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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
China's Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States
This report provides background on China's economic rise; describes its current economic structure; identifies the challenges China faces to maintain economic growth; and discusses the challenges, opportunities, and implications of China's economic rise for the United States.
Membership of the 114th Congress: A Profile
This report presents a profile of the membership of the 114th Congress (2015-2016). Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.
The FY2016 Continuing Resolution (H.R. 719)
This report discusses a resolution which would provide temporary funding to continue federal government operations through the beginning of the fiscal year, until annual appropriations acts could be enacted.
Escalating Violence in El Salvador
This report briefly discusses gangs and violence in El Salvador. It also examines the U.S. policy response.
Pope Francis in Cuba
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.
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate program, a program to procure 52 LCSs and frigates. The Navy's proposed FY2016 budget requests the procurement of three more LCSs.
Researching Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Resources for Congressional Staff
This report is designed to introduce congressional staff to selected governmental and nongovernmental sources that are useful in tracking and obtaining information on federal legislation and regulations. It includes governmental, nongovernmental, or commercial sources, and highlights classes offered by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and the Law Library of Congress.
Sanctuary Jurisdictions and Criminal Aliens: In Brief
This report examines the interplay between the federal government (i.e., ICE) and state and local jurisdictions in enforcing immigration law, with a specific focus on noncitizens who have been convicted of a crime. It explores major programs and federal resources available to state and local law enforcement agencies that cooperate with ICE to enforce immigration law.
Party Leaders in the United States Congress, 1789-2015
This report briefly describes current responsibilities and selection mechanisms for 15 House and Senate party leadership posts and provides tables with historical data, including service dates, party affiliation, and other information for each.
Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress
This report presents background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Navy's Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) and Zumwalt (DDG-1000) class destroyer programs. The Navy's proposed FY2016 budget requests funding for the procurement of two DDG-51s, including the first of a new DDG-51 design variant called the Flight III design, which is to carry a new and more capable radar called the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR).
How Treasury Issues Debt
This report examines Treasury's debt management practices, focusing on the auction process, how prices and interest rates of securities are determined, and the role of market participants in the process. It also addresses the role of debt plays in influencing present and future budget outcomes.
U.S. Trade in Services: Trends and Policy Issues
This report provides background information and analysis on U.S. international trade in services, as well as policy issues before the United States. The report also examines emerging issues and current negotiations, including the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP).
Multiyear Procurement (MYP) and Block Buy Contracting in Defense Acquisition: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on multiyear procurement (MYP) and block buy contracting (BBC), which are special contracting mechanisms that Congress permits the Department of Defense (DOD) to use for a limited number of defense acquisition programs.
Russian Deployments in Syria Complicate U.S. Policy
This report briefly discusses Russia's military presence in Syria. In recent weeks, Russia has moved military equipment and personnel to Syria, which could potentially be used to resupply the Asad regime or lead to a direct Russian intervention in the Syrian civil war.
Economic Effects of the FY2014 Shutdown
This report provides an info-graphic discussing the economic effects of the FY2014 shutdown.
Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage: Implications for Religious Objections
The U.S. Supreme Court's highly anticipated decision in Obergefell v. Hodges recognized federal constitutional protection for same-sex marriage. This report will analyze a range of legal issues for which Obergefell has implications.
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.
State Sponsors of Acts of International Terrorism - Legislative Parameters: In Brief
This brief report provides information on legislation that authorizes the designation of any foreign government as a state sponsor of acts of international terrorism.
Insurance and Climate Change: Do Governments Have a Duty to Protect Property Owners?
This legal sidebar discusses the climate change in context of federal and private insurers. One of the many insurance company concerns is whether the government can be held liable for not putting in place adequate infrastructure to protect against property damage from climate-change-related extreme weather.
U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues
This report reviews the ongoing programs that will affect the expected size and shape of the U.S. strategic nuclear force structure. It includes an overview of this force structure during the Cold War, details about each category of delivery vehicle, and a discussion of issues related to decisions about the future size and shape of the U.S. strategic nuclear force.
The EU-U.S. Safe Harbor Agreement on Personal Data Privacy: In Brief
This report discusses a recent judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that invalidates the Safe Harbor Agreement between the United States and the 28-member European Union (EU). Safe Harbor is a 15-year-old accord, under which personal data could legally be transferred between EU member countries and the United States.
A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense--Issues for Congress
This report briefly describes the shift in the international security environment that some observers believe has occurred, and identifies some defense-related issues for Congress that could arise from it. Congress's decisions on these issues could have significant implications for U.S. defense capabilities and funding requirements.
DHS Appropriations FY2016: Security, Enforcement and Investigations
This report is part of a suite of reports that discuss appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for FY2016. It specifically discusses appropriations for the components of DHS included in the second title of the homeland security appropriations bill-- Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and the U.S. Secret Service (USSS).
Iraq: Politics and Governance
This report provides background and analysis on the politics of Iraq, including its communities, governing personalities and factions, security forces and militias, and the government's human rights record.
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 IAEA board and the Security Council.
You Win Some You Lose Some...New Second Amendment Rulings
This legal sidebar discusses constitutionality of firearms laws under the Second Amendment since the Supreme Court decided District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008, in light of two recent federal appellate cases in which the circuit courts struck down some parts of firearms laws.
The Lord's Resistance Army: The U.S. Response
This report discusses the background and history of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the U.S.'s response. The LRA is a small armed group that originated in northern Uganda in 1987 and is currently operating in remote border areas between the Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan, and Sudan. The LRA's actions--which include massacres, abductions (notoriously of children), sexual assault, and looting--have caused humanitarian suffering and instability.
EPA's New Ozone Standards: A Few Thoughts
This report discusses the EPA's review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). After several years of analysis, EPA proposed more stringent standards last November. This began a public comment period, leading toward the final decision.
The 2015 National Security Strategy: Authorities, Changes, Issues for Congress
This report discusses the National Security Strategy (NSS), a document released by the Obama Administration which states that its purpose is to "set out the principles and priorities to guide the use of American power and influence in the world."
Bitcoin: Questions, Answers, and Analysis of Legal Issues
This report has three major sections. The first section answers some basic questions about Bitcoin and the operation of the Bitcoin network and its interaction with the current dollar-based monetary system. The second section summarizes likely reasons for and against widespread Bitcoin adoption. The third section discusses legal and regulatory matters that have been raised by Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
Iran-U.S. Air Service Not Imminent
This report discusses the prospect of bilateral air service between Iran and the United States to resume, after the July 2015 agreement in which Iran accepted strict limits on its nuclear program.
Israel: Background and U.S. Relations In Brief
This report focuses on the following: Recent dynamics in U.S.-Israel relations, U.S.-Israel next steps following the July 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, regional threats Israel perceives from Hezbollah, Syria, and elsewhere, recently intensified Israeli-Palestinian tensions and violence in connection with Jerusalem's holy sites, and domestic political developments in Israel.
Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress
This report discusses issues regarding U.S.-Japan economic relations. Japan is a significant partner of the United States in a number of foreign policy areas, particularly in U.S. security priorities, which range from hedging against Chinese military modernization to countering threats from North Korea.
Navy Ford (CVN-78) Class Aircraft Carrier Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) class aircraft carrier program. Congress's decisions on the CVN-78 program could substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements and the shipbuilding industrial base.
2015 Leaders' Summit on U.N. Peacekeeping
This report discusses the outcome of the 2015 Leaders' Summit on U.N. Peacekeeping, which might elevate ongoing congressional interest in several policy issues related to U.N. peacekeeping.
Federal Affirmative Action Law: A Brief History
This report provides a brief history of federal affirmative action law, including legal and political developments at the federal, state, and local levels. It describes the origins, affirmative action in public education, minority contracting, and recent developments as of 2015.
U.S. Natural Gas Exports and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement
On October 5, 2015, President Obama announced the conclusion of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade agreement (FTA) among the United States and 11 other Asia-Pacific nations - Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. This report briefly discusses the agreement and its potential effects.
France: Efforts to Counter Islamist Terrorism and the Islamic State
This report discusses the commitment of French government to counter Islamist terrorism as the chief security threat facing the country.
Eleventh Circuit Provides Guidance for the Definition of "Foreign Official" under the FCPA
This legal sidebar discusses the opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in United States v. Esquenazi, which is the first federal appellate court decision to provide guidance for and to flesh out the definition of the term "foreign official" under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA or Act).
Department of Veterans Affairs FY2016 Appropriations: In Brief
This report discusses budget issues for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which provides a range of benefits and services to veterans who meet certain eligibility rules.
Puerto Rico and Health Care Finance: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Puerto Rico's health care system, including how federal health care programs (Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program [CHIP]) and private health insurance requirements apply to Puerto Rico.
The Chinese Military: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides a brief overview of the Chinese military. In order to cover a wide range of issues in a concise format, the report does not go into great depth on many topics and omits other topics that might be considered germane.
Irrigation in U.S. Agriculture: On-Farm Technologies and Best Management Practices
This report is intended to provide an overview of on-farm irrigation and does not cover storage and conveyance prior to the farm or how irrigation adoption may alter other farm practices, such as the use of fertilizers and pesticides or impacts off-farm (e.g., groundwater and surface water quality concerns).
Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Ohio replacement program (ORP), a program to design and build a new class of 12 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to replace the Navy's current force of 14 Ohio-class SSBNs.
Puerto Rico's Current Fiscal Challenges
This report discusses multiple challenges the government of Puerto Rico faces in the fall of 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. The Puerto Rican government outlined a medium-term strategy to address those challenges in a fiscal plan put forth in mid-September 2015.
Syrian Refugee Admissions and Resettlement in the United States: In Brief
To assist Congress in addressing issues related to Syrian refugees and U.S. refugee policy generally, this report details the U.S. refugee admissions process and the placement and resettlement of arriving refugees in the United States.
Conservation Compliance and U.S. Farm Policy
This report discusses various provisions designed to reduce production and conserve soil and water resources. Many of the provisions remain in effect today, including the two compliance provisions--highly erodible land conservation (sodbuster) and wetland conservation (swampbuster).
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program. Decisions that Congress makes on procurement of Virginia-class boats could substantially affect U.S. Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Expedited Removal Authority for VA Senior Executives (38 U.S.C. ยง 713): Selected Legal Issues
This report discusses selected legal issues relating to the authority for summary removal of individuals in senior executive positions at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Navy Ship Names: Background for Congress
This report discusses the process of naming Navy ships, which have traditionally been chosen and announced by the Secretary of the Navy. Rules for giving certain types of names to certain types of Navy ships have evolved over time.