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 In the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), Congress included a new minimum tax on United States companies’ foreign income known as global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI) and a one-time toll tax on prior…

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View the PDF version. Overview With the successful development of safe and effective vaccines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic available for use, the federal government has partnered with health care providers and pharmacies to ensure the vaccine is effectively distributed…

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View the PDF version. Overview Broadband, high-speed Internet access, allows users to use the Internet at significantly faster speeds than those available through traditional dial-up services. Across the nation, broadband speeds vary significantly depending on the technology, location, and level…

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View the PDF version. Overview The House and Senate often use annual budget bills to communicate their broad visions for the size and role of the federal government. Even so, the rules governing the budget process can remove some of…

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View the PDF version. Overview Each year, one question drives the bulk of Congress’s work: how to spend taxpayer dollars. The failure of Congress and the administration to agree on this task is what led to a government shutdown in…

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View the PDF version. Overview Every two years, at the beginning of each Congress, both the House of Representatives and Senate are responsible for adopting rules that govern the procedure and process of their respective bodies. These rules are complex…

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View the PDF version Overview Energy infrastructure is vital to the American economy. It ensures the lights stay on and that homes and businesses stay heated. A strong energy infrastructure also aids in promoting growth among all sectors of the…

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View the PDF version. Overview The U.S. federal government consists of over 450 different agencies — in total, employing 9 million people and spending over $4.5 trillion per year. While the Constitution authorizes the President to lead the Executive Branch,…

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View the PDF verison. Overview The transfer of power from one Presidential Administration to the next is one of the most important processes in our American democracy. According to the Partnership for Public Services’ Center for Presidential Transition, “presidential transitions…

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View the PDF version. Overview Every four years, we revisit debates about the Electoral College. While there is a lot of confusion about this “college,” it is central to our system of electing the President and Vice President of the…

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View the PDF version. Overview The federal government, all states, and some local jurisdictions impose excise taxes on alcohol. Historically, alcohol excise taxes were one of the first sources of revenue for the United States government. For example, the first…

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View the PDF version. Overview The Supreme Court of the United States is the nation’s highest court. It ensures the American people the promise of equal justice under the law and “functions as a guardian and interpreter of the Constitution.”…

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