Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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The Essential Neil Gorsuch Reader: What Judge Gorsuch Cases Should You Read?
This report discusses President Trump's nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and deliberation by Senators as part of the initial phases of determining whether to provide "Advice and Consent" to the nomination.
Gun Control, Mental Incompetency, and Social Security Administration Final Rule
This report discusses the Congressional Review Act disapproval resolution (H.J.Res. 40) passed by the House of Representative to overturn a final rule promulgated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding implementation of firearms restrictions for certain persons.
The United States Withdraws from the TPP
This report discusses discusses the withdrawal of the United States as a signatory from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement as directed by President Trump.
Cabo Verde: Background and U.S. Relations
This report discusses Cabo Verde, a small island nation located off the west coast of Africa; its geographic location has made the country a transshipment point for Latin American cocaine bound for Europe and a key refueling stop-over for trans-Atlantic air traffic between Africa and the United States.
Defense Primer: A Guide for New Members
This report describes the power of the Congress over the armed forces, including the power to "to raise and support Armies," "to provide and maintain a Navy," "to make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces" and "to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States.... "
What Is Manufacturing? Why Does the Definition Matter
This report discusses provisions that define manufacturing as the process of physically transforming goods and the importance of such provisions in federal law.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
This report discusses China's proposal of creating a new multilateral development bank (MDB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with the purpose to provide financing for infrastructure needs throughout Asia, as well as in neighboring regions.
Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Long-Range Ballistic Missiles: Background and Issues
This report provides an overview of the rationale for the prompt global strike (PGS) mission and the possible deployment of conventional warheads on long-range ballistic missiles or boost-glide systems in support of this mission. It also reviews the Air Force and Navy efforts to develop these systems, summarizes congressional reaction to these proposals, and provides a more detailed account of the issues raised by these concepts and programs.
Cuba Sanctions: Legislative Restrictions Limiting the Normalization of Relations
This report provides background information on the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), and discusses U.S. trade negotiating objectives, procedures for congressional-executive notification and consultation, and expedited legislative procedures.
Why Did March 2016 U.N. Sanctions Not Curb China's Imports of Coal from North Korea?
This report discusses the Resolution 2270 adopted by United Nations Security Council (UNSCR 2270), imposing new sanctions on North Korea in response to the country's fourth nuclear test.
Army Corps Easement Process and Dakota Access Pipeline Easement Status
This report discusses the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), a 1,172-mile pipeline system to transport oil from North Dakota to Illinois.
The Islamic State and U.S. Policy
This report provides background on the Islamic State organization, discusses its goals, operations, and affiliates, reviews U.S. legislative and policy debates, and describes select FY2017 legislative proposals.
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
This report presents background information and issues for Congress concerning the Navy's ship force-structure goals and shipbuilding plans. The planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy's shipbuilding plans have been matters of concern for the congressional defense committees for the past several years.
The Pacific Islands: Policy Issues
This report presents Congress with a diverse array of policy issues regarding Pacific Islands region, also known as the South Pacific or Southwest Pacific.
Five-Year Program for Federal Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing: Status and Issues in Brief
This report discusses the five year plan as amended under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) for proposed public oil and gas lease sales on the U.S. outer continental shelf (OCS).
Iran Sanctions
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides some examples, based on open sources, of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran.
Cross-Border Energy Trade in North America: Present and Potential
This report provides an overview of the United States' energy trade with Canada and Mexico. For the principal energy commodities, it summarizes estimates of the resource potential for the three countries, recent energy production, and expectations for future production.
Dakota Access Pipeline: Siting Controversy
This report discusses the Dakota Access Pipeline including background on the project and information about siting approval, as well as opposition and litigation against the pipeline.
Considering Measures in the House Under the One-Hour Rule
This report discusses the fundamental rule of the House of Representatives governing debate is the one-hour rule.
Privileged Business on the House Floor
This report discusses privileged business, which relates to the order or priority of business before the House and is defined in House rules and precedents as business that has precedence over the regular order of business.
Questions of Privilege in the House
This report describes and discusses the difference between privileged business and questions of privilege.
Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills: FY1970-FY2017
This report is a research aid that lists the Department of Defense (DOD) authorization bills (Table 1) and appropriations bills (Table 2) for FY1970-FY2017. This report includes all the pertinent information on the passage of these bills through the legislative process: bill numbers, report numbers, dates reported and passed, recorded vote numbers and vote tallies, dates of passage of the conference reports with their numbers and votes, vetoes, substitutions, dates of final passage, and public law numbers.
EPA's Mid-Term Evaluation of Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards
This report discusses the standards for fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for new light-duty vehicles.
Millennium Challenge Corporation
This report discusses the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) which provides economic assistance through a competitive selection process to developing nations that demonstrate positive performance in three areas: ruling justly, investing in people, and fostering economic freedom.
Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), which is an Army-led, multi-service initiative to develop a family of light tactical vehicles as a successor to the High Mobility, Multi-Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs). It includes background information; a description of the JLTV program, program history, and program activities; information about the JLTV contract, Lockheed Martin's protest to the program, budgetary issues, and potential issues for Congress.
Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response
This report discusses the ongoing conflict in Syria and provides an overview of U.S. policy responses. The rise of the insurgent terrorist group known as the Islamic State (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL/ISIS) and Russia's military intervention on behalf of the Syrian government have reshaped debates over U.S. policy toward the ongoing civil conflict in Syria, now in its fifth year.
Military Benefits for Former Spouses: Legislation and Policy Issues
The purpose of this report is to provide a general discussion of legislative provisions and proposals relating to the military benefits for former spouses.
Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments
This report discusses the military retirement system. The system currently includes monthly compensation for qualified active and reserve retirees, disability benefits for those deemed medically unfit to serve, and a survivor annuity program for the eligible survivors of deceased retirees.
U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses Special Operations Forces (SOF), which play a significant role in U.S. military operations and, in recent years, have been given greater responsibility for planning and conducting worldwide counterterrorism operations. A potential issue for Congress is the Administration's decision to send U.S. SOF forces to Syria.
Party Leaders in the United States Congress, 1789-2017
This report briefly describes current responsibilities and selection mechanisms for 15 House and Senate party leadership posts and provides tables with historical data, including service dates, party affiliation, and other information for each.
Statutory Restrictions on the Position of Secretary of Defense: Issues for Congress
This report is designed to assist Congress as it considers how to proceed with the proposed nomination of General (Ret.) James Mattis to be Secretary of Defense. After exploring the history of the statutory restriction and its evolution over time, it touches upon some of the broader questions that have recently been raised in the public debate on whether, and how, this proposed nomination might impact civilian-military relations and the principle of civilian control of the military.
The Veterans Choice Program (VCP): Program Implementation
This report discusses the Veterans Choice Program (VCP),which is a new, temporary program (the VCP is set to expire in August 2017 or whenever funds in the Veterans Choice Fund are exhausted). The VCP enables eligible veterans to receive medical care in the community.
The Budget Reconciliation Process: Stages of Consideration
This report discusses the budget reconciliation process which allows Congress to use an expedited procedure when considering legislation that would bring existing spending, revenue, and debt limit laws into compliance with current fiscal priorities established in the annual budget resolution.
China-U.S. Trade Issues
This report discusses the U.S.-China economic relationship and China's rapid expansion as a global economic market, both with respect to the current global economic crisis. It also examines major U.S.-China trade issues and related legislation.
Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2017
This report provides data on elections of the Speaker in each Congress since 1913, when the House first reached its present size of 435 Members. During that period (63rd through 115th Congresses), a Speaker was elected five times with the votes of less than a majority of the full membership.
Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) Negotiations: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides a brief overview of U.S. trade in services, background on services in U.S. trade agreements, and an in-depth discussion of the ongoing Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiations.
Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
This report provides an overview of the situation in Ukraine. Following the February 2014 collapse of the Kremlin-supported government of President Viktor Yanukovych, there was an emergence of a pro-Western, pro-reform government and an energized public generally anxious to lessen Moscow's influence, committed to addressing the need for serious reform and determined to draw closer to Europe and the United States.
The "Waters of the United States" Rule: Legislative Options and 114th Congress Responses
This report discusses legislative activity in the 114th Congress regarding a major regulatory initiative related to the "waters of the United States" rule. Despite the court's stay of the rule, some in Congress favor halting the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) and the Corps' current approach to defining "waters of the United States."
Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs
This report provides an overview of the "digital divide," which is a term used to describe a perceived gap between those Americans who use or have access to telecommunications and information technologies and those who do not.
Political Status of Puerto Rico: Brief Background and Recent Developments for Congress
This report provides policy and historical background about Puerto Rico's political status--a term of art referring to the relationship between the federal government and a territorial one. The report emphasizes recent developments that are likely to be most relevant for Congress. Congress has not altered the island's status since 1952, when it approved a territorial constitution.
Expedited Procedures Governing Senate Consideration of Legislation Waiving a Restriction Related to the Military Service of the Secretary of Defense
This report discusses the Section 179 of the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017 (P.L. 114-254), which establishes expedited or "fast track" parliamentary procedures governing Senate consideration of legislation that would waive a legal restriction related to the prior military service of the Secretary of Defense.
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.
The Impeachment of South Korea's President
This report discusses the impeachment of the president of South Korean after the largest anti-Park protests in the country's history.
U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel
This report provides an overview of U.S. foreign assistance to Israel. It includes a review of past aid programs, data on annual assistance, and an analysis of current issues.
International Trade and Finance: Overview and Issues for the 115th Congress
This report provides a brief overview of some of the trade and finance issues that may be of interest or continuing attention of the 115th Congress. During its 114th session, Congress faced numerous international trade and finance policy issues.
Iran's Foreign and Defense Policies
This report discusses Iran's national security policy. Some experts forecast that Iran's foreign and defense policies might shift after international sanctions were eased in January 2016 in accordance with the July 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA).
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
This report discusses concerns about food safety, the resources required to ensure food safety, and whether federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then.
U.S. Policy on Cuban Migrants: In Brief
This report discusses the U.S. policy on Cuban migration that has been shaped by a 1966 law known as the Cuban Adjustment Act, as amended, and U.S.-Cuban migration agreements signed in the mid-1990s, operating in conjunction with the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Agency Final Rules Submitted on or After June 13, 2016, May Be Subject to Disapproval by the 115th Congress
This report discusses the possibility of the new Congress and the new President to overturn agency final rules of the Obama Administration issued after early June 2016.
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): In Brief
This report provides a basic description of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which mandates that U.S. transportation fuel must contain a minimum volume of biofuel, and is a federal statutory requirement. The mandated minimum volume increases annually and can be met using both conventional biofuel (e.g., cornstarch ethanol) and advanced biofuels. This report also includes some of the widely-discussed issues.