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Overview of "Travel Ban" Litigation and Recent Developments
This report provides an overview of the series of executive actions (the first two taking the form of executive orders, and the third issued as a presidential proclamation) commonly referred to as the "Travel Ban," which restrict the entry of specified categories of non-U.S. nationals (aliens) into the United States, and the litigation related to those executive actions. It also addresses a fourth and more recent executive action--an executive order issued on October 24, 2017--which announced the general resumption of refugee admissions into the United States (subject to certain restrictions) following the expiration of a temporary suspension on such admissions.
Mandatory Minimum Sentencing of Federal Drug Offenses
This report is an overview of the Controlled Substances Act (or the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act) and federal minimum sentencing requirements for drug offenses.
Temporary Extension of the Community Health Center Fund
This report discusses the funding of the Community Health Center program and the temporary extension of the program beyond FY2017 when its funding officially expired.
Update: Who's the Boss at the CFPB
This report is an update regarding the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as there were two indivuduals who claimed the right to the job. The Trump Administration appointed acting director, Mick Mulvaney, was confirmed in his position after a lawsuit filed by the previous acting director, Leandra English, was denied by the DC courts.
Attorney General's Memorandum on Federal Marijuana Enforcement: Possible Impacts
This report discusses Attorney General Jeff Sessions' memorandum on federal marijuana enforcement policy sent to all U.S. Attorneys that immediately rescinds guidance documents specific to marijuana enforcement. It provides background on the memorandum, the relevant regulations, and implications of withdrawing previous guidance.
Facing the FAST Act: Abortion and Free Speech (Part 1)
First part of a report regarding the Supreme Court case: "National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra;" it involves a California state law that requires certain pregnancy centers to distribute particular information to clients which they contend violates their free speech rights. This report provides an overview of the challenged law, followed by an analysis of how the Supreme Court might categorize the speech at issue.
Facing the FAST Act: Abortion and Free Speech (Part 2)
Second part of a report regarding the Supreme Court case: "National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra;" it involves a California state law that requires certain pregnancy centers to distribute particular information to clients which they contend violates their free speech rights. This report discusses the potential implications of any Supreme Court decision in "NIFLA" for First Amendment jurisprudence and legislatures seeking to regulate in this area.
Introduction to the Legislative Process in the U.S. Congress
This report introduces the main steps through which a bill (or other item of business) may travel in the legislative process--from introduction to committee and floor consideration to possible presidential consideration. This report outlines each of the common stages through which a bill may move, with references to sources of additional information regarding complications and variations that occur in practice.
Transatlantic Relations in 2018
This report discusses the current state of transatlantic relations between the U.S. and Europe and especially the European Union (EU). It also outlines various European concerns over the direction of the Trump Administration and future issues for Congress to consider.
Venezuela's Economic Crisis: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the economic crisis in Venezuela including its origins of the crisis and current attempts at debt restructuring by the Venezuelan government. The report also outlines U.S. interests in the Venezuelan economy and trade, the outlook for U.S. holders of Venezuelan oil company bonds, ownership of CITGO (the biggest shareholder is the Venezuelan state-oil company), and the prospects of U.S. support of economic recovery in the future.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): An Overview
This report discusses the oil and gas program recently approved by President Trump for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in the context of the ANWR's history, its energy and biological resources, Native interests and subsistence uses, energy market conditions, and debates over protection and development.
Budget Enforcement Procedures: The Senate Pay-As-You-Go (PayGO) Rule
This report discusses the Senate pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rule, which generally requires that any legislation projected to increase direct spending or reduce revenues must also include equivalent amounts of direct spending cuts, revenue increases, or a combination, so that the legislation does not increase the on-budget deficit in the current fiscal year, the budget year, a six-year period, or an 11-year period (the latter two periods beginning with the current fiscal year). This update includes the most recent changes to the rule, and adds information on points of order raised under the rule since 2015.
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions
This report discusses U.S. monetary policy and the Federal Reserve. It provides an overview of monetary policy and recent developments, a summary of the Fed's actions following the financial crisis, and ends with a brief overview of the Fed's regulatory responsibilities.
Salaries of Members of Congress: Recent Actions and Historical Tables
This report discusses recent fiscal year Congressional pay raise freezes and provides: historical tables on the rate of pay for Members of Congress since 1789; details on enacted legislation with language prohibiting the automatic annual pay adjustment since the most recent adjustment; the adjustments projected by the Ethics Reform Act as compared with actual adjustments in Member pay; and Member pay in constant and current dollars since 1992.
Supreme Court to Hear Voter Roll Case: What are the Implications?
This report discusses the Supreme Court case of "Husted v. Phillip Randolph Institute," which charges the state of Ohio with violating the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) through their secondary voter registration maintenance program which removes people from the voter rolls due to inactivity. It discusses a brief history of the case before its coming to the Supreme Court and possible implications of the decision.
A Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment: Background and Congressional Options
This report discuses the idea of requiring a balanced budget for the U.S. government and provides an overview of the issues and options that have been raised during prior consideration of proposals for a balanced budget constitutional amendment.
Congress Considers Reform to Queries of FISA Information as Reauthorization Deadline Approaches
This report is an update of an earlier report regarding Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and its expiration on January 19, 2018, along with proposed reforms to the FISA process.
HUD Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations: In Brief
This report describes the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) 2018 budget appropriations. The report tracks progress on FY2018 HUD appropriations and provides detailed account-level, and in some cases sub-account-level, funding information (Table 1) as well as a discussion of selected key issues.
Iran: Politics, Human Rights, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses Iran's political and governmental structure, major elections and political unrest (including the Dec. 2017-Jan 2018 protests), and human rights violations, as well as U.S. policy and relations with Iran.
Kosovo: Background and U.S. Relations
This report describes Kosovo's government and political structure, economy, and relations with the U.S., Serbia, and the European Union (EU).
Libya: Transition and U.S. Policy
This report discusses Libya's political and governmental structure, struggles to transition to a stable democratic government after Muammar al Qadhafi was overthrown in 2011, and U.S. policy and assistance in Libya.
Smart Toys and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998
This report discusses "smart toys" for children that use the internet to interact with the user. It outlines various security concerns regarding the collection and use of information about children, and whether these toys are governed by the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998.
Sponsorship and Cosponsorship of House Bills
This report discusses the rules and procedures regarding a Congress member sponsoring or cosponsoring a bill in the House.
The U.S. Export Control System and the Export Control Reform Initiative
This report discusses the U.S. export control system and the initiative started by President Obama to study and make recommendations for reform of the export control system by streamlining processes and consolidating control of the program in one agency.
Vessel Incidental Discharge Legislation in the 115th Congress: Background and Issues
This report outlines regulations for vessels discharging ballast water into U.S waters, to prevent the spread of invasive species and pollution of bodies of water. It discusses various federal, state, and Coast Guard requirements along with exempted vessel types, and recent legislative action regarding the issue.
Drug Compounding: FDA Authority and Possible Issues for Congress
This report discusses legislation regulating the compounding of drugs by pharmacies to remove certain ingredients from a standard approved drug for patients with allergies, or for a medical clinic to keep on hand. It outlines various arguments for and against further regulation of the practice by the FDA and potential Congressional actions.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA): Overview of Workers' Compensation for Certain Private-Sector Maritime Workers
This report discusses the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) which requires private companies to provide workers' compensation coverage for employees engaged in longshore, harbor, or other maritime occupations. Topics include: covered workers, excluded workers, benefits under the program, and legislative discussions regarding the program.
Protecting Consumers and Businesses from Fraudulent Robocalls
This report discusses efforts by Congress and the Federal Communications Commision (FCC) to combat robocall scams and prevent them from reaching consumers. It includes an overview of what robocallls are, their legitimate uses, regulation, and complaint procedures for consumers.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues
This report discusses the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), including debates over what constitutes an unfunded federal mandate and UMRA's implementation. It includes an overview of the topic, as well as information related to Congresional Procedure (under Title I) and federal rulemaking (under Title II), with tables and an appendix on UMRA's legislative history.
Acquisition Reform in the FY2016-FY2018 National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAAs)
This report provides a brief overview of selected acquisition-related provisions found in the National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAAs) for FY2016 (P.L. 114-92), FY2017 (P.L. 114-328), and FY2018 (P.L. 115-91), including the following topics that were a focus of the legislation: Major Defense Acquisition Programs, the acquisition workforce, commercial items, Other Transaction Authority, and contract types. This report also discusses the breakup of the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, as well as the shift of authority from that office to the military departments.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of general, Arctic-related issues for Congress, such as: Arctic territorial disputes; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic, which could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition.
EPA Proposes to Repeal the Clean Power Plan
This report is an update of an earlier report regarding the EPA's (Environmental Protection Ageny's) proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan, which was intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. On Dec. 28, 2017 the EPA issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) seeking input on creating a new replacement regulation for the previous Clean Power Plan.
Serbia: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Serbia and its governmental structure, economy, and foreign relations with the U.S., Kosovo, Turkey, Russia, and the EU.
Army Corps Supplemental Appropriations: History, Trends, and Policy Issues
This report discusses the Army Corps of Engineers and its role in disaster recovery and flood management and how supplemental appropriations from Congress assist in funding these efforts. The 115th Congress is considering possible responses to various natural disasters in 2017. H.R. 4667--Further Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements, 2017 (as passed by the House)--proposes $12.09 billion for the agency's activities associated with response, repair, and recovery from natural disasters including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 115th Congress: In Brief
This report discusses issues regarding the EPA and its regulations of greenhouse gas emissions and air quality standards under the Clean Air Act and various court proceedings and Congressional and executive discussions related to them.
Congressional Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This report provides a list of about 200 congressional liaison offices, intended to help congressional offices in placing telephone calls and addressing correspondence to government agencies. Entries are arranged alphabetically in four sections: legislative branch; judicial branch; executive branch; and agencies, boards, and commissions.
Defense Primer: Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence)
This report provides an overview of the duties of the Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence Division) and the origin of the position.
Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: Fiscal Year 2018 Budget and Appropriations
This report discusses the FY2018 appropriations for the State Department's Foreign Operations and Related Programs section and their funding levels, as well as the legislative process.
National Flood Insurance Borrowing Authority
This report evaluates the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP's) borrowing authority to receive loans from the U.S. Department of the Treasury -- particularly in the context of major floods -- and discusses the current financial situation of the NFIP as it pays claims from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
What Happens if the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Lapses?
This report provides a short overview of what would happen if the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were not to be reauthorized by January 19, 2018, and was allowed to lapse.
Cyprus: Reunification Proving Elusive
This report provides a brief overview of the history of the negotiations regarding reunification of the island of Cyprus and a description of some of the issues involved in those talks.
Military Service Records, Awards, and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources
This report provides information on locating military unit histories and individual service records of discharged, retired, and deceased military personnel. It also provides information on locating and replacing military awards and medals as well as contact information for military history centers, websites for additional sources of research, and a bibliography of other publications, including related CRS reports.
CRS Products on North Korea
This report provides a listing of CRS reports related to North Korea, organized by broad topical categories. It also includes contact information for CRS experts on various aspects of North Korea.
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Overview and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the General System of Preferences (GSP) which provides nonreciprocal, duty-free tariff treatment to certain products imported from designated beneficiary developing countries (BDCs).
The Federal Tax System for the 2017 Tax Year
This report describes the current federal tax structure and provides some statistics on the tax system as a whole, as of 2017.
Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC): Structure and Activities
This report provides an overview of the The Financial Stability Oversight Council's (FSOC's) structure and analyzes FSOC policy-related issues and legislation.
Floodplain Management and Flood Resilience: Current Policy and Considerations for Congress
This report describes presidential direction for federal floodplain management and presents considerations for Congress.
Policy Options to Increase Physician Training Education in Proper Opioid Prescribing
This report discusses the recommendations of the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis regarding mandating "medical education and prescriber education initiatives in proper opioid prescribing and risks of developing an SUD [Substance Use Disorder]." It provides an overview on various policy options to encourage further training for physicians and other prescription empowered providers while in school and training as well as on the job.
Navy Columbia (SSBN-826) Class Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Columbia-class program, a program to design and build a new class of 12 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to replace the Navy's current force of 14 Ohio-class SSBNs. The Navy has identified the Columbia-class program as the Navy's top priority program, and wants to procure the first Columbia-class boat in FY2021.
Supreme Court Declines to Review Ninth Circuit Court Decision Applying Federal Reserved Water Rights Doctrine to Groundwater
This report discusses the case of "Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Coachella Valley Water District" relating to groundwater water rights on federal lands. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case in July 2017.