Environmental policy -- United States, United States elections, Voting -- United States, and Legislators
Do elections affect legislators' voting patterns? We investigate this question in the context of environmental policy in the U.S. Congress. We theorize that since the general public is generally in favor of legislation protecting the environment, legislators have an incentive to favor the public over industry and vote for pro‐environment legislation at election time. The argument is supported by analyses of data on environmental roll call votes for the U.S. Congress from 1970 to 2013 where we estimate the likelihood of casting a pro‐environment vote as a function of the time to an election. While Democrats are generally more likely to cast a pro‐environment vote before an election, this effect is much stronger for Republicans when the legislator won the previous election by a thinner margin. The election effect is maximized for candidates receiving substantial campaign contributions from the (anti‐environment) oil and gas industry. Analysis of Twitter data confirms that Congressmembers make pro‐environmental statements and highlight their roll call voting behavior during the election season. These results show that legislators do strategically adjust their voting behavior to favor the public immediate prior to an election. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Computer algorithms, Computer simulation, Computer engineering, and Set design
Recent research has leveraged computer simulations to identify the effect of gerrymandering on partisan bias in U.S. legislatures. As a result of this method, researchers are able to distinguish between the intentional partisan bias caused by gerrymandering and the natural partisan bias that stems from the geographic sorting of partisan voters. However, this research has yet to explore the effect of gerrymandering on other biases like reduced electoral competition and incumbency protection. Using a computer algorithm to design a set of districts without political intent, I measure the extent to which the current districts have been gerrymandered to produce safer seats in Congress. I find that gerrymandering only has a minor effect on the average district, but does produce a number of safe seats for both Democrats and Republicans. Moreover, these safe seats tend to be located in states where a single party controls the districting process. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
General Government & Civil Service, State & Local Government & Intergovernmental Relations, Puerto Rico & the District of Columbia, U.S. Congress & Politics, Congress at Work, and Organization of Congress
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security Act (U.S.), COVID-19, FINANCE, Sole proprietorship, Independent contractors, Small business, and UNITED States
The article informs that the U.S. the House of Representatives has passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), that will be signed by U.S. President Donald Trump. It mentions that the Act amends the Small Business Act 7(a), a loan program to include a new guaranteed and unsecured loan program; and also mentions that the loan program also covers individuals operating under sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed individuals.
Delegated legislation, Government agencies, Government accountability, Government regulation, and Statutory interpretation
The article discusses how U.S. Congress can limit congressional delegation of legislative authority to administrative agencies and improve government accountability. Also cited are the appeal by Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts and justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas for judicial enforcement to limit Congress' power to delegate legislative authority, and the use of temporary legislation to compel lawmakers to re-examine existing statutory frameworks.
Public finance, Federal government, Practical politics, and Federal budgets
In recent years, Congress has recurrently failed to meet its minimum responsibilities in federal budgeting. This article analyzes whether it is possible to repair this problem, using concepts popularized by Allen Schick in his influential article 'The Road to PPB.' His article compared the PPB reform effort to the history of budget process reforms that started with the design of the executive budget. It publicized a logical sequence of budget process improvements that started with control and then advanced through management and planning. The article did not substantially address the role of Congress, but eight years after it was published, Congress reasserted its constitutional role in the budget process. Its record of performance since then has ranged from mixed to dysfunctional. The Congress has been criticized for budgetary delays, micromanagement, myopia, procrastination, indiscipline, and an inability to prioritize intelligently. If these faults are set in stone, then an integrated system of budgeting, as described in 'The Road to PPB' and related work, is unattainable. On the other hand, if reform of Congressional budgeting is politically feasible, improvements to that system can utilize the unique contributions that a legislature can make to a good system of budgeting. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]