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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions
This report identifies the legislative bases for sanctions imposed on Iran, and the nature of the authority to waive or lift those restrictions. It comprises two tables that present legislation and executive orders that are specific to Iran and its objectionable activities in the areas of terrorism, human rights, and weapons proliferation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824812/
The Glass-Steagall Act: A Legal and Policy Analysis
This report provides background on the economic conditions in which the Glass-Steagall Act was enacted and provides an economic and legal analysis of the Glass-Steagall Act's enactment, erosion, and partial repeal by GLBA. The report concludes with an analysis of the Glass-Steagall Act's relationship with financial stability and the Glass-Steagall-like provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824815/
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. While legislative initiatives are noted throughout the report, a final section of the report provides a listing of bills and resolutions introduced in the 114th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824816/
The Role of Local and Regional Food Systems in U.S. Farm Policy
This report provides background information on many of the type of operations engaged in the U.S. local and regional food system. A wide range of farm businesses are involved in local foods, such as direct-to-consumer marketing, farmers' markets, farm-to-school programs, community-supported agriculture,6 community gardens, school gardens, food hubs and market aggregators, kitchen incubators, and mobile slaughter units. This report also highlights some of the available resources within existing federal programs administered by USDA and other agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824817/
Proposed Change to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) under S. 113
This report discusses S. 113, a bill to extend the coverage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ("FISA") to non-U.S. persons who engage in international terrorism or activities in preparation for terrorist acts, without a showing of membership in or affiliation with an international terrorist group. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824819/
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Waiver Authority and Modification of Volumes
This report discusses the process and criteria for the Environmental Protection Agency to waive various portions of the renewable fuel standard (RFS), and the modification of applicable volumes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824757/
What Does Justice Scalia's Death Mean for Congress and the Nation?
This legal sidebar briefly provides an overview of the major implications of Justice Scalia's death for Congress. Justice Scalia's absence may alter the outcome of several cases of interest to Congress pending before the Court and could mark a seismic shift in many legal doctrines, depending on who is confirmed to fill the newly vacant seat on the Court. The job of confirming the President's nomination to fill the vacancy resides with the Senate, making Justice Scalia's death likely to have a profound impact in both the short and long term on Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824764/
EPA and the Army Corps' Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"
This report describes the revised rule of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) which defines the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Agencies refer to this final rule as the Clean Water Rule. This report includes a table comparing the existing regulatory language that defines "waters of the United States" with the revisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824769/
"Regulatory Relief" for Banking: Selected Legislation in the 114th Congress
This report discusses regulatory relief legislation for banks in the 114th Congress that has seen floor action or has been ordered to be reported by a committee. Many, but not all, of the bills would make changes to the Dodd-Frank Act (P.L. 111-203), a wide-ranging financial reform enacted in response to the financial crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824789/
Iran Sanctions
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides some examples, based on open sources, of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824791/
Capital Punishment: An Overview of Federal Death Penalty Statutes
This report lists the current federal capital offenses and summarizes the procedures for federal civilian death penalty cases. Several laws are relevant to the topic including: P.L. 103-322, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994; the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996; and P.L. 107-197, the Terrorist Bombings Convention Implementation Act of 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824804/
Safe Drinking Water Act: Implementation and Issues
This report discusses key drinking water issues in the 109th Congress, which have included problems caused by specific contaminants, such as methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and perchlorate, as well as the related issue of the appropriate federal role in providing financial assistance for water infrastructure projects. Congress last reauthorized the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in 1996, and although funding authority for most SDWA programs expired in FY2003, broad reauthorization bills have not been proposed, as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), states, and water systems remain busy implementing the 1996 amendments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824805/
Iran-U.S. Air Service Not Imminent
This report discusses the prospect of air travel between Iran and the U.S., which last operated during 1979, when the U.S. government imposed an embargo on flights following the Iran hostage crisis. Since then, travel and air cargo shipments between the two countries have been routed through third countries, and their extent has been limited by U.S. sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824808/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress such as: Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic that could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824663/
Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2004 (S. 2290, 108th Congress)
This report provides an overview of S. 2290, 108th Congress, the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2004 (or FAIR Act of 2004). The bill is a revised version of S. 1125, 108th Congress, and would create the Office of Asbestos Disease Compensation to award damages to asbestos claimants on a no-fault basis. Asbestos claims could no longer be filed or pursued under state law, except for the enforcement of judgments no longer subject to any appeal or judicial review before the date of enactment of the bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824667/
Iran Sanctions
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides some examples, based on open sources, of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824670/
Naming Post Offices Through Legislation
This report describes how the practice of naming post offices through public law originated and how it is commonly done today. House and Senate practices for approving legislation and procedures followed by the U.S. Postal Service in organizing a dedication ceremony, are also described. An increasingly common form of legislation is the naming of post offices for former Members of Congress or other figures of local or national renown. About one in six public laws passed by the 108th Congress was a post office naming bill approved under suspension of the rules. Unanimity of a state's congressional delegation is required for the movement of naming bills to the floor of the House or Senate. The costs of dedicating a post office in the name of an individual are modest, and this action results in no change in public identification of the facility by its geographic location. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824673/
Criminal Justice Reform: One Judge's View
This report briefly provides highlights from an article written by Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in which he recommended 26 changes in the U.S. criminal justice system, federal and state. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824682/
Iran, Gulf Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses issues regarding Iran's political history and structure. It also takes a look at economic and defense policy responses for Congress, specifically focusing on Iran's nuclear capabilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824684/
Unauthorized Aliens, Higher Education, In-State Tuition, and Financial Aid: Legal Analysis
This report surveys key legal issues pertaining to unauthorized alien students' access to higher education, in-state tuition, and financial aid. The existence of a sizable population of "DREAMers" in the United States has prompted questions about these topics. The term DREAMer is widely used to describe aliens who were brought to the United States as children and raised in the U.S., but lack legal immigration status. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824688/
The Higher Education Act: Reauthorization Status and Issues
This report provides an overview of postsecondary education (institutions and students), an overview of the Higher Education Act (HEA) with a focus on its most significant programs and provisions, and a discussion of major issues that have been, or may be, of interest to the Congress during the HEA reauthorization process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824697/
Omnibus Appropriations Acts: Overview of Recent Practices
This report provides pertinent background information, reviews the recent enactment of omnibus appropriation measures, and briefly addresses several issues raised by their use. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824703/
Energy Efficiency: Budget, Oil Conservation, and Electricity Conservation Issues
This report discusses various budget issues regarding the Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency Program, which is conducted by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824706/
Clean Water Act Issues in the 109th Congress
This report discusses various issues in the 109th Congress pertaining to water infrastructure and water quality standards. Legislative initiatives to comprehensively amend the Clean Water Act (CWA) have stalled for some time as interested parties have debated whether and exactly how to change the law. Congress has recently focused legislative attention on narrow bills to extend or modify selected CWA programs, rather than taking up comprehensive proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824707/
U.S. Family-Based Immigration Policy
This report provides an examination of family-based immigration policy. It outlines a brief history of U.S. policies, discusses current law governing admissions, and summarizes recommendations made by previous congressionally-mandated committees charged with evaluating immigration policy. It then presents descriptive figures on legal immigrants entering the United States during the past decade and discusses the sizable queue of approved immigrant petitioners waiting for an immigrant visa. It closes by discussing selected policy issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824715/
Appointment of African American U.S. Circuit and District Court Judges: Historical Overview and Current Data
This report briefly provides historical and statistical information related to the appointment of African Americans as U.S. circuit and district court judges. Such information addresses ongoing congressional interest in the demographic characteristics of lower federal court judges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824720/
Federal Conspiracy Law: A Brief Overview
This report is a brief discussion of the common features of federal conspiracy law that evolved over the years, with passing references to some of the distinctive features of some of the statutory provisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824725/
Revenue Legislation in the Congressional Budget Process
This report discusses revenue legislation, which may include changes to individual and corporate income taxes, social insurance taxes, excise taxes, or tariffs and duties. Congressional consideration of revenue legislation is governed by various constitutional provisions and procedural rules. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824731/
Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Background and Issues
This report discusses broadband Internet, examining what it is and the various technologies that allow for its transmission. Broadband or high-speed Internet access is provided by technologies that give users the ability to send and receive data at volumes and speeds far greater than access over traditional telephone lines; it also provides a continuous, "always on" connection (no need to dial-up) and a "twoway" capability, that is, the ability to both receive (download) and transmit (upload) data at high speeds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824734/
Medical Malpractice Liability Reform: H.R. 5, 109th Congress
This report discusses H.R. 5, which would preempt state law regarding some aspects of medical malpractice liability and liability for defective medical products, including drugs. The legislation would among other things, place caps on noneconomic and punitive damages (in states that have not enacted and do not enact caps), eliminate joint and several liability, modify the collateral source rule, limit lawyers' contingent fees, enact a federal statute of limitations, and provide for periodic payment of future damages. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824701/
War On Drugs: Legislation in the 108th Congress and Related Developments
This report covers significant legislative and oversight activities of the 108th Congress that concern domestic law enforcement aspects of federal anti-drug policy. It also includes an overview of significant executive branch actions and other current developments of likely interest to the congressional audience that follows this issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824754/
Legislative Options for Financing Water Infrastructure
This report addresses several options considered by Congress to address the financing needs of local communities for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects and to decrease or close the gap between available funds and projected needs. Possible options include expanding or modifying current programs, establishing long-term revenue to support programs, or encouraging private participation in financing projects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824562/
Iran Nuclear Agreement
This report provides background on the agreement negotiated by Iran and six other countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany--collectively known as the P5+1) regarding Iran's nuclear program, and discusses the implications for U.S.-Iran relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824578/
The Good Cause Exception to Notice and Comment Rulemaking: Judicial Review of Agency Action
This report will examine judicial analysis of the good cause standard and map several factors that lead courts to uphold or reject agencies' invocation of the exception. Federal agencies issue numerous rules pursuant to congressionally delegated authority. The Administrative Procedure Act's (APA's) "good cause" exception, however, permits agencies to forgo Section 553's notice and comment requirement if "the agency for good cause finds" that compliance would be "impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest" and to bypass its requirement that rules be published 30 days before implementation if good cause exists. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824581/
The Origination Clause of the U.S. Constitution: Interpretation and Enforcement
This report analyzes congressional and court precedents regarding bills under Article I, Section 7, clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution (known as the Origination Clause). It also describes the various ways in which the Origination Clause has been enforced and looks at the application of the Clause to other types of legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824600/
School Choice: Current Legislation
This report provides an overview of current local, state, and federal policies and programs that support school choice and identifies and summarizes recent federal school choice legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824464/
War on Drugs: The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign
This report discusses the authorization of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, a multi-media federal program to persuade America's youth not to use drugs, which expired at the end of FY2002. H.R. 2829 (passed by the House on March 13, 2006) and S. 2560 (reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 25, 2006) would reauthorize the media campaign, along with the other programs run by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) during FY2007. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824468/
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Coast Guard's funding requests and acquisition strategies for the NSC, OPC, and FRC programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824470/
IAEA Budget and U.S. Contributions: In Brief
This report discusses the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA's) budget and funding. In addition to its other missions, the IAEA is monitoring and verifying Iranian compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and is to report on these activities regularly. The accord is intended to lift nuclear related U.S., European Union, and United Nations sanctions on Iran in exchange for restrictions on the country's nuclear program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824477/
Drug Control: International Policy and Approaches
This report discusses various U.S. international narcotics policy approaches meant to achieve two main goals: to reduce the supply of illicit narcotics flowing into the United States, and to reduce the amount of illicit narcotics cultivated, processed, and consumed worldwide. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824496/
Water Quality Issues in the 114th Congress: An Overview
This report discusses the legislative and oversight issues regarding water quality, as well as wastewater treatment funding issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824610/
Body Armor for Law Enforcement Officers: In Brief
This report contains an overview of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Initiative (BPV program). It also provides a discussion of data on law enforcement agencies that require their officers to wear armor vests while on duty, research on why officers may choose to wear armor vests, research on the life cycle for armor vests, data on the use of body armor by law enforcement officers who were killed with a firearm, and research on the effectiveness of armor vests. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824625/
Iran, Gulf Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses issues regarding Iran's political history and structure. It also takes a look at economic and defense policy responses for Congress, specifically focusing on Iran's nuclear capabilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824628/
Balkan Cooperation on War Crimes Issues
This report provides background regarding the cooperation of Balkan countries regarding the arrest and transfer of indicted war criminals to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. Full cooperation with ICTY has been established as a key prerequisite to further progress toward a shared long-term goal for the western Balkan countries: closer association with and eventual membership in the European Union (EU) and NATO. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824632/
Federal Recess Judges
This report discusses the recess clause and takes a look at the history of recess appointments. Under Article II of the Constitution, the President is empowered "to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session." Presidents have used the recess appointment power on more than 300 occasions to place judges on the district, appellate, and U.S. Supreme Court level. This practice slowed after the 1950s, but recent recess appointments to federal appellate courts (the Fourth, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuits) have revived a number of constitutional issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824639/
U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: The Mérida Initiative and Beyond
This report begins with a brief discussion of security challenges in Mexico and Mexico's security strategy. It then provides information on congressional funding and oversight of the Mérida Initiative, with details about each of the program's four pillars. The report concludes by raising policy issues that Congress may wish to consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824641/
Federal Conspiracy Law: A Sketch
This is a brief discussion of the common features of federal conspiracy law that evolved over the years, with passing references to some of the distinctive features of some of the statutory provisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824647/
Unaccompanied Alien Children--Legal Issues: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses the questions regarding the number of children arriving at the United States southern border, their reasons for coming to the United States, and current and potential responses of the federal government and other entities to their arrival. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824651/
FY2016 Changes to DOD's 1033 Program
This report briefly discusses the current status of the Department of Defense's (DOD's) 1033 Program, under which excess DOD property -- such as personal computers, vehicles, and firearms -- are made available to qualified federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824653/
State Considers Amendment to Protect Human Life at Any Stage of Development
This legal sidebar discusses a proposal in North Dakota that would amend the state constitution to address the right to life. If adopted, the North Dakota constitution would state: "The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824513/
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