BPC Blog

Chairman Paul Ryan keeps previous priorities intact

The FY 2015 House budget is largely a restatement of the priorities that Chairman Ryan laid out in his budgets from the past several years – including prioritizing defense spending, repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), phasing in premium support for Medicare, block granting and reducing funding for means-tested programs, and enacting revenue-neutral tax reform.

Demand for H-1B visas has exceeded the annual cap every year since 2004

For the second year in row, employers are expected to file enough H-1B visa petitions to reach the annual limit within days after the filing window opens.

As domestic production of light crude oil increases, imports compensate to maintain balance

One key characteristic of crude oil is its density, which ranges from light to heavy. The density of crude oil–that is, how light or heavy it is compared to water–is often measured by calculating its API gravity, where higher numbers signify lighter crudes and “sweet” or “sour” designations denote the sulfur content of the crude. Lighter, sweeter crudes are generally more valuable from an economic perspective because they are less energy-intensive to refine into finished products.

Congress should keep the most important and ditch the rest

On New Years Eve, while fireworks were going off to celebrate the arrival of 2014, a number of different tax breaks and incentives expired. These tax provisions are collectively known as the “tax extenders,” a set of breaks for activities that range from deductions for higher-education tuition to special treatment for film and TV productions to the research and experimentation tax credit. The extension of many of these tax extenders has become an annual tradition and a cause for legislative fireworks.

A monthly roundup of events featuring Bipartisan Policy Center founders, senior fellows, project leaders and staff

Tuesday, April 1
12:30PM to 1:30PM
Who: Health Innovation Initiative
What: Join the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and TechNet in App, Map, Cloud, Code, Gadgets, Widgets & Digits: What's Next for the Innovation Economy?, a moderated panel discussion with technology industry leaders to discuss what’s next through the lens of public policy and Washington. Panelists will discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead for the innovation ecosystem.

In wake of the Twitter and YouTube bans put in place by Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bipartisan congressional caucus, recently hosted a panel of experts for a discussion of Turkey’s disintegration of human rights and rule of law. 

The harder Prime Minister Erdoğan grasps power, the more opposition, both elite and popular, he will engender

After a decade of stability, Turkey is experiencing serious unrest. Two political conflicts are brewing—one popular, one elite. At the center of both, stands the increasingly authoritarian, and Twitter-banning, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Voters will weigh in on March 30, in local elections that launch an 18 month-long electoral season. No resolution is likely, rather continued turmoil, with domestic and international consequences.

Rep. Camp’s plan adopts proposal from Reps. Black and Davis

In tax year 2009, college students and their parents left nearly $800 million in tax benefits for higher education on the table. Students and parents filing their taxes this spring will confront the same trio of tax breaks and many will likely make similar errors.

Dodd-Frank Stress Test 2014: Supervisory Stress Test Methodology and Results
By the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

“[T]he largest banking institutions in the United States are collectively better positioned to continue to lend to households and businesses and to meet their financial commitments in an extremely severe economic downturn than they were five years ago. This result reflects continued broad improvement in their capital positions since the financial crisis.”

Imports of oil sands crude exceed the proposed capacity of the Keystone XL pipeline by more than 350,000 barrels per day

Although total U.S. imports of crude oil have declined 24 percent from their peak in 2005, imports of crude oil from Canada have increased 56 percent during that period. Canadian oil sands were the largest driver of the increase, doubling since 2005. The United States imports more crude oil from Canada than any other country—Canada accounted for 33 percent of total U.S. imports of crude oil in 2013.


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