BPC Blog


The Issue

For the past several years, secretaries of defense – to the consternation of veterans advocates - have warned Congress that the benefit structure necessary to recruit and retain members of the military could begin to compromise its core mission to project force on behalf of national security.

Each new incoming president faces the daunting task of selecting hundreds of appointed Executive Branch officials. However, many of these positions go unfilled for months while the administration selects nominees and the Senate acts to confirm them. Is this lengthy nomination process contributing to the dysfunction and gridlock in Washington?

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

Monday, July 1 | 10:00AM to 4:00PM

Who: John Fortier, Director of the Democracy Project

What: Voting Rights after Shelby County v. Holder: In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in Shelby County v. Holder, a case that presented a constitutional challenge to Section Five of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Brookings Institution hosts a forum to discuss the implications of the ruling. Section Five requires certain "covered" states and localities with a history of race-based discrimination in voting to seek federal permission for changes in their voting laws. Shelby County argued that Congress exceeded its powers to enforce civil rights by failing to update the "coverage formula" to account for changes as to which jurisdictions pose the greatest threats to minority voting rights.

Where: Watch the webcast here.

Tuesday, in a speech at Georgetown University, President Obama announced his climate action plan -- a comprehensive strategy to cut carbon pollution, prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change, and lead international climate efforts. The Bipartisan Policy Center's (BPC) Strategic Energy Policy Initiative (SEPI) embraces restarting the conversation on climate policy in light of the nation’s new domestic energy landscape. Below is a brief analysis of the issues President Obama touched on today and what we’ve said about those issues here at BPC in our recent reports.

Will 2013, the 100th anniversary of the income tax, be the year that Americans begin to benefit from a simpler tax code?

Tax reform efforts in the U.S. Senate received a boost today as Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) reached out to fellow senators for their input on a new tax code.  Setting forth the challenge, the Finance leaders indicated that any tax breaks in the new code must be supported by “clear evidence that they: (1) help grow the economy, (2) make the tax code fairer, or (3) effectively promote other important policy objectives.”  Colleagues were asked to submit specific, legislative language for any deductions, credits, or exclusions that they believe should be part of a reformed federal income tax.

CBO estimates that the legislation, if enacted, would reduce deficits by approximately $1 trillion from FYs 2024-2033

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its much-anticipated cost estimate and economic impact projection for S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, in conjunction with the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT).* The two reports add non-partisan, objective analysis to the discussion, providing estimates of the budgetary and broader economic implications of the Act over the next two decades.

The Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission released an infographic illustrating how skyrocketing student loan debt levels hinder a full recovery of the housing market.

The Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative’s newest report, Too Big to Fail: The Path to a Solution, explains the FDIC’s new authorities and breakthrough approach to ensuring that any financial institution can be unwound without setting off a contagious panic or requiring a taxpayer-funded bailout. This report explains how reforms contained in the Dodd-Frank Act are putting us on a path to help prevent the failure of systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs) from jeopardizing the global financial system.

As the Commission on Political Reform’s July 23rd town hall on public service draws closer, we’ll highlight the best submissions to our Snaps of Service photo contest.

The fiscal canyon between the spending proposals of the House and Senate has grown to $91 billion 

The chart below sums up the reason that a continuing resolution for Fiscal Year 2014 (FY2014) seems certain.

As we have pointed out before, the House and Senate budget resolutions for FY2014 seemed to occupy different galaxies. The Senate assumed that current law (the Budget Control Act of 2011 or BCA) didn’t exist. The House assumed that the spending “caps” under the BCA were immutable.


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