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United States Fire Administration: An Overview
This report discuses the United States Fire Administration (USFA) and their funding for fiscal year 2017 in comparison with recent years. The Administration's FY2017 budget proposed $42.3 million for USFA, a 3.8% decrease from the FY2016 level.
Temporary Protected Status: Overview and Current Issues
This report discusses Temporary Protected Status (TPS) which is offered to nationals of designated countries who due to civil unrest, natural disasters, and armed conflicts cannot safely return home. This report begins by situating TPS in the context of humanitarian responses to migration. Another form of blanket relief from removal--Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)--is also described, as is the historical use of these relief mechanisms. The report then provides data on the countries currently designated for TPS, including the conditions that have contributed to their designation. Past legislation to provide lawful permanent resident status to certain TPS-designated foreign nationals is also described, and the report concludes with examples of activity in the 115th Congress related to TPS.
Congressional Commissions: Overview, Structure, and Legislative Considerations
This report provides an overview and analysis of congressional advisory commissions, information on the general statutory structure of a congressional commission, and a catalog of congressional commissions created since the 101st Congress.
Israel: Background and U.S. Relations in Brief
This report discusses U.S. relations with Israel and recent developments. Israeli-Palestinian issues and conflict are a major focus of the report.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: Lessons Learned and Issues for Congress
This report discuses the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from electric power plants. The first section of this report provides an overview of the RGGI cap-and-trade program and the participating RGGI states. The subsequent sections discuss selected issues raised by RGGI that may be of interest to Congress. The final section provides some final observations that may be instructive to policymakers.
Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act
This report discusses the FY2018 defense budget request and provides a summary of congressional action on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year (FY) 2018. The annual NDAA authorizes appropriations for the Department of Defense (DOD) and defense-related nuclear energy programs of the Department of Energy and typically includes provisions affecting DOD policies or organization. Unlike an appropriations bill, the NDAA does not provide budget authority for government activities.
Small Business Administration: A Primer on Programs and Funding
This report discusses the Small Business Administration (SBA) and their various programs along with various programmatic changes resulting from the enactment of P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, P.L. 112-239, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, P.L. 114-38, the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act of 2015, P.L. 114-88, the Recovery Improvements for Small Entities After Disaster Act of 2015 (RISE After Disaster Act of 2015), P.L. 114-92, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, and P.L. 114-328, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017. In addition, it provides an overview of the SBA's budget and references other CRS reports that examine these programs in greater detail.
Votes on Measures to Adjust the Statutory Debt Limit, 1978 to Present
This report discusses the statuary debt limit and legislation regarding it. Since 1978, 57 measures adjusting or suspending the statutory debt limit either as stand-alone legislation or as part of legislation dealing with other matters have been enacted into law. This report provides roll call vote data identified by the Congressional Research Service for measures to adjust the statutory debt limit. This report will be updated as events warrant.
Finding Medicare Enrollment Statistics
This report presents basic categories and definitions for terms related to Medicare enrollment data, a quick reference table that summarizes key data available in selected resources, and a more detailed overview of core resources.
The President's Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Request for the National Science Foundation
This report discuses the Trump Administration's 2018 fiscal year budget request for the National Science Foundation which proposed significant funding cuts across the agency's major research, education, and construction accounts. Overall, the request includes $6.653 billion for NSF, $819 million (11%) below the FY2017 enacted amount of $7.472 billion (P.L. 115-31).
Advanced Pilot Training (T-X) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Air Force's planned procurement of 350 new Advanced Pilot Training (APT T-X) aircraft and 46 Ground Based Training Systems (GBTS) at a cost valued at roughly $1.5 billion for the Research, Design, Test, and Evaluation phase of the program and estimated at $18 billion in future procurement costs. The APT T-X acquisition strategy poses potential oversight issues for Congress, including the following: Is the number of planned aircraft purchases sufficient? Given the reported pilot shortage, should the procurement be accelerated? What effects do increased F-35A & KC-46 purchases, along with development of the new Long Range Strike Bomber, B-21, have on the USAF budget and the feasibility of an additional Major Defense Acquisition Program? These questions and the Air Force's FY 2017 appropriations requests' for the program are addressed in this report.
Deficits and Debt: Economic Effects and Other Issues
This report explores distinctions in the concept and composition of deficits and debt and explains how those two measures interact with each other and the general economy.
Australia
This report discusses Australia's strategic alliance with the United States and their economic ties with China and ways these two interests may conflict. Relations between the U.S. and Australia and recent tensions between U.S. President Trump and Australian President Turnbull are also discussed.
The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB): Frequently Asked Questions
This report responds to frequently asked questions about the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), including the board's background, current status, controversial issues including legal challenges, and recent legislative efforts to repeal the IPAB.
Air Traffic Inc. Considerations Regarding the Corporatization of Air Traffic Control
This report looks at past proposals to corporatize or privatize FAA air traffic functions and examines the way air traffic management is structured in other countries, particularly focusing on those that have opted for corporatization or privatization.
TPP Countries Near Agreement without U.S. Participation
This report discuses the negotiations between the signatory countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after the U.S. withdrawal in January 2017 and possible effects of the implementation of an agreement without the U.S. on the U.S. economy and their image in Asia.
Potential Effects of a U.S. NAFTA Withdrawal: Agricultural Markets
This report examines some of the potential consequences to U.S. agricultural markets of a U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA, focusing on the possibility that higher tariffs could be imposed on U.S. imports and exports. In particular, under a NAFTA withdrawal, it is likely that most-favored nation (MFN) tariffs would be imposed on agricultural products traded among the NAFTA countries instead of the current zero tariff (i.e., duty-free trade) for most agricultural products. In general, MFN tariffs on U.S. agricultural imports would likely raise prices both to U.S. consumers and other end users, such as manufacturers of value-added food products.
Unemployment Insurance: Legislative Issues in the 115th Congress
This report provides short summaries of legislative proposals with respect to unemployment insurance (UI) programs. It also gives a brief overview of the UI programs that may provide benefits to eligible unemployed workers. In addition, it briefly summarizes UI proposals included in the President's budget for FY2018. President Trump signed H.J.Res. 42 on March 30, 2017 (P.L. 115-17). This Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution negated 20 C.F.R. Part 620. This now-negated rule had set out the circumstances under which states were allowed to prospectively drug test UC claimants based upon the prevalence of drug testing in the occupations in which they were seeking employment.
Jewish Holidays: Fact Sheet
This report discusses major Jewish holidays and their significance as well as how American Jews celebrate them. This fact sheet is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to Jewish holidays. It contains sample speeches and remarks from the Congressional Record, presidential proclamations and remarks, and selected historical and cultural resources.
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents
This report discusses cybersecurity legislation and provides links to cybersecurity legislation in the 112th, 113th, 114th, and 115th Congresses. Congress has held cybersecurity hearings every year since 2001. This report also provides links to cybersecurity-related committee hearings in the 113th, 114th, and 115th Congresses.
Resolutions of Inquiry: An Analysis of Their Use in the House, 1947-2017
This report discusses resolutions of inquiry in the House of Representatives which allow the House to demand the President or an executive department head to furnish the House with specific factual information in the Administration's possession. Under the rules and precedents of the House of Representatives, such resolutions, if properly drafted, are given a privileged parliamentary status. Between 1947 and October 20, 2017, 313 resolutions of inquiry were submitted in the House of Representatives. Two periods in particular, 1971-1975 and 2003-2006, saw the highest levels of activity on resolutions of inquiry during the 70 years studied.
Child Welfare Funding in Brief: Fiscal Year 2017 Final Funding and the President's Fiscal Year 2018 Request.
This report discusses the 2017 fiscal year appropriations received for child welfare programs and the fiscal year 2018 budge request for the same.
Cuba: U.S. Policy in the 115th Congress
This report examines U.S. policy toward Cuba in the 115th Congress. It is divided into three major sections analyzing Cuba's political and economic environment; U.S. policy toward Cuba; and selected issues in U.S.-Cuban relations, including restrictions on travel and trade, funding for democracy and human rights projects in Cuba and for U.S. government-sponsored radio and television broadcasting, migration, antidrug cooperation, U.S. property claims, and U.S. fugitives from justice in Cuba. Legislative initiatives in the 115th Congress are noted throughout the report, and Appendix A lists introduced bills. Appendix B provides links to U.S. government information and reports on Cuba.
Energy Tax Provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts (H.R.1)
This report discusses energy-related tax provisions in the The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R.1). These changes are summarized in Table 1. H.R. 1 includes a broad restructuring of the federal income tax system. A full analysis of the consequences of this proposal for the energy sector, or various subsets of the energy sector, is beyond the scope of this insight.
Softwood Lumber Imports from Canada: Current Issues
This report discusses ongoing disputes regarding softwood lumber imports from Canada into the U.S. and recent legislation and negotiations regarding Canadian softwood lumber disputes.
The Small Business Lending Fund
This report discusses on the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF). It begins with a discussion of the supply and demand for small business loans. The SBLF's advocates argued that the fund was an important part of a larger effort to enhance the supply of small business loans. After describing the program's structure, the report then examines other arguments that were presented both for and against the program's enactment. Advocates claimed the SBLF would increase lending to small businesses and, in turn, create jobs. Opponents contended that the SBLF could lose money, lacked sufficient oversight provisions, did not require lenders to increase their lending to small businesses, could serve as a vehicle for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) recipients to effectively refinance their TARP loans on more favorable terms with little or no resulting benefit for small businesses, and could encourage a failing lender to make even riskier loans to avoid higher dividend payments. The report concludes with an examination of the SBLF's implementation by the Department of the Treasury and a discussion of bills introduced during recent Congresses to amend the SBLF.
Doing Business with Iran: EU-Iran Trade and Investment Relations
This report discusses the European Union's (EU's) resumption of business with Iran after the signing of the 2015 nuclear disarmament agreement which led to the lifting of nuclear related sanctions. It outlines rates of business and major investments in Iran by European companies and the effect possible U.S. re-imposition of sanctions against Iran may have on the market and U.S.-EU relations.
In Any Way, Shape, or Form? What Qualifies as "Any Court" Under the Gun Control Act?
This report discusses the requirements under the Gun Control Act of 1968 that prohibit persons convicted of felony crimes and misdemeanor domestic violence from buying or possessing firearms and what courts are covered under the phrase "any court' in the legislation.
China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on China's naval modernization effort and its implications for U.S. Navy capabilities. The question of how the United States should respond to China's military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, is a key issue in U.S. defense planning and budgeting. Many U.S. military programs for countering improving Chinese military forces (particularly its naval forces) fall within the U.S. Navy's budget. The issue for Congress is how the U.S. Navy should respond to China's military modernization effort, particularly its naval modernization effort. Decisions that Congress reaches on this issue could affect U.S. Navy capabilities and funding requirements and the U.S. defense industrial base. For an overview of the strategic and budgetary context in which China's naval modernization effort and its implications for U.S. Navy capabilities may be considered, see Appendix A.
Unique Identification Codes for Federal Contractors: DUNS Numbers and CAGE Codes
This report discusses systems used by the federal government to keep track of all the different government contractors through the use of unique identifying numbers. The first section provides basic information on the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) which is the current system that is slowly being phased out and the Commercial and Government Entity System and Codes (CAGE) which has been being implemented more recently. The final section discusses the federal government's reliance on DUNS, interest in and exploration of alternatives to DUNS, and government actions that possibly could pave the way for the adoption of an alternative system, or a hybrid system that includes DUNS. The CAGE system, which is an existing, federal government identification system, may be a candidate for either option.
The Corporation for National and Community Service: Overview of Programs and Funding
This report discusses the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) which authorizes grants for service programs such as Americorps and VISTA. The FY2017 appropriations amount for CNCS is $1.030 billion, which is $65 million less than the FY2016 amount of $1.095 billion. Amounts of funding for each program of CNCS is included.
The Trump Administration and the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions
This report provides an overview of the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, discusses the additional significance of the Unified Agenda in the Trump Administration, provides summary information about content of the 2017 Update, and discusses what additional information can be expected in the subsequent edition of the Agenda.
H.R. 1628: The American Health Care Act (AHCA)
This report contains three tables that, together, provide an overview of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) provisions, as amended by the five manager's amendments and the amendment referenced in H.Res. 254. 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 the AHCA provision repeals an ACA-related provision). In addition to the three tables, the report includes more detailed summaries of each AHCA provision and two graphics showing the effective dates of AHCA provisions. Figure 1 covers AHCA provisions related to the private health insurance market, public health, and taxes. Figure 2 covers AHCA provisions related to the Medicaid program. A table identifying key CRS policy staff appears at the end of the report.
Softwood Lumber Imports From Canada: Current Issues
This report discusses the softwood lumber (conifer wood) disputes between the U.S. and Canada. There have been five major disputes since the 1980s with the fifth dispute (Lumber V) having started in 2016 after the expiration of a 2006 softwood lumber agreement. The report provides background information on the dispute, summarizes the key issues leading to the tensions between the United States and Canada over softwood lumber, and examines current developments in Lumber V.
The Campus-Based Financial Aid Programs: Background and Issues
This report begins with a brief discussion of the history of each of the campus-based federal student aid programs (the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program, the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program, and the Federal Perkins Loan program) and the formula used to allocate funds among IHEs participating in them. This is followed by a discussion of institutional and student participation in the programs relative to participation in other federal aid programs. The report concludes with a discussion of issues related to the campus-based programs that might garner attention as the 115th Congress considers reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA).
Child and Dependent Care Tax Benefits: How They Work and Who Receives Them
This report provides a general overview of the child and dependent care tax benefits, focusing on eligibility requirements and benefit calculation. The report also includes some summary data on these benefits which highlight some of the characteristics of claimants.
Reid Vapor Pressure Requirements for Ethanol
This report discusses legislation (H.R. 1311, S. 517) regarding providing a waiver for ethanol-fuel blends containing greater than 10% ethanol (E15) from the Clean Air Act's (CAA) strict requirements on volatility of gasoline. This requirement currently prevents E15 gas from being sold during the summer. Major points of the legislation, various types of waivers and current rules under the CAA for gasoline and possible options for Congress are discussed.
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.
Workers' Compensation: Overview and Issues
This report discusses workers' compensation programs including common elements and their history. Non-compulsory programs in Texas and Oklahoma are also discussed including the recent ruling that the system in Oklahoma violated their state constitution.
Comparison of the Bills to Extend State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Funding
This report discusses bills and their provisions related to extending funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) whose funding expired at the end of the 2017 fiscal year. The House passed the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act on November 3, 2017, by a vote of 242 to 174. This report contains a table that provides an overview of the provisions in the KIDS Act and Division B of the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act as baselined against current law. The section following the table provides more detailed summaries of the provisions in the KIDS Act and Division B of the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act
Public Private Partnerships (P3s) in Transportation
This report discusses the benefits and limitations of public-private partnerships (P3s) that involve long-term private financing, the experience with these types of P3s in the United States, and current federal policy. The report outlines a number of issues and policy options that Congress might consider: project evaluation and transparency, asset recycling, incentive grants, infrastructure banks, tax credits for equity and debt, Interstate highway tolling, and changes to an existing federal loan program.
Update: A Steely Look at Steel: Commerce Directed to Prioritize Investigation of the Effects of Steel Imports on National Security
This report discusses President Trump's April 2017 memorandums ordering the Commerce Department to prioritize investigation of the effects of steel and aluminium imports on U.S. national security. The report outlines the process such an investigation would take and possible outcomes if the Commerce Department determines that imports are threatening national security.
The Army's Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discuses the development, procurement, and funding of the Army's new Multi-Purpose Vehicles (AMPV) intended to replace Vietnam War-era M-113 personnel carriers. The FY2018 budget request for the AMPV requests $647.4 million for the production of 107 vehicles. A potential issue for Congress is whether the Administration's proposal to increase the size of the Army will translate into a requirement for additional AMPVs.
Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Documents: Internet and GPO Availability
This report provides brief descriptions of the budget volumes and related documents, together with Internet addresses, Government Publishing Office (GPO) stock numbers, and prices for obtaining print copies of these publications. It also explains how to find the locations of government depository libraries, which can provide both printed copies for reference use and Internet access to the online versions. This report will be updated as events warrant.
Federal Role in Voter Registration: The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and Subsequent Developments
This report first provides a brief background on the federal role in voter registration and the passage of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), followed by a discussion of the key components of NVRA. The implementation of NVRA, subsequent modifications to its provisions, and ongoing considerations related to federal voter registration are also discussed. The final sections of this report provide descriptions of types of common legislative proposals addressing voter registration, with a full list of related bills introduced in the 115th Congress to date provided in the Appendix.
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant: Subsidized Employment Demonstration Proposal: In Brief
This report discusses the proposed Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act (H.R. 2842) which would provide $100 million in FY2018 funding under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant for demonstrations to test two approaches--subsidized employment and "career pathways" programs--to help disadvantaged individuals. These funds would be provided in addition to the TANF basic block grant to the states. The $100 million cost of the proposal would be financed by reserving funds from the FY2018 appropriation for the TANF contingency fund. Subsidized employment programs are those where public funds are used to pay all or part of the wages, benefits, and other costs of employing an individual. Career pathways are a workforce development approach that combines education, training, and other services to help individuals enter or advance within a specific occupation or occupation grouping. The bill was ordered reported from the House Ways and Means Committee on June 15, 2017. It is scheduled for House floor consideration the week of June 19, 2017.
Reauthorization of the Perkins Act in the 115th Congress: Comparison of Current Law and H.R. 2353
This report highlights the key provisions in the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353) and explains the major differences between it and current law. H.R. 2353 was passed by the House under suspension of the rules on June 22, 2017.
Wildfire Management Funding: Background, Issues, and Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations
This report provides an overview of the accounts that fund wildfire management activities and historical wildfire management appropriations data, as well as information on FY2018 appropriations. The Administration requested a combined $3.72 billion in FY2018, a 12% decrease from FY2017 enacted levels. On September 14, 2017, the Housed passed H.R. 3354, an omnibus measure covering all 12 appropriations bills, including the FY2018 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies bill. This bill would provide $3.85 billion combined for wildfire purposes, an 8% decrease from FY2017 enacted levels and 3% above the Administration's requested levels.
Tax Incentives for Charitable Giving in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1)
This report discusses provisions of the proposed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R.1) which would reduce the tax incentive for charitable giving by decreasing the deduction amounts that most taxpayers would receive from charitable gift deductions.
Christian Holidays: Fact Sheet
This report discusses major holidays in Christianity and their significance as well as how American Christians celebrate them. This fact sheet is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to Christian holidays. It contains sample speeches and remarks from the Congressional Record, presidential statements and remarks, and selected historical and cultural resources.