When Congress returns for the second session of the 113th Congress, the House Republicans will continue to focus on Obamacare, this time offering legislation requiring the government to notify insurance plan customers of a security breach, if one occurs. Majority Leader Eric Cantor wrote in a letter to his colleagues, “If a breach occurs, it shouldn’t be up to some bureaucrat to decide when or even whether to inform an individual that their personal information has been accessed”. Other Republicans have also been working on legislation to ensure the security of healthcare-related data entrusted to the government. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversaw the implementation of HealthCare.gov, released a statement assuring the public of the security of the website.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 passed handily before the end of the year, but Congress was unable to get around to another set of budget items before leaving town: 55 tax incentives, usually renewed on a regular basis, expired. These tax write-offs were for a whole host of individuals, businesses, and interests. Some are things many people will notice, like deductions in the amount one may write-off for mass-transit use. Others affect businesses directly, like the tax credit for research. Some are relatively limited in the scope of people they benefit, like those that benefit Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Indian reservations. Not to mention, you now will not be able to write off your racehorses less than two years old.
The Capitol Dome, one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks, is undergoing extensive repairs for the next two years. Almost everyone who has passed through the city since the structure was completed in 1866 has probably seen it from afar, but very many likely have not had the opportunity to examine it closely. However, those who haven’t seen the Dome up close need only turn to National Journal’s photo essay on the restoration project to see both its spectacular details and its cracks and damages.
And for our latest blog post: Flattening the Rules: The Implications of the Senate’s Nuclear Option