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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Military Base Closures: Role and Costs of Environmental Cleanup
This report explains cleanup requirements for the transfer and reuse of properties on closed bases, discusses property transfer status and cleanup costs on bases closed in prior rounds, and examines estimates of costs to clean up bases to be closed in the 2005 round to make these properties safe for civilian reuse.
Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense: Background and Issues for Congress
Over time, Congress has included exemptions in several environmental statutes to ensure that requirements of those statutes would not restrict military training needs to the extent that national security would be compromised. This report discusses these exemptions and congressional disagreement over the need for broader exemptions in the absence of data on the overall impact of environmental requirements on training and readiness.
Environmental Protection Agency: FY2007 Appropriations Highlights
This report presents a table detailing EPA appropriations for FY2006 and FY2007. Among individual activities, both the full House and the Senate Appropriations Committee approved decreases and increases throughout EPA's eight appropriations accounts in their respective versions of H.R. 5386, when compared with the President's FY2007 request and the FY2006 appropriation.
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.
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on maritime territorial and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) disputes in the East China (ECS) and South China Sea (SCS) involving China, with a focus on how these disputes may affect U.S. strategic and policy interests.
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant: Responses to Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides responses to frequently asked questions about the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. It is intended to serve as a quick reference to provide easy access to information and data.
Gun Legislation in the 109th Congress
This report discusses the ongoing debate over the efficacy and constitutionality of federal regulation of firearms and ammunition. The report provides background information and analysis over the pros and cons of the debate and gun related statistics.
Poland and Its Relations with the United States
Given its role as a close U.S. ally and partner, developments in Poland and its relations with the United States are of continuing interest to the U.S. Congress. This report provides an overview and assessment of some of the main dimensions of these topics.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Filers and the Child Tax Credit: Overview and Legislation
This report discusses the child tax credit, which was created by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-34) to help ease the financial burden on families when they have children. The ACTC is available to taxpayers with little or no federal income tax liability.
Iran-North Korea-Syria Ballistic Missile and Nuclear Cooperation
This report describes the key elements of a nuclear weapons program; explains the available information regarding cooperation among Iran, North Korea, and Syria on ballistic missiles and nuclear technology; and discusses some specific issues for Congress.
Medicare Prescription Drug Proposals: Estimates of Aged Beneficiaries Who Fall Below Income Criteria, by State
This report discusses bills related to Medicare benefits, which include additional assistance for low-income beneficiaries. The assistance would have been in the form of reduced, subsidized or eliminated premiums, deductibles and other cost-sharing. Proposals in the 108th Congress will probably also include some of these features for low-income beneficiaries.
Transportation Spending Under an Earmark Ban
This report explains what earmarks are and discusses their use in surface transportation finance. It then discusses how federal transportation funding is distributed with a ban in place and how Members of Congress might influence the distribution.
Border Security: Immigration Enforcement Between Ports of Entry
This report reviews efforts to combat unauthorized migration across the Southwest border in the nearly three decades since the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) initiated the modern era in migration control. In reviewing such efforts, the report takes stock of the current state of border security and considers lessons that may be learned about enhanced enforcement at U.S. borders.
Eligibility and Determination of Health Insurance Premium Tax Credits and Cost-Sharing Subsidies: In Brief
Certain individuals without access to subsidized health insurance coverage may be eligible for premium tax credits, as established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L. 111-148, as amended). This report examines these tax credits and their eligibility requirements, as well as cost-sharing subsidies.
State and Local Homeland Security: Unresolved Issues for the 109th Congress
This report discusses important state and local homeland security policy issues that the 109th Congress might address.
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 109th Congress: Conflicting Values and Difficult Choices
This report discusses various proposals to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA; P.L. 93-205, 16 U.S.C. ยงยง1531-1543). Major issues include changing the role of science in decision-making, modifying critical habitat (CH) procedures, reducing conflicts with Department of Defense activities, incorporating further protection and incentives for property owners, and increasing protection of listed species, among others.
The March 2016 Nuclear Security Summit
This report discusses the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), a biennial summit which aims to focus global attention at the highest level of government on the threat of nuclear terrorism.
Health Care for Veterans: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides responses to frequently asked questions about health care provided to veterans through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). It is intended to serve as a quick reference to provide easy access to information. Where applicable, it provides the legislative background pertaining to the question.
Overview of FY2017 Appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS)
This report tracks and describes actions taken by the Administration and Congress to provide FY2017 appropriations for the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) accounts. It also provides an overview of FY2016 appropriations for agencies and bureaus funded as part of annual CJS appropriations.
S. 852: The Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2005
This report provides an overview of S. 852, the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution (FAIR) Act of 2005. The bill would establish the Office of Asbestos Disease Compensation to award damages to asbestos claimants from the Asbestos Injury Claims Resolution Fund.
Wind Energy: Offshore Permitting
This report discusses the disputes over Corps jurisdiction prior to enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 as well as the current law applicable to siting offshore wind facilities.
Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills: FY1970-FY2016
This report includes all the pertinent information on the passage of Department of Defense (DOD) authorization and appropriations bills (fiscal years 1970-2016) through the legislative process: bill numbers, report numbers, dates reported and passed, recorded vote numbers and vote tallies, dates of passage of the conference reports with their numbers and votes, vetoes, substitutions, dates of final passage, and public law numbers.
Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law
This report presents a summary of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (MPRSA, P.L. 92-532), describing the essence of the statute. The law has two basic aims: to regulate intentional ocean disposal of materials, and to authorize related research.
Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress
This report provides a definition regarding Internet governance and how the Internet is currently governed, and discusses the role of United States government and future model of Internet governance.
Air Quality Standards and Sound Science: What Role for CASAC?
This report discusses the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), which are standards that define what EPA considers to be clean air. Their importance stems from the long and complicated implementation process that is set in motion by their establishment.
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.
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
This report discusses several programs offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help farmers recover financially from natural disasters, including drought and floods. Most programs receive funding amounts that are "such sums as necessary" and are not subject to annual discretionary appropriations.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
This report discusses major decisions on clean air issues facing the courts and the executive branch in 2006. One focus will be EPA's recent proposal to strengthen air quality standards for fine particles. Other issues of continuing interest are EPA's 2005 decisions limiting interstate transport of air pollution and establishing cap-and-trade systems for emissions from coal fired power plants, and the agency's proposed changes to New Source Review.
Water Infrastructure Project Earmarks in EPA Appropriations: Trends and Policy Implications
This report discusses appropriations for EPA water infrastructure programs, focusing on congressional earmarks in the account that funds these programs. Information on the programmatic history of EPA involvement in assisting wastewater treatment and drinking water projects is provided in two appendixes.
Sexual Violence at Institutions of Higher Education
This report provides background information on sexual violence on campus and its prevalence, descriptions of the Clery Act and Title IX, and an analysis of prominent policy and legal issues related to these two statutes. It also includes a brief description of a related third statute focused on educational privacy.
Federal Sentencing Guidelines: Background, Legal Analysis, and Policy Options
This report provides a summary of U.S. penal policy at the federal level. The report then discusses legislation that created the current federal sentencing structure, the different types of sentencing guidelines, and analyses of departures from the guidelines under the federal system and of possible policy options the 109th Congress may wish to consider if it chooses to address this issue.
Libya: Transition and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political climate in Libya. Libya's political transition has been disrupted by armed non-state groups and threatened by the indecision and infighting of interim leaders.
Nuclear Energy Policy
This report discusses the nuclear energy policy issues facing Congress that include the implementation of federal incentives for new commercial reactors, radioactive waste management policy, research and development priorities, power plant safety and regulation, nuclear weapons proliferation, and security against terrorist attacks.
Argentina: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides information and analysis relevant for Congress on the following: Assessments of U.S.-Turkey relations, Turkish foreign policy, and Turkey's strategic orientation, Turkish efforts to cooperate with the United States against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and key issues regarding Turkey's domestic politics.
China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues
This report summarizes the main findings of CRS Report RL32165, China's Currency: Economic Issues and Options for U.S. Trade Policy.
Particulate Matter (PM2.5): Implementation of the 1997 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)
Particulate matter (PM), including fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and larger, but still inhalable particles (PM10), is one of the six principal pollutants for which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) under the Clean Air Act (CAA). This report outlines the implementation process for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS and describes issues raised as EPA and states develop implementation strategies.
Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
This report will provide an overview of the current major federal loan forgiveness programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). It will also briefly summarize some of the other major federal loan forgiveness programs. Finally, it will discuss policy issues and legislation.
Supreme Court Vacancies That Arose During One Presidency and Were Filled During a Different Presidency
This report provides data and analysis related to Supreme Court vacancies since 1797 that arose during one presidency and were filled during a different presidency.
President Obama's Historic Visit to Cuba
This report briefly discusses the details of President Obama's visit to Cuba. Before the trip, the White House set forth the goals of the visit, stating that the President would build on progress toward normalizing relations, including advancing commercial and people-to-people ties and expressing support for human rights.
Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: FY2007 Appropriations
This report is a guide to one of the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It summarizes the status of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity.
The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act Is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos v. United States
This report discusses the Supreme Court decision in Rapanos v. United States, which addressed the asserted jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over wetlands adjacent to "waters of the United States," the problematic phrase used by the Clean Water Act (CWA) to define the geographic scope of the act's wetlands permitting program.
Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods
This report discusses the 2002 farm bill (P.L. 107-171) as amended by the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-246), which states that many U.S. retailers must begin providing country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for fresh produce, red meats, peanuts, chicken, ginseng, pecans, and macadamia nuts.
Burma's 2015 Parliamentary Elections: Issues for Congress
This report discusses Burma's nationwide parliamentary elections held on November 8, 2015. The victory of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) against President Thein Sein's Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) may alter the path of the country's political development. As a consequence, the Obama Administration and/or Congress may seek to adjust U.S. policies and the current approach to U.S. relations with Burma.
Western Water Resource Issues
This report discusses the debate over western water resources, which revolves around the issue of how best to plan for and manage the use of this renewable, yet sometimes scarce and increasingly sought after, resource.
Air Quality: EPA's 2006 Changes to the Particulate Matter (PM) Standard
On October 17, 2006,3 the EPA published its revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulates to provide protection against potential health effects associated with short- and long-term exposure to particulate matter (including chronic respiratory disease and premature mortality). In order to better understand EPA's actions, this report provides an analysis of the agency's final 2006 revisions to the particulates NAAQS, and the estimated costs and benefits of the new standards and of more stringent alternatives analyzed.
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). The Coast Guard's proposed FY2017 budget requests a total of $467 million in acquisition funding for the three programs.
Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) Program: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses frequently asked questions regarding the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) program, which was established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and aims to foster the creation of CO-OPs--nonprofit, member-run health insurance issuers that sell health plans in states in which they are licensed.
Health Care for Dependents and Survivors of Veterans
This report discusses the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA), which is primarily a health insurance program where certain eligible dependents and survivors of veterans receive care from private sector health care providers. The report provides information regarding eligibility requirements, available benefits, and payment structures.
FEMA Flood Map Modernization Funding
This report discusses the implementation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s Flood Map Modernization (Map Mod) Initiative (FMMI) and its ongoing Map Mod program. FEMA introduced the FMMI in September 1997 as a strategic plan to convert paper flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) to digital electronic format, or DFIRMs.
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.