Congressional Research Service Reports - 101 Matching Results

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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. It 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.
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. In addition, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally based limitations on the power. Finally, the report includes a discussion of the significance of the House Judiciary Committee dispute with the White House over the dismissal of several U.S. Attorneys that resulted in votes for criminal contempt of Congress and the United States District Court opinion in Committee on the Judiciary v. Miers.
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.
Majority, Concurring, and Dissenting Opinions Authored by Judge Merrick Garland
This report identifies and briefly summarizes each of the more than 350 cases in which Judge Garland has authored a majority, concurring, or dissenting opinion. Arguably, these written opinions provide the greatest insight into Judge Garland's judicial approach, as a judge's vote in a case or decision to join an opinion authored by a colleague may be based upon a number of considerations and may not necessarily represent full agreement with a joined opinion.
Banking Policy Issues in the 115th Congress
This report provides a broad overview of selected banking-related issues, including prudential regulation, consumer protection, "too big to fail" (TBTF) banks, community banking, regulatory agency structures and independence, and recent market and economic trends. It is not an exhaustive look at all bank policy issues, nor is it a detailed examination of any one issue. Rather, it provides concise background and analyses of certain prominent issues that have been the subject of recent discussion and debate. In addition, this report provides a list of Congressional Research Service reports that examine specific bills, including the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10) and bills proposing to provide regulatory relief for banks.
Selected Federal Water Activities: Agencies, Authorities, and Congressional Committees
The report focuses on the complexity of federal activities related to water, based on four general topics: (1) "Water Resources Development, Management, and Use"; (2) "Water Quality, Protection, and Restoration"; (3) "Water Rights and Allocation"; and (4) "Research and Planning." It aims to serve as a guide to federal water-related activities, including the administering agency (or agencies), the primary or overarching authorities for such activities, and House and Senate committee jurisdictions.
"Sense of" Resolutions and Provisions
This report discusses specific kinds of resolutions by which Congress may formally express opinions about subjects of current national interest through freestanding simple or concurrent resolutions (called generically "sense of the House," "sense of the Senate," or "sense of the Congress" resolutions). These opinions expressing the views of one or both chambers may be included in other legislation upon introduction or subsequently added by amendment. This report identifies the various forms these expressions may take and the procedures governing such actions.
Insurance Regulation: Background, Overview, and Legislation in the 114th Congress
This report discusses insurance regulatory issues addressed by legislation in the 114th Congress including the degree of the authority of the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) over insurers (H.R. 1478/S. 798), international insurance standards (S. 1086 and H.R. 2141), and the licensing of insurance agents and brokers (H.R. 26/P.L. 114-1).
Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 111th Congress
The 111th Congress has considered various immigration issues and has enacted a number of targeted immigration provisions. It has passed legislation to extend the life of several immigration programs--the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system, the Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program, the Conrad State J-1 Waiver Program, and the special immigrant visa for religious workers--all of which are currently authorized until September 30, 2012. Among the other subjects of legislation enacted by this Congress are refugees and border security. This report discusses these and other immigration-related issues that have seen legislative action or are of significant congressional interest.
Body Armor for Law Enforcement Officers: In Brief
This report contains an overview of the Matching Grant Program for Law Enforcement Armor Vests (BPV program). It also provides a discussion of data on law enforcement agencies that require their officers to wear armor vests while on duty, research on why officers may choose to wear armor vests, research on the life cycle for armor vests, data on the use of body armor by law enforcement officers who were killed with a firearm, and research on the effectiveness of armor vests.
U.S. International Broadcasting: Background and Issues for Reform
This report discusses the United States International Broadcasting Act of 1994 (USIB Act) and the U.S. international broadcasting services were consolidated under the BBG within the United States Information Agency (USIA).
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
This report briefly discusses the federal grand jury, which exists to investigate crimes against the United States and to secure the constitutional right of grand jury indictment.
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.
The Fifth Amendment in Congressional Investigations
This report discusses the use and rules regarding invoking Fifth Amendments rights during Congressional investigations in the wake of the use of the Fifth Amendment by former national security adviser Michael Flynn during Congressional investigations.
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 and both identifies and provides an analysis of contemporary factors that may bear on its present and future viability.
State Efforts to Deter Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Analysis of Arizona's S.B. 1070
This report discusses the major provisions of S.B.1070, as modified by H.B. 2162, and the legal and constitutional considerations possibly implicated by their implementation. The report focuses primarily on those provisions that require state enforcement of federal immigration law and impose criminal penalties for immigration-related conduct, and discusses preemption issues that might be raised by these measures.
Transportation Security: Issues for the 114th Congress
This report discusses aviation security, transit and passenger security, port and maritime security.
Immigration Detainers: Legal Issues
An "immigration detainer" is a document by which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) advises other law enforcement agencies of its interest in individual aliens whom these agencies are detaining. This report surveys the various authorities governing immigration detainers, including the standard detainer form (Form I-247) sent by ICE to other law enforcement agencies. The report also discusses key legal issues raised by immigration detainers.
Transportation Security: Issues for the 114th Congress
This report examines aviation, transit and passenger rail security, as well as port and maritime security. The difficulty and cost of protecting the transportation sector from attack raises a core question for policymakers, i.e., how much effort and resources to put toward protecting potential targets versus pursuing and fighting terrorists.
A Resurgence of Unaccompanied Alien Children?
This report briefly examines the recently-high number of unaccompanied alien children (UAC). In the first seven months of FY2016, apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border have approached levels close to what they were in FY2014 when such migration flows reached what were characterized as "crisis" proportions.
Pay Equity: Legislative and Legal Developments
This report begins by presenting data on earnings for male and female workers and by discussing explanations that have been offered for the differences in earnings. It next discusses the major laws directed at eliminating sex-based wage discrimination as well as relevant federal court cases. The report closes with a description of pay equity legislation that has been considered or enacted by Congress in recent years.
Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview
This report opens with an analysis of recent unaccompanied alien children (UAC) apprehension data. It then discusses current policy on the treatment, care, and custody of the population, with a description of the responsibilities of each federal agency involved with the population. The report then discusses both administrative and congressional actions to deal with the UAC surge in FY2014 and ongoing action to address possible future surges.
Federal Lifeline Program: Frequently Asked Questions
This report discusses the Federal Lifeline Program established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1985. The program was originally designed to assist eligible low-income households to subsidize the monthly service charges incurred for voice telephone usage and was limited to one fixed line per household.
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2014 Appropriations
This report will track and describe actions taken by the Administration and Congress to provide FY2014 appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) accounts. It also provides an overview of FY2013 appropriations for agencies and bureaus funded as a part of the annual appropriation for CJS.
Telework for Executive Agency Employees: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Legislation Pending in the 111th Congress
The 111th Congress is considering legislation (S. 707 and H.R. 1722) to foster the development of telework in executive agencies of the federal government. Legislation to augment telework in executive agencies of the federal government is currently pending in the 111th Congress. S. 707, the Telework Enhancement Act of 2009, and H.R. 1722, the Telework Improvements Act of 2010, were introduced on March 25, 2009, by Senator Daniel Akaka and Representative John Sarbanes, respectively. This report presents a side-by-side comparison of the provisions of S. 707, as reported, and H.R. 1722, as ordered to be reported.
"Regulatory Relief" for Banking: Selected Legislation in the 114th Congress
This report discusses regulatory relief legislation for banks in the 114th Congress that, at the time this report was published, has seen floor action or has been ordered to be reported by a committee.
S. 2262, Shaheen-Portman Bill 2014: Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act
This report reviews the provisions of S. 2262, highlights the most controversial bill provision, and identifies potential amendments to the bill.
Treatment of Noncitizens Under the Affordable Care Act
This report provides information regarding the treatment of noncitizens under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) including definitions of "lawfully present," the health insurance mandate, exchanges, and ACA changes to Medicaid. It also discusses the verification of alien status under the ACA and related legislation in the 113th Congress.
Apprehensions of Unauthorized Migrants along the Southwest Border: Fact Sheet
This report discusses the number of illegal alien apprehensions between southern ports of entry (POE) in the United States, which has generally declined.
Immigration Detainers: Legal Issues
Report that provides background information regarding the Immigration and Naturalization Service rules and regulations and discusses the "immigration detainer", a document by which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) advises other law enforcement agencies that it seeks custody of individual aliens whom these agencies are detaining.
DNA Testing in Criminal Justice: Background, Current Law, Grants, and Issues
This report provides an overview of how DNA is used to investigate crimes and help protect the innocent. It also reviews current statutory law on collecting DNA samples, sharing DNA profiles generated from those samples, and providing access to post-conviction DNA testing. The report also includes a summary of grant programs authorized by Congress to assist state and local governments with reducing DNA backlogs, provide post-conviction DNA testing, and promote new technology in the field. It also reviews select issues Congress might consider should it legislate or conduct oversight in this area.
The Federal Grand Jury
This report discusses the federal grand jury, which exists to investigate crimes against the United States and to secure the constitutional right of grand jury indictment.
Senate Rule XIV Procedure for Placing Measures Directly on the Senate Calendar
This report discusses the provisions use of Senate Rule XIV, which is used to bypass referral of a bill or joint resolution to a Senate committee, and have the measure placed directly on the Senate Calendar of Business.
Invasive Species: Issues in Brief
This report discusses issues for congress regarding whether new legislative authorities and funding are needed to address issues related to invasive species and their increasing economic and ecological impacts on such disparate matters as power plant operations, grazing lands, and coral reef fishes.
Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court's Climate Change Decision in Massachusetts v. EPA: A Chronology
This report offers a chronology of major federal agency actions, mainly by EPA, that involve GHGs or climate change and that occurred in the wake of Massachusetts v. EPA, a ruling that greenhouse gases are "air pollutants" via the Clean Air Act. As such, they are not under the EPA's jurisdiction.
Energy and Water Development: FY2017 Appropriations for Nuclear Weapons Activities
This report discusses the annual Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that funds civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.
Review of Offshore Energy Leasing: President Trump's Executive Order
This report discusses President Trump's executive order (E.O.) on U.S. offshore energy strategy including a brief overview of previous policies and the scope of the E.O.
Patent Boxes: A Primer
This report looks at several aspects of patent boxes, including their general purpose. In addition, the report looks at the key considerations in designing a patent box, identifies the countries that currently have a patent box, describes the main elements of those boxes, and sheds light on the U.S. industries that would be likely to benefit the most from such a tax subsidy if the United States were to adopt one. The final two sections discuss what is known about the effectiveness of patent boxes and several other policy issues raised by patent boxes. The report is intended to complement a 2016 CRS report on the "expected effectiveness" of patent boxes.
Special Counsels, Independent Counsels, and Special Prosecutors: Investigations of the Executive Branch by the Executive Branch
This report discusses the authorities who may appoint a special counsel or independent counsel to conduct criminal investigations of the executive branch when the Department of Justice may have a conflict of interest.
Regulation of Debit Interchange Fees
This report discusses section 735 of the Financial Choice Act (H.R. 10) which would repeal the Durbin Amendment. The Durbin Amendment capped the amount of interchange fees paid by merchants to banks when a customer uses a debit card to pay. The report begins with a description of the debit payments process and network pricing for the four-party system and the three-party system. It summarizes the requirements of Regulation II, which implements the Durbin Amendment. The report concludes with a discussion of some implications of Regulation II for merchants, consumers, and banks as well as with some recent observations.
Net Neutrality: Back to the Future (Part One and Part Two)
This report is the first two reports in a series discussing the Federal Communication Commission's proposal to reclassify broadband Internet access services and modify or eliminate "net neutrality" regulations. Various legal aspects of the debate and classification of telecommunications are discussed.
Same-Sex Marriages: Legal Issues
This report discusses the 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 address same-sex marriage. It also examines previous congressional resolutions proposing a constitutional amendment and limiting federal courts' jurisdiction to hear or determine any question pertaining to the interpretation of DOMA.
Intellectual Property Rights Violations: Federal Civil Remedies and Criminal Penalties Related to Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents, and Trade Secrets
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on multiyear procurement (MYP) and block buy contracting (BBC), which are special contracting mechanisms that Congress permits the Department of Defense (DOD) to use for a limited number of defense acquisition programs.
Framing Spectrum Policy: Legislative Initiatives
This report examines legislative initiatives to address issues regarding radio frequency spectrum management and allocation. Access to radio frequency spectrum is essential to wireless communications. As demand for mobile services increases, from all sectors of society and the economy, so does the need to increase the capacity of wireless networks.
Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Background and Funding
This report discusses the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, which 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.
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.
Same-Sex Marriages: Legal Issues
The recognition of same-sex marriages generates debate on both the federal and state levels. Variations in state law on the issue raise questions about the validity of such unions outside the contracted jurisdiction and have bearing on the distribution of federal benefits. This report discusses the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and it's legal challenges. 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.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): A Legal Overview
This report gives a legal overview of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, which guarantees parental access to student education records, while limiting the disclosure of those records to third parties.
The Jurisprudence of Justice John Paul Stevens: The Constitutionality of Congressional Term Limits and the Presidential Line Item Veto
While the Supreme Court seems unlikely to address the constitutionality of term limits or the line-item veto in the future, Justice Stevens's conclusion that the absence of constitutional provisions expressly authorizing the exercise of certain powers constitutes a denial of these powers seems likely to influence the Court in the future, particularly in cases involving what Justice Kennedy and others have characterized as "horizontal" or "vertical" separation of powers.
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.