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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Results 201 - 250 of 15,083
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Federal Pollution Control Laws: How Are They Enforced?
This report provides an overview of the statutory framework, key players, infrastructure, resources, tools, and operations associated with enforcement and compliance of the major pollution control laws and regulations administered by EPA. It also outlines the roles of federal (including regional offices) and state regulators, as well as the regulated community.
Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer
This report provides an overview of these topics: nanomanufacturing and public understanding of and attitudes toward nanotechnology.
Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain
This report provides a discussion of the major issues and concerns of the global supply chain for rare earth elements (REEs), their major end uses, and legislative and other policy proposals that Congress may consider to improve the U.S. rare earth position.
Samantar v. Yousef: The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and Foreign Officials
This report provides an overview of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), followed by a consideration of the remaining options for foreign officials who seek immunity from lawsuits, as well as some of the questions that may emerge from each option. The report also discusses legislation addressing the immunity of foreign officials (the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, H.R. 3143 and S. 1535).
Women in the United States Congress, 1917-2013: Biographical and Committee Assignment Information, and Listings by State and Congress
This report includes biographical information, including the names, committee assignments, dates of service, listings by Congress and state, and (for Representatives) congressional districts of the 297 women who have served in Congress.
Women in the United States Congress: Historical Overview, Tables, and Discussion
This report includes a discussion of the impact of women in Congress as well as historical information, including the number and percentage of women in Congress over time, means of entry to Congress, comparisons to international and state legislatures, records for tenure, firsts for women in Congress, women in leadership, and African American and Asian Pacific American women in Congress.
Campaign Contribution Limits: Selected Questions About McCutcheon and Policy Issues for Congress
This report offers a preliminary analysis of major policy issues and potential implications that appear to be most relevant as the House and Senate prepare for the ruling and decide whether or how to respond.
EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?
This report provides background information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory activity during the Obama Administration to help address these issues. It examines major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at EPA since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of the rule (including identification of related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA's estimates of costs and benefits, where available. The report includes tables that show which rules remain under development, and an appendix that describes major or controversial rules that are now final.
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Annual Fee on Health Insurers
This report discusses the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148) and the Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152) that impose a fee on certain for-profit health insurers, starting in 2014.
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.
Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: An Economic Analysis
This report discusses the foreign direct investment in the United States that declined sharply after 2000, when a record $300 billion was invested in U.S. businesses and real estate.
Interim Agreement on Iran's Nuclear Program
This report discusses the recent development regarding the negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program. The report provides background information on Iranian nuclear program and debates the November 24 Joint Plan of Action Elements.
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA): Union Representation Procedures and Dispute Resolution
This report begins with a brief overview of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and describes the basic procedures that employees and employers must follow during a unionizing campaign. The report explains different types of mediation and arbitration that can be used to resolve bargaining disputes. The report describes the jurisdictional standards that an employer must meet before the NLRB will exert jurisdiction over a question of union representation (e.g., for a small business).
The Paris Club and International Debt Relief
This report discusses the Paris Club, a voluntary, informal group of creditor nations who meet approximately 10 times per year and provide debt relief to developing countries. Members of the Paris Club agree to renegotiate and/or reduce official debt owed to them on a case-by-case basis.
U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues
This report discusses issues regarding foreign investments and how that can affect the U.S.
Reauthorization of SNAP and Other Nutrition Programs in the Next Farm Bill: Issues for the 113th Congress
This report discusses the Nutrition Title (Title IV) of the pending farm bills and elaborates on the most controversial issues and differences between Senate and House proposals. Policies that are not necessarily controversial but are complex are also included in this report.
Expiration and Extension of the 2008 Farm Bill
This report discusses the extension of the 2008 Farm Bill for 2013, and provides background information on extension and expiration of this bill.
Federal Assistance for Wildfire Response and Recovery
This report briefly discusses the options for federal support and assistance for areas affected by wildfire disasters, including the period during wildfires, in the aftermath, and subsequently for preventing a recurrence.
Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns
This report discusses the Presidential campaign funding and provides a brief policy overview and raises potential issues for congressional consideration.
Takings Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court: A Chronology
This report is a reverse chronological listing of U.S. Supreme Court decisions addressing claims that a government entity has "taken" private property, as that term is used in the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
Majority Cloture for Nominations: Implications and the "Nuclear" Proceedings
This report explains the procedural context within which the precedent was set and addresses the precedent's effects on floor consideration of nominations (as well as noting other potential effects on the nominations process). In addition, since the parliamentary circumstances under which the precedent was set fall within proceedings often called the "nuclear option," the report concludes by briefly noting the precedent's relevance for future proposals to alter or reinterpret Senate rules through the establishment of new precedent.
South Africa: Politics, Economy, and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the politics and governance of South Africa. South Africa has the largest, most diversified, and highly industrialized economy in Africa. To address diverse challenges, the government is investing billions of dollars to upgrade infrastructure and improve public service delivery, but is likely to face continuing challenges in meeting popular expectations.
Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2013
This report summarizes budgetary decisions relating to research and development funding for FY2013.
Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act
This report summarizes legislative and other actions taken to repeal, defund, or delay the Affordable Care Act (ACA), since the law's enactment. The information is presented in four appendixes.
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.
Iran Sanctions
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. The report also discusses ways which the U.S. hopes to modify Iran's behavior with sanctions, and the effectiveness of these sanctions.
Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections
This report provides the results of recent elections in Latin America and the Caribbean. Below are three tables organized by region, including the date of each country's independence, the name of the newly elected president or prime minister, and the projected date of the next election. Information in this report was gathered from numerous sources, including the U.S. State Department, the CIA's Open Source, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and other news sources.
Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions
This report discusses the release of Burma's political prisoners and the role that plays in U.S. policy and Burma's political future.
Federal Public Transportation Program: In Brief
This report provides an introduction to the Federal Public Transportation Program (FPTP). Includes a brief background of public transportation as well as FPTP's funding, expenses, and structure.
Keystone XL Pipeline Project: Key Issues
This report describes the Keystone XL pipeline proposal and the process required for federal approval. It summarizes key arguments for and against the pipeline put forth by the pipeline's developers, federal agencies, environmental groups, and other stakeholders. The report discusses potential consistency challenges faced by the State Department in reviewing the pipeline application given its recent prior approvals of similar pipeline projects. Finally, the report reviews the constitutional basis for the State Department's authority to issue a Presidential Permit, and opponents' possible challenges to this authority.
Energy Policy: 113th Congress Issues
This report discusses the energy policy in the United States that is focused on three major goals: assuring a secure supply of energy, keeping energy costs low, and protecting the environment.
Veterans and Homelessness
This report discusses several issues relating to homelessness among veterans, which has become more prominent since the beginning of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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 partner, China, and legislation.
House Committee on Ethics: A Brief History of Its Evolution and Jurisdiction
This report examines the history and evolution of the House Committee on Ethics, including the committee's jurisdiction and investigative procedure. It does not deal with changes to federal or state criminal law or with criminal prosecutions of Members of Congress or with the specifics of disciplinary cases in the House.
Legislative Options for Financing Water Infrastructure
This report addresses 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.
The Renewable Fuel Standard: In Brief
This report provides a basic description of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), including some of the widely discussed issues.
Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990
This report discusses U.S. security assistance to Taiwan, or Republic of China (ROC), including policy issues for Congress and legislation.
The Berry Amendment: Requiring Defense Procurement to Come from Domestic Sources
This report examines the original intent and purpose of the Berry Amendment and legislative proposals to amend the application of domestic source restrictions, as well as potential options for Congress.
Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation
This report discusses the use of biomass, its legislative history, and the proposed redefinition of biomass in legislation.
Geoengineering: Governance and Technology Policy
This report is intended as a primer on the policy issues, science, and governance of geoengineering technologies. The report will first set the policy parameters under which geoengineering technologies may be considered. It will then describe selected technologies in detail and discuss their status. The third section provides a discussion of possible approaches to governmental involvement in, and oversight of, geoengineering, including a summary of domestic and international instruments and institutions that may affect geoengineering projects.
Tribal Jurisdiction over Nonmembers: A Legal Overview
The report provides an overview the Indian tribes, which are quasi-sovereign entities that enjoy all the sovereign powers that are not divested by Congress or inconsistent with the tribes' dependence on the United States. The report discusses tribal jurisdiction over nonmember Indians.
How Measures Are Brought to the Senate Floor: A Brief Introduction
This report discusses two basic methods that are used by the Senate to bring legislation to the floor for consideration. The Senate, at the majority leader's request, grants unanimous consent to take up a matter or agrees to his motion to proceed to consider it. Because the motion to proceed is subject to debate in most circumstances, it is less frequently used. Both methods are derived from the basic premise that the Senate as a body may decide what matters it considers.
Invoking Cloture in the Senate
This report discusses cloture, the only procedure by which the Senate can vote to set an end to a debate without also rejecting the bill, amendment, conference report, motion, or other matter it has been debating.
Legislative Branch: FY2014 Appropriations
This report provides an overview of the current status of FY2014 legislative branch appropriations as well as figures and tables detailing prior year funding, and more detailed information about legislative branch funding issues for the Senate, House of Representatives, and government agencies.
Members' Representational Allowance: History and Usage
This report provides a history and overview of the Members' Representational Allowance (MRA) and examines spending patterns over three years--2005, 2006, and 2007. The data exclude non-voting Members, including Delegates and the Resident Commissioner. Members who were not in Congress for all of the first session of a Congress, whether the Member left Congress prior to the end of the year or entered any time after the beginning of the session, were also excluded.
Past Government Shutdowns: Key Resources
This report provides an annotated list of historical documents and other resources related to several past government shutdowns. The report also includes links to full-text documents when available. There is limited information and guidance related to shutdowns, and it is difficult to predict what might happen in the event of one, but information about past events may help inform future deliberations.
Presidential Appointee Positions Requiring Senate Confirmation and Committees Handling Nominations
This report identifies, by Senate committee, presidentially appointed positions requiring Senate confirmation based on referrals as of the date of passage of S. 679, which became P.L. 112-166 on August 10, 2012.
Senate Consideration of Presidential Nominations: Committee and Floor Procedure
This report describes the process by which the Senate provides advice and consent on presidential nominations, including receipt and referral of nominations, committee practices, and floor procedure. The report was updated to reflect the changes resulting from Senate actions on November 21, 2013.
Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda): U.S. and International Response to Philippines Disaster
This report examines the impact of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), which struck the central Philippines on November 8, 2013, and the U.S. and international response.
Expiring Unemployment Insurance Provisions
This report discusses several key provisions related to extended federal unemployment benefits that are temporary and, therefore, scheduled to expire. This report describes the consequences of these expirations for the financing and availability of unemployment benefits in states. It also summarizes the last three laws that have extended these expiring provisions: P.L. 112-240, P.L. 112-96, and P.L. 112-78.