Thursday, February 23, 2017

Questions and Answers about the European Union

On February 21, 2017 the Congressional Research Service published a report by Kristin Archick, Specialist in European Affairs, entitled The European Union: Questions and Answers. This report complements Archick's June 21, 2016 report entitled The European Union: Current Challenges and Future Prospects. Find information in the reports about the major challenges confronting the EU and potential implications for EU relations with the U.S.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Issues and Challenges for new Executive and Congressional Policymakers

One place that might not be on many people's radar to check for helpful information during new Presidential and Congressional transitions is the Government Accountability Office (GAO). GAO is often called the "congressional watchdog" since it "investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars."  It has a Presidential and Congressional Transition page with three topics to help new leaders focus on important issues and challenges:

  1. Priority Recommendations: The GAO sent letters to key federal departments and agencies urging them to focus on recommendations available for viewing by subject term, federal agency, or topic.
  2. Key Issues and High Risk List: "GAO’s High Risk List calls attention to agencies and program areas that are vulnerable to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, or are in need of transformation."
  3. Management Agenda: "The Management Agenda provides high-level information for new leaders about the critical management challenges facing the federal government and lays out the actions needed to address those challenges."

Monday, February 20, 2017

Tool to Track Key Executive Branch Appointments

Keeping track of who has been nominated to the more than 500 key executive branch offices is a daunting task just made easier by a tool developed by the Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. The tool first shows how many of the 549 key positions requiring Senate confirmation have a nominee, how many of those nominated are awaiting confirmation, and how many have been confirmed.  You can then scroll through the positions arranged by department and see the name of the nominee with either Announced, Confirmed, or Withdrawal by the name.  Find the tool at