar Plans

Virginia lawmakers are pushing a measure to develop a solar authority that would facilitate financing for solar projects and help Dominion Virginia Power carry out proposed plans, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported:

IRS Offers Guidance on Health Insurer and Cadillac Plan Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service is offering guidance on two complicated tax topics initiated by the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The health law is partially funded by an annual fee on health insurers. The fee has been in place since 2013 and new rules set to be published on Thursday set regulations for the fee for 2015. The tax is not applicable to employers who self-insure, non-profit insurers and voluntary employee benefit groups. The new rule notice offers guidance on the tax agency’s effort to clarify the definition of an entity covered by the tax. Last week, Louisiana Republican Rep. Charles Boustany, Jr. blasted the whole idea of the insurer fee as one of the ways the health law increases the cost of insurance premiums. Boustany touted legislation repealing the fee.

A Look at the FCC's Rules Seeking to Improve 911 Call Location Accuracy

In response to an outcry from lawmakers, the Federal Communications Commission is trying to fix the issue of inaccurate cellphone location data sent to help 911 responders go to the right place, but the process is going to be slow, writes CQ Roll Call’s Shawn Zeller.

Security Politics ('American Sniper,' 'Citizenfour') at the Oscars

A pair of national security-themed films figured into the Oscars, one winning and one losing more often than not. Naturally, that got people to talking.

Buy America Rules Reach Even Four-Inch Steel Valves

Here’s one recent and relatively small illustration of how far-reaching are the Buy America rules that have governed transportation infrastructure projects since 1978.

Oscar-Winning Portrayals About Legislative Impasse

There’s always at least of whiff of politics at the Oscars, but the speeches this year touched on as many different hot-button issues in Congress as ever.

Congress Should Protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge | Commentary

By Steve Barker

Hotels Move to Make 911 Dialing Easier for Guests

Republicans often push voluntary programs to avert the need for new regulations, with mixed success. In the case of Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Ajit Pai’s campaign to get hotels to allow direct 911 calls from their rooms, so far so good.

FCC Calls for Greater Accuracy in 911 Call Locations

Although 7 out of 10 emergency calls are made from cellphones, the location data sent to help 911 responders go to the right place is notoriously inaccurate. In response to an outcry from members of Congress, the Federal Communications Commission is trying to fix the problem. But it’s going to be a slow process.

Congress Faces Decision On Export-Import Bank

A day before more than 600 supporters of the Export-Import Bank arrive in Washington to make the case for the bank, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) urged Congress in a letter to change Ex-Im Bank rules so that it doesn’t aid “state-owned, state-supported, and credit-worthy foreign airlines.”

FCC Republicans Call for Delay in Net Neutrality Vote

The Federal Communications Commission’s two Republican members on Monday called for delaying Thursday’s scheduled vote on net neutrality rules for at least 30 days to give the public and the commission more time to review them, but FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler showed no sign of agreeing.

Check Out This F-16 That Flew With a Wing Half Ripped Off

There was a collision in October on an F-16 training mission where one pilot ejected safely and the other pilot landed with a plane that looked like THAT. After flying for 100 miles.

CMS Releases Wide-Ranging Exchange Rule

Next year’s open enrollment period for people buying insurance in health law marketplaces will run from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31, 2016, under a 476-page rule released late Friday that affects the plans created under the statute.




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