Why gun control faces an uphill battle in the Senate

As the Senate prepares to take up the first major gun control debate since last December’s shooting massacre in Connecticut, a Sunlight Foundation analysis of the political pressures on 26 key senators paints a pessimistic picture for passage.
Absent a major pressure campaign to push senators to support gun control legislation, the political calculus points against the Senate passing any reform.

Why gun control faces an uphill battle in the Senate

As the Senate prepares to take up the first major gun control debate since last December’s shooting massacre in Connecticut, a Sunlight Foundation analysis of the political pressures on 26 key senators paints a pessimistic picture for passage.

Absent a major pressure campaign to push senators to support gun control legislation, the political calculus points against the Senate passing any reform.

Posted 1 year ago
8 notes

Another reason for a fiscal cliff standstill: too many safe seats?

As “fiscal cliff” negotiations continue to slow to a standstill, Americans might be feeling frustrated about the inability of their representatives to reach a compromise. Wasn’t the election supposed to settle the argument?

There are many reasons to explain the intransigence. Last week, we documented the ubiquitous lobbying on tax and budget issues that will almost certainly complicate any attempt to reach a deal.

But there’s another factor to keep in mind: The majority of members of Congress have relatively homogenous constituencies. That means they’re probably hearing overwhelmingly from only one side of the argument back home, and facing limited pressure to find a compromise.

Will lobbyists complicate “fiscal cliff” deal-making?

As the wheeling and dealing around the “fiscal cliff” continues to envelop Washington, thousands of lobbyists representing more than a billion dollars are watching, and getting ready to complicate any potential deal.
After all, any grand bargain on spending and revenue will go right at the heart of two of the most heavily-lobbied issues in Washington: budget and taxes. Pick any tax loophole or any budget line item, and there’s almost certainly a lobbyist there to pressure deal-makers to pick a different loophole or budget item. Pick that loophole or budget item, and, well, you get the idea…

Will lobbyists complicate “fiscal cliff” deal-making?

As the wheeling and dealing around the “fiscal cliff” continues to envelop Washington, thousands of lobbyists representing more than a billion dollars are watching, and getting ready to complicate any potential deal.

After all, any grand bargain on spending and revenue will go right at the heart of two of the most heavily-lobbied issues in Washington: budget and taxes. Pick any tax loophole or any budget line item, and there’s almost certainly a lobbyist there to pressure deal-makers to pick a different loophole or budget item. Pick that loophole or budget item, and, well, you get the idea…

Posted 1 year ago
10 notes
How the NSF allocates billions of federal dollars to top universities

As another college year begins, tens of thousands of academics will once again be scrambling to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation, hoping to secure government funding for their research. Each year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) bestows more than $7 billion worth of federal funding on about 12,000 research proposals, chosen out of about 45,000 submissions.
Thanks to the power of open data, we can now see how representation on NSF federal advisory committees connects to which universities get the most funding. (Federal advisory committee membership data is a feature of Influence Explorer.)

How the NSF allocates billions of federal dollars to top universities

As another college year begins, tens of thousands of academics will once again be scrambling to submit proposals to the National Science Foundation, hoping to secure government funding for their research. Each year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) bestows more than $7 billion worth of federal funding on about 12,000 research proposals, chosen out of about 45,000 submissions.

Thanks to the power of open data, we can now see how representation on NSF federal advisory committees connects to which universities get the most funding. (Federal advisory committee membership data is a feature of Influence Explorer.)

Posted 2 years ago
26 notes