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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Results 301 - 350 of 15,083
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The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and International Trade: Legal Issues
This report examines the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) role in regulating U.S. imported and exported consumer products. It also examines some of the international obligations that the United States has undertaken with respect to the promulgation of standards-related measures, such as mandatory consumer product safety regulations.
Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report discusses the federal crimes that are usually punishable by a statutory maximum term of imprisonment, for example, "imprisoned for not more than 5 years."
Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report discusses legislation that would establish or enhance a statutory minimum term of imprisonment for some federal crimes, including drug offenses, crimes involving firearms, aggravated computer abuse, illegal reentry, and violence against public servants.
Tax Provisions Expiring in 2013 ("Tax Extenders")
This report discusses dozens of temporary tax provisions that are scheduled to expire at the end of 2013 under current law. Most of the provisions set to expire in 2013 have been part of past temporary tax extension legislation.
Clean Air Issues in the 113th Congress: An Overview
The report in addition to addressing climate change, it discusses the air pollution regulations and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) regulatory actions on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2014 Appropriations
This report will track and describe actions taken by the Administration and Congress to provide FY2014 appropriations for Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) accounts. It also provides an overview of FY2013 appropriations for agencies and bureaus funded as a part of the annual appropriation for CJS.
Georgia's October 2013 Presidential Election: Outcome and Implications
This report discusses Georgia's October 27, 2013, presidential election and its implications for U.S. interests. The election took place one year after a legislative election that witnessed the mostly peaceful shift of legislative and ministerial power from the ruling party, the United National Movement (UNM), to the Georgia Dream (GD) coalition bloc.
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. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has indicated that Members and congressional staff will be eligible for other health benefits related to federal employment, including: FSAFEDS, the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP), the Office of the Attending Physician, and treatment in military facilities. This report also discusses Members' and staff's eligibility for Medicare, which does not appear to be affected by the final rule.
In Brief: CRS Resources on the FY2014 Funding Gap, Shutdown, and Status of Appropriations
This report provides an annotated list of Congressional Research Service (CRS) resources and analyses relevant to the funding gap that commenced on October 1, 2013, and terminated on October 17, 2013, with the enactment of P.L. 113-46, a continuing appropriations measure providing appropriations through January 15, 2014; historical funding gaps; and continuing appropriations measures.
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. The report also discusses ways which the U.S. hopes to modify Iran's behavior with sanctions, and the effectiveness of these sanctions.
Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990-2013
The report contains information on the pay procedure of members of Congress and recent adjustments. It provides information on previous actions and votes by year, from 1990-2010.
Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities
This report discusses the Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) are based on the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). All CSRS retirees and survivors receive COLAs. Under FERS, however, non-disabled retirees under age 62 do not receive COLAs. This report discusses cost-of-living adjustments for government retirees, as well as related legislation.
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
Report that covers the contentious travel restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba from the 1960s to the present time. Congress under the Obama Administration is easing restrictions on family, marketing, agricultural, and medical sales travel. The report also covers legislative action that has taken place in the 112th Congress to harshen travel restrictions.
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.
The FY2014 Government Shutdown: Economic Effects
This report discusses the effects of the FY2014 government shutdown on the economy. It also reviews third-party estimates of the effects of the shutdown on the economy, which predicted a reduction in gross domestic product (GDP) growth of at least 0.1 percentage points for each week of the shutdown, with a cumulative effect of up to 0.6 percentage points in the fourth quarter of 2013.
The Iran Hostages: Efforts to Obtain Compensation
This report provides background information regarding the 1979-1981 Iran Hostage Crisis, and discusses the Hostage Relief Act.
Israel: Background and U.S. Relations
This report describes issues related to U.S. aid provided to Palestine to support prevention/combating against terrorism, creating coexistence with Israel and self-governance, and meeting humanitarian needs. In includes introductory and historical background as well as in-depth analysis of the types of U.S. bilateral aid to Palestine, U.S. contributions to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the near East (UNRWA), and the issues involved in determining future aid.
Membership of the 113th Congress: A Profile
This report presents a profile of the membership of the 113th Congress (2013-2014). 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.
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Resources for Frequently Asked Questions
The report provides basic consumer sources, including broad overviews of the ACA law. The next sections focus on health coverage: the individual mandate, private health insurance, and exchanges, as well as public health care programs, such as Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicare, Indian health care, and veterans' and military health care. The report then lists sources on employer-sponsored coverage, including sources on employer penalties, small businesses, federal workers' health plans, and union health plans. The report also provides sources on ACA's provisions on mental health, public health, workforce, quality, and taxes. Finally, the report lists sources on ACA costs and appropriations, and sources for obtaining the law's full-text.
Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions
This report discusses the current issues in Burma (Myanmar) in regards to political prisoners and the resulting U.S. sanctions against the nation. It includes an introduction and definitions; information about current estimates of prisoners and prisoner releases; the relation of political prisoners, parliamentary elections and national reconciliation; and U.S. sanctions and U.S. efforts regarding political prisoners, as well as relevant issues for Congress to consider.
Commercial Filming and Photography on Federal Lands
This report discusses the requirements of commercial filming and photography in federal lands, such as national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, ranges, and other landscapes are popular locations for motion pictures and commercial photography
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.
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.
Oil and Natural Gas Industry Tax Issues in the FY2014 Budget Proposal
This report discusses the FY2014 budget proposal that outlines a set of proposals, framed as the termination of tax preferences, that would potentially increase the taxes paid by the oil and natural gas industries, especially those of the independent producers.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
This report provides a background of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) financial crisis and the issues for Congress.
Unemployment Insurance: Consequences of Changes in State Unemployment Compensation Laws
This report analyzes several types of recent changes to state Unemployment Compensation (UC) programs. Three categories of UC state law issues are considered: (1) changes in the duration of state UC unemployment benefits; (2) changes in the UC weekly benefit amount; and (3) the enactment into state law of two trigger options for the Extended Benefit (EB) program.
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),1 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.
Presidential Permits for Border Crossing Energy Facilities
This report discusses the executive orders regarding the construction, operation, and maintenance of facilities that cross the U.S.-Mexico or U.S.- Canada border, including the source of the executive branch authority to issue the orders, the standards set forth in the orders, and the projects approved pursuant to the orders.
Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Reauthorization Proposals in the 113th Congress: Comparison of Major Features of Current Law and S.1356
This report summarizes each of the WIA titles and highlights the major features of S. 1356, as ordered reported, pertaining to each title. The report also compares the proposed provisions of S. 1356 to current law
Automatic Continuing Resolutions: Background and Overview of Recent Proposals
This report begins by providing background on the historic frequency of federal funding gaps. Then, four major features of automatic continuing resolution (ACR) proposals since the 1980s -- time frame, funding level, activities, and duration -- are explained. This is followed by a summary of the major arguments for and against the enactment of an ACR. Finally, the last three sections of the report review congressional action that has taken place on ACR proposals, describe ACR proposals that have been introduced but not enacted during the 112th and 113th Congresses, and provide brief analysis of P.L. 113-39.
Foreign Assistance: Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs)
This report discusses the evolution of private sector involvement in U.S. foreign assistance programs over recent decades, how globalization has driven the modern approach to development partnerships, potential benefits and drawbacks of public-private partnerships (PPPs), and how partnerships are being used by other bilateral donors and multilateral development agencies. The report then discusses partnership-related issues that may be of interest to Congress as part of the foreign assistance authorization and reform process.
The "Pay Ratio Provision" in the Dodd-Frank Act: Legislation to Repeal It in the 113th Congress
This report provides insight into the debate over the pay provision, the SEC proposal to implement the provision, and legislation to repeal the provision. It does so by (1) examining the debate over whether public company executives are overpaid; (2) describing the pay ratio provision and the SEC proposals to implement it; (3) examining various responses to the pay ratio provision and the proposal to implement them; (4) describing legislation to repeal the provision; and (5) examining the public policy debate over the potential costs and benefits of the pay ratio provision and the implementation proposal.
Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report discusses sovereign debt, which is also called public debt or government debt, and refers to debt incurred by governments. The first section provides background information on sovereign debt, including why governments borrow, how sovereign debt differs from private debt, why governments repay their debt (or not), and how sovereign debt is measured. The second section examines the shift of concerns over sovereign debt sustainability from emerging markets in the 1990s and 2000s to advanced economies following the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, and the challenges posed by high debt levels. The third section analyzes the different policy options governments have for lowering debt levels. It also discusses the current strategy being used by most advanced economies -- fiscal austerity -- and concerns that have been raised about its global impact. Finally, the fourth section analyzes issues of particular interest to Congress, including comparisons between U.S. and European debt levels, how efforts to reduce debt levels could impact the U.S. economy, and policy options available to Congress for engaging on this issue.
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.
Army Drawdown and Restructuring: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the new defense strategy, which was unveiled by senior DOD leadership based on a review of potential future security challenges, current defense strategy, and budgetary constraints. This strategy will rebalance the Army's global posture and presence, emphasizing where potential problems are likely to arise, such as the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
This report provides links to cybersecurity hearings and legislation under consideration in the 113th Congress and those considered in the 112th Congress, as well as executive orders and presidential directives, data and statistics, glossaries, and authoritative reports.
Introducing a Public Advocate into the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act's Courts: Select Legal Issues
This report explores government surveillance act and other difficult constitutional issues prompted by the idea of including a new adversary in established under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) FISA court proceedings.
Budget Reconciliation Process: Timing of Committee Responses to Reconciliation Directives
This report examines the timing of certain stages of the reconciliation process and the extent to which the submission due date included in a reconciliation instruction is a predictor for the timing of committee response.
The Budget Reconciliation Process: Timing of Legislative Action
This report discusses the budget reconciliation process, which is an optional procedure under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 that operates as an adjunct to the annual budget resolution process. Reconciliation is a two-stage process in which reconciliation instructions are included in the budget resolution, directing the appropriate committees to develop legislation achieving the desired budgetary outcomes, and the resultant legislation (usually incorporated into an omnibus bill) is considered under expedited procedures in the House and Senate.
The Budget Reconciliation Process: Timing of Legislative Action
This report discusses the budget reconciliation process that has been one of the chief tools used by Congress during the period covering from 1980 to the present to implement major changes in budget policy. Following a brief overview of the budget reconciliation process, this report provides information on the timing of House and Senate action on reconciliation measures.
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.
The G-20 and International Economic Cooperation: Background and Implications for Congress
This report discusses the background of the G-20 (an international forum for discussing and coordinating economic policies) and some of the issues that it has addressed. It includes historic background on the work of the G-20, information about how the group operates, overviews of G-20 summits, major issues that the group is likely to address and the likely effectiveness of the G-20 in the near future. The members of the G-20 include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.
In Brief: CRS Resources on the FY2014 Funding Gap, Shutdown, and Status of Appropriations
This report provides an annotated list of Congressional Research Service (CRS) resources and analyses relevant tothe funding gap that commenced on October 1, 2013, and terminated on October 17, 2013, with the enactment of P.L. 113-46, a continuing appropriations measure providing appropriations through January 15, 2014; historical funding gaps; and continuing appropriations measures.
Proposed Reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in the 113th Congress: S. 1009 Compared with S. 696 and Current Law
This report compares key provisions of S. 696 and S. 1009 with provisions of TSCA Title I (15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.) that would be affected if either bill became law. These provisions are summarized in Tables 1 through 6 of this report.
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Block Grant: An Introduction
This report discusses the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)- block grant that provides grants to states, Indian tribes, and territories for a wide range of benefits, services, and activities that address economic and social disadvantage for families with children.
Fatherhood Initiatives: Connecting Fathers to Their Children
This report discusses programs that promote the financial and personal responsibility of noncustodial fathers to their children and increase the participation of fathers in the lives of their children. These programs have come to be known as "responsible fatherhood" programs.
Federal Financial Reporting: An Overview
This report discusses the federal financial reporting -- defined here as the process of recording retrospective executive department-level financial and performance information -- may provide both a snapshot of the government's financial health at a given moment in time, as well as an accounting of its financial performance over a given time frame.
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities
This report discusses the federal government's role in the country's information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) activities. The government's support of IT R&D began because it had an important interest in creating computers and software that would be capable of addressing the problems and issues the government needed to solve and study.
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.
Mandatory Minimum Sentencing: Federal Aggravated Identity Theft
This report discusses the aggravated identity theft, which is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment for two years or by imprisonment for five years if it relates to a terrorism offense.