“Net Neutrality”

The Internet plays an essential role in our modern society and yet the way the Internet will be governed is still unclear. In anticipation of an impending Federal Communications Commission vote to reverse the so called “net neutrality” regulation implemented during the Obama administration, we look at the law which the FCC is trying to enforce. We also examine our current lawmaker’s plans for Internet governance by listening to highlights of three hearings featuring testimony from lawyers from Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

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CD162: Dishing with Matt Marr

C-SPAN is much more fun with friends! In this special episode, Matt Marr, comedian and host of the Dear Mattie Show, joins Jen at The Comedy Store to discuss three bills that have passed the U.S. House of Representatives. Lots of laughs in this one!

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CD161: Veterans Choice Program

The Veterans Health Administration operates a taxpayer-funded health system to provide our nation’s veterans physical and mental health services. The Veterans Choice Program is a fundamental change to that system as it allows veterans to get taxpayer-funded health care in the private sector. In this episode, learn the history of the Veterans Choice Program, discover the changes that Congress and the Trump Administration have made to the program this year, and get some insights into the future of the program.

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CD160: Equifax Breach

If you are an American adult, there is a good chance that criminals now have the ability to match your name and social security number, greatly increasing your risk of becoming a victim of identity fraud. In this episode, hear highlights from Congressional hearings about the Equifax breach that exposed the personal information of 145.5 million Americans as we explore the key role that credit reporting companies play in our society.

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CD159: Crisis Management

Natural disasters: They just keep coming. In this episode, learn about the disaster relief bill that will soon be law, get an update from Puerto Rico from a member of the Coast Guard, and look into a few new laws that included disaster relief provisions with special guests Jessica Rhodes and Margy Feldhuhn.

Also, get the scoop on the existential crisis that Congressional Dish has been experiencing and get a preview of exciting new changes coming soon to your favorite Congress-focused podcast.

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CD158: Rapid DNA Act

Since 1994, the FBI has maintained a database with samples of DNA taken from convicted criminals in order to match those samples with DNA collected at crime scenes. However, over the course of the last two decades, the DNA database has expanded to include many more people. In this episode, we explore the expansion of DNA collection and storage by law enforcement and examine a new law that will further that trend.

Later in the episode, get an update on Congress’s progress in meeting their multiple September 30th deadlines. Continue reading

CD157: Failure to Repeal

Process: It matters. During the first seven months of the 115th Congress, the Republicans tried – in multiple ways – to repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act. We already know what they were trying to do; in this episode, hear the full story of how they tried to get their bills passed into law. Later in the episode, we also do a quick summary of what to expect in September as deadlines related to flood insurance, government funding, marijuana, and many other topics loom.

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CD156: Sanctions – Russia, North Korea & Iran

On August 2nd, President Trump signed a new law that passed Congress with the overwhelming support of both political parties, which imposes sanctions on three countries: Russia, North Korea, and Iran. In this episode, we examine the new sanctions and the big-picture motivations behind them. In the process, we jump down the rabbit hole of the U.S. involvement in the 2014 regime change in Ukraine.

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CD155: FirstNet Empowers AT&T

In 2012, Congress created a new government agency called FirstNet and tasked it with building a high-speed wireless network that would allow all first responders in the United States to communicate with each other daily and in times of emergencies. In July, FirstNet awarded AT&T with a 25 year contract to do the actual work. In this episode, hear highlights from a recent hearing about this new network as we examine the wisdom of contracting such an important part of our public safety infrastructure to the private sector.

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CD154: The OTHER Health Care Bills

We’ve paid a lot of attention this year to the bill that would “Repeal and Replace” the Affordable Care Act but that is not the only bill related to heath care that is moving through Congress. In this episode, learn about the other health care bills that have made it just as far as the Repeal and Replace bill, including one that is already law. Also in this episode, we laugh at the Senate for inventing holidays and doing so in the dumbest way possible. Continue reading