On Thursday, Mexico’s Congress approved a bill that would open Mexico’s oil industry to competition and to private sector investment for the first time in 75 years. The bill, which delivers on a major campaign promise made by President Peña Nieto, would amend articles 25, 27 and 28 of Mexico’s constitution, and must now gain approval by a majority of the state legislatures in Mexico before it becomes law. However, according to The New York Times, President Nieto’s party controls a majority of the state legislatures in Mexico, so approval is all but expected.
The budget agreement between Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) that was announced earlier this week and passed the House of Representatives with a strong bipartisan vote (332-94) last night is a step forward for the budget process. Reaching agreement on a plan – officially titled the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 – that does away with a portion of the destructive sequester is a win for bipartisanship in a town that’s had too little of it lately. However, all agree that the plan does not address the major drivers of our long-term debt.
The Fiscal Year 2013 sequester impacted funding for basic health and scientific research, especially the availability of new grants. For some researchers, this has meant delays in starting new projects or in completing ongoing ones—or even cancellation of research that is already underway. For graduate schools and research labs, cuts to current and anticipated funding meant cutting back the number of incoming students, leaving admitted students without funding, and laying off staff.
We would like to provide some clarity in response to inquiries about whether section 114 (page 17) of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 will diminish the rights of the Senate minority to object to proposals to replace the sequester with tax increases. It does not.
Last Friday, BPC hosted a workshop on forthcoming regulations of section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. Here are 10 slides you must see, if you haven’t already.
BPC's latest analysis on the interim deal with Iran, released today, examines the challenge of funding the enhanced inspections allowed for in the agreement. Carrying out monitoring of five new facilities related to Iran’s nuclear program as well as daily inspections at Iran’s main nuclear sites, Natanz and Fordow, according to BPC estimates, will increase the workload of IAEA inspectors by as much as 50%, and cost almost $10 million annually (or $5 million over the course of the 6 month deal).
The long-running debate over discretionary (annually appropriated) spending levels has become immensely confusing. There have been so many different plans and figures thrown around over the past several months that it has been easy to lose track—even for close watchers of the federal budget.
Thursday, December 5
1:30AM to 2:45PM
Who: Janet M. Marchibroda, Director for Health Innovation
What: The Health Level Seven International (HL7) Policy Conference is gathering recognized experts, implementers and funders in the vanguard of health technology and policy change for a conversation about today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities. The conference theme is Beyond Borders: Interoperability and the Future of Healthcare. Janet M. Marchibroda will speak at a session that will outline the near-term and futuristic policy issues involved in a connected, learning health care system.
Ending Too Big to Fail
By Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley
“A holistic approach is needed that both provides a credible resolution process for large, complex and interconnected banks, uses enhanced prudential standards and initiatives to further reduce the probability of default and the social losses associated with a default, and that incents management to intervene early to address incipient problems before they threaten the viability of the firm. Relying solely on resolution is not sufficient. Until the Title II resolution process is used, there will remain uncertainties regarding how well this approach will work in practice—especially in a time of market stress. For this reason it is also important to continue to pursue a number of alternative approaches.”
The recent interim deal with Iran has been variously described as “halting,” “freezing” and even “rolling back” Iran’s nuclear program. These terms, however, are a mischaracterization. Not only does Iran continue to accumulate enriched uranium under the interim deal, but it is actually possible for Iran to progress closer to an undetectable nuclear weapons capability without violating the terms of the agreement. Slowing the acceleration of most, but not all, aspects of Iran’s progress towards nuclear capability would be a more accurate characterization of the deal struck in Geneva.