10 Facts about Americans and Coronavirus Vaccines

10 Facts about Americans and Coronavirus Vaccines. Pew Research Center.  Cary Funk, John Gramlich. March 23, 2021

President Joe Biden has urged state governments to make every adult in the United States eligible for a coronavirus vaccine by May 1 in the hopes of getting the nation “closer to normal” by the July 4 holiday. The pace of inoculations in the U.S. has accelerated in recent weeks as states have made vaccines available to larger portions of their populations. At the same time, not all Americans plan to get a shot even after they become eligible.

As the U.S. vaccination campaign ramps up, here are key facts about Americans’ views about coronavirus vaccines, based on surveys by Pew Research Center over the course of the pandemic. This analysis will be updated as new survey data becomes available. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Rebuild with Purpose: An Affirmative Vision for 21st Century American Infrastructure

Rebuild with Purpose: An Affirmative Vision for 21st Century American Infrastructure. Brookings Institution. Adie Tomer, Joseph W. Kane, and Caroline George. April 13, 2021.

Policymakers, practitioners, and the general public increasingly agree that our infrastructure systems are under pressure. Storm surges and coastal flooding continue to wreak havoc on our cities and towns. A lack of world-leading digital infrastructure has made it harder for businesses and people to compete in the global information economy. Outdated pipes and streets impact the health and safety of too many people.

Simply repairing our outmoded infrastructure systems with the same traditional policies, technologies, and designs is not enough. Americans are ready for a grand reimagining of and reinvestment in our infrastructure to revitalize the transportation, water, energy, and broadband systems that power our economy.

Brookings new report, Rebuild with purpose: An affirmative vision for 21st century American infrastructure, serves as the foundation for a new federal vision for American infrastructure. The report crafts an integrated plan to address four cross-cutting forces of change, and recommends a three-part framework to guide Congress and federal agencies’ strategic direction. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 110 pages].

Congressional Oversight Manual

Congressional Oversight Manual. Congressional Research Service. Ben Wilhelm et al. Updated March 29, 2021

Today’s lawmakers and congressional aides, as well as commentators and scholars, recognize that Congress’s lawmaking role does not end when it passes legislation. Oversight is considered fundamental to making sure that laws work and are being administered in an effective, efficient, and economical manner. This function is seen as one of Congress’s principal roles as it grapples with the complexities of American government.

Writing in 1993, the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress defined congressional oversight as the “review, monitoring, and supervision of the executive and the implementation of public policy.” This definition captures the functional core of Congress’s oversight of the executive branch. Nonetheless it is the beginning, rather than an end, of understanding oversight as it has been practiced since the 1st Congress. As outlined in this manual, the purposes, tools, and practice of congressional oversight extend far beyond the confines of a simple definition.

[PDF format, 121 pages].

Large Majority of the Public Views Prosecution of Capitol Rioters as ‘Very Important’

Large Majority of the Public Views Prosecution of Capitol Rioters as ‘Very Important’. Pew Research Center. March 18, 2021.

Similar shares of Americans view violent right-wing extremism, left-wing extremism as ‘major problems’ for the country

As the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies continue to pursue charges against participants in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, the American public generally expresses strong support for continuing these efforts. Yet there are sizable partisan differences in attitudes about the riot at the Capitol, with Democrats far more likely than Republicans to view prosecution of the rioters as very important and to say that penalties for the rioters are likely to be less severe than they should be. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 29 pages].

Federal-Aid Highway Program (FAHP): In Brief

Federal-Aid Highway Program (FAHP): In Brief. Congressional Research Service. Robert S. Kirk. Updated March 1, 2021

The federal government has provided some form of highway funding to the states for more than 100 years. The major characteristics of the federal highway program have been constant since the early 1920s. First, most funds are apportioned to the states by formula and implementation is left primarily to state departments of transportation (state DOTs). Second, the states are required to provide matching funds. Until the 1950s, each federal dollar had to be matched by an identical amount of state and local money. The federal share is now 80% for non-Interstate System road projects and 90% for Interstate System projects. Third, generally, federal money can be spent only on designated federal-aid highways, which make up roughly a quarter of U.S. public roads.

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Biden Nears 100-Day Mark with Strong Approval, Positive Rating for Vaccine Rollout

Biden Nears 100-Day Mark with Strong Approval, Positive Rating for Vaccine Rollout. Pew Research Center. April 15, 2021

Share of Americans viewing illegal immigration as a ‘very big’ problem grows

Joe Biden approaches the 100-day mark of his presidency with a relatively strong job approval rating and the public continuing to express positive views of the coronavirus aid package passed by Congress last month. Moreover, nearly three-quarters of Americans (72%) say the Biden administration has done an excellent or good job managing the manufacture and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to Americans.

Currently, 59% approve of the way Biden is handling his job as president, while 39% disapprove. Biden’s job approval rating has increased modestly from 54% in March. Biden’s job approval is comparable to several of his predecessors – including Barack Obama and George H. W. Bush – and much higher than Donald Trump’s in April 2017. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 51 pages].

Norms and Narratives That Shape US Charitable and Philanthropic Giving

Norms and Narratives That Shape US Charitable and Philanthropic Giving. Urban Institute. Benjamin Soskis. March 4, 2021

The past few decades have brought about a profound shift in the norms and narratives surrounding smaller-scale charitable giving and larger-scale philanthropic giving. In this report, I analyze some of the most significant of those norms and narratives—that is, the rules governing accepted or valued charitable and philanthropic behavior and the replicable, archetypal stories that have developed to make sense of that behavior. I also examine how those norms and narratives have been shaped by and have shaped responses in the United States to the COVID-19 pandemic and to the mass protests after the killing of George Floyd. This analysis focuses on two clusters of giving norms and narratives: one surrounding the relationship between large-scale and small-scale giving, and one surrounding time-based considerations in giving. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 57 pages].

COVID-19 and the Demand for Labor and Skills in Europe: Early Evidence and Implications for Migration Policy

COVID-19 and the Demand for Labor and Skills in Europe: Early Evidence and Implications for Migration Policy. Migration Policy Institute. Terence Hogarth. February 2021.

While the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on European labor markets have focused attention on weathering this crisis, Europe also faces longer-term challenges linked to technological and demographic changes. This issue brief examines how the pandemic is reshaping demand for workers and skills in Europe, what this means for migration policy, and strategies for tackling both short- and long-term labor market challenges. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 22 pages].

Will Industrial and Agricultural Subsidies Ever Be Reformed?

Will Industrial and Agricultural Subsidies Ever Be Reformed? Peterson Institute for International Economics. Policy Brief 21-5. Gary Clyde Hufbauer (PIIE). March 2021

One economic argument for government subsidies is that they are necessary to compensate firms and industries for benefits they provide to society at large but cannot capture in the prices they charge for goods or services. For example, subsidies to renewable energy are defended because renewable energy limits carbon emissions. When a major economy subsidizes extensively, however, its trading partners are drawn into the game, with losses all around. As the prisoner’s dilemma suggests, a better outcome would entail mutual restraint. But the goal of mutual restraint is no less difficult in international trade than it is in international arms control. Both the European Union and the US federal system try, in different ways, to regulate industrial subsidies. Hufbauer examines efforts to contain unjustifiable subsidies and proposes modest improvements, bearing in mind that as countries struggle to overcome the global economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is little appetite for restoring a free market economy—one in which firms compete with minimum government assistance or regulation. Selective upgrading of the rulebook may nevertheless be possible. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 33 pages].