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 Country: United States
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Direct Overt U.S. Aid Appropriations for and Military Reimbursements to Pakistan, FY2002-FY2015
This report provides data regarding the direct overt U.S. aid appropriations and military reimbursements to Pakistan.
Individual Mandate Under ACA
This report describes the individual mandate as established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148, as amended). The report also discusses the ACA reporting requirements designed, in part, to assist individuals in providing evidence of having met the mandate.
Terrorism Risk Insurance: Issue Analysis and Overview of Current Program
This report looks at the background and current Congressional status of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002.
The Army's Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report looks at the history and current need for a Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program. Potential issues for Congress include the role of the GCV and the need for the program in a downsized Army that will likely have fewer heavy brigade combat teams (HBCTs).
Prevalence of Mental Illness in the United States: Data Sources and Estimates
This report briefly describes the methodology and results of three large surveys (funded in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) 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). The report then 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
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.
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).
Drought in the United States: Causes and Current Understanding
This report discusses how drought is defined (e.g., why drought in one region of the country is different from drought in another region) and why drought occurs in the United States. It briefly describes periods of drought in the country's past that equaled or exceeded drought conditions experienced during the 20th century. This is followed by a discussion of the nature and extent of recent droughts that affected Texas and the U.S. midcontinent, and the current drought in California. Lastly, the report discusses future prospects for a climate in the western United States that might be drier than the average 20th-century climate and the possible influence of human-induced climate change.
The First Day of a New Congress: A Guide to Proceedings on the Senate Floor
This report describes the well-established routine that occurs on the opening day of a new Congress.
Free Trade Agreements: Impact on U.S. Trade and Implications for U.S. Trade Policy
This report looks at how free trade areas (FTAs) affect U.S. trade policy, specifically tariffs. It looks closely at the Bush Administration's Trade Promotion Policy, and pending FTAs leftover from this administration. Additionally, it looks at the Obama Administration's work in the prospective Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP).
The Affordable Care Act and Small Business: Economic Issues
This report explains how employer-sponsored insurance can be used to address concerns about health insurance coverage and cost. Then, it summarizes the three ACA provisions most relevant to small businesses. Also, it analyzes these provisions for their potential effects on small businesses. Last, this report presents several approaches that could address some concerns associated with these provisions (particularly the employer penalty).
Health Care for Veterans: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides responses to frequently asked questions about health care provided to veterans through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). It is intended to serve as a quick reference to provide easy access to information. Where applicable, it provides the legislative background pertaining to the question.
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages for countering mines, small boats, and diesel-electric submarines, particularly in littoral (i.e., near-shore) waters.
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.
The 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and Defense Strategy: Issues for Congress
This report briefly reviews the statutory Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) mandate and characterizes the context for the 2014 QDR. It also raises a series of issues that Congress may choose to consider in evaluating the QDR mandate, the 2014 QDR, and the Department of Defense (DOD) strategic direction more broadly.
The Berry Amendment: Requiring Defense Procurement to Come from Domestic Sources
This report examines the original intent and purpose of the Berry Amendment, legislative proposals to amend the application of domestic source restrictions, and potential options for Congress.
FY2014 Continuing Resolutions: Overview of Components
This report summarizes the components of the four FY2014 continuing resolutions. They include P.L. 113-39 (Pay Our Military Act), P.L. 113-44 (Department of Defense Survivor Benefits Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014), P.L. 113-46 (Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014), and P.L. 113-73 (Making Further Continuing Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2014, and for Other Purposes).
FY2014 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Issues
This report focuses exclusively on the annual defense authorization process and the interest Congress members have in the military.
Independence of Federal Financial Regulators
This report discusses institutional features that make federal financial regulators (as well as other independent agencies) relatively independent from the President and Congress.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
This report discusses the evolution of a national critical infrastructure policy and the institutional structures established to implement it. Critical infrastructure includes physical assets used to produce and distribute services such as electricity (including the power plants and electric grid), communications, and computers. The report highlights five issues of Congressional concern: identifying critical assets; assessing vulnerabilities and risks; allocating resources; information sharing; and regulation.
EU-U.S. Economic Ties: Framework, Scope, and Magnitude
This report provides background information and analysis of the U.S.-EU (European Union) economic relationship related to the costs and benefits of closer U.S. economic ties with the EU. It examines the economic and political framework of the relationship and the scope and magnitude of the ties based on data from various sources. In addition, the report analyzes the implications these factors have for U.S. economic policy toward the EU.
Employment for Veterans: Trends and Programs
This report discusses veterans' employment trends and programs. The first section presents data on veterans' employment outcomes, identifying recent trends, and discussing issues to consider when interpreting veterans' employment data. The following sections present brief discussions of existing programs that provide employment-related services to veterans. These services are divided into (1) general programs that are broadly available to veterans, (2) programs that target veterans with service-connected disabilities, and (3) competitive grant programs that provide additional employment-related services to veterans but may be limited in scope or availability.
PILT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes): Somewhat Simplified
This report explains Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), with an analysis of the five major factors affecting the calculation of a payment to a given county. It also describes the effects of certain legislative changes to PILT in 2009 and 2012.
U.S. Manufacturing in International Perspective
This report contains a series of charts and tables that depict the position of manufacturing in the United States relative to other countries according to various metrics.
Countering Violent Extremism in the United States
This report provides examples of Administration "combating violent extremism" (CVE) activity and examines some of the risks and challenges evident in the "Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States" (SIP's) three objectives. The report also diagrams and briefly discusses the "future activities and efforts" outlined in the SIP for each of these three objectives.
FBI Director: Appointment and Tenure
This report reviews the legislative history surrounding the enactment of the 1968 and 1976 amendments to the appointment of the FBI Director, as well as information on the nominees to the FBI Directorship since 1972. It also provides a legal overview of the extension of a Director's tenure.
A Guide to U.S. Military Casualty Statistics: Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom
This report presents statistics regarding U.S. military casualties in the active Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF, Afghanistan), as well as operations that have ended: Operation New Dawn (OND, Iraq) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF, Iraq). It includes statistics on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), amputations, evacuations, and the demographics of casualties. Some of these statistics are publicly available at the Department of Defense's (DOD's) website; others have been obtained through contact with experts at the DOD.
Reducing Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Military Retirees and the Bipartisan Budget Act: In Brief
This report discusses the reduction of cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for military retirees through the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA). It includes an overview of the changes, demographics of military retirees, and potential effects of the changes.
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. Rising debt levels, along with continued differences in views of fiscal policy, led to a series of contentious debt limit episodes in recent years.
Health Benefits for Members of Congress and Certain Congressional Staff
This report summarizes the provisions of the final rule and describes how it affects current and retired Members and congressional staff. OPM has indicated that Members and congressional staff are still eligible for other health benefits related to federal employment, and these additional health benefits are outlined in this report. This report also discusses Members' and staff's eligibility for Medicare, which does not appear to be affected by the final rule.
Laws Affecting the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)
This report provides historical and background information that helps explain how Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) has evolved. It focuses solely on changes made to FEHBP through legislative action.
U.S.-Japan Economic Relations: Significance, Prospects, and Policy Options
This report discusses issues regarding U.S.-Japan economic relations, since the economic condition of each nation can affect the world economy and a U.S.-Japan bilateral economic relationship could influence economic conditions in other countries. U.S. and Japanese leaders have several options on how to manage their relationship, including stronger reliance on the World Trade Organization; special bilateral negotiating frameworks and agreements; or a free trade agreement.
Women in the United States Congress: Historical Overview, Tables, and Discussion
This report discusses the impact of women in Congress and historical information, such as the number and percentage of women in Congress over time, means of entry to Congress, comparisons to international and state legislatures, records for tenure, firsts for women in Congress, women in leadership, and African-American and Asian-Pacific American women in Congress.
Latin America and the Caribbean: Key Issues for the 113th Congress
This report provides an overview of U.S. policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean, including the Obama Administration's priorities; examines changes in the region's economic and political environment that affect U.S. relations with the region; and analyzes U.S. policy toward the region and various recommendations made by policy analysts and think tanks. The report then examines the role of Congress and congressional interests in Latin America, looking at selected regional and country issues, including key issues that the 113th Congress is facing. Appendices provide U.S.-Latin America trade statistics and a listing of hearings focused on Latin America.
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.
The Education Sciences Reform Act
This report discusses the Education Sciences Reform Act (ESRA, Title I of P.L. 107-279) that established the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) as an independent research arm of the Department of Education (ED).
State Government Fiscal Stress and Federal Assistance
This report examines the current status of state fiscal conditions and the role of federal assistance in state budgets. It begins with an overview of state budgeting procedures and then provides budgetary data comparing state fiscal conditions in FY2008 to FY2013. This report concludes with an assessment of the consequences current levels of state fiscal stress may have for the 113th Congress.
The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Background and Issues
This report discusses the proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) signed November 22, 2006, which has not yet been approved by Congress. It includes an overview of the proposed CFTA and U.S.-Colombia trade, background on Colombia, issues for Congress to consider, Colombia's plan to improve labor rights, and the actions that Colombia has already taken to improve violence, labor, and human rights within the country.
Itemized Tax Deductions for Individuals: Data Analysis
This report analyzes data about reforming itemized tax deductions for individuals.
Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the current state of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its relationship with the United States, and future initiatives to further develop U.S.-Saudi relations.
Unemployment Insurance: Programs and Benefits
This report describes three kinds of unemployment benefit programs: regular Unemployment Compensation (UC), Extended Benefits (EB), and Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08). The report explains their basic eligibility requirements, benefits, and financing structure.
Visa Waiver Program
This report discusses the visa waiver program (VWP), which allows for a bypass of the first step by which foreign visitors are screened for admissibility to enter the United States. Some policymakers are concerned that this waiver allows terrorists to more easily enter the country. The report provides waiver-related statistics and related legislation.
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).
Reducing Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Military Retirees and the Bipartisan Budget Act: In Brief
This report discusses the reduction of cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for military retirees through the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA). It includes an overview of the changes, demographics of military retirees, and potential effects of the changes.
Carbon Capture and Sequestration: Research, Development, and Demonstration at the U.S. Department of Energy
This report aims to provide a snapshot of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) program, including its current funding levels and the budget request for FY2014, together with some discussion of the program's achievements and prospects for success in meeting its stated goals.
Career and Technical Education (CTE): A Primer
This report discusses Career and Technical Education (CTE), often referred to as vocational education, that provides occupational and non-occupational preparation at the secondary, post-secondary, and adult education levels.
The FutureGen Carbon Capture and Sequestration Project: A Brief History and Issues for Congress
This report briefly summarizes the history of FutureGen, discusses why it has gained interest and support from some members of Congress and the Administration while remaining in initial stages of development, and offers some policy considerations on barriers that challenge its further development as a model for a carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) program. A timeline history of FutureGen is included at the end of this report.
Government Assistance for GMAC/Ally Financial: Unwinding the Government Stake
This report discusses the auto financing industry, particularly Ally Financial, formerly known as General Motors Acceptance Corporation or GMAC.
The Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy: In Brief
This report briefly analyzes the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy (HSRS), which is the key strategic document released by the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force established by executive order. It also discusses overarching issues for Congress that may arise in oversight of the Hurricane Sandy recovery process and how lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy can be applied to future disasters.
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. The planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy's shipbuilding plans have been matters of concern for the congressional defense committees for the past several years. Decisions that Congress makes on Navy shipbuilding programs can substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.