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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Delegates to the U.S. Congress: History and Current Status
This report provides historical background on the development of the position of delegate to Congress and on the rights of a delegate once seated. Delegates, representing territories that had not yet achieved statehood, have served in the House since the late 1700s. In the 20th century, the concept of delegate grew to include representation of territories where the United States exercises some degree of control but were not expected to become states.
The 2015 National Military Strategy: Background and Questions for Congress
This report discusses the National Military Strategy (NMS) that describes a global environment marked by increasing interdependence, complexity, and the diffusion of information and technologies across state boundaries.
Pakistan's Capital Crisis: Implications for U.S. Policy
This report discusses Pakistan's capital crisis. In the autumn of 2008, Pakistan was in urgent need of an estimated $4 billion in capital to avoid defaulting on its sovereign debt. The elected government of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani sought short-term financial assistance from a number of sources, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), China, and an informal group of nations (including the United States) known as the "Friends of Pakistan."
Federal Securities Law: Insider Trading
This report discusses various regulations regarding insider trading violations. Insider trading in securities may occur when a person in possession of material nonpublic information about a company trades in the company's securities and makes a profit or avoids a loss.
Automobile and Light Truck Fuel Economy: The CAFE Standards
This report discusses the current corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard, and the major issues on the CAFE debate. The report also offers an overview of Congressional interest in CAFE (1991-2005), and explains the CAFE and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.
Central Asia's Security: Issues and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report discusses the internal and external security concerns of the Central Asian states. Security concerns faced by the states include mixes of social disorder, crime, corruption, terrorism, ethnic and civil conflict, border tensions, water and transport disputes, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and trafficking in illegal narcotics and persons.
Military Recruitment Provisions Under the No Child Left Behind Act: A Legal Analysis
This report describes the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) military recruitment provisions and discusses the legal issues that they may raise if the 111th Congress considers reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The NCLBA amended the ESEA to say that high schools receiving federal funds must provide certain student contact information to military recruiters upon request and must allow recruiters to have the same access to students as employers and colleges.
Disability Evaluation of Military Servicemembers
This report is intended as a primer to describe disability evaluation in general, including evaluations used by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), in addition to civilian evaluations used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and by workers' compensation programs. It also describes the DOD and VA disability rating processes in greater detail as well as recent congressional and executive actions and recommendations regarding DOD and VA disability evaluations.
Multiemployer Defined Benefit (DB) Pension Plans: A Primer and Analysis of Policy Options
This report discusses the nature of multiemployer defined benefit (DB) pension plans, and issues regarding their financial solvency. DB pension plans are sponsored by more than one employer and maintained as part of a collective bargaining agreement.
The Marines' Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), which is an armored amphibious vehicle program that originated in the 1980s to replace the 1970s-era Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV). This report also explores the developmental difficulties experienced by the EFV program and discusses potential related issues for Congress.
Policy Implications of the Internet of Things
This report briefly discusses the Internet of Things (IoT), which is an umbrella term that many policymakers use to refer to the technologies and network structures that interconnect objects, humans, and animals to collect and analyze data and manage processes.
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).
North Korean Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States
This report briefly reviews North Korea's ballistic missile program. In summer 2007, North Korea tested modern, short-range missiles. In February 2009, South Korea reported the DPRK had deployed a new intermediate-range missile.
Mass Murder with Firearms: Incidents and Victims, 1999-2013
This report analyzes mass shootings for a 15-year period (1999-2013). CRS analysis of the FBI SHR dataset and other research indicates that offenders committed at least 317 mass shootings, murdered 1,554 victims, and nonfatally wounded another 441 victims entirely with firearms during that 15-year period. The prevalence of mass shooting incidents and victim counts fluctuated sporadically from year to year.
Retroactive Immunity Provided by the FISA Amendments Act of 2008
This report discusses the various retroactive immunity mechanisms that were proposed to be included in the FISA Amendments Act, one of which was ultimately adopted, and their likely effect on lawsuits facing telecommunications providers.
China-U.S. Relations in the 110th Congress: Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy
This report deals with U.S.-China relations during the 110th Congress (2007-2008) and with a number of key events involving China during the two-year period. These events included: China's anti-satellite weapon test (January 2007); the 17th Party Congress (October 2007); a crackdown against demonstrations in Tibet (March 2008); the election of a new, pro-engagement government in Taiwan (March 2008); the massive Sichuan earthquake (May 2008); and Beijing's hosting of the 2008 Olympics (August 2008).
Capturing CO2 from Coal-Fired Power Plants: Challenges for a Comprehensive Strategy
This report examines the current effort to develop technology that would capture CO2 (carbon dioxide). It outlines the current status of carbon capture technology; examines the role of government in developing that technology, both in terms of creating a market for carbon capture technology and encouraging development of the technology; and concludes with a discussion of implications of capture technology for climate change legislation.
Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court
This report provides an overview of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) procedures. It summarizes relevant court cases and the effect of the Detainee Treatment Act, as well as pending legislation. The report also provides an analysis of relevant constitutional issues that may have some bearing on Congress's options with respect to detainees held at Guantanamo and elsewhere.
Long-Range Ballistic Missile Defense in Europe
This report discusses long-range ballistic missile defense in Europe. It includes background information on the topic, the particular threat, and the system to be used, as well as locations (Poland and the Czech Republic), policy issues, congressional actions, and related information.
Who Is a "Veteran"?--Basic Eligibility for Veterans' Benefits
This report examines the basic eligibility criteria for Veterans' Administration (VA) benefits, including the eligibility of members of the National Guard and reserve components.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political and economic landscape of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its relationship with the U.S. The UAE has been a significant U.S. partner in Gulf security for more than two decades, and the alliance has deepened further in recent years in order to address multiple regional threats.
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This report is a list of about 200 congressional liaison offices, intended to help congressional offices in placing telephone calls and addressing correspondence to government agencies. In each case, the information was supplied by the agency itself and is current as of the date of publication. Entries are arranged alphabetically in four sections: legislative branch; judicial branch; executive branch; and agencies, boards, and commissions.
GAO Bid Protests: Trends, Analysis, and Options for Congress
This report is one of two providing Congress with background on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) bid-protest process. It analyzes (1) trends in bid protests filed with GAO, (2) the impact bid protests have in delaying contracts, (3) the most common grounds for GAO to sustain a protest, and (4) trends in bid protests filed against the Department of Defense (DOD).
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs
This report discusses selected veteran pension programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This report also discusses the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels of these programs and provides data on the number of pension beneficiaries and average annual benefit amounts for FY1999 through FY2013.
House Committee Hearings: Preparation
This report contains a checklist that identifies many of the tasks that need to be performed for committee hearings. Committee hearings provide Representatives an opportunity to gather information on, and draw attention to, legislation and issues within a committee's purview; conduct oversight of programs or agencies; and investigate allegations of mismanagement or wrongdoing.
Calendars of the House of Representatives
This report describes the use of "calendars" in the House of Representatives, referring to (1) lists of measures and motions eligible for consideration and (2) documents that contain the eligible motions and information about the status of legislation.
Organization of American States: Background and Issues for Congress
This report briefly looks at the history of the Organization of American States (OAS) and its principal institutional bodies, and examines the organization's funding and current priorities. It also discusses a number of policy issues that have drawn congressional interest in recent years, including the reintegration of Cuba into the inter-American system, the application of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, potential reforms of the inter- American human rights system, the management and budget of the OAS, and the establishment of regional organizations that could serve as possible alternatives to the OAS.
Visa Waiver Program
This report discusses the visa waiver program (VWP), which allows for a bypass of the first step by which foreign visitors are screened 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.
Microbeads: An Emerging Water Quality Issue
This report discusses the debate over how to address growing environmental concerns regarding microbeads (synthetic particles made of either polyethylene or polypropylene plastic) and whether federal regulation to control or ban them is needed. A number of companies are voluntarily removing microbeads from their products, and some states--eight so far--have passed laws to ban manufacture and sale of products with microbeads.
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Resources for Frequently Asked Questions
This report contains links to contacts for specific Affordable Care Act (ACA) questions and provides basic consumer sources, including a glossary of health coverage terms. It also provides sources on the ACA's provisions on mental health, public health, workforce, quality, and taxes, as well as sources on ACA costs and appropriations, legal issues, the treatment of noncitizens under the ACA, and sources for obtaining the law's full text.
Drug Testing and Crime-Related Restrictions in TANF, SNAP, and Housing Assistance
This report describes and compares the drug- and crime-related policy restrictions contained in selected federal programs that provide assistance to low-income individuals and families: the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps), and the three primary federal housing assistance programs (the public housing program, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, and the project-based Section 8 rental assistance program).
Selected Recently Expired Individual Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders"): In Brief
This report briefly summarizes and discusses four items categorized as individual tax provisions that are regularly extended for one or two years (tax extenders). These items include deductions for elementary and secondary school teachers, deductions for state and local taxes, deductions for tuition and related expenses, and exclusions for employer-provided transit and parking benefits.
Appropriations Report Language: Overview of Development, Components, and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of appropriations report language. In current practice, report language does not accompany formulaic continuing resolutions (CRs), even if funds are provided in this manner for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Sanctuary Jurisdictions and Criminal Aliens: In Brief
This report examines the interplay between the federal government -- i.e., Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) -- and state and local jurisdictions in enforcing immigration law, with a specific focus on noncitizens who have been convicted of a crime. It briefly outlines the evolution of the cooperation among law enforcement agencies, then discusses current administrative efforts to involve state and local law enforcement, and explores major programs and federal resources available to those agencies that cooperate with ICE to enforce immigration law.
Department of Defense Contractor and Troop Levels in Iraq and Afghanistan: 2007-2014
This report provides background information for Congress on troop and contractor levels in the Department of Defense (DOD) in support of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Federal R&D, Drug Discovery, and Pricing: Insights from the NIH-University-Industry Relationship
This report explores the reasons behind government funding of research and development and subsequent efforts to facilitate private sector commercialization of the results of such work, without addressing issues associated with drug costs or pricing. It particularly looks at the manner in which the National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports research to encourage the development of new pharmaceuticals and therapeutics, particularly through cooperative activities among academia, industry, and government.
Army Corps of Engineers: Water Resource Authorizations, Appropriations, and Activities
This report summarizes congressional authorization and appropriations processes for the Army Corps of Engineers and agency activities under general authorities. Congress directs the Corps through authorizations, appropriations, and oversight of its studies, construction projects, and other activities.
United States Fire Administration: An Overview
This report discusses the United States Fire Administration (USFA), which aims to significantly reduce the nation's loss of life from fire, while also achieving a reduction in property loss and non-fatal injury due to fire.
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents
This report provides a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security. Cybersecurity vulnerabilities challenge governments, businesses, and individuals worldwide. Attacks have various targets, depending upon whether the attacker was seeking military intelligence, conducting diplomatic or industrial espionage, engaging in cybercrime, or intimidating political activists; additionally attributing an attack to a specific location can be difficult, which may make responding problematic.
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents
This report provides links to cybersecurity committee hearings and legislation from the 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses, as well as a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security. Summaries of activities and findings are included as a series of tables.
The Evolving Broadband Infrastructure: Expansion, Applications, and Regulation
This report discusses issues for policymakers regarding how to craft a comprehensive broadband strategy that not only addresses broadband availability and adoption problems, but also addresses the long term impacts of next-generation networks on consumer use of the Internet and a regulatory framework that must keep pace with evolving telecommunications technology.
Small Business Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
This report provides an overview of key provisions related to the Small Business Administration (SBA), based on appropriations in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, P.L. 111-5).
GAO Bid Protests: Trends and Analysis
This report is one of two providing Congress with background on the GAO bid-protest process. It analyzes trends in bid protests filed with GAO, why companies protest, the impact bid protests have on acquisitions, the most common grounds for GAO to sustain a protest, and trends in bid protests filed against DOD.
Corporate Tax Reform: Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of corporate tax issues and discusses potential reforms in the context of these issues, with particular attention to some of the recent research concerning large behavioral responses and their implications for revenue and distribution.
U.S. Accession to ASEAN's Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC)
This report analyze the legal and diplomatic issues involved with the possible accession of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (ASEAN) Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) by the United States. It is expected that this process could be concluded within the year.
Estimates of Carbon Mitigation Potential from Agricultural and Forestry Activities
This report presents a brief overview of the available estimates from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carbon mitigation studies, and then discusses some of the limitations of the available data and modeling results. It includes informationa bout estimated current emissions and sequestration, estimated addtional potential sequestration, limitations of mitigation potential estimates, and considerations for Congress.
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation.
Executive Branch Reorganization and Management Initiatives: A Brief Overview
This report provides a brief overview of recent executive branch reorganization actions and related management initiatives. It reviews the relevant plans and preparations of President-elect Barack Obama as the new Administration transitions to assuming management of the executive branch. Briefly examined, as well, are the organization and management efforts of the most recent regimes.
Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 111th Congress
This report summarizes key issues in domestic public health and medical preparedness and response, citing other CRS Reports and sources of additional information. Key recent events--the 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and concerns about an influenza ("flu") pandemic, among others--sharpened congressional interest in the nation's systems to track and respond to public health threats.
The European Union: Questions and Answers
This report serves as a primer on the European Union (EU) and provides a brief description of U.S.-EU relations that may be of interest in the 114th Congress. The EU is a political and economic partnership that represents a unique form of cooperation among sovereign countries, comprising 28 member states, including most of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe; the group has helped to promote peace, stability, and economic prosperity throughout the European continent.