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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Results 151 - 200 of 20,931
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Mexico: Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Organizations
This report provides background on drug trafficking and organized crime inside Mexico: it identifies the major DTOs, and it examines how the organized crime "landscape" has been significantly altered by fragmentation.
Airline Passenger Rights: The Federal Role in Aviation Consumer Protection
This report examines aviation consumer protections following the 1978 elimination of most governmental control regarding airline business practices. It explains the roles of Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in protecting airline consumers, and discusses some major passenger rights issues and related laws and regulations.
GAO Bid Protests: Trends and Analysis
This report is one of two providing Congress with background on the GAO bid-protest process. It analyzes trends in bid protests filed with GAO, why companies protest, the impact bid protests have on acquisitions, the most common grounds for GAO to sustain a protest, and trends in bid protests filed against DOD.
North Korea: U.S. Relations, Nuclear Diplomacy, and Internal Situation
This report covers the overall U.S.-North Korea relationship, with an emphasis on nuclear diplomacy. Negotiations over North Korea's nuclear weapons program have occupied the past three U.S. administrations, even as some analysts anticipated a collapse of the isolated authoritarian regime. North Korea has been the recipient of over $1 billion in U.S. aid (though none since 2009) and the target of dozens of U.S. sanctions.
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID): Background, Operations, and Issues
This report provides background information on the institutional makeup and operations of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the leading international humanitarian and development arm of the U.S. government. It then discusses in greater depth several aspects of the agency that might be of particular congressional interest.
U.S. Foreign Assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean: Recent Trends and FY2016 Appropriations
This report discusses the United States economic assistance to the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean. Current U.S. policy is designed to promote economic and social opportunity, ensure the safety of the region's citizens, strengthen effective democratic institutions, and secure a clean energy future.
U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation Following "El Chapo" Guzmán's Escape
This report discusses the escape of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán on July 11, 2015, from a maximum security federal prison near Mexico City.
Agricultural Biotechnology: Background, Regulation, and Policy Issues
This report discusses on going issues regarding biotechnology, which refers primarily to the use of recombinant DNA techniques to genetically modify or bioengineer plants and animals. Ongoing policy issues include the impacts of genetially engineered (GE) crops on the environment (e.g., pest and weed resistance), whether GE foods should be labeled, their potential contamination of conventionally raised and organic plants, and issues of liability.
FY2016 Agriculture and Related Agencies Appropriations: In Brief
This report discusses the Agriculture appropriations bill for fiscal year 2016, which funds the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) -- except for the Forest Service -- as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and, in even-numbered fiscal years, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Agriculture appropriations include both mandatory and discretionary spending, however, mandatory amounts are general set by other authorizing laws (such as the farm bill).
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.
Microbeads: An Emerging Water Quality Issue
This report discusses the debate over how to address growing environmental concerns regarding microbeads (synthetic particles made of either polyethylene or polypropylene plastic) and whether federal regulation to control or ban them is needed. A number of companies are voluntarily removing microbeads from their products, and some states--eight so far--have passed laws to ban manufacture and sale of products with microbeads.
Takings Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court: A Chronology
This report is a reverse chronological listing of U.S. Supreme Court decisions addressing claims that a government entity has "taken" private property, as that term is used in the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
Update on the Highly-Pathogenic Avian Influenza Outbreak of 2014-2015
This report discusses selected issues regarding the severe outbreak of highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) currently affecting poultry in the U.S.
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 Voting Rights Act (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.
Can Military Servicemembers Carry Firearms for Personal Protection on Duty?
This report briefly discusses the applicable law and policy regarding government-issued firearms for personal protection of servicemembers on duty.
Cyber Intrusion into U.S. Office of Personnel Management: In Brief
This report provides an overview of the current understanding of the recent U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) breaches, which may have compromised personal information of former and current federal employees. It also discusses issues and questions raised about the source of the breaches, possible uses of the information exfiltrated, potential national security ramifications, and implications for the cybersecurity of federal information systems.
Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit
This report provides an overview of the U.S. balance of payments, an explanation of the broader role of capital flows in the U.S. economy, an explanation of how the country finances its trade deficit or a trade surplus, and the implications for Congress and the country of the large inflows of capital from abroad.
Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response
This report discusses the continuing conflict in Syria including recent regime losses in confrontations with forces of the Islamic State (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL/ISIS) in northeastern Syria. The report also covers U.S. policy responses to the conflict.
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.
The Dominican Republic: Tensions with Haiti over Citizenship and Migration Issues
This report discusses the dispute between the Dominican Republic and Haiti regarding the citizenship status of some 200,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent, as well as undocumented migrants in the Dominican Republic, which threatens to exacerbate tensions between the two neighbors.
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.
Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions
This report identifies the legislative bases for sanctions imposed on Iran, and the nature of the authority to waive or lift those restrictions. It comprises two tables that present legislation and executive orders that are specific to Iran and its objectionable activities in the areas of terrorism, human rights, and weapons proliferation.
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.
Reestablishment of Diplomatic Relations with Cuba
This report discusses the decision to reestablish diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba and to reopen embassies in their respective capitals (announced July 1, 2015). It briefly describes the U.S.'s new policy approach towards Cuba and the congressional response to the changes.
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.
Crisis in Greece: Political Implications
This report discusses political and economic conditions in Greece. What began as a debt crisis in Greece in late 2009 has evolved into a political crisis that many analysts believe 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.