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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Results 151 - 200 of 18,969
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Legal Services Corporation: Background and Funding
This report discusses the responsibilities of Legal Services Corporation (LSC), which is a private, nonprofit, federally funded corporation that helps provide legal assistance to low-income people in civil (i.e., noncriminal) matters.
Navy TAO(X) Oiler Shipbuilding Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the TAO(X) oiler shipbuilding program, a program to build a new class of fleet oilers for the Navy. The Navy wants to procure the first TAO(X) in FY2016. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's funding requests and acquisition strategy for the TAO(X) program.
Peace Talks in Colombia
This report provides background on Colombia's armed conflict and describes its key players. It briefly analyzes prior negotiations with the FARC and the lessons learned from those efforts that apply to the current talks. It examines what has transpired in the talks during more than two years of closed door sessions. The report also examines some of the constraints that could limit the success of the peace talks and looks at the prospects for the current negotiations.
The Presidential Libraries Act and the Establishment of Presidential Libraries
This report details the legislative history of the Presidential Libraries Act and examines information on existing library facilities and their locations, organizational characteristics, and outreach efforts. It also analyzes legislative options for the act, including increasing endowment requirements for the library foundations and clearly delineating the relationship between the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the libraries' supporting organizations.
Tax Provisions that Expired in 2014 ("Tax Extenders")
This report provides a broad overview of the tax extenders that retroactively extend expired tax provisions, including the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, which made tax provisions that had expired at the end of 2013 available to taxpayers for the 2014 tax year.
Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate
This report discusses the current debate over "net neutrality." While there is no single accepted definition of "net neutrality," most agree that any such definition should include the general principles that owners of the networks that compose and provide access to the Internet should not control how consumers lawfully use that network, and they should not be able to discriminate against content provider access to that network.
Congressional Roll Call Votes on the Keystone XL Pipeline
This report provides roll call vote data related to the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline that would transport oil sands crude from Canada and shale oil produced in North Dakota and Montana to a market hub in Nebraska for further delivery to Gulf Coast refineries. Voting information is listed chronologically and broken down by chamber, Congress, and type of legislation.
Cybersecurity: Data, Statistics, and Glossaries
This report describes data and statistics from government, industry, and information technology (IT) security firms regarding the current state of cybersecurity threats in the United States and internationally. These include incident estimates, costs, and annual reports on data security breaches, identity thefts, cybercrimes, malwares, and network securities.
Discretionary Budget Authority by Subfunction: An Overview
This report presents figures showing trends in discretionary budget authority as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) by subfunction within each of 17 budget function categories, using data from President Obama's FY2016 budget submission. This report provides a graphical overview of historical trends in discretionary budget authority from FY1977 through FY2014, estimates for FY2015 spending, and the levels consistent with the President's proposals for FY2016 through FY2020.
EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases: Congressional Responses and Options
This report provides background and discusses four options to address greenhouse gas (GHG) sources: (1) resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act; (2) freestanding legislation directing, delaying, or prohibiting EPA action; (3) the use of appropriations bills as a vehicle to influence EPA activity; and (4) amendments to the Clean Air Act, including legislation to establish a new GHG control regime.
Evaluating the "Past Performance" of Federal Contractors: Legal Requirements and Issues
This report provides an overview of existing legal requirements pertaining to past performance, including the issues raised by federal contractors' attempts to challenge agency evaluations of their past performance, source selection decisions based, in part, on consideration of past performance information, and responsibility determinations. It also surveys recently enacted and proposed legislation and executive branch initiatives related to evaluations of past performance.
A Guide to Describing the Income Distribution
This report provides descriptive analysis of the U.S. income distribution to illustrate various concepts. First, it examines the complexities of income measurement and important definitional and data considerations to bear in mind when using and interpreting income statistics. Next, it describes two popular data sources used to study the U.S. income distribution, followed by sections on statistics commonly used to provide point-in-time analysis and to compare U.S. income across groups, time, and location. The report concludes with an explanation of the Gini index.
Spectrum Policy: Provisions in the 2012 Spectrum Act
This report discusses the Spectrum Act, a provision of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. It includes an overview of the Spectrum Act, the specific policy revisions (deficit reduction, directed auctions, incentive auctions, federal spectrum use and reallocation, and unlicensed spectrum) and a conclusion discussing geographic coverage of spectrum licenses, spectrum caps, and planning for future needs.
Domestic Food Assistance: Summary of Programs
This report gives an overview of the federal programs that provide food assistance within the United States and the territories, including a discussion of common concepts and themes across the network of domestic food assistance programs.
How Social Security Benefits Are Computed: In Brief
This report discusses how Social Security benefits are currently computed, including information about eligibility, earnings, cost-of-living adjustments, factors that can affect benefit levels, and benefits for dependents.
Legislative Planning: Considerations for Congressional Staff
This report presents some of the factors usually considered in preparing a legislative or office action plan. The information is provided in three sections: (1) an overview which lays out summary consideration, (2) questions to consider in preparing an outline for a project, and (3) a sample action plan.
The New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions
This report provides an overview of the New Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (START), including a comparison to the original START Treaty, the belief of the Obama Administration and outside analysts that New START will enhance U.S. national security, and the criticisms of those who say that New START is a distraction from more important items on the nonproliferation agenda.
The Target and Other Financial Data Breaches: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers some frequently asked questions about the Target and selected other data breaches, including what is known to have happened in the breach, and what costs may result. It also examines some of the broader issues common to data breaches, including how the payment system works, how cybersecurity costs are shared and allocated within the payment system, who bears the losses in such breaches more generally, what emerging cybersecurity technologies may help prevent them, and what role the government could play in encouraging their adoption. The report addresses policy issues that were discussed in the 113th Congress to deal with these issues.
U.S. Sanctions on Russia: Economic Implications
This report discusses the U.S.-Russia economic ties, U.S. sanctions and Russia's retaliatory measures, economic trends in Russia, and U.S. economic interest.
Wildfire Management: Federal Funding and Related Statistics
This report provides wildfire management appropriations data for FY2011-FY2015 and information on the President's FY2016 budget request for wildland fire management. The report also provides general wildfire management statistics (e.g., numbers of wildfires, acres burned, and firefighter personnel).
Alien Removals and Returns: Overview and Trends
This report provides an overview of the statutory framework for alien removal and briefly describes the standard removal process. It also describes several streamlined forms of removal, and two alternative forms of removal (often referred to as returns) that exempt aliens from certain penalties associated with formal removal: voluntary departure and withdrawal of petition for admission. In addition, the report discusses recent trends in removals and returns, and concludes with a summary of potential avenues for relief from removal.
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, by Topic
This report provides references to analytical reports on cybersecurity from CRS, other government agencies, trade associations, and interest groups. The reports and related websites are grouped under the following cybersecurity topics: policy overview; National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC); cloud computing and FedRAMP; critical infrastructure; cybercrime, data breaches and data security; national security, cyber espionage, and cyberwar (including Stuxnet); international efforts; education/training/workforce; and research and development (R&D).
The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR): Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides answers to 25 frequently asked questions regarding the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). These questions and their answers are organized into six broad categories, including (1) what the FAR is and what it covers; (2) promulgation of the FAR; (3) the relationship between the FAR and other authorities governing federal procurement (e.g., statutes, agency FAR supplements, other regulations, policies); (4) the FAR in relation to Congress and judicial and other tribunals; (5) the relationship between the FAR and federal procurement contracts; and (6) other topics.
House Committee Funding Requests and Authorizations, 104th-113th Congresses
This report describes the House Committee funding process provides tables for each of the Congresses from the 104th through the 113th containing committee funding requests and authorizations as adopted pursuant to primary expense authorizations.
Kuwait: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report looks at Kuwait's relationships with its neighbors in the Persian Gulf, and its own political system which has been in turmoil since 2006.
Presidential Appointments to Full-Time Positions on Regulatory and Other Collegial Boards and Commissions, 112th Congress
This report identifies all nominations submitted to the Senate for full-time positions on 34 federal regulatory boards and commissions during the 112th Congress.
Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Program: In Brief
This report provides definition of a public safety officers and discusses the Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) program and the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance's (BJA's) disability benefits.
Small Business Administration Trade and Export Promotion Programs
This report begins with the history, role, and scope of the Small Business Administration's (SBA's) export promotion activities, and the creation of the Office of International Trade (OIT). Next, quantitative data from SBA and qualitative data from other sources are used to provide performance analysis of SBA's international programs. This report concludes with a presentation of three issues for consideration during an era where concerns of fiscal responsibility and economic recovery are high priorities for many policy makers.
Terminating Contracts for the Government's Convenience: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides answers to 12 questions regarding termination for convenience -- the exercise of the government's right to bring to an end the performance of all or part of the work provided for under a contract prior to the expiration of the contract "when it is in the Government's interest" to do so -- frequently asked by congressional committees and staff. These questions and their answers address everything from the contractual and other bases for the government's right to terminate to posttermination settlements between the government and the contractor. They also address differences between termination for convenience and termination for default, cancellation, and certain other actions that the government may take (e.g., "de-scoping" pursuant to a Changes clause).
The United States and Europe: Current Issues
This report examines a number of issues that illustrate the cooperation of U.S.-European cooperation based on shared interests and present challenges. These issues include specifics topics in economics, foreign policy and international security, terrorism, cybersecurity, and energy.
Army Corps of Engineers: Water Resource Authorizations, Appropriations, and Activities
This report summarizes congressional authorization and appropriations processes for the Army Corps of Engineers. It also discusses agency activities under general authorities. Congress directs the Corps through authorizations, appropriations, and oversight of its studies, construction projects, and other activities.
Asset Forfeiture: Selected Legal Issues and Reforms
This report discusses the asset forfeiture, which refers (in this report) to the process of confiscating either property or money from a person because it is illegal to possess (contraband), constitutes the proceeds of a crime, or was used to facilitate a crime. The report provides an overview of both types -- civil asset forfeiture and criminal forfeitures -- as well as select legal issues and structural reforms.
Biennial Budgeting: Options, Issues, and Previous Congressional Action
This report provides background on options, issues, and previous congressional action related to biennial budgeting. It includes descriptions of the types of biennial budgeting, general arguments favoring and opposing biennial budgeting, biennial budgeting at the state level, and relevant Congressional actions.
Common Questions About Federal Records and Related Agency Requirements
This report provides an introduction to federal records. It describes the scope and requirements of the Federal Records Act (FRA) and its associated regulations. This report focuses on federal recordkeeping laws, regulations, and policies including what is or is not a federal record, which agencies are required to comply with the FRA and how agencies can transfer or dispose of federal records. This report does not address the recordkeeping requirements of Congress, the Supreme Court, the President, or the Architect of the Capitol.
Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2015
This report begins with a discussion of the overall level of R&D funding requested in the President's budget, followed by analyses of requested R&D funding 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 about 98% of total federal R&D funding.
International Climate Change Financing: The Green Climate Fund (GCF)
This report discusses United States commitments for climate change through financial and technical assistance and multilateral programs.
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.
Worker Participation in Employer-Sponsored Pensions: A Fact Sheet
This fact sheet provides data on the percentage of American workers who have access to and who participate in employer-sponsored pension plans. The information is from the National Compensation Survey (NCS), which is conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The NCS provides data on occupational earnings and the availability of employee benefits among U.S. workers.
China's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ)
This report analyzes the legal, diplomatic, and security implications of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ECS ADIZ) for U.S. interests. The concluding section briefly discusses some policy options for Congress and for U.S. policy in general.
Defense: FY2015 Authorization and Appropriations
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.
Health Care for Veterans: Suicide Prevention
This report focuses on suicide prevention activities of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VHA's approach to suicide prevention is based on a public health framework, which has three major components: (1) surveillance, (2) risk and protective factors, and (3) interventions.
Information Warfare: Cyberattacks on Sony
This report discusses information warfare, which includes information-related capabilities to influence, disrupt, corrupt, or usurp the decision making of adversaries while protecting our own.
Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights
This report discusses the state of Iraqi politics, governance, and human rights, including the worsening relations between local Sunni and Shiite populations.
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 is expected to request funding for the procurement of three more LCSs.
Older Americans Act: FY2015 Appropriations Overview
This report discusses Older Americans Act (OAA) funding. It begins with an overview of OAA's FY2015 funding and provides a detailed breakdown of current-year funding for each of the act's programs and activities. The report then reviews OAA's funding history since FY2001. Next, it summarizes FY2015 legislative activity with respect to OAA appropriations. It concludes with a discussion of FY2015 funding decisions for selected OAA programs.
Same-Sex Marriage: A Legal Overview
This report provides background on, and analysis of, significant legal issues surrounding the same-sex marriage debate. It begins by providing background on the constitutional principles that are often invoked in attempting to invalidate same-sex marriage bans--namely, equal protection and due process guarantees. Then, it discusses key cases that led to the existing circuit split on the constitutionality of state same-sex marriage bans. Finally, this report explains the central issues in the circuit split and analyzes how the Supreme Court might resolve them on appeal.
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms: Economic, Program, and Policy Issues
This report discusses the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) programs, which were authorized by Congress in the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to help workers and firms adjust to import competition and dislocation caused by trade liberalization. It provides information about TAAF program and policy issues, as well as legislation to reauthorize the TAAF program.
U.S. Trade Concepts, Performance, and Policy: Frequently Asked Questions
This report discusses trade issues relevant to Congress. The report is divided into four sections in a question-and-answer format: trade concepts; U.S. trade performance; formulation of U.S. trade policy; and trade and investment issues.
Who Regulates Whom and How? An Overview of U.S. Financial Regulatory Policy for Banking and Securities Markets
This report provides an overview of the regulatory policies of the agencies that oversee banking and securities markets and explains which agencies are responsible for which institutions, activities, and markets. Some agencies regulate particular types of institutions for risky behavior or conflicts of interest, some agencies promulgate rules for certain financial transactions no matter what kind of institution engages in them, and other agencies enforce existing rules for some institutions, but not for others. These regulatory activities are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods and the WTO Trade Dispute on Meat Labeling
This report covers the dispute between the U.S with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, who say that the recent country-of-origin labeling (COOL) system implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is unfair and does not meet its original objectives. This dispute was brought before the WTO dispute panel and found to be valid. The report ends with a discussion of options for the U.S. in regards to modifying COOL to follow WTO rulings.