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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503586/
The Technology Innovation Program
This report discusses the Technology Innovation Program (TIP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is designed "to support, promote, and accelerate innovation in the United States through high-risk, high-reward research in areas of critical national need," according to the authorizing legislation. Grants are provided to small and medium-sized firms for individual projects or joint ventures with other research organizations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503312/
Federal Stafford Act Disaster Assistance: Presidential Declarations, Eligible Activities, and Funding
This report provides an overview of the Stafford Act and Stafford Act declarations. The report discusses the types of assistance and eligibility, funding caps and cost shares, hazard mitigation assistance, disaster relief funds, and other issues for the 111th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503410/
Cuba: Issues for the 114th Congress
This report is divided into three major sections analyzing Cuba's political and economic environment, U.S. policy toward Cuba, and selected issues in U.S.-Cuban relations. While legislative initiatives are noted throughout the report where appropriate, a final section of the report provides a listing of bills and resolutions introduced in the 114th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503445/
Federal Employees' Retirement System: Summary of Recent Trends
This report describes recent trends in the characteristics of annuitants and current employees covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS) as well as the financial status of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503527/
International Drug Control Policy: Background and U.S. Responses
The global illegal drug trade represents a multi-dimensional challenge that has implications for U.S. national interests as well as the international community. This report discusses U.S. international policy frameworks and approaches in response to the issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503293/
Comparison of Rights in Military Commission Trials and Trials in Federal Criminal Court
This report provides a brief summary of legal issues raised by the choice of forum for trying accused terrorists and a chart comparing selected military commissions rules under the Military Commissions Act, as amended, to the corresponding rules that apply in federal court. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505551/
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505508/
Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues
This report discusses issues for Congress in regards to the potential reform of the nation's immigration system. The detention of noncitizens in the United States will likely be an issue. Under the law, there is broad authority to detain aliens while awaiting a determination of whether the noncitizen should be removed from the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505430/
The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment
This report covers the recent background of the Exon-Florio provision with special regards to issues faced in the 112th Congress. The Exon-Florio provision grants the President the authority to block proposed or pending foreign acquisitions of "persons engaged in interstate commerce in the United States" that threaten to impair the national security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505570/
Conducting Foreign Relations Without Authority: The Logan Act
This report discusses the Logan Act, which was intended to prohibit United States citizens without authority from interfering in relations between the United States and foreign governments. There has been renewed interest in the Logan Act in 2015 as the result of a letter signed by 47 U.S. Senators to Iran suggesting that negotiations about a nuclear deal between the President and the Iranian leadership would be an executive agreement that another President or Congress would be able to abrogate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505513/
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings
This report discusses the mainstays of the U.S. capacity to issue warnings: the Emergency Alert System (EAS), which relies primarily on broadcasting media, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio All-Hazards Network. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505423/
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505573/
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings
This report discusses the mainstays of the U.S. capacity to issue warnings: the Emergency Alert System (EAS), which relies primarily on broadcasting media, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio All-Hazards Network. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505575/
Intermediate-Level Blends of Ethanol in Gasoline, and the Ethanol "Blend Wall"
This report discusses the growing interest in the potential for ethanol to displace petroleum as a transportation fuel, as well as related issues, including the current Clean Air Act (CAA) limitation on ethanol content in gasoline; the requests of ethanol producers for an increase of this limitation; and the effects the limitation has upon vehicle and engine warranties and the infrastructures of the automobile and fuel industries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505571/
Supreme Court Appointment Process: Roles of the President, Judiciary Committee, and Senate
This report discusses the appointment of Supreme Court Justices, including the President's selection of a nominee and process to reach confirmation in the Senate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503335/
The Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and Its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape
This report discusses current issues regarding the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is an independent federal agency charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. The mission of the FCC is to ensure that the American people have available--at reasonable cost and without discrimination--rapid, efficient, nation- and world-wide communication services, whether by radio, television, wire, satellite, or cable. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503396/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific relevant topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503331/
The Technology Innovation Program
This report discusses the Technology Innovation Program (TIP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is designed "to support, promote, and accelerate innovation in the United States through high-risk, high-reward research in areas of critical national need," according to the authorizing legislation. Grants are provided to small and medium-sized firms for individual projects or joint ventures with other research organizations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503627/
Federal Domestic Illegal Drug Enforcement Efforts: Are They Working?
This report examines the federal drug enforcement data reported annually by key agencies charged with enforcing federal drug control laws. This report provides background and an overview of current federal drug control efforts and outcomes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503720/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an in-depth overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific relevant topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626991/
Mandatory Vaccinations: Precedent and Current Laws
This report provides an overview of the legal precedent for mandatory vaccination laws, and of state laws that require certain individuals or populations, including school-aged children and health care workers, to be vaccinated against various communicable diseases. Also discussed are state laws providing for mandatory vaccinations during a public health emergency or outbreak of a communicable disease. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626995/
Cuba: Issues for the 114th Congress
This report is divided into three major sections analyzing Cuba's political and economic environment, U.S. policy toward Cuba, and selected issues in U.S.-Cuban relations. While legislative initiatives are noted throughout the report where appropriate, a final section of the report provides a listing of bills and resolutions introduced in the 114th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626942/
Using Army Corps of Engineers Reservoirs for Municipal and Industrial Water Supply: Current Issues
This report discusses the limited use of federal reservoir storage for Municipal and Industrial (M&I) Water and the M&I water storage at corps facilities supply . digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626900/
Federal Domestic Illegal Drug Enforcement Efforts: Are They Working?
This report examines the federal drug enforcement data reported annually by key agencies charged with enforcing federal drug control laws. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627141/
The German Economy and U.S.-German Economic Relations
This report first examines Germany's economic performance in historical perspective and assesses some of the domestic factors that may be contributing to Germany's suboptimal performance; the second discusses the reform challenges facing Germany's political leaders; and the third section evaluates a few salient U.S.-German economic policy differences and strains that seem to be influenced by Germany's weakened economic situation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627149/
Federal Domestic Illegal Drug Enforcement Efforts: Are They Working?
This report examines the federal drug enforcement data reported annually by key agencies charged with enforcing federal drug control laws. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627115/
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 regional analysis discusses those countries where Iranian policy is of U.S. concern. The report also makes reference to Iran's efforts to utilize its ties to various countries to try to mitigate the effects of U.S. sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627126/
Comparison of Rights in Military Commission Trials and Trials in Federal Criminal Court
This report provides a brief summary of legal issues raised by the choice of forum for trying accused terrorists and a table comparing selected military commissions rules under the Military Commissions Act, as amended, to the corresponding rules that apply in federal court. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627209/
The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment
This report covers the recent background of the Exon-Florio provision with special regards to issues faced in the 112th Congress. The Exon-Florio provision grants the President the authority to block proposed or pending foreign acquisitions of "persons engaged in interstate commerce in the United States" that threaten to impair the national security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627169/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626879/
Association Health Plans, Health Marts and the Small Group Market for Health Insurance
An estimated 41.2 million people were without health insurance in 2001. Legislation under consideration by the 108th and earlier Congresses is intended to assist small employers in offering health insurance as a benefit to their workers. A new bill, H.R. 4281, introduced on May 5, 2004, The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003 (H.R. 6601s. 545), and a number of bills from the earlier Congresses include provisions creating new groups for small firms to join or encouraging the growth of existing groups so that small employers can band together to offer coverage to their employees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3887/
Association Health Plans, Health Marts and the Small Group Market for Health Insurance
An estimated 41.2 million people were without health insurance in 2001. Legislation under consideration by the 108th and earlier Congresses is intended to assist small employers in offering health insurance as a benefit to their workers. A new bill, H.R. 4281, introduced on May 5, 2004, The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003 (H.R. 6601s. 545), and a number of bills from the earlier Congresses include provisions creating new groups for small firms to join or encouraging the growth of existing groups so that small employers can band together to offer coverage to their employees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3886/
Association Health Plans: Legislation in the 109th Congress
An estimated 41.2 million people were without health insurance in 2001. Legislation under consideration by the 108th and earlier Congresses is intended to assist small employers in offering health insurance as a benefit to their workers. A new bill, H.R. 4281, introduced on May 5, 2004, The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003 (H.R. 6601s. 545), and a number of bills from the earlier Congresses include provisions creating new groups for small firms to join or encouraging the growth of existing groups so that small employers can band together to offer coverage to their employees. Opponents of the AHP approach raise concerns that unintended negative consequences would arise, negating the benefits that the new groups would create. While the proposed AHPs are not likely to immediately undermine the small group market, they are likely to require additional features to significantly expand insurance coverage among the uninsured. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6676/
Attorneys' Fees in the State Tobacco Litigation Cases
In the past few years, many states have filed complaints against the tobacco industry in state court to recover Medicaid costs paid by the states to treat their citizens for tobacco related illnesses. The states are also attempting to recover other damages, such as punitive damages, against the tobacco industry. For various reasons, the states have hired private attorneys to assist the state Attorneys General in prosecuting these cases. In most cases, the retention of private counsel has included a fee agreement specifying the amount of compensation that these attorneys will receive for their services. These agreements are not uniform among the states, but most tend to provide some form of contingency fee arrangement. Some of these states have developed a sliding scale contingency fee schedule which varies with the amount of time spent on the litigation and whether a trial has begun. This report briefly summarizes the different fee agreements that the states have with private counsel. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs377/
Bank Failures: Recent Trends and Policy Options
During the 1980s the U.S. banking industry has experienced a rapidly growing number of failures. Many factors have contributed to this trend including deregulation, technology, individual bank management, and economic conditions. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) handles insured bank failures. Congress has been monitoring the recent trend and is concerned with the FDIC’s ability to continue to perform its supervisory and insurance operations. The present situation, information on key factors affecting the banking industry, and the FDIC’s role when a bank fails is discussed in this report. The reference section of this issue brief contains a list of CRS products providing background on the FDIC and legislative issues relevant to the agency. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9064/
Banking Acquisition and Merger Procedures
This report discusses in general terms the basic process and time line for banking industry acquisitions and mergers and briefly discusses the May 4, 1998 application by Travelers Group to merge with Citicorp. Among the issues discussed are: potential impact on consumers; whether the new entities would be too big to fail; and, whether competitive equity calls for financial modernization legislation with functional regulation of the securities, banking, and insurance sectors of companies offering customers a full range of financial products and services. Legislative developments on financial modernization issues in the 105th Congress are reported in CRS Issue Brief 97034, which is available on the Legislative Information System. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs686/
Arming Pilots Against Terrorism: Implementation Issues for the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program
The report discusses the issues regarding the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135), which contains provisions to arm pilots of passenger aircraft and gives deputized pilots the authority to use force, including lethal force, to defend the flight deck against criminal and terrorist threats. The report includes the legislative Background, implementation issues, equipment, training, operational procedures and costs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5616/
Arming Pilots Against Terrorism: Implementation Issues for the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program
The report discusses the issues regarding the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135), which contains provisions to arm pilots of passenger aircraft and gives deputized pilots the authority to use force, including lethal force, to defend the flight deck against criminal and terrorist threats. The report includes the legislative Background, implementation issues, equipment, training, operational procedures and costs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6080/
Association Health Plans, Health Marts and the Small Group Market for Health Insurance
An estimated 41.2 million people were without health insurance in 2001. Legislation under consideration by the 108th and earlier Congresses is intended to assist small employers in offering health insurance as a benefit to their workers. A new bill, H.R. 4281, introduced on May 5, 2004, The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003 (H.R. 6601s. 545), and a number of bills from the earlier Congresses include provisions creating new groups for small firms to join or encouraging the growth of existing groups so that small employers can band together to offer coverage to their employees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6562/
Association Health Plans, Health Marts and the Small Group Market for Health Insurance
An estimated 41.2 million people were without health insurance in 2001. Legislation under consideration by the 108th and earlier Congresses is intended to assist small employers in offering health insurance as a benefit to their workers. A new bill, H.R. 4281, introduced on May 5, 2004, The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003 (H.R. 6601s. 545), and a number of bills from the earlier Congresses include provisions creating new groups for small firms to join or encouraging the growth of existing groups so that small employers can band together to offer coverage to their employees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3885/
Article 98 Agreements and Sanctions on U.S. Foreign Aid to Latin America
This report discusses the so-called “Article 98 agreements”. The article contains a provision that the Bush Administration has sought bilateral agreements worldwide to exempt U.S. citizens from ICC prosecution. In 2002, Congress passed the American Servicemembers’ Protection Act or ASPA (P.L. 107-206, title II), which prohibits military assistance to countries that are party to the ICC and that do not have Article 98 agreements. Some Members of Congress and Bush Administration officials have expressed concerns about the unintended effects of these sanctions on U.S. relations with Latin America. Policymakers are considering some options to mitigate these effects without undermining ASPA or diplomatic efforts to secure Article 98 agreements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8995/
Article 98 Agreements and Sanctions on U.S. Foreign Aid to Latin America
This report discusses the so-called “Article 98 agreements”. The article contains a provision that the Bush Administration has sought bilateral agreements worldwide to exempt U.S. citizens from ICC prosecution. In 2002, Congress passed the American Servicemembers’ Protection Act or ASPA (P.L. 107-206, title II), which prohibits military assistance to countries that are party to the ICC and that do not have Article 98 agreements. Some Members of Congress and Bush Administration officials have expressed concerns about the unintended effects of these sanctions on U.S. relations with Latin America. Policymakers are considering some options to mitigate these effects without undermining ASPA or diplomatic efforts to secure Article 98 agreements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8998/
Article Packet: Background Information on Seatbelts in School Buses
This notice from the Department of Transportation, denies a petition for rule-making filed by Physicians for Automotive Safety (PAS), asking this agency to mandate the installation of seat belts on all school buses. NHTSA believes that the currently mandated occupant protections in school buses provide an adequate level of safety protection, and that seat belts would not raise the level of protection for the occupants unless States and local jurisdictions were willing to take steps to ensure that the seat belts were actually used. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9052/
The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments
Permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorize various types of development projects in wetlands and other waters of the United States. The Corps' regulatory process involves two types of permits: general permits for actions by private landowners that are similar in nature and will likely have a minor effect on wetlands, and individual permits for more significant actions. The Corps uses general permits to minimize the burden of its regulatory program: they authorize landowners to proceed with a project without the time-consuming need to obtain standard individual permits in advance. About 90% of the Corps' regulatory workload is processed in the form of general permits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83832/
The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments
Congressional interest in wetlands permit regulatory programs has been evident in the past in oversight hearings and in connection with bills to fund the Corps' regulatory programs. For some time, there has been a stalemate over legislation that would revise wetlands regulatory law and that could, if enacted, modify the nationwide permit program. During this time, no consensus has emerged on whether or how to reform overall wetlands policy legislatively. Recently, Obama Administration initiatives and actions intended to restrict harmful effects of surface coal mining activities in Appalachia have drawn congressional attention and criticism that is likely to continue in the 112th Congress and that could include oversight of the Corps' regulatory program generally. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83831/
The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments
Permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorize various types of development projects in wetlands and other waters of the United States. The Corps' regulatory process involves two types of permits: general permits for actions for private landowners that will likely have a minor effect on wetlands, and individual permits for more significant actions. Interest groups have a number of specific criticisms of the permits. For some time, there has been a stalemate in Congress over legislation related to this issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26114/
Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress
This report discusses the use of biomass as an energy feedstock, which is emerging as a potentially viable alternative to address U.S. energy security concerns, foreign oil dependence, rural economic development, and diminishing sources of conventional energy. Biomass (organic matter that can be converted into energy) may include food crops, crops for energy (e.g., switchgrass or prairie perennials), crop residues, wood waste and byproducts, and animal manure. This report discusses legislation regarding biomass, the evolving definition of biomass, and the positions of supporters and detractors of biomass as an alternative energy source. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29569/
Bioterrorism Countermeasure Development: Issues in Patents and Homeland Security
In the 109th Congress, several bills have been introduced, including S. 3, the Protecting America in the War on Terror Act, and S. 975, the Project Bioshield II Act, that would generate additional incentives for the creation of new technologies to counteract potential biological threats. These bills propose reforms to current policies and practices associated with intellectual property, particularly patents, and the marketing of pharmaceuticals and related products. This report includes patents and innovation, the role of patents in pharmaceutical/biomedical R&D, legislative developments and proposals for change. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6196/
Bioterrorism Countermeasure Development: Issues in Patents and Homeland Security
Congressional interest in the development of bioterrorism countermeasures remains strong, even after passage of legislation establishing Project BioShield. In the 109th Congress, several bills have been introduced, including S. 3, the Protecting America in the War on Terror Act, S. 975, the Project Bioshield II Act, and S. 1873, the Biodefense and Pandemic Vaccine and Drug Development Act, that would generate additional incentives for the creation of new technologies to counteract potential biological threats. These bills propose reforms to current policies and practices associated with intellectual property, particularly patents, and the marketing of pharmaceuticals and related products. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8474/