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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
House and Senate Chaplains

House and Senate Chaplains

Date: October 9, 2001
Creator: Amer, Mildred
Description: This report discusses the two chaplains, one in the House, the other in the Senate, who are the official clergy of Congress. At the beginning of each Congress, the House chaplain is elected for a 2-year term. The Senate chaplain does not have to be reelected at the beginning of a new Congress. There have been 61 Senate chaplains and 59 House chaplains.
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Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns

Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns

Date: July 29, 2008
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Description: The international market for Islamic finance has grown between 10% to 15% annually in recent years. Islamic finance historically has been concentrated in the Persian Gulf countries, but has expanded globally to both Muslim and non-Muslim countries. There is a small but growing market for Islamic finance in the United States. Through international and domestic regulatory bodies, there has been effort to standardize regulations in Islamic finance across different countries and financial institutions, although challenges remain. Critics of Islamic finance express concerns about possible ties between Islamic finance and political agendas or terrorist financing and the use of Islamic finance to circumvent U.S. economic sanctions. Proponents argue that Islamic finance presents significant new business opportunities and provides alternate methods for capital formation and economic development.
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Pope Francis and Selected Global Issues: Background for Papal Address to Congress

Pope Francis and Selected Global Issues: Background for Papal Address to Congress

Date: September 8, 2015
Creator: Ribando Seelke, Clare; Reese, Shawn; Straus, Jacob R.; Werner, James D. & Mix, Derek E.
Description: This report provides Members of Congress with background information on Pope Francis and a summary of a few selected global issues of congressional interest that have figured prominently on his agenda. The background section on Pope Francis includes a biographical sketch of his life as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, followed by a brief overview of his papacy thus far. The report then identifies some--but not all--of the global issues of concern to Pope Francis. Those include environmental stewardship, poverty and inequality, peace and diplomacy, and human trafficking.
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Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns

Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns

Date: February 9, 2009
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Description: This report discusses Islamic finance, which is based on principles of shariah, or "Islamic law." Major financial principles of shariah are a ban on interest, a ban on contractual uncertainty, adherence to risk-sharing and profit-sharing, promotion of ethical investments that enhance society, and asset-backing. While the Islamic finance industry represents a fraction of the global finance market, it has grown at double-digit rates in recent years.
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Pope Francis in Cuba

Pope Francis in Cuba

Date: October 2, 2015
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Description: This report briefly discusses Pope Francis' visit to Cuba from September 19-22, 2015. This was the third papal visit to Cuba, following those by Pope John Paul II in 1998 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2012.
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The Constitutionality of Including the Phrase "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance

The Constitutionality of Including the Phrase "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance

Date: June 18, 2004
Creator: Welborn, Angie A
Description: On October 14, 2003, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the appeal regarding the California statute, and on June 14, 2004, the Court reversed the Ninth Circuit’s decision finding that Newdow lacked standing to challenge the school district’s policy in federal court. This report summarizes the facts of the case, the opinions that have been rendered, congressional action, and the appeal to the Supreme Court. It will be updated as circumstances warrant.
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American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

Date: February 19, 2014
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. It also outlines actions underway to build trust and partnership between community groups and government agencies and the tensions that may occur between law enforcement and engagement activities.
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American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

Date: January 23, 2013
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. For this report, "homegrown" describes terrorist activity or plots perpetrated within the United States or abroad by American citizens, legal permanent residents, or visitors radicalized largely within the United States. The term "jihadist" describes radicalized individuals using Islam as an ideological and/or religious justification for their belief in the establishment of a global caliphate, or jurisdiction governed by a Muslim civil and religious leader known as a caliph. The term "violent jihadist" characterizes jihadists who have made the jump to illegally supporting, plotting, or directly engaging in violent terrorist activity.
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Chaplain of the House: Selection and Related Procedures

Chaplain of the House: Selection and Related Procedures

Date: August 22, 2003
Creator: Rundquist, Paul S & Beth, Richard S
Description: House procedures to elect an officer during a Congress differ from those followed at the start of a Congress. A resolution to elect a replacement officer to fill a vacancy during a Congress is privileged and debatable under the hour rule. By statute, the Speaker has authority to appoint a temporary replacement officer, and in some cases, temporary appointments have continued in effect for the remainder of a Congress. This report describes the consultative process that ultimately led to Father Coughlin’s temporary appointment, and related parliamentary issues concerning the selection of House officers.
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American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat

Date: September 20, 2013
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. For this report, "homegrown" and "domestic" are terms that describe terrorist activity or plots perpetrated within the United States or abroad by American citizens, legal permanent residents, or visitors radicalized largely within the United States. The report also discusses the radicalization process and the forces driving violent extremist activity. It analyzes post-9/11 domestic jihadist terrorism and describes law enforcement and intelligence efforts to combat terrorism and the challenges associated with those efforts. It also outlines actions underway to build trust and partnership between community groups and government agencies and the tensions that may occur between law enforcement and engagement activities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department