Congressional Research Service Reports - 36 Matching Results

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Obstruction of Justice: An Abridged Overview of Related Federal Criminal Laws
This report briefly discusses obstruction of justice, which is defined as the frustration of governmental purposes by violence, corruption, destruction of evidence, or deceit. This is an abridged version of CRS Report RL34304, Obstruction of Justice: An Overview of Some of the Federal Statutes That Prohibit Interference with Judicial, Executive, or Legislative Activities, by Charles Doyle, without the footnotes, quotations, or citations to authority found in the longer report.
Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure
This report examines the source of the contempt power, reviews the historical development of the early case law, outlines the statutory and common law basis for Congress's contempt power, and analyzes the procedures associated with inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas. The report also includes a detailed discussion of two recent information-access disputes that led to the approval of contempt citations in the House against then-White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder. Finally, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally-based limitations on the contempt power.
Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Enforcement: Legal Issues
This report begins by discussing the sources of federal power to regulate immigration and, particularly, the allocation of power between Congress and the President in this area. It next addresses the constitutional and other foundations for the doctrine of prosecutorial discretion, as well as the potential ways in which prosecutorial discretion may be exercised in the immigration context. It concludes by addressing potential constitutional, statutory, and administrative constraints upon the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.
Foreign Money and U.S. Elections
This report provides an overview of the prohibitions on foreign money under federal campaign finance law.
Insurance Regulation: Issues, Background, and Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report discusses the legislation in the 113th Congress regarding insurance regulation. Among the insurance regulatory issues addressed by legislation in the 113th Congress are the application of federal orderly liquidation authority to insurers (addressed in H.R. 605); the supervision of some insurers by the Federal Reserve (addressed in H.R. 2140, H.R. 4510, H.R. 5461, S. 2102, and S. 2270); and the licensing of insurance agents and brokers (addressed in S. 534, S. 1926, S. 2244, H.R. 1155/H.R. 1064, and H.R. 4871).
Authority of State and Local Police to Enforce Federal Immigration Law
This report discusses the authority of state and local law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law through the investigation and arrest of persons believed to have violated such laws. It describes current provisions in federal law that permit state and local police to enforce immigration law directly, analyzes major cases concerning the ability of states and localities to assist in immigration enforcement, and briefly examines opinions on the issue by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) within the Department of Justice.
Authority of State and Local Police to Enforce Federal Immigration Law
This report discusses the authority of state and local law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law through the investigation and arrest of persons believed to have violated such laws. It describes current provisions in federal law that permit state and local police to enforce immigration law directly, analyzes major cases concerning the ability of states and localities to assist in immigration enforcement, and briefly examines opinions on the issue by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) within the Department of Justice.
U.S. Family-Based Immigration Policy
This report provides an examination of family-based immigration policy. It outlines a brief history of U.S. policies, discusses current law governing admissions, and summarizes recommendations made by previous congressionally-mandated committees charged with evaluating immigration policy. It then presents descriptive figures on legal immigrants entering the United States during the past decade and discusses the sizable queue of approved immigrant petitioners waiting for an immigrant visa. It closes by discussing selected policy issues.
What is the Proposed U.S.-EU Insurance Covered Agreement?
This report discusses the United States and European Union (EU) negotiations on the first insurance covered agreement.
For First Time, FinCEN Imposes Penalty on Foreign-Based Virtual Currency Exchange for Violations of Anti-Money Laundering Laws
This report discusses the first case of enforcement by the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) against a foreign-based virtual currency exchange. The action was taken agains BTC-e for violations of anti-money laundering regulations in the U.S. and potential money laundering activities.
Obstruction of Justice: An Overview of Some of the Federal Statutes That Prohibit Interference with Judicial, Executive, or Legislative Activities
This report discusses obstruction of justice, which is is a federal crime. It describes specific kinds of obstruction, organized by type, and references various relevant laws that have provisions against obstruction.
The H-2B Visa and the Statutory Cap: In Brief
This report discusses H-2B visas for temporary non-agricultural workers and the statutory cap on the number issued each year along with recent extensions of the cap number due to high-demand from U.S. employers.
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.
Airline Passenger Rights: The Federal Role in Aviation Consumer Protection
This report examines aviation consumer protections following the 1978 elimination of most governmental control regarding airline business practices. It explains the roles of Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in protecting airline consumers, and discusses some major passenger rights issues and related laws and regulations.
Who Regulates Whom? An Overview of the U.S. Financial Regulatory Framework
This report attempts to set out the basic frameworks and principles underlying U.S. financial regulation and to give some historical context for the development of that system. The first section briefly discusses the various modes of financial regulation and the next section identifies the major federal regulators and the types of institutions they supervise (see Table 1). It then provides a brief overview of each federal financial regulatory agency. Finally, the report discusses other entities that play a role in financial regulation--interagency bodies, state regulators, and international standards.
U.S. Strike on Syrian Airbase: Legal Under International Law?
This report discusses whether the U.S. airstrike on a Syrian airbase in retaliation for Syria's use of chemical weapons was legal under international laws as outlined in the U.N. Charter.
The Orderly Liquidation Authority: Reform Proposals
This report discusses the Orderly Liquidation Authority (OLA) which was created by Title II of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203) to allow the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to resolve certain failing financial institutions whose collapse could threaten the stability of the financial system. Although OLA has never been used, it has become the subject of a number of reform proposals. This report briefly describes the OLA and two prominent examples of such proposals.
Murderous Schemes are not Violent Crimes?
This report discusses the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit's decision in the case of "U.S. v. McCollum" which stated that conspiracy to murder was not a violent crime for federal sentencing purposes and discusses the background of the case and the prior case law which led to the decision.
An Overview of Recent U.S. Supreme Court Jurisprudence in Patent Law
This report provides a brief summary of the Supreme Court's patent law jurisprudence in the following nine cases that have been decided since 2005: Merck KGaA v. Integra Lifesciences I, Unitherm Food Systems v. Swift-Eckrich, Illinois Tool Works v. Independent Ink, eBay v. MercExchange, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings v. Metabolite Labs., MedImmune v. Genentech, KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc., Microsoft v. AT&T, Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc., and Bilski v. Kappos.
U.S. Sanctions and Russia's Economy
This report discusses the sanctions on Russia, imposed by United States in response to Russia's annexation of the Crimean region of neighboring Ukraine and its support of separatist militants in Ukraine's east.
Federal Permitting and Oversight of Export of Fossil Fuels
This report reviews federal laws and the regulatory regime governing the export of natural gas, crude oil, and coal.
The Net Neutrality Debate: Access to Broadband Networks
This report discuses debates and regulations regarding net neutrality and broadband internet's classification as a telecommunication service in a 2015 rule that was upheld in court in 2016. A major focus in the debate is concern over whether the current regulatory framework as delineated in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) 2015 Open Internet Order is the appropriate approach to ensure access to the Internet for content, services, and applications providers, as well as consumers, or whether a less regulatory, "light touch" approach is more suitable.
Presidential Authority to Permit Access to National Security Information
This report discuses whether the President has power to disclose classified national security information to foreign agents with the goal of advancing U.S, national interests and from what laws or legal rulings that power may stem.
Federal Civil Aviation Programs: An Overview
This report focuses on Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) civil aviation programs addressed in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-95), enacted on February 14, 2012, which authorizes AATF taxes and revenue collections and civil aviation program expenditures through FY2015. Programs for these agencies are funded primarily through a special trust fund, the airport and airways trust fund (AATF), and, in part, through general fund contributions.
The U.S. Postal Service's Financial Condition: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS's) financial condition, recent legislation to alleviate the USPS's financial challenges, and possible issues for the 111th Congress.
Legislative Options for Financing Water Infrastructure
This report discusses several options being 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.
War Powers Litigation Initiated by Members of Congress Since the Enactment of the War Powers Resolution
This report summarizes the eight cases initiated by Members of Congress in which final rulings were reached, which concerned U.S. military activities in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Grenada; military action taken during the Persian Gulf conflict between Iraq and Iran; U.S. activities in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait (prior to the congressional authorization); U.S. participation in NATO's action in Kosovo and Yugoslavia; and U.S. military action in Libya.
IAEA Budget and U.S. Contributions: In Brief
This report discusses the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA's) budget and funding. In addition to its other missions, the IAEA is monitoring and verifying Iranian compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and is to report on these activities regularly. The accord is intended to lift nuclear related U.S., European Union, and United Nations sanctions on Iran in exchange for restrictions on the country's nuclear program.
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report discusses China's maritime and and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) claims in the East China and South China Seas and their effect on U.S. policy and strategy in the region. Topics covered are the history of the territorial disputes and the interests of China, neighboring countries, and the United States in the disputes, maritime disputes in general, relevant treaties and agreements, China's approach to disputes, the United States's approach and position on the disputes, specific issues for Congress to address, and related legislative actions in 2017. Four appendices cover strategic context from an U.S. perspective, U.S. treaties with Japan and the Philippines, and operational rights in the EEZ, and options suggested by observers for strengthening U.S. actions.
Cuba Sanctions: Legislative Restrictions Limiting the Normalization of Relations
This report outlines the various laws and sections of legislation that govern sanctions against Cuba and how they could be lifted or waived along with background information on the U.S. embargo of Cuba since the 1960s.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific relevant topics.
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.
The Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and Its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape
The report discusses the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and related congressional actions in the 112th Congress.
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
Report that analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides examples of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran, based on a wide range of open-source reporting.
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
This report discusses the reasons that Iran is considered a threat to U.S. security, including Iran's nuclear program, involvement with terrorist organizations, and involvement with neighboring countries' local governments. It also discusses ways in which the U.S. hopes to modify Iran's behavior with sanctions, and the effectiveness of these sanctions.
Iran Sanctions
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran. U.S. sanctions have been a major feature of U.S. Iran policy since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, but U.N. and worldwide bilateral sanctions on Iran are a relatively recent (post-2006) development.