Basics

Most of the issues facing our country are multi-faceted and extraordinarily complex. Insert politics into the equation, and the complexity increases exponentially. In order to understand these policy issues and the various perspectives around them, members of Congress, the public, industry and nonprofits must first have a basic knowledge that is rooted in fact. With our Basics series, Center Forward presents complicated issues in a non-partisan and easy-to-understand manner that provides decision makers with alternative viewpoints.


View the PDF version Overview This year Bill Gates made headlines when he warned that if a highly contagious and lethal airborne pathogen like the 1918 influenza were to break out today, nearly 33 million people worldwide would die in…

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View the PDF version Overview With this year’s flu season being the worst in more than a decade and the increasing threat that biological weapons pose to the United States, Congress has begun its regular reauthorization of the Pandemic and…

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View the PDF version Overview In the second piece of our four-part Harm Reduction series, we explore alternatives to cigarettes, including e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), tobacco use is the leading preventable…

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View the PDF version Overview As Congress works to find solutions to the nation’s opioid crisis and explores ways to prevent future opioid abuse, experts point to strategies to reduce harm for those already using opioids. Unfortunately, for families and…

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Download the PDF. Overview U.S. agriculture production helps feed the world, but farm to table isn’t a simple process. U.S. food and energy production, land conservation, nutrition and wellness programs are some of the many issues managed daily by the…

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Download the PDF. Overview Members of Congress have hundreds of legislative tools at their disposal to govern regular order proceedings. Ultimately, members who have a strong understanding of the rules are the most effective. In this Basic titled, “Discharging DACA:…

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Download the PDF Overview Since the creation of “genetically modified organisms (GMOs)” in the early 1970s, scientists and engineers have been using modern biotechnology to genetically alter everything from food to medicine to clothing to animals, and even humans. With…

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Overview Every five years, Congress and the President debate how to improve the federal government’s many agricultural and nutritional programs by reauthorizing a national Farm Bill. As a component of this debate, Congress reauthorizes a program called the Supplemental Nutrition…

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View the PDF version Overview The conversation around pharmaceutical companies and their responsibility to provide patients with affordable drug treatments and therapies never stops. Orphan Drugs are often a neglected topic when this conversation inevitably arises. With millions of Americans…

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View the PDF version Overview The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is one of the United States’ signature foreign trade policies and has been a topic of both praise and criticism for decades. Negotiated in the late 1980s and…

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View the PDF version Overview Financial technology, often referred to as “FinTech,” has had a long and steady rise in the United States. FinTech is broadly defined and dates back to the 1950s as the financial services industry introduced changes…

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View the PDF version Overview In recent years, Washington has focused increasingly on avoiding impending deadlines that require more immediate legislative action. The federal government reaching the statutory debt limit—often called “the debt ceiling”—has become one of these simultaneously dramatic…

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