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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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Child Welfare: Profiles of Current and Former Older Foster Youth Based on the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD)
This report provides summary and detailed data about current and former foster youth, as reported by states to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) via the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD).
Department of State and Foreign Operations Appropriations: A Fact Sheet on Legislation, FY1995-FY2015
This report discusses the foreign affairs appropriations.
Immigration Detainers: Legal Issues
"This report surveys the various authorities governing immigration detainers, including the standard detainer form (Form I-247) sent by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to other law enforcement agencies. The report also discusses key legal issues raised by immigration detainers, including whether Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) detainer regulations and practices are beyond its statutory authority; whether states and localities are required to comply with immigration detainers; who has custody of aliens subject to detainers; and whether detainer practices violate aliens' constitutional rights. In considering these topics, it is important to note that Form I-247 and DHS's detainer practices have changed several times since 2010, and that decisions on the merits have not yet been issued in many cases challenging the use of detainers in conjunction with the Secure Communities program" (p. 6).
Legislative Procedure in Congress: Basic Sources for Congressional Staff
Written for congressional staff, this report identifies and provides details on how to obtain official government sources of information on the legislative process and the rules and procedure of the House and Senate. The report provides references to selected CRS products and offers information on the CRS legislative institutes. A listing of selected supplementary materials is also provided.
Palestinian Authority: U.S. Payments to Creditors as Alternative to Direct Budgetary Assistance?
A September 24, 2014, congressional notification (CN) from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) may reflect a new executive branch approach in assisting the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pay off some of the debts it incurs in providing various benefits and services to West Bank and Gaza residents. The CN indicates that USAID plans to obligate a total of $100 million in FY2014 bilateral economic assistance for the Palestinians toward direct U.S. payments to PA creditors. This report briefly discusses the details and implications of this new alternative method.
Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current state of Bahrain, which has undergone substantial political reforms since the late 1990s, but which still suffers from tension between the Shiite majority and the Sunni-led government. It focuses particularly on Bahrain's relationship with Iran and with the United States.
Ebola: Basics About the Disease
This report discusses Ebola virus disease (EVD) in general, including symptoms, modes of transmission, incubation period, and treatments; presents projections of the future course of the outbreak; and lists additional CRS products, including products focused on the situation in West Africa. Unless otherwise cited, information in this report is drawn from Ebola information pages of CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Ozone Air Quality Standards: EPA's 2015 Revision
This report discusses the standard-setting process, the specifics of the current and most recent reviews, and issues that may be raised as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brings the current review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone to completion.
Drug Enforcement in the United States: History, Policy, and Trends
This report reviews federal domestic drug enforcement. First, it provides a history and background of drug enforcement in the United States including how drugs came under the control of federal justice authorities and how legislation and administrative actions changed domestic drug enforcement. It then provides a brief overview of drug enforcement in the United States and summarizes U.S. drug policy. Finally, the report presents trends in federal drug enforcement and concludes with a discussion of drug enforcement issues going forward.
Congressional Power to Create Federal Courts: A Legal Overview
This report provides an overview of this often difficult and misunderstood area of law, beginning with a discussion of the various types of federal tribunals. The report continues by noting the rationales for why Congress established the breadth of different courts that exist today and concludes with a discussion of the various factors and relevant issues that limit Congress's discretion in establishing federal courts.
Extending Unemployment Compensation Benefits During Recessions
This report describes the history of temporary federal extensions to unemployment benefits from 1980 to the present. Among these extensions is the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) program created by P.L. 110-252.
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.
Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Assistance: Summary Data and Analysis
This report provides summary information on supplemental appropriations legislation enacted since FY2000 after significant large-scale disasters. It includes funds appropriated to various departments and agencies.
Syria's Chemical Weapons: Progress and Continuing Challenges
This report briefly covers the formal declaration and subsequent destruction of Syria's chemical weapons program. The report also mentions newer allegations of further use of chemical weapons that did not fall under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) ban.
Brazil's October 2014 Presidential Election
This report briefly discusses the candidates and policy shifts in Brazil's 2014 Presidential election.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): Frequently Asked Questions
This report discusses the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) June 15, 2012 announcement that certain individuals who were brought to the United States as children and meet other criteria would be considered for relief from removal for two years, subject to renewal, under an initiative known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
Israel's Iron Dome Anti-Rocket System: U.S. Assistance and Coproduction
This report provides a background of Israel's Iron Dome anti-rocket system and then briefly touches on other topics including U.S.-Israeli co-production of the system, and proposed future U.S. funding.
Reauthorizing the Office of National Drug Control Policy: Issues for Consideration
This report provides a discussion of the National Drug Control Strategy, the National Drug Control Budget, and Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) evaluation of the National Drug Control Strategy implementation. It then provides an analysis of selected legislative and oversight issues that Congress may consider when debating the reauthorization of ONDCP.
Temporary Professional, Managerial, and Skilled Foreign Workers: Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report provides legislative analyses of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744), as passed by the Senate, and the Supplying Knowledgebased Immigrants and Lifting Levels of STEM Visas Act (SKILLS Visa Act, H.R. 2131), as ordered reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary.
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which bans all nuclear explosion and was in 1996 adopted by the U.N. General Assembly but rejected by the U.S. Senate in 1997. This report discusses the Obama Administration's stated goal of pursuing U.S. ratification of the CTBT, although the Administration has mainly focused on securing Senate consent to ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). This report also discusses other nuclear weapons-related issues as well as the long history of nuclear testing.
The European Union: Questions and Answers
This report provides a brief overview of the European Union (EU), an economic and political partnership between 27 sovereign member states. The report describes the formation of the EU, the three main institutions of the EU, and the EU's relationship with the United States.
Limitations in Appropriations Measures: An Overview of Procedural Issues
This report discusses internal congressional rules and procedures regarding money and policy decisions. It begins by explaining the contrasting procedural contexts that influence the consideration of limitation provisions in appropriations measures on the House and Senate floor. Next, it defines the two forms of limitations that have been allowed under House and Senate precedents, with examples of previous purposes that have been allowed. This report then proceeds to identify the variety of substantive challenges that exist in structuring a limitation provision so that it does not constitute legislative language and thereby violate House and Senate rules. Finally, this report concludes by discussing the effect of points of order during floor consideration and the burden of proof that exists for proponents of limitation provisions to successfully overcome procedural objections.
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program
This report discusses the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Act, which authorizes grants to career, volunteer, and combination local fire departments for the purpose of increasing the number of firefighters to help communities meet industry-minimum standards and attain 24-hour staffing to provide adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards.
United States Fire Administration: An Overview
This report discusses the United States Fire Administration (USFA), which aims to significantly reduce the nation's loss of life from fire, while also achieving a reduction in property loss and non-fatal injury due to fire.
Dark Pools in Equity Trading: Policy Concerns and Recent Developments
This report examines the confluence of factors that led to the rise of dark pools; the potential benefits and costs of such trading; some regulatory and congressional concerns over dark pools; recent regulatory developments by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which oversees broker-dealers; and some recent lawsuits and enforcement actions garnering significant media attention.
Hydraulic Fracturing: Selected Legal Issues
This report focuses on selected legal issues related to the use of hydraulic fracturing. It examines some of the requirements for hydraulic fracturing contained in major federal environmental laws. It also provides an overview of issues involving state preemption of local zoning authority, as well as state tort law.
India-U.S. Economic Relations: In Brief
This report examines the economic status of India, and discusses the countries trade and investment ties to the United States. Although merchandise trade between India and the U.S. has grown rapidly over the last five years, each nation contends that some aspects of the other's economic and trade policies hinder greater trade and investment growth.
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 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) since the law's enactment.
Legislative Support Resources: Offices and Websites for Congressional Staff
This report provides a brief list of telephone numbers, room numbers, and Internet addresses of use to new congressional staffers who work with legislative procedures and conduct legislative research. Internet access restrictions are noted. Some of the websites listed are available only to congressional offices; other sites are restricted further and are only available to House or Senate offices.
Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework
This report explains the nature of U.S. authority over offshore areas pursuant to international and domestic law. It also describes the laws, at both the state and federal levels, governing the development of offshore oil and gas and the litigation that has flowed from development under these legal regimes. Also included is an outline of recent changes to the authorities regulating offshore development, as well as a discussion of recent executive action and legislative proposals concerning offshore oil and natural gas exploration and production.
Veterans' Benefits: The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Duty to Assist Claimants
This report analyzes court decisions that have examined the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA's) obligation to assist veterans during the claims process.
Corporate Expatriation, Inversions, and Mergers: Tax Issues
This report discusses relevant portions of the U.S. corporate income tax system and how inversions have commonly been structured. It also looks at how Congress and Department of the Treasury have reduced the benefits of inversions, including The American Jobs Creation Act, as well as post-2004 inversions and treasury regulations, and policy options.
Fire Management Assistance Grants: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers frequently asked questions about the Fire Management Assistance Grant, which authorized by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act provides various forms of federal assistance such as the provision of equipment, personnel, and grants to state, local, and tribal governments for the control, management, and mitigation of any fire on certain public or private forest land or grassland that might become a major disaster.
Legislative Research for Congressional Staff: How to Find Documents and Other Resources
This report is one of a series of reports on legislative process and research; it is intended to serve as a finding aid to sources of information, such as documents, news articles, analysis, contacts and services, used in legislative research.
Poverty in the United States: 2013
This report discusses poverty in United States that varies widely across the population according to age, education, labor force attachment, family living arrangements, and area of residence, among other factors. The report elaborates on the poverty among selected groups, the geography of poverty, and the research supplemental poverty measure.
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, requirements, and costs. It also assesses UMRA's impact on federal mandates and arguments concerning UMRA's future.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
This report discusses the open economy and society of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), provides a general description of the UAE's government and political structure, and outlines the effects of the recent global economic downturn on the UAE in general and on the city of Dubai in particular. It also describes U.S. concern over the proliferation of advanced technology in relation to a recently-signed U.S.-UAE civilian nuclear agreement, due to the UAE economy and the UAE's lax export controls.
Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress
This report discusses issues regarding U.S.-Japan economic relations, since the economic condition of each nation can affect the world economy and a U.S.-Japan bilateral economic relationship could influence economic conditions in other countries. U.S. and Japanese leaders have several options on how to manage their relationship, including stronger reliance on the World Trade Organization; special bilateral negotiating frameworks and agreements; or a free trade agreement.
The "Khorasan Group" in Syria
This report briefly discusses the Syria-based terrorists referred to as the "Khorasan Group" and the U.S. airstrikes conducted against them in late September 2014.
Noncitizen Eligibility for Federal Public Assistance: Policy Overview and Trends
This report discusses the extent to which residents of the United States who are not U.S. citizens should be eligible for federally-funded public aid. This issue meets at the intersection of two major policy areas: immigration policy and welfare policy. This report deals with the four major federal means-tested benefit programs: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant programs, and Medicaid.
Unaccompanied Alien Children: Demographics in Brief
This report discusses children coming to the United States who are not accompanied by parents or legal guardians and who lack proper immigration documents has raised complex and competing sets of humanitarian concerns and immigration control issues. This report focuses on the demographics of unaccompanied alien children while they are in removal proceedings.
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant: Responses to Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides responses to frequently asked questions about the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. It is intended to serve as a quick reference to provide easy access to information and data. This report does not provide information on TANF program rules.
Climate Summit 2014: Warm-Up for 2015
This report discusses Climate Summit 2014, its context, and its impact on future international climate initiatives.
Customer Choice and the Power Industry of the Future
This report will begin to explore the issues, discussing what forms a transition from today's electric power grid to a grid of the future could take, and suggest questions that Congress may want to address. The United States seems to be at a turning point in the history of the electric power sector, some have advocated for the electric utility industry model to be reinvented under a "Utility 2.0" paradigm, wherein the modern needs of society for electric power and services become the driving force behind utility investments.
Cyprus: Reunification Proving Elusive
This report provides a brief overview of the history of the reunification negotiations, a review of the negotiations since 2008, a description of some of the issues involved in the talks, and where things stand today.
Cyprus: Reunification Proving Elusive
This report discusses attempts to resolve the political division of Cyprus that have occurred over the last 45 years. Current issues include the Republic of Cyprus receiving EU presidency in July 2012 and a recent discovery of natural gas deposits off the southern coast of Cyprus.
The Effect of Firm Bankruptcy on Retiree Benefits, with Applications to the Automotive and Coal Industries
This report begins with a discussion of whether bankrupt firms can invalidate previous commitments covering retiree pensions and health insurance. The report next discusses the specific protections accorded to retiree pensions and health insurance benefits. Certain types of pensions are guaranteed by a quasi-public agency, while no such guarantee exists for retiree health insurance. The report concludes with brief case studies of the bankruptcies of Old GM, Delphi, and Patriot.
Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Programs and Unaccompanied Alien Children
This report addresses possible sources of federal support for schools and local educational agencies that have enrolled unaccompanied alien children.
Implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA, P.L. 111-353)
This report documents the scheduled timeline for action on selected FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) provisions, as specified in the enacted law, and FDA-reported actions taken to date, based on available FDA press releases and publicly available progress reports.
The U.S. Postal Service's Financial Condition: A Primer
This report discusses the significant financial challenges facing the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). After running modest profits from FY2003 through FY2006, the USPS lost $45.6 billion between FY2007 and FY2013. Since FY2011, the USPS has defaulted on $16.7 billion in payments to its Retiree Health Benefits Fund (RHBF). The agency reached its $15 billion borrowing limit in FY2012 and did not reduce its total debt in FY2013. In October 2012, the USPS bolstered its liquidity by withdrawing all of the cash from its competitive products fund. This fund has not been replenished since that time.