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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Federal Disaster Assistance Response and Recovery Programs: Brief Summaries
This report is designed to assist Members of Congress and their staff as they address the needs of their states, communities, and constituents after a disaster. It includes a summary of federal programs that provide federal disaster assistance to individual survivors, states, territories, local governments, and nongovernmental entities following a natural or man-made disaster.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Background and Policy Issues
This report provides an overview of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child's (CRC) background and structure and examines evolving U.S. policy toward the Convention, including past and current Administration positions and congressional perspectives. It also highlights issues for the 112th Congress, including the Convention's possible impact on federal and state laws, U.S. sovereignty, parental rights, and U.S. family planning and abortion policy.
The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009
This report reviews and briefly describes the proposals contained in H.R. 3221 to amend programs authorized under HEA and to establish and fund additional new education programs. It will be updated as warranted to track legislative developments.
Honduran-U.S. Relations
This report examines current political and economic conditions in Honduras as well as issues in Honduran-U.S. relations.
Ex-Im Bank's General Statutory Authority Expires
This report discusses the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank), a wholly owned federal government corporation which seeks to provide direct loans, loan guarantees, and export credit insurance to: (1) support exports that the private sector is unwilling or unable to finance alone at commercially viable terms; and/or (2) counter government-backed financing offered by foreign countries through their export credit agency (ECA).
Iran's 2009 Presidential Elections
This report analyzes and discusses Iran's 2009 presidential election, particularly the campaigns of reformist candidate Mir Hussein Musavi and incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Allegations of vote rigging and election fraud have led to protests by supporters of candidate Musavi and have provoked international attention.
Burma's Parliament Defeats Constitutional Amendments
This report discusses the recent defeat of 5 proposed constitutional amendments in Burma that arguably could have advanced democratic reforms in which Congress has shown an interest.
U.S.-Iraq Agreements: Congressional Oversight Activities and Legislative Response
This report provides detailed information and analysis on the specific oversight activities of Congress concerning the U.S.-Iraq agreements signed on November 17, 2008. The report is divided into three main parts.
Proposed Termination of Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F136 Alternate Engine
This report discusses Department of Defense's (DOD) FY2009 budget, and the funding of F136 alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), a program that was initiated by Congress in the FY1996 Defense Authorization Act.
Climate Change Litigation: A Survey
This report focuses on the legal debate surrounding climate change. Though the first court decision related to climate change appeared 19 years ago, such litigation has proliferated in just the past six.
Iraq: Post-Saddam Governance and Security
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides examples of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran, based on a wide range of open-source reporting.
Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E): Background, Status, and Selected Issues for Congress
This report discusses the establishment of the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) within the Department of Energy (DOE) as part of the America COMPETES Act (P.L. 110-69), which was authorized by Congress in August 2007. Modeled on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), ARPA-E would support transformational energy technology research projects with the goal of enhancing the nation's economic and energy security.
The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): Issues for Congress
This report discusses the role of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), including an overview of the history of science and technology advice to the President, issues and options for Congress regarding (OSTP) Director, OSTP management and operations, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). The report also discusses actions taken by the Obama Administration regarding OSTP.
China and the Global Financial Crisis: Implications for the United States
This report discusses the economy of China and how it is has been affected by the recent economic downturn. China has recently enjoyed one of the world's fastest-growing economies and has been a major contributor to world economic growth, but several Chinese industries have been hard by the crisis, and millions of workers have been laid off.
The Help America Vote Act and Election Administration: Overview and Issues
This report discusses the Help America Vote Act (HAVA; P.L. 107-252) enacted in 2002. It provides background information about HAVA and its provisions, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), funding for the agency and for state programs to improve elections, and a number of enduring election administration issues.
U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress
This report discusses policy issues regarding military-to-military (mil-to-mil) contacts with the People's Republic of China (PRC) and provides a record of major contacts and crises since 1993. The United States suspended military contacts with China and imposed sanctions on arms sales in response to the Tiananmen Crackdown in 1989.
Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Comparison of Legislative Proposals in the 114th Congress
This report compares two House bills and one Senate bill that address information sharing and related activities in cybersecurity. The report consists of an overview of those and other legislative proposals on information sharing, along with selected associated issues, followed by a side-by-side analysis of the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015 (NCPAA), the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (PCNA), and the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA).
Market-Based Greenhouse Gas Control: Selected Proposals in the 111th Congress
This report discusses several legislative proposals that would control greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The proposals offered to date would employ market-based approaches--either a cap-and-trade or carbon tax system, or some combination thereof--to reduce GHG emissions.
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
Over the years, the United States has been concerned about threats to Latin American and Caribbean nations from various terrorist or insurgent groups that have attempted to influence or overthrow elected governments. This report discusses these concerns and briefly takes a look at the United States' increased cooperation with the region in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Background and Issues
This is one part in the series of reports that provide a background and analysis, and most recent developments regarding broadband or high-speed Internet access. The report starts out by answering questions; what is broadband and why is it important? This report also discusses broadband technologies, the status of broadband deployment and the related policy issues, as well as the legislation in congress.
Crisis in Greece: Political Implications
This report briefly discusses the political crisis resulting from what began as a debt crisis in Greece in late 2009. Many analysts believe that this political crisis could represent the most significant setback in over 60 years of European integration.
Federal Lands Provisions of Economic Stimulus Legislation (P.L. 111-5)
This report discusses the major federal lands provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5, H.R. 1). It focuses on provisions in the law related to four federal agencies: the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service. These provisions relate to construction, resource management, and wildland fire management.
Health Care Reform: An Introduction
This report provides an introduction to health care reform. It focuses on three predominant concerns--coverage, cost and spending, and quality--and some of the legislative issues within which they likely will be debated--the scope of reform (particularly whether Medicare and Medicaid should be included); the choice between public and private coverage; whether employment-based insurance should be strengthened, weakened, or left alone; and what role states might play.
Second FY2008 Supplemental Appropriations for Military Operations, International Affairs, and Other Purposes
This report discusses the expanded GI bill, which provides educational benefits, offset by a tax surcharge, extends unemployment compensation payments, delays new Medicaid regulations that would reduce payments to the states, and provides $20 billion for a number of domestic and international affairs programs, including gulf coast hurricane protection and emergency international food aid.
Analysis of Selected Legislative Proposals Addressing Guantanamo Detainees
This report discusses the approaches that selected legislative proposals take regarding Guantanamo detainees.
Project BioShield: Purposes and Authorities
This report discusses the three main provisions of Project BioShield, funding for Project BioShield, and additional measures that Congress has considered since Project BioShield's implementation to further encourage CBRN countermeasure development.
Pay for Performance: Linking Employee Pay to Performance Appraisal
This report discusses issues related to measuring performance across the federal government, and analyzes a variety of methods utilized by the government to measure employee performance and its linkage to pay.
Stafford Act Declarations 1953-2014: Trends, Analyses, and Implications for Congress
This report discusses the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, which authorizes the President to issue declarations that provide states and localities with a range of federal assistance in response to natural and man-made incidents.
FY2008 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for International Affairs
This report analyzes the international affairs portion of the request and tracks related legislative activity. The White House had submitted emergency supplemental requests to Congress for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and international affairs programs totaling $196.5 billion
The Department of Homeland Security Intelligence Enterprise: Operational Overview and Oversight Challenges for Congress
This report provides an overview of Department of Homeland Security Intelligence (DHSI) both at headquarters and within the components. It examines how DHSI is organized and supports key departmental activities to include homeland security analysis and threat warning; border security; critical infrastructure protection; and support to, and the sharing of information with, state, local, tribal, and private sector partners. It also discusses several oversight challenges and options that Congress may consider on certain issues.
Judge Sonia Sotomayor: Analysis of Selected Opinions
This report provides an analysis of selected opinions authored by Judge Sotomayor during her tenure as a judge on the Second Circuit. Discussions of the selected opinions are grouped according to various topics of legal significance.
35 Years of Water Policy: The 1973 National Water Commission and Present Challenges
This report presents the National Water Commission's (NWC) recommendations and analyzes how issues targeted by the recommendations have evolved during the intervening years. The report focuses on key federal-level recommendations, thereby targeting what has been accomplished since 1973, what issues remain unresolved, and what additional concerns have developed.
Protecting Civil Aviation from Cyberattacks
This report briefly discusses cyber-security issues in civil aviation. unclear. A recent probe into alleged hacking incidents unfolded just weeks after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) alerted airlines to be on the lookout for passengers trying to tap into aircraft electronics and for evidence of tampering or network intrusions.
Airport Passenger Screening: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses challenges the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will likely face to address projected growth in passenger airline travel while maintaining and improving upon the efficiency and effectiveness of passenger screening operations.
Legislative Research for Congressional Staff: How to Find Documents and Other Resources
This report is one of a series of reports on legislative process and research; it is intended to serve as a finding aid to sources of information, such as documents, news articles, analysis, contacts and services, used in legislative research.
Somalia: Current Conditions and Prospects for a Lasting Peace
This report discusses the political climate of Somalia, which has undergone extreme unrest for years. The report focuses on events since October 2002. The report also discusses the U.S. relationship with Somalia under the Obama Administration, including U.S. economic assistance given to Somalia and U.S. efforts to contain Somalian terrorist groups.
The America COMPETES Act and the FY2009 Budget
This report discusses in detail the America COMPETES Act, which is intended to increase the nation's investment in research and development (R&D), and in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This report discusses the funding increases authorized by the act for various relevant institutions; the act's education activities intended to enhance the skills of STEM educators; and if Congress will continue to similarly fund the America COMPETES Act in the FY2010 budget.
NATO in Afghanistan: A Test of the Transatlantic Alliance
This report discusses the mission of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Afghanistan, the purpose of which is to stabilize and reconstruct Afghanistan by combating emerging threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This report also discusses how the Obama Administration has made the Afghanistan conflict a policy priority, and what this stance could mean for potential future endeavors.
Navy DDG-1000 and DDG-51 Destroyer Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information on DDG-1000 (Zumwalt) program. The report discusses Navy's proposed FY2010 budget requests $1,084.2 million to complete the cost of a third Zumwalt (DDG-1000) class destroyer that was authorized but only partially funded in FY2009,
The United States and Europe: Current Issues
This report examines the current state of the transatlantic relationship and discusses some key issues which may have implications for U.S. interests during the 111th Congress.
Operation Iraqi Freedom: Strategies, Approaches, Results, and Issues for Congress
This report is designed to provide an assessment of current Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) developments, in the context of relevant background, in order to support congressional consideration of short-term and long-term strategy and policy issues.
Geospatial Information and Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Current Issues and Future Challenges
This report provides a primer on geospatial data and GIS and provides several examples of their use. The report discusses issues that may be of interest to Congress: sharing, coordination, and management of geospatial information, including examples of legislation. Finally, recommendations are included from several organizations for how to improve the coordination and management of geospatial information at the federal and state levels.
Somalia: Current Conditions and Prospects for a Lasting Peace
This report discusses the political climate of Somalia, which has undergone extreme unrest for years. The report focuses on events since October 2002. The report also discusses the U.S. relationship with Somalia under the Obama Administration, including U.S. economic assistance given to Somalia and U.S. efforts to contain Somalian terrorist groups.
Tsunami Detection and Warnings for the United States
This report discusses topics in respect to tsunami disaster warnings for the United States, discussions ensued between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and NOAA about developing a multi-hazard warning and response system
Side-by-Side Comparison of Flood Insurance Reform Legislation in the 110th Congress
This report provides background information regarding the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and discusses the key points for flood insurance reform and the changes that should be made in the broader context of program re-authorization.
Long-Range Ballistic Missile Defense in Europe
This report discusses how successive U.S. governments have urged the creation of an anti-missile system to protect against long-range ballistic missile threats from adversary states. The proposed U.S. system has encountered resistance in some European countries and beyond.
NATO in Afghanistan: A Test of the Transatlantic Alliance
This report discusses the mission of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Afghanistan, the purpose of which is to stabilize and reconstruct Afghanistan by combating emerging threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This report also discusses how the Obama Administration has made the Afghanistan conflict a policy priority, and what this stance could mean for potential future endeavors.
Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on the Ohio replacement program as a Navy shipbuilding program. The 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.
Perspectives on Enhanced Interrogation Techniques
This report briefly summarizes what constituted Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EITs), provides background on their adoption and use, and discusses differing views on three questions that underpin discussion and debate of this topic.
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.