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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) that is currently being developed by the Army and the Marine Corps as a successor to the 11 different versions of the High Mobility, Multi-Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) that have been in service since 1985. A potential issue for Congress is the impact of a year-long continuing resolution on Army and Marine Corps JLTV procurement.
Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Hypervelocity Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on three potential new weapons that could improve the ability of Navy surface ships to defend themselves against enemy missiles--solid state lasers (SSLs), the electromagnetic railgun (EMRG), and the hypervelocity projectile (HVP).
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents
This report provides links to cybersecurity legislation in the 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses and a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security.
Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's Financial Problems: Frequently Asked Questions
This report discusses the decision to place Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in conservatorship and to a certain extent, the housing, mortgage, and even general financial markets.
Zivotofsky v. Kerry: The Jerusalem Passport Case and Its Potential Implications for Congress's Foreign Affairs Powers
This report briefly describes legislative efforts to modify U.S. policy with respect to Jerusalem, in particular multiple enactments of the passport provision. The report then summarizes the Supreme Court decision, including concurrences and dissents. Finally, the report concludes by suggesting possible implications of the decision with respect to Congress's authority to influence foreign affairs.
Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY2009 (P.L. 110-329): An Overview
This report provides an overview of the Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY2009, including a brief discussion of the budgetary and legislative context in which the act was developed and considered, a short summary of its provisions, and a legislative history.
Nuclear Waste Disposal: Alternatives to Yucca Mountain
This report discusses the options for the Yucca Mountain waste repository application and the likely impact of indefinite delays in the waste program. It then discusses the mid- and long-term alternatives to the existing waste program, and finally reviews the history of U.S. efforts to site nuclear waste facilities.
Reporting Requirements in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
This report describes the various reporting requirements in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) and is organized according to the entities required to prepare and submit the reports. The report also provides some concluding observations regarding those requirements.
Extending NASA's Exemption from the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act
This report discusses the Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000 (INA), which was enacted to help stop foreign transfers to Iran of weapons of mass destruction, missile technology, and advanced conventional weapons technology, particularly from Russia.
Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies: 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 House and Senate Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittees. It summarizes the status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity, and is updated as events warrant.
U.S. Foreign Assistance to the Middle East: Historical Background, Recent Trends, and the FY2016 Request
This report is an overview of U.S. foreign assistance to the Middle East, including a brief historical review of foreign aid levels, a description of specific country programs, and an analysis of current foreign aid issues. The Middle East is perennially a major focus of interest as Congress exercises these powers.
Is Violent Crime in the United States Increasing?
Overall, homicide and violent crime rates have been trending downward for more than two decades, and both rates are at historic lows. An analysis comparing 2014 and 2015 homicide data from the nation's 60 most populous cities suggests that violent crime is not increasing. This report discusses several short-term factors that might help explain some of the reported upticks in violent crime across the country.
Current Debates over Exchange Rates: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides information on current debates over exchange rates in the global economy. It offers an overview of how exchange rates work; analyzes specific disagreements and debates; and examines existing frameworks for potentially addressing currency disputes. It also lays out some policy options available to Congress, should Members want to take action on exchange rate issues.
Potential Policy Implications of the House Reconciliation Bill (H.R. 3762)
This report provides background on the reconciliation process of the FY2016 budget resolution (S.Con.Res. 11) and summarizes the provisions in H.R. 37622. It then briefly examines some of the bill's policy implications. The report will be updated as necessary to reflect key legislative developments.
The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction
This report discusses the following aspects of the congressional appropriations process: the annual appropriations cycle; types of appropriations measures; spending ceilings for appropriations associated with the annual budget resolution; and the relationship between authorization and appropriation measures.
Herring v. United States: Extension of the Good-Faith Exception to the Exclusionary Rule in Fourth Amendment Cases
In Herring v. United States, a 2009 decision, the Supreme Court for the first time applied the good-faith exception to bar application of the exclusionary rule in a case involving police error regarding a warrant. This report discusses the Court's current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence and the legal implications.
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 11th Congress: Conflicting Values and Difficult Choices
This report discusses U.S. policy toward global climate change, which evolved from a "study only" to a more "study and action" orientation in 1992 with ratification of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Cuba: Issues for the 110th Congress
This report discusses the current political conditions of Cuba as well as its relationship with the United States. In particular, the report focuses on U.S. policy regarding how to best support political and economic change in one of the world's remaining communist nations, in the context of Fidel Castro's departure from heading the government because of poor health.
Electric Utility Regulatory Reform: Issues for the 109th Congress
This report discusses regulation issues affecting electricity today. Comprehensive electricity legislation may involve several components: Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA) reform, PURPA's requirement that utilities purchase power from qualifying facilities (QFs), and reliability.
V-Chip and TV Ratings: Monitoring Children's Access to TV Programming
This report discusses the V-Chip, created to assist parents in supervising the television viewing habits of their children, its rating system, and relevant legislation in the 108th Congress.
China's Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Mitigation Policies
This report discusses China's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as well as the policies and programs that they have put in place to mitigate them. These issues affect how Congress considers envionmental policies and relations with China.
Economic Slowdown: Issues and Policies
This report first discusses the current state of the economy, including measures that have already been taken by the monetary authorities, and assesses the need for and potential consequences of fiscal stimulus. The second part of the report reviews the proposals discussed during debate on the recently enacted fiscal stimulus, both those adopted and those considered but not adopted.
Financial Market Intervention
This report provides answers to some frequently asked questions concerning ongoing financial disruptions and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). It also summarizes legislation in the 111th Congress such as H.R. 384, the TARP Reform and Accountability Act of 2009 and H.R. 703, "Promoting Bank Liquidity and Lending Through Deposit Insurance, Hope for Homeowners, and other Enhancements."
Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY2000-FY2015
This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration requested and how much Congress appropriated for U.S. payments to the multilateral development banks (MDBs) since 2000. It also provides a brief description of the MDBs and the ways they fund their operations.
A Low Carbon Fuel Standard: State and Federal Legislation and Regulations
This report analyzes the draft California standards, and discusses how those standards might work. Next, the report analyzes federal Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) legislation proposed in the 110th Congress. Finally, the report analyzes what effects an LCFS might have on state and national fuel supplies.
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2016 Budget and Appropriations
This report provides an overview of the FY2016 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) request, a discussion of key issues and historic context, and account-by-account funding comparisons with FY2014 actuals, available FY2015 estimates, and FY2016 legislation.
Social Security Administration: Workloads, Resources, and Service Delivery
This report provides an overview of SSA's workloads, resources, and service delivery since FY1996, the first full fiscal year in which SSA became an independent agency. It also covers issues for Congress, focusing on recommendations made by the independent SSAB, Government Accountability Office, SSA's Office of the Inspector General, and the National Research Council.
Coalition Contributions to Countering the Islamic State
This report discusses the formation of the Islamic State. Some 60 nations and partner organizations agreed to participate, contributing either military forces or resources (or both) to the campaign. In Brussels in December 2014, these 60 partners agreed to organize themselves along five "lines of effort," with at least two countries in the lead for each.
U.S.-South Korea Relations
South Korea (known officially as the Republic of Korea, or ROK) is one of the United States' most important strategic and economic partners in Asia, and since 2009 relations between the two countries arguably have been at their most robust state in decades. This report discusses the development of this relationship and examines current issues.
Fact Sheet: Selected Highlights of the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1735 and S. 1376)
This report provides selected highlights of pending versions of the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA): H.R. 1735, passed by the House of Representatives on May 15, 2015, and S. 1376, reported by the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 19, 2015.
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. Both bills focus on information sharing among private entities and between them and the federal government.
Defense: FY2009 Authorization and 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 House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Defense, and summarizes the status of the bills, their scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity.
Points of Order in the Congressional Budget Process
This report summarizes the points of order currently in effect under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as amended, as well as related points of order established in various other measures that have a direct impact on budget enforcement.
Turkey: Update on Crisis of Identity and Power
This report discusses the current political situation in Turkey and its relations with Untied States.
International Crises and Disasters: U.S. Humanitarian Assistance Response Mechanisms
This report examines U.S. humanitarian assistance in international crises and disaster situations. It considers the sources and types of U.S. government aid, the response mechanisms of key U.S. agencies and departments, and possible issues for Congress.
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. Congress's decisions regarding Navy IW and CT operations can affect Navy operations and funding requirements, and the implementation of the nation's overall IW and CT strategies.
Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2015
This report provides data on elections of the Speaker in each Congress since 1913, when the House first reached its present size of 435 Members. During that period (63rd through 114th Congresses), a Speaker was elected five times with the votes of less than a majority of the full membership.
Past Government Shutdowns: Key Resources
This report provides an annotated list of historical documents and other resources related to several past government shutdowns. Sources for these documents and resources include the Congressional Research Service (CRS), Government Accountability Office (GAO), House and Senate Committees, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and Executive Office of the President.
Congressional Action on FY2016 Appropriations Measures
This report provides information on the congressional consideration of the FY2016 regular appropriations bills and the FY2016 continuing resolution (CR). It also discusses the statutory and procedural budget enforcement framework for FY2016 appropriations.
Russia-Georgia Conflict in South Ossetia: Context and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report provides background information regarding Russia-Georgia conflict in South Ossetia and discusses most recent developments.
Medicaid: The Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP)
This report examines the formula that determines the federal government's share of Medicaid costs for most services, which is established in statute; states must contribute the remaining portion of costs in order to qualify for federal funds.
NATO Enlargement: Senate Advice and Consent
This report describes the provisions of the North Atlantic Treaty and of the original Senate debate in 1949 pertinent to enlargement and the procedures that have been followed for each subsequent enlargement proposal. It also discusses what the Senate did with respect to the reunification of Germany in 1990 and the implications of that event for Germany's membership in NATO.
House Standing Committee Chairs and Ranking Minority Members: Rules Governing Selection Procedures
House rules, Republican Conference rules, and Democratic Caucus rules each detail aspects of the procedures followed in selecting standing committee chairs and ranking minority members. This report summarizes those procedures and lists membership on each party's steering committee.
The Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA): Workers' Compensation for Federal Employees
This report focuses on several key policy issues facing the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) program, including the disproportionate share of claims and program costs attributed to postal workers, the payment of FECA benefits after retirement age, the overall level of FECA disability benefits as compared with those offered by the states, and the administration of the FECA program.
Congressional Efforts to Reduce Restrictions on Growing Industrial Hemp
This report briefly discusses U.S. agricultural policies regarding the industrial use of hemp.
Iran's Nuclear Program: Status
This report examines the background of Iran's nuclear policy, the current status of Iran's nuclear facilities, the effects of international sanctions on Iran, recent sabotages on the Iran Enrichment Program, an estimated timeline of Iran's nuclear weapon capabilities, and whether or not Iran even has a nuclear weapons program.
NATO Enlargement: Senate Advice and Consent
This report describes the provisions of the North Atlantic Treaty and of the original Senate debate in 1949 pertinent to enlargement and the procedures that have been followed for each subsequent enlargement proposal. It also discusses what the Senate did with respect to the reunification of Germany in 1990 and the implications of that event for Germany's membership in NATO.
International Population Assistance and Family Planning Programs: Issues for Congress
This report provides context for the debate concerning international population planning based on principles of volunteerism and informed choice that gives participants access to information on all methods of birth control and discusses funding levels.
FY2009 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Policy Issues
This report focuses exclusively on the annual defense authorization process. Military personnel issues typically generate significant interest from many Members of Congress and their staffs.
Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2000-2007
This report provides Congress with official, unclassified, quantitative data on conventional arms transfers to developing nations by the United States and foreign countries for the preceding eight calendar years for use in its policy oversight functions.