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 Country: United States
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Army Drawdown and Restructuring: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the new defense strategy, which was unveiled by senior Department of Defense (DOD) leadership based on a review of potential future security challenges, current defense strategy, and budgetary constraints. This strategy will rebalance the Army's global posture and presence, emphasizing where potential problems are likely to arise, such as the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East.
The Controlled Substances Act: Regulatory Requirements
This report highlights certain non-criminal regulatory requirements of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The CSA and its implementing regulations establish a framework through which the federal government regulates the use of controlled substances for legitimate medical, scientific, research, and industrial purposes, and prevents these substances from being diverted for illegal purposes.
The Debate Over Selected Presidential Assistants and Advisors: Appointment, Accountability, and Congressional Oversight
This report provides background information and selected views on the role of the appointments made by President Barack H. Obama to his Administration or by Cabinet secretaries to their departments. Additionally, it discusses some of the constitutional concerns that have been raised about presidential advisors.
Defense Surplus Equipment Disposal: Background Information
This report discusses the Department of Defense (DOD) policy for disposing of items via the Defense Utilization and Marketing Service (DRMS); this method is used for government equipment and supplies considered surplus or deemed unnecessary to the agency's currently designated mission. The report focuses on DRMS background, as well as the most recent DRMS policy modifications.
GAO Bid Protests: Trends, Analysis, and Options for Congress
This report provides an overview of the time frames and procedures in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) bid protest, including (1) what issues can be protested with GAO; (2) who can file or be a party to a GAO protest; (3) the procedures for bringing and resolving GAO protests; (4) the time frames involved in GAO protests; (5) the automatic stay of contract award or performance triggered by a GAO protest, as well as the basis for agency overrides of automatic stays and judicial review of agency override determinations; (6) the basis and effects of GAO decisions; and (7) reconsideration and "appeal" of GAO decisions.
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.
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
Individual Mandate Under ACA
Report describing the individual mandate requirements of the Afordable Care Act, as well as penalties for not meeting these requirements and exemptions granted for hardships.
Juvenile Justice: Legislative History and Current Legislative Issues
This report will analyze the current federal legislation that impacts the state juvenile justice systems. Although the report provides some background information on the evolution of juvenile justice in the United States, the main focus of the report is the major federal legislation that impacts the states juvenile justice systems, including the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA).
Millennium Challenge Corporation
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) provides economic assistance through a competitive selection process to developing nations that demonstrate positive performance in three areas: ruling justly, investing in people, and fostering economic freedom. MCC issues include the level of funding to support MCC programs, the impact of budget reductions on MCC programs, the rate of program implementation, the results of MCC compacts, and procurement and corruption concerns.
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and presents potential issues (and costs) for Congress concerning the U.S. Navy's ship force-structure goals and shipbuilding plans.
Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Navy's irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) operations. The Navy's IW and CT activities pose a number of potential oversight issues for Congress, including the definition of Navy IW activities and how much emphasis to place on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets.
Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
Report containing the information regarding the Navy's Ohio replacement program, including its budget and Congressional issues.
Recently Expired Charitable Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders"): In Brief
This report briefly summarizes the temporary charitable tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013 and are being considered for extension. The report also discusses the economic impact of these charitable tax provisions.
Rejection of Collective Bargaining Agreements in Chapter 11 Bankruptcies: Legal Analysis of Changes to 11 U.S.C. Section 1113 Proposed in H.R. 3652 -- The Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act of 2007
This report discusses the bill that prescribes the parameters of offers that may be made by the debtor in negotiations as well as the requirements that must be met before a court can approve rejection. The bill also provides an absolute right of all employees to strike if their collective bargaining agreements (CBA), is modified or rejected.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA): An Explanation
This report provides a section-by-section summary of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which provides civil protections and rights to individuals based on their service in the Reserve and National Guard military units.
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2010 Budget and Appropriations
This report analyzes the FY2010 request, recent-year funding trends, and congressional action for FY2010, which includes the July 9 House approval of H.R. 3081, the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for FY2010, July 9 Senate Appropriations Committee passage of its bill (S. 1434), and passage of H.R. 3288, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, signed into law Dec. 16, 2009 (P.L. 111-117).
U.S. Trade Remedy Laws and Nonmarket Economies: A Legal Overview
Two major U.S. trade remedies are antidumping (AD) law, which combats the sale of imported products at less than their fair market value, and countervailing duty (CVD) law, which aims to offset foreign government subsidization of imported goods. This report discusses these two law's impact on U.S. foreign relations.
Imported Automobiles in the United States: Their Rising Market Share and the Macroeconomic Impact of a Proposed Import Restriction
After two generations of almost unchallenged supremacy, the U.S. auto industry has recently faced plummeting sales, rising competition from imports, and mounting requirements for capital investment and structural change. This has resulted in massive spilling of red ink in the industry's profit and loss columns, further financial pressures on the ailing Chrysler Corporation, layoffs of nearly 250,000 workers (as of August 4, 1980 in the automotive industry alone according to the United Auto Workers Union) and soaring claims for unemployment compensation and trade adjustment assistance. This study focuses on import competition in the auto industry and the economic impact of proposals to limit such competition through either import quotas or agreements with foreign governments (Japan) to restrict automotive exports to the United States.
Federal Reserve Membership and Monetary Control
This report discusses the current state of monetary policy. Questions about the continued capability of the Federal Reserve System (FRS) to exercise effective monetary control were raised in connection with several developments over recent years that diminished, in relative terms, the deposit component of the stock of money over which the FRS maintained reserve requirement controls. The Monetary Control Act, Title 1 of P.L. 96-221 was designed to ensure that the FRS as ability to conduct monetary policy is not diminished. This Act, signed into law on Mar. 31, 1980, is one of the few major amendments to the original Federal Reserve Act of 1913.
The Immigration and Nationality Act: Questions and Answers
The basic United States law governing immigration and naturalization is contained in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1101 -- et seq.). This report provides questions and answers to explain the way in which the Immigration and Nationality Act as amended through 1981 regulates the entry of aliens for permanent and temporary residence in the United States, and other major provisions of the law. Emphasis is placed on subjects which have been of particular interest to the Congress in recent years. This supersedes CRS Report No. 81-65 EPW.
Federal and State Authority to Regulate Radioactive Waste Disposal and Transportation
There appears to be a growing controversy concerning whether a state has the authority to prevent the federal government from disposing of nuclear wastes within it and transporting nuclear wastes through it. Several states have statutes purporting to veto the federal government's action in these areas. This report investigates whether these state statutes may be unconstitutional and preempted by federal statutes and regulations.
The Insanity Defense: An Overview and Legislative Proposals
This report will discuss the insanity defense as used in the federal courts. It will briefly trace the history of the evolution of that defense from its earliest formulation to the version used in the John Hinckley case, and will provide, in summary form, descriptive analysis of various pieces of Legislation to change federal law with regard to the substantive definition of the defense, the allocation of the burden of persuasion when the defense is invoked, and procedures following the successful use of the defense.
Foreign Investment in U.S. Industry
Although the total amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the U.S. is small relative to U.S. direct investment abroad, it is growing rapidly and may have a large effect on some industries and geographic areas of the U.S. The two main issues raised by FDI in the U.S. are first, shall Congress require more extensive data collection efforts than are already underway, and second, should laws be enacted to limit foreign direct investment in the U.S. These two issues turn in substantial measure on whether the benefits of additional data collection and/or restrictions on FDI in the U.S. exceed the costs. This report discusses the legislative history of the issue, the magnitude and distribution of FDI in the U.S., the existing data collection efforts, the potential implications for the U.S., the motivations for FDI in the U.S., and U.S. policy regarding FDI.
Information Services for Agriculture: The Role of Technology
Significant improvements in technology-supported information services have created opportunities for their utilization by the farmers and ranchers of our Nation. This report highlights the development and expanded offering of these systems, describes current operational and experimental systems, and presents salient legislative initiatives which address this priority area.
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): Tax Incentives for Retirement Savings
This report discusses Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRA) and their tax incentives. Many workers covered by employer-sponsored retirement plans do not work long enough with one employer to be entitled to a pension. Others may be covered by a profit-sharing plan to which the employer may have little or no profits to contribute. Since these individuals were "covered" by a retirement plan, they were ineligible to make tax-deductible contributions to a tax-sheltered Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA). Many observers considered this a tax inequity and felt that all employees should be eligible to establish their own IRAs or make tax-deductible contributions to their employer's plan. Congress responded to this situation by approving retirement savings incentives for all workers as part of the tax cut bill (H.R. 4242). All workers, whether or not covered by an employer pension plan, are now permitted tax deductible contributions to IRAs up to $2,000 a year.
Job Training Programs: Reauthorization and Funding Issues
This paper is divided into the following sections: (1) History of Federal Employment and Training Programs; (2) Reauthorization Issues; (3) Administration Legislative and Budget Proposals; and (4) Congressional Action.
Federal Real Property: Inventory and Disposal Initiatives
This report provides background and discusses the inventory and disposal of public lands and other Federal property. For many years the Federal Government has operated under a statutory policy of retaining public domain lands and has disposed of the proceeds from the sale of surplus property other than by the reduction of the national debt. Under the present system, the Government disposes of some types of land when it is determined to be surplus to Government needs, or, in the case of public lands, when it is determined that the national interest would best be served by the sale or exchange of particular tracts of land.
Independent Truckers: The Effects of Recent Legislation on Earnings (Effects of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 and the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1983, as they affect highway-related taxes, two trailers, length and width of vehicles, and weights and loads)
Congress passed legislation late in 1982 that is expected to have a significant effect on the annual net earnings of independent truckers. About 90 percent of fresh produce, most used household goods, and from one-third to one-half of all fabricated steel and other commodities transported by truck are hauled by independent truckers. The legislation raised the Federal fuel tax by 5 cents per gallon and significantly raised a highway use tax that is based on the weight of the vehicle. The legislation also allowed truckers to use two trailers, longer and wider vehicles, and carry heavier loads. This CRS report discusses these 1982 changes in Federal legislation. It also contains an estimate of the upper and lower bound of the impact that these changes could have on the annual net earnings of independent truckers.
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
Recent changes in the Nation's tax laws have made Individual Retirement Accounts available to many people previously excluded. This report provides general information on IRAs including material explaining these recent changes and their consequences.
Immigration Issues and Legislation in the 98th Congress
This report discusses Immigration reform, which continues to be of concern in the '96th Congress, and legislation has been moving quickly. Specific issues include illegal immigration, temporary workers, legalization, asylum adjudications, and legal immigration. The legislation under consideration is the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1983, popularly referred to as the Simpson-Mazzoli bill, introduced in the House and Senate on Feb, 17, 1983 as H.R. 1510 and S. 529.
Handicapped Infants: The Final Section 504 Regulation and Legislative Proposals
This report discusses the final rule regarding handicapped infants published in the Federal register by HHS on January 12, 1984. Legislative action in response to the Infant Doe issue is also discussed.
Infant Formula: National Problems
This report discusses congressional concerns regarding infant formula that was deficient in a required nutrient.
The Homeless: Overview of the Problem and the Federal Response
This report discusses the problem of homelessness in the U.S. and the resulting policy response. Unlike the skid row "derelicts" who comprised the typical homeless population of the 1960s, today's street people represent many diverse groups including: the mentally ill, evicted families, the aged, alcoholics, drug addicts, abused spouses, abused young people, and cast-off children.
Finance and Adjustment: The International Debt Crisis, 1982-84
This report provides an overview of the international debt problem which has significantly disturbed the international economic environment of the 1980s. It describes the characteristics of the less developed country (LDC) debt and discusses the role of major participants in the debt crisis. The study shows how the role of the participants has evolved during the crisis. Lastly, some of the issues arising from the debt crisis are discussed.
Homeless in America
This report discusses questions dealing with the number of homeless Americans as well as trends in society's attitudes toward such people. The incidence of mental illness and the appropriateness, or lack thereof, of deinstitutionalization for such patients is another aspect of the problem which is covered in this packet. A CRS report gives an overview of the situation and of the Federal response.
Financial Deregulation: Current Status and Legislative Issues
This report reviews deregulation to date and its effects on financial markets. Current policy issues are also identified.
Federal Laws Relating to the Control of Narcotics and Other Dangerous Drugs, Enacted 1961-1985: Brief Summaries
This report contains summaries of enactments, treaties, and reorganization plans, passed from 1961 through 1985, that have some clearly indicated relationship-- either by specific reference or by virtue of legislative history--to the Federal effort to prevent drug misuse through control of the supply of narcotics and other dangerous drugs.
Iran-Contra Affair: Biographical Profiles
This report provides biographical information on individuals who have been associated in public reports with the controversy surrounding the secret U.S. arms sales to Iran and the channeling of profits to the rebels or Contras in Nicaragua. The information has been compiled from public sources.
Federal Drug Control: President's Budget Request for Fiscal Year 1988
This report discusses the President's FY1988 budget, focusing on the $3 billion set aside for Federal programs to control or prevent the use of narcotics and other dangerous drugs. The report includes various key documents illustrating the positions taken by Congressional critics of the request as well as the Administration's defenses. Finally, for a longer term perspective, there are graphs and a table showing drug budget trends since FY 1981.
Federal Drug Control: President's Budget Request for Fiscal Year 1988
This report discusses the President's FY1988 budget, focusing on the $3 billion set aside for Federal programs to control or prevent the use of narcotics and other dangerous drugs. The report includes various key documents illustrating the positions taken by Congressional critics of the request as well as the Administration's defenses. Finally, for a longer term perspective, there are graphs and a table showing drug budget trends since FY 1981.
Family Planning: Title X of the Public Health Service Act
This report discusses Title X of the Public Health Service Act provides support for family planning clinics, research related to family planning and population, training of family planning personnel, and development and dissemination of family planning information.
Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Programs: Reauthorization Issues
This report discusses the reauthorization of most Federal elementary and secondary education programs, which the 100th Congress is currently considering, as well as the creation of several new programs. Issues have included: (1) Federal versus ~tate/local priorities in the use of funds; (2) use of formula grants or competitive grants to allocate funds; (3) services for eligible nonpublic school children; (4) relationship between Federal programs and State-level school reform activities; and (5) information about programs and participants for the Congress.
APEC - Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation: Free Trade and Other Issues
As a result of an initiative by Australia in 1989, the United States joined with eleven other Asia/Pacific nations in creating APEC, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation organization. This report discusses the annual Ministerial Meeting of APEC in Seattle, held from November 17 - 19, 1993.
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Indonesia "Summit" in 1994
This report discusses the Ministerial and Leaders' Meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, set to be held in Indonesia. APEC is a consultative body with membership of seventeen Pacific Basin economies that includes both China and Taiwan. The body is working toward trade liberalization (but not a free-trade area) in the most dynamic economic region of the world.
Implementing Acid Rain Legislation
This report discusses the broad-ranging provisions in Title IV of The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (P.L. 101-549), which raise myriad implementation issues, particularly with respect to the system of tradable "allowances."
Wilderness: Overview and Statistics
The U.S. Forest Service established the first protected "wilderness area" under its own discretion in 1924. In 1964, the Wilderness Act established the National Wilderness Preservation System, reserved to Congress the authority to designate wilderness areas, and directed the Secretaries of Agriculture and of the Interior to review certain lands for their wilderness potential. The Act also designated 54 wilderness areas with 9 million acres of Forest Service land. Congress began expanding the Wilderness System in 1968, and today, there are 631 wilderness areas, totalling nearly 104 million acres, in 44 States.
Implementing Acid Rain Legislation
This report discusses the broad-ranging provisions in Title IV of The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (P.L. 101-549), which raise myriad implementation issues, particularly with respect to the system of tradable "allowances."
Investigative Oversight: An Introduction to the Law, Practice and Procedure of Congressional Inquiry
This report will provide an overview of some of the more common legal, procedural and practical issues, questions, and problems that committees have faced in the course of an investigation. Following a summary of the case law developing the scope and limitations of the power of inquiry, the essential tools of investigative oversight--subpoenas, staff interviews and depositions, grants of immunity, and the contempt power -- are described. Next, some of the special problems of investigating the executive are detailed, with particular emphasis on claims of presidential executive privilege, the problems raised by attempts to access information with respect to open or closed civil or criminal investigative matters, or to obtain information that is part of the agency deliberative process, and the effect on congressional access of statutory prohibitions on public disclosure. The discussion then focuses on various procedural and legal requirements that accompany the preparation for, and conduct of, an investigative hearing, including matters concerning jurisdiction, particular rules and requirements for the conduct of such proceedings, and the nature, applicability and scope of certain constitutional and common law testimonial privileges that may be claimed by witnesses. The case law and practice respecting the rights of minority party members during the investigative process is also reviewed. The report concludes with a description of the roles played by the offices of House General Counsel and Senate Legal Counsel in such investigations.
The National Guard, State Defense Forces, And the Militias: Official and Unofficial Status
This short report discusses the differences between state militias (e.g. state Army National Guard and Air National Guard units), state military forces with no federal connections, and private organizations that claim to be state militias but which are not sanctioned by the state.