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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Securing Nuclear Materials: The 2010 Summit and Issues for Congress
This report discusses domestic and global nuclear security measures. It talks about the challenges to achieve the four year goal, the multilateral efforts to improve nuclear security, and the role of nongovernmental organization and the nuclear industry. The report concludes that Congress will continue to decide on funding for the U.S. domestic and international programs focused on nuclear material security and nuclear terrorism prevention.
Veterans' Benefits: The Impact of Military Discharges on Basic Eligibility
This report discusses the discharge or separation requirement for veteran status or, more specifically, how the VA assesses character of service to determine whether a former servicemember's separation from the military can be considered other than dishonorable.
Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions
This report identifies the legislative bases for sanctions imposed on Iran, and the nature of the authority to waive or lift those restrictions. It comprises two tables that present legislation and executive orders that are specific to Iran and its objectionable activities in the areas of terrorism, human rights, and weapons proliferation.
The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR): Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides answers to 25 frequently asked questions regarding the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). These questions and their answers are organized into six broad categories, including (1) what the FAR is and what it covers; (2) promulgation of the FAR; (3) the relationship between the FAR and other authorities governing federal procurement (e.g., statutes, agency FAR supplements, other regulations, policies); (4) the FAR in relation to Congress and judicial and other tribunals; (5) the relationship between the FAR and federal procurement contracts; and (6) other topics.
U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions
This report discusses the four major principles underlie current U.S. policy on permanent immigration: the reunification of families, the admission of immigrants with needed skills, the protection of refugees, and the diversity of admissions by country of origin.
Navy SSBN(X) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Navy's plan to develop and design a class of 12 next-generation ballistic missile submarines, or SSBN(X)s, as replacements for the 14 Ohio class SSBNs currently in operation. The report explores certain related issues for Congress, including the affordability of the project and its potential impact on other Navy shipbuilding programs, alternatives to the program, and which shipyard or shipyards will build the proposed ships.
Emergency Communications: The Future of 911
This report discusses possible paths toward the modernization of the 911 infrastructure. Efforts to splice newer, digital technologies onto the aging infrastructure have created points of failure where a call can be dropped or misdirected, sometimes with tragic consequences.
East Asian Regional Architecture: New Economic and Security Arrangements and U.S. Policy
The purpose of this report is to examine the developing regional architecture--the growing trade, financial, and political arrangements among countries of East Asia--and what that implies for U.S. interests and policy. The focus is on China, South Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia with some mention of links with Australia and New Zealand. The types of arrangements include bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs), regional trade pacts, currency and monetary arrangements, and political and security arrangements.
International Drug Control Policy: Background and U.S. Responses
The global illegal drug trade represents a multi-dimensional challenge that has implications for U.S. national interests as well as the international community. This report discusses U.S. international policy frameworks and approaches in response to the issue.
Chemical Facility Security: Reauthorization, Policy Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides a brief overview of the existing statutory authority and the regulation implementing this authority. It describes several policy issues raised in previous debates regarding chemical facility security. The report identifies policy options that might resolve components of these issues. Finally, legislation introduced in the 111th Congress is discussed.
Government Interventions in Response to Financial Turmoil
This report reviews new programs introduced and other actions taken by the Treasury, Federal Reserve, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in response to the recent financial crisis. It does not cover longstanding programs such as the Fed's discount window and FDIC receivership of failed banks.
Domestic Human Trafficking Legislation in the 114th Congress
This report discusses domestic human trafficking-related issues that have received legislative action or are of significant interest in the 114th Congress.
A Guide to Describing the Income Distribution
This report provides descriptive analysis of the U.S. income distribution to illustrate various concepts. First, it examines the complexities of income measurement and important definitional and data considerations to bear in mind when using and interpreting income statistics. Next, it describes two popular data sources used to study the U.S. income distribution, followed by sections on statistics commonly used to provide point-in-time analysis and to compare U.S. income across groups, time, and location. The report concludes with an explanation of the Gini index.
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report discusses the Navy's plans regarding the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The LCS is a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages. The Navy wants to field a force of 55 LCSs.
The U.S. Tsunami Program: A Brief Overview
This report provides an introduction to U.S. Tsunami warning centers and discusses the national Tsunami hazard mitigation program.
Economic Effects of a Budget Deficit Exceeding $1 Trillion
This report evaluates questions regarding whether the current deficit is manageable and what effects it will have on the economy.
U.S. Immigration Policy on Haitian Migrants
This report discusses whether the balance should tip more toward humanitarian immigration policies as a consequence of the humanitarian crises that resulted from the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
Increased Campaign Contribution Limits in the FY2015 Omnibus Appropriations Law: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides brief answers to frequently asked questions about increased campaign contribution limits in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.R. 83; P.L. 113-235), enacted and signed into law in December 2014.
North Korea: Economic Leverage and Policy Analysis
This report examines the economic side of U.S. leverage with North Korea and reviews U.S. policy and legislation. The security side of U.S.-DPRK relations is addressed in other CRS reports.
U.S.-Japan Economic Relations: Significance, Prospects, and Policy Options
his report explores the significance and state of U.S.-Japan economic ties; how the ties have changed over time; and what the possible options for managing the relationship might be.
Tax Provisions that Expired in 2014 ("Tax Extenders")
This report provides a broad overview of the tax extenders that retroactively extend expired tax provisions, including the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, which made tax provisions that had expired at the end of 2013 available to taxpayers for the 2014 tax year.
The Berry Amendment: Requiring Defense Procurement to Come from Domestic Sources
This report examines the original intent and purpose of the Berry Amendment and legislative proposals to amend the application of domestic source restrictions, as well as options for Congress.
Interest Payments on the Federal Debt: A Primer
This report provides a brief overview of the federal debt and net interest payments. Of the three broad categories of federal spending, the only category that cannot be reduced by legislative action is net interest payments. The report provides information about federal debt, interest payments on the federal dept, and determinants of net interest payments.
The U.S. Motor Vehicle Industry: Confronting a New Dynamic in the Global Economy
This report provides an in-depth analysis of the 2009 crisis in the U.S. auto industry and its prospects for regaining domestic and global competitiveness. It also analyzes business and policy issues arising from the unprecedented restructurings that occurred within the industry. The starting point for this analysis is June-July 2009, with General Motors Company (GM or new GM) and Chrysler Group LLC (or new Chrysler) incorporated as new companies, having selectively acquired many, but not all, assets from their predecessor companies.
Border Security: The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol
This report discusses the United States Border Patrol's history as our nation's first line of defense against unauthorized migration. Today, the USBP's primary mission is to detect and prevent the entry of terrorists, weapons of mass destruction, and illegal aliens into the country, and to interdict drug smugglers and other criminals along the border.
U.S.-Mexico Economic Relations: Trends, Issues, and Implications
This report provides an overview of U.S.-Mexico economic relations, trade trends, the Mexican economy, NAFTA, and trade issues between the United States and Mexico.
Kenya: Current Conditions and the Challenges Ahead
This report discusses the current political conditions of Kenya, which has long been an important ally of the United States. The report focuses particularly on the December 2007 elections, which many international observers have declared as rigged and deeply flawed. The report also discusses violence that erupted once election results were announced, as well as U.S. efforts to urge Kenya toward election reforms.
U.S. Citizens Kidnapped by the Islamic State
This report briefly examines the kidnapping and killing of U.S. citizens by the terrorist group known as the Islamic State (IS).
Alien Legalization and Adjustment of Status: A Primer
This report summarizes the main avenues for foreign nationals currently in the United States--legally or illegally--to become LPRs. Alien legalization or "amnesty," as well as adjustment of status and cancellation of removal options, are briefly discussed. Designed as a primer on the issues, the report provides references to other CRS products that track pertinent legislation and analyze these issues more fully.
Government Access to Phone Calling Activity and Related Records: Legal Authorities
This report summarizes legal authorities regarding access by the government, for either foreign intelligence or law enforcement purposes, to information related to telephone calling patterns or practices. Where pertinent, it also discusses statutory prohibitions against accessing or disclosing such information, along with relevant exceptions to those prohibitions.
The Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation Expensing Allowances: Current Law and Issues for the 114th Congress
This report examines the current status, legislative history, and main economic effects (including their efficacy as an economic stimulus tool) of the Section 179 and bonus depreciation allowances. It concludes with a discussion of the key policy issues facing the 114th Congress as it considers what to do with the allowances that expired at the end of 2014.
Biennial Budgeting: Options, Issues, and Previous Congressional Action
This report provides background on options, issues, and previous congressional action related to biennial budgeting. It includes descriptions of the types of biennial budgeting, general arguments favoring and opposing biennial budgeting, biennial budgeting at the state level, and relevant Congressional actions.
Legislative Options After Citizens United v. FEC: Constitutional and Legal Issues
This report provides a background on legislative options after Citizens United v. FEC. The report discusses increased disclaimer requirements, disclosure of donors to organizations, restrictions on foreign-owned corporations, and taxation of corporate campaign-related expenditures.
Cluster Munitions: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the background of cluster munitions in the U.S. military, and the current Department of Defense (DOD) and Obama Administration stances on the topic. It also discusses the two major international initiatives to address cluster munitions: the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) and negotiations under the U.N. Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW).
Earthquakes: Risk, Detection, Warning, and Research
This report discusses: The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program NEHRP; earthquake hazards and risk in the United States; federal programs that support earthquake monitoring; the U.S. capability to detect earthquakes and issue notifications and warnings; and federally supported research to improve the fundamental scientific understanding of earthquakes with a goal of reducing U.S. vulnerability.
Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
This report presents an overview of the large and diverse sector of water infrastructure systems, describes security-related actions by the government and private sector since September 11, 2001, and discusses additional policy issues and responses, including congressional interest.
This report discusses the political climate, development challenges and reform in Nigeria. The report also considers the social issues and security concerns of Nigeria. In addition, other issues are mentioned, as Congress provides oversight for over $600 million in U.S. foreign assistance programs to Nigeria.
Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses issues Congress faces regarding the Navy's proposed FY2011 budget, particularly as relating to destroyer procurement plans and programs.
Food Safety Issues for the 114th Congress
This report discusses pertinent issues for Congress in regards to food safety legislation.
Trade in Services: The Doha Development Agenda Negotiations and U.S. Goals
The report provides a brief background section on the significance of trade in services to the U.S. economy. It then explains briefly the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the structure and agenda of the services negotiations in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) round, including U.S. objectives in the negotiations. The report concludes with a status report on the negotiations and an examination of potential results.
Tax Options for Financing Health Care Reform
This report reviews the revenue raisers proposed to fund health care reform. Other financing proposals are presented including those made by the Obama Administration and those introduced in earlier congressional work. The final sections discuss other proposals suggested by the round-table discussion participants.
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs
This report describes several pension benefit programs for veterans and their families, including the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels.
Congressional Membership and Appointment Authority to Advisory Commissions, Boards, and Groups
This report contains a compilation of commissions and boards that demonstrate the range of alternative membership-appointment structures. It includes any statutorily-created advisory entity (boards, advisory panels, etc.) whose membership scheme mandates the participation of members of Congress either as potential members or as participants in the process of appointing the membership. For each entity, information on the purpose, duration, appointment structure, and term of appointment is provided. Finally, information on the involvement of members of Congress in the appointment process is presented in a series of tables.
Alien Removals and Returns: Overview and Trends
This report provides an overview of the statutory framework for alien removal and briefly describes the standard removal process. It also describes several streamlined forms of removal, and two alternative forms of removal (often referred to as returns) that exempt aliens from certain penalties associated with formal removal: voluntary departure and withdrawal of petition for admission. In addition, the report discusses recent trends in removals and returns, and concludes with a summary of potential avenues for relief from removal.
Freedom of Information Act Legislation in the 114th Congress: Issue Summary and Side-by- Side Analysis
This report provides an overview of two The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) bills in the 114th Congress, S. 337 and H.R. 653, and provides analysis of certain FOIA-related provisions within each.
Homeland Security Appropriations: FY2015 Action in the 114th Congress
This report provides a brief outline of the FY2015 annual appropriations measure for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its enactment by the 114th Congress.
U.S. Natural Gas Exports: New Opportunities, Uncertain Outcomes
This report examines what has changed in the U.S. natural gas market and the prospects and implications of the United States becoming a larger net exporter of natural gas. Bills to expedite and expand liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports have been introduced in the 114th Congress, including the LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act (H.R. 351 and S. 33), the American Job Creation and Strategic Alliances LNG Act (H.R. 287), the Crude Oil Export Act (H.R. 156), the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act (H.R. 89), and the Export American Natural Gas Act of 2015 (H.R. 428).
Illegal Drug Trade in Africa: Trends and U.S. Policy
This report provides an introduction to the rising drug trafficking threat and discusses the drug trafficking trends in Africa and the U.S. policy.
House Committee Funding Requests and Authorizations, 104th-113th Congresses
This report describes the House Committee funding process provides tables for each of the Congresses from the 104th through the 113th containing committee funding requests and authorizations as adopted pursuant to primary expense authorizations.
Jordan: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Jordanian politics and current issues in U.S.-Jordanian relations. It provides a brief discussion of Jordan's government and economy and of its cooperation with U.S. policy objectives in the Middle East, including the promotion of Arab-Israeli peace.