Nov 8, 2017

Moving the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem: Challenges and Opportunities

PURPOSE: To discuss the benefits and challenges of relocating the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel-Aviv to the capital of Jerusalem. BACKGROUND: In each country worldwide, the United States embassy is located in their capital; however, the U.S. Embassy in Israel is located in Tel Aviv rather than Israel's capital of Jerusalem. Congress has ...

Nov 2, 2017

Examining the Regulation of Shark Finning in the United States

PURPOSE: To examine existing shark finning legislation and current issues with enforcement and reporting.  BACKGROUND: Shark finning is the practice of removing the fins of a shark while at sea. Sharks ...

Nov 1, 2017

Overview of 16 Years of Involvement in Afghanistan

PURPOSE: To examine the Office of Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction's  (SIGAR) recent report detailing lessons learned from the United States involvement in Afghan reconstruction.  To discuss how to strengthen SIGAR's presence in Afghanistan. BACKGROUND:

Oct 25, 2017

Ongoing Management Challenges at IRS

PURPOSE: To conduct oversight over the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) operations  To discuss a variety of management issues at the IRS ranging from the rehiring of problematic employees to questionable information technology.  BACKGROUND:  

Oct 24, 2017

Oversight of Federal Political Advertisement Laws and Regulations

PURPOSE: To examine the different regulations and laws that govern political advertisement disclaimers and disclosures.  To highlight the importance of free speech and First Amendment implications of attempting to regulate political speech.  BACKGROUND:

Oct 24, 2017

Regulatory Reform Task Forces Check-In

PURPOSE: To examine various agencies' implementation of the Administration's Executive Orders on regulatory reform. To highlight regulatory reform efforts conducted to-date. BACKGROUND: Earlier this year, President Trump issued two executive orders to form the foundation of the Administration's regulatory reform agenda. ...

Oct 12, 2017

Hearing on the 2020 Census

TAKEAWAYS: The Census Bureau must focus on modernizing data collection and delivering necessary IT infrastructure in the most cost-effective manner. The Census Bureau must ensure delivery of critical IT systems for 2018 end-to-end testing. Delays for delivery of critical IT systems pose significant risk for the security and the success of the census. Secretary Ross provided a new ...

Oct 11, 2017

Security Clearance Investigation Challenges and Reforms

PURPOSE: To discuss the merits of the Department of Defense's (DOD) plan to transfer the background investigation function from Office of Personnel Management's (OPM) National Background Investigation Bureau (NBIB) back to DOD. To examine recent reports on problems with interim clearance investigations, improper adjudications, and potential reforms to the investigation process.

Oct 11, 2017

Review of the U.S. Government’s Role in Protecting International Religious Freedom

PURPOSE: To examine the U.S. government's policy related to international religious freedom and how it impacts our national security.   BACKGROUND: Under federal law, the State Department is required to designate countries of particular concern that violate religious freedom. Each year, the State Department's Bureau of ...

Oct 3, 2017

Cybersecurity of the Internet of Things

PURPOSE: To examine the use of devices that comprise the Internet of Things (IoT) and their current and potential uses in federal government.  To explore potential cyber ...