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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Related Non-Tariff Barriers to Agricultural Trade
This report discuses sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, which are laws, regulations, standards, and procedures that governments employ as "necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health" from the risks associated with the spread of pests, diseases, or disease-carrying and causing organisms, or from additives, toxins, or contaminants in food, beverages, or feedstuffs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332931/
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages for countering mines, small boats, and diesel-electric submarines, particularly in littoral (i.e., near-shore) waters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332932/
Qualifications of Members of Congress
This report discusses the qualifications required to hold the office of U.S. Senator or Representative to Congress that are established and set out within the U.S. Constitution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332960/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332918/
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS): Is It a Health Emergency?
This report describes key Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) response activities and the emergency authorities available to health officials when routine activities are insufficient to address a public health threat. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332902/
Campaign Contribution Limits: Selected Questions About McCutcheon and Policy Issues for Congress
This report offers a preliminary analysis of major policy issues and potential implications of McCutcheon v. FEC regarding individual contributions to federal campaigns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332974/
NAFTA at 20: Overview and Trade Effects
This report provides andoverview of North American Free Trade Agreement provisions and discusses trade trends and economic effects, as well other issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332981/
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues
This report examines debates regarding what constitutes an "unfunded federal mandate" and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995's (UMRA) implementation, requirements, and costs. It also assesses UMRA's impact on federal mandates and arguments concerning UMRA's future. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332913/
Policy Issues in the General Motors Vehicle Recall
This report discusses the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) process by which vehicle safety defects are identified and vehicles are recalled, as well as the impact that the 2009 GM bankruptcy may have on liability for this defect. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332919/
Iraq Crisis and U.S. Policy
This report analyzes the offensive in northern and central Iraq led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, aka ISIS) -- a Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group -- with a discussion of the offensive's implications, the U.S. response, and related issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332987/
Federal Health Centers
This report provides an overview of the federal health center program including its statutory authority, program requirements, and appropriation levels. The report then describes health centers in general, where they are located, their patient population, and some outcomes associated with health center use. It also describes some federal programs available to assist health center operations as well as issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332927/
The Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit: In Brief
This report provides a brief overview of the renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC). The first section of the report describes the credit. The second section provides a legislative history. The third section presents data on PTC claims and discusses the revenue consequences of the credit. The fourth section briefly considers some of the economic and policy considerations related to the credit. The report concludes by briefly noting policy options related to the PTC. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332957/
The Defense Production Act of 1950: History, Authorities, and Reauthorization
This report examines some of the history of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA), focusing primarily on its creation and most recent legislative reauthorization. It also discusses the foremost active authorities of the DPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332993/
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund: Programs and Policy Issues
This report begins by describing the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund's history, current appropriations, and each of its programs. The next section analyzes four policy considerations of congressional interest regarding the Fund and the effective use of federal resources to promote economic development. Lastly, this report examines the Fund's programs and management to see if they represent an effective and efficient government effort to promote economic development in low-income and distressed communities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332916/
EPA's Proposed Greenhouse Gas Regulations for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions
This report summarizes the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) proposal regarding greenhouse gas regulations. In addition to discussing details of the proposed rule, the report addresses a number of questions regarding the reasons for the proposal; the EPA's authority under Section 111 of the CAA; the EPA's previous experience using that authority; the steps the agency must take to finalize the proposed rule; and various other background questions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332959/
Domestic Federal Law Enforcement Coordination: Through the Lens of the Southwest Border
This report discusses the law enforcement task forces and intelligence information sharing centers. The report focuses on those task forces and information sharing efforts that respond to federal counterdrug and counterterrorism priorities in the Southwest border region. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332962/
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
This report discusses the reasons that Iran is considered a threat to U.S. security, including Iran's nuclear program, involvement with terrorist organizations, and involvement with neighboring countries' local governments. It also discusses ways in which the U.S. hopes to modify Iran's behavior with sanctions, and the effectiveness of these sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332926/
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and presents potential issues for Congress concerning the Navy's ship force-structure goals and shipbuilding plans, including the planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and prospective affordability. Congressional decisions on Navy shipbuilding programs can substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332992/
A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress
This report analyzes rules changes made on only the opening day of the 110th, 111th, 112th, and 113th Congresses, with references in footnotes to other selected legislation and actions that also affected House rules during these Congresses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332914/
Visa Waiver Program
This report discusses the visa waiver program (VWP), which allows foreign visitors to bypass the first, screening step for admissibility to enter the United States. Some policymakers are concerned that this waiver allows terrorists to more easily enter the country. The report provides waiver-related statistics and related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332972/
Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan and the Afghan government. It also discusses Afghanistan's relationship with the United States, particularly U.S. efforts to urge President Hamid Karzai to address corruption within the Afghan government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332928/
Pesticide Use and Water Quality: Are the Laws Complementary or in Conflict?
This report provides background on the conflict over interpretation and implementation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA). A brief discussion of the two laws is followed by a review of the major litigation of interest. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332950/
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices
This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the changing oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade balance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332954/
Bee Health: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of selected bee species, and discusses importance of bee pollination, changes in bee populations, factors affecting bee health, and identifies future needs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332911/
Export-Import Bank: Overview and Reauthorization Issues
This report provides: (1) a general background of Ex-Im Bank; (2) a discussion of the international context of the Bank; (3) analysis of key issues that Congress may consider in a reauthorization debate; and (4) the congressional outlook on Ex-Im Bank. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332991/
EPA's Proposed Greenhouse Gas Regulations for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions
This report summarizes the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) proposal regarding greenhouse gas regulations. In addition to discussing details of the proposed rule, the report addresses a number of questions regarding the reasons for the proposal; the EPA's authority under Section 111 of the CAA; the EPA's previous experience using that authority; the steps the agency must take to finalize the proposed rule; and various other background questions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332998/
The New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions
This report provides an overview of the New Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (START), including a comparison to the original START Treaty, the belief of the Obama Administration and outside analysts that New START will enhance U.S. national security, and the criticisms of those who say that New START is a distraction from more important items on the nonproliferation agenda. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332924/
Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Navy's irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) operations. The Navy's IW and CT activities pose a number of potential oversight issues for Congress, including the definition of Navy IW activities and how much emphasis to place on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332952/
Federal Funding for Health Insurance Exchanges
This report provides a state-by-state breakdown of the health insurance exchange 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332933/
Panama: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides background on the political and economic situation in Panama and U.S.- Panama relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332941/
Upcoming Rules Pursuant to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: The Spring 2014 Unified Agenda
This report examines the Spring 2014 edition of the Unified Agenda and identifies upcoming proposed and final rules and long-term regulatory actions expected to be issued pursuant to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the next 12 months. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332939/
Introducing a Senate Bill or Resolution
This report provides an overview of the most common considerations that may be taken into account when preparing the initial draft for a Senate bill or resolution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332965/
Reserve Component Personnel Issues: Questions and Answers
This report provides insight to reserve component personnel issues through a series of questions and answers. This report is designed to provide an overview of key reserve component personnel issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332935/
Libya: Transition and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the revolution and post-conflict transition in Libya, triggered in mid-February 2011 by a chain of events resulting in the death of the Prime Minister (Qadhafi); a new government was elected in July. The report also looks at the military and economic state of the country, including human rights, Islam and politics, and Libya's oil assets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332964/
Canada-U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Canada's political scene, economic conditions, security and foreign policy, and environmental initiatives, focusing particularly on issues that may be relevant to U.S. policymakers. This country survey is followed by several summaries of current bilateral issues in the political, international security, trade, and environmental arenas. The questions following each summary are designed as potential inquiries to Canadian officials to promote thought and discussion among policymakers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332994/
U.S. Energy: Overview and Key Statistics
This report discusses the energy policy that has been a recurring issue for Congress since the first major crisis in the 1970s. As an aid in policy making, this report presents a current and historical view of the supply and consumption of various forms of energy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332905/
Wartime Detention Provisions in Recent Defense Authorization Legislation
This report offers a brief background of the salient issues raised by the detainee provisions of the FY2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), provides a section-by-section analysis, and discusses executive interpretation and implementation of the act's mandatory military detention provision. It also addresses detainee provisions in the 2013 NDAA and 2014 NDAA, as well as those found in the competing House and Senate defense authorization bills for FY2015. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332917/
U.S. Implementation of the Basel Capital Regulatory Framework
This report summarizes the higher capital requirements for U.S. banks regulated for safety and soundness. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332990/
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program
This report discusses the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Act, which was enacted by the 108th Congress as Section 1057 of the FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-136). It includes background of the SAFER Act, appropriations from FY2011-FY2013, reauthorization of the program in the House and Senate, and information about program implementation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332963/
Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990
This report discusses U.S. security assistance to Taiwan, or Republic of China (ROC), including policy issues for Congress and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332929/
Export-Import Bank: Overview and Reauthorization Issues
This report provides: (1) a general background of Ex-Im Bank; (2) a discussion of the international context of the Bank; (3) analysis of key issues that Congress may consider in a reauthorization debate; and (4) the congressional outlook on Ex-Im Bank. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332966/
Domestic Human Trafficking Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report discusses domestic human-trafficking-related issues that have received legislative action or are of significant congressional interest in the 113th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332989/
U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations During the Obama Presidency: Midyear Analysis and Comparison with Recent Presidents
This report addresses these issues by providing a statistical analysis of nominations to U.S. circuit and district court judgeships from January 20 of President Obama's first year in office to June 30 of his sixth year, and by comparing statistics during this period of the Obama presidency to statistics from comparable periods of time during the presidencies of his two most recent predecessors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332996/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332997/
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers
This report provides background on the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers (TAA) program, which provides federal assistance to workers who have been adversely affected by foreign trade. The report discusses TAA eligibility and benefits as set by the Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act of 2011; describes how the program is funded and administered; and presents data on recent application activity and benefit usage. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332949/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332943/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332982/
Small Business Administration Trade and Export Promotion Programs
This report begins with the history, role, and scope of SBA's export promotion activities, and the creation of OIT. Next, quantitative data from SBA and qualitative data from other sources are used to provide performance analysis of SBA's international programs. This report concludes with a presentation of three issues for consideration during an era where concerns of fiscal responsibility and economic recovery are high priorities for many policy makers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc333003/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific relevant topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc333007/
Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights
This report discusses the state of Iraqi politics, governance, and human rights, including the worsening relations between local Sunni and Shiite populations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc333000/