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The Border Wall: Strengthening our National Security

PURPOSE: To discuss the costs of illegal immigration and the benefits that a border wall would provide to national security, economy, and respect for the rule of law.


Reviewing the Unintended Consequences of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act

PURPOSE: To examine the effects of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) on the U.S. and international economy, as well as potential legislative remedies. BACKGROUND: Signed into law in 2010, FATCA requires non-U.S. financial institutions to report assets and identities ...


Unfunded Mandates: Examining Federally Imposed Burdens on State and Local Government

PURPOSE: To examine the burdens of unfunded mandates on state and local governments. To hear from several state and local officials about how unfunded mandates affect their communities  BACKGROUND: Unfunded mandates are legislative or ...


The Best and Worst Places to Work in the Federal Government

PURPOSE: To review trends in employee engagement as reported in the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government annual rankings. To discuss the importance of Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) and consider the implications of the Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) proposed changes to the survey. BACKGROUND: Every year, federal employees voluntarily complete OPM's FEVS, which measures ...


Improving the Visitor Experience at National Parks

PURPOSE: To examine how visitor services programs operate differently across the country. To discuss whether the National Park Service (NPS) should implement some of the reforms that are driving an increase in visitation at other state and federal facilities. BACKGROUND: Private companies, known as concessioners, manage many visitor services at national parks, such as campgrounds, lodging, and ...


Assessing the Iran Deal

PURPOSE: To assess whether the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is working and the effectiveness of its implementation. To examine Iran's continued aggression and malign activities throughout the Middle East. BACKGROUND: Under the JCPOA, Iran accepted restrictions on its nuclear program in exchange for a broad lifting of US, European Union, and United Nations ...


Oversight of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Response to the Baton Rouge Flood Disaster: Part II

TAKEAWAYS: Incompetence and mismanagement plagued Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) delivery of manufactured housing units (MHUs) to victims of the August 2016 flood. FEMA MHUs cost taxpayers approximately $150,000 for an 18-month occupancy. FEMA auctioned off similar units for an average price of $10,914 in 2015. FEMA documents show the agency prioritized public ...


Reviewing Federal IT Workforce Challenges and Possible Solutions

PURPOSE: To examine the development, recruitment, and retention of the federal government's IT and cybersecurity workforce. To discuss the potential for forming an industry-government rotational workforce. BACKGROUND: In 2015, 209,000 cybersecurity jobs went unfilled in the U.S., according to Intel. Modernizing the federal government's IT not only requires investments in technology and acquisition ...


Use of Confidential Informants at ATF and DEA

TAKEAWAYS: The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continually refused to provide the Committee its new policy regarding the proper use of confidential informants (CIs). During the hearing, Chairman Chaffetz issued a subpoena to DEA for the documents. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives's (ATF) and DEA's inadequate oversight over the CI program prevents the agencies from properly tracking and monitoring CIs. Since ...