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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Results 151 - 200 of 38,231
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Iran's Nuclear Program: Tehran's Compliance with International Obligations
This report provides a brief overview of Iran's nuclear program and describes the legal basis for the actions taken by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board and the Security Council.
Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act
This report provides background information and three tables summarizing legislative actions taken to repeal, defund, delay, or otherwise amend the Affordable Care Act (ACA) since it was enacted. Table 1 summarizes the ACA changes that have been signed into law. Table 2 lists all the House-passed ACA bills. Table 3 summarizes the ACA provisions in the vetoed reconciliation bill.
Omnibus Appropriations Acts: Overview of Recent Practices
This report provides pertinent background information, reviews the recent enactment of omnibus appropriation measures, and briefly addresses several issues raised by their use.
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons
This report discusses Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, which probably consists of approximately 110-130 nuclear warheads, although it could have more. Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is widely regarded as designed to dissuade India from taking military action against Pakistan, but Islamabad's expansion of its nuclear arsenal, development of new types of nuclear weapons, and adoption of a doctrine called "full spectrum deterrence" have led to concern about an increased risk of nuclear conflict between Pakistan and India.
Discretionary Spending Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
This report examines the Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) effects on discretionary spending. It first discusses all the ACA authorizations (and reauthorizations) of appropriations for grant and other programs; this information, along with actual funding amounts, is summarized in a series of tables. The report then reviews the ACA administrative costs borne by CMS and the IRS.
EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions
This report summarizes the issues the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encountered when developing regulations for "carbon pollution" from existing power plants as part of the Clean Power Plan. The report describes how the EPA resolved these issues. In addition to discussing details of the Clean Power Plan, the report addresses the EPA's authority under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act (CAA), the EPA's previous experience using that authority, and other background questions. The report discusses the ongoing litigation in which a number of states and other entities have challenged the rule, while other states and entities have intervened in support of the rule. It also discusses challenges to the rule under the Congressional Review Act and other options that Congress has to influence the EPA's action.
Federal Reserve: Oversight and Disclosure Issues
This report provides an overview of existing Federal Reserve (Fed) oversight and disclosure practices. It also considers the potential impact of greater oversight and disclosure on the Fed's independence and its ability to achieve its macroeconomic and financial stability goals.
Goldwater-Nichols and the Evolution of Officer Joint Professional Military Education (JPME)
This report focuses mainly on Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) requirements in the context of the reforms of the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 that led to major changes in officer training and career development through the establishment of a joint management system. Although the report refers to joint officer assignments and promotions, it does not address the joint officer management system as a whole. The first sections provide background on joint education and the changes put in place by GNA. The following sections discuss the implementation and evolution of JPME over the past 30 years. The final section lays out some of the stakeholders' concerns and issues with the current state of JPME that Congress may consider as they conduct their GNA review.
Temporary Professional, Managerial, and Skilled Foreign Workers: Policy and Trends
This report opens with an overview of the policy issues that pertain to foreign workers. It follows with a summary of each of the various visa categories available for temporary professional, managerial, and skilled foreign workers, as well as an analysis of the trends seen with the use of these various visas over the past two decades. This workforce is seen by many as a catalyst of U.S. global economic competitiveness. The challenge central to the policy debate is facilitating the migration of foreign workers without adversely affecting U.S. workers and U.S. students entering the labor market.
U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation After "El Chapo" Guzmán's January 2016 Recapture
This report discusses relations between the U.S. and Mexico following the escape and recapture of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán from a maximum security federal prison near Mexico City in July 2015. One key concern for U.S. policymakers is whether the Mexican government will be able to hold Guzmán securely in the same prison from which he escaped and then extradite him swiftly to the United States--a source of tension in U.S.-Mexican relations. Another is whether Guzmán's recapture, which was supported by U.S. intelligence, will lead to closer security cooperation moving forward.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues
This report examines debates over what constitutes an unfunded federal mandate and the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act's (UMRA's) implementation. It also discusses particular mandates and procedures associated with UMRA, and assesses UMRA's impact on federal mandates and arguments concerning UMRA's future, focusing on UMRA's definitions, exclusions, and exceptions that currently exempt many federal actions with potentially significant financial impacts on nonfederal entities.
Intelligence Authorization Legislation for FY2014 and FY2015: Provisions, Status, Intelligence Community Framework
This report examines selected provisions in the two Intelligence Authorization Acts (IAAs) passed in 2014: the IAA for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 (P.L. 113-126) and an IAA for FY2015 (P.L. 113-293). TIt also provides an intelligence community framework in the Appendix.
Iran Sanctions
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides some examples, based on open sources, of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran.
Taiwan's January 2016 Elections: A Preview
This report briefly provides context for the January 16, 2016 presidential and legislative elections in Taiwan. The elections may determine whether an eight-year period of relative calm in relations between Taiwan (whose formal name is the Republic of China or ROC) and the People's Republic of China (PRC) continues, or comes to an end.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016: Effects on Budgetary Trends
This report discusses recent changes to the federal budget outlook and the effects of these amendments on recent budgetary trends using the CBO and JCT cost estimates for the legislation, the CBO budget forecast released in August 2015, and OMB historical data.
Cuba: Issues for the 114th Congress
This report is divided into three major sections analyzing Cuba's political and economic environment, U.S. policy, and selected issues in U.S.-Cuban relations. While legislative initiatives are noted throughout the report, a final section of the report provides a listing of bills and resolutions introduced in the 114th Congress.
Guatemala: One President Resigns; Another Elected, to Be Inaugurated January 14
This report discusses the transfer of power to the newly-elected president of Guatemala and its context, following the resignation of the former president and vice-president, their arrest for government corruption, and the succeeding interim government.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Speech Resources: Fact Sheet
This report contains links to resources about Martin Luther King, Jr. Day including legislation, CRS reports, sample speeches and remarks from the Congressional Record, and presidential proclamations and remarks. It also contains links to additional government web resources and selected educational, cultural, and advocacy organizations.
The TRIO Programs: A Primer
This report is an introduction to the TRIO programs: the primary federal programs providing support services to disadvantaged students to promote achievement in postsecondary education. The TRIO programs were so named by the 1968 Higher Education Act (HEA) amendments, which consolidated a trio of programs under one title. The report provides an overview the programs, summarizes recent evaluations and performance reports, and reviews the Department of Education's progress in implementing HEOA.
Unauthorized Aliens, Higher Education, In-State Tuition, and Financial Aid: Legal Analysis
This report surveys key legal issues pertaining to unauthorized alien students' access to higher education, in-state tuition, and financial aid. The existence of a sizable population of "DREAMers" in the United States has prompted questions about these topics. The term DREAMer is widely used to describe aliens who were brought to the United States as children and raised in the U.S., but lack legal immigration status.
China's Recent Stock Market Volatility: What Are the Implications?
This report briefly discusses the background and implications of the rapid price increases experienced in China's two main stock markets, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE), from about mid-2014 to mid-2015.
American Agriculture and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement
This report identifies four considerations about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that are particularly relevant for U.S. food and agriculture. It includes a partial snapshot of some of the higher-profile improvements in market access for agricultural products in the agreement, a summary of selected provisions beyond market access that are of interest to food and agriculture, a brief overview of industry reactions to the agreement, and a review of what would need to occur for the agreement to enter into force for the United States.
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding
This report provides information on the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), which funds a network of local antipoverty agencies. It begins with background information on the CSBG and related activities, discusses a proposal pending in Congress to reauthorize CSBG and related activities, summarizes a new "Upward Mobility Project" initiative of the Obama Administration, and discusses current and recent funding activities affecting the CSBG.
The Federal Cybersecurity Workforce: Background and Congressional Oversight Issues for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security
This report examines congressional oversight of two strategies undertaken by Congress and the executive branch to strengthen the federal cybersecurity workforce: initiatives to define and identify the federal cybersecurity workforce, and hiring and pay flexibilities applicable to cybersecurity positions at the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Health-Related Tax Expenditures: Overview and Analysis
This report analyzes health-related tax expenditures together at the budget function level, rather than focusing on the size of any single provision. To provide some insights into common questions about health-related expenditures, this report analyzes historical data on health-related tax expenditure estimates published by the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT).
Juvenile Justice Funding Trends
This report provides a brief overview of the juvenile justice grant programs and the overall appropriation administered by the Department of Justice's (DOJ's) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). There is no federal juvenile justice system, however the government uses federal juvenile justice entities and grant programs in order to influence the states' systems. Eligibility for some of these grant programs is tied to certain mandates that the states must adhere to in order to receive federal funding.
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
This report presents background information and 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.
Navy John Lewis (TAO-205) Class Oiler Shipbuilding Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the John Lewis (TAO-205) class oiler shipbuilding program, previously known as the TAO(X) program, a program to build a new class of 17 fleet oilers for the Navy. The Navy wants to procure the first TAO-205 in FY2016. The Navy's proposed FY2016 budget requested $674.2 million to fully fund the procurement of the first TAO-205.
Navy LX(R) Amphibious Ship Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress regarding the LX(R) ships meant to replase the Whidbey Island/Harpers Ferry (LSD-41/49) class amphibious ships. In particular, issues focus on funding for the research and development of the ships and their procurement.
Navy Ship Names: Background for Congress
This report discusses the process of naming Navy ships, which have traditionally been chosen and announced by the Secretary of the Navy. Rules for giving certain types of names to certain types of Navy ships have evolved over time.
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.
President Obama Announces Executive Actions to "Reduce Gun Violence"
This report briefly discusses executive actions aimed at, among other things, "keep[ing] guns out of the wrong hands through background checks" and "mak[ing] our communities safer from gun violence." These actions include, for example, directing specified executive agencies to conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology and finalizing a rule requiring firearms shippers to notify law enforcement of any firearms lost or stolen in transit.
Separation of Powers: An Overview
This report provides an overview of separation of powers. It reviews the philosophical and political origins of the doctrine, surveys the structure of separation of power in the Constitution, and discusses the consequences of the system for both the institutions and for individual political actors. Finally, there is a discussion of separation of powers in the context of contemporary politics.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): In Brief
This report briefly summarizes some of the key provisions listed in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that are seen as controversial. The TPP is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) among 12 Asia-Pacific countries, which the Obama Administration casts as comprehensive, with economic and strategic significance for the United States. These controversial issues include select market access (such as on dairy and other agricultural products, autos, and textiles and apparel) as well as the level of intellectual property protection, the scope and enforcement of environment and worker rights provisions, the treatment of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), investor-state dispute settlement, access to government procurement, and the potential inclusion of provisions on currency valuation and exchange rates.
Arms Sales: Congressional Review Process
This report reviews the process and procedures that currently apply to congressional consideration of foreign arms sales proposed by the President. This includes consideration of proposals to sell major defense equipment, defense articles and services, or the re-transfer to third party nations of such military items.
Escalating Violence in El Salvador
This report briefly discusses gangs and violence in El Salvador, and examines the U.S. policy response.
North Korea's January 6, 2016, Nuclear Test
This report provides a brief background about North Korea's announcement that it successfully tested a "hydrogen bomb" (its fourth nuclear test) on January 6, 2016. The official statement also called the device an experimental or "pilot H-bomb."
U.S. Foreign Assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean: Recent Trends and FY2016 Appropriations
This report provides an overview of U.S. assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean. It analyzes historical and recent trends in aid to the region as well as the Obama Administration's FY2016 request for State Department and U.S Agency for International Development (USAID)-administered assistance. It also examines legislative developments on foreign aid appropriations for Latin America and the Caribbean in FY2016, and raises questions Congress may examine as it considers future appropriations for the region.
Big Data in U.S. Agriculture
This report discusses big data within the context of agriculture. Many observers predict that the growth of big data will bring positive benefits through enhanced production, resource efficiency, and improved adaptation to climate change. While lauded for its potentially revolutionary applications, big data is not without issues. From a policy perspective, issues related to big data involve nearly every stage of its existence, including its collection (how it is captured), management (how it is stored and managed), and use (how it is analyzed and used). It is still unclear how big data will progress within agriculture due to technical and policy challenges, such as privacy and security, for producers and policymakers. As Congress follows the issue, a number of questions may arise, including a principal one--what is the federal role?
Electric Grid Physical Security: Recent Legislation
This report briefly discusses legislative initiatives to address the physical safety of electrical transformers and 0other parts of the U.S. electric grid which are vulnerable to damage from theft, vandalism, or terrorist attacks.
Federal Health Centers: An Overview
This report provides an overview of the federal Health Center Program, including its statutory authority, program requirements, and appropriation levels. It then describes health centers in general, including where they are located, their patient population, and outcomes associated with health center use. The report also describes federal programs available to assist health center operations, including the federally qualified health center (FQHC) designation for Medicare and Medicaid payments. The report concludes with two appendices that describe FQHC payments for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries served at health centers and programs that are similar to health centers but not authorized in Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act.
Federal Reserve: Emergency Lending
This report provides a review of the history of Section 13(3) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act; P.L. 111-203), including its use in 2008. It discusses the Federal Reserve's (Fed's) authority under Section 13(3) before and after the Dodd-Frank Act as well as policy issues and legislation to amend Section 13(3).
Federal Reserve Issues Final Rule on Emergency Lending
This report briefly discusses major provisions of the Federal Reserve's (Fed's) Final Rule, governing emergency lending under Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act and implementing Section 1101 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank).
Independent Bids for President
This report briefly discusses legal and practical obstacles for candidates pursuing an independent run for the presidency after participating in the nomination process of a major political party--including competing in state primaries and caucuses for delegates to the party's national nominating convention.
The Motion to Recommit in the House of Representatives
This report provides an overview of House rules and precedents governing the motion to recommit and describes procedural and political effects of the motion. The motion to recommit provides a final opportunity for the House to affect a measure before passage, either by amending the measure or sending it back to committee. The motion to recommit is often referred to as "the minority's motion," because preference in recognition for offering a motion to recommit is given to a member of the minority party who is opposed to the bill.
Congress and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2016
This report briefly discusses authorization legislation for the water resources activities of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) in 2016, which the 114th Congress is anticipated to consider. These issues span the agency's role in new and existing navigation improvements, coastal and riverine flood risk reduction, and environmental restoration and protection efforts.
Cyprus: Reunification Proving Elusive
This report provides a brief overview of the history of the negotiations between Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, a review of the negotiations since 2008, and a description of some of the issues involved in the talks.
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 a large number of LCSs and modified LCSs (frigates). The Navy's execution of the program has been a matter of congressional oversight attention for several years.
President Obama's $1 Billion Foreign Aid Request for Central America
This report discusses the Obama Administration's recent request for over $1 billion in foreign assistance during FY2016 to support a whole-of-government "U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America."
State, Foreign Operations Appropriations: A Guide to Component Accounts
This report briefly discusses the foreign operations appropriations legislation generally and then provides a short description of the various funding accounts as they appear in Division K, "Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2016," of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (P.L. 114-113). The State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations legislation provides annual funding for almost all of the international affairs programs.