You limited your search to:

 Resource Type: Report
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Economic Effects of Trade: Overview and Policy Challenges
This report focuses on some of the major issues associated with trade and trade agreements and the impact of trade on the U.S. economy. Discussions of trade and trade agreements often focus on a number of issues, including the role that trade plays in the U.S. economy, the impact of trade agreements on employment gains and losses, and the size of the U.S. trade deficit.
The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA; H.R. 5278, S. 2328)
The report presents a brief description of Puerto Rico, its relationship with the federal government, and its fiscal challenges. It also includes a short overview of bill H.R. 5278, with a comparison with previous legislation involving control boards and a section-by-section description of the bill.
Economic Growth Slower Than Previous 10 Expansions
This report briefly discusses the recent pace of economic growth in the United States. A recent poll found that nearly 60% of U.S. adults believe that the economy is performing poorly. Although this expansion is already the fourth longest since the 1850's (34 quarters to date), the slow pace of economic growth means the overall gains have been relatively small.
Fact Sheet: FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) DOD Reform Proposals
This report discusses information on extant Department of Defense (DOD) reform proposals being considered during the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act debates. As such, it includes key provisions incorporated in H.R. 4909, the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) reported by the House Armed Services Committee on May 4, 2016 (H.Rept. 114-537), and S. 2943, the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act reported by the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 18, 2016 (S.Rept. 114-255). Wherever possible, it also includes the Administration's views.
Medicare Financial Status: In Brief
This report provides an overview on Medicare, discussing its various components and sources of funding. It also examines projections for spending within the program.
Senate Action on U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations During the Eighth Year of a Presidency
This report discusses the process by which lower federal court judges are nominated by the President and approved by the Senate during the final year of a presidency. The eighth year of a presidency is significant, in part, because it is the final opportunity for a President to appoint individuals as U.S. circuit and district court judges.
After Brexit: A Diminished or Enhanced EU?
This report briefly discusses the United Kingdom's (UK's) "Brexit" vote and what it means for the future of the European Union.
Zika Virus in Latin America and the Caribbean: U.S. Policy Considerations
This report provides background information on the Zika virus, discusses challenges faced by governments and implementing partners in the Latin America and Caribbean region that are attempting to control the ongoing outbreak, and analyzes these issues in the context of the U.S. Zika response.
Job Creation in the Manufacturing Revival
This report examines the current status of the manufacturing sector in the U.S., which is a subject of ongoing interest in Congress. After rebounding from the 2007-09 recession, U.S. manufacturing output has grown little since the second half of 2014. Over the same period, employment in the U.S. manufacturing sector has been flat. These trends defy expectations that forces such as higher labor costs in the emerging economies of Asia, heightened concern about the risk of disruptions to long, complex supply chains, and the development of inexpensive domestic supplies of natural gas would increase the relative attractiveness of the United States as a location for factory production.
Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer
This report provides a brief overview of three major topics related to nanotechnology: federal research and development (R&D) investments under the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI); U.S. international competitiveness in nanotechnology; and environmental, health, and safety (EHS) concerns. It also discusses nanomanufacturing and public attitudes toward, and understanding of, nanotechnology.
Possible Economic Impact of Brexit
This report briefly discusses the possible economic impact of a June 23, 2016 referendum in which a majority of British voters supported the United Kingdom (UK) leaving the European Union (EU), stunning global financial markets that expected the vote to fail.
Digital Searches and Seizures: Overview of Proposed Amendments to Rule 41 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure
This report provides a brief overview of the proposed amendment to Rule 41, which would amend the federal search and seizure rules to permit the government to remotely access electronic devices although the location of the device may be unknown. First, the report provides a background on the origin of, and rationale underlying, the proposed amendment and a description of the rule as currently written. Second, it reviews the potential changes made by the proposed amendment and will survey various concerns commenters have raised with the proposal. Lastly, this report addresses efforts being made in Congress to alter, delay, or stop this rule change.
Emergency Relief for Disaster-Damaged Roads and Transit Systems: In Brief
This report describes Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) assistance for the repair and reconstruction of highways and bridges damaged by disasters (such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012) or catastrophic failures (such as the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge in Washington State in 2013). It begins with a brief discussion of the legislative origins of federal assistance, and then addresses eligibility issues and program operation.
Expulsion, Censure, Reprimand, and Fine: Legislative Discipline in the House of Representatives
This report discusses the processes of expulsion and censure in the House of Representatives. The House is expressly authorized within the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 5, clause 2) to discipline or "punish" its own Members. It is designed as a measure to protect the institutional integrity of the House of Representatives, its proceedings and its reputation.
Iran's Foreign Policy
This report provides an overview of Iran's foreign policy, which has been a subject of numerous congressional hearings and of sanctions and other legislation for many years. The report analyzes Iranian foreign policy as a whole and by region.
The Islamic State and U.S. Policy
This report provides background on the Islamic State organization, discusses its goals, operations, and affiliates, reviews U.S. legislative and policy debates, and describes select FY2017 legislative proposals.
Midnight Rules: Congressional Oversight and Options
This report discusses "midnight rulemaking," referring to the phenomenon during the final months of recent presidential administrations when federal agencies have typically issued a larger number of rules relative to comparable time periods earlier in the administration. It likely occurs because the outgoing presidential administration wants to achieve certain policy goals before the end of its term.
U.S. Semiconductor Manufacturing: Industry Trends, Global Competition, Federal Policy
This report provides background information on the Zika virus, discusses challenges faced by governments and implementing partners in the Latin America and Caribbean region that are attempting to control the ongoing outbreak, and analyzes these above issues in the context of the U.S. Zika response.
Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2017
This report begins with a discussion of the overall level of the President's FY2017 R&D request, followed by analyses of the R&D funding request from a variety of perspectives and for selected multiagency R&D initiatives. It concludes with discussion and analysis of the R&D budget requests of selected federal departments and agencies that, collectively, account for nearly 99% of total federal R&D funding.
Financing U.S. Agricultural Exports to Cuba
This report discusses a new policy approach toward Cuba that, in part, seeks to reduce the role of long-standing U.S. sanctions on commercial relations with Cuba while also promoting greater engagement and normal relations with the island nation.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Supreme Court's 4-4 Split on Immigration
This report addresses commonly asked questions regarding the Supreme Court's evenly-divided June 23, 2016 decision about immigration. Consistent with recent practice, the decision affirms without any opinion or indication of the Justices' voting alignment an earlier decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit barring the Obama Administration from implementing two initiatives that would potentially have granted relief from removal to millions of aliens who entered or remained in the United States in violation of federal immigration law and lack legal immigration status.
Slow Growth in the Current U.S. Economic Expansion
This report summarizes the U.S. economic growth record and reviews a number of explanations forwarded by economists for why this expansion has featured slow growth. Some explanations focus on short-term factors that would not be expected to persist, while others focus on long-term changes to the economy. The report does not discuss labor market conditions, except in the context of how they contribute to the pace of GDP growth.
United Kingdom Votes to Leave the European Union
This report briefly examines the ramifications of a British exit from the EU (often referred to as "Brexit"). Nearly 52% of British voters in the June 23 referendum on European Union (EU) membership answered that the United Kingdom (UK) should leave the EU.
Display of the Confederate Flag at Federal Cemeteries in the United States
This report discusses policies regarding the display of the Confederate Flag at national cemeteries. If a state observes a Confederate Memorial Day, National Park Service (NPS) cemeteries in the state may permit a sponsoring group to decorate the graves of Confederate veterans with small Confederate flags. Additionally, such flags may also be displayed on the nationally observed Memorial Day, to accompany the U.S. flag on the graves of Confederate veterans.
Does Foreign Aid Work? Efforts to Evaluate U.S. Foreign Assistance
This report discusses the need to evaluate U.S. bilateral assistance (not on the work of multilateral aid entities, such as the World Bank) and methods of evaluation. It provides an overview of the history of evaluation, challenges, and how findings may be applied to policy. Additionally, it discusses current evaluation policies and issues for Congress.
The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of the campaign finance landscape and policy issues that may confront Congress. It includes information about the development of campaign finance law with selected litigation as well as potential policy considerations and emerging issues.
Mileage-Based Road User Charges
This report examines mileage-based user charges as an possible source of highway funding. Federal highway and public transportation programs are funded mainly by taxes on motor fuel that flow into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). The tax rates, set on a per-gallon basis, have not been raised since 1993, and motor fuel tax receipts have been insufficient to support the transportation programs authorized by Congress since FY2008.
Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): History and Overview
This report provides an overview of the history of science and technology (S&T) advice to the President and discusses selected recurrent issues for Congress regarding Office of Science and Technology Policy's (OSTP) Director, OSTP management and operations, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).
Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles
This report briefly discusses the second phase of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles jointly proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on July 13, 2015.
Trade-Based Money Laundering: Overview and Policy Issues
This report discusses the scope of the trade-based money laundering (TBML) problem and analyzes selected U.S. government policy responses to address TBML. It includes a listing of hearings in the 114th Congress that addressed TBML.
U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production in Federal and Nonfederal Areas
This report examines U.S. oil and natural gas production data for federal and non-federal areas with an emphasis on the past five fiscal years of production.
The European Union: Current Challenges and Future Prospects
This report provides a brief history of the European Union (EU) and the major challenges currently confronting the EU as an institution. It also discusses the potential implications both for the EU itself and for U.S.-EU relations.
Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990-2016
This report contains information on actions taken that affect the salaries for members of Congress, broken down by year and starting with the establishment of the Ethics Reform Act adjustment procedure (1990). It also provides background on the most recent developments and information on other related floor action.
Stafford Act Assistance and Acts of Terrorism
This report provides a brief overview of Stafford Act declarations under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and the types of assistance they could authorize in response to terrorist incidents. This report also provides examples of Stafford Act declarations that have been issued for previous terrorist attacks.
Statements of Administration Policy
This report discusses Statements of Administration Policy (SAPs) -- i.e., statements that communicate the Administration's position on upcoming legislation -- including structural components, the development of SAPs from the Ronald Reagan Administration to the present, the coordination of executive branch actors involved in issuing SAPs, the receipt of SAPs and their impact on government institutions, and possible reactions to SAPs when they are released publicly.
Cuba: Issues for the 114th Congress
This report is divided into three major sections analyzing Cuba's political and economic environment, U.S. policy, and selected issues in U.S.-Cuban relations.
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
This report examines developments in U.S. policy restricting travel and remittances to Cuba, including significant changes that have occurred, current permissible travel and remittances, enforcement of the travel restrictions, and debate on lifting the travel restrictions.
Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) FY2017 Appropriations: Overview
This report discusses the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) appropriations bill, which includes funding for the Department of the Treasury, the Executive Office of the President (EOP), the judiciary, the District of Columbia, and more than two dozen independent agencies.
Puerto Rico and Health Care Finance: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Puerto Rico's health care system.
The United Kingdom and the European Union: Stay or Go?
This report briefly discusses the British referendum regarding whether or not to remain in the European Union. The outcome of the referendum remains difficult to predict. Polling results have varied from week to week and continue to suggest a close race with a significant number of undecided voters. Some polls in mid-June have shown a late shift in favor of the Leave campaign.
Venezuela: Background and U.S. Relations
This report examines the political and economic situation in Venezuela and U.S.-Venezuelan relations. It is divided into three main sections -- political background, current political and economic environment, U.S. relations and policy -- and also includes introductory and outlook information.
What's RICO?
This legal sidebar briefly discusses the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) portion of Title 18 of the United States Code. In spite of its name and origin, RICO is not limited to "mobsters" or members of "organized crime" as those terms are popularly understood. Rather, it covers those activities which Congress felt characterized the conduct of organized crime, no matter who actually engages in them.
The Appointment Process for U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations: An Overview
This report discusses the process of appointment of U.S. circuit and district court judges through presidential nomination and Senate confirmation. In recent decades, the process for appointing judges to the U.S. circuit courts of appeals and the U.S. district courts has been of continuing Senate interest. The responsibility for making these appointments is shared by the President and the Senate. Pursuant to the Constitution's Appointments Clause, the President nominates persons to fill federal judgeships, with the appointment of each nominee also requiring Senate confirmation. Although not mentioned in the Constitution, an important role is also played midway in the appointment process by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities--Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on China's naval modernization effort and its implications for U.S. Navy capabilities. The issue for Congress is how the U.S. Navy should respond to China's military modernization effort, particularly its naval modernization effort.
The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), which is a federal agency that includes private sector and other non-federal representation on its board of directors. FirstNet was created by Congress with provisions in Title VI (Spectrum Act) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96) to ensure the deployment and operation of a nationwide, broadband network for public safety communications.
Foreign Aid: An Introduction to U.S. Programs and Policy
This report provides an overview of the U.S. foreign assistance program by answering frequently asked questions on the subject. It is intended to provide a broad view of foreign assistance over time.
FY2017 Defense Appropriations Fact Sheet: Selected Highlights of H.R. 5293 and S. 3000
This report summarizes selected highlights of the FY2017 Defense Appropriations Act passed by the House on June 16, 2016 (H.R. 5293), and the version reported by the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 26, 2016 (S. 3000).
Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Hypervelocity Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on three potential new weapons that could improve the ability of Navy surface ships to defend themselves against enemy missiles--solid state lasers (SSLs), the electromagnetic railgun (EMRG), and the hypervelocity projectile (HVP).
Spending and Tax Expenditures: Distinctions and Major Programs
This report identifies the largest spending and tax expenditures across eight major categories of federal activity: (1) defense and international affairs; (2) general science, space and technology, natural resources and the environment, and agriculture; (3) commerce and housing, community and regional development, and transportation; (4) education, training, employment, and social services; (5) health, including Medicare; (6) income security; (7) Social Security and veterans' benefits; and (8) administration of justice and general governance.
State Sponsors of Acts of International Terrorism--Legislative Parameters: In Brief
This brief report provides information on legislation that authorizes the designation of any foreign government as a state sponsor of acts of international terrorism. It addresses how each statute defines acts of international terrorism; establishes a list to limit or prohibit aid or trade; provides for systematic removal of a foreign government from a list, including timeline and reporting requirements; authorizes the President to waive restrictions on a listed foreign government; and provides (or does not provide) Congress with a means to block a delisting. The report closes with a summary of delisting in the past.