BPC Blog

May Bipartisan Champions: Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Joe Heck (R-NV)

This month, BPC highlights Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Joe Heck (R-NV) for their bipartisan effort to improve the U.S. economy and create jobs by making it easier for foreign visitors to travel to the U.S. The Congressmen have worked together to introduce H.R. 1354, the Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act.

On May 7, according to a Reuters news report, a letter was sent to Congress from the Treasury Department indicating that the technical capability exists to make interest and principal payments on Treasury-issued debt while stopping other payments. Some have proposed that this might be a solution if the nation were up against the debt limit without sufficient cash-on-hand to make all payments in full and on time – an unprecedented situation.

Al-Qaeda had taken an interest in expanding its operations to West Africa as far back as 2003 and was in direct contact with leaders of Boko Haram

The horrific kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian school girls has drawn international attention to and condemnation of Boko Haram. While the current crisis has brought a global focus on this dangerous group, they have been engaged in terrorist activities for a number of years. In the Bipartisan Policy Center’s September 2013 Threat Assessment, the Homeland Security Project identified previous deadly attacks perpetrated by the more than a decade-old organization and outlined their focus on creating Sharia law throughout Nigeria.

Bipartisan bills in both houses deserve careful consideration

Prize-Linked Savings (PLS) accounts are like standard savings accounts – but instead of accruing interest, savers are entered into a lottery for larger amounts of money. In the U.S., PLS products are available only in some states and on a limited basis, but they are already employed widely in over 20 countries around the world.

Five of the seven spots on the Fed Board of Governors are currently or soon will be vacant, or are filled by a confirmed member whose term has expired

Have last year’s changes to the U.S. Senate’s filibuster rule changed the speed at which independent financial regulators are nominated or confirmed? It is too soon to answer that question, but the unusual number of current and upcoming vacancies on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors (Board) will provide a notable test case in the Senate.

Adjusting a key threshold level should allow regulators to focus on a smaller set of institutions that presents the greatest potential systemic risk

At a speech this morning at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Federal Reserve Board Governor Daniel K. Tarullo suggested that the level at which bank holding companies are automatically subject to more stringent prudential standards has been set too low. BPC applauds Governor Tarullo for taking a stand that may be unpopular but is also right.

While recent progress is encouraging, much remains to be accomplished in order to solve the nation's infrastructure problems

Last week, we saw the first administration-authored, publicly released surface transportation bill since 2003. In examining the arc of national transportation policy over the last several years, most observers might be dismayed. We have yet to solve what now seems like a perpetual funding problem, we have not passed long-term multi-year highway and transit legislation for almost a decade, and the reforms that did occur in Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) struck many as insufficient. The administration’s proposal - Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities Act – is not likely to solve any of these problems.

Recent proposals to reform or replace the Earned Income Tax Credit come from both Democrats and Republicans

Over the last few years, the president, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, and BPC have all offered proposals to update or replace the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). We recently blogged about the EITC’s current structure and its advantages and drawbacks. In this post, we’ll detail some of the proposals for reform or replacement, including:

If the FSOC can increase its transparency, it will serve to strengthen the body and help it accomplish its critical mission

On May 7, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) will meet in open session to consider ways to increase its transparency. We applaud the FSOC for focusing on this important issue. Boosting the Council’s transparency would be an important step in increasing its effectiveness.

Update in the decade-long, Goldilocks-like saga: the Court finds EPA got it right after all

In an April 29 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and overturned the lower court’s decision on the power sector air quality rule known as the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) -- which implements the “good neighbor provisions” of the Clean Air Act and deals with pollution that blows across state lines and causes downwind states to exceed air quality standards.


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