SSN Resources for Journalists

President's Speech Are you looking for an expert to quote about a policy or political development? Do you want easily accessible summaries of relevant research? SSN members do research on a range of policy issues, and keep track of voting trends, public opinion, political alliances, and social movements.




Hot Topics for august 2013

> why it makes sense to have a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants

Immigration reform may not get through the Republican-led House of Representatives, as Tom Wong of the University California, San Diego explained in a recent interview on "Power Players" at ABC News. The sticking point for ultra-conservatives is a path to citizenship for America's eleven million undocumented residents. But there are four good reasons why such a path to citizenship is a "no brainer," explains SSNer Helen Marrow of Tufts University in her recent OpEd in the Raleigh News & Observer. Immigration reform will not be effective or truly comprehensive without it.

> will the farm bill get put back together?

In July, the U.S. House of Representatives broke with decades of farm bill legislating, when GOP conservatives refused to support the traditional approach of marrying generous agricultural subsidies with funding for the established Food Stamps program and other nutritional benefits that provide extra help to the poor in urban as well as rural areas. SSN scholar Marc Bellemare of Duke University has recently co-authored a study of why Congressional representatives in increasingly urban-industrial America regularly support costly subsidies and special protections for agricultural producers. He finds that constituency interests are a driving force, but also speculates that longstanding policies could be undermined if congressionally brokered bargains break down and the urban-rural divide ceases to be bridged in farm bill politics. Bellemare's work suggests how touchy and crucial the coming weeks could be, as the U.S. Senate bargains with the House and we discover whether the marriage of Food Stamps and agricultural subsidies can once again be embodied in a bill that passes both chambers and reaches President Obama's desk.

> what obamacare should do about the employer mandate

In a recent Daily Beast column, journalist Michael Tomasky reacted to the kerfuffle about delaying the enforcement of ObamaCare's employer mandate until 2015 by revisiting a perspicacious article published by SSN member Jacob Hacker in the Fall 2010 issue of Democracy magazine. In that piece looking ahead to "Health-Care Reform, 2015," Hacker called for revisiting the employer mandate to make it apply to the size of payrolls rather than just the number of employees. This and other important improvements in the Affordable Care Act may happen some day, but not until after implementation goes forward and enemies determined to undermine and repeal the law shift toward negotiating improvements, including improvements many businesses would like to see. The real story right now is how partisan warfare is blocking adjustments, not that adjustments are needed.

How to Describe The Scholars Strategy Network

The Scholars Strategy Network brings together many of America's leading scholars to address pressing public challenges. All SSN members are committed to explaining their research in broadly accessible ways. Members do not all hold the same views, and SSN as a whole does not endorse any political party, candidate, or specific policy position. Each SSN scholar takes individual responsibility for signed contributions.