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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Economic Effects of Trade: Overview and Policy Challenges

The Economic Effects of Trade: Overview and Policy Challenges

Date: July 5, 2016
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: This report focuses on some of the major issues associated with trade and trade agreements and the impact of trade on the U.S. economy. Discussions of trade and trade agreements often focus on a number of issues, including the role that trade plays in the U.S. economy, the impact of trade agreements on employment gains and losses, and the size of the U.S. trade deficit.
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The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA; H.R. 5278, S. 2328)

The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA; H.R. 5278, S. 2328)

Date: July 1, 2016
Creator: Austin, D. Andrew
Description: The report presents a brief description of Puerto Rico, its relationship with the federal government, and its fiscal challenges. It also includes a short overview of bill H.R. 5278, with a comparison with previous legislation involving control boards and a section-by-section description of the bill.
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Economic Growth Slower Than Previous 10 Expansions

Economic Growth Slower Than Previous 10 Expansions

Date: June 30, 2016
Creator: Stupak, Jeffrey M.
Description: This report briefly discusses the recent pace of economic growth in the United States. A recent poll found that nearly 60% of U.S. adults believe that the economy is performing poorly. Although this expansion is already the fourth longest since the 1850's (34 quarters to date), the slow pace of economic growth means the overall gains have been relatively small.
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Fact Sheet: FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) DOD Reform Proposals

Fact Sheet: FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) DOD Reform Proposals

Date: June 30, 2016
Creator: McInnis, Kathleen J.
Description: This report discusses information on extant Department of Defense (DOD) reform proposals being considered during the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act debates. As such, it includes key provisions incorporated in H.R. 4909, the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) reported by the House Armed Services Committee on May 4, 2016 (H.Rept. 114-537), and S. 2943, the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act reported by the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 18, 2016 (S.Rept. 114-255). Wherever possible, it also includes the Administration's views.
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Medicare Financial Status: In Brief

Medicare Financial Status: In Brief

Date: June 30, 2016
Creator: Davis, Patricia A.
Description: This report provides an overview on Medicare, discussing its various components and sources of funding. It also examines projections for spending within the program.
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Senate Action on U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations During the Eighth Year of a Presidency

Senate Action on U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations During the Eighth Year of a Presidency

Date: June 30, 2016
Creator: McMillion, Barry J.
Description: This report discusses the process by which lower federal court judges are nominated by the President and approved by the Senate during the final year of a presidency. The eighth year of a presidency is significant, in part, because it is the final opportunity for a President to appoint individuals as U.S. circuit and district court judges.
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After Brexit: A Diminished or Enhanced EU?

After Brexit: A Diminished or Enhanced EU?

Date: June 29, 2016
Creator: Archick, Kristin
Description: This report briefly discusses the United Kingdom's (UK's) "Brexit" vote and what it means for the future of the European Union.
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Zika Virus in Latin America and the Caribbean: U.S. Policy Considerations

Zika Virus in Latin America and the Caribbean: U.S. Policy Considerations

Date: June 29, 2016
Creator: Ribando Seelke, Clare; Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji & Beittel, June S.
Description: This report provides background information on the Zika virus, discusses challenges faced by governments and implementing partners in the Latin America and Caribbean region that are attempting to control the ongoing outbreak, and analyzes these issues in the context of the U.S. Zika response.
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Job Creation in the Manufacturing Revival

Job Creation in the Manufacturing Revival

Date: June 28, 2016
Creator: Levinson, Marc
Description: This report examines the current status of the manufacturing sector in the U.S., which is a subject of ongoing interest in Congress. After rebounding from the 2007-09 recession, U.S. manufacturing output has grown little since the second half of 2014. Over the same period, employment in the U.S. manufacturing sector has been flat. These trends defy expectations that forces such as higher labor costs in the emerging economies of Asia, heightened concern about the risk of disruptions to long, complex supply chains, and the development of inexpensive domestic supplies of natural gas would increase the relative attractiveness of the United States as a location for factory production.
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Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer

Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer

Date: June 28, 2016
Creator: Sargent, John F., Jr.
Description: This report provides a brief overview of three major topics related to nanotechnology: federal research and development (R&D) investments under the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI); U.S. international competitiveness in nanotechnology; and environmental, health, and safety (EHS) concerns. It also discusses nanomanufacturing and public attitudes toward, and understanding of, nanotechnology.
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Possible Economic Impact of Brexit

Possible Economic Impact of Brexit

Date: June 28, 2016
Creator: Jackson, James K. & Akhtar, Shayerah I.
Description: This report briefly discusses the possible economic impact of a June 23, 2016 referendum in which a majority of British voters supported the United Kingdom (UK) leaving the European Union (EU), stunning global financial markets that expected the vote to fail.
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Digital Searches and Seizures: Overview of Proposed Amendments to Rule 41 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure

Digital Searches and Seizures: Overview of Proposed Amendments to Rule 41 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure

Date: June 27, 2016
Creator: Thompson, Richard M., II
Description: This report provides a brief overview of the proposed amendment to Rule 41, which would amend the federal search and seizure rules to permit the government to remotely access electronic devices although the location of the device may be unknown. First, the report provides a background on the origin of, and rationale underlying, the proposed amendment and a description of the rule as currently written. Second, it reviews the potential changes made by the proposed amendment and will survey various concerns commenters have raised with the proposal. Lastly, this report addresses efforts being made in Congress to alter, delay, or stop this rule change.
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Emergency Relief for Disaster-Damaged Roads and Transit Systems: In Brief

Emergency Relief for Disaster-Damaged Roads and Transit Systems: In Brief

Date: June 27, 2016
Creator: Kirk, Robert S.
Description: This report describes Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) assistance for the repair and reconstruction of highways and bridges damaged by disasters (such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012) or catastrophic failures (such as the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge in Washington State in 2013). It begins with a brief discussion of the legislative origins of federal assistance, and then addresses eligibility issues and program operation.
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Expulsion, Censure, Reprimand, and Fine: Legislative Discipline in the House of Representatives

Expulsion, Censure, Reprimand, and Fine: Legislative Discipline in the House of Representatives

Date: June 27, 2016
Creator: Maskell, Jack
Description: This report discusses the processes of expulsion and censure in the House of Representatives. The House is expressly authorized within the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 5, clause 2) to discipline or "punish" its own Members. It is designed as a measure to protect the institutional integrity of the House of Representatives, its proceedings and its reputation.
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Iran's Foreign Policy

Iran's Foreign Policy

Date: June 27, 2016
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: This report provides an overview of Iran's foreign policy, which has been a subject of numerous congressional hearings and of sanctions and other legislation for many years. The report analyzes Iranian foreign policy as a whole and by region.
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The Islamic State and U.S. Policy

The Islamic State and U.S. Policy

Date: June 27, 2016
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M. & Humud, Carla E.
Description: This report provides background on the Islamic State organization, discusses its goals, operations, and affiliates, reviews U.S. legislative and policy debates, and describes select FY2017 legislative proposals.
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Midnight Rules: Congressional Oversight and Options

Midnight Rules: Congressional Oversight and Options

Date: June 27, 2016
Creator: Carey, Maeve P.
Description: This report discusses "midnight rulemaking," referring to the phenomenon during the final months of recent presidential administrations when federal agencies have typically issued a larger number of rules relative to comparable time periods earlier in the administration. It likely occurs because the outgoing presidential administration wants to achieve certain policy goals before the end of its term.
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U.S. Semiconductor Manufacturing: Industry Trends, Global Competition, Federal Policy

U.S. Semiconductor Manufacturing: Industry Trends, Global Competition, Federal Policy

Date: June 27, 2016
Creator: Platzer, Michaela D. & Sargent, John F., Jr.
Description: This report provides background information on the Zika virus, discusses challenges faced by governments and implementing partners in the Latin America and Caribbean region that are attempting to control the ongoing outbreak, and analyzes these above issues in the context of the U.S. Zika response.
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Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2017

Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2017

Date: June 24, 2016
Creator: Sargent, John F., Jr.; Esworthy, Robert; Gottron, Frank; Johnson, Judith A.; Monke, Jim; Morgan, Daniel et al.
Description: This report begins with a discussion of the overall level of the President's FY2017 R&D request, followed by analyses of the R&D funding request from a variety of perspectives and for selected multiagency R&D initiatives. It concludes with discussion and analysis of the R&D budget requests of selected federal departments and agencies that, collectively, account for nearly 99% of total federal R&D funding.
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Financing U.S. Agricultural Exports to Cuba

Financing U.S. Agricultural Exports to Cuba

Date: June 24, 2016
Creator: McMinimy, Mark A.
Description: This report discusses a new policy approach toward Cuba that, in part, seeks to reduce the role of long-standing U.S. sanctions on commercial relations with Cuba while also promoting greater engagement and normal relations with the island nation.
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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Supreme Court's 4-4 Split on Immigration

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Supreme Court's 4-4 Split on Immigration

Date: June 24, 2016
Creator: unknown
Description: This report addresses commonly asked questions regarding the Supreme Court's evenly-divided June 23, 2016 decision about immigration. Consistent with recent practice, the decision affirms without any opinion or indication of the Justices' voting alignment an earlier decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit barring the Obama Administration from implementing two initiatives that would potentially have granted relief from removal to millions of aliens who entered or remained in the United States in violation of federal immigration law and lack legal immigration status.
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Slow Growth in the Current U.S. Economic Expansion

Slow Growth in the Current U.S. Economic Expansion

Date: June 24, 2016
Creator: Keightley, Mark P.; Labonte, Marc & Stupak, Jeffrey M.
Description: This report summarizes the U.S. economic growth record and reviews a number of explanations forwarded by economists for why this expansion has featured slow growth. Some explanations focus on short-term factors that would not be expected to persist, while others focus on long-term changes to the economy. The report does not discuss labor market conditions, except in the context of how they contribute to the pace of GDP growth.
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United Kingdom Votes to Leave the European Union

United Kingdom Votes to Leave the European Union

Date: June 24, 2016
Creator: Mix, Derek E.
Description: This report briefly examines the ramifications of a British exit from the EU (often referred to as "Brexit"). Nearly 52% of British voters in the June 23 referendum on European Union (EU) membership answered that the United Kingdom (UK) should leave the EU.
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Display of the Confederate Flag at Federal Cemeteries in the United States

Display of the Confederate Flag at Federal Cemeteries in the United States

Date: June 23, 2016
Creator: Comay, Laura B. & Szymendera, Scott D.
Description: This report discusses policies regarding the display of the Confederate Flag at national cemeteries. If a state observes a Confederate Memorial Day, National Park Service (NPS) cemeteries in the state may permit a sponsoring group to decorate the graves of Confederate veterans with small Confederate flags. Additionally, such flags may also be displayed on the nationally observed Memorial Day, to accompany the U.S. flag on the graves of Confederate veterans.
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