Monday, September 25, 2023

Short Takes – 9-25-23

Congress stares down shutdown deadline. article. Nice summary of week ahead in Congress. Pull quote: “The House this week will hold a vote on advancing four spending bills — a move that will not help avert an end-of-the-month shutdown, but one that GOP leaders see as part of a strategy to send a conservative stopgap bill to the Senate.”

A NASA Spacecraft Comes Home With an Asteroid Gift for Earth. article. Pull quote: “The capsule’s landing is a major win for a NASA mission called OSIRIS-REX, which stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resources Identification and Security-Regolith Explorer. The spacecraft set out in 2016 to retrieve material from Bennu, a carbon-rich asteroid about 190 feet wider than the height of the Empire State Building. Researchers hope this pristine space dirt will reveal clues about the birth of our solar system and the genesis of life on Earth.”

See who would get furloughed in a shutdown this year. article. Pull quote: “The Government Accountability Office, which enforces the Anti-Deficiency Act, the law that governs federal spending during shutdowns, ultimately found the Trump administration acted unlawfully during the 2018-2019 funding lapse. GAO said the Interior Department violated the law when it used recreation fees collected by the National Park Service to keep parks open and continue services such as trash collection and restroom maintenance. It also faulted the Agriculture Department for disbursing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits early during the shutdown.”

Preventing the Improper Use of CHIPS Act Funding. Federal Register NIST final rule. Summary: “The Department of Commerce, through the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is issuing this final rule to implement conditions in the [CHIPS] Act that seek to prevent funding provided through the program from being used to directly or indirectly benefit foreign countries of concern. The rule defines terms related to these conditions, describes the types of activities that are prohibited by those conditions, and sets forth procedures for notifying the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) of non-compliance and the process by which the Secretary will enforce these provisions.” Effective date: November 24th, 2023.

As Trump Prosecutions Move Forward, Threats and Concerns Increase. article. Pull quote: “Given the attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021, scholars, security experts, law enforcement officials and others are increasingly warning about the potential for lone-wolf attacks or riots by angry or troubled Americans who have taken in the heated rhetoric.”

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