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 Country: United States
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations: Senate Rejections and Committee Votes Other Than to Report Favorably, 1939-2009
This report lists the votes cast by the Judiciary Committee and the Senate on each of the 19 nominations and identifies senatorial courtesy, ideological disagreement, and concern over nominees' qualifications as among the circumstances that led to committee consideration of actions other than a favorable report.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues
This report examines debates over what constitutes an unfunded federal mandate and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995's (UMRA) implementation. It focuses on UMRA's requirement that CBO issue written cost estimate statements for federal mandates in legislation, its procedures for raising points of order in the House and Senate concerning unfunded federal mandates in legislation, and its requirement that federal agencies prepare written cost estimate statements for federal mandates in rules.
Navy LPD-17 Amphibious Ship Procurement: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report discusses the Navy's FY2009 shipbuilding plan that calls for procuring an 10th San Antonio (LPD-17) class amphibious ship in FY2011. This report discusses the procurement cost estimates of this ship, as well as related issues for Congress.
Foreign Aid Reform: Issues for Congress and Policy Options
This report discusses the role of foreign assistance as a tool of foreign policy. There is also a growing recognition of the role that foreign assistance can play as a foreign policy tool that is equal to the role of diplomacy and defense within the current international environment characterized by regional conflicts, terrorist threats, weapons proliferation, concerns with disease pandemics, and the difficulty in overcoming poverty.
Honduran-U.S. Relations
This report examines current political and economic conditions in Honduras as well as issues in Honduran-U.S. relations.
Hydropower: Federal and Nonfederal Investment
This report explains how the federal government is involved directly in hydropower generation at federal facilities and in the regulation of nonfederal hydropower generation; the focus is on current roles and processes and common concerns and questions about changing those roles.
FY2008 Supplemental Appropriations for Global War on Terror Military Operations, International Affairs, and Other Purposes
This report reviews congressional action on FY2008 supplemental appropriations through December 2007.
Defense: FY2009 Authorization and Appropriations
This report discusses issues related to defense funding in the wake of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, generally referred to as the "economic stimulus" bill. The President's FY2009 budget request, released February 4, 2008, included $611.1 billion in new budget authority for national defense.
The Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape
The report discusses the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-Related Congressional Actions in the 112th Congress. The policymakers, including some in Congress, have long called for varying degrees and types of reform to the FCC.
State and Local Restrictions on Employing, Renting Property to, or Providing Services for Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Issues and Recent Judicial Developments
This report discusses the constitutional issues raised in relation to state and local laws intended to deter the presence of unauthorized aliens, along with the implications that federal civil rights statutes might have on the implementation and enforcement of measures restricting such persons' ability to obtain employment, housing, or other state and local benefits or services.
Community Development Block Grants: Neighborhood Stabilization Program; Assistance to Communities Affected by Foreclosures
Report regarding the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, P.L. 110-289, which allocates federal financial aid to all state and local governments with high amounts of foreclosed homes, subprime mortgage loans, and delinquent home mortgages. The report focuses on the assistance that aids in aquiring, rehabilitating, and reselling foreclosed and abandoned homes.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA): Does It Provide for a Private Cause of Action?
This report discusses the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which seeks to provide for, strengthen, and expedite the national defense by protecting servicemembers, enabling them to "devote their entire energy to the defense needs of the Nation." The SCRA protects servicemembers by temporarily suspending certain judicial and administrative proceedings and transactions that may adversely affect their legal rights during military service.
Transportation Security: Issues for the 111th Congress
This report discusses how best to construct and finance a system of deterrence, protection, and response that effectively reduces the possibility and consequences of another terrorist attack without unduly interfering with travel, commerce, and civil liberties.
Political Turmoil in Thailand and U.S. Interests
This report examines the Thai government's performance, the role of the military, deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's impact on the situation, and the royal family's influence. It assesses the prospects for more elections, the degree of control exercised by the army over the civilian government, Thaksin's activities and possible future in Bangkok, and the role of the palace in current Thai politics.
Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships
This report provides information regarding pollution from ships and port facilities; discusses some of the measures being implemented and considered by local, state, and federal regulatory agencies; discusses the efforts to ratify and to strengthen Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL); and describes legislation in Congress to control emissions from ships by amending the Clean Air Act (CAA).
The Budget Resolution and Spending Legislation
This report discusses the rules and practices that govern consideration of spending and other budgetary legislation under each congressional chamber's constitutional authority.
Science, Technology, and American Diplomacy: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of current U.S. international S&T policy. It focuses on international science and technology diplomacy, where American leadership in science and technology is used as a diplomatic tool to enhance another country's development and to improve understanding by other nations of U.S. values and ways of doing business.
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.
Homeland Security Act of 2002: Tort Liability Provisions
This report discusses the homeland security act of 2002, which contains the following provisions.
Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification
This report discusses E-Verify, a program in which participating employers submit information about their new hires (name, date of birth, Social Security number, immigration/citizenship status, and alien number, if applicable) from the I-9 form. This information is automatically compared with information in Social Security Administration and, if necessary, DHS databases to verify identity and employment eligibility.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development: FY2009 Appropriations
This report is a guide to one of the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the Subcommittees on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations. It summarizes the current legislative status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related legislative activity. The report lists the key CRS staff relevant to the issues covered and related CRS products.
Automobile and Light Truck Fuel Economy: The CAFE Standards
This report discusses the current corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard of 35 miles per gallon (mpg), and the major issues on the CAFE debate. The report also offers an overview of Congressional interest in CAFE (1991-2005), and explains the CAFE and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.
Drought in the United States: Causes and Issues for Congress
This report discusses how drought is defined, and why drought occurs in the United States. How droughts are classified, and what is meant by moderate, severe, and extreme drought classification, are also discussed. The report concludes with a description of policy challenges for Congress, such as the existing federal/non-federal split in drought response and management, and the patchwork of drought programs subject to oversight by multiple congressional committees.
Abortion and Family Planning-Related Provisions in U.S. Foreign Assistance Law and Policy
This report details legislation and policies that restrict or place requirements on U.S. funding of abortion or family planning activities abroad. The level and extent of federal funding for these activities is an ongoing and controversial issue in U.S. foreign assistance and will likely continue to be a point of contention during the second session of the 114th Congress.
Foreign Investment in U.S. Securities
This report analyzes the extent of foreign portfolio investment in the U.S. economy and assesses the economic conditions that are attracting such investment and the impact such investments are having on the economy.
Cars and Climate: What Can EPA Do to Control Greenhouse Gases from Mobile Sources?
This report discusses legislation being considered by congress to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change. It discusses the EPA's authority under Title II and provides information regarding the mobile sources that might be regulated under this authority. Among these sources, motor vehicles (passenger cars and light trucks, including SUVs) are assumed to be the most likely initial targets for regulation, both because a petition addressing these sources began EPA's consideration of the endangerment issue, and because these are the most significant GHG emission sources among those covered by Title II.
FDA Regulation of Follow-On Biologics
This report provides a brief introduction to the relevant law regarding follow-on biologics, the regulatory framework at the FDA, the scientific challenges for the FDA in considering the approval of follow-on biologics, and a description of the proposed legislation.
Rothe Development Corporation v. Department of Defense: The Constitutionality of Federal Contracting Programs for Minority-Owned and Other Small Businesses
This report discusses Rothe Development Corporation v. Department of Defense, a case involving a constitutional challenge to a minority contracting program authorized under Section 1207 of the Department of Defense (DOD) Authorization Act of 1987. This program allowed DOD to take 10% off the price of bids or offers submitted by "small disadvantaged businesses" in determining which bid or offer had the lowest price or represented the best value for the government.
Display of the Confederate Flag at Federal Cemeteries
This report discusses policies regarding the display of the Confederate Flag at national cemeteries. If a state observes a Confederate Memorial Day, NPS cemeteries in the state may permit a sponsoring group to decorate the graves of Confederate veterans with small Confederate flags. Additionally, according to the National Park Service (NPS) reference manual, such flags may also be displayed on the nationally observed Memorial Day, to accompany the U.S. flag on the graves of Confederate veterans.
H.R. 6: The 21st Century Cures Act
Report about H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act, which would reauthorize the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through FY2018 and provide other funding to the agency through FY2020.
Summary of Waxman-Markey Draft Greenhouse Gas Legislation
This report provides a summary of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, which proposes a "cap and trade" system to control carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that have been associated with global climate change.
Defense: FY2010 Authorization and Appropriations
On February 26, 2009, the Administration released the broad outlines of its federal budget request for FY2010, listing for each Cabinet department and for several independent agencies the total discretionary budget authority President Obama would request, but providing no additional details. Full details of the request were made public May 7, 2009. This report summarizes the budget request in an abbreviated yet detailed format.
Climate Change: Potential Regulation of Stationary Greenhouse Gas Sources Under the Clean Air Act
This report discusses the EPA's authority to control greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act, and the various options that EPA could exercise.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Implementation: The Future of Commercial Trucking Across the Mexican Border
This report discusses the implementation of trucking provisions set forth by NAFTA that would have opened the border states to cross-border trucking competition in 1995 and all of North America in 2000. The full implementation of the provisions has been stalled because of concern with the safety of Mexican trucks.
Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers
This report answers several frequently asked questions about military health care, including: how the system is structured, a TRICARE summary, TRICARE eligibility and plan options, cost of military health care to beneficiaries, relationship of TRICARE to MEDICARE, how the Affordable Care Act affects TRICARE, long-term trends of defense health care costs, and a summary of the fund which funds TRICARE - the Medicare Eligible Retiree Health Care fund.
Insurance Regulation: Issues, Background, and Legislation in the 111th Congress
This report discusses congressional and action on insurance regulation in the wake of the recent financial crisis. Although the financial crisis has changed the focus of the debate surrounding insurance regulatory reform, many of the pre-crisis pressures for regulatory changes continue.
Department of Homeland Security Assistance to States and Localities: A Summary and Issues for the 111th Congress
This report summarizes several emergency management and homeland security programs, and identifies and analyzes potential issues for the 111th Congress. These issues include the purpose and number of assistance programs; the evaluation of the use of grant funding; the determination of eligible grant recipients; the programs' funding amounts; and the programs; funding distribution methodologies.
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant: Responses to Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides responses to frequently asked questions about the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. It is intended to serve as a quick reference to provide easy access to information and data. This report does not provide information on TANF program rules.
Air Force KC-X Tanker Aircraft Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses proposed FY2010 defense budget requests $439.6 million in Air Force research and development funding to begin a new program for acquiring new 179 KC-X aerial refueling tankers. The issue for Congress in FY2010 is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Administration's request for FY2010 research and development funding for the new KC-X program, and whether to take any action to define the acquisition strategy for the new KC-X program.
U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions
This report discusses the four major principles underlie current U.S. policy on permanent immigration: the reunification of families, the admission of immigrants with needed skills, the protection of refugees, and the diversity of admissions by country of origin.
Thailand: Background and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the current political and economic state of Thailand, particularly in the wake of the September 2006 coup that displaced Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and has resulted in continuing instability. This report also discusses the ongoing U.S.-Thai relationship, despite different policies in such areas as human rights.
The Budget Resolution and Spending Legislation
This report discusses the rules and practices that govern consideration of spending and other budgetary legislation under each congressional chamber's constitutional authority.
TANF Reauthorization: Side-by-Side Comparison of Current Law, S. 667, and H.R. 240 (TANF Provisions)
This report discusses the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) re-authorization, and the debate over authorization for TANF and related programs.
Judiciary Appropriations FY2016
This report provides an overview of the consideration of FY2016 judiciary appropriations, with subsections covering each major action, including the initial submission of the request on February 2, 2015; hearings held by the House and Senate Financial Services Subcommittees; and the House subcommittee markup on June 10, 2015. This overview is followed by a section on prior-year actions and funding and then an overview of judiciary accounts.
Assessment in Elementary and Secondary Education: A Primer
This report provides a framework for understanding various types of assessments that are administered in elementary and secondary schools. It broadly discusses various purposes of educational assessment and describe comprehensive assessment systems. The report also provides a description and analysis of technical considerations in assessments, including validity, reliability, and fairness, and provide a discussion of how to use these technical considerations to draw appropriate conclusions based on assessment results.
NATO's 60th Anniversary Summit
This report provides an overview and analysis of the key issues to be discussed at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) April summit on April 3 and 4, 2009.
Homeland Security Department: FY2009 Appropriations
This report describes the FY2009 appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Administration requested a net appropriation of $38, 849 million in budget authority for FY2009.
Congressional Review of Agency Rulemaking: An Update and Assessment of The Congressional Review Act after a Decade
This report will provide a brief explanation of how the structure of the review scheme was expected to operate and describes how it has in fact been utilized.
Human Services Provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
This report discusses provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) for selected human services programs. The selected programs generally are those that provide benefits and services to families with children, though some programs (e.g., the Community Services Block Grant) provide services to other families as well. All of the programs discussed in this report are administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Reauthorization of the E-Government Act: A Brief Overview
This report discusses the E-Government Act that serves as the primary legislative vehicle to guide evolving federal IT management practices and to promote initiatives to make government information and services available online.