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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Results 201 - 250 of 15,418
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Retirement and Survivor Annuities for Former Spouses of Federal Employees
This report discusses the retirement benefits for federal employees that are governed by chapters 83 (CSRS) and 84 (FERS) of Title 5 of the United States Code.
Selected Legislative Proposals to Reform the Housing Finance System
This report briefly explains the different approaches to housing finance reform offered by several legislative proposals, focusing on efforts to replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and to reform the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
What Is the Farm Bill?
This report discusses the farm bill, which is an omnibus, multi-year piece of authorizing legislation that governs an array of agricultural and food programs.
Intellectual Property Rights and International Trade
This report provides background on intellectual property rights (IPR) and discusses the role of U.S. international trade policy in enhancing IPR protection and enforcement abroad.
Security Assistance Reform: "Section 1206" Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background on the pre-Section 1206 status of security assistance authorities and the factors contributing to the enactment of Section 1206. It then sets out the purposes of the legislation and scope of its activities, restrictions on its use, the Department of Defense (DOD0-State Department planning process, and funding. It concludes with a discussion of issues for Congress.
Sex Trafficking of Children in the United States: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report discusses human trafficking that involves the exploitation of individuals for forced labor or commercial sex.
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, by Topic
This report provides references to analytical reports on cybersecurity from CRS, other government agencies, trade associations, and interest groups. The reports and related websites are grouped under the following cybersecurity topics: policy overview; National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC); cloud computing and FedRAMP; critical infrastructure; cybercrime, data breaches and data security; national security, cyber espionage, and cyberwar (including Stuxnet); international efforts; education/training/workforce; and research and development (R&D).
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): An Overview
This report discusses the earned income tax credit (EITC), established in the tax code in 1975, which offers cash aid to working parents with relatively low incomes who care for dependent children.
Federal Support for Streetcars: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers some frequently asked questions about streetcars and federal involvement in their construction and operation. It concludes by laying out policy options for Congress in dealing with streetcars.
Peace Talks in Colombia
This report provides background on Colombia's armed conflict and describes its key players. It briefly analyzes prior negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the lessons learned from those efforts that apply to the current talks. It examines what has transpired in the talks that have now lasted for more than a year and a half, considers some of the constraints that could limit the success of the peace talks, and looks at the prospects for the current negotiations.
Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report discusses the history and political background of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia since their breakaway from the former Soviet Union at the end of 1991. It looks at key issues for the 112th Congress including economies, energy, regional politics, local crime, and terrorism.
Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2015
This report provides government-wide, multi-agency, and individual agency analyses of the President's Fiscal Year 2015 request as it relates to R&D and related activities.
Foreign Assistance to North Korea
This report provides background and discusssion regarding United States aid in food, energy, and denuclearization to North Korea. Currently plans for new aid are on hold due to the North Korean rocket launch on April 13, 2012.
Navy Ship Names: Background for Congress
This report discusses the process of naming Navy ships, which have traditionally been chosen and announced by the Secretary of the Navy.
The Peace Corps: Current Issues
The report discusses the President's annual funding request for the Peace Corps, efforts to reauthorize the Peace Corps, and related issues. Current issues include the extent to which there is available funding for Peace Corps expansion, whether the Peace Corps has the institutional capacity to expand, and whether volunteers are able to function in a safe and secure environment.
Survivor Benefits for Families of Civilian Federal Employees and Retirees
This report discusses federal employees with permanent appointments that may be eligible for retirement and disability benefits under either the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).
U.S. Travel and Tourism: Industry Trends and Policy Issues for Congress
This report discusses the travel and tourism industry, which is an amalgam of business activities including transportation, lodging, entertainment, meals, and retail trade.
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding
This report looks at the purpose and background of Community Services Block Grants (CSBG), which provide federal funds to states, territories, and tribes for distribution to local agencies to support a wide range of community-based activities to reduce poverty. It includes program data, funding activity for fiscal years 2013 and 2014, and proposals for FY2015.
Contractor Fraud Against the Federal Government: Selected Federal Civil Remedies
This report provides an overview of federal statutes that provide civil remedies for contractor fraud, as well as issues stemming from judicial interpretation of these statutes.
Multiyear Procurement (MYP) and Block Buy Contracting in Defense Acquisition: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on multiyear procurement (MYP) and block buy contracting (BBC), which are special contracting mechanisms that Congress permits the Department of Defense (DOD) to use for a limited number of defense acquisition programs. Compared to the standard or default approach of annual contracting, MYP and BBC have the potential for reducing weapon procurement costs by several percent.
Multiyear Procurement (MYP) and Block Buy Contracting in Defense Acquisition: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on multiyear procurement (MYP) and block buy contracting (BBC), which are special contracting mechanisms that Congress permits the Department of Defense (DOD) to use for a limited number of defense acquisition programs. Compared to the standard or default approach of annual contracting, MYP and BBC have the potential for reducing weapon procurement costs by several percent.
Overview of Constitutional Challenges to NSA Collection Activities and Recent Developments
This report focuses on two main National Security Agency (NSA) collection activities approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) established under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978. The first is the bulk collection of telephony metadata for domestic and international telephone calls. The second involves the interception of Internet-based communications and is targeted at foreigners who are not within the United States, but may also inadvertently acquire the communications of U.S. persons.
Sugar Program: The Basics
This report discusses the sugar program that provides a price guarantee to the processors of sugarcane and sugar beets, and in turn, to the producers of both crops.
Veterans' Medical Care: FY2014 Appropriations
This report focuses on funding for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The VHA is primarily a direct service provider of primary care, specialized care, and related medical and social support services to veterans through the nation's largest integrated health care system.
Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: A Brief Overview
This report discusses the recent disclosures of various National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance and data collection programs that have prompted increased attention on the government's collection of foreign intelligence.
Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests
This report discusses the current political and economic conditions in Russia, focusing on the impact of Vladimir Putin's leadership and the leadership of his successor/protégé, Dmitriy Medvedev, both of which have steered Russia away from progress toward democratization. The report also discusses the state of the economy since the Soviet collapse in 1999, how the recent global economic downturn has affected Russia, the state of Russia's military, and the current relationship between Russia and the United States.
Tort Suits Against Federal Contractors: Selected Legal Issues
This report provides background on, and analysis of, key legal issues that such suits present. It provides a broad overview of tort claims generally, discusses the primary mechanisms through which contractors have attempted to defend against tort liability, and examines indemnification agreements between the government and contractors.
What's the Difference?--Comparing U.S. and Chinese Trade Data
This report discusses the size of the U.S. bilateral trade deficit with China that continues to be an important issue in bilateral trade relations.
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs).
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. The report is written in response to the Coast Guard's budget request for a new polar ice breaker (none are currently in operation).
Farm Commodity Provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill (P.L. 113-79)
This report describes the farm commodity programs in Title I of the 2014 farm bill for "covered commodities" such as wheat, corn, soybeans, rice, and peanuts. Producer support is provided for the 2014-2018 crop years primarily through either statutory ("reference") prices or historical revenue guarantees based on the five most recent years of crop prices and yields.
Federal Funding for Health Insurance Exchanges
This report provides a state-by-state breakdown of the grants awarded to date. It then briefly describes the requirement for exchanges to be selfsustaining, and concludes with a discussion of the sources and amounts of funding that Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has used and plans to use to support federally-facilitated exchange (FFE) operations.
Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues
This report discusses the Domain Name System (DNS), which is the distributed set of databases that contain address numbers mapped to corresponding domain names, making it possible to send and receive messages and to access information on the Internet. The report includes background on the DNS and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that manages the servies, as well as related issues for the 113th Congress.
Mixed-Oxide Fuel Fabrication Plant and Plutonium Disposition: Management and Policy Issues
This report discusses the control of surplus nuclear weapons material that became an urgent U.S. foreign policy goal with the end of the Cold War and breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.
State and Local "Sanctuary" Policies Limiting Participation in Immigration Enforcement
This report discusses legal issues related to state and local measures that limit law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities. It includes legal background and select limitations on immigration enforcement including traditional "sanctuary" policies, declining to honor immigration detainers, shielding juveniles from federal detection, and modifying criminal sentences to avoid immigration consequences.
Terrorism Risk Insurance: Issue Analysis and Overview of Current Program
This report looks at the background and current Congressional status of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002.
Unlawfully Present Aliens, Driver's Licenses, and Other State-Issued ID: Select Legal Issues
This report provides an overview of key legal issues raised by state laws regarding the denial or issuance of driver's licenses and other forms of ID to unlawfully present aliens, as well as by state and local approaches to recognizing foreign-issued ID documents.
Brazil: Political and Economic Situation and U.S. Relations
This report discusses United States' relations with Brazil, which is the seventh-largest economy in the world and is recognized by the Obama Administration's National Security Strategy as an emerging center of influence.
Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills: FY1970-FY2014
This report is a research aid, which lists the Department Of Defense authorization bills and appropriations bills for FY1970-FY2011. It includes key definitions and all the pertinent information on the passage of these bills through the legislative process: bill numbers, report numbers, dates reported and passed, recorded vote numbers and vote tallies, dates of passage of the conference reports with their numbers and votes, vetoes, substitutions, dates of final passage, and public law numbers.
EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"
This report describes the March 25 proposed rule to define "waters of the United States," particularly focused on clarifying the regulatory status of waters located in isolated places in a landscape, the types of waters with ambiguous jurisdictional status following the Supreme Court's ruling. It includes a table comparing the proposal to existing regulatory language.
Reporting Foreign Financial Assets Under Titles 26 and 31: FATCA and FBAR
This report outlines the U.S. reporting requirements for foreign assets and accounts under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) along with the reporting requirements of the Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBAR) under the Bank Secrecy Act. It also addresses the requirements imposed on foreign financial institutions and the agreements the United States has with other countries to cooperate in information reporting.
The Tip Credit Provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): In Brief
This report discusses the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), enacted in 1938 (P.L. 75-718), which is the federal legislation that establishes the general minimum wage that must be paid to all covered workers.
The Volcker Rule: A Legal Analysis
This report provides an introduction to the Volcker Rule, which is the regulatory regime imposed upon banking institutions and their affiliates under Section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-203).
S. 1961 and H.R. 4024: Legislative Responses to a Chemical Storage Facility Spill
This report describes and analyzes the Chemical Safety and Preparedness Act and H.R. 4024, the Ensuring Access to Clean Water Act of 2014.
Financial Condition of Depository Banks
This report discusses the congressional interest in the financial conditions of depository banks or the commercial banking industry that has increased in the wake of the financial crisis that unfolded in 2007-2009, which resulted in a large increase in the number of distressed institutions.
Navy Ford (CVN-78) Class Aircraft Carrier Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) class aircraft carrier program. Congress's decisions on the CVN-78 program could substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements and the shipbuilding industrial base.
Net Neutrality: The FCC's Authority to Regulate Broadband Internet Traffic Management
This report discusses the major debate over the government's role in the Internet. Legally, the question appears to be whether the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) currently has the authority to regulate the ways in which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) manage Internet traffic over their networks.
Safe Harbor for Online Service Providers Under Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
This report focuses primarily on "storage of information on systems or networks at direction of users," which includes any website that stores digital content that users have uploaded for public consumption or for sharing purposes (such as the popular social media and online services YouTube, Facebook, Dropbox, Flickr, Google Drive, and Blogger).
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers
This report discusses the trade adjustment assistance (TAA) program for firms (TAAF). The TAAF program provides technical assistance to trade-affected firms to help them develop strategies and make other adjustments to remain competitive in the changing international economy.
U.S. Crude Oil Export Policy: Background and Considerations
This report provides background and context about the crude oil legal and regulatory framework, discusses motivations that underlie the desire to export U.S. crude oil, and presents analysis of issues that Congress may choose to consider during debate about U.S. crude oil export policy.