Three years after Congress approved President Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA), contraceptive care remains its most controversial provision, drawing not only more comments than any other regulatory proposal on any subject government-wide, according to an analysis of federal regulations on Sunlight's Docket Wrench.
More than 147,000 people and organizations have made their voices heard over the debate, most of them opposing the provision that requires that federal agencies have interpreted to mean that women have access to preventive services--including contraception--at no cost. The Catholic Church has led the charge, urging parishioners to write with messages such as ...Continue reading
The United States continues to keep some of its most important laws behind a paywall. Many of the US’ public... View ArticleContinue reading
During its investigation into wrongdoing into Enron, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission made public almost 500,000 internal company e-mails. These e-mails provide a unique look into the workings of the company, including how the company conducted its political operations. A few years ago, my friend and Georgetown Political Science Professor Daniel J. Hopkins approached me about analyzing what was in these e-mails. The results of our research are now published in the latest issue of Legislative Studies Quarterly, and a copy of our paper, “The Inside View: Using the Enron E-mail Archive to Understand Corporate Political Attention” can be downloaded here. To sum up our findings briefly, the e-mails show Enron’s political operations as very engaged in the narrow details of policy , keeping close tabs on daily developments and devoting considerable resources to agency rulemaking. Meanwhile, we found only sporadic discussion of campaign finance.Continue reading
Today the Sunlight Foundation unveils Docket Wrench, an online research tool to dig into regulatory comments and uncover patterns among millions of documents.Continue reading
Anyone can comment on federal regulations but few -- outside the regulated industries and entities -- do.Continue reading
In the world of firearm regulatory efforts, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has the loudest megaphone--and sometimes the only one.
The NRA was the sole organization to comment on a regulation issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in June that lifted a 90-day residency requirement for immigrants living in the U.S. who want to obtain firearms.
On August 30, the NRA/Institute for Legislative Action's office of legislative counsel wrote this letter--available on Sunlight's regulatory search tool in development, Docket Wrench--supporting the agency's decision to lift the requirement, which ...Continue reading
In addition to spending heavily on elections and lobbying Congress, the gun lobby is also quite active in the rulemaking process, federal dockets show. The National Rifle Association, other pro-gun groups and their members weighing in frequently on federal regulation covering issues ranging from wildlife to concealed weapons to air travel. Gun control groups and advocates have also participated, although it appears less frequently.
This profile of NRA activity in federal regulations, from the Sunlight's Docket Wrench tool in development, shows efforts concentrated largely on hunting and other regulations administered by the Fish and Wldlife Service (FWS). However the ...Continue reading
One of the biggest “dark money” spenders in next week’s elections is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. But while the Chamber's funding sources may be murky, its aims -- unlike those of some wealthy super PAC donors -- are relatively transparent.
The 100-year-old nonprofit organization has a far reaching public lobbying agenda that ranges from high profile fights like working to reverse parts of the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank financial reform law to more obscure issues like keeping flight information about corporate jets secret and opposing tighter regulation of the transportation of highly flammable lithium batteries.
Two ...Continue reading
Days after receiving several campaign checks from the food lobby last May, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat who is up for reelection this year, sent a letter raising concerns about the Federal Trade Commission's efforts to develop voluntary guidelines aimed at toning down the marketing of junk food to kids.Continue reading
A handful of groups--including some backed by petroleum marketing firms, airlines and unions--were responsible for the great majority of some 13,000 comment letters sent to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission about a single proposed regulation mandated by Dodd-Frank, according to an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation.
The CFTC is expected to issue a final rule, which limits how many futures contracts an investor is allowed to hold in any one security, on Sept. 22, though the agency has yet to confirm that date. The position limits rule received one of the highest number of public comments in the agency ...Continue reading