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.


Click here for the PDF version Overview The United States is currently negotiating two of the largest multi-national trade agreements in its history – the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with major economies in Asia and the Americas, and the Trans-Atlantic Trade…

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Click here for the PDF version. Overview In 2003, Congress passed legislation to create a prescription drug benefit for seniors in Medicare – Medicare “Part D.” At the time, the new law was the first major change to Medicare in…

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Click here for the PDF version Overview As the number of Americans relying on Medicare for health insurance grows every year, reforming the program’s payment structure has become all the more important.  Like most insurance plans, Medicare relies mostly on…

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Click here for the PDF version Overview American energy independence has long been a goal of both political parties, and the energy industry is investing in several new ways to achieve that goal. In the last twenty years, improvements in…

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Click here for the PDF version Overview The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law more than three years ago, and yet the health care reform law’s signature pieces are only now beginning to go into effect. Beginning on…

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Click here for the PDF version Overview Despite an often rancorous debate on broader immigration reform, Congressional leaders in both parties have united around improving the ability of United States employers to hire and continue employing highly-skilled immigrant workers. Large…

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Click here for the PDF version Overview The U.S. federal government consists of over 450 different agencies — in total, employing 4.4 million people and spending over $6 trillion per year. While the Constitution authorizes the President to lead the…

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Click here for the PDF version Overview The failure of the 2011 Congressional “Super Committee” to craft a deficit reduction plan set into motion a process called “sequestration”, which requires approximately $85 billion in federal spending cuts between March 1…

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Click here for the PDF version Overview As Congress has engaged less in proactive policymaking 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…

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Click here for the PDF version Overview As Congressional leaders and the President negotiate a deal designed to avoid the “Fiscal Cliff”, the drama of the public back-and-forth in Washington often obscures the consequences of failing to reach an agreement….

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Click here for the PDF version Overview As Congressional leaders and the President negotiate a deal designed to avoid the “Fiscal Cliff”, the drama of the public back-and-forth in Washington often obscures the consequences of failing to reach an agreement….

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Click here for the PDF version Overview Debates in Washington are too often over before they begin, as both parties refuse to agree on a set of facts to trust. In an era of increasing polarization, even the most independent…

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