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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Results 201 - 250 of 18,969
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EPA's Vessel General Permits: Background and Issues
This report covers two proposed permit drafts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding Vessel General Permits (VGPs): one for large vessels to replace the 2008 VGP (draft VGP), and one for smaller vessels that currently are covered by a congressionally-enacted temporary moratorium (draft sVGP).
Major Disaster Assistance from the Disaster Relief Fund: State Profiles
This report outlines the trend in Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) obligations for both the national and state level for the period FY2000 through FY2013. It also includes individual profiles for each state and additional resources and key policy staff that can provide more information on the programs that are discussed.
Points of Order Limiting the Contents of Reconciliation Legislation: In Brief
This report discusses the Budget Act that provides an optional expedited procedure for considering legislation in the Senate, called reconciliation, which was first used in 1980.
Bitcoin: Questions, Answers, and Analysis of Legal Issues
This report has three major sections. The first section answers some basic questions about Bitcoin and the operation of the Bitcoin network and its interaction with the current dollar-based monetary system. The second section summarizes likely reasons for and against widespread Bitcoin adoption. The third section discusses legal and regulatory matters that have been raised by Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
Defense: FY2015 Authorization and Appropriations
This report discusses the Department of Defense (DOD) budget plan for FY2015. It includes an overview of the budget, historic context, and highlights in the base budget, as well as budget items that fall under the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the FY2015 DOD Appropriations Bill (H.R. 4870; H.R. 83, Division C).
Iran Sanctions
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran. U.S. sanctions have been a major feature of U.S. Iran policy since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, but U.N. and worldwide bilateral sanctions on Iran are a relatively recent (post-2006) development.
Latin America and the Caribbean: Key Issues for the 114th Congress
This report provides an overview of U.S. policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean. It begins with an overview of the political and economic environment that affects U.S. relations, and then examines the Obama Administration's policy priorities in the region. The report then examines congressional interests in Latin America, looking at selected regional and country issues.
LIHEAP: Program and Funding
This report discusses two types of formulas used to allocate funding to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) through regular and contingency funding.
Nigeria's 2015 Elections and the Boko Haram Crisis
This report provides an overview of the social and political situation in Nigeria. The report discusses the 2015 election in Nigeria, the rising threat of Boko Haram, and the U.S. policy and assistance.
Sex Trafficking of Children in the United States: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of sex trafficking of children in the United States. It first conceptualizes the issue, discussing the victims and perpetrators involved. It then outlines the federal response to investigating and prosecuting perpetrators as well as providing services to victims. The report concludes with a discussion of select issues concerning the federal response to sex trafficking of minors in the United States.
U.S. Natural Gas Exports: New Opportunities, Uncertain Outcomes
This report examines what has changed in the U.S. natural gas market and the prospects and implications of the United States becoming a larger net exporter of natural gas. Bills to expedite and expand liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports have been introduced in the 114th Congress, including the LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act (H.R. 351 and S. 33), the American Job Creation and Strategic Alliances LNG Act (H.R. 287), the Crude Oil Export Act (H.R. 156), the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act (H.R. 89), and the Export American Natural Gas Act of 2015 (H.R. 428).
The America COMPETES Acts: An Overview
This report provides an overview of the COMPETES Acts for readers seeking background and legislative context. It includes a description and legislative history of the acts, a summary of the broad policy debate, and an examination of the implementation status of selected COMPETES-related programs and policies. This report also highlights major bills to reauthorize the COMPETES Acts from the 113th Congress.
Congressional Commissions: Overview, Structure, and Legislative Considerations
This report provides an overview and analysis of congressional advisory commissions, information on the general statutory structure of a congressional commission, and a catalog of congressional commissions created since the 101st Congress.
Firearms at Army Corps Water Resource Projects: Proposed Legislation and Issues for Congress
This report discusses issues for Congress regarding public safety and infrastructure security at water resource projects managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Proposed legislation would bar the Secretary of the Army from promulgating or enforcing regulations that prohibit individuals from possessing firearms (including assembled or functional firearms) at Corps projects and instead require that firearms possession comply with state law.
H.R. 399, the Secure Our Borders First Act of 2015: Report in Brief
This report provides a summary of select provisions in the Secure Our Borders First Act of 2015 (H.R. 399), which was introduced on January 16, 2015. On January 21, 2015, an amendment in the nature of a substitute to the bill was offered and marked up. The bill was also reported out of the House Homeland Security Committee on January 21, 2015.
Implementation of Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS): Issues for Congress
This report analyzes data from a variety of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) presentations, testimony, and other sources to present a historical overview of program performance to date. It identifies an ongoing gap between the number of facilities that have received final risk tier assignments and the total number of regulated facilities.
Mexico's Oil and Gas Sector: Background, Reform Efforts, and Implications for the United States
This report provides an overview of Pemex and the content and prospects for Mexico's energy reforms, before discussing specific issues facing Mexico's oil and gas industry. It then examines the U.S.-Mexico energy relationship through the lenses of trade and energy cooperation. It concludes by suggesting several oversight issues for Congress related to what the enactment of energy reform might portend for Mexico's economic development, the U.S. energy matrix, and bilateral or North American energy cooperation.
U.S. Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing: Industry Trends, Global Competition, Federal Support
This report looks at the solar photovoltaic manufacturing industry and its supply chain; employment trends; international trade flows; and federal policy efforts aimed at supporting the industry. It does not cover other methods of solar-power generation, such as concentrating solar power plants.
Border Security: Immigration Inspections at Ports of Entry
This report reviews the legislative history of immigration inspections requirements and the entry-exit system. The report then describes the implementation of these provisions, including pre-travel screening, primary and secondary inspections, trusted traveler programs, outbound enforcement, and the entry-exit system. The final section of the report identifies a number of issues for Congress related to immigration admissions and enforcement at ports of entry (POEs).
Government Assistance for GMAC/Ally Financial: Unwinding the Government Stake
This report discusses government support given to Ally Financial, formerly known as General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC), which provides auto financing, insurance, online banking, and mortgage and commercial financing. This report looks at how -- or even if -- GMAC will be able to pay back the government for Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding.
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
This report discusses the reasons that Iran is considered a threat to U.S. security, including Iran's nuclear program, involvement with terrorist organizations, and involvement with neighboring countries' local governments. It also discusses ways in which the U.S. hopes to modify Iran's behavior with sanctions, and the effectiveness of these sanctions.
Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY2000-FY2015
This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration requested and how much Congress appropriated for U.S. payments to the multilateral development banks (MDBs) since 2000. It also provides a brief description of the MDBs and the ways they fund their operations.
Unemployment Insurance: Programs and Benefits
This report describes three kinds of unemployment benefit programs: regular Unemployment Compensation (UC), Extended Benefits (EB), and Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08). The report explains their basic eligibility requirements, benefits, and financing structure.
Abortion: Judicial History and Legislative Response
The focus of this report is on legislative actions with respect to abortion, but also discusses leading Supreme Court decisions concerning a woman's right to choose.
Federal Employees' Retirement System: Summary of Recent Trends
This report describes recent trends in the characteristics of annuitants and current employees covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS) as well as the financial status of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF).
Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the current state of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its relationship with the United States, and future initiatives to further develop U.S.-Saudi relations.
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Role of Congress in Trade Policy
This report presents background and analysis on the development of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which expired on July 1, 2007. The report also includes a summary of the major provisions under the recently expired authority and a discussion of the issues that have arisen in the debate over TPA renewal, as well as policy options available to Congress.
U.S.-EU Cooperation on Ukraine and Russia
This report discusses the United States, and European Union policies with Russia in response to the crisis in Ukraine.
U.S.-Mexico Water Sharing: Background and Recent Developments
This report is a primer on U.S. and Mexican water-sharing topics. It focuses on surface water quantity sharing and recent developments, including drought conditions. Due to Mexico's recent below-target deliveries of Rio Grande water to the United States, particular attention is given to the status, underlying causes, and responses to the Rio Grande water delivery shortfalls. This report describes: legal obligations and processes under the 1944 Water Treaty; drought conditions from 2010 to 2013; water sharing and developments in the Colorado River Basin; water sharing in the Rio Grande Basin and Mexico's water delivery shortfalls and stakeholder, diplomatic, and legislative responses to the rate of Mexico's Rio Grande water deliveries.
Wartime Detention Provisions in Recent Defense Authorization Legislation
This report offers a brief background of the salient issues and provides a section-by-section analysis of the detainee provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012. It also discusses executive interpretation and implementation of the Act's mandatory military detention provision. Finally, it addresses detainee provisions in the 2013 NDAA, the 2014 NDAA, and the 2015 NDAA.
Water Resource Issues in the 114th Congress
This report discusses recent congressional activity and possible topics for the 114th Congress. It provides an overview of the federal role in water resources development, management, and protection, with a focus on projects of the two major federal water resources agencies--Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps--and related legislation.
Aereo and FilmOn X: Internet Television Streaming and Copyright Law
This report begins with a discussion of the technology used by Aereo and FilmOn X that permit subscribers to watch live broadcast television as well as already-aired programming. It then examines the public performance right in the Copyright Act and discusses the interpretation of the transmit clause and public performance right by the courts in the Aereo and FilmOn cases. The report concludes with a brief overview of future litigation by these parties and related legislative proposals in the 113th Congress.
Congressional Roll Call Votes on the Keystone XL Pipeline
This report provides roll call vote data related to the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline that would transport oil sands crude from Canada and shale oil produced in North Dakota and Montana to a market hub in Nebraska for further delivery to Gulf Coast refineries. Voting information is listed chronologically and broken down by chamber, Congress, and type of legislation.
Crime and Forfeiture
This report provides an overview of federal forfeiture law. It sketches the origins and general attributes of forfeiture, describes the distribution of the hundreds of millions of dollars it generates, and identifies some of the related constitutional issues.
Crime and Forfeiture: In Short
This report provides a brief background information on property and trigger crimes and discusses civil forfeiture, criminal forfeiture, disposition of forfeited assets and constitutional considerations.
In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001: Claims Against Saudi Defendants Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA)
This report summarizes the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and jurisdiction in cases against foreign defendants and analyzes the court of appeals decision. It also discusses legislative efforts to address these issues(S. 1535 and H.R. 3143).
Membership of the 114th Congress: A Profile
This report presents a profile of the membership of the 114th Congress (2015-2016). 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.
National Security Letters: Proposals in the 113th Congress
This report reprints the text of the five National Security Letter (NSL) statutes as they now appear and as they appeared prior to amendment by the USA PATRIOT Act. A National Security Letter (NSL) is roughly comparable to an administrative subpoena, used by various intelligence agencies to demand certain customer information from communications providers, financial institutions, and consumer credit reporting agencies under the Right to Financial Privacy Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the National Security Act, and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.
Oil Sands and the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund: The Definition of "Oil" and Related Issues for Congress
This report provides background on oil sands resources, followed by a discussion of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF), including authorized uses and revenue sources; the scope of oil subject to the per-barrel tax (that funds the OSLTF) versus the scope of oil that triggers activities under the Oil Pollution Act; and relevant legislative activities of the 113th and 114th Congresses. The final section offers concluding observations.
Dynamic Scoring
This report explains dynamic scoring, including the types of effects incorporated and the types of models used, as well as what groups conduct or have conducted macroeconomic analysis of tax changes.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): An Overview of Programs and Funding
This report provides an overview of funding and programs of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) bureau.
North Korea: Back on the State Sponsors of Terrorism Lists?
This report discusses questions about North Korea's relationship with terrorists, state sponsors of terrorism, and terrorist attacks as well as the possible implications on re-designating North Korea in the list of sponsors of terrorism.
Reauthorizing the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000
This report discusses the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 (SRS; P.L. 106-393) enacted by Congress as a temporary, optional program of payments based on historic rather than current revenues.
A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense--Issues for Congress
A shift in the international security environment could have significant implications for U.S. defense plans and programs. A previous shift in the international security environment--from the Cold War to the post-Cold War era--prompted a broad reassessment by the Department of Defense (DOD) and Congress of defense funding levels, strategy, and missions that led to numerous changes in DOD plans and programs. The issue for Congress is whether a shift in the international security environment has occurred, and if so, how to respond to that shift. 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' decisions on these issues could have significant implications for U.S. defense capabilities and funding requirements.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate
This report discusses the United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities; its purpose is to promote, protect, and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with disabilities.
Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview and analysis of U.S.-Yemeni relations and issues, including evolving political change in Yemeni leadership, ongoing U.S. counterterrorism operations against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives at large in Yemen's hinterlands, and international efforts to bolster the country's stability despite an array of daunting socio-economic problems.
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.
Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Programs
This report analyzes the special immigrant visas (SIVs) classifications for Iraqis and Afghans within the context of both the larger INA special immigrant category and selected other permanent admissions categories. It discusses the legislative changes to the individual Iraqi and Afghan special immigrant programs since their initial authorization, provides statistics on visa issuances, and considers challenges that have faced the programs.
Military Pay and Benefits: Key Questions and Answers
The military compensation system is complex and includes an array of cash compensation elements, non-cash compensation (benefits), deferred compensation (retirement pay and benefits), and tax advantages. This report focuses primarily on the cash compensation provided to members of the active component armed forces.
Overview and Issues for Implementation of the Federal Cloud Computing Initiative: Implications for Federal Information Technology Reform Management
This report explains what cloud computing is, including cloud deployment models and service models, discusses issues that should be considered when adopting cloud services, and presents the federal government's planning for IT reform. It also provides information on assessments that have been conducted on agency cloud adoption and discusses both the challenges and drivers of cloud adoption. Finally, the report provides possible mechanisms for Congress to monitor agencies as they implement cloud computing.