Author Archives: WatchBlog

The Nation’s Precarious Fiscal Future

The United States faces a highly challenging fiscal future. Absent change in policy, the federal fiscal path is unsustainable—debt is growing faster than the economy (GDP). This springs from the continuing gap between the amount of money the federal government … Continue reading

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Lead Paint in Housing

Was your home built before 1978? If so, there’s a chance that it contains some lead paint. The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that roughly 35 percent of U.S. homes contain some lead-based paint. So, what does this … Continue reading

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Diversifying the Pipeline of STEM Talent

Education programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) play an important role in preparing students for careers in STEM fields. Over the last decade, the federal government has taken important steps toward diversifying the pipeline of STEM talent in … Continue reading

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After Showing Improvement, Trends for NASA’s Major Projects Slip Back

Every year, we look at NASA’s major projects to see how well they’re making progress against their cost and schedule goals—which we call our “Quick Look” review. This year, these projects included a satellite that will study polar ice sheets, … Continue reading

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Banking at the Border, Money Laundering, and “Derisking”

Banks are an important line of defense for fighting financial crimes. Banks and other financial institutions are subject to the Bank Secrecy Act, which helps federal law enforcement detect and deter the use of financial institutions for money laundering and … Continue reading

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The Troubled Voyage of Navy Shipbuilding

In 2007, the Navy embarked on a plan for a 330-ship fleet by 2018. Congress supported this plan, appropriating $24 billion more than the Navy’s budget request of $182 billion. Things have not gone according to plan. Today, the Navy … Continue reading

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Who is in the Driver’s Seat? 

Driverless cars conjure up images of relaxing in traffic while your car chauffeurs you home.  Companies are racing to develop automated vehicle technologies, and cars like this may be just around the corner. But are they safe? Today’s WatchBlog takes … Continue reading

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Drone Safety (video podcast)

Over a million Americans flew drones in 2017 for recreational or commercial purposes, and the Federal Aviation Administration expects that number to more than double over the next 5 years. Drones can pose a number of safety risks—like potential crashes … Continue reading

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Combating Wildlife Trafficking Through Rewards

The United States has become one of the world’s largest wildlife trafficking markets and is increasingly becoming a source for illegal wildlife and wildlife products. A sample of fish, plants, wildlife and wildlife products seized at U.S. ports includes everything … Continue reading

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Keeping the Lights On: Building Resilience in the U.S. Electricity Grid

A hurricane is about to come ashore, a hacker is up to no good, or there is a wildland fire nearby….will the lights stay on? The nation’s electricity grid is essential to modern life. We expect the grid to be … Continue reading

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