Congress and the Budget: 2016 Actions and Events

Congress and the Budget: 2016 Actions and Events. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Grant A. Driessen and Megan S. Lynch. October 17, 2016

The Constitution grants Congress the power of the purse, but does not dictate how Congress must fulfill this constitutional duty. Congress has, therefore, developed certain types of budgetary legislation, along with rules and practices that govern its content and consideration. This set of budgetary legislation, rules, and practices is often referred to as the congressional budget process.
There is no prescribed congressional budget process that must be strictly followed each year, and Congress does not always consider budgetary measures in a linear or predictable pattern. Such dissimilarity can be the result of countless factors, such as a lack of consensus, competing budgetary priorities, the economy, natural disasters, military engagements, and other circumstances creating complications, obstacles, and interruptions within the policymaking process.

[PDF format, 17 pages, 666.94 KB].

Integrating Refugees into Host Country Labor Markets: Challenges and Policy Options

Integrating Refugees into Host Country Labor Markets: Challenges and Policy Options. Migration Policy Institute. Maria Vincenza Desiderio. October 2016.

Countries receiving large numbers of asylum seekers are facing huge challenges in meeting newcomers’ immediate needs, yet longer-term integration issues could prolong the crisis if not addressed. This report assesses the barriers refugees and asylum seekers face getting into jobs, and particularly at their skill level. The report identifies policies that support labor market integration, including early skills assessment and training. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 51 pages, 2.15 MB].

Cities as engines of economic growth: the case for providing basic infrastructure and services in urban areas

Cities as engines of economic growth: the case for providing basic infrastructure and services in urban areas. International Institute for Environment and Development. Sarah Colenbrander. October2016.

Urbanisation offers substantial opportunities to reduce poverty, in part because it is more cost-effective to meet many basic needs in cities than in rural areas.

This paper demonstrates that providing electricity to the 200 million urban residents who currently lack access would require only US$1.37 billion per year to 2045. Generating this electricity from low-carbon options (consistent with avoiding a 2°C temperature rise) would cost only one per cent more.

This demonstrates that relatively small amounts of resources need to be mobilised to deliver basic services and infrastructure to the urban poor – an essential precursor to inclusive and sustained economic growth. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 32 pages, 506.70 KB].

Global Order and the New Regionalism: Discussion Paper Series on Global and Regional Governance

Global Order and the New Regionalism: Discussion Paper Series on Global and Regional Governance. Council on Foreign Relations. September 2016.

Regional institutions and initiatives have proliferated in the twenty-first century. This latest wave of regional innovation raises, in new guise, a long-standing conundrum for global order and U.S. foreign policy: When is regional organization a useful, even essential, complement to the ends of global governance—financial stability, an open trading system, sustainable development, robust protection of human rights, or the end of civil wars—and when does it threaten or undermine the achievement of those goals? The new regionalism presents the prospect for new benefits for global order as well as new risks. How those challenges and risks are addressed, by the United States and by other member states, will determine whether a fragmented global order or more effective global and regional governance emerge over the next decade.
Five authors examine these dilemmas across five issue areas: finance, trade, development lending, human rights, and peace operations. In each issue area, regional actors and institutions have emerged that reopen and recast earlier debates about regionalism and its effects on global order. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 88 pages, 1.75 MB].

The Help America Vote Act and Election Administration: Overview and Selected Issues for the 2016 Election

The Help America Vote Act and Election Administration: Overview and Selected Issues for the 2016 Election. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Arthur L. Burris and Eric A. Fischer. October 18, 2016

The deadlocked November 2000 presidential election focused national attention on previously obscure details of election administration. Congress responded with the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA; P.L. 107-252). HAVA created the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), established a set of election administration requirements, and provided federal funding, but it did not supplant state and local control over election administration. Several issues have arisen or persisted in the years since HAVA was enacted.

[PDF format, 32 pages, 819.33 KB].

Recruiting and Retaining Cybersecurity Ninjas

Recruiting and Retaining Cybersecurity Ninjas. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Franklin S. Reeder and Katrina Timlin. October 19, 2016.

This report identifies the factors that make an organization the employer of choice for what the authors call “cybersecurity ninjas.” Much has been written about the shortage of cybersecurity professionals, but little work has been done on the factors that help high-performing cybersecurity organizations build and keep a critical mass of high-end specialists. This is a first attempt that the authors hope will prompt discussion and drive changes in how organizations attract and retain high-end cybersecurity talent. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 32 pages, 6.76 MB].

Increasing Prosperity, Resource Stewardship, and National Security: An Energy Policy Strategy for the Next President

Increasing Prosperity, Resource Stewardship, and National Security: An Energy Policy Strategy for the Next President. Center for a New American Security. Elizabeth Rosenberg, David L. Goldwyn, and Robert McNally. October 17, 2016.

On January 20, 2017, a new U.S. president will take the oath of office. He or she will assume responsibility for assuring the safe, reliable, and affordable provision of energy for the country, a critical component of the economic health and security of the nation. This task will involve addressing a number of grave deficiencies in current energy policy and prioritizing several urgent energy initiatives. Laying a strong, early basis for new energy policy will enable the incoming administration to set the country on a path to aligning national energy capabilities and technological developments with economic and security needs, now and in the future. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 32 pages, 1.05 MB].

Infrastructure Issues and Options for the Next President

Infrastructure Issues and Options for the Next President. Brookings Institution. William A. Galston and Robert Puentes. October 13, 2016

U.S. infrastructure facilities are aging, overcrowded, under-maintained, and in desperate need of modernization. The World Economic Forum ranks the United States 12th in the world for overall quality of infrastructure and assigns particularly low marks for the quality of our roads, ports, railroads, air transport infrastructure, and electricity supply. It is abundantly clear that to be economically competitive in today’s world, adequate investment in infrastructure is critical. And yet, U.S. spending on infrastructure has declined over the past five decades. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Presidential Elections: Vacancies in Major-Party Candidacies and the Position of President-Elect

Presidential Elections: Vacancies in Major-Party Candidacies and the Position of President-Elect. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Thomas H. Neale. October 6, 2016.

What would happen in 2016 if a candidate for President or Vice President were to die or leave the ticket any time between the national party conventions and the November 8 election day? What would happen if this occurred during presidential transition, either between election day and the December 19, 2016, meeting of the electoral college; or between December 19 and the inauguration of the President and Vice President on January 20, 2017? Procedures to fill these vacancies differ depending on when they occur.

[PDF format, 12 pages, 670.71 KB].

A Primer on the College Student Journey

A Primer on the College Student Journey. American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education. October 2016.

Higher education continues to be one of the most important avenues of opportunity in American society. But the education landscape is changing rapidly. There are more options for how and when Americans receive some form of higher education. New populations, for whom the traditional four-year degree was once an impossibility, can now pursue undergraduate education in two-year, four-year, for-profit, and online institutions, according to schedules that fit their own lives. And technological advances offer new approaches to student instruction and collaboration. At the same time, rising costs are challenging the affordability of traditional postsecondary degrees.

The American Academy has undertaken a three-year project to examine the state of postsecondary education in America, and to provide ideas for how to ensure that individual Americans receive the education they need to thrive in the twenty-first century. To give the Commission a clear direction, the Academy has begun by compiling A Primer on the College Student Journey, a comprehensive and data-rich portrait of American postsecondary education—incorporating quantitative and qualitative studies that examine every type of postsecondary institution, from early college high schools to private universities. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 60 pages, 6.44 MB].