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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Points of Order in the Congressional Budget Process
This report summarizes points of order under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as amended, and related points of order established in the budget resolutions adopted by Congress in 2007, 2008, and 2009, as well as the Rules of the House for the 111th Congress, the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990, and the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010. In addition, it describes how points of order are applied and the processes used for their waiver in the House and Senate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31310/
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 150 congressional liaison offices is intended to help congressional offices in placing telephone calls and addressing correspondence to government agencies. In each case, the information was supplied by the agency itself and is current as of the date of publication. Entries are arranged alphabetically in four sections: legislative branch; judicial branch; executive branch; and agencies, boards, and commissions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31318/
House Committee Hearings: Witness Testimony
This report briefly discusses the witness testimony process in House of Representatives committee hearings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31314/
Introducing a House Bill or Resolution
This report briefly discusses the procedure for introducing a bill or resolution in the House of Representatives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31319/
Special Rules and Waivers of House Rules
A special rule is a House resolution intended to regulate floor consideration of a specific legislative measure named in the resolution. This report describes the two key functions of special rules. The second of these two functions involves waivers, which are also discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31316/
House Rules Committee Hearings on Special Rules
This report briefly discusses the procedure in the House of Representatives for rules committee hearings on special rules. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31313/
The Democratic Republic of Congo: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses in brief the current political state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the crisis situation in eastern Congo that has displaced more than 250,000 civilians. It also describes U.S., U.N., and other international efforts to aid in resolving the crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31325/
Bills and Resolutions: Examples of How Each Kind Is Used
When Congress seeks to pass a law, it uses a bill or joint resolution, which must be passed by both houses in identical form, then presented to the President for his approval or disapproval. This report briefly describes this process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31322/
Impeachment: An Overview of Constitutional Provisions, Procedure, and Practice
This report focuses on the American impeachment process, which places in the legislative branch the authority to remove the President, Vice President, and other federal civil officers in the executive and judicial branches upon a determination that such officers have engaged in treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. This report summarizes impeachment proceedings in the 111th Congress, examines relevant constitutional provisions, and provides a brief historical overview. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31311/
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 150 congressional liaison offices is intended to help congressional offices in placing telephone calls and addressing correspondence to government agencies. In each case, the information was supplied by the agency itself and is current as of the date of publication. Entries are arranged alphabetically in four sections: legislative branch; judicial branch; executive branch; and agencies, boards, and commissions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31317/
Special Rules and Options for Regulating the Amending Process
A special rule is a House resolution intended to regulate floor consideration of a specific legislative measure named in the resolution. This report briefly describes the two key functions of special rules, as well as the most common kinds of modifications recommended by the Rules Committee in terms used by the committee. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31321/
Chile: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the current political and economic conditions of Chile, as well as U.S.-Chile relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31327/
Baselines and Scorekeeping in the Federal Budget Process
Baselines and scorekeeping are an integral part of the federal budget process, providing lawmakers with a framework for making and enforcing budgetary decisions. The baseline serves as a benchmark for federal budget decisions. Scorekeeping is the process by which the budgetary impact of proposed and enacted budget policies is measured; it assists Congress in making and enforcing budgetary decisions. This report provides a brief explanation of baselines and scorekeeping and their uses in the federal budget process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31320/
The President's State of the Union Address: Tradition, Function, and Policy Implications
This report explores the President's State of the Union Address, in which the President reports to Congress on the current conditions of the United States and provides policy proposals for the upcoming legislative year. This report also discusses the State of the Union's considerable evolution over time. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31328/
Budget Reconciliation Legislation: Development and Consideration
This report briefly discusses the budget reconciliation process, which is an optional two-step process Congress may use to assure compliance with the direct spending, revenue, and debt-limit levels set forth in budget resolutions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31324/
Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Overview and Issues
This report focuses on the mandated minimum usage requirements - referred to as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) - whereby a minimum volume of biofuels is to be used in the national transportation fuel supply each year. It describes the general nature of the biofuels RFS and its implementation, and outlines some of the emerging issues related to the sustainability of the continued growth in U.S. biofuels production needed to fulfill the expanding RFS mandate, as well as the emergence of potential unintended consequences of this rapid expansion. This report does not address the broader public policy issue of how best to support U.S. energy policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31329/
Rwanda: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses the current political conditions of Rwanda, including a brief historical overview. The report also includes information about the poor human rights conditions in Rwanda and U.S. Rwanda relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31326/
Introduction to the Federal Budget Process
This report provides a detailed introduction to the federal budget process, which is an enormously complex process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31323/
Basic Federal Budgeting Terminology
In its most elemental form, the federal budget is a comprehensive accounting of the government's spending, revenues, and borrowing. This report provides a brief overview of the basic terminology and concepts used in the federal budget process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31315/
Contested Election Cases in the House of Representatives: 1933 to 2009
From 1933 to 2009 (the 73rd Congress through the 111th Congress), the U.S. House of Representatives considered 107 contested election cases. The summaries of contested election cases contained in this report focus primarily on the nature of the contest and the disposition of the case. For more detailed information regarding each contest, it is important to consult relevant House records. This report examines only cases considered by the House of Representatives involving the question of whether a Member-elect was duly elected. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31312/
Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain
The concentration of production of rare earth elements (REEs) outside the United States raises the important issue of supply vulnerability. REEs are used for new energy technologies and national security applications. This report provides a discussion on the major issues and concerns of the global supply chain for rare earth elements, their major end uses, and legislative and other policy proposals that Congress may consider to improve the U.S. rare earth position. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31365/
U.S.-Australia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation: Issues for Congress
This report briefly discusses nuclear relations and cooperation between the United States and Australia, including the Atomic Energy Act and President Obama's latest renewal agreement of said Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31362/
The National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 and Beyond: Detainee Matters
This report offers a brief background of the salient issues raised by the detainee provisions of the FY2012 NDAA, provides a section-by-section analysis, and discusses executive interpretation and implementation of the act's mandatory military detention provision. It also addresses detainee provisions in the 2013 NDAA and 2014 NDAA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276884/
Kuwait: Security, Reform, and U.S. Policy
This report looks at Kuwait's relationships with its neighbors in the Persian Gulf and its own political system which has been in turmoil since 2006. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276853/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276879/
Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments
This report discusses the noncontributory military retirement system which includes monthly compensation and benefits after an active or reserve military career, disability retirement for those physically unfit to continue to serve, and survivor benefits for the eligible survivors of deceased retirees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276867/
"Leahy Law" Human Rights Provisions and Security Assistance: Issue Overview
This report provides background on the Leahy laws, including a brief history of their legislative development; an overview guide to the standards and processes used to "vet"--that is, review and clear--foreign military and other security forces for gross violations of human rights; and a brief review of salient issues regarding the provisions of the laws and their implementation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276880/
U.S. Rail Transportation of Crude Oil: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the challenges in the transportation of oil, as refineries that once received crude oil principally from oceangoing tankers are now seeing increasing deliveries by domestic transport. It also outlines possible issues for Congress including rail transport of oil versus pipelines, and the possible increase of oil spills from rail transport. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276861/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276871/
Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues
This report is a brief overview of current policies regarding temporatry protected status (TPS), which is relief from removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). It includes information about humanitarian migrants, temporary protected status, other blanket forms of relief, nationalities receiving protections, and issues with TPS, as well as recent legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276899/
America COMPETES Acts: FY2008-FY2013 Funding Tables
This report has been updated to reflect FY2013 funding levels contained in P.L. 113-6 (Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013) and the explanatory statement published in the March 11, 2013. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276885/
The Role of TARP Assistance in the Restructuring of General Motors
This report provides background information on General Motors' capital crisis in 2008-2009 and discusses the U.S. government assistance to the motor vehicle industry. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276856/
Trends in Discretionary Spending
This report provides a graphical overview of historical trends in discretionary budget authority (BA) from FY1976 through FY2011, enacted levels for FY2012 spending, and the levels consistent with President Obama's proposals for FY2013 through FY2017. It also includes a background on functional categories and a section discussing historical spending trends. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276895/
Emergency Relief for Disaster Damaged Roads and Transit Systems: In Brief
This report describes Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) assistance for the repair and reconstruction of highways and bridges damaged by disasters (such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012) or catastrophic failures (such as the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge in 2013). It begins with a brief discussion of the legislative origins of federal assistance and then addresses eligibility issues and program operation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276855/
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program. The Navy's proposed FY2014 budget requests $5,285.3 million in procurement and advance procurement (AP) funding for the program. Decisions that Congress makes on procurement of Virginia-class boats could substantially affect U.S. Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276857/
State Government Fiscal Stress and Federal Assistance
This report examines the current status of state fiscal conditions and the role of federal assistance in state budgets. It begins with an overview of state budgeting procedures and then provides budgetary data comparing state fiscal conditions in FY2008 to FY2013. This report concludes with an assessment of the consequences current levels of state fiscal stress may have for the 113th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276854/
EPA's Vessel General Permit: Background and Issues
This report is an overview of the revised Vessel General Permit (VGP) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and two key issues: inclusion of numeric performance standards to limit ballast water discharges from vessels, and controversies about the role of states in regulating vessel discharges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276891/
United States Fire Administration: An Overview
This report describes and analyzes the United States Fire Administration's (USFA's) FY2013 budget proposal, as well as related information and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276898/
Clean Water Act and Pollutant Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
This report discusses the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program which regulates pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained; section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. The report focuses on new challenges facing the TMDL program, including more complex TMDLs, larger scale impairments, and nonpoint sources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276865/
Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview and analysis of U.S.-Yemeni relations and issues, including evolving political change in Yemeni leadership, ongoing U.S. counterterrorism operations against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives at large in Yemen's hinterlands, and international efforts to bolster the country's stability despite an array of daunting socio-economic problems. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276864/
Federal Reserve: Unconventional Monetary Policy Options
This report discusses the Federal Reserve (Fed) unconventional policies in an attempt to reduced the federal funds rate and revive the economy. The Fed has also changed its communication policies since rates reached the zero bound. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276894/
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276890/
Tax Reform in the 113th Congress: An Overview of Proposals
This report provides background information regarding tax reform and discusses ways to make the U.S. tax system simpler, fairer, and more efficient. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276863/
United Nations Reform: Background and Issues for Congress
This report examines reform priorities from the perspective of several key actors, including Members of Congress, the Obama Administration, selected member states, the U.N. Secretary-General, and a cross-section of groups tasked with addressing U.N. reform. It also discusses congressional actions related to U.N. reform and mechanisms for implementing reform, as well as possible challenges facing U.S. policy makers as they consider existing and future U.N. reform efforts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276889/
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 digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276896/
Constitutional Analysis of Suspicionless Drug Testing Requirements for the Receipt of Governmental Benefits
This report gives an overview of the issues related to federal or state laws that condition the initial or ongoing receipt of governmental benefits on passing drug tests. These regulations are vulnerable to constitutional challenge, most often due to issues of personal privacy and Fourth Amendment protections against "unreasonable searches." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276897/
Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions
This report identifies the legislative bases for sanctions imposed on Iran, and the nature of the authority to waive or lift those restrictions. It comprises two tables that present legislation and executive orders that are specific to Iran and its objectionable activities in the areas of terrorism, human rights, and weapons proliferation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276882/
Nonimmigrant Overstays: Brief Synthesis of the Issue
This report discusses a fundamental problem of immigration control in which foreign nationals enter legally on a temporary basis and continue to stay after their visas expire. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276859/
The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act: Innovation Issues
This report provides an overview of the the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). It begins by offering a brief overview of the patent system, then identifies and reviews the specific components of this legislation in greater detail. The report closes with further considerations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276868/
Executive Order 13438: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq
This report provides a brief history of the development of presidential powers in peacetime. It discusses some of the issues that might be raised in light of the contrast between the executive order's broad language and its narrow aim (supplementation of sanctions applicable to Al Qaeda and former Iraqi regime officials to cover terrorists operating in Iraq). It also examines the reach of the executive order and provides legal analyses of some of the constitutional questions raised in the courts by similar sanctions programs, noting that the broad language of the executive order is not unprecedented. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276870/