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Articles on US Congress

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Another door closes on federal police reform. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Federal police reform talks have failed – but local efforts stand a better chance of success

Months of bipartisan talks in Congress aimed at reaching consensus over policing reforms have ended with no agreement. Two policing scholars argue that federal efforts are better placed focusing on supporting local measures.
Democrats and Republicans in Congress have asked sharp questions of social media CEOs as lawmakers consider changes to landmark internet legislation. Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP

What is Section 230? An expert on internet law and regulation explains the legislation that paved the way for Facebook, Google and Twitter

A terse piece of legislation from 1996 has been credited with creating the internet as we know it – and blamed for the flood of misinformation and other ills that have come with it.
The aftermath of a U.S. drone strike in January 2020 that killed Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani. Iraqi Prime Minister Press Office, via AP

Congress moves to reclaim its war powers

A new proposal also puts pressure on presidents to evaluate their foreign policy objectives more clearly to determine whether military action is, in fact, appropriate.
Bills have a long journey that includes going through the parliamentarian’s office in the Senate. Here, a corridor in the Senate. dkfielding/iStock/Getty Images Plus

The obscure, unelected Senate official whose rulings can help – or kill – a bill’s chance to pass

The Senate has a lot of rules, and its parliamentarian interprets what those rules allow – and what they don’t. That can mean a bill will face either huge obstacles, or very few obstacles to passage.
After mass shootings, there are more calls for gun control. Here’s one in Boulder, Colo., where 10 people died in a shooting. Jason Connolly / AFP/Getty Images

Gun control fails quickly in Congress after each mass shooting, but states often act – including to loosen gun laws

After mass shootings, politicians in Washington have failed to pass new gun control legislation, despite public pressure. But laws are being passed at the state level, largely to loosen restrictions.
U.S. taxpayers spend more than $2 billion annually in tax preparation fees. Nora Carol Photography/Getty Images

Why can’t the IRS just send Americans a refund – or a bill?

Dozens of prosperous countries save billions of dollars and hours annually by not requiring residents to fill out tax returns, so what is the United States waiting for?

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