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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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.
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.
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.
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.
Puerto Rico's Current Fiscal Challenges: In Brief
This report discusses the current state of Puerto Rico's public finances. Puerto Rico faces several fiscal hurdles in 2015. Concerns regarding the sustainability of Puerto Rico's public finances have intensified over the past year, despite several measures taken by the island's government to reduce spending, increase revenues, and restructure its obligations.
Iran: Efforts to Achieve a Nuclear Accord
This report discusses Iran's nuclear program and diplomatic efforts to forge a comprehensive agreement to keep that program peaceful.
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.
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.
The Future of Internet Governance: Should the U.S. Relinquish Its Authority Over ICANN?
This report discusses legislation over the future of Internet government that has been introduced in the 113th and 114th Congresses which would prevent, delay, or impose conditions or additional scrutiny on the transition.
Iraq: Politics, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political and social climate of Iraq, specifically in regards to the influence of the U.S. military presence over recent years. This report addresses planned and possible future efforts under the Obama Administration, including the scheduled gradual troops withdrawal.
South Carolina Church Shooting and Hate Crime in the United States
This report provides statistics on Hate Crimes in the United States, in the wake of the South Carolina Church Shooting on June 18, 2015.
Risk and Needs Assessment in the Criminal Justice System
This report provides information on the use of risk and needs assessment in the criminal justice system. It starts with an overview of risk and needs assessment and a discussion of some of the critiques of it. The report concludes with a discussion of the issues policymakers might consider if they debate legislation to expand the use of risk and needs assessment in the federal prison system.
The United Kingdom: Background and Relations with the United States
This report provides an overview of the U.S.-UK relationship, concerns about UK defense cuts and their potential effect on future security cooperation and assessment of some of the main dimensions of these topics.
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).
France: Efforts to Counter Islamist Terrorism and Radicalization
This report briefly discusses heightened concern regarding the threat of Islamist terrorism in France and Europe.
Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act
This report summarizes legislative actions taken to repeal, defund, delay, or otherwise amend the Affordable Care Act (ACA) since it was signed into law. The report is divided into two sections. The first section focuses on authorizing legislation, and the second section discusses appropriations bills.
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA): Frequently Asked Questions
The issue of TPA reauthorization raises a number of questions regarding TPA itself and the pending legislation. This report addresses a number of those questions that are frequently asked, including the following: What is trade promotion authority? Is TPA necessary? What are trade negotiating objectives and how are they reflected in TPA statutes? What requirements does Congress impose on the President under TPA? Does TPA affect congressional authority on trade policy?
Members' Representational Allowance: History and Usage
This report provides a history and overview of the Members' Representational Allowance (MRA) and examines spending patterns over selected years--2005, 2006, 2007, 2011, and 2012. The data exclude non-voting Members, including Delegates and the Resident Commissioner, as well as Members who were not in Congress for the entirety of the session. Information is provided on total spending and spending for various categories. The data collected demonstrate that, despite variations when considering all Members, many Members allocate their spending in a similar manner.
Timeline Related to Health Insurance and Exchange Rules: Backdrop to King v. Burwell
This report provides a timeline that identifies selected 2015 dates related to exchange establishment and operation, legislative calendars, and regulation of the individual health insurance market, among other issues.
Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Comparison of H.R. 1560 and H.R. 1731 as Passed by the House
This report compares provisions in two bills in the House of Representatives that address information sharing and related activities in cybersecurity. This report consists of an overview of those and other legislative proposals on information sharing, along with selected associated issues, followed by a side-by-side analysis of the two House bills as passed.
Procedures for Congressional Action in Relation to a Nuclear Agreement with Iran: In Brief
This report provides, in brief, analysis of the congressional procedural provisions laid out in the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-17). Only provisions relating to congressional actions are covered in this report.
Women in Combat: Issues for Congress
This report looks at the history of women in US military roles and combat since the 1990's. It also discusses critic's views of exclusionary policy as a civil rights issue.
Dark Web
This report illuminates information on the various layers of the Internet, with a particular focus on the Dark Web. It discusses both legitimate and illicit uses of the Dark Web, including how the government may rely upon it. Throughout, the report raises issues that policy makers may consider as they explore means to curb malicious activity online.
Acquisition Reform in House- and Senate- Passed Versions of the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1735)
This report discusses the similarities and differences between House and Senate versions of the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1735).
U.S.-Republic of Korea Nuclear Cooperation Agreement
The United States and South Korea have cooperated in the peaceful use of nuclear energy for over 50 years. This cooperation includes commercial power reactor projects as well as research and development work on safety, safeguards, advanced nuclear reactors, and fuel cycle technologies. This report discusses the new civilian nuclear cooperation agreement between the United States and South Korea.
Greenhouse Gas Pledges by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
This report briefly summarizes the existing commitments and pledges of selected national and regional governments to limit their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as contributions to the global effort.
DRIVE Act Would Increase Highway Funding Faster than Projected Inflation
This report briefly discusses the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act (DRIVE Act; S. 1647). The DRIVE Act would authorize $278 billion for a six-year federal highway program.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)
This report contains information on how to ascertain if an individual is eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits.
Hong Kong's Legislative Council Votes Down Chief Executive Election Reform
This report briefly discusses Hong Kong's Legislative Council (Legco), and the recent defeat of a proposal to reform the city's Chief Executive (CE) selection method.
Tax Reform in the 114th Congress: An Overview of Proposals
This report provides background information regarding tax reform and discusses ways to make the U.S. tax system simpler, fairer, and more efficient.
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions.
Sex Trafficking: An Overview of Federal Criminal Law
This report discusses federal laws on sex trafficking. Sex trafficking is a state crime. Federal law, however, makes it a federal crime to conduct the activities of a sex trafficking enterprise in a way that affects interstate or foreign commerce or that involves travel in interstate or foreign commerce.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV): World Health Organization Responses
This report discusses responses to the recent outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which has spread to more than a dozen countries.
What are the Department of Defense (DOD) Policies on Transgender Service?
This report briefly discusses Department of Defense Policies regarding transgender service.
Sifting Domestic Terrorism from Other Illegal Activity
This report briefly discusses key differences between domestic terrorism and ordinary criminal activity. Unlike ordinary criminals--who are often driven by self-centered motives such as profit and tend to opportunistically seek easy prey--domestic terrorists are driven by a cause or ideology.
Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues
This report is a brief overview of current policies regarding temporary protected status (TPS), which is relief from removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). It includes information about humanitarian migrants, temporary protected status, other blanket forms of relief, nationalities receiving protections, and issues with TPS, as well as recent legislation.
Counting Regulations: An Overview of Rulemaking, Types of Federal Regulations, and Pages in the Federal Register
This report serves to inform the congressional debate over rulemaking by analyzing different ways to measure federal rulemaking activity. The report provides data on and analysis of the total number of rules issued each year, as well as information on other types of rules, such as "major" rules, "significant" rules, and "economically significant" rules.
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs
This report describes several pension benefit programs for veterans and their families, including the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels, and provides data on the number of pension beneficiaries and average annual benefit amounts for FY1999 through FY2013.
Omnibus Appropriations Acts: Overview of Recent Practices
Omnibus appropriations acts have become a significant feature of the legislative process in recent years as Congress and the President have resorted more frequently to their use to bring action on the regular appropriations cycle to a close. Following a discussion of pertinent background information, this report reviews the recent use of such measures and briefly addresses several issues that their use raises.
State and Local "Sanctuary" Policies Limiting Participation in Immigration Enforcement
This report discusses legal issues related to state and local measures that limit law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities. The report begins by providing a brief overview of the constitutional principles informing the relationship between federal immigration authorities and state and local jurisdictions, including the federal government's power to preempt state and local activities under the Supremacy Clause, and the Tenth Amendment's proscription against Congress directly "commandeering" the states to administer a federally enacted regulatory scheme.
U.S. Capital Markets and International Accounting Standards: GAAP Versus IFRS
This report briefly explains the different accounting standards and U.S. capital markets. It examines several International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) policy options Congress might consider and the benefits and challenges of each of those options.
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents
This report provides links to cybersecurity-related committee hearings in the 112th and 113th Congresses. It also provides a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security.
Yemen: Civil War and Regional Intervention
This report provides material on the latest crisis in Yemen and the U.S. policy response. Yemen's internationally backed transition government, which replaced the regime of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2012, appears to have fully collapsed.
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.
African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA): Background and Reauthorization
This report discusses the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which is a nonreciprocal trade preference program that provides duty-free treatment to U.S. imports of certain products from eligible sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries.
Economic Crisis in Greece
This report briefly discusses the current economic situation in Greece. Questions about whether Greece will stay in the Eurozone have resurfaced, as the government's stalemate with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Eurozone creditors has reached a critical point.
Charleston, SC, Mass Shooter Might Have Been Denied a Handgun If Not for Possible Recordkeeping Oversights
This report briefly discusses the announcement by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey that the alleged assailant in the Charleston, SC, mass murder/shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church might have been prevented from acquiring a handgun if not for possible recordkeeping oversights on the part of the FBI and Columbia, SC, city police and county sheriff's departments.
Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress
This report provides a definition regarding Internet governance and how the Internet is currently governed. The report discusses the role of United States government and future model of Internet governance.
Iran's Nuclear Program: Tehran's Compliance with International Obligations
This report provides a brief overview of Iran's nuclear program and describes the legal basis for the actions taken by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board and the Security Council.