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PolicySphere Morning Briefing – March 15, 2024

Bonjour! Here’s your PolicySphere morning briefing! If you were forwarded this, here’s more about who we are and what we’re doing and, of course, don’t forget to sign up.

#Budget #SupplementalAppropriations – Heritage has put out a report fitting in the supplemental appropriations process, which has grown beyond its original intent into becoming a de facto budget process. Headline quote: “This report provides a framework for supplemental appropriations that secures America’s border, provides military assistance to Israel to defeat Hamas and walls off funds from NGOs that are complicit in terrorism, provides the critical military assistance to Ukraine that it needs to defeat Russia while requiring more from our NATO allies, and takes major steps to deter China and strengthen Taiwan.”

#Budget #DefenseProcurement – Speaking of the budget… From Katherine Boyle, General Partner at Andreessen-Horowitz, a top Silicon Valley venture capital firm which is increasingly backing defense and other public sector companies: “This is one of the most detailed podcasts we’ve done on defense procurement. … this gets into the weeds in the best possible way.” Link

#AmericanManufacturing – Smart: “Vance leads bill to address US munitions and readiness amid Ukraine aid battle” Also related: “U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bob Casey (D-PA), Rick Scott (R-FL), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Mike Braun (R-IN), Ted Budd (R-NC), John Boozman (R-AR), and J.D. Vance (R-OH) joined Brown and Cotton in introducing the Stop Mexico’s Steel Surge Act, which would reinstate the 232 tariffs on Mexican steel imports at 25%, for no less than a year, and give the President authority to impose additional quotas and tariff rate quotas on specific products if needed.” (Press release) The conversation on issues like manufacturing and industrial policy is only beginning…

#Immigration – It turns out that US computer science students outperform their peers in China, Russia, and India. The pressure group US Tech Workers comments: “The claim that American college students are too dumb so that’s why we need to import a gazillion H-1Bs from India each year is a pernicious lie.”

#Immigration – The New York Times has a story on this year’s financial aid disaster. “The Education Department was supposed to make applying for federal financial aid easier. Instead, it got worse.” As usual with the Times, you have to go two thirds of the way into the article to get the real story, and it’s: illegal immigration. The new process created a special path for those without social security numbers (i.e., illegal immigrants) to apply for financial aid, and so many applied that it crashed the system.

#TikTok #BigTech – David Sacks has the best case we’ve seen against the TikTok divestment bill. Essentially he argues that it gives too much power to the executive branch. Read it for yourself. On the opposite end, left-populist policy analyst Matt Stoller has a very good article arguing in favor of the TikTok bill as part of a broader agenda to protect Americans’ privacy and data.

#Healthcare #Medicare – “Sens. Rick Scott, Mike Braun and J.D. Vance Demand Full Audit of Medicare over $2.7 Billion in Medical Fraud” (Press release) We were writing yesterday about the poverty of thinking on health care on the right. Medicare fraud is one of the few exceptions–a real problem where there is consensus on the right to act, and good policy.

#Healthcare #Drugs – The White House has announced a new initiative on opioids and overdoses. We will look into it and report back on this most underrated of all issues…

#Social Issues #LGBTQ – Independent Women’s Forum’s Madeleine Kearns wrote a very good primer on state-by-state laws and approaches to gender transitions.

#CivilLibertiesMike Lee: “FISA 702 is too often used to spy on Americans WITHOUT A WARRANT! The Firm™️ wants Congress to reauthorize FISA 702 next week—without a warrant requirement OR meaningful debate—by attaching it to a massive spending bill. That’s unacceptable.”

#Crime #CriminalJustice – RAND: “Countering the Emerging Drone Threat to Correctional Security” Drones are increasingly used to deliver contraband to prisons. Seems like a problem!

Chart of the Day: Hardly a surprise, but still good to see the numbers: law school faculty donations to political campaigns from 2017 to 2023. (Via)

Meme of the Day

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