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 Country: United States
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Energy Tax Incentives: Measuring Value Across Different Types of Energy Resources
This report presents a comparison of the cost of tax incentives associated with fossil and renewable energy resources, relative to amount of energy produced using each type of resource. The report also reviews other analyses that compare the cost of energy tax incentives relative to production, across different types of energy technologies.
"Holds" in the Senate
This report discusses a wide range of proposals aimed at reforming holds (an informal practice among Senators to communicate policy views and scheduling preferences) to infuse more accountability, uniformity, and transparency in their use and to make it clear that holds are not a veto on the majority leader's prerogative of calling up measures or matters.
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This report is a list of about 200 congressional liaison offices is intended to help congressional offices in placing telephone calls and addressing correspondence to government agencies. In each case, the information was supplied by the agency itself and is current as of the date of publication. Entries are arranged alphabetically in four sections: legislative branch; judicial branch; executive branch; and agencies, boards, and commissions.
Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2016
This report begins with a discussion of the overall level of the President's FY2016 R&D request, followed by analyses of the R&D funding request from a variety of perspectives and for selected multiagency R&D initiatives. The report concludes with discussion and analysis of the R&D budget requests of selected federal departments and agencies that, collectively, account for more than 98% of total federal R&D funding.
Health Insurance Premium Credits in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2015
This report describes the eligibility criteria applicable to the premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies, and the calculation method for the credit and subsidy amounts. It also highlights selected issues addressed in the final regulation and guidance on premium credits and indicates the status of implementation, where relevant data is available.
Mandatory Spending Since 1962
This report looks at mandatory spending and its growth over time relative to total federal spending and the size of the U.S. economy. It also analyzes future mandatory spending levels and how they are projected to impact the federal budget.
U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues
This report reviews the ongoing programs that will affect the expected size and shape of the U.S. strategic nuclear force structure. It contains an overview of this force structure during the Cold War, summarizes the changes that have occurred since 1991. It then offers details about each category of delivery vehicle. The report concludes with a discussion of issues related to decisions about the future size and shape of the U.S. strategic nuclear force.
The U.S. Tsunami Program: A Brief Overview
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Weather Service (NWS) manages two tsunami warning centers that monitor, detect, and issue warnings for tsunamis. This report discusses these centers, which monitor and evaluate data from seismic networks and determine if a tsunami is likely based on the location, magnitude, and depth of an earthquake.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): A Primer for the 114th Congress
This report discusses the history of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), the basic issues in the debate over wilderness versus development, the Native interests, and the energy and biological resources at stake.
EPA's Proposed Clean Power Plan: Conversion to Mass-Based Emission Targets
This report discusses the Environmental Protection Agency's mass-based conversion methodology and the resulting state-specific mass-based targets.
Increased Campaign Contribution Limits in the FY2015 Omnibus Appropriations Law: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides brief answers to frequently asked questions about increased campaign contribution limits in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.R. 83; P.L. 113-235), enacted and signed into law in December 2014.
U.S. Manufacturing in International Perspective
This report is designed to inform the debate over the health of U.S. manufacturing through a series of charts and tables that depict the position of the United States relative to other countries according to various metrics.
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 Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and Its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape
This report discusses current issues regarding the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is an independent federal agency charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. The mission of the FCC is to ensure that the American people have available--at reasonable cost and without discrimination--rapid, efficient, nation- and world-wide communication services, whether by radio, television, wire, satellite, or cable.
Homeland Security Appropriations: FY2015 Action in the 114th Congress
This report provides a brief outline of the FY2015 annual appropriations measure for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its enactment by the 114th Congress.
International Drug Control Policy: Background and U.S. Responses
The global illegal drug trade represents a multi-dimensional challenge that has implications for U.S. national interests as well as the international community. This report discusses U.S. international policy frameworks and approaches in response to the issue.
Offices and Officials in the Senate: Roles and Duties
This report outlines the officers of the Senate, including brief information about the history of each office, examples of their roles and duties, and election or appointment information about the current incumbent.
One-Minute Speeches: Current House Practices
This report examines current House practices governing recognition for one-minute speeches, the delivery of "one minutes," and their insertion in the Congressional Record. The report also discusses various uses of one minutes and reform proposals.
Senate Committee Hearings: Witness Testimony
This report discusses rules regarding witness testimony before Senate committees. It includes brief descriptions of rules for oral testimony, questioning of witnesses, and hearing transcription.
Balancing Tourism against Terrorism: The Visa Waiver Program
This report briefly discusses Congress's concern that some foreign fighters might exploit the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to enter the United States and commit acts of terrorism. The VWP allows eligible visitors from 38 European nations and a few prosperous Asia-Pacific countries to enter the United States for short business or leisure stays without first obtaining a visa from a U.S. consulate abroad.
Research Tax Credit: Current Law and Policy Issues for the 114th Congress
This report describes the current status of the research tax credit, summarizes its legislative history, discusses policy issues it raises, and describes legislation to modify and extend it.
The Attack Against the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea
This report briefly discusses the March 5 knife attack on U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert.
Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills: FY1970-FY2015
This report is a research aid which lists the Department of Defense authorization bills and appropriations bills for FY1970-FY2015. This report includes all the pertinent information on the passage of these bills through the legislative process: bill numbers, report numbers, dates reported and passed, recorded vote numbers and vote tallies, dates of passage of the conference reports with their numbers and votes, vetoes, substitutions, dates of final passage, and public law numbers.
Federal Employees' Retirement System: The Role of the Thrift Savings Plan
This report discusses the two retirement systems available to federal employees. The Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) was established in 1920 and covers only employees hired before 1984. The Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS) was created to involve Social Security, a basic retirement annuity, and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). The TSP is discussed and illustrated.
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 VRA, a summary of its major provisions, and a brief discussion of the U.S. Supreme Court decision and related legislation in the 113th and 114th Congresses. Two identical bills--H.R. 3899 and S. 1945--were introduced in the 113th Congress that would have amended the VRA to add a new coverage formula, among other provisions.
Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate
This report discusses the continued debate amongst congressional policymakers regarding telecommunications reform. A major point of the ongoing discussion is whether action is needed to ensure unfettered access to the Internet.
China-U.S. Trade Issues
This report provides an overview of U.S.-China commercial relations, including major trade disputes.
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).
Congressional Action on FY2015 Appropriations Measures
This report provides information on the budget enforcement framework for the consideration of FY2015 appropriations measures, the status of the FY2015 regular appropriations bills as of the beginning of the fiscal year, and the enactment of FY2015 continuing appropriations.
The Debt Limit Since 2011
This report discusses the federal debt increase. The accumulation of federal debt accelerated in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession.
Guide to Individuals Seated on the Senate Dais
This report is a brief summary of House and Senate procedures for reaching agreement on legislation. It discusses the provisions of House Rule XXII and Senate Rule XXVIII as well as other applicable rules, precedents, and practices. The report focuses on the most common and customary procedures.
Health Care for Veterans: Traumatic Brain Injury
This report focuses on current efforts of the VA's Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to understand, identify, and treat Traumatic brain injury (TBI) among veterans.
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.
Iran: Interim Nuclear Agreement and Talks on a Comprehensive Accord
This report discusses the nuclear agreement talks between Iran and the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany--collectively known as the P5+1, which finalized an interim agreement ("Joint Plan of Action," JPA) requiring Iran to freeze many aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for relief from some international sanctions.
Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV): Background and Issues for Congress
This report examines why there is no longer any foreign interest in the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program and how the Army's study to revise overall tactical wheeled vehicle requirements might affect the JLTV program.
Prevalence of Mental Illness in the United States: Data Sources and Estimates
This report briefly describes the methodology and selected findings of three large federally funded surveys that provide national prevalence estimates of diagnosable mental illness: the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R), the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A), and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). This report presents prevalence estimates of any mental illness and serious mental illness based on each survey and ends with a brief discussion of how these prevalence estimates might inform policy discussions.
U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations During President Obama's First Six Years (2009-2014): Comparative Analysis with Recent Presidents
This report concerns nominations made by President Obama and other recent Presidents to the U.S. circuit courts of appeals and the U.S. district courts.
Appropriations and Fund Transfers in the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
This report summarizes all the mandatory appropriations and Medicare trust fund transfers in the ACA and provides details on the status of obligation of these funds. The information is presented in two tables. The report also includes a brief discussion of the impact that sequestration is having on ACA mandatory spending. This report is periodically revised and updated to reflect important legislative and other developments.
Constitutional Analysis of Suspicionless Drug Testing Requirements for the Receipt of Governmental Benefits
This report provides an overview of the Fourth Amendment in order to effectively evaluate the constitutionality of laws requiring suspicionless drug tests to receive governmental benefits. It then reviews five Supreme Court decisions that have evaluated these programs. The report concludes with a synthesis of the various factors that likely will be important to a future court's assessment of the constitutionality of these laws.
Deficient Bridge Count Drops Again
This report briefly discusses overall decline in the number of deficient bridges in 2014 and the long-term downward trend, particularly among bridges posing structural safety concerns.
The Federal Budget: Overview and Issues for FY2016 and Beyond
This report provides an overview of federal budget issues, focusing on recent fiscal policy changes. It also discusses the major policy proposals contained in the President's FY2016 budget and the House and Senate budget resolutions. Finally, it also addresses major short- and long-term fiscal challenges. This report tracks legislative events related to the federal budget and will be updated as budgetary legislation moves through Congress.
Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues
This report discusses the Domain Name System (DNS), which is the distributed set of databases residing in computers around the world that contain address numbers mapped to corresponding domain names, making it possible to send and receive messages and to access information from computers anywhere on the Internet.
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.
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate program, a program to procure 52 LCSs and frigates. The first ship in the program was procured in FY2005, and a total of 23 have been procured through FY2015. The Navy's proposed FY2016 budget requests $1,437.0 million for the procurement of three more LCSs, or an average of $479.0 million each.
Regular Appropriations Bills: Terms of Initial Consideration and Amendment in the House, FY1996-FY2015
This report examines the terms under which the regular appropriations bills are typically brought up and initially considered on the House floor, as well as the practices of the House with regard to amendment opportunities and the waiver of points of order, for FY1996 to FY2015 (104th-114th Congresses).
Veterans' Benefits: The Impact of Military Discharges on Basic Eligibility
This report discusses the discharge or separation requirement for veteran status or, more specifically, how the VA assesses character of service to determine whether a former servicemember's separation from the military can be considered other than dishonorable.
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments: A Historical Perspective on Contemporary Issues
This report provides a historical synopsis of the evolving nature of the federal grants-in-aid system, focusing on the role Congress has played in defining the system's scope and nature.
Information Warfare: The Role of Social Media in Conflict
This report briefly discusses the use if social media as a tool of information warfare. The ability to rapidly disseminate graphic images and ideas to shape the public narrative transforms social media into a strategic weapon in the hands of terrorists, insurgent groups, or governments engaged in conflict.
Multiyear Procurement (MYP) and Block Buy Contracting in Defense Acquisition: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on multiyear procurement (MYP) and block buy contracting (BBC), which are special contracting mechanisms that Congress permits the Department of Defense (DOD) to use for a limited number of defense acquisition programs.
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.