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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
After Brexit: A Diminished or Enhanced EU?
This report briefly discusses the United Kingdom's (UK's) "Brexit" vote and what it means for the future of the European Union. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855765/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855766/
Title IX and Sex Discrimination in Education: An Overview
This report provides an overview of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the various aspects of education affected by this law. Although Title IX has been only partially successful in eliminating sex discrimination in education, the effects of this legislation have been far-reaching. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855767/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855768/
Social Security: The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)
This report discusses the windfall elimination provision (WEP), which reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage or "windfall" these workers would otherwise receive as a result of the interaction between the Social Security benefit formula and the workers' relatively small portion of their careers in Social Security-covered employment. The report provides information about how the provision works, who is affected, history and rationale, impacts, and relevant legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855769/
Clean Power Plan: Legal Background and Pending Litigation in West Virginia v. EPA
This report provides legal background on the Clean Power Plan rule (CPP) to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), its Clean Air Act (CAA) framework under Section 111, and climate-related lawsuits that have preceded the present litigation over the CPP. It then gives an overview of the participants in the current litigation, including two groups of Members of Congress, who have offered briefs in support of the petitioners and the respondents, respectively. This report explains the major events in the litigation as of the date of publication, including the Supreme Court stay, and the likely timetable of events in the near term. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855770/
Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview
This report opens with an analysis of recent unaccompanied alien children (UAC) apprehension data. It then discusses current policy on the treatment, care, and custody of the population, with a description of the responsibilities of each federal agency involved with the population. The report then discusses both administrative and congressional actions to deal with the UAC surge in FY2014 and ongoing action to address possible future surges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855771/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855772/
The Future of Internet Governance: Should the United States Relinquish Its Authority over ICANN?
This report discusses legislation relevant to the future of Internet governance that has been introduced in the 113th and 114th Congresses which would prevent, delay, or impose conditions or additional scrutiny on the transition of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA's) stewardship role and procedural authority over key Internet domain name functions to the global Internet multi-stakeholder community. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855773/
Display of the Confederate Flag at Federal Cemeteries in the United States
This report discusses policies regarding the display of the Confederate Flag at national cemeteries. If a state observes a Confederate Memorial Day, National Park Service (NPS) cemeteries in the state may permit a sponsoring group to decorate the graves of Confederate veterans with small Confederate flags. Additionally, such flags may also be displayed on the nationally observed Memorial Day, to accompany the U.S. flag on the graves of Confederate veterans. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855774/
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 a large number of LCSs and modified LCSs. The modified LCSs are to be referred to as frigates. The Navy's execution of the program has been a matter of congressional oversight attention for several years. The program presents several oversight issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855775/
Corporate Expatriation, Inversions, and Mergers: Tax Issues
This report begins with a brief discussion of relevant portions of the U.S. corporate income tax system before examining how inversions were commonly structured. It then looks at how Congress and the Department of the Treasury have reduced the benefits of inversions, and concludes with an examination of methods that remain to invert and policy options available to prevent or limit these inversions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855776/
Information Warfare: DOD's Response to the Islamic State Hacking Activities
This report briefly examines the Islamic State's (IS) strategy of accessing U.S. government computer systems for a variety of purposes, and the Department of Defense's (DOD) response. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855777/
Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
This report provides an overview of the situation in Ukraine. In February 2014, the Kremlin-supported government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych collapsed. What followed the turmoil of early 2014 was the emergence of a pro-Western, pro-reform government and an energized public generally anxious to lessen Moscow's influence, committed to addressing the need for serious reform, and determined to draw closer to Europe and the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855778/
Federal Lifeline Program: Frequently Asked Questions
This report discusses the Federal Lifeline Program established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1985. The program was originally designed to assist eligible low-income households to subsidize the monthly service charges incurred for voice telephone usage and was limited to one fixed line per household. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855779/
Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy, and gives Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers a capability for conducting BMD operations. Congress's decisions on the Aegis BMD program could significantly affect U.S. BMD capabilities and funding requirements, and the BMD-related industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855780/
Trade Negotiations During the 109th Congress
This report discusses trade issues in the 109th Congress. For over 50 years, U.S. trade officials have negotiated multilateral trade agreements to achieve lower trade barriers and rules to cover international trade. During the 108th Congress, U.S. officials negotiated and Congress approved four bilateral free-trade agreements with Australia, Chile, Morocco, and Singapore. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855781/
FY2017 Appropriations for the Department of Justice Grant Programs
This report provides an overview of congressional actions to fund the Department of Justice's (DOJ's) grant programs through these accounts for FY2017. The report also provides information on FY2016 appropriations for DOJ's grant programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855782/
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, 113th, and 114th Congresses, with references in footnotes to other selected legislation and actions during these Congresses that also affected House rules. One of the majority party's prerogatives is writing House rules and using its numbers to effect the chamber's rules on the day a new House convenes. Because all Members of the House stand for election every two years, the Members-elect constitute a new House that must adopt rules at the convening of each Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855783/
DOD's Rotation to the Philippines
This report briefly discusses the Department of Defense's (DOD's) announcement of its intention to "rebalance" by focusing more of its attention and activity on Asia. One goal is to influence the development of regional norms and rules, particularly as China exerts greater influence. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855784/
Status of the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report discusses ongoing efforts to control Ebola in West Africa, analyzes persistent challenges in fighting the spread of the disease, and tracks Ebola emergency funds. The 2014-2015 outbreak and spread of Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa became an international public health emergency that, in no small part due to international intervention, abated significantly by the end of 2015 and early 2016. The issue remains of interest toward the end of the 114th Congress for a number of reasons, including ongoing concerns about the status of disease and risks of future outbreaks, and interest in the disposition of funds appropriated by Congress in response to Ebola, especially in view of the more recent health challenge posed by the Zika virus. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855785/
The Nunn-McCurdy Act: Background, Analysis, and Issues for Congress
This report examines the the Nunn-McCurdy Act, which requires the Department of Defense (DOD) to report to Congress whenever a major defense acquisition program experiences cost overruns that exceed certain thresholds. As a result of the Nunn-McCurdy Act, Congress has increased visibility into the cost performance of the acquisition stage of MDAPs. However, some analysts suggest that Nunn-McCurdy is not a sufficiently comprehensive reporting mechanism. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855786/
Campaign Financing
This report discusses various issues regarding campaign finance law and potential options for policy responses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855787/
Venezuela: Background and U.S. Relations
This report examines the political and economic situation in Venezuela and U.S.-Venezuelan relations. It is divided into three main sections -- political background, current political and economic environment, U.S. relations and policy -- and also includes introductory and outlook information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855788/
Oman: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report examines the political background of Oman, as well as various foreign policy and security issues relevant today. The report also discusses the United States' relationship with the country. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855723/
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 FY2017 budget requests funding for the procurement of two DDG-51s. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855724/
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 108th Congress
This report discusses policy and legislation regarding fish and marine mammals. These animals are important resources in open ocean and nearshore coastal areas. Commercial and sport fishing are jointly managed by the federal government and individual states. Many laws and regulations guide the management of these resources by federal agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855725/
The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA; H.R. 5278, S. 2328)
The report presents a brief description of Puerto Rico, its relationship with the federal government, and its fiscal challenges. It also includes a short overview of bill H.R. 5278, with a comparison with previous legislation involving control boards and a section-by-section description of the bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855726/
Earthquake Risk and U.S. Highway Infrastructure: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses a number of frequently asked questions about earthquake risk and highway system components, especially bridges. Earthquakes and related events, such as soil liquefaction, landslides, tsunamis, flooding, and fires, pose risks to highway infrastructure. Concerns about the U.S. highway system's seismic vulnerability stem from interest in protecting public safety, facilitating response and recovery efforts, and minimizing economic loss and social disruption. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855894/
Framing Spectrum Policy: Legislative Initiatives
This report examines legislative initiatives to address issues regarding radio frequency spectrum management and allocation. Access to radio frequency spectrum is essential to wireless communications. As demand for mobile services increases, from all sectors of society and the economy, so does the need to increase the capacity of wireless networks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855895/
Military Lending Act: Timeline, New Rules, and Issues
This report briefly discusses new rules under the Military Lending Act (MLA) that change the definition of consumer credit for covered servicemembers and dependents; it will apply to transactions or accounts that are established on or after October 3, 2016. These rules may have an impact on the regulatory burdens for businesses that provide credit products to the military and may also affect military readiness. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855896/
Internships in Congressional Offices: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses frequently asked questions (FAQs) about congressional interns and internships. It is intended to provide information to congressional offices about the role of interns and to provide a summary of some of the policies and guidance provided by the House and the Senate related to internships. It addresses the House and Senate rules that apply to congressional internships, factors that may affect an office's selection process and an individual's eligibility to serve in an internship, and some of the congressional resources and training opportunities available for interns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855836/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855789/
Goldwater-Nichols at 30: Defense Reform and Issues for Congress
This report is designed to assist Congress as it evaluates the many different defense reform proposals suggested by the variety of stakeholders and institutions within the U.S. national security community. It includes an outline of the strategic context for defense reform, both in the Goldwater-Nichols era and today. It then builds a framework to understand the DOD management challenge, and situates some of the most-discussed reform proposals within that framework. It concludes with some questions Congress may ponder as it exercises oversight over the Pentagon. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855790/
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 114th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855791/
Slow Growth in the Current U.S. Economic Expansion
This report summarizes the U.S. economic growth record and reviews a number of explanations forwarded by economists for why this expansion has featured slow growth. Some explanations focus on short-term factors that would not be expected to persist, while others focus on long-term changes to the economy. The report does not discuss labor market conditions, except in the context of how they contribute to the pace of GDP growth. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855792/
Expulsion, Censure, Reprimand, and Fine: Legislative Discipline in the House of Representatives
This report discusses the processes of expulsion and censure in the House of Representatives. The House is expressly authorized within the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 5, clause 2) to discipline or "punish" its own Members. It is designed as a measure to protect the institutional integrity of the House of Representatives, its proceedings and its reputation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855793/
Private Flood Insurance in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
This report briefly discusses federal law regarding flood insurance. By law or regulation, federal agencies, federally-regulated lending institutions, and government-sponsored enterprises must require certain property owners to purchase flood insurance as a condition of any mortgage that these entities make, guarantee, or purchase. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855794/
China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities--Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on China's naval modernization effort and its implications for U.S. Navy capabilities. The issue for Congress is how the U.S. Navy should respond to China's military modernization effort, particularly its naval modernization effort. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855795/
Climate Change Paris Agreement Opens for Signature
This report discusses the new international Paris Agreement, signed by 175 out of 196 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on April 22, 2016 to address greenhouse-gas-induced climate change. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855796/
Dominican Republic: Update on Citizenship and Humanitarian Issues
This report briefly examines social issues in the Dominican Republic regarding the treatment of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855797/
Overview of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003
This report examines the the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, which creates a prescription drug benefit for Medicare beneficiaries and establishes a new Medicare Advantage program to replace the current Medicare+Choice program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855798/
Spending and Tax Expenditures: Distinctions and Major Programs
This report identifies the largest spending and tax expenditures across eight major categories of federal activity: (1) defense and international affairs; (2) general science, space and technology, natural resources and the environment, and agriculture; (3) commerce and housing, community and regional development, and transportation; (4) education, training, employment, and social services; (5) health, including Medicare; (6) income security; (7) Social Security and veterans' benefits; and (8) administration of justice and general governance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855799/
The 2003 Tax Cut: Proposals and Issues
This report provides a brief description of each tax cut proposal, including major proposals offered by the Democrats in both the House and the Senate during 2003. It discusses the distributional affects of the proposals and potential effects on short and long term economic growth. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855800/
Does Foreign Aid Work? Efforts to Evaluate U.S. Foreign Assistance
This report discusses the need to evaluate U.S. bilateral assistance (not on the work of multilateral aid entities, such as the World Bank) and methods of evaluation. It provides an overview of the history of evaluation, challenges, and how findings may be applied to policy. Additionally, it discusses current evaluation policies and issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855801/
Goldwater-Nichols at 30: Defense Reform and Issues for Congress
This report is designed to assist Congress as it evaluates the many different defense reform proposals suggested by the variety of stakeholders and institutions within the U.S. national security community. It includes an outline of the strategic context for defense reform, both in the Goldwater-Nichols era and today. It then builds a framework to understand the DOD management challenge, and situates some of the most-discussed reform proposals within that framework. It concludes with some questions Congress may ponder as it exercises oversight over the Pentagon. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855802/
Overseas Contingency Operations Funding: Background and Status
This report discusses funding for war-related activities, which has been largely provided through supplemental appropriation acts or has been designated as an "emergency" or "overseas contingency operation/global war on terror" (OCO/GWOT) requirement - or both. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855803/
Runaway and Homeless Youth: Demographics and Programs
This report discusses runaway and homeless youth, and the federal response to support this population. It provides an overview defining the population, a history of the evolution of relevant federal policy, a description of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program and its funding, and a summary of additional federal support. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855804/
Clean Water Act Issues in the 108th Congress
This report discusses issues regarding the Clean Water Act. Prospects for legislative initiatives to comprehensively amend the Clean Water Act (CWA) have stalled for some time over whether and exactly how to change the law, and Congress has recently focused legislative attention on narrow bills to extend or modify selected CWA programs, rather than taking up comprehensive proposals. For example, the 108th Congress enacted one bill amending the CWA, legislation to reauthorize the National Estuary Program (H.R. 4731, P.L. 108-399). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855805/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855806/