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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit
This report provides an overview of the U.S. balance of payments, an explanation of the broader role of capital flows in the U.S. economy, an explanation of how the country finances its trade deficit or a trade surplus, and the implications for Congress and the country of the large inflows of capital from abroad.
"Holds" in the Senate
This report discusses a wide range of proposals aimed at reforming holds (an informal practice among Senators to communicate policy views and scheduling preferences) to infuse more accountability, uniformity, and transparency in their use and to make it clear that holds are not a veto on the majority leader's prerogative of calling up measures or matters.
Insurance Regulation: Issues, Background, and Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report discusses the legislation in the 113th Congress regarding insurance regulation. Among the insurance regulatory issues addressed by legislation in the 113th Congress are the application of federal orderly liquidation authority to insurers (addressed in H.R. 605); the supervision of some insurers by the Federal Reserve (addressed in H.R. 2140, H.R. 4510, H.R. 5461, S. 2102, and S. 2270); and the licensing of insurance agents and brokers (addressed in S. 534, S. 1926, S. 2244, H.R. 1155/H.R. 1064, and H.R. 4871).
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 200 congressional liaison offices is intended to help congressional offices in placing telephone calls and addressing correspondence to government agencies. Entries are arranged alphabetically in four sections: legislative branch; judicial branch; executive branch; and agencies, boards, and commissions.
Iran: Interim Nuclear Agreement and Talks on a Comprehensive Accord
This report discusses the nuclear agreement talks between Iran and the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany--collectively known as the P5+1, which finalized an interim agreement ("Joint Plan of Action," JPA) requiring Iran to freeze many aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for relief from some international sanctions.
Immigration Visa Issuances and Grounds for Exclusion: Policy and Trends
This report's review of the legislative developments in visa policy over the past 20 years and analysis of the statistical trends in visa issuances and denials provide a nuanced study of U.S. visa policy and the grounds for exclusion.
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2016 Budget Overview
This report provides an overview of the FY2016 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) request and account-by-account funding comparisons with FY2014 actuals and FY2015 estimates.
Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Security Issues and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report discusses the internal and external security concerns of the South Caucasus states and U.S. interests and policy toward the region. The countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia are generally considered as comprising the South Caucasus region, which borders Russia, Turkey, and Iran.
The EMV Chip Card Transition: Background, Status, and Issues for Congress
This report describes the financial harm caused by data breaches and explains how those breaches are carried out. It provides information about the effect of the transition in selected foreign countries. The report also discusses resolved and remaining impediments to completing the EMV ( Europay, MasterCard Visa) transition in the United States and identifies areas of potential congressional interest.
The Role of the Senate in Judicial Impeachment Proceedings: Procedure, Practice, and Data
This report examines the history, practice, and procedures of the Senate in fulfilling its constitutional obligation to try and to vote whether to convict and impose judgment upon judges impeached by the House of Representatives. It includes an overview of the process, and sections that discuss rules governing Senate impeachment proceedings, organizing the Senate for trial, the role of the Presiding Officer, the use of an impeachment trial committee, deliberation and judgment by the full senate, length of Senate impeachment trials, and concluding observations.
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund: Programs and Policy Issues
This report begins by describing the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund's (Fund's) history, current appropriations, and each of its programs. The next section of the report analyzes four policy considerations of congressional interest, regarding the Fund and the effective use of federal resources to promote economic development. Lastly, this report examines the Fund's programs and management to see if they represent an effective and efficient government effort to promote economic development in low-income and distressed communities.
Balancing Tourism against Terrorism: The Visa Waiver Program
This report briefly discusses Congress's concern that some foreign fighters might exploit the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to enter the United States and commit acts of terrorism. The VWP allows eligible visitors from 38 European nations and a few prosperous Asia-Pacific countries to enter the United States for short business or leisure stays without first obtaining a visa from a U.S. consulate abroad.
Iran Sanctions
This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue.
Supreme Court Justices: Demographic Characteristics, Professional Experience, and Legal Education, 1789-2010
This report provides an introduction of Supreme Court appointments in historical context. The report discusses the Supreme Court Justices demographic characteristics, professional background, and educational background.
Veterans Affairs: The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims--Judicial Review of VA Decision Making
This report discusses legislation enacted by the 111th Congress to address funding, operations, and benefit appeal procedures within the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims (CAVC).
Evaluating the "Past Performance" of Federal Contractors: Legal Requirements and Issues
This report provides an overview of existing legal requirements pertaining to past performance, including the issues raised by federal contractors' attempts to challenge agency evaluations of their past performance, source selection decisions based, in part, on consideration of past performance information, and responsibility determinations. It also surveys recently enacted and proposed legislation and executive branch initiatives related to evaluations of past performance.
Trends in Discretionary Spending
This report discusses historical, current, and projected discretionary spending trends. It also describes how current discretionary spending trends reflect national priorities. Discretionary spending is provided in, and controlled by, annual appropriations acts, which fund many of the routine activities commonly associated with such federal government functions as running executive branch agencies, congressional offices and agencies, and international operations of the government.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): A Primer for the 114th Congress
This report discusses the history of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), the basic issues in the debate over wilderness versus development, the Native interests, and the energy and biological resources at stake.
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate program, a program to procure 52 LCSs and frigates. The first ship in the program was procured in FY2005, and a total of 23 have been procured through FY2015. The Navy's proposed FY2016 budget requests $1,437.0 million for the procurement of three more LCSs, or an average of $479.0 million each.
CHIP and the ACA Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Requirement: In Brief
This report discusses the Affordable Care Act (ACA) child maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement for children if federal CHIP funding expires. It begins with a brief background about CHIP, including information regarding program design and financing. The report then describes the ACA child MOE requirements for CHIP Medicaid expansion programs and for separate CHIP programs and discusses potential coverage implications.
Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces: Facts and Issues
This report discusses Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Forces, which have been certified, trained, and funded by the federal government. The task forces represent a partnership involving federal, local government, and private sector experts. Most recently, USAR teams received considerable publicity, and reportedly achieved life-saving results, in their mission to Haiti after the earthquakes of early 2010.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Appropriations for FY2014 in P.L. 113-76
This report presents a discussion of the FY2014 enacted appropriations for selected EPA programs and activities highlighted in the congressional debate.
Congressional Oversight of Intelligence: Current Structure and Alternatives
This report describes the Select Committees on Intelligence and then the former Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, often cited as a model for a counterpart on intelligence. The study also sets forth proposed characteristics for a joint committee on intelligence, differences among these, and their pros and cons.
Sex Trafficking of Children in the United States: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of sex trafficking of children in the United States. It first conceptualizes the issue, discussing the victims and perpetrators involved. It then outlines the federal response to investigating and prosecuting perpetrators as well as providing services to victims. The report concludes with a discussion of select issues concerning the federal response to sex trafficking of minors in the United States.
Speed of Presidential and Senate Actions on Supreme Court Nominations, 1900-2010
This report provides information on the amount of time taken to act on all Supreme Court nominations occurring between 1900 and 2010. It focuses on the actual amounts of time that Presidents and the Senate have taken to act after learning about vacancies, selections, etc. (as opposed to the elapsed time between official points in the process).
Earthquake Risk, Insurance, and Recovery: Issues for Congress
This report examines earthquake catastrophe risk and insurance in the United States in light of recent developments, particularly the devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. It examines both traditional and non-traditional approaches for financing recovery from earthquake losses as well as challenges in financing catastrophe losses with insurance.
Colombia: Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of recent political developments in Colombia, including the administration of President Uribe (2002-2010), continuing into the election of President Juan Manuel Santos. It discusses the political issues including Colombia's longstanding conflict with internal armed groups and ongoing challenges such as human rights, demobilization and displacement, drug trends, and Colombia's regional relations. The report also lays out issues for Congress including various plans for addressing those issues.
Navy Nuclear-Powered Surface Ships: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report discusses the possibility of increasing the number of Navy surface ships powered by nuclear energy, including the Navy's planned CG(X) cruiser. The report explores a 2006 Navy study that discusses budget considerations, the cost of a nuclear-powered ship compared to a ship powered by crude oil, and other suggestions relating to this proposed expansion. The overall report has a specific emphasis on the planned CG(X) cruiser, and how the implementation of this cruiser may be delayed by current budget proposals.
The Financial Crisis: Impact on and Response by The European Union
This report discusses the European Union's response to the global financial crisis. As the crisis has ebbed, coordination among European capitals and between Europe and the United States has become more elusive and growing differences threaten the adoption of a coordinated long-term solution to regulatory reform and coordination of financial policies.
Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current state of Bahrain, which has undergone substantial political reforms since the late 1990s, but which still suffers from tension between the Shiite majority and the Sunni-led government. It focuses particularly on Bahrain's relationship with Iran and with the United States.
The Debt Limit Since 2011
This report discusses the federal debt increase. The accumulation of federal debt accelerated in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession.
The President's Immigration Accountability Executive Action of November 20, 2014: Overview and Issues
This report discusses President Obama Immigration Accountability Executive Action which would revise some U.S. immigration policies and initiate several programs, including a revised border security policy for the Southwest border.
Climate Change: EU and Proposed U.S. Approaches to Carbon Leakage and WTO Implications
This report discusses climate change and issues related to carbon leakage by examining the European Union's (EU's) cap-and-trade program with a review and analysis of various EU efforts to address the concerns of energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries. Additionally, it considers similar provisions enacted or proposed by the U.S.and analyzes potential World Trade Organization (WTO) implications in relation to U.S. trade agreements.
Navy Shipboard Lasers for Surface, Air, and Missile Defense: Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on potential Navy shipboard lasers for countering surface, air, and ballistic missile threats. It does not discuss the use of lasers on Navy aircraft or submarines, or the use of lasers by other military services. This report is based on unclassified, open-domain information from the Navy, industry, and research organizations such as RAND.
Public Trust and Law Enforcement--A Brief Discussion for Policy Makers
This report provides a brief overview of police-community relations and how the federal government might be able to promote more accountability and better relationships between citizens and law enforcement.
Border Security: Key Agencies and Their Missions
This report briefly describes the role of various agencies in securing the borders of the United States. These agencies are the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Bureau of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the United States Coast Guard, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Economic Downturns and Crime
This report examines the relationships between selected variables of economic strength and crime. It begins with an overview of crime rates during times of economic recession in the United States. It then reviews the existing literature in the field analyzing various data sets that examine whether the unemployment rate and foreclosures can be related to increases in the national crime rate.
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, by Topic
This report provides references to analytical reports on cybersecurity from CRS, other government agencies, trade associations, and interest groups. The reports and related websites are grouped under a variety of cybersecurity topics.
Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the relationship between the United States and Japan, including Japanese efforts to support the U.S. in the wake of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks and the two countries' economic ties, especially with regards to the recent economic downturn. This report also discusses the general political atmosphere of Japan, including the recent and ongoing political turmoil in Tokyo.
The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress
This report provides and introduction to key provisions in the Spectrum Act to improve public safety communications and discusses planning authority, state and local participation, federal governance and other issues regarding the evolving network technologies.
U.S.-Mexico Economic Relations: Trends, Issues, and Implications
This report provides an overview of U.S.-Mexico economic relations, trade trends, the Mexican economy, NAFTA, and trade issues between the United States and Mexico.
The National Debt: Who Bears Its Burden?
This report discusses various views on the issue of who bears the burden of the national debt, future generations or the generation that incurred it.
Air Force KC-X Tanker Aircraft Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses issues for Congress in FY2011, which are whether to approve, reject, or modify DOD's new KC-X competition strategy, and whether to approve, reject, or modify the Air Force's request for FY2011 research and development funding for the new KC-X program.
Interest Payments on the Federal Debt: A Primer
This report provides a brief overview of the federal debt and net interest payments. Of the three broad categories of federal spending, the only category that cannot be reduced by legislative action is net interest payments. The report provides information about federal debt, interest payments on the federal dept, and determinants of net interest payments.
Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) Status for Russia and U.S.-Russian Economic Ties
This report discusses the issues surrounding whether or not the U.S. should grant Russia permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) following its accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO). The change in Russia's trade status will require legislation to lift the restrictions of Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974 as they apply to Russia, which includes the "freedom-of-emigration" requirements of the Jackson-Vanik amendment.
Older Americans Act: FY2015 Appropriations Overview
This report discusses Older Americans Act (OAA) funding. It begins with an overview of OAA's FY2015 funding and provides a detailed breakdown of current-year funding for each of the act's programs and activities. The report then reviews OAA's funding history since FY2001. Next, it summarizes FY2015 legislative activity with respect to OAA appropriations. It concludes with a discussion of FY2015 funding decisions for selected OAA programs.
Federal Efforts to Address the Threat of Bioterrorism: Selected Issues for Congress
This report focuses on four areas critical to the success of the biodefense enterprise that the 111th Congress is likely to consider: strategic planning; risk assessment; surveillance; and the development, procurement, and distribution of medical countermeasures.
Points of Order in the Congressional Budget Process
This report summarizes the points of order currently in effect under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as amended, as well as related points of order established in various other measures that have a direct impact on budget enforcement.
American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics
This report is written in response to numerous requests for war casualty statistics and lists of war dead. It provides tables, compiled by sources at the Department of Defense (DOD), indicating the number of casualties among American military personnel serving in principal wars and combat actions.
The Presidential Libraries Act and the Establishment of Presidential Libraries
This report details the legislative history of the Presidential Libraries Act and examines information on existing library facilities and their locations, organizational characteristics, and outreach efforts. It also analyzes legislative options for the act, including increasing endowment requirements for the library foundations and clearly delineating the relationship between the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the libraries' supporting organizations.