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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Results 151 - 200 of 15,418
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Obstruction of Justice: An Overview of Some of the Federal Statutes That Prohibit Interference with Judicial, Executive, or Legislative Activities
This report discusses obstruction of justice, which is is a federal crime. It describes specific kinds of obstruction, organized by type, and references various relevant laws that have provisions against obstruction.
Same-Sex Marriage: A Legal Background After United States v. Windsor
This report discusses the recognition of same-sex marriage that generates debate on both the federal and state levels.
Advance Appropriations, Forward Funding, and Advance Funding: Concepts, Practice, and Budget Process Considerations
This report discusses the federal programs that are funded through the annual appropriations process in regular appropriations acts, which may typically obligate those funds during a period that starts at the beginning of that fiscal year.
Chemical Facility Security: Issues and Options for the 113th Congress
This report provides a brief overview of the existing statutory authority and implementing regulation related to chemical facility security. It also describes several relevant policy issues raised in previous debates and identifies policy options for congressional consideration.
Executive Orders: Issuance, Modification, and Revocation
This report reviews the "definition" of an executive order and how it is distinguishable from other written instruments, and then provides an overview of the President's constitutional authority to issue such directives. Next, the report discusses the legal framework relied on by the courts to analyze the validity of presidential actions, and also discusses the roles of the President and Congress in modifying and revoking executive orders.
Iran-North Korea-Syria Ballistic Missile and Nuclear Cooperation
This report describes the key elements of a nuclear weapons program; explains the available information regarding cooperation among Iran, North Korea, and Syria on ballistic missiles and nuclear technology; and discusses some specific issues for Congress.
NATO: Response to the Crisis in Ukraine and Security Concerns in Central and Eastern Europe
This report addresses the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and U.S. military responses to the crisis in Ukraine. It does not discuss political, economic, or energy policy responses.
Overview of Health Care Changes in the FY2015 House Budget
This report summarizes the proposed changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance as described in H.Con.Res. 96 and accompanying documents, including the committee report and Chairman Ryan's Path to Prosperity report.
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.
Summary Cost Data for Federally-Facilitated Exchanges, 2014
This report discusses the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148, as amended), which contains a number of provisions that affect the individual health insurance market.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues
This report examines debates regarding what constitutes an "unfunded federal mandate" and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995's (UMRA) implementation. It focuses on UMRA's requirement that the Congressional Budget Office (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. It also assesses UMRA's impact on federal mandates and arguments concerning UMRA's future, focusing on UMRA's definitions, exclusions, and exceptions which currently exempt many federal actions with potentially significant financial impacts on nonfederal entities.
Who Pays for Long-Term Services and Supports? A Fact Sheet
This report discusses the long-term services and supports (LTSS) that refer to a broad range of health and health-related services and supports needed by individuals over an extended period of time.
Block Grants: Perspectives and Controversies
This report provides an overview of the six grant types with criteria for defining a block grant and a list of current block grants. It also examines competing perspectives concerning the use of block grants versus other grant mechanisms to achieve national goals, provides an historical overview of the role of block grants in American federalism, and discusses recent changes to existing block grants and proposals to create new ones.
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments: An Historical Perspective on Contemporary Issues
This report provides a historical synopsis of the evolving nature of the federal grants-in-aid system, focusing on the role Congress has played in defining the system's scope and nature. It begins with an overview of the contemporary federal grants-in-aid system and then examines its evolution over time, focusing on the internal and external factors that have influenced congressional decisions concerning the system's development. It concludes with an assessment of the scope and nature of the contemporary federal grants-in-aid system and raises several issues for congressional consideration, including possible ways to augment congressional capacity to provide effective oversight of this system.
The Federal Prison Population Buildup: Overview, Policy Changes, Issues, and Options
This report explores the issues related to the growing federal prison population.
Federal Reserve: Oversight and Disclosure Issues
The report discusses recently-enacted legislation and legislation introduced in the 113th Congress related to the Federal Reserve (Fed). It also provides information about the potential impact of greater oversight and disclosure on the Fed's independence and its ability to achieve its macroeconomic and financial stability goals.
Overview of Federal Housing Assistance Programs and Policy
This report provides an overview of the history and evolution of federal housing assistance policy, a description of today's major federal housing assistance programs, and a discussion of issues and trends in federal housing assistance policy.
Returning to Full Employment: What Do the Indicators Tell Us?
This report analyzes recent trends in labor market indicators during the current economic recovery, with a particular focus on the contrast between the unemployment rate and other labor market indicators. It reviews studies seeking to determine how much of the decline in the labor force participation rate is caused by the recession and how much is caused by structural factors (such as the aging of the labor force). It then considers whether the economy might reach full employment at a higher rate of unemployment compared to recent expansions.
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP): Status and Issues
This report discusses the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) enacted in 1985, which provides payments to farmers to take highly erodible or environmentally-sensitive cropland out of production for ten years or more to conserve soil and water resources.
The DHS S&T Directorate: Selected Issues for Congress
This report provides a brief overview of the Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate's mission, organization, and budgetary structure; a discussion of selected critiques of the S&T Directorate; and an analysis of selected issues facing congressional policymakers.
Implementing the Affordable Care Act: Delays, Extensions, and Other Actions Taken by the Administration
This report discusses the health care reform, private health insurance provisions and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Legislative Options for Financing Water Infrastructure
This report discusses several options being considered by Congress to address the financing needs of local communities for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects, and to decrease or close the gap between available funds and projected needs.
Military Uniform Procurement: Questions and Answers
This report discusses military uniform procurement through the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), an agency of the Department of Defense.
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages for countering mines, small boats, and diesel-electric submarines, particularly in littoral (i.e., near-shore) waters.
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.
The Federal Budget: Overview and Issues for FY2015 and Beyond
This report provides an overview of federal budget issues, focusing on recent fiscal policy changes. It discusses the major policy proposals contained in the President's FY2015 budget and the House and Senate budget resolutions and also addresses major short- and long-term fiscal challenges.
Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments
This report discusses the strategic significance of Guam for defense buildup and the force relocation and deployments from the U.S. mainland. It also discusses the concerns and issues for Congress, such as allies and partners, relations with China, and legislation.
Programs Without a Budget Baseline at the End of the 2008 Farm Bill
This report discusses the 2008 farm bill (the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, P.L. 110-246), which provided mandatory funding for many programs. Some of these programs had budget baseline beyond the end of the farm bill in FY2012, while others did not.
U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel
This report provides an overview of U.S. foreign assistance to Israel. It includes a review of past aid programs, data on annual assistance, and an analysis of current issues.
Venezuela: Background and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the 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. 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.
Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: A Sketch
This report examines the source of Congress's contempt power; analyzes the procedures associated with inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas; and discusses the obstacles that face Congress in enforcing a contempt action against an executive branch official.
Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure
This report examines the source of the contempt power, reviews the historical development of the early case law, outlines the statutory and common law basis for Congress's contempt power, and analyzes the procedures associated with inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas. It also includes a detailed discussion of two recent information access disputes that led to the approval of contempt citations in the House against then-White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder. Finally, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally-based limitations on the contempt power.
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF): Program Overview and Issues
This report discusses the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996, which authorized a drinking water state revolving loan fund (DWSRF) program. The program was intended to help public water systems finance infrastructure projects that were needed to comply with federal drinking water regulations and to meet the Act's health objectives. It includes an overview of funding, allotments and set-asides, drinking water infrastructure needs, program issues, and legislative activity.
Unemployment Insurance: Legislative Issues in the 113th Congress
This report provides a brief overview of the three unemployment insurance programs--Unemployment Compensation (UC), the now-expired Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08), and Extended Benefits (EB)--that may provide benefits to eligible unemployed workers. It contains a brief explanation of how some programs began to experience reductions in benefits as a result of the sequester order contained within the Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25) and descriptions of enacted and proposed unemployment insurance (UI) legislation in the 113th Congress.
Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, focusing particularly on the influence of the Taliban and other militant groups, and on the leadership of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. This report also discusses the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship, in both the short and long term, and U.S. efforts under the Obama Administration to provide military, reconstructive, and stabilization aid.
Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response
This report discusses the recent conflict in Syria including an overview of the situation, information about anti- and pro-Asad forces, background on chemical weapons and disarmament, plans for U.S. policy and assistance, and a general sense of the future outlook.
Former Presidents: Pensions, Office Allowances, and Other Federal Benefits
This report provides a legislative and cultural history of the Former Presidents Act. It details the pension and benefits provided to former U.S. presidents and their costs; Congress has the authority to reduce, increase, or maintain these benefits.
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation.
Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation Expensing Allowances: Current Law, Legislative Proposals in the 113th Congress, and Economic Effects
This report examines the current status, legislative history, and main economic effects (including their efficacy as an economic stimulus tool) of the Section 179 and bonus depreciation allowances. It also identifies legislative initiatives in the 113th Congress to modify either allowance.
Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits
This report discusses the Social Security system that provides monthly benefits to qualified retirees, disabled workers, and their spouses and dependents.
Analysis of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
This report outlines the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the current Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN) system, discusses the current market for various RINs, and outlines policy considerations to address RIN fraud going forward.
Millennium Challenge Corporation
This report discusses the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), which provides economic assistance through a competitive selection process to developing nations that are pursuing political and economic reforms in three areas: ruling justly, investing in people, and fostering economic freedom. It also discusses several concerns related to MCC implementation, including the level of funding to support MCC programs.
Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy, and gives Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers a capability for conducting BMD operations.
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. Congress decisions concerning these programs could substantially affect Navy capabilities, funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Oman: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report describes the relationship between the United States and the Sultanate of Oman, especially with respect to Oman's support of U.S. efforts toward peace in the Middle East, the U.S. free trade agreement with Oman, and Oman's relatively close relations with Iran.
The Proposed Equal Rights Amendment: Contemporary Ratification Issues
This report examines the legislative history of the various proposals that ultimately emerged as the proposed Equal Rights Amendment; it identifies and provides an analysis of contemporary factors that may bear on its present and future viability.
Analysis of S. 2198: Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014
This report discusses S. 2198, which would address drought impacts in California and other states, and assist with drought response.
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 the law's enactment.
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and presents potential issues for Congress concerning the Navy's ship force-structure goals and shipbuilding plans, including the planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and prospective affordability. Congressional decisions on Navy shipbuilding programs can substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.