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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Mobile Technology and Spectrum Policy: Innovation and Competition
This report traces the current and possible future evolution of mobile communications networks and some of the changes in spectrum policy that might better accommodate innovation.
The Appointment Process for U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations: An Overview
The report's exclusive focus is the process of appointment of U.S. circuit and district court judges through presidential nomination and Senate confirmation.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Overview
This report discusses the earned income tax credit (EITC), established in the tax code in 1975, which offers cash aid to working parents with relatively low incomes who care for dependent children.
The "Islamic State" Crisis and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the problems facing Iraq as the Islamic State (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL/ISIS) gains power in the region. IS is a transnational Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group that has expanded its control over areas of northwestern Iraq and northeastern Syria since 2013, threatening the security of both countries and drawing increased attention from the international community. The Islamic State has thrived in the disaffected Sunni Muslim-inhabited areas of Iraq and in the remote provinces of Syria torn by the civil war. The Islamic State's tactics have drawn the ire of the international community, increasing U.S. attention on Iraq's political problems and on the civil war in Syria.
Political Transition in Tunisia
This report discusses Tunisia's pro-democracy movement; concerns over potential instability in a previously secure, pro-Western area; and U.S.-Tunisian relations.
Securing U.S. Diplomatic Facilities and Personnel Abroad: Legislative and Executive Branch Initiatives
This report briefly summarizes and tracks congressional and State Department actions in response to the attack, and will be updated as necessary to reflect further developments and actions on ongoing policy proposals.
Turkey-U.S. Cooperation Against the "Islamic State": A Unique Dynamic?
This report discusses the U.S.'s relationship with Turkey in fighting the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL): "[The] U.S. strategic objectives regarding cooperation with Turkey, a NATO member and Sunni Muslim-majority country, in countering the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL) in Syria and Iraq appear to include: avoiding attacks on or the destabilization of Turkey; minimizing the use of Turkish territory by extremists; and using Turkish territory and airspace and/or partnering with Turkish forces for military purposes and to further strengthen and diversify Sunni support within the anti-IS coalition." (p. 1).
Palestinian Authority: U.S. Payments to Creditors as Alternative to Direct Budgetary Assistance?
A September 24, 2014, congressional notification (CN) from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) may reflect a new executive branch approach in assisting the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pay off some of the debts it incurs in providing various benefits and services to West Bank and Gaza residents. The CN indicates that USAID plans to obligate a total of $100 million in FY2014 bilateral economic assistance for the Palestinians toward direct U.S. payments to PA creditors. This report briefly discusses the details and implications of this new alternative method.
House Committees: Categories and Rules for Committee Assignments
This report discusses rules for committee assignments in the House of Representatives. House rules address the election and membership of committees, especially limitations on membership. The Democratic Caucus and Republican Conference rules designate categories of committees and specify service limitations in addition to those in the House rules.
Procedural Distinctions Between the House and the Committee of the Whole
This report very briefly explains some of the chief distinctions between consideration in the House operating as the House and consideration in Committee of the Whole.
Recently Expired Charitable Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders"): In Brief
This report discusses the four charitable tax provisions are discussed in this report: the enhanced charitable deduction for contributions of food inventory; tax-free distributions from individual retirement accounts for charitable purposes; basis adjustment to stock of S corporations making charitable contributions of property; and special rules for contributions of capital gain real property for conservation purposes.
Selected Recently Expired Individual Tax Provisions ("Extenders"): In Brief
This report briefly summarizes and discusses items categorized as individual tax provisions. These and other temporary tax provisions that are regularly extended for one or two years are often referred to as "tax extenders."
Smartphone Data Encryption: A Renewed Boundary for Law Enforcement?
This report briefly examines new issues for law enforcement regarding data encryption and smartphones including cyber-criminals and Apple's new privacy policy that removes the back-doors that law enforcement used to be able to use to access user data.
U.S. Citizens Kidnapped by the Islamic State
This report briefly discusses the Islamic State's (IS, or alternatively, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, ISIL, or Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS) kidnapping of American citizens and the implications for congressional response.
Conflict Minerals and Resource Extraction: Dodd-Frank, SEC Regulations, and Legal Challenges
This report discusses the two sections of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) that require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) to issue regulations to make public the involvement of U.S. companies in conflict minerals and in resource extraction payments.
Cybercrime: An Overview of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute and Related Federal Criminal Laws
This report discusses The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. 1030, which is a cyber security law that outlaws conduct that victimizes computer systems. It protects federal computers, bank computers, and computers connected to the Internet from trespassing, threats, damage, espionage, and from being corruptly used as instruments of fraud.
EPA's Upcoming Ozone Standard: How Much Will Compliance Cost?
This report briefly discusses upcoming changes in climate policy and cost associated with them. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is under a court order to complete a review of its ambient air quality standard for ozone (the "ozone NAAQS") by October 1, 2015. The agency must propose any change to the standard by December 1 of [2014].
Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments
This report discusses the strategic significance of Guam for defense buildup and the force relocation and deployments from the U.S. mainland. It also discusses the concerns and issues for Congress, such as allies and partners, relations with China, and legislation.
Nuclear Energy Policy
This report discusses nuclear energy issues currently facing Congress, such as federal incentives for new commercial reactors, radioactive waste management policy, research and development priorities, power plant safety and regulation, nuclear weapons proliferation, and security against terrorist attacks.
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 the following cybersecurity topics: policy overview; National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC); cloud computing and FedRAMP; critical infrastructure; cybercrime, data breaches and data security; national security, cyber espionage, and cyberwar (including Stuxnet); international efforts; education/training/workforce; and research and development (R&D).
Appropriations and Fund Transfers in the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
Implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act, or ACA) is having a significant impact on federal mandatory — also known as direct — spending. Most of the projected spending under the law is for expanding health insurance coverage. This report summarizes all the mandatory appropriations and Medicare trust fund transfers in the ACA and provides details on the status of obligation of these funds.
China/Taiwan: Evolution of the "One China" Policy — Key Statements from Washington, Beijing, and Taipei
This report provides background information regarding U.S. policy on "One China". The second part of this report discusses the highlights of key statements by Washington, Beijing, and Taipei.
Increased Department of Defense Role in U.S. Ebola Response
On September 16, 2014, President Obama announced a major increase in the United States response to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The Department of Defense (DOD) submitted requests to Congress to make excess Overseas Contingency Operations funds appropriated for FY2014 available to support this effort. This report briefly outlines these requests.
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Resources for Frequently Asked Questions
This report summarizes legislative actions taken to repeal, defund, delay, or otherwise amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) since the law's enactment.
Al Qaeda-Affiliated Groups: Middle East and Africa
This report focuses on Al Qaeda affiliates, or groups that have publicly sworn allegiance to Al Qaeda leadership and been formally accepted as affiliates. This includes Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Nusrah Front, and Al Shabaab. This report also profiles a selection of other groups that are not Al Qaeda affiliates but may have organizational links or ideological similarities with Al Qaeda or its affiliates and pose a credible threat to the United States or to U.S. interests.
Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, focusing particularly on the influence of the Taliban and other militant groups, and on the leadership of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. This report also discusses the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship, in both the short and long term, and U.S. efforts under the Obama Administration to provide military, reconstructive, and stabilization aid.
China's Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States
This report surveys the rise of China's economy, describes major economic challenges facing China, and discusses the implications of China's economic rise for the United States.
Federal and State Quarantine and Isolation Authority
This report provides an overview of federal and state public health laws as they relate to the quarantine and isolation of individuals and a discussion of constitutional issues that may be raised should individual liberties be restricted in a quarantine or isolation situation.
Monuments and Memorials Authorized and Completed Under the Commemorative Works Act in the District of Columbia
This report contains a catalog of the 18 authorized works that have been completed and dedicated since 1986. For each memorial, the report provides a rationale for each authorized work, as expressed by a Member of Congress, as well as the statutory authority for its creation; and identifies the group or groups which sponsored the commemoration, the memorial's location, and the dedication date. A picture of each work is also included.
The Pacific Alliance: A Trade Integration Initiative in Latin America
The Pacific Alliance is a regional integration initiative formed by Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru on April 28, 2011. Its main purpose is for members to form a regional trading bloc and forge stronger economic ties with the Asia-Pacific region. This report provides an overview of the structure of the Pacific Alliance, events leading up to its creation, and the economic significance of the Member countries.
Federal Pollution Control Laws: How Are They Enforced?
This report focuses on enforcement of federal environmental pollution control requirements under the Clean Air Act (CAA); the Clean Water Act (CWA); the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund); and other statutes for which EPA is the primary federal implementing agency.1 The report provides a brief synopsis of the statutory framework that serves as the basis for pollution control enforcement, including an overview of the key players responsible for correcting violations and maintaining compliance. Implementation and enforcement of pollution control laws are interdependent and carried out by a wide range of actors including federal, state, tribal, and local governments; the regulated entities themselves; the courts; interest groups; and the general public.
House Standing Committee Chairs and Ranking Minority Members: Rules Governing Selection Procedures
This report discusses house rules, Republican Conference rules, and Democratic Caucus rules each detail aspects of the procedures followed in selecting standing committee chairs and ranking minority members. This report summarizes those procedures and lists membership on each party's steering committee.
Agriculture in the WTO Bali Ministerial Agreement
At the World Trade Organization's (WTO's) Ninth Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia, December 3-7, 2013, ministers adopted the so-called Bali Package — a series of decisions aimed at streamlining trade (referred to as trade facilitation), allowing developing countries more options for providing food security, boosting least-developed-country trade, and helping development more generally. This report focuses on aspects of the Bali Package that deal with and are specific to agriculture.
Beverage Industry Pledges to Reduce Americans' Drink Calories
This report briefly covers recent initiatives by leading beverage companies to curb the obesity epidemic.
Child Welfare: Profiles of Current and Former Older Foster Youth Based on the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD)
This report provides summary and detailed data about current and former foster youth, as reported by states to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) via the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD).
Department of State and Foreign Operations Appropriations: A Fact Sheet on Legislation, FY1995-FY2015
This report discusses the foreign affairs appropriations.
Immigration Detainers: Legal Issues
"This report surveys the various authorities governing immigration detainers, including the standard detainer form (Form I-247) sent by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to other law enforcement agencies. The report also discusses key legal issues raised by immigration detainers, including whether Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) detainer regulations and practices are beyond its statutory authority; whether states and localities are required to comply with immigration detainers; who has custody of aliens subject to detainers; and whether detainer practices violate aliens' constitutional rights. In considering these topics, it is important to note that Form I-247 and DHS's detainer practices have changed several times since 2010, and that decisions on the merits have not yet been issued in many cases challenging the use of detainers in conjunction with the Secure Communities program" (p. 6).
Legislative Procedure in Congress: Basic Sources for Congressional Staff
Written for congressional staff, this report identifies and provides details on how to obtain official government sources of information on the legislative process and the rules and procedure of the House and Senate. The report provides references to selected CRS products and offers information on the CRS legislative institutes. A listing of selected supplementary materials is also provided.
Palestinian Authority: U.S. Payments to Creditors as Alternative to Direct Budgetary Assistance?
A September 24, 2014, congressional notification (CN) from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) may reflect a new executive branch approach in assisting the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pay off some of the debts it incurs in providing various benefits and services to West Bank and Gaza residents. The CN indicates that USAID plans to obligate a total of $100 million in FY2014 bilateral economic assistance for the Palestinians toward direct U.S. payments to PA creditors. This report briefly discusses the details and implications of this new alternative method.
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.
Ebola: Basics About the Disease
This report discusses Ebola virus disease (EVD) in general, including symptoms, modes of transmission, incubation period, and treatments; presents projections of the future course of the outbreak; and lists additional CRS products, including products focused on the situation in West Africa. Unless otherwise cited, information in this report is drawn from Ebola information pages of CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Ozone Air Quality Standards: EPA's 2015 Revision
This report discusses the standard-setting process, the specifics of the current and most recent reviews, and issues that may be raised as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brings the current review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone to completion.
Drug Enforcement in the United States: History, Policy, and Trends
This report reviews federal domestic drug enforcement. First, it provides a history and background of drug enforcement in the United States including how drugs came under the control of federal justice authorities and how legislation and administrative actions changed domestic drug enforcement. It then provides a brief overview of drug enforcement in the United States and summarizes U.S. drug policy. Finally, the report presents trends in federal drug enforcement and concludes with a discussion of drug enforcement issues going forward.
Congressional Power to Create Federal Courts: A Legal Overview
This report provides an overview of this often difficult and misunderstood area of law, beginning with a discussion of the various types of federal tribunals. The report continues by noting the rationales for why Congress established the breadth of different courts that exist today and concludes with a discussion of the various factors and relevant issues that limit Congress's discretion in establishing federal courts.
Extending Unemployment Compensation Benefits During Recessions
This report describes the history of temporary federal extensions to unemployment benefits from 1980 to the present. Among these extensions is the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) program created by P.L. 110-252.
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
This report discusses the reasons that Iran is considered a threat to U.S. security, including Iran's nuclear program, involvement with terrorist organizations, and involvement with neighboring countries' local governments. It also discusses ways in which the U.S. hopes to modify Iran's behavior with sanctions, and the effectiveness of these sanctions.
Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Assistance: Summary Data and Analysis
This report provides summary information on supplemental appropriations legislation enacted since FY2000 after significant large-scale disasters. It includes funds appropriated to various departments and agencies.
Syria's Chemical Weapons: Progress and Continuing Challenges
This report briefly covers the formal declaration and subsequent destruction of Syria's chemical weapons program. The report also mentions newer allegations of further use of chemical weapons that did not fall under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) ban.
Brazil's October 2014 Presidential Election
This report briefly discusses the candidates and policy shifts in Brazil's 2014 Presidential election.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): Frequently Asked Questions
This report discusses the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) June 15, 2012 announcement that certain individuals who were brought to the United States as children and meet other criteria would be considered for relief from removal for two years, subject to renewal, under an initiative known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.