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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Department of Homeland Security Preparedness Grants: A Summary and Issues

Department of Homeland Security Preparedness Grants: A Summary and Issues

Date: October 28, 2016
Creator: Reese, Shawn
Description: This report a brief summary of the development of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) role in providing homeland security assistance, a summary of the current homeland security programs managed by DHS, and a discussion of the following policy questions: (1) the purpose and number of programs; (2) the use of homeland security assistance program funding; and (3) the funding amounts for the programs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Social Security Retirement Age

The Social Security Retirement Age

Date: October 28, 2016
Creator: Liou, Wayne
Description: This report discusses the two important ages that may affect a worker's plans to claim Social Security retired-worker benefits. Workers may claim full Social Security benefits at the full retirement age (FRA), which is rising gradually to age 67 for workers who were born in 1960 or later. Retired workers may claim benefits as early as age 62, which is known as the early eligibility age (EEA). Social Security benefits are reduced, however, for every month that retired worker benefits are claimed before the FRA.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
DHS Appropriations FY2017: Security, Enforcement, and Investigations

DHS Appropriations FY2017: Security, Enforcement, and Investigations

Date: October 27, 2016
Creator: Painter, William L.; Argueta, Carla N.; Elias, Bart; Frittelli, John & Siskin, Alison
Description: This report is part of a suite of reports that discuss appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for FY2017. It specifically discusses appropriations for the components of DHS included in the second title of the homeland security appropriations bill-- Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Secret Service. Collectively, Congress has labeled these components in recent years as "Security, Enforcement, and Investigations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Advisory Committees: An Introduction and Overview

Federal Advisory Committees: An Introduction and Overview

Date: October 27, 2016
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy & Burga, Casey
Description: This report offers a history of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), examines its current requirements, and provides data on federal advisory committees' operations and costs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits

Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits

Date: October 27, 2016
Creator: Liou, Wayne & Whittaker, Julie M.
Description: This report discusses the calculations that go into taxing Social Security benefits, which prior to 1984 were exempt from taxation but have since been taxed at gradually increasing levels.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: Cost-of-Living Adjustments

Social Security: Cost-of-Living Adjustments

Date: October 27, 2016
Creator: Whittaker, Julie M. & Liou, Wayne
Description: This report discusses the issues surrounding Social Security recipients that usually receive an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Treatment of Noncitizens Under the Affordable Care Act

Treatment of Noncitizens Under the Affordable Care Act

Date: October 27, 2016
Creator: Siskin, Alison
Description: This report provides information regarding the treatment of noncitizens under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) including definitions of "lawfully present," the health insurance mandate, exchanges, and ACA changes to Medicaid. It also discusses the verification of alien status under the ACA and related legislation in the 113th Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy

Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy

Date: October 27, 2016
Creator: Morelli, Vincent L.
Description: This report provides an overview of the situation in Ukraine. Following the February 2014 collapse of the Kremlin-supported government of President Viktor Yanukovych, there was an emergence of a pro-Western, pro-reform government and an energized public generally anxious to lessen Moscow's influence, committed to addressing the need for serious reform and determined to draw closer to Europe and the United States.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues

Date: October 27, 2016
Creator: Dilger, Robert J. & Beth, Richard S.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Department of Veterans Affairs FY2017 Appropriations

Department of Veterans Affairs FY2017 Appropriations

Date: October 26, 2016
Creator: Viranga Panangala, Sidath
Description: This report provides an overview of Veterans Affairs (VA) appropriations; for a discussion on military construction appropriations. The VA provides a range of benefits and services to veterans and eligible dependents who meet certain criteria as authorized by law.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Did a Thermostat Break the Internet?

Did a Thermostat Break the Internet?

Date: October 26, 2016
Creator: Jaikaran, Chris
Description: This report discusses cyber security and the challenges the new form of hacking poses -- specifically, the attacks by a common malicious botnet named Mirai.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: October 25, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: 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. Congress's decisions on the Aegis BMD program could significantly affect U.S. BMD capabilities and funding requirements, and the BMD-related industrial base.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Legal Processes for Contesting the Results of a Presidential Election

Legal Processes for Contesting the Results of a Presidential Election

Date: October 24, 2016
Creator: Maskell, Jack
Description: This report discusses the legal processes for contesting the results of a Presidential election.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents

Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents

Date: October 21, 2016
Creator: Tehan, Rita
Description: This report provides links to cybersecurity-related committee hearings in the 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses. It also provides a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iran's Foreign and Defense Policies

Iran's Foreign and Defense Policies

Date: October 21, 2016
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: This report discusses Iran's national security policy. Some experts forecast that Iran's foreign and defense policies might shift after international sanctions were eased in January 2016 in accordance with the July 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Hypervelocity Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress

Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Hypervelocity Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: October 21, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on three potential new weapons that could improve the ability of Navy surface ships to defend themselves against enemy missiles--solid state lasers (SSLs), the electromagnetic railgun (EMRG), and the hypervelocity projectile (HVP).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
State Voter Identification Requirements: Analysis, Legal Issues, and Policy Considerations

State Voter Identification Requirements: Analysis, Legal Issues, and Policy Considerations

Date: October 21, 2016
Creator: Fischer, Eric A.; Garrett, R. S. & Whitaker, L. P.
Description: This report provides an updated overview of state requirements for voters to present some form of ID before casting a ballot in a federal election. The report also discusses the origins of voter ID, relevant federal legislative action in the 114th Congress, and selected legal and policy issues related to state voter ID laws.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Yemen: Recent Attacks Against U.S. Naval Vessels in the Red Sea

Yemen: Recent Attacks Against U.S. Naval Vessels in the Red Sea

Date: October 21, 2016
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.
Description: This report discusses the United States' involvement into the Yemen war, which has killed an estimated 10,000 people since it began in March 2015.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
DHS Appropriations FY2017: Research and Development, Training, and Services

DHS Appropriations FY2017: Research and Development, Training, and Services

Date: October 20, 2016
Creator: Painter, William L.; Kandel, William A.; Morgan, Daniel & Gottron, Frank
Description: This report discuss appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for FY2017. It specifically discusses appropriations for the components of DHS included in the fourth title of the homeland security appropriations bill--in past years, this has comprised U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Services, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Science and Technology Directorate, and the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO). In FY2017, the Administration proposed moving the Domestic Nuclear Detection office into a new Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives Office, along with several other parts of DHS. Congress has labeled this title of the bill in recent years as "Research and Development, Training, and Services."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Navy Force Structure: A Bigger Fleet? Background and Issues for Congress

Navy Force Structure: A Bigger Fleet? Background and Issues for Congress

Date: October 20, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report presents background information and potential issues for Congress on the question of whether to increase the Navy's force-level goal (i.e., the planned size of the Navy) to something more than the current goal of 308 ships.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress

Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: October 20, 2016
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Description: This report describes the current status of the INF Treaty and highlights issues that Congress may address as the United States pursues its compliance concerns with Russia. It includes a historical overview and summary of the provisions of the INF Treaty and Russia's concerns with U.S. compliance with the treaty and concludes with a discussion of options that the United States might pursue to address its concerns with Russia's activities and options that it might pursue if Russia deploys new INF-range missiles.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S.-South Korea Relations

U.S.-South Korea Relations

Date: October 20, 2016
Creator: Manyin, Mark E.; Chanlett-Avery, Emma; Nikitin, Mary Beth D.; Corrado, Jonathan R. & Williams, Brock R.
Description: This report contains two main parts: a section describing recent events and a longer background section on key elements of the U.S.-South Korea relationship. It also provides a list of CRS products on South Korea and North Korea. The report identifies South Korean individuals by using their last name first.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Elections Strengthen Georgia's Ruling Party

Elections Strengthen Georgia's Ruling Party

Date: October 18, 2016
Creator: Welt, Cory
Description: This report discusses the country of Georgia's parliamentary elections, which domestic and international observers assessed as democratic, despite isolated violations and violent incidents.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Private Flood Insurance in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

Private Flood Insurance in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

Date: October 12, 2016
Creator: Webel, Baird & Horn, Diane P.
Description: This report briefly discusses federal law regarding flood insurance. By law or regulation, federal agencies, federally-regulated lending institutions, and government-sponsored enterprises must require certain property owners to purchase flood insurance as a condition of any mortgage that these entities make, guarantee, or purchase.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department