Despite broad agreement on the need for reform of our nation’s housing finance system, after nearly five years Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remain in conservatorship with no clear path forward. The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) Housing Commission hosted a discussion of why the status quo is unsustainable and bipartisan legislative action is needed to restore a sound and sustainable system of housing finance.
BPC hosted Governors Jeb Bush and Haley Barbour for a conversation on immigration reform. Drawing from their own experiences as governors, each provided a unique perspective on immigration and how reform legislation might affect the states, the nation and the Republican Party. Copies of Gov. Bush’s recently released book, Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution, were available for purchase and signing directly following the panel discussion. The event was part of BPC’s Immigration Task Force, which is led by Governor Barbour, former Governor Ed Rendell and former Secretaries Condoleezza Rice and Henry Cisneros.
Recent reports by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and others have estimated that the United States, given its newfound tight oil wealth, will surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer by the end of this decade. Growth in North American production could shift the balance of energy power from the Middle East to the West, with implications for the power of OPEC, and the competitiveness of historic suppliers. The propagation of tight oil technology could bring down the price of oil and offer opportunities for changing energy security relationships in Europe, Africa and Latin America. Optimism about North American self-sufficiency has also raised questions about the need or willingness of the United States to sustain its security engagement in the Middle East and Africa.
In May of 2010, at a White House event, 16 food and beverage companies stepped forward and made a commitment to reduce calories in the marketplace by 1.5 trillion by 2015, with an interim goal of a one trillion reduction by the end of 2012. This was the first commitment made to the First Lady’s Partnership for a Healthier America.
As Congress continues to look at possible ways to reform our immigration system, one of the key points of contention surrounding these efforts is the cost of reform to the American taxpayers. Although CBO has only recently announced that it will begin its work to assess the current “Gang of Eight” bill, many organizations have begun a healthy debate over the bill’s impact on the long-term and short-term federal budget as well as its wider impact on the economy. BPC hosted a conversation on both the costs and economic benefits of immigration reform.
BPC and Maryland Public Television held a screening of select clips from the American Public Television miniseries, The Reagan Presidency.
BPC's Homeland Security Project convened both members of the media and leaders in the intelligence community for a conversation about how information sharing can both be transparent and secure. Panelists evaluated tackling the balance of sharing the proper amount of information with the public regarding national issues and events (such as last year’s attacks in Benghazi) without compromising sources, methods and other secure information.
After the financial crisis and government bailouts of 2008 everyone vowed ‘never again.’ The passage of the Dodd- Frank Act in 2010 was hailed by its supporters as ending ‘too-big-to-fail’. Yet many on both sides of the aisle remain skeptical that this has been accomplished.
Ridding Syria of President Bashar al-Assad has been the goal of the United States for almost two years. Should this objective be achieved, however, an enormous challenge will still remain: stabilizing and rebuilding Syria in a way that advances U.S. strategic goals and values. However, this will require the cooperation of Turkey—a U.S. ally with keen interests in Syria. Ankara’s interests, however, do not perfectly match Washington’s, posing the challenge for policymakers of finding the right tools to align more closely the two countries’ visions of Syria’s future.
BPC's Homeland Security Project hosted a discussion convening legal and policy experts on the rule of law and war to discuss the use of drones and targeted killings. Panelists evaluated issues like the current frameworks regarding the use of drones, the ramifications of a "drone court," the targeting of U.S. citizens abroad, and whether Congress should examine what these policies mean for the country.