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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Bonus Depreciation: Economic and Budgetary Issues
This report discusses bonus depreciation as either a temporary stimulus provision or a permanent part of the tax code.
Marijuana: Medical and Retail -- Selected Legal Issues
This report discusses state medical marijuana laws that grants registered patients, their doctors, and providers immunity from the consequences of state law.
Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
This report offers background information on Ukraine's current political and economic situation, foreign policy towards NATO, the European Union, and Russia. It also discusses U.S. policy, U.S. aid to Ukraine, the congressional response, and other legislation.
Legislative Research for Congressional Staff: How to Find Documents and Other Resources
This report is one of a series of reports on legislative process and research; it is intended to serve as a finding aid to sources of information, such as documents, news articles, analysis, contacts and services, used in legislative research.
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. Decisions that Congress makes concerning these programs could substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Overview of Constitutional Challenges to NSA Collection Activities and Recent Developments
This report focuses on two main National Security Agency (NSA) collection activities approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) established under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978. The first is the bulk collection of telephony metadata for domestic and international telephone calls. The second involves the interception of Internet-based communications and is targeted at foreigners who are not within the United States, but may also inadvertently acquire the communications of U.S. persons.
The Volcker Rule: A Legal Analysis
This report provides an introduction to the Volcker Rule, which is the regulatory regime imposed upon banking institutions and their affiliates under Section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-203).
Disability Retirement for Federal Employees
This report describes recent trends in the number of civil service annuitants and the financial status of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund.
Aereo and FilmOn X: Internet Television Streaming and Copyright Law
This report begins with a discussion of the technology used by Aereo and FilmOn X that permit subscribers to watch live broadcast television as well as already-aired programming. It then examines the public performance right in the Copyright Act and discusses the interpretation of the transmit clause and public performance right by the courts in the Aereo and FilmOn cases. The report concludes with a brief overview of future litigation by these parties and related legislative proposals in the 113th Congress.
Abortion: Judicial History and Legislative Response
The focus of this report is on legislative action with respect to abortion, and discussion of the various legislative proposals that involves an examination of the leading Supreme Court decisions concerning a woman's right to choose
Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress
This report discusses issues regarding U.S.-Japan economic relations, since the economic condition of each nation can affect the world economy and a U.S.-Japan bilateral economic relationship could influence economic conditions in other countries. U.S. and Japanese leaders have several options on how to manage their relationship, including stronger reliance on the World Trade Organization; special bilateral negotiating frameworks and agreements; or a free trade agreement.
The Tip Credit Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): In Brief
This report discusses the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), enacted in 1938 (P.L. 75-718), which is the federal legislation that establishes the general minimum wage that must be paid to all covered workers.
SBA Assistance to Small Business Startups: Client Experiences and Program Impact
This report examines small business startups' experiences with the Small Business Administration's (SBA's) management and technical assistance training programs, focusing on Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women Business Centers (WBCs), and SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives); the 7(a), 504/CDC, and Microloan lending programs; and the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) venture capital program.
Safe Harbor for Online Service Providers Under Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
This report focuses primarily on "storage of information on systems or networks at direction of users," which includes any website that stores digital content that users have uploaded for public consumption or for sharing purposes (such as the popular social media and online services YouTube, Facebook, Dropbox, Flickr, Google Drive, and Blogger).
EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"
This report describes the March 25 proposed rule to define "waters of the United States," particularly focused on clarifying the regulatory status of waters located in isolated places in a landscape, the types of waters with ambiguous jurisdictional status following the Supreme Court's ruling. It includes a table comparing the proposal to existing regulatory language.
Emergency Water Assistance During Drought: Federal Non-Agricultural Programs
This report discusses droughts in relation to several issues for Congress, including how to measure and predict drought, how to prepare, and how to coordinate federal agency actions responding to drought.
Foreign Investment in U.S. Securities
This report analyzes the extent of foreign portfolio investment in the U.S. economy, assesses the economic conditions that are attracting such investments, and discusses the impact such investments are having on the economy. This report relies on a comprehensive set of data regarding capital flows represented by purchases and sales of U.S. government securities and U.S. and foreign corporate stocks and bonds into and out of the United States; the data is reported by the Treasury Department on a monthly basis.
Net Neutrality: The FCC's Authority to Regulate Broadband Internet Traffic Management
This report discusses the major debate over the government's role in the Internet. Legally, the question appears to be whether the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) currently has the authority to regulate the ways in which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) manage Internet traffic over their networks.
The National Directory of New Hires
This report details the National Directory of New Hires - including its background, how data is managed in the directory, and concerns regarding the directory.
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers
This report discusses the trade adjustment assistance (TAA) program for firms (TAAF). The TAAF program provides technical assistance to trade-affected firms to help them develop strategies and make other adjustments to remain competitive in the changing international economy.
Federal Funding for Health Insurance Exchanges
This report provides a state-by-state breakdown of the grants awarded to date. It then briefly describes the requirement for exchanges to be selfsustaining, and concludes with a discussion of the sources and amounts of funding that Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has used and plans to use to support federally-facilitated exchange (FFE) operations.
The Distribution of Household Income and the Middle Class
This report provides an analysis of the distribution of household income in the United States and a discussion of "the middle class" in terms of absolute and relative income.
The Budget Control Act of 2011: Legislative Changes to the Law and Their Budgetary Effects
This report provides information on the levels of deficit reduction that would occur if the Budget Control Act's (BCA) automatic cuts are implemented as under current law, contrasted with alternative proposals offered by some Members of Congress and President Obama. It also discusses specific determinations made by the Office of Management and Budget regarding the exempt/non-exempt status of certain programs, as well as a discussion of information to be disclosed regarding the FY2013 BCA sequester impact.
U.S. Crude Oil Export Policy: Background and Considerations
This report provides background and context about the crude oil legal and regulatory framework, discusses motivations that underlie the desire to export U.S. crude oil, and presents analysis of issues that Congress may choose to consider during debate about U.S. crude oil export policy.
Terrorism Risk Insurance: Issue Analysis and Overview of Current Program
This report looks at the background and current Congressional status of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002.
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, by Topic
This report provides references to analytical reports on cybersecurity from CRS, other government agencies, trade associations, and interest groups. The reports and related websites are grouped under the following cybersecurity topics: policy overview; National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC); cloud computing and FedRAMP; critical infrastructure; cybercrime, data breaches and data security; national security, cyber espionage, and cyberwar (including Stuxnet); international efforts; education/training/workforce; and research and development (R&D).
Worker Participation in Employer-Sponsored Pensions: A Fact Sheet
The main part of this report is a fact sheet that provides data on the percentage of American workers who have access to and who participate in employer-sponsored pension plans. The data was collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through the National Compensation Survey (NCS).
Animal Waste and Hazardous Substances: Current Laws and Legislative Issues
This report describes the provisions of the Superfund law and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), and enforcement actions under these laws that have increasingly been receiving attention. Congressional scrutiny in the form of legislative proposals and a House hearing in the 109th Congress are discussed.
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. Compared to the standard or default approach of annual contracting, MYP and BBC have the potential for reducing weapon procurement costs by several percent.
Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests
This report discusses the current political and economic conditions in Russia, focusing on the impact of Vladimir Putin's leadership and the leadership of his successor/protégé, Dmitriy Medvedev, both of which have steered Russia away from progress toward democratization. The report also discusses the state of the economy since the Soviet collapse in 1999, how the recent global economic downturn has affected Russia, the state of Russia's military, and the current relationship between Russia and the United States.
Essential Air Service (EAS): Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides an overview of the Essential Air Service (EAS) program and discusses the changes introduced by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014.
The Social Security Number: Legal Developments Affecting Its Collection, Disclosure, and Confidentiality
This report provides a comprehensive list of federal developments affecting use of the social security number, from 1935 to the present. This list includes federal statutes regulating the collection and disclosure of SSNs, as well as specific authorizations for the use of SSNs, confidentiality provisions, and criminal provisions relating to SSN misuse.
Reducing Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Military Retirees and the Bipartisan Budget Act: In Brief
This report discusses the reduction of cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for military retirees through the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA). It includes an overview of the changes, demographics of military retirees, and potential effects of the changes.
Independence of Federal Financial Regulators
This report discusses institutional features that make federal financial regulators (as well as other independent agencies) relatively independent from the President and Congress.
Crime and Forfeiture
This report provides an overview of federal forfeiture law. It sketches the origins and general attributes of forfeiture, describes the distribution of the hundreds of millions of dollars it generates, and identifies some of the related constitutional issues.
Direct Overt U.S. Aid Appropriations for and Military Reimbursements to Pakistan, FY2002-FY2015
This report provides data regarding the direct overt U.S. aid appropriations and military reimbursements to Pakistan.
Countering Violent Extremism in the United States
This report provides examples of Administration "combating violent extremism" (CVE) activity and examines some of the risks and challenges evident in the "Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States" (SIP's) three objectives. The report also diagrams and briefly discusses the "future activities and efforts" outlined in the SIP for each of these three objectives.
The Debt Limit Since 2011
This report discusses the federal debt increase. The accumulation of federal debt accelerated in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession. Rising debt levels, along with continued differences in views of fiscal policy, led to a series of contentious debt limit episodes in recent years.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
This report discusses the open economy and society of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), provides a general description of the UAE's government and political structure, and outlines the effects of the recent global economic downturn on the UAE in general and on the city of Dubai in particular. It also describes U.S. concern over the proliferation of advanced technology in relation to a recently-signed U.S.-UAE civilian nuclear agreement, due to the UAE economy and the UAE's lax export controls.
Employment for Veterans: Trends and Programs
This report discusses veterans' employment trends and programs. The first section presents data on veterans' employment outcomes, identifying recent trends, and discussing issues to consider when interpreting veterans' employment data. The following sections present brief discussions of existing programs that provide employment-related services to veterans. These services are divided into (1) general programs that are broadly available to veterans, (2) programs that target veterans with service-connected disabilities, and (3) competitive grant programs that provide additional employment-related services to veterans but may be limited in scope or availability.
Drought in the United States: Causes and Current Understanding
This report discusses how drought is defined (e.g., why drought in one region of the country is different from drought in another region) and why drought occurs in the United States. It briefly describes periods of drought in the country's past that equaled or exceeded drought conditions experienced during the 20th century. This is followed by a discussion of the nature and extent of recent droughts that affected Texas and the U.S. midcontinent, and the current drought in California. Lastly, the report discusses future prospects for a climate in the western United States that might be drier than the average 20th-century climate and the possible influence of human-induced climate change.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
This report discusses the evolution of a national critical infrastructure policy and the institutional structures established to implement it. Critical infrastructure includes physical assets used to produce and distribute services such as electricity (including the power plants and electric grid), communications, and computers. The report highlights five issues of Congressional concern: identifying critical assets; assessing vulnerabilities and risks; allocating resources; information sharing; and regulation.
Unemployment Insurance: Programs and Benefits
This report describes three kinds of unemployment benefit programs: regular Unemployment Compensation (UC), Extended Benefits (EB), and Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08). The report explains their basic eligibility requirements, benefits, and financing structure.
Terrorism Risk Insurance: Issue Analysis and Overview of Current Program
This report looks at the background and current Congressional status of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002.
The Affordable Care Act and Small Business: Economic Issues
This report explains how employer-sponsored insurance can be used to address concerns about health insurance coverage and cost. Then, it summarizes the three ACA provisions most relevant to small businesses. Also, it analyzes these provisions for their potential effects on small businesses. Last, this report presents several approaches that could address some concerns associated with these provisions (particularly the employer penalty).
Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990-2013
The report contains information on the pay procedure for members of Congress and recent adjustments. It provides information on previous actions and votes by year, from 1990-2010.
An Analysis of STEM Education Funding at the NSF: Trends and Policy Discussion
This report analyzes National Science Foundation funding trends and selected closely-related STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education policy issues to provide fiscal and policy context. It concludes with an analysis of potential policy options.
Early Release for Federal Inmates: Fact Sheet
This report discusses ways to reduce the size of the federal prison population by reducing the amount of time inmates serve, though such measures as allowing inmates to earn credit toward their sentences for participating in rehabilitative programs.
The Education Sciences Reform Act
This report discusses the Education Sciences Reform Act (ESRA, Title I of P.L. 107-279) that established the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) as an independent research arm of the Department of Education (ED).
PILT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes): Somewhat Simplified
This report explains Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), with an analysis of the five major factors affecting the calculation of a payment to a given county. It also describes the effects of certain legislative changes to PILT in 2009 and 2012.