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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Results 151 - 200 of 17,216
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Title X (Public Health Service Act) Family Planning Program
This report looks at several bills addressing the Family Planning Program (Title X of the Public Health Service Act) which have been introduced in the 112th Congress, including: funding for abortion-providing entities, elimination of the program, and prohibitions on government spending for the program.
Common Core State Standards and Assessments: Background and Issues
This report provides background information on current law regarding common core and discusses development of the Common Core State Standards and state adoption of the standards. The report provides an analysis of the RTT State Grant competition and how the structure of the grant application process may have incentivized state adoption of the Common Core State Standards.
The Doctrine of Constitutional Avoidance: A Legal Overview
This report discusses select issues regarding judicial review, and offers some contemporary views on the Ashwander Doctrine, under which the Supreme Court avoids ruling decisively in cases that it deems able to be resolved outside of the court, non-constitutionally (Constitutional Avoidance).
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.
Organization of American States: Background and Issues for Congress
This report covers the background of the Organization of American States (OAS). It discusses the importance of U.S. participation in this organization in order to exert authority and shape outcomes in the Western Hemisphere.
Special Immigrant Juveniles: In Brief
This report provides a brief explanation of the statutory basis of special immigrant juvenile (SIJ) status and how it has evolved. It also presents statistics on the number of children who have applied for and received SIJ status since FY2005. The report concludes with a discussion of the applicability of SIJ status for unaccompanied alien children.
Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990
This report, updated through the 113th Congress, discusses U.S. security assistance to Taiwan (calling itself Republic of China (ROC)), including policy issues for Congress and legislation.
Can Body Worn Cameras Serve as a Deterrent to Police Misconduct?
This report discusses various issues regarding body worn cameras (BWCs), including the potential merits, concerns, and financial costs of use. The report also briefly states a possible method for allotting federal funds to help law enforcement agencies purchase BWCs.
Designating Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs)
This report discusses congressional concerns regarding the Financial Stability Oversight Council's (FSOC) authorization to designate certain non-bank entities as Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFI).
The Islamic State in Syria and Iraq: A Possible Threat to Jordan?
This report briefly examines the extent to which the Islamic State (IS, formerly referred to as ISIS or ISIL) may pose a threat to Jordan, an "important U.S. partner." The report discusses Jordanian actions to address threats, and U.S. policy implications.
Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?
This report explains what the Social Security trust funds are and how they work. It describes the historical operations of the trust funds and the Social Security trustees' projections of future operations. It explains what could happen if Congress allowed the trust funds to run out. It also analyzes two scenarios that assume Congress waits until the moment of insolvency to act, showing the magnitude of benefit cuts or tax increases needed and how such changes would affect beneficiaries.
U.S. Textile Manufacturing and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations
This report examines the potential implications of a prospective Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) on the U.S. textile manufacturing industry. The TPP is a proposed regional free trade agreement (FTA) currently under negotiation among 11 Pacific Rim countries.
Unaccompanied Children from Central America: Foreign Policy Considerations
This report examines policy considerations for Congress in response to the recent influx of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) from Central American countries being apprehended at the U.S. border. The report also discusses current policy framework and the Obama Administration's diplomatic response.
"Dark Pools" In Equity Trading: Significance and Recent Developments
This report discusses "Dark Pools", relatively recent and controversial electronic stock trading alternatives to traditional exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and now account for about 15% of overall trading volume. The report discusses the pros and cons of "dark trading", civil suits in reaction to Dark Pools and recent Securities and Exchange Commission actions.
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 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR)
This report briefly discusses the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) that provides short-, medium-, and long-term blueprints for how to advance U.S. foreign policy objectives and values through the operations of both the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
The 2014 Ebola Outbreak: International and U.S. Responses
This report discusses the Ebola virus disease (Ebola or EVD), which is a severe, often fatal disease that was first detected near the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 1976.
Bills of Attainder: The Constitutional Implications of Congress Legislating Narrowly
This report discusses congressional bills of attainder, defined by the Supreme Court as "law[s] that legislatively determine guilt and inflict punishment upon an identifiable individual without provision of the protections of a judicial trial." The report specifically examines the two main criteria courts use to determine whether legislation is a bill of attainder: specificity and punishment.
Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Long-Range Ballistic Missiles: Background and Issues
This report provides an overview of the rationale for the PGS mission and the possible deployment of conventional warheads on long-range ballistic missiles or boost-glide systems in support of this mission and reviews the Air Force and Navy efforts to develop these systems. The report also summarizes congressional reaction to these proposals, then provides a more detailed account of the issues raised by these concepts and programs.
Medical Loss Ratio Requirements Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Issues for Congress
This report provides a detailed description of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148) requirements for Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) reporting and rebates as specified in regulations, including components of the MLR formula, state flexibility and waivers, and the nature of rebates to policyholders. The report also addresses issues that have been raised about the MLR provisions since the ACA was enacted, namely the treatment of insurance commissions paid to brokers and agents.
Membership of the 113th Congress: A Profile
This report presents a profile of the membership of the 113th Congress (2013-2014). Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.
NATO's Wales Summit: Expected Outcomes and Key Challenges
This report provides an overview of the NATO's Wales summit's main agenda items and expected outcomes, highlighting key challenges, U.S. policy priorities, and potential issues for Congress.
Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: Procedural and Operational Changes
This report begins with an overview of both the FISC and the FISA Court of Review, including the jurisdiction of these courts, how the judges are appointed, and the FISC's practices and procedures for reviewing and issuing surveillance orders. The report then discusses the scope and underlying legal principles behind congressional regulation of the procedures of the federal courts, and applies those principles with respect to the various proposals to reform the FISA judicial review process.
China's Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States
This report provides background on China's economic rise; describes its current economic structure; identifies the challenges China faces to maintain economic growth; and discusses the challenges, opportunities, and implications of China's economic rise for the United States.
Climate Change and Existing Law: A Survey of Legal Issues Past, Present, and Future
This report surveys existing law for legal issues that have arisen, or may arise in the future, on account of climate change and government responses thereto.
The "Militarization" of Law Enforcement and the Department of Defense's "1033 Program"
This report gives an overview of the history of Special Weapons and Tactics teams, which are estimated to be deployed 45,000 times each year in the U.S. The report also discusses the "1033 Program" which authorizes federal and state law enforcement agencies to receive excess materials from Department of Defense stocks for use in counter-drug or counter-terrorism activities.
Social Security: Trust Fund Investment Practices
This report describes Social Security trust fund investment practices under current law.
Clean Coal Loan Guarantees and Tax Incentives: Issues in Brief
This report discusses certain federal financial incentive mechanisms for "clean coal" commercial projects; namely, loan guarantees and tax incentives. At issue for Congress is the extent to which the private sector has used these financial toolsto develop the technology needed for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while continuing to use available domestic coal reserves for electricity generation.
Iran Sanctions
This report discusses the recent development regarding the negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program. It provides background information on Iranian nuclear program and debates the November 24 Joint Plan of Action Elements.
Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Debate
This report discusses the ongoing debate regarding the Export-Import Bank of the United States, a federal government corporation which is the the official export credit agency (ECA) of the U.S. Government. The bank's statutory charter expires on September 30, 2014, meaning that its authority to obligations generally would cease and a wind-down of operations would be required. The report gives four possible scenarios for approaches Congress could take in regards to approaching the bank's future authorization status.
Domestic Terrorism Appears to Be Reemerging as a Priority at the Department of Justice
This document examines an apparent shift in priorities at the Department of Justice (DOJ) towards a renewed focus on domestic terrorism with the reestablishment of its Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, which had been defunct for several years. The report considers why the shift in focus may be occurring and also briefly examines different types of domestic terror threats.
Securities Fraud Class Action Certification: Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc.
This report discusses requirements for securities fraud class action certification. The report also specifically examines each of the decisions made in the Halliburton cases, which proceeded through two complete rounds in federal district court, court of appeals, and the Supreme Court.
Congressional Member Organizations: Their Purpose and Activities, History, and Formation
This report examines the purpose and activities of Committee on House Administration as congressional Member organizations (CMO) and the reasons Members form them. It also identifies and describes seven CMO types, and it provides an overview of the historical development of informal Member organizations since the first Congress, focusing on their regulation in the House by the Committee on House Oversight/Committee on House Administration, the rise and fall of legislative service organizations (LSOs), and the House's decision in 1995 to issue regulations for establishing CMOs and governing their behavior. It concludes with a step-by-step guide for House Members and staff who might be interested in forming a CMO.
The U.S. Military Presence in Okinawa and the Futenma Base Controversy
This report provides background information on the U.S.-Japan alliance and discusses the politics of U.S. basing in Okinawa.
Immigration Policies and Issues on Health-Related Grounds for Exclusion
This report discusses the criteria that foreign nationals must meet before admission to the United States, specifically examining the health-related grounds for exclusion. It provides this information in the context of recent outbreaks of communicable diseases abroad such as Ebola in West Africa, avian influenza in China, polio in the middle east, and dengue fever in the Caribbean.
The Legislative Process on the Senate Floor: An Introduction
This report provides a brief introduction to the legislative process on the Senate floor, including filibusters and cloture, restraint and delay, scheduling legislative business, unanimous consent agreements, the daily order of business, the amending process, and quorum calls and rollcall votes.
U.S.-Vietnam Economic and Trade Relations: Issues for the 113th Congress
This report examines the bilateral trade issues between United States and Vietnam, discussing their main elements and exploring their potential implications for the 113th Congress.
Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08): Status of Benefits Prior to Expiration
This report summarizes the structure of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) benefits available prior to program expiration at the end of calendar year 2013 and provides the legislative history of the EUC08 program.
Compensated Work Sharing Arrangements (Short-Time Compensation) as an Alternative to Layoffs
This report describes short-term compensation (STC) as a beneficial alternative to layoffs. It also describes the status of STC (or work sharing) in the U.S., particularly as it varies from state to state.
Ebola: 2014 Outbreak in West Africa
This report gives a overview of the West African Ebola outbreak that began in March, 2014. The report discusses the nature of the disease as well as local and international responses to it. The report also briefly examines U.S policy and congressional actions in the wake of the outbreak.
Summary Cost Data for Federally-Facilitated Exchanges, 2014
This report provides fact sheets for Federally-Facilitated exchanges offering individual plans.
Systemically Important or "Too Big to Fail" Financial Institutions
This report discusses the economic issues raised by "too big to fail" (TBTF), the historical experience with TBTF before and during the financial crisis of the 2000s, broad policy options, and policy changes made by the relevant Dodd-Frank provisions.
Guatemala: Political, Security, and Socio- Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Guatemala's current political and economic conditions, relations with the United States, and several issues likely to figure in future decisions by Congress and the Administration regarding Guatemala. With respect to continued cooperation and foreign assistance, these issues include security and governance, protection of human rights and human rights conditions on some U.S. military aid to Guatemala, support for the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, combating narcotics trafficking and organized crime, trade relations, and inter-country adoption.
Reducing the Budget Deficit: Overview of Policy Issues
This report discusses why the federal government's fiscal path is unsustainable and provides an overview of proposals of selected groups that have published detailed recommendations on how to return the federal budget to a sustainable course.
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.
U.S.-EU Cooperation on Ukraine and Russia
This report examines the U.S. and EU reactions to the crisis in Ukraine, focusing on the EU's hesitation to issue severe sanctions on par with the U.S. prior to the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. The report discusses the EU's new, wider-ranging sanctions in the wake of MH17 and its implications on U.S.-EU relations.
2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review: Evolution of Strategic Review
The quadrennial homeland security review is a process in which DHS examines the nation's homeland security strategy; the report provides an explanation of this process. Neither the review process nor the report to Congress is a strategy, instead the 2014 QHSR (both the process and report) are part of the constant reevaluation of the nation's homeland security and part of the process by which the combined National and Homeland Security Staff develops the next iteration of the national security strategy.
Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV): Background and Issues for Congress
This report examines why there is no longer any foreign interest in the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program and how the Army's study to revise overall tactical wheeled vehicle requirements might affect the JLTV program.
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. The report particularly discusses how potential United States responses to China's military modernization effort -- including its naval modernization effort -- have emerged as a key issue in U.S. defense planning.
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).