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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Results 301 - 350 of 15,418
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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).
Costs of Government Interventions in Response to the Financial Crisis: A Retrospective
This report presents how much the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) ultimately cost (or benefited) the taxpayers based on straightforward cash accounting as reported by the various agencies.
The Buy American Act in Brief: Preferences for "Domestic" Supplies and Construction Materials in Federal Procurements
This report discusses the Buy American Act of 1933, which is the earliest and arguably the best known of various statutes regarding federal procurement of domestic products.
Drought in the United States: Causes and Current Understanding
This report discusses how drought is defined (e.g., why drought in one region of the country is different from drought in another region) and why drought occurs in the United States. It briefly describes periods of drought in the country's past that equaled or exceeded drought conditions experienced during the 20th century. This is followed by a discussion of the nature and extent of recent droughts that affected Texas and the U.S. midcontinent, and the current drought in California. Lastly, the report discusses future prospects for a climate in the western United States that might be drier than the average 20th-century climate and the possible influence of human-induced climate change.
Emergency Water Assistance During Drought: Federal Non-Agricultural Programs
This report discusses droughts in relation to several issues for Congress, including how to measure and predict drought, how to prepare, and how to coordinate federal agency actions responding to drought.
The First Day of a New Congress: A Guide to Proceedings on the Senate Floor
This report describes the well-established routine that occurs on the opening day of a new Congress.
Free Trade Agreements: Impact on U.S. Trade and Implications for U.S. Trade Policy
This report looks at how free trade areas (FTAs) affect U.S. trade policy, specifically tariffs. It looks closely at the Bush Administration's Trade Promotion Policy, and pending FTAs leftover from this administration. Additionally, it looks at the Obama Administration's work in the prospective Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP).
SBA Assistance to Small Business Startups: Client Experiences and Program Impact
This report examines small business startups' experiences with the Small Business Administration's (SBA's) management and technical assistance training programs, focusing on Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women Business Centers (WBCs), and SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives); the 7(a), 504/CDC, and Microloan lending programs; and the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) venture capital program.
Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
This report offers background information on Ukraine's current political and economic situation, foreign policy towards NATO, the European Union, and Russia. It also discusses U.S. policy, U.S. aid to Ukraine, the congressional response, and other legislation.
The Affordable Care Act and Small Business: Economic Issues
This report explains how employer-sponsored insurance can be used to address concerns about health insurance coverage and cost. Then, it summarizes the three ACA provisions most relevant to small businesses. Also, it analyzes these provisions for their potential effects on small businesses. Last, this report presents several approaches that could address some concerns associated with these provisions (particularly the employer penalty).
Chemical Facility Security: Issues and Options for the 113th Congress
This report provides a brief overview of the existing statutory authority and implementing regulation. It describes several policy issues raised in previous debates regarding chemical facility security and identifies policy options for congressional consideration.
Energy and Water Development: FY2014 Appropriations
This report discusses the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.
Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA): Background and Funding
The focus of this report is on the federal response to domestic violence under the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA). "Domestic violence" is used in the report to describe violence among intimate partners, including those involved in dating relationships.
Health Care for Veterans: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides responses to frequently asked questions about health care provided to veterans through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). It is intended to serve as a quick reference to provide easy access to information. Where applicable, it provides the legislative background pertaining to the question.
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages for countering mines, small boats, and diesel-electric submarines, particularly in littoral (i.e., near-shore) waters.
Offender Reentry: Correctional Statistics, Reintegration into the Community, and Recidivism
This report provides background information regarding the prison population in the United States that has been growing steadily for more than 30 years. The report presents correctional system statistics and discusses the federal government's involvement in offender reentry programs and the Second Chance Act (P.L. 110-199) that was enacted on April 9, 2008.
Syria: Overview of the Humanitarian Response
This report examines the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria and the U.S. and international response. It discusses the use of chemical weapons in Syria on August 21, 2013 that triggered an intense debate over possible U.S. military intervention.
The 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and Defense Strategy: Issues for Congress
This report briefly reviews the statutory Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) mandate and characterizes the context for the 2014 QDR. It also raises a series of issues that Congress may choose to consider in evaluating the QDR mandate, the 2014 QDR, and the Department of Defense (DOD) strategic direction more broadly.
The Berry Amendment: Requiring Defense Procurement to Come from Domestic Sources
This report examines the original intent and purpose of the Berry Amendment, legislative proposals to amend the application of domestic source restrictions, and potential options for Congress.
Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and U.S. Policy
This report reviews the status of the Democratic Republic of the Congo peace process, provides background on recent conflicts in the Congo, briefly summarizes the political history that led to these conflicts, and assesses prospects for the future. It also describes relevant U.S. policy and congressional involvement.
FY2014 Continuing Resolutions: Overview of Components
This report summarizes the components of the four FY2014 continuing resolutions. They include P.L. 113-39 (Pay Our Military Act), P.L. 113-44 (Department of Defense Survivor Benefits Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014), P.L. 113-46 (Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014), and P.L. 113-73 (Making Further Continuing Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2014, and for Other Purposes).
FY2014 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Issues
This report focuses exclusively on the annual defense authorization process and the interest Congress members have in the military.
Independence of Federal Financial Regulators
This report discusses institutional features that make federal financial regulators (as well as other independent agencies) relatively independent from the President and Congress.
The National Directory of New Hires
This report details the National Directory of New Hires - including its background, how data is managed in the directory, and concerns regarding the directory.
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.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
This report discusses the evolution of a national critical infrastructure policy and the institutional structures established to implement it. Critical infrastructure includes physical assets used to produce and distribute services such as electricity (including the power plants and electric grid), communications, and computers. The report highlights five issues of Congressional concern: identifying critical assets; assessing vulnerabilities and risks; allocating resources; information sharing; and regulation.
EU-U.S. Economic Ties: Framework, Scope, and Magnitude
This report provides background information and analysis of the U.S.-EU (European Union) economic relationship related to the costs and benefits of closer U.S. economic ties with the EU. It examines the economic and political framework of the relationship and the scope and magnitude of the ties based on data from various sources. In addition, the report analyzes the implications these factors have for U.S. economic policy toward the EU.
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.
Employment for Veterans: Trends and Programs
This report discusses veterans' employment trends and programs. The first section presents data on veterans' employment outcomes, identifying recent trends, and discussing issues to consider when interpreting veterans' employment data. The following sections present brief discussions of existing programs that provide employment-related services to veterans. These services are divided into (1) general programs that are broadly available to veterans, (2) programs that target veterans with service-connected disabilities, and (3) competitive grant programs that provide additional employment-related services to veterans but may be limited in scope or availability.
EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases: Congressional Responses and Options
This report discusses elements of the greenhouse gas (GHG) controversy, providing background on stationary sources of GHG pollution and identifying options Congress has at its disposal to address GHG issues, including: (1) resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act; (2) freestanding legislation; (3) the use of appropriations bills as a vehicle to influence EPA activity; and (4) amendments to the Clean Air Act, including legislation to establish a new GHG control regime.
Gangs in Central America
This report describes the gang problem in Central America, discusses country approaches to deal with the gangs, and analyzes U.S. policy with respect to gangs in Central America.
Genetic Testing: Scientific Background for Policymakers
This report discusses bills addressing genetic discrimination in health insurance and employment; personalized medicine; the patenting of genetic material; and the oversight of clinical laboratory tests (in vitro diagnostics), including genetic tests.
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.
PILT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes): Somewhat Simplified
This report explains Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), with an analysis of the five major factors affecting the calculation of a payment to a given county. It also describes the effects of certain legislative changes to PILT in 2009 and 2012.
Submission of Mental Health Records to NICS and the HIPAA Privacy Rule
This report provides an overview of prohibiting mental health records under current federal law, and distinguishes those records from other types of mental health information that would not disqualify an individual from purchasing a firearm. This report also provides an overview of National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and discusses potential issues arising from state and federal medical privacy laws that may impede states' efforts to submit prohibiting mental health records to NICS.
U.S. Manufacturing in International Perspective
This report contains a series of charts and tables that depict the position of manufacturing in the United States relative to other countries according to various metrics.
American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat
This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. It also outlines actions underway to build trust and partnership between community groups and government agencies and the tensions that may occur between law enforcement and engagement activities.
Countering Violent Extremism in the United States
This report provides examples of Administration "combating violent extremism" (CVE) activity and examines some of the risks and challenges evident in the "Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States" (SIP's) three objectives. The report also diagrams and briefly discusses the "future activities and efforts" outlined in the SIP for each of these three objectives.
The Domestic Terrorist Threat: Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on how domestic terrorism is conceptualized by the federal government and issues involved in assessing this threat's significance.
European Union Enlargement
This report provides a brief overview of the European Union's (EU's) accession process and Turkey's path to EU membership. The U.S. Congress has had a long-standing interest in Turkey as a NATO ally and partner in regional foreign policy and energy security issues.
FBI Director: Appointment and Tenure
This report reviews the legislative history surrounding the enactment of the 1968 and 1976 amendments to the appointment of the FBI Director, as well as information on the nominees to the FBI Directorship since 1972. It also provides a legal overview of the extension of a Director's tenure.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigations
This report provides background information on key elements of the FBI terrorism investigative process, based on publicly available information. This report sets forth possible considerations for Congress as it executes its oversight role, including the extent to which intelligence has been integrated into FBI operations to support its counterterrorism mission and the progress the Bureau has made on its intelligence reform initiatives.
A Guide to U.S. Military Casualty Statistics: Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom
This report presents statistics regarding U.S. military casualties in the active Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF, Afghanistan), as well as operations that have ended: Operation New Dawn (OND, Iraq) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF, Iraq). It includes statistics on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), amputations, evacuations, and the demographics of casualties. Some of these statistics are publicly available at the Department of Defense's (DOD's) website; others have been obtained through contact with experts at the DOD.
Reducing Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Military Retirees and the Bipartisan Budget Act: In Brief
This report discusses the reduction of cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for military retirees through the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA). It includes an overview of the changes, demographics of military retirees, and potential effects of the changes.
The Debt Limit Since 2011
This report discusses the federal debt increase. The accumulation of federal debt accelerated in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis and subsequent recession. Rising debt levels, along with continued differences in views of fiscal policy, led to a series of contentious debt limit episodes in recent years.
Health Benefits for Members of Congress and Certain Congressional Staff
This report summarizes the provisions of the final rule and describes how it affects current and retired Members and congressional staff. OPM has indicated that Members and congressional staff are still eligible for other health benefits related to federal employment, and these additional health benefits are outlined in this report. This report also discusses Members' and staff's eligibility for Medicare, which does not appear to be affected by the final rule.
Laws Affecting the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)
This report provides historical and background information that helps explain how Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) has evolved. It focuses solely on changes made to FEHBP through legislative action.
U.S.-Japan Economic Relations: Significance, Prospects, and Policy Options
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.
Women in the United States Congress: Historical Overview, Tables, and Discussion
This report discusses the impact of women in Congress and historical information, such as 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.
Latin America and the Caribbean: Key Issues for the 113th Congress
This report provides an overview of U.S. policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean, including the Obama Administration's priorities; examines changes in the region's economic and political environment that affect U.S. relations with the region; and analyzes U.S. policy toward the region and various recommendations made by policy analysts and think tanks. The report then examines the role of Congress and congressional interests in Latin America, looking at selected regional and country issues, including key issues that the 113th Congress is facing. Appendices provide U.S.-Latin America trade statistics and a listing of hearings focused on Latin America.