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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Global Security Contingency Fund: Summary and Issue Overview
This report provides basic information on the Global Security Contingency Fund (GSCF) legislation. It starts with a brief discussion of the conceptual origins of the legislation and then summarizes the legislation's provisions. It concludes with a short analysis of salient issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332975/
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions
This report discusses how the Federal Reserve (Fed) handles monetary policy, including background information about the execution of monetary policy, the recent and current stance of monetary policy, and current legislation and Congressional oversight that would affect the Fed's practices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332938/
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332937/
Broadband Loan and Grant Programs in the USDA's Rural Utilities Service
This report discusses the broadband loan and grant programs at Rural Utilities Service (RUS) that is intended to accelerate the deployment of broadband services in rural America. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332909/
Iraq Crisis and U.S. Policy
This report analyzes the offensive in northern and central Iraq led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, aka ISIS) -- a Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group -- with a discussion of the offensive's implications, the U.S. response, and related issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332984/
Prayer and Religious Expression in Public Institutions: A Constitutional Analysis
This report provides background information regarding sponsored prayer, which is prohibited under the First Amendment with few exceptions. The report discusses school prayer, legislative prayer, military chaplaincy, and legislative issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332953/
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/metadc332979/
United States Fire Administration: An Overview
This report describes and analyzes the United States Fire Administration's (USFA's) FY2013 budget proposal, as well as related information and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332967/
The Voting Rights Act of 1965: Background and Overview
This report provides background information on the historical circumstances that led to the adoption of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), a summary of its major provisions, and a brief discussion of the U.S. Supreme Court decision and related legislation in the 113th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332980/
Navy Shipboard Lasers for Surface, Air, and Missile Defense: Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on potential Navy shipboard lasers for countering surface, air, and ballistic missile threats. It does not discuss the use of lasers on Navy aircraft or submarines, or the use of lasers by other military services. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332946/
The U.S. Secret Service: History and Missions
This report discusses potential policy questions concerning the U.S. Secret Service through an examination of the Service's history and its statutory authorities, mission, and present activities within Department of Homeland Security (DHS). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332961/
Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress
This report discusses the Civil Service Retirement Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-215) that established a pension system for federal employees in the executive branch of government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332971/
Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response
This report discusses the recent conflict in Syria including an overview of the situation, information about anti- and pro-Asad forces, background on chemical weapons and disarmament, plans for U.S. policy and assistance, and a general sense of the future outlook. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332925/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. The report is written in response to the Coast Guard's budget request for a new polar ice breaker (none are currently in operation). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332999/
Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information
This report discusses federal laws governing consumer financial information held by financial companies, Gramm-Leach-Bliley's privacy provisions, and public and industry reaction. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332985/
National Monuments and the Antiquities Act
This report discusses the Antiquities Act of 1906, monument issues and controversies, as well as administration and legislative activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332956/
Navy TAO(X) Oiler Shipbuilding Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the TAO(X) oiler shipbuilding program, a program to build a new class of fleet oilers for the Navy. The report discusses the issue for Congress which is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's funding requests and acquisition strategy for the TAO(X) program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332995/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332910/
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332945/
U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: The Mérida Initiative and Beyond
This report provides a framework for examining the current status and future prospects for U.S.- Mexican security cooperation. It begins with a brief discussion of the threat that drug trafficking and related crime and violence pose to both nations, followed by an analysis of the evolution of the Mérida Initiative. The report then provides an overview of the Peña Nieto government's security strategy and how it is affecting the Mérida Initiative. The report then examines key aspects of the current U.S.-Mexican security strategy and concludes by raising policy issues that may affect bilateral efforts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332947/
Offender Reentry: Correctional Statistics, Reintegration into the Community, and Recidivism
This report provides background information regarding the prison population in the United States that has been growing steadily for more than 30 years. The report presents correctional system statistics and discusses the federal government's involvement in offender reentry programs and the Second Chance Act (P.L. 110-199) that was enacted on April 9, 2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332951/
Implementation of Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS): Issues for Congress
This report analyzes data from a variety of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) presentations, testimony, and other sources to present a historical overview of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) performance to date. It identifies an ongoing gap between the number of chemical facilities that have received final risk tier assignments and the total number of regulated facilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332912/
Legislation to Approve the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement
This report discusses the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbons Agreement and analyzes relevant legislative initiatives (S. 812 and H.R. 1613) and other legislative action surrounding Congress's approval of the Agreement (P.L. 113-67). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332934/
Unaccompanied Alien Children--Legal Issues: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses the questions regarding the numbers of unaccompanied alien children involved, their reasons for coming to the United States, and current and potential responses of the federal government and other entities to their arrival. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332955/
Domestic Human Trafficking Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report discusses domestic human-trafficking-related issues that have received legislative action or are of significant congressional interest in the 113th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332948/
Federal Building and Facility Security: Frequently Asked Questions
This report discusses the security of federal government buildings and facilities that affect not only the daily operations of the federal government but also the health, well-being, and safety of federal employees and the public. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332901/
Advertising by the Federal Government: An Overview
This report discusses government advertising that can be controversial if it conflicts with citizens' views about the proper role of government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332942/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific relevant topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332908/
Estate and Gift Taxes for Nonresident Aliens
This report explains the major provisions of the federal estate and gift transfer taxes for transfers by nonresident aliens in 2014. This discussion highlights the different tax rules for estates of nonresident aliens as compared to the estates of U.S. citizens and resident aliens. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332983/
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS), East China Sea (ECS), and an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332930/
Climate Change and Existing Law: A Survey of Legal Issues Past, Present, and Future
This report discusses climate change and surveys existing law for legal issues that have arisen, or may arise in the future, on account of climate change and government responses thereto. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332978/
Syria: Overview of the Humanitarian Response
This report examines the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria and the U.S. and international response. It discusses the use of chemical weapons in Syria on August 21, 2013 that triggered an intense debate over possible U.S. military intervention. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332906/
The Article V Convention to Propose Constitutional Amendments: Contemporary Issues for Congress
This report looks at how Article V of the Constitution allows Congress to propose amendments -- specifically the process of organizing an Article V Convention, a method that has never been used and which is only briefly outlined in the Constitution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332904/
Housing Issues in the 113th Congress
This report begins by providing an overview of the current state of housing markets (both homeownership and rental) and the mortgage market in order to provide context for the policy issues that have been active during the 113th Congress. It then provides a brief description of issues that the 113th Congress has been considering. These issues are broadly divided into two categories: issues related to homeownership and housing finance, and issues related to housing assistance for low-income households digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332936/
Salaries of Members of Congress: Recent Actions and Historical Tables
The report contains information on congressional pay procedure and recent adjustments. It includes historical information on pay rates since 1789; the adjustments projected by the Ethics Reform Act as compared to actual adjustments in Member pay; details on past legislation enacted with language prohibiting the annual pay adjustment; and Member pay in constant and current dollars since 1992. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332922/
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and presents potential issues for Congress concerning the Navy's ship force-structure goals and shipbuilding plans, including the planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and prospective affordability. Congressional decisions on Navy shipbuilding programs can substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332986/
The Project BioShield Act: Issues for the 113th Congress
This report provides a brief overview of the Project BioShield authorities and appropriations, identifies the medical countermeasures obtained through Project BioShield, reviews the relationship between Project BioShield and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and discusses policy issues for congressional policy makers and related legislation in the 113th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332920/
U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians
This report provides an overview of current issues in U.S.-Palestinian relations. It also contains an overview of Palestinian society and politics and descriptions of key Palestinian individuals and groups -- chiefly the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Palestinian Authority (PA), Fatah, Hamas, and the Palestinian refugee population. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332923/
High-Frequency Trading: Background, Concerns, and Regulatory Developments
This report provides an overview of high-frequency trading (HFT) in the equities and derivatives markets regulated by the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). It also examines the Flash Crash of 2010 and the role that HFT may have played, as well as recent regulatory developments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332977/
U.S.-Vietnam Relations in 2014: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy
This report provides background information regarding the U.S. - Vietnam relations and current issues and implications. The report discuses how various issues (US interests, Vietnamese interests, economic ties, and human rights) can affect this burgeoning relationship. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332958/
Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response
This report discusses the recent conflict in Syria including an overview of the situation, information about anti- and pro-Asad forces, background on chemical weapons and disarmament, plans for U.S. policy and assistance, and a general sense of the future outlook. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332903/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332907/
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS), East China Sea (ECS), and an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332969/
Clean Air Issues in the 113th Congress: An Overview
This report discusses the air pollution regulations and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) regulatory actions on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and also addresses some climate change issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332944/
Social Security: Minimum Benefits
This report explains how the Special Minimum Primary Insurance Amount (PIA) functions under current law and presents arguments for and against expanding it. It then discusses criteria for evaluating proposals for change and describes some specific options for increasing benefits paid to people with low earnings or low income digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332973/
The Violence Against Women Act: Overview, Legislation, and Federal Funding
This report provides a brief legislative history of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and an overview of the crimes addressed through VAWA. The report concludes with a brief description of the most recent reauthorization of VAWA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332968/
Tolling U.S. Highways
This report provides a brief history of tolling on federal roads and current law. The report discusses financial realities on toll roads and tolling policy issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332940/
Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding
This report discusses the firefighting activities that are traditionally the responsibility of states and local communities. The report also talks about the funding for firefighters, which is provided mostly by state and local governments. However, during the 106th Congress, many in the fire community asserted that local fire departments require and deserve greater support from the federal government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332970/
Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress
This report discusses the Civil Service Retirement Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-215) that established a pension system for federal employees in the executive branch of government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332915/
Expired and Expiring Temporary Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders")
This report discusses dozens of temporary tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013, and several other temporary tax provisions that are scheduled to expire at the end of 2014. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332976/