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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Results 101 - 150 of 19,652
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An Overview of Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas: Resources and Federal Actions
This report focuses on the growth in U.S. oil and natural gas production driven primarily by tight oil formations and shale gas formations. It also reviews selected federal environmental regulatory and research initiatives related to unconventional oil and gas extraction, including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) hydraulic fracturing rule (finalized in March 2015) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions.
Free Exercise of Religion by Closely Held Corporations: Implications of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
This report analyzes the Court's decision in Hobby Lobby, including arguments made between the majority and dissent, to clarify the scope of the decision and potential impacts for future interpretation of RFRA's applicability. It also examines potential legislative responses, should Congress consider addressing the current applicability of RFRA. Finally, the report addresses the decision's effect on requirements that employers offer contraceptive coverage in group health plans under federal or state law.
Net Neutrality: Selected Legal Issues Raised by the FCC's 2015 Open Internet Order
This report discusses the primary legal issues raised by the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC's) 2015 Open Internet Order: the FCC's authority to reclassify broadband Internet access services, the FCC's authority to forbear from the imposition of Title II regulations following reclassification, the FCC's authority under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and whether the FCC properly complied with the Administrative Procedure Act.
Ballistic Missile Defense in the Asia-Pacific Region: Cooperation and Opposition
This report presents background information and discusses potential issues for Congress relating to U.S. ballistic missile defense (BMD) efforts in the Asia-Pacific region. These efforts pose several potential policy, funding, and oversight issues for Congress. Decisions that Congress makes on these issues could affect U.S. defense funding requirements and military capabilities, and U.S. relations with countries in the Asia Pacific region, including China, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, and Australia.
U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production in Federal and Non-Federal Areas
This report examines U.S. oil and natural gas production data for federal and non-federal areas with an emphasis on the past five fiscal years of production.
The War Powers Resolution: Concepts and Practice
This report discusses and assesses the War Powers Resolution and its application since enactment in 1973, providing detailed background on various cases in which it was used, as well as cases in which issues of its applicability were raised. It will be revised biannually.
Conflict Minerals and Resource Extraction: Dodd-Frank, SEC Regulations, and Legal Challenges
This report discusses the two sections of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) that require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) to issue regulations to make public the involvement of U.S. companies in conflict minerals and in resource extraction payments.
Health Coverage Tax Credit
The report describes the expired eligibility criteria, as well as the types of health insurance to which the tax credit may have been applied. It discusses past federal and state roles in administering the HCTC program, and it summarizes analyses on the credit's effectiveness in reaching targeted populations and related equity and efficiency issues. In addition, the report includes a short discussion of relevant current law and summarizes statutory history of the HCTC program.
Rail Safety Efforts Miss Leading Cause of Fatalities
This report briefly discusses the debate over the reauthorization of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA08; P.L. 110-432). Congress is focusing on steps to prevent train derailments and collisions. Such incidents often receive extensive publicity and cause harm to bystanders, such as the residents of Mount Carbon, West Virginia, who were forced to evacuate after a train carrying crude oil derailed and burned on February 16, 2015.
Social Media in the House of Representatives: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers several questions about the regulation of social media accounts in the House of Representatives, as social media accounts for official representational duties have increased.
Status of a Senator Who Has Been Indicted for or Convicted of a Felony
This report summarizes the potential consequences, with respect to congressional status, that may result when a sitting Senator is indicted for or is convicted of a felony.
Terrorist Databases and the No Fly List: Procedural Due Process and Hurdles to Litigation
This report provides an overview of the operation of the government's watchlists, examines some of the legal issues implicated by challenges to the No Fly list, and describes recent case law on the matter.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues
This report examines debates over what constitutes an unfunded federal mandate and the implementation of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA). It includes an overview of UMRA, its origins, and provisions; definitions for unfunded federal mandates; how UMRA relates to Congressional procedure (Title I) and to federal rulemaking (Title II); and concluding observations on the issues.
Keystone XL Pipeline: Overview and Recent Developments
This report describes the Keystone XL Pipeline Project and the process that the State Department must complete to decide whether it will approve or deny TransCanada's permit application. The report also discusses key energy security, economic, and environmental issues relevant to this determination. Finally, the report discusses the constitutional basis for the State Department's authority to issue a Presidential Permit, and opponents' possible challenges to this authority.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): An Overview of Programs and Funding
This report provides an overview of funding and programs of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) bureau.
U.S. International Food Aid Programs: Background and Issues
This report includes three principal sections: the first section is a description of U.S. international food aid programs under current law; the second section discusses several important policy issues related to U.S. international food aid; and the third section describes Administration and congressional proposals intended to change the nature of U.S. food international aid.
Venezuela: Background and U.S. Relations
This report discusses current Congressional issues in relation to Venezuela, including background on the political situation and recent developments, the economic conditions, relevant U.S. policies, and the legislative initiatives in the 111th and 112th Congresses.
China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities--Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on the potential implications of China's naval modernization for future required U.S. Navy capabilities. Other CRS reports address separate issues relating to China. This report is based on unclassified open-source information.
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program. The Navy's proposed FY2016 budget requests $5,340.1 million in procurement, advance procurement (AP), and Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) funding for the program. Decisions that Congress makes on procurement of Virginia-class boats could substantially affect U.S. Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Status of the Federal Perkins Loan Program: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers several frequently asked questions regarding the current and future status of the Federal Perkins Loan program, which authorizes the allocation of federal funds to institutions of higher education to assist them in capitalizing revolving loan funds for the purpose of making low-interest loans to students with exceptional financial need.
Congressional Membership and Appointment Authority to Advisory Commissions, Boards, and Groups
This report contains a compilation of commissions and boards that demonstrates the range of alternative membership-appointment structures. It includes any statutorily created advisory entity (boards, advisory panels, etc.) whose membership scheme mandates the participation of Members of Congress either as potential members or as participants in the process of appointing the membership.
Export-Import Bank: Overview and Reauthorization Issues
This report provides: a general background of Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank; a discussion of the international context of the Bank; analysis of key issues that Congress may consider in a reauthorization debate; and the congressional outlook on Ex-Im Bank.
Federal Involvement in Sex Offender Registration and Notification: Overview and Issues for Congress, In Brief
This report begins with a brief background on sex offender crime and policy in the United States, followed by a description of the role of the federal government in sex offender registration and notification. It concludes with a discussion of select issues on which Congress may exercise additional oversight or address through legislation.
Health Care-Related Expiring Provisions, First Session of the 114th Congress
This report provides a list of selected health-related programs and activities under specified titles of the Social Security Act (SSA).
Veterans and Homelessness
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan brought renewed attention to the needs of veterans, including the needs of homeless veterans. Researchers have found both male and female veterans to be overrepresented in the homeless population, and, as the number of veterans increased due to these conflicts, there was concern that the number of homeless veterans could rise commensurately. This report discusses the various aspects of this issue.
Department of State and Foreign Operations Appropriations: A Fact Sheet on Legislation, FY1995-FY2015
This report discusses the foreign affairs appropriations passed within the last 21 years; nearly all of them were passed within omnibus, consolidated, or full-year continuing resolutions, and usually after the start of the new fiscal year. Many foreign policy experts contend that stand-alone appropriation legislation would allow for a more rigorous debate on specific foreign policy activities. They also believe that the practice of delayed appropriations has constrained ongoing program operating levels and the ability to introduce or fund new programs that did not exist in the previous year's budget.
Israel After the 2015 Elections: What Does Netanyahu's Victory Mean for U.S. Policy?
This report briefly discusses the implications of recent elections in Israel, which has leading candidates that openly differed on how to manage disagreements with the United States and the international community on various matters
Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress
This report presents background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Navy's Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) and Zumwalt (DDG-1000) class destroyer programs. The Navy's proposed FY2016 budget requests funding for the procurement of two DDG-51s. Decisions that Congress makes concerning destroyer procurement could substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Navy Ford (CVN-78) Class Aircraft Carrier Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Gerald R. Ford class aircraft carrier program. The Navy's proposed FY2016 budget requests a total of $2,633.1 million in procurement and advance procurement (AP) funding for the first three ships in the program. Congress's decisions on the Ford class program could substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements and the shipbuilding industrial base.
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.
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.
The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA): Compensation Related to Exposure to Radiation from Atomic Weapons Testing and Uranium Mining
This report discusses the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), which provides one-time benefit payments to persons who may have developed cancer or other specified diseases after being exposed to radiation from atomic weapons testing or uranium mining, milling, or transporting.
Senate Rules Affecting Committees
This report identifies and summarizes the provisions of the Senate's standing rules, standing orders, precedents, and other directives that relate to legislative activity in the Senate's standing committees. It covers four main issues: committee organization, committee meetings, hearings, and reporting.
Seventh Summit of the Americas: In Brief
This report discusses the Summits of the Americas, which have been held roughly every three years since 1994 and serve as opportunities for the Western Hemisphere's leaders to engage directly with one another and discuss issues of collective concern. On April 10-11, 2015, President Obama is scheduled to attend the seventh Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama.
Amendments Between the Houses: Procedural Options and Effects
This report explains the procedural options for resolving differences through amendments between the houses, and to discuss the procedural effects of resolving differences through this process as an alternative to conference committee.
This report provides a brief overview of political, economic, and humanitarian conditions in Sudan and examines the conflict dynamics that persist in the country. It also outlines U.S. policy and congressional engagement.
Terrorist Attack in Tunis: Implications
This report briefly discusses the implications of the March 18 terrorist attack in Tunis which killed at least 20 foreign tourists visiting the national Bardo Museum, along with a Tunisian police officer.
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.
China's Mineral Industry and U.S. Access to Strategic and Critical Minerals: Issues for Congress
This report will examine China's position in the global mineral and metal markets; its growth in mineral reserves; the growth of supply, demand, and imports; and the role of China's state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The report takes a look at U.S. mineral import dependence, U.S. import dependence on China, and selected policy options.
Designating Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs)
This report briefly discusses congressional concerns regarding the Financial Stability Oversight Council's (FSOC) authorization to designate certain non-bank entities as Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFI).
EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"
This report describes the March 25, 2014 proposed rule to define "waters of the United States," particularly focused on clarifying the regulatory status of waters located in isolated places in a landscape, the types of waters with ambiguous jurisdictional status following the Supreme Court's ruling. It includes a table comparing the proposal to existing regulatory language.
House Standing Committee Chairs and Ranking Minority Members: Rules Governing Selection Procedures
House rules, Republican Conference rules, and Democratic Caucus rules each detail aspects of the procedures followed in selecting standing committee chairs and ranking minority members. This report summarizes those procedures and lists membership on each party's steering committee.
The Quadrennial Energy Review
This is the first Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) report with focus on U.S. energy infrastructure, specifically transmission, storage, and distribution (TS&D), looking out to 2030.
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.
Small Business Administration Microloan Program
This report describes the Microloan program's eligibility standards and operating requirements for lenders and borrowers and examines the arguments presented by the program's critics and advocates. It also examines changes to the program authorized by P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.
Social Security and Same-Sex Marriage: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses a number of frequently asked questions regarding the eligibility of same-sex couples for Social Security benefits and the interpretation of state marriage laws. These questions include those relating to general eligibility and the application process for same-sex couples and those in other types of legal relationships.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Negotiations and Issues for Congress
This report examines the issues related to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the state and substance of the negotiations (to the degree that the information is publicly available), the specific areas under negotiation, the policy and economic contexts in which the TPP would fit, and the issues for Congress that the TPP presents.
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.