The Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act: Recommendations for Improving Transparency

September 8, 2022 | Lars Schönander

Click here to download a PDF version of the paper. Executive Summary The Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act (AFIDA) requires the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to collect data on foreign investor ownership of American agricultural land. However, data collection has long been crippled by poor management and compliance. Decades of neglect of the AFIDA program have
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Building Digital Capacity in Congress: Recommendations for the House Digital Service

July 14, 2022 | Reynold Schweickhardt

Click here to download a PDF version of the paper. Despite many reforms over time, Congress has struggled to keep up with the pace of technological change and the new burdens it has brought. In particular, because of its distributed governance, legislative branch IT operations must contend with a greater number of coordination problems, inefficiencies, and vectors
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The Case for Reforming and Strengthening Federal Education R&D

March 23, 2022 | Dan Lips

Lincoln White Paper Click here to download a PDF version of the paper. The United States faces unprecedented challenges in elementary and secondary education. Prolonged school closures caused widespread learning losses and other negative effects that threaten the future of a generation of American children. Today’s students will grow up in a future where emerging technologies
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The Importance of Management Policy in American Governance

February 16, 2022 | Nathan Uldricks

Why the right needs to study management policy In November, the Biden Administration released the President’s Management Agenda Vision, outlining its agenda to overhaul the federal workforce and its operations. At the top level are some goals all Americans should like, such as improving how citizens interact with the federal bureaucracy and rebuilding domestic industrial capacity. Other goals, as
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Using Technology and Data Analysis to Improve Oversight of Foreign Influence in American Postsecondary Education

January 19, 2022 | Lars Schönander

By Lars Schonander and Dan Lips  Executive Summary  Federal law requires American colleges and universities to disclose foreign gifts and contracts to the Department of Education. But many institutions have not complied with the law. A bipartisan Senate investigation and a Department of Education review found that the widespread failure to comply has prevented Congress
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Leveraging Technology to Improve How People Communicate with Their Representatives in Congress

October 6, 2021 | Reynold Schweickhardt

Click here to download a PDF version of the paper. In 2021, the political parties on Capitol Hill have found little common ground. Yet they do agree on at least one key point: Congress needs to work better.  Few congressional responsibilities are more vital than lawmakers’ interactions with their constituents. Constituents provide significant input in
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Reviewing the Data: How GAO Saves Taxpayer Dollars

September 2, 2021 | Dan Lips

A review of nonpublic data estimating GAO’s financial accomplishments since 2002 In July, the House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2022 Legislative Branch funding bill—legislation that would provide $729 million for the Government Accountability Office, an increase of $68 million over the prior year’s funding level. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is Congress’s watchdog:
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Options to Give the Universal Service Fund a Much-Needed Upgrade

July 26, 2021 | Joel Thayer

As telecommunications revenues decline, a tax to promote universal service – passed onto everyday consumers – continues to increase. The reason: That tax replenishes the Federal Communications Commission’s Universal Service Fund’s annual budget of $5 billion to $8 billion. The fund is the commission’s primary tool to close the so-called “digital divide” by supporting four
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A New Strategy for U.S. Public Diplomacy: Using Virtual Education and Incentives to Promote Understanding of American Values

June 2, 2021 | Dan Lips

Click here to download a PDF version of the paper Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has not established an effective strategy for winning hearts and minds or promoting democratic and liberal values abroad. During this period, the United States reduced its capacity for effectively conducting public diplomacy. While the United
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The Promise and Perils of Interoperability

March 4, 2021 | Zach Graves

Majorities of both Republicans and Democrats now support increased regulation of the tech industry. Responding to this pressure, policymakers on both sides of the aisle have become increasingly critical of big tech, and are looking to advance new legislation. However, because their underlying grievances are different—with the right focusing on anti-conservative bias, and the left
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Returning Science and Technology Assessment to Congress

January 28, 2021 | Zach Graves

The shuttering of the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) in 1996, along with contemporaneous cuts to Congress’s policy capacity, created a deep institutional gap in the formation of science and technology (S&T) policy in the United States. A quarter century later, in the wake of a middling response to the COVID-19 pandemic, eroding military superiority,
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Why Congress and Federal Agencies Must Improve State and Local Governments’ Cybersecurity Risk Management

December 16, 2020 | Dan Lips

Click here to download a PDF version of the paper. State and local governments have purchased commercial off-the-shelf technologies with known vulnerabilities that federal agencies have banned. Five years after Congress passed bipartisan legislation to strengthen information sharing between the federal government and its partners, federal agencies could do more to support state and local
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How Congress Can Leverage GAO to Expand Taxpayer Savings

October 23, 2020 | Dan Lips

GAO’s Work Has Yielded $1.1 Trillion in Taxpayer Savings Since 1999. But Congress Can Do More to Leverage Them. The United States faces growing governance and fiscal challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing the federal government’s limited ability to manage a national crisis. The Congressional Budget Office warns that the national debt will eclipse GDP
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How Coronavirus is Minifying Education

June 19, 2020 | Ian Patterson

Parents of school-aged children are rapidly warming to alternative forms of education in light of the coronavirus and distancing measures, new research by Lincoln reveals. As a result, the future is unexpectedly bright for smaller approaches like homeschooling, hybrid models, and micro-schools, while traditional public and private schools appear headed for severe setbacks. Lincoln Studio
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Use Surplus Federal Real Property to Expand Medical and Quarantine Capacity for COVID-19

April 7, 2020 | Dan Lips

Vice President Mike Pence stated that the government was committed to answering requests from governors for additional capacity by “creating field hospitals” or “retrofitting existing buildings,” with support from the Army Corps of Engineers.  In addition to constructing field hospitals and expanding existing hospital capacity, the US government should identify potential surplus federal real property
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A New Tech Agenda Requires Expertise and Realism

March 4, 2020 | Zach Graves

Conservatives are right to challenge libertarians, but they must avoid Hawleyism. The editors of influential conservative publications—including The American Mind, First Things, the American Conservative, and others—have called for a “tech new deal,” arguing the right has lost its ability to meet the challenges of the digital era. Like its original namesake, or the more
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Congress Re-Empowered

February 27, 2020 | Wayne Brough

Why the legislative branch needs better science and technology policy advice—and how it can get it. This paper is part of Lincoln’s Technology Assessment Symposium, which was made possible with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The paper was authored by Dr. Wayne T. Brough, president of the Innovation Defense
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A Fresh Start for OTA

February 27, 2020 | Robert Atkinson

Creating the lean, dynamic technology assessment agency Congress needs today. This paper is part of Lincoln’s Technology Assessment Symposium, which was made possible with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The paper was authored by Robert D. Atkinson. Dr. Atkinson is the president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
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The Many Meanings of ‘Technology Assessment’

February 27, 2020 | M. Anthony Mills

Learning from the founding and early history of OTA. This paper is part of Lincoln’s Technology Assessment Symposium, which was made possible with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The paper was authored by M. Anthony Mills. Mills is director of science policy at the R Street Institute. You can
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Legislative Science Advice in Europe and the United Kingdom

February 27, 2020 | Chris Tyler

Lessons for the United States This paper is part of Lincoln’s Technology Assessment Symposium, which was made possible with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The paper was authored by Chris Tyler. Dr. Tyler is the director of research and policy in the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public
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Reviving Expertise in a Populist Age

November 25, 2019 | Zach Graves

Zach Graves is the head of policy at Lincoln Network and an associate fellow at the R Street Institute. M. Anthony Mills is associate vice president of policy and a senior fellow at the R Street Institute. Though we have heard laments for decades that American democracy is sliding into idiocracy, never has more ink been spilled on
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Lincoln Network and Morning Consult Poll on Technology Platforms and the 2020 Election

November 21, 2019 | Will Upton

From August 1st to 3rd, 2019, Lincoln Network in conjunction with Morning Consult polled Republican voters on a series of questions regarding the major technology/social media platforms (including Google, Facebook, and Twitter) in order to decipher what impact voter opinion could have on the 2020 elections. The data shows that, overwhelmingly, Republican voters approve of
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Fact Sheet: Office of Technology Assessment

September 29, 2019 | Zach Graves

The following one pager was co-authored by Lincoln Network’s Zach Graves and Demand Progress’s Daniel Schuman. Click here to download a printer-friendly PDF version. The Office of Technology Assessment From 1974-1995, the Office of Technology Assessment served as a legislative branch support agency tasked with providing Congress with technology assessments: multi-disciplinary, authoritative analyses of science
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New Antitrust Thinking Isn’t a Return to the Good Old Days

January 14, 2019 | Ryan Radia

Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft. These are America’s five most valuable tech companies, and they have a public policy challenge in common: antitrust. When antitrust makes headlines, it’s often because one of these five companies is looking to buy a smaller firm or facing some sort of investigation from the Federal Trade Commission or Department
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Doing Business with Congress

December 15, 2018 | Zach Graves

Of the three branches of the federal government, Congress is the most responsive to the American people. On a daily basis, congressional offices hear from constituents, industry groups, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders across a broad range of issues. While digital tools have lowered barriers to communication with our elected representatives, Congress’s information technology
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