Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Federally Funded Academic Research Requirements: Background and Issues in Brief
This report contains background information and selected issues on federal regulations and administrative requirements related to federally-funded academic research, including a general overview and discussion of select issues.
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.
Iran Policy and the European Union
This report expresses concerns by European Union (EU) officials that the Trump Administration might abandon consensus U.S.- EU policy toward Iran.
Export-Import Bank: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses frequently-asked questions about the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, grouped in the following categories: congressional interest and the Ex-Im Bank reauthorization debate; market context; international context; organizational structure and management; programs; statutory requirements and policies; risk management; budget and appropriations; implications of a sunset in authority; and historical and current approaches to reauthorization.
Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress
This report describes the current status of the INF Treaty and highlights issues that Congress may address as the United States pursues its compliance concerns with Russia. It includes a historical overview and summary of the provisions of the INF Treaty and Russia's concerns about U.S. compliance with the treaty; it concludes with a discussion of options that the United States might pursue to address its concerns regarding Russia's activities and options that it might pursue if Russia deploys new INF-range missiles.
Judge Neil M. Gorsuch: His Jurisprudence and Potential Impact on the Supreme Court
This report provides an overview of Judge Gorsuch's jurisprudence and discusses how the Supreme Court might be affected if he were to succeed Justice Scalia. It begins by discussing the nominee's views on two cross-cutting issues -- the role of the judiciary and statutory interpretation -- then addresses fourteen separate areas of law, arranged in alphabetical order, from "administrative law" to "takings." The report includes a table that notes the cases where the Supreme Court has reviewed majority opinions written or joined by Judge Gorsuch.
Puerto Rico's Current Fiscal Challenges
This report discusses multiple challenges the government of Puerto Rico faces in the fall of 2015. Concerns regarding the sustainability of Puerto Rico's public finances have intensified over the past year, despite several measures taken by the island's government to reduce spending, increase revenues, and restructure its obligations. The Puerto Rican government outlined a medium-term strategy to address those challenges in a fiscal plan put forth in mid-September 2015.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political and economic landscape of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its relationship with the U.S. The UAE has been a significant U.S. partner in Gulf security for more than two decades, and the alliance has deepened further in recent years in order to address multiple regional threats.
What Is the Effect of Enacting a Congressional Review Act Resolution of Disapproval?
This report discusses the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which provides Congress with a set of special parliamentary procedures to consider legislation to overturn federal regulations.
U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emission Trends and the Role of the Clean Power Plan
This report examines recent trends in U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions -- particularly CO2 emissions from electricity generation -- and the factors that impact emission levels in that sector. In addition, this report examines the degree to which Clean Power Plan (CPP) implementation (or lack thereof) may impact CO2 emission levels from electric power plants.
Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile
This report presents a profile of the membership of the 115th Congress (2017-2018) as of January 4, 2017. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.
Discretionary Spending Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
This report examines the Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) effects on discretionary spending. It first discusses all the ACA authorizations (and reauthorizations) of appropriations for grant and other programs; this information, along with actual funding amounts, is summarized in a series of tables. The report then reviews the ACA administrative costs borne by CMS and the IRS.
Clean Power Plan: Legal Background and Pending Litigation in West Virginia v. EPA
This report provides legal background on the Clean Power Plan rule (CPP) to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), its Clean Air Act (CAA) framework under Section 111, and climate-related lawsuits that have preceded the present litigation over the CPP. It then gives an overview of the participants in the current litigation, including two groups of Members of Congress, who have offered briefs in support of the petitioners and the respondents, respectively.
Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns
This report discusses Presidential campaign funding and provides a brief policy overview and raises potential issues for congressional consideration.
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program.
The Marijuana Policy Gap and the Path Forward
This report describes the federal response to state actions to decriminalize or legalize marijuana. It includes general information about marajuana and trends among states, the federal response, a discussion of the implications of legalization, and selected issues.
Arms Control and Nonproliferation: A Catalog of Treaties and Agreements
This report provides an overview of many of the key arms control and nonproliferation agreements and endeavors of the past 40 years, divided into three sections. The first describes arms control efforts between the United States and the states of the former Soviet Union. The second section describes multilateral nuclear nonproliferation efforts. The final section reviews treaties and agreements that address chemical, biological, and conventional weapons.
U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues
This report reviews the ongoing programs that will affect the expected size and shape of the U.S. strategic nuclear force structure.
A Change in Direction for Seoul? The Impeachment of South Korea's President
This report discusses the Constitutional Court decision for impeachment of the former President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye. The decision was the latest development in a corruption scandal that has engulfed South Korean politics and the business world since October 2016, and comes against the backdrop of North Korean missile tests.
Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile
This report presents a profile of the membership of the 115th Congress (2017-2018) as of March 13, 2017. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.
Current Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Issues
This report discusses the missile defense program and whether current policy or program direction might change. The FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA, P.L. 114-328) made several notable changes that could have significant effects on the direction of U.S. BMD policy and programs.
U.S.-Mexican Water Sharing: Background and Recent Developments
This report describes U.S.-Mexican water sharing of the Colorado and Rio Grande rivers pursuant to binational agreements. The International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) is charged with addressing issues that arise during application of binational water treaties.
Air Force B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
This report discusses the development of the new long-range bomber aircraft, the B-21 (previously known as LRS-B), and proposes to acquire 100 of them.
Provisions Affecting the Congressional Budget Process Included in H.Res. 5 (115th Congress)
This report provides information on the standing rules and separate orders that might affect the congressional budget process.
Import Taxes on Mexican Crude Oil
This report discusses the possibility raised by the Trump administration of imposing a 20% tax, or fee, on imports from Mexico, presumably including imports of crude oil.
H.R. 1628: The American Health Care Act (AHCA)
This report provides an overview of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) provisions organized into three tables. Table 1 includes provisions that apply to the private health insurance market, Table 2 includes provisions that affect the Medicaid program, and Table 3 includes provisions related to public health and taxes. Each table contains a column identifying whether the AHCA provision is related to an ACA provision (e.g., whether it repeals an ACA-related provision).
Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant
This report analyzes the special immigrant visas (SIVs) classifications for Iraqis and Afghans within the context of both the larger special immigrant category and selected other permanent admissions categories. It discusses the legislative changes to the individual Iraqi and Afghan special immigrant programs since their initial authorization, provides statistics on visa issuances, and considers challenges that have faced the programs.
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.
Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA): A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements
This report summarizes the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and its major programs and regulatory requirements. It includes the drinking water security provisions added to the SDWA by the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-188), and lead reduction provisions as amended by P.L. 111-380. It also outlines amendments made in December 2013 by P.L. 113-64 (H.R. 3588) to explicitly exempt fire hydrants from coverage under the act's lead plumbing restrictions.
U.S. Senate Vacancies: Contemporary Developments and Perspectives
This report provides information on current vacancies in the Senate, the constitutional origins of the Senate vacancy clause, the appointment process by which most vacancies are filled, and related contemporary issues.
Worker Participation in Employer-Sponsored Pensions: A Fact Sheet
This fact sheet provides data on the percentage of American workers who have access to, and who participate in, employer-sponsored pension plans. The information is from the National Compensation Survey (NCS), conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The NCS provides data on occupational earnings and the availability of employee benefits among U.S. workers.
Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity
This report discusses the various industrial uses for hemp, a variety of Cannabis sativa that is of the same plant species as marijuana. It compares hemp with marijuana and discusses global production, legal status, and recent legislative activity.
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...", as well as references to other reports on related topics.
EPA Policies Concerning Integrated Planning and Affordability of Water Infrastructure
This report examines two recent initiatives by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in which the agency works with states to develop and implement new approaches for water quality goals that will be more cost-effective and address the most pressing water infrastructure problems first. The examples include an integrated planning policy and a framework policy for assessing a community's financial capability to meet objectives and requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA).
Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments
This report discusses the military retirement system, which 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.
Gun Control: FY2017 Appropriations for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Other Initiatives
This report provides coverage of congressional action on President Barack Obama's FY2017 budget request for his gun safety initiative. This coverage includes analysis of the ATF Congressional Budget Submission, including discussion of selected data trends that could affect ATF workloads during FY2017.
The Pacific Islands: Policy Issues
This report provides background on the Pacific Islands region and discusses related issues for Congress. It discusses U.S. relations with Pacific Island countries as well as the influence of other powers in the region, including Australia, China, and other external actors. It includes sections on U.S. foreign assistance to the region, the Compacts of Free Association, and issues related to climate change, which has impacted many Pacific Island countries.
The Selective Service System and Draft Registration: Issues for Congress
This report is intended to provide Congress with information about how the Military Selective Service Act (MSSA), the Selective Service System (SSS), and associated requirements for registration have evolved over time. It explains why the United States developed the SSS, what the system looks like today, how constituents are affected by the MSSA requirements, and what the options and considerations may be for the future of the Selective Service.
Medicaid Financial Eligibility for Long-Term Services and Supports
This report provides an overview of the financial requirements used for determining eligibility for Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTSS). It first provides background information on the Medicaid program, including general eligibility requirements. Then it describes federal statutes as well as selected regulations and guidance regarding these financial eligibility requirements, including rules related to spousal impoverishment, asset transfers, treatment of certain assets, post-eligibility treatment of income, and estate recovery.
Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings for Supreme Court Nominations: Historical Overview and Data
This report discusses the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA; P.L. 108-173), which requires the Medicare Board of Trustees to provide in its annual reports an expanded analysis of Medicare expenditures and revenues (ยง801 of the MMA).
House Office of Congressional Ethics: History, Authority, and Procedures
This report describes the history and rationale behind the creation of the House Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), its operations, and its relationship with the House Committee on Ethics, and potential options available for Congress if further amendments to the House ethics process are desired.
China-U.S. Trade Issues
This report discusses the U.S.-China economic relationship and China's rapid expansion as a global economic market, within the context of the current global economic crisis. It also examines major U.S.-China trade issues and related legislation.
Unaccompanied Children from Central America: Foreign Policy Considerations
This report examines policy considerations for Congress in response to the recent influx of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) from Central American countries being apprehended at the U.S. border. The report also discusses the current policy framework and the Obama Administration's diplomatic response.
Iran: Politics, Human Rights, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the relationship between the United States and Iran. The United States and Iran have been at odds politically and diplomatically, and U.S. policy has been intended to reduce the perceived threat posed by Iran to a broad range of U.S. interests. U.S. officials also express a broad range of concerns about Iran's human rights abuses, including its detentions of U.S.-Iran dual nationals.
Majority, Concurring, and Dissenting Opinions by Judge Neil M. Gorsuch
This report provides a tabular listing of cases in which Judge Gorsuch authored a majority, concurring, or dissenting opinion. The opinions are categorized into three tables: Table 1 identifies opinions authored by Judge Gorsuch on behalf of a unanimous panel; Table 2 contains controlling opinions authored by Judge Gorsuch in which one or more panelists wrote a separate opinion; and Table 3 lists cases where Judge Gorsuch wrote a concurring or dissenting opinion.
Grants Work in a Congressional Office
This report discusses the federal grants funding that goes to state and local governments. Members of Congress receive numerous requests from grant seekers, including state and local governments, nonprofit social service and community action organizations, private research groups, small businesses, and individuals, for information and help in obtaining funds for projects.
Qatar: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report provides a brief history of the state of Qatar, discussing its governance and human rights. The report also includes U.S.-Qatari defense and security cooperation and economic issues.
Northern Ireland: Current Issues and Ongoing Challenges in the Peace Process
This report describes the Peace Agreement in Northern Ireland, which is one of four component "nations" of the United Kingdom (UK). The conflict, often referred to as "the Troubles," has its origins in the 1921 division of Ireland and has reflected a struggle between different national, cultural, and religious identities.
What is the Proposed U.S.-EU Insurance Covered Agreement?
This report discusses arrangement between the United States and European Union (EU), on the first insurance "covered agreement."
Independence of Federal Financial Regulators: Structure, Funding, and Other Issues
This report discusses institutional features that make federal financial regulators (and other independent agencies) relatively independent from the President and Congress.