Congressional Research Service Reports - 90 Matching Results

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Independent Counsels, Special Prosecutors, Special Counsels, and the Role of Congress
Report that provides information on the procedure for the appointment of an "independent counsel," a "special prosecutor," or a "special counsel" to investigate and prosecute potential or possible violations of federal criminal law by officials in the executive branch of the federal government and in federal agencies.
Energy and Water Development: FY2015 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.
Broadband Data Privacy and Security: What's Net Neutrality Got to Do With It?
This report is the third in a series discussing the potential impact of the Federal Communications Commission's proposal to reclassify broadband Internet access services (BIAS). This report focuses on the proposal's possible effect on the regulation of BIAS providers' privacy practices.
The Defense Production Act of 1950: History, Authorities, and Reauthorization
This report examines some of the history of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA), focusing primarily on its creation and most recent legislative reauthorization. It also discusses the foremost active authorities of the DPA.
The Defense Production Act of 1950: History, Authorities, and Reauthorization
This report examines some of the history of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA), focusing primarily on its creation and most recent legislative reauthorization. It also discusses the foremost active authorities of the DPA.
Nominations to U.S. Circuit and District Courts by President Obama During the 111th and 112th Congresses
Recent Senate debates in the 112th Congress over judicial nominations have focused on issues such as the relative degree of success of President Barack Obama's nominees in gaining Senate confirmation (compared with other recent Presidents) as well as the effect of delayed judicial appointments on judicial vacancy levels. The following report addresses these issues, and others, by providing a statistical overview of President Obama's nominees to U.S. circuit court of appeals and U.S. district court judgeships, current through May 31, 2012.
Domestic Federal Law Enforcement Coordination: Through the Lens of the Southwest Border
This report discusses the law enforcement task forces and intelligence information sharing centers. The report focuses on those task forces and information sharing efforts that respond to federal counterdrug and counterterrorism priorities in the Southwest border region.
Update: The Microsoft Ireland Decision: U.S. Appeals Court Rules that ECPA does not Require Internet Service Providers to Produce Electronic Communications Stored Overseas
This report discusses the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the case of "Microsoft Corporation v. United States" where the court ruled that the U.S. could not enforce a subpoena asking Microsoft to retrieve emails stored on a server in Ireland. On June 28, 2017 the United States filed for reversal of the decision through a writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court.
Advertising by the Federal Government: An Overview
This report discusses government advertising that can be controversial if it conflicts with citizens' views about the proper role of government.
Financing U.S. Agricultural Exports to Cuba
This report discusses a new policy approach toward Cuba that, in part, seeks to reduce the role of long-standing U.S. sanctions on commercial relations with Cuba while also promoting greater engagement and normal relations with the island nation.
The Federal Rulemaking Process: An Overview
The purpose of this report is to provide Congress with an overview of the federal rulemaking process and a brief discussion of the major laws and executive orders that prescribe the procedures agencies are to apply when promulgating regulations.
President Trump's Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement Raises Legal Questions: Parts 1 and 2
This report discusses various legal questions raised by President Trump's announcement of the U.S.'s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. Questions addressed include the withdrawal process, whether the agreement is binding or non-binding, the role of United States in other international climate meetings, and why President Trump announced the exit.
Unmanned and Unregulated? Court of Appeals Rejects FAA Regulation of Many Drones
This report discusses a ruling by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals which said that model aircraft including many drones were exempt from the FAA's registration rule. Carious implications of the ruling are also discussed.
President Trump's Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement Raises Legal Questions: Parts 1 and 2
This report discusses legal questions related to President's Trump's announcement that the United States intends to leave the Paris Climate Agreement.
When is Running Guns from the Philippines to Mexico a Federal Crime?
This report discusses the case "United States v. Ubaldo" which concerns whether a gun smuggler who smuggled guns from a foreign country through the United States and then into another foreign country can be charged with a federal crime. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the conviction for conspiracy and causing the importation of weapons in violation of the Arms Export Control Act and ban on importing military firearms.
Unaccompanied Alien Children--Legal Issues: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses the questions regarding the numbers of unaccompanied alien children involved, their reasons for coming to the United States, and current and potential responses of the federal government and other entities to their arrival.
Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview
This report discusses the immigration problem regarding the number of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) arriving in the United States borders. The report discusses the scope of the problem, current policy challenges, and the processing and treatment of the UAC apprehended.
Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview
This report discusses the immigration problem regarding the number of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) arriving in the United States borders. The report discusses the scope of the problem, current policy challenges, and the processing and treatment of the UAC apprehended.
Environmental Considerations in Federal Procurement: An Overview of the Legal Authorities and Their Implementation
This report discusses issues about the role of environmental considerations in federal procurement. These include: to what extent do agencies consider environmental factors when procuring goods or services? What legal authorities presently require or allow agencies to take environmental factors into account when acquiring goods or services?
The 2010 Oil Spill: The Minerals Management Service (MMS) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
This report will review environmental procedures after an exploratory oil well in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing 11 people and causing an oil spill.
Pay Equity Legislation
This report gives an overview of "pay equity," a term referring to the fact that women as a group are paid less than men. It includes the history of pay equity, legal and legislative background, and recent legislation.
A Primer on U.S. Immigration Policy
This report provides a broad overview of U.S. immigration policy. The first section addresses policies governing how foreign nationals enter the United States either to reside permanently or to stay temporarily. The second section discusses enforcement policies for excluding foreign nationals from admission into the United States, as well as for detaining and removing those who enter the country unlawfully or who enter lawfully but subsequently commit crimes that make them deportable. The third section addresses policies for unauthorized aliens residing in the United States.
UPDATE: Supreme Court Takes Fourth Amendment Case about Cell Phone Location Data
This report provides an update to a June 2017 report on the Carpenter v. United States case on government collection of cell phone location information. On June 22, 2018, the Supreme Court held in a 5-to-4 decision in Carpenter v. United States that government acquisition of historical cell site location information (CSLI) constitutes a Fourth Amendment search. The Court further held that the government needs a warrant supported by probable cause.
UPDATE: Termination of Temporary Protected Status for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador: Key Takeaways and Analysis
This report is an update to a February 2, 2018 report discussing Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations and answering questions regarding the recent termination of TPS for El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Sudan. The update discusses the termination of TPS for Nepal and Honduras.
Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA): Liability of Responsible Parties
The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) establishes a framework that addresses the liability of responsible parties in connection with the discharge of oil into the navigable waters of the United States, adjoining shorelines, or the exclusive economic zone. Among other provisions, OPA limits certain liabilities of a responsible party in connection with discharges of oil into such areas. This report addresses liability under OPA for removal costs and damages, and the basic procedure for recovering removal costs and damages from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund in the event that the responsible party fails to settle such claims.
Same-Sex Marriages: Legal Issues
This report discusses Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and legal challenges to it. It reviews legal principles applied to determine the validity of a marriage contracted in another state and surveys the various approaches employed by states to enable or to prevent same-sex marriage. The report also examines House and Senate resolutions introduced in previous Congresses proposing a constitutional amendment and limiting federal courts' jurisdiction to hear or determine any question pertaining to the interpretation of DOMA.
Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Background and Funding
The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program was created by Title I of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-322). The mission of the COPS program is to advance community policing in all jurisdictions across the United States. Legislation introduced in the 111th Congress would reauthorize the COPS program through FY2014 and reestablish COPS as a multi-grant program. This report provides an overview and analysis of issues Congress might choose to consider when taking up legislation to reauthorize the COPS program.
Legislative Options for Financing Water Infrastructure
This report discusses several options considered by Congress to address the financing needs of local communities for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects and to decrease or close the gap between available funds and projected needs.
The Department of the Interior's Final Rule on Offshore Well Control
This report discusses regulations regarding blowout preventer systems and well control for oil and gas operations on the U.S. outer continental shelf (81 Fed. Reg. 25887). The regulations aim to reduce the risk of an offshore oil or gas blowout that could jeopardize human safety and harm the environment.
The Open Skies Treaty: Issues in the Current Debate
This report discusses the current debate surrounding the Treaty on Open Skies, which the United States, Canada, and 22 European nations signed on March 24, 1992. The treaty entered into force on January 1, 2002, and now has 34 member states. Each participant must permit unarmed observation aircraft to fly over its entire territory to observe military forces and activities.
Implementation of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Amendments (P.L. 114-182)
This report summarizes select EPA actions to implement the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) amendments over the past year since their passage on June 22, 2016 as a part of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for 21st Century Act (P.L. 114-182). Brief discussions and lists of various chemicals that are being evaluated or have been evaluated under the law are included.
Update: What Constitutes "Sexual Abuse of a Minor" For Immigration Purposes
This report provides an update of an earlier report from April 6, 2017, providing the final decision by the Supreme Court in the case of "Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions". The case concerned the question of whether an immigrant alien who was convicted of sexual abuse of a minor where the minor was under 18 but at least 16 (in this case statutory rape in California between a 21 year old male and a 17 year female) was removable for an aggravated felony under immigration law. The Supreme Court ruled that the immigration law required the victim be under 16 before the removal of an alien for an aggravated felony would be allowable.
Legislative Options for Financing Water Infrastructure
Report that addresses several options considered by Congress to address the financing needs of local communities for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects and to decrease or close the gap between available funds and projected needs.
Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) Status for Russia and U.S.-Russian Economic Ties
Report that discusses the issues surrounding whether or not the U.S. should grant Russia permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) following its accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Lobbying Registration and Disclosure: The Role of the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate
Report that describes the role of clerk of the house and secretary of the senate. It discusses lobbying disclosure guidance document and semi-annual report of certain contributions
The Workforce Investment Act and the One-Stop Delivery System
Report that provides details of WIA Title I state formula program structure, services, allocation formulas, and performance accountability. In addition, it provides a program overview for national grant programs.
EPA's Proposed Greenhouse Gas Regulations for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions
This report summarizes the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) proposal regarding greenhouse gas regulations. In addition to discussing details of the proposed rule, the report addresses a number of questions regarding the reasons for the proposal; the EPA's authority under Section 111 of the CAA; the EPA's previous experience using that authority; the steps the agency must take to finalize the proposed rule; and various other background questions.
Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion
The first section of this report reviews what countries might be considered tax havens, including a discussion of the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) initiatives and lists. The next two sections discuss, in turn, the corporate profit-shifting mechanisms and evidence on the existence and magnitude of profit shifting activity. The following two sections provide the same analysis for individual tax evasion. The report concludes with overviews of alternative policy options and a summary of specific legislative proposals.
From Solicitor General to Supreme Court Nominee: Responsibilities, History, and the Nomination of Elena Kagan
This report examines both the office of the Solicitor General and the Justices who held that position before their elevation to the Court. After examining the office of the Solicitor General and its success before the Court, the report describes the professional careers of the four Justices who served as Solicitor General before joining the Court: William Howard Taft, Stanley Reed, Robert Jackson, and Thurgood Marshall. The final section of the report examines the career of Elena Kagan, noting in particular her service as Solicitor General.
The "Volcker": Proposals to Limit "Speculative" Proprietary Trading by Banks
This report briefly discusses the permissible proprietary trading activities of commercial banks and their subsidiaries under current law. It then analyzes the Volcker Rule proposals under both the House- and Senate-passed financial reform bills.
The "Volcker": Proposals to Limit "Speculative" Proprietary Trading by Banks
This report briefly discusses the permissible proprietary trading activities of commercial banks and their subsidiaries under current law. It then analyzes the Volcker Rule proposals under the House- and Senate-passed financial reform bills and under the Conference Report, which would limit the ability of commercial banking institutions and their affiliated companies and subsidiaries to engage in trading unrelated to customer needs and investing in and sponsoring hedge funds or private equity funds.
Outer Continental Shelf Moratoria on Oil and Gas Development
This report discusses moratoria measures for the outer continental shelf (OCS) which establish bans or restrictions on oil and gas exploration and development in federal ocean areas. It includes a background of offshore oil and gas development, the sources of U.S. moratorium policy, the background of ocean governance, U.S. moratoria in international areas, and related issues for congress.
The Jurisprudence of Justice John Paul Stevens: Selected Opinions on the Jury's Role in Criminal Sentencing
This report discusses Justice John Paul Stevens' opinions on the Jury's role in criminal sentencing. Justice Stevens has played a critical role in the Supreme Court's interpretation of a jury's role in criminal sentencing. In 2000, he wrote the majority opinion for the Court in Apprendi v. New Jersey, a landmark case in which the Court held that a judge typically may not increase a sentence beyond the range prescribed by statute unless the increase is based on facts determined by a jury "beyond a reasonable doubt." In 2005, he wrote one of two majority opinions in United States v. Booker, in which the Court applied the Apprendi rule to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. In those two cases and in several other cases on this issue during the past few decades, Justice Stevens has been a leading voice, articulating a broad interpretation of the jury trial and due process rights at issue.
Greenhouse Gas Pledges by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
This report briefly summarizes the existing commitments and pledges of selected national and regional governments to limit their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as contributions to the global effort.
National Flood Insurance Program: Background, Challenges, and Financial Status
In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to address the increasing costs of taxpayer-funded disaster relief for flood victims and the increasing amount of damage caused by floods. This report provides an analysis of the NFIP and its financial status; summarizes the major challenges facing the program, including issues affecting its long-term financial solvency; presents some alternative approaches for managing and financing the flood losses; and describes pending legislation on this issue.
Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) Status for Russia and U.S.-Russian Economic Ties
This report discusses the issues surrounding whether or not the U.S. should grant Russia permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) following its accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO). The change in Russia's trade status will require legislation to lift the restrictions of Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974 as they apply to Russia, which includes the "freedom-of-emigration" requirements of the Jackson-Vanik amendment.
Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) Status for Russia and U.S.-Russian Economic Ties
The change in Russia's trade status will require legislation to lift the restrictions currently applied to Russia under Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974, which includes the "freedom-of-emigration" requirements of the Jackson-Vanik amendment. The process for Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) is proceeding and may be completed soon. As a result, Members may confront the issue of whether to grant Russia permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status during the 112th Congress.
Abortion Services and Military Medical Facilities
The purpose of this report is to describe and discuss the provisions for providing abortion services to military personnel, their dependents, and other military health care beneficiaries at military medical facilities. The report describes the history of these provisions, with particular emphasis on legislative actions. Finally, this report discusses a number of proposals to modify the law, as well as other related legislative and administrative actions.
An Overview of U.S. Immigration Laws Regulating the Admission and Exclusion of Aliens at the Border
This report discusses U.S. immigration law as it relates to the Trump Administration's zero tolerance policy to criminally prosecute migrants who unlawfully enter the United States at the southern border; a policy which has led to the separation of children from parents awaiting prosecution for unlawful entry.
The Rise and Decline of the Alien Tort Statute
This report explains the original purpose of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), restrictions placed on the ATS by the Supreme Court, the effect of the recent case Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC, and the response from Congress.