Apr 15, 2016

The Taxpayer Advocate Annual Report to Congress

PURPOSE: To examine the most serious problems facing the American taxpayer as identified by the Taxpayer Advocate in the 2015 annual report.   BACKGROUND: The National Taxpayer Advocate is an independent office within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) The advocate, appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury, was established to help taxpayers handle issues with the IRS, identify problem areas for taxpayers, ...

Apr 14, 2016

Connecting Veterans with PTSD with Service Dogs

PURPOSE: To examine the benefits service dogs can provide to veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). To question the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on its existing policy and issues related to its problematic study. BACKGROUND: The FY2010 National Defense Authorization Act authorized the VA to conduct a three-year study on the costs and benefits of providing service dogs to veterans with PTSD ...

Apr 13, 2016

Examining the Safety and Service of D.C. Metro

PURPOSE: To examine Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (WMATA) most significant challenges and the issues that led to a complete shutdown of the system. BACKGROUND: WMATA ...

Apr 13, 2016

Waste and Inefficiency in the Federal Government: GAO’s 2016 Duplication Report

 (click to view the report)

Mar 23, 2016

National Security: Threats at Our Borders

PURPOSE: To review the current surge of foreign nationals entering, or attempting to enter illegally, along the southern border. To examine U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s efforts to respond. To examine the resources available to CBP to identify, apprehend, and remove aliens who may pose a risk to the American people. BACKGROUND: The border security mission of the Department of Homeland ...

Mar 23, 2016

Examining the Bureau of Land Management Public Lands Leasing

PURPOSE: To examine recent management of oil and gas lease sales by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). BACKGROUND: The Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 (MLA) gives the Secretary of the Interior the authority to sell leases for the development of fossil fuels on federal lands. Under the MLA, BLM is authorized to conduct competitive and noncompetitive leasing of lands for oil and gas production and ...

Mar 22, 2016

Opportunities and Challenges in Advancing Health Information Technology

PURPOSE: To examine the opportunities and challenges in healthcare delivery in the information technology age. To explore ways to leverage technology to improve healthcare. BACKGROUND: Numerous Health Information Technology (Health IT) innovations exist to monitor health and fitness and improve health outcomes, including electronic health records, wearable devices, apps, and next generation medical ...

Mar 22, 2016

America’s Heroin and Opioid Abuse Epidemic

TAKEAWAYS: Drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Experts believe the current epidemic of opioid abuse has contributed to an increase in heroin deaths as opioid consumers move towards heroin use. In recent years, opioid-related overdoses have begun to decrease while heroin-related overdoses have sharply increased. According to the DEA, Mexican based criminal organizations are the ...

Mar 17, 2016

Examining Federal Administration of the Safe Drinking Water Act in Flint, Michigan, Part 3

TAKEAWAYS: Chairman Chaffetz and other members of the Committee called on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator McCarthy to resign. EPA refuses to take responsibility for not taking quick and decisive action in Flint and has not held anyone accountable for their failures. Administrator McCarthy refused to answer whether she would have removed Susan Hedman as Region 5 ...

Mar 16, 2016

Examining the Renewable Fuel Standard

PURPOSE: To examine the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) management of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. BACKGROUND: The RFS dictates that a specific amount of renewable fuel must be mixed into transportation fuel sold in the United States. Ethanol is the most common ingredient blended in order to comply with RFS. Due to delays in issuing annual blending mandates, EPA must issue retroactive ...