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 Resource Type: Report
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends
This report discusses trends that will affect the economic well-being of future retirees.
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents
This report provides links to cybersecurity-related committee hearings in the 112th and 113th Congresses. It also provides a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security.
Federal Employees' Retirement System: Benefits and Financing
This report discusses the retirement systems in place for federal employees including the Civil Service Retirement System (for employees hired before 1984) and the Federal Employees' Retirement System (for employees hired in 1984 or later). Both programs require participants to contribute toward the cost of their pensions through a payroll tax.
Omnibus Appropriations Acts: Overview of Recent Practices
Omnibus appropriations acts have become a significant feature of the legislative process in recent years as Congress and the President have resorted more frequently to their use to bring action on the regular appropriations cycle to a close. Following a discussion of pertinent background information, this report reviews the recent use of such measures and briefly addresses several issues that their use raises.
What are the Department of Defense (DOD) Policies on Transgender Service?
This report briefly discusses Department of Defense Policies regarding transgender service.
Counting Regulations: An Overview of Rulemaking, Types of Federal Regulations, and Pages in the Federal Register
This report serves to inform the congressional debate over rulemaking by analyzing different ways to measure federal rulemaking activity. The report provides data on and analysis of the total number of rules issued each year, as well as information on other types of rules, such as "major" rules, "significant" rules, and "economically significant" rules.
A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense--Issues for Congress
This report briefly describes the shift in the international security environment that some observers believe has occurred, and identifies some defense related issues for Congress that could arise from it. Congress's decisions on these issues could have significant implications for U.S. defense capabilities and funding requirements.
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.
Women in Combat: Issues for Congress
This report looks at the history of women in US military roles and combat since the 1990's. It also discusses critic's views of exclusionary policy as a civil rights issue.
Charleston, SC, Mass Shooter Might Have Been Denied a Handgun If Not for Possible Recordkeeping Oversights
This report briefly discusses the announcement by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey that the alleged assailant in the Charleston, SC, mass murder/shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church might have been prevented from acquiring a handgun if not for possible recordkeeping oversights on the part of the FBI and Columbia, SC, city police and county sheriff's departments.
DRIVE Act Would Increase Highway Funding Faster than Projected Inflation
This report briefly discusses the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act (DRIVE Act; S. 1647). The DRIVE Act would authorize $278 billion for a six-year federal highway program.
Display of the Confederate Flag at Federal Cemeteries
This report discusses policies regarding the display of the Confederate Flag at national cemeteries. If a state observes a Confederate Memorial Day, NPS cemeteries in the state may permit a sponsoring group to decorate the graves of Confederate veterans with small Confederate flags. Additionally, according to the National Park Service (NPS) reference manual, such flags may also be displayed on the nationally observed Memorial Day, to accompany the U.S. flag on the graves of Confederate veterans.
State and Local "Sanctuary" Policies Limiting Participation in Immigration Enforcement
This report discusses legal issues related to state and local measures that limit law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities. The report begins by providing a brief overview of the constitutional principles informing the relationship between federal immigration authorities and state and local jurisdictions, including the federal government's power to preempt state and local activities under the Supremacy Clause, and the Tenth Amendment's proscription against Congress directly "commandeering" the states to administer a federally enacted regulatory scheme.
Use of the Annual Appropriations Process to Block Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (FY2011-FY2016)
Congress remains deeply divided over implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the health reform law enacted in March 2010. Since the ACA's enactment, lawmakers opposed to specific provisions in the ACA or the entire law have repeatedly debated its implementation and considered bills to repeal, defund, delay, or otherwise amend the law. This report summarizes the ACA-related language added to annual appropriations legislation by congressional appropriators since the ACA was signed into law.
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.
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.
Tax Reform in the 114th Congress: An Overview of Proposals
This report provides background information regarding tax reform and discusses ways to make the U.S. tax system simpler, fairer, and more efficient.
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant: Responses to Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides responses to frequently asked questions about the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. It is intended to serve as a quick reference to provide easy access to information and data. This report does not provide information on TANF program rules.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues
This report examines debates over what constitutes an unfunded federal mandate and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995's (UMRA) implementation. It focuses on UMRA's requirement that CBO issue written cost estimate statements for federal mandates in legislation, its procedures for raising points of order in the House and Senate concerning unfunded federal mandates in legislation, and its requirement that federal agencies prepare written cost estimate statements for federal mandates in rules.
H.R. 6: The 21st Century Cures Act
Report about H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act, which would reauthorize the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through FY2018 and provide other funding to the agency through FY2020.
Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act
This report summarizes legislative actions taken to repeal, defund, delay, or otherwise amend the Affordable Care Act (ACA) since it was signed into law. The report is divided into two sections. The first section focuses on authorizing legislation, and the second section discusses appropriations bills.
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.
Dark Web
This report illuminates information on the various layers of the Internet, with a particular focus on the Dark Web. It discusses both legitimate and illicit uses of the Dark Web, including how the government may rely upon it. Throughout, the report raises issues that policy makers may consider as they explore means to curb malicious activity online.
Hydropower: Federal and Nonfederal Investment
This report explains how the federal government is involved directly in hydropower generation at federal facilities and in the regulation of nonfederal hydropower generation; the focus is on current roles and processes and common concerns and questions about changing those roles.
Puerto Rico's Current Fiscal Challenges: In Brief
This report discusses the current state of Puerto Rico's public finances. Puerto Rico faces several fiscal hurdles in 2015. Concerns regarding the sustainability of Puerto Rico's public finances have intensified over the past year, despite several measures taken by the island's government to reduce spending, increase revenues, and restructure its obligations.
Abortion and Family Planning-Related Provisions in U.S. Foreign Assistance Law and Policy
This report details legislation and policies that restrict or place requirements on U.S. funding of abortion or family planning activities abroad. The level and extent of federal funding for these activities is an ongoing and controversial issue in U.S. foreign assistance and will likely continue to be a point of contention during the second session of the 114th Congress.
The 2015 National Security Strategy: Authorities, Changes, Issues for Congress
This report discusses the National Security Strategy (NSS), a document released by the Obama Administration which states that its purpose is to "set out the principles and priorities to guide the use of American power and influence in the world."
Acquisition Reform in House- and Senate- Passed Versions of the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1735)
This report discusses the similarities and differences between House and Senate versions of the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1735).
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV): World Health Organization Responses
This report discusses responses to the recent outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which has spread to more than a dozen countries.
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA): Frequently Asked Questions
The issue of TPA reauthorization raises a number of questions regarding TPA itself and the pending legislation. This report addresses a number of those questions that are frequently asked, including the following: What is trade promotion authority? Is TPA necessary? What are trade negotiating objectives and how are they reflected in TPA statutes? What requirements does Congress impose on the President under TPA? Does TPA affect congressional authority on trade policy?
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: Efforts to Achieve a Nuclear Accord
This report discusses Iran's nuclear program and diplomatic efforts to forge a comprehensive agreement to keep that program peaceful.
Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues
This report is a brief overview of current policies regarding temporary protected status (TPS), which is relief from removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). It includes information about humanitarian migrants, temporary protected status, other blanket forms of relief, nationalities receiving protections, and issues with TPS, as well as recent legislation.
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.
Iran's Foreign Policy
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. The regional analysis discusses those countries where Iranian policy is of U.S. concern.
U.S.-Republic of Korea Nuclear Cooperation Agreement
The United States and South Korea have cooperated in the peaceful use of nuclear energy for over 50 years. This cooperation includes commercial power reactor projects as well as research and development work on safety, safeguards, advanced nuclear reactors, and fuel cycle technologies. This report discusses the new civilian nuclear cooperation agreement between the United States and South Korea.
Economic Crisis in Greece
This report briefly discusses the current economic situation in Greece. Questions about whether Greece will stay in the Eurozone have resurfaced, as the government's stalemate with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Eurozone creditors has reached a critical point.
France: Efforts to Counter Islamist Terrorism and Radicalization
This report briefly discusses heightened concern regarding the threat of Islamist terrorism in France and Europe.
Greenhouse Gas Pledges by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
This report briefly summarizes the existing commitments and pledges of selected national and regional governments to limit their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as contributions to the global effort.
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs
This report describes several pension benefit programs for veterans and their families, including the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels, and provides data on the number of pension beneficiaries and average annual benefit amounts for FY1999 through FY2013.
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.
Who is a "Veteran"?--Basic Eligibility for Veterans' Benefits
This report examines the basic eligibility criteria for VA administered veterans' benefits, including the issue of eligibility of members of the National Guard and reserve components.
Sex Trafficking: An Overview of Federal Criminal Law
This report discusses federal laws on sex trafficking. Sex trafficking is a state crime. Federal law, however, makes it a federal crime to conduct the activities of a sex trafficking enterprise in a way that affects interstate or foreign commerce or that involves travel in interstate or foreign commerce.
U.S. Capital Markets and International Accounting Standards: GAAP Versus IFRS
This report briefly explains the different accounting standards and U.S. capital markets. It examines several International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) policy options Congress might consider and the benefits and challenges of each of those options.
The Future of Internet Governance: Should the U.S. Relinquish Its Authority Over ICANN?
This report discusses legislation over the future of Internet government that has been introduced in the 113th and 114th Congresses which would prevent, delay, or impose conditions or additional scrutiny on the transition.
Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress
This report provides a definition regarding Internet governance and how the Internet is currently governed. The report discusses the role of United States government and future model of Internet governance.
Sifting Domestic Terrorism from Other Illegal Activity
This report briefly discusses key differences between domestic terrorism and ordinary criminal activity. Unlike ordinary criminals--who are often driven by self-centered motives such as profit and tend to opportunistically seek easy prey--domestic terrorists are driven by a cause or ideology.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
This report discusses the open economy and society of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), provides a general description of the UAE's government and political structure, and outlines the effects of the recent global economic downturn on the UAE in general and on the city of Dubai in particular. It also describes U.S. concern over the proliferation of advanced technology in relation to a recently-signed U.S.-UAE civilian nuclear agreement, due to the UAE economy and the UAE's lax export controls.
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).
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.