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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Programs Without a Budget Baseline at the End of the 2008 Farm Bill
This report discusses the 2008 farm bill (the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, P.L. 110-246), which provided mandatory funding for many programs. Some of these programs had budget baseline beyond the end of the farm bill in FY2012, while others did not.
Federal Deposit Insurance for Banks and Credit Unions
This report provides an overview of the FDIC and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the status of the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) and National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), and the resolution procedures that are implemented when depository institutions fail.
Chemical Facility Security: Issues and Options for the 113th Congress
This report provides a brief overview of the existing statutory authority and implementing regulation related to chemical facility security. It also describes several relevant policy issues raised in previous debates and identifies policy options for congressional consideration.
The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress
This report includes updated material that emphasizes the issues most prominently before the 113th Congress. It also discusses foundational information about major elements of campaign finance policy.
Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights
This report discusses the state of Iraqi politics, governance, and human rights, including the worsening relations between local Sunni and Shiite populations.
Returning to Full Employment: What Do the Indicators Tell Us?
This report analyzes recent trends in labor market indicators during the current economic recovery, with a particular focus on the contrast between the unemployment rate and other labor market indicators. It reviews studies seeking to determine how much of the decline in the labor force participation rate is caused by the recession and how much is caused by structural factors (such as the aging of the labor force). It then considers whether the economy might reach full employment at a higher rate of unemployment compared to recent expansions.
Perjury Under Federal Law: A Brief Overview
This report discusses the three general federal perjury laws. It is an abbreviated version of CRS Report 98-808, Perjury Under Federal Law: A Brief Overview, by Charles Doyle, stripped of most footnotes, quotations, citations, and bibliography.
Selected Agency Budget Justifications for FY2015
This report provides a convenient listing of online FY2015 agency budget justification submissions for all 15 executive branch departments and 9 selected independent agencies.
The Proposed Equal Rights Amendment: Contemporary Ratification Issues
This report examines the legislative history of the various proposals that ultimately emerged as the proposed Equal Rights Amendment; it identifies and provides an analysis of contemporary factors that may bear on its present and future viability.
Iran-North Korea-Syria Ballistic Missile and Nuclear Cooperation
This report describes the key elements of a nuclear weapons program; explains the available information regarding cooperation among Iran, North Korea, and Syria on ballistic missiles and nuclear technology; and discusses some specific issues for Congress.
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. It focuses on UMRA's requirement that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issue written cost estimate statements for federal mandates in legislation, its procedures for raising points of order in the House and Senate concerning unfunded federal mandates in legislation, and its requirement that federal agencies prepare written cost estimate statements for federal mandates in rules. It also assesses UMRA's impact on federal mandates and arguments concerning UMRA's future, focusing on UMRA's definitions, exclusions, and exceptions which currently exempt many federal actions with potentially significant financial impacts on nonfederal entities.
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.
Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections
This report provides the results of recent elections in Latin America and the Caribbean. It contains three tables organized by region that list the date of each country's independence, the name of the newly elected president or prime minister, and the projected date of the next election. Information in this report was gathered from numerous sources, including the U.S. State Department, the CIA's Open Source, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and other news sources.
Block Grants: Perspectives and Controversies
This report provides an overview of the six grant types with criteria for defining a block grant and a list of current block grants. It also examines competing perspectives concerning the use of block grants versus other grant mechanisms to achieve national goals, provides an historical overview of the role of block grants in American federalism, and discusses recent changes to existing block grants and proposals to create new ones.
The Help America Vote Act and Election Administration: Overview and Issues
This report discusses the Help America Vote Act (HAVA; P.L. 107-252) enacted in 2002. It provides background information about HAVA and its provisions, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), funding for the agency and for state programs to improve elections, and a number of enduring election administration issues.
Military Funeral Honors and Military Cemeteries: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides answers to frequently-asked questions about military funeral honors and military cemeteries, including information on the eligibility criteria, required components of the honor detail, and the funeral ceremony. It also cites legislation mandating that the Department of Defense (DOD) make military funeral honors available to every eligible veteran upon request.
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.
The U.S.-EU Beef Hormone Dispute
This report discusses the long-standing and acrimonious trade dispute between the United States and the European Union (EU) over the EU's decision to ban hormone-treated meat.
Unauthorized Aliens in the United States: Policy Discussion
This report discusses the unauthorized immigrant (illegal alien) population in the United States, which is a key and controversial immigration issue.
Former Presidents: Pensions, Office Allowances, and Other Federal Benefits
This report provides a legislative and cultural history of the Former Presidents Act. It details the pension and benefits provided to former U.S. presidents and their costs; Congress has the authority to reduce, increase, or maintain these benefits.
Overview of Health Care Changes in the FY2015 House Budget
This report summarizes the proposed changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance as described in H.Con.Res. 96 and accompanying documents, including the committee report and Chairman Ryan's Path to Prosperity report.
Arms Control and Nonproliferation: A Catalog of Treaties and Agreements
This report provides an overview of many of the key arms control and nonproliferation agreements and endeavors of the past 40 years. It is divided into three sections: (1) arms control efforts between the United States and the states of the former Soviet Union, covering both formal, bilateral treaties, and the cooperative threat reduction process, (2) multilateral nuclear nonproliferation efforts, covering both formal treaties and less formal accommodations that have been initiated in recent years, and (3) treaties and agreements that address chemical, biological, and conventional weapons.
Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections
This report provides the results of recent elections in Latin America and the Caribbean. It contains three tables organized by region that list the date of each country's independence, the name of the newly elected president or prime minister, and the projected date of the next election. Information in this report was gathered from numerous sources, including the U.S. State Department, the CIA's Open Source, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and other news sources.
Multilateral Development Banks: How the United States Makes and Implements Policy
This report analyzes how the United States makes policy towards the multilateral development banks (MDBs) and identifies ways by which Congress can shape U.S. policy and influence the activities of the banks themselves.
Overview of Federal Housing Assistance Programs and Policy
This report provides an overview of the history and evolution of federal housing assistance policy, a description of today's major federal housing assistance programs, and a discussion of issues and trends in federal housing assistance policy.
Small Business Management and Technical Assistance Training Programs
This report examines the historical development of federal small business management and technical assistance training programs; describes their current structures, operations, and budgets; and assesses their administration and oversight and the measures used to determine their effectiveness. It also discusses several bills introduced during the 111th and 112th Congresses that would have authorized changes to the SBA's management and technical assistance training programs in an effort to improve their performance and oversight.
Senate Committees: Categories and Rules for Committee Assignments
This report outlines information about the senate Rule XXV and party conference rules that address committee assignments.
Immigration Policies and Issues on Health-Related Grounds for Exclusion
This report discusses the criteria that foreign nationals must meet before admission to the United States including the reasons why a foreign national might be denied admission, most particularly on health-related grounds. It describes this issue in relation to the recent outbreak of the 2009 H1N1 ("swine flu") virus, and how the outbreak has affected various government agencies, such as the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This report also discusses efforts to confront and address related issues on a legislative front.
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 that are popular locations for motion pictures and commercial photography.
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.
Executive Orders: Issuance, Modification, and Revocation
This report reviews the "definition" of an executive order and how it is distinguishable from other written instruments, and then provides an overview of the President's constitutional authority to issue such directives. Next, the report discusses the legal framework relied on by the courts to analyze the validity of presidential actions, and also discusses the roles of the President and Congress in modifying and revoking executive orders.
Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
This report offers background information on Ukraine's current political and economic situation, and foreign policy towards NATO, the European Union, and Russia. It also discusses U.S. policy, U.S. aid to Ukraine, the congressional response, and related legislation.
Iran's Nuclear Program: Tehran's Compliance with International Obligations
This report provides a brief overview of Iran's nuclear program and describes the legal basis for the actions taken by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board and the Security Council.
The Amending Process in the Senate
This report is intended to provide an overview of the fundamentals of the Senate amendment process. It summarizes many of the rules, precedents, and practices of the Senate affecting the consideration of amendments to measures on the floor.
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).
Defense Surplus Equipment Disposal: Background Information
This report discusses the Department of Defense (DOD) policy for disposing of items via the Defense Utilization and Marketing Service (DRMS); this method is used for government equipment and supplies considered surplus or deemed unnecessary to the agency's currently designated mission. The report focuses on DRMS background, as well as the most recent DRMS policy modifications.
The Federal Prison Population Buildup: Overview, Policy Changes, Issues, and Options
This report explores the issues related to the growing federal prison population.
Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments
This report discusses the strategic significance of Guam for defense buildup and the force relocation and deployments from the U.S. mainland. It also discusses the concerns and issues for Congress, such as allies and partners, relations with China, and legislation.
Moldova: Background and U.S. Policy
This report provides information and analysis on Moldova, including its political and economic situation, foreign policy, and U.S. policy toward Moldova.
Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan and the Afghan government. It also discusses Afghanistan's relationship with the United States, particularly U.S. efforts to urge President Hamid Karzai to address corruption within the Afghan government.
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.
FY2015 Budget Documents: Internet and GPO Availability
This report provides brief descriptions of the budget volumes and related documents, together with Internet addresses, Government Printing Office (GPO) stock numbers, and prices for obtaining print copies of these publications. It also explains how to find the locations of government depository libraries, which can provide both printed copies for reference use and Internet access to the online versions.
Military Uniform Procurement: Questions and Answers
This report discusses military uniform procurement through the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), an agency of the Department of Defense.
Dominican Republic: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides background information on political and economic conditions in the Dominican Republic, as well as an overview of some of the key issues in U.S.-Dominican relations
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.
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.
House Committee on Ethics: A Brief History of Its Evolution and Jurisdiction
This report briefly outlines the background of ethics enforcement in the House of Representatives, including the creation of both the Select Committee on Ethics and the Committee on Ethics. The report also focuses on various jurisdictional and procedural changes that the House Committee on Ethics has experienced since 1967, and discusses the committee's current jurisdiction and procedures.
Same-Sex Marriage: A Legal Background After United States v. Windsor
This report discusses the recognition of same-sex marriage that generates debate on both the federal and state levels.
Azerbaijan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests
This report covers the recent history of Azerbaijan and the purposes for U.S. assistance, according to the Obama Administration. Azerbaijan has been a useful ally since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, granting over-flight rights to the U.S. and approving numerous landings in their civilian airport.
The DHS S&T Directorate: Selected Issues for Congress
This report provides a brief overview of the Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate's mission, organization, and budgetary structure; a discussion of selected critiques of the S&T Directorate; and an analysis of selected issues facing congressional policymakers.