Congressional Research Service Reports - 59 Matching Results

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Energy and Water Development: FY2014 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.
Casework in a Congressional Office: Background, Rules, Laws, and Resources
This report discusses House and Senate rules and guidelines, laws, and regulations affecting congressional casework, as well as the role of caseworkers. It also provides sample outlines and document templates for implementing and managing congressional casework.
Congressional Lawmaking: A Perspective On Secrecy and Transparency
The objectives of this report are four-fold: first, to outline briefly the historical and inherent tension between secrecy and transparency in the congressional process; second, to review several common and recurring secrecy/transparency issues that emerged again with the 2011 formation of the Joint Select Deficit Reduction Committee; third, to identify various lawmaking stages typically imbued with closed door activities; and fourth, to close with several summary observations.
Perjury Under Federal Law: A Brief Overview
This report describes perjury under federal law, including a definition as well as in-depth explorations of the three general federal perjury laws. This report is available in abbreviated form - without footnotes, quotations, or citations - as CRS Report 98-807, Perjury Under Federal Law: A Sketch of the Elements.
Perjury Under Federal Law: A Sketch of the Elements
This report discusses the three general federal perjury laws. This report is an abbreviated version of CRS Report 98-808, Perjury Under Federal Law: A Brief Overview, by Charles Doyle, stripped of most footnotes, quotations, citations, and bibliography.
Obstruction of Congress: A Brief Overview of Federal Law Relating to Interference with Congressional Activities
Obstruction of justice is the frustration of governmental purposes by violence, corruption, destruction of evidence, or deceit. It is a federal crime. In fact, federal obstruction of justice laws are legion; too many for even passing reference to all of them in a single report. This is a brief description of those that outlaw interference with congressional activities.
Obstruction of Congress: An Abridged Overview of Federal Criminal Laws Relating to Interference with Congressional Activities
This report briefly discusses obstruction of justice, specifically regarding Congressional activities. Obstruction of justice 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 Congress: A Brief Overview of Federal Law Relating to Interference with Congressional Activities, by Charles Doyle, without the footnotes, quotations, or citations to authority found in the longer report.
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.
Obstruction of Justice: An Overview of Some of the Federal Statutes That Prohibit Interference with Judicial, Executive, or Legislative Activities
Obstruction of justice is the frustration of governmental purposes by violence, corruption, destruction of evidence, or deceit. It is a federal crime. In fact, federal obstruction of justice laws are legion; too many for even passing reference to all of them in a single report. This is a brief description of the some of the more prominent.
The Bayh-Dole Act: Selected Issues in Patent Policy and the Commercialization of Technology
Congressional interest in facilitating U.S. technological innovation led to the passage of P.L. 96-517, Amendments to the Patent and Trademark Act, commonly referred to as the "Bayh-Dole Act" after its two main sponsors former Senators Robert Dole and Birch Bayh. Under this 1980 law, as amended, title to inventions made with government support is provided to the contractor if that contractor is a small business, a university, or other non-profit institution. This report discusses the rationale behind the passage of P.L. 96-517, its provisions, and implementation of the law.
U.S. Family-Based Immigration Policy
This report provides an examination of family-based immigration policy. In doing so, it outlines a brief history of U.S. family-based immigration 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.
Executive Discretion as to Immigration: Legal Overview
This report provides an overview of the three broad types of discretion that the Executive can be seen to have as to immigration: (1) express delegations of discretionary authority; (2) discretion in enforcement (commonly known as prosecutorial or enforcement discretion); and (3) discretion in interpreting and applying statutes.
Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY2000-FY2015
This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration requested and how much Congress appropriated for U.S. payments to the multilateral development banks (MDBs) since 2000. It also provides a brief description of the MDBs and the ways they fund their operations.
The Obama Administration's November 20, 2014, Actions as to Immigration: Pending Legal Challenges One Year Later
This legal sidebar discusses the Obama Administration announcement regarding a number of actions to "fix" what the President has repeatedly described as a "broken" immigration system.
Federal Capital Offenses: An Overview of Substantive and Procedural Law
Murder, committed under any of more than 50 jurisdictional circumstances, is a federal capital offense. So are treason, espionage, and certain drug kingpin offenses. The Federal Death Penalty Act and related provisions establish the procedure that must be followed before a defendant convicted of a federal capital offense may be executed. This report is an overview of the law in the area.
Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 113th Congress
Immigration reform was an active legislative issue in the first session of the 113th Congress. The Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744), a comprehensive immigration reform bill that includes provisions on border security, interior enforcement, employment eligibility verification and worksite enforcement, legalization of unauthorized aliens, immigrant visas, nonimmigrant visas, and humanitarian admissions. For its part, the House took a different approach to immigration reform. Rather than considering a single comprehensive bill, the House acted on a set of immigration bills that address border security, interior enforcement, employment eligibility verification and worksite enforcement, and nonimmigrant and immigrant visas. House committees reported or ordered to be reported the following immigration bills: Border Security Results Act of 2013 (H.R. 1417); Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement (SAFE) Act (H.R. 2278); Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 1772); Agricultural Guestworker (AG) Act (H.R. 1773); and Supplying Knowledge-based Immigrants and Lifting Levels of STEM Visas (SKILLS Visa) Act (H.R. 2131). This report discusses these and other immigration-related issues that received legislative action or have been of significant congressional interest in the 113th Congress.
Recent State Election Law Challenges: In Brief
This report begins by setting forth key constitutional provisions relevant to recent state election law challenges. Next, it discusses federal statutory provisions contained in the Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act and briefly examines pertinent Supreme Court precedent. Then, based on that legal framework, it provides an overview of several recent challenges to state election laws in Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas that resulted in major decisions by the various federal courts of appeals as illustrative examples of the types of challenges that have been playing out in the courts. Finally, the report discusses some potential implications of these challenges.
Voter Identification Requirements: Background and Legal Issues
Since 2008, more than 30 states have enacted laws relating to voter identification, with several containing photo ID requirements. Several states enacted voter identification laws that have either been struck down by courts or are not yet in effect. A number of bills with voter identification provisions have been introduced in the 113th Congress and one (S. 1945) has received committee consideration. This report examines this type of legislation and the legal issues regarding it.
The Obama Administration's November 2014 Immigration Initiatives: Questions and Answers
On November 20, 2014, President Obama delivered a televised address wherein he broadly described the steps that his administration is taking to "fix" what he has repeatedly described as a "broken immigration system."1 Following the President's address, executive agencies made available intra-agency memoranda and fact sheets detailing specific actions that have already been taken, or will be taken in the future.2 These actions generally involve either border security, the current unlawfully present population, or future legal immigration. This report provides the answers to key legal questions related to the various immigration-related actions announced by the Obama Administration.
Fifth Circuit Declines to Lift Injunction Barring Implementation of the Obama Administration's 2014 Deferred Action Programs
This legal sidebar discusses a decision by the Fifth Circuit in which they declined to lift an injunction barring the implementation of the Obama administration's 2014 deferred action programs. Additionally, the decision argued that the expansions are impermissible because they conflict with certain provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Qualifications for President and the "Natural Born" Citizenship Eligibility Requirement
This report discusses the history of the qualifications clause in the Federal Convention of 1787, the Common Law meaning of the term "Natural Born" citizen or subject, and common understanding in 18th Century of the term "Natural Born" citizen.
U.S. Implementation of the Basel Capital Regulatory Framework
This report discusses the implementation of the Basel III international regulatory framework, which is the latest in a series of evolving agreements among central banks and bank supervisory authorities to standardize bank capital requirements, among other measures.
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, and Science (CJS) accounts. It also provides an overview of FY2013 appropriations for agencies and bureaus funded as a part of the annual appropriation for CJS.
Energy Policy: 112th Congress Issues and Legislative Proposals
This report discusses the energy policy in the United States, which has focused on three major goals: assuring a secure supply of energy, keeping energy costs low, and protecting the environment.
Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Program
This report discusses the public safety officers' benefits (PSOB) program that provides three different types of benefits to public safety officers and their survivors: a death, a disability, and an education benefit.
Pay Equity: Legislative and Legal Developments
This report discusses pay equity litigation, including Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, a case in which the Supreme Court rejected class action status for current and former female Wal-Mart employees who allege that the company has engaged in pay discrimination.
Length of Time from Nomination to Confirmation for U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominees: Overview and Policy Options to Shorten the Process
This report seeks to inform the current debate over the nomination and confirmation for U.S. circuit and district court nominees in three ways: first, by providing an overview of the time taken by the Senate during recent presidencies to confirm U.S. circuit and district court nominees; second, by identifying potential consequences of a protracted confirmation process for such nominees; and third, by identifying policy options the Senate might consider to shorten the length of time from nomination to confirmation for U.S. circuit and district court nominees.
Surface Transportation Funding and Finance
This report discusses changes in funding to the national surface transportation infrastructure, especially in light of the recession that began in 2007, which led to decreases in driving and fuel use. This report focuses on possible revenue sources for surface transportation infrastructure. It begins with a brief discussion of the problems associated with the trust fund financing system and then explores possible immediate and longer-term solutions to the financing problem.
"Robo-Signing" and Other Alleged Documentation Problems in Judicial and Nonjudicial Foreclosure Processes
Recent depositions involving major servicers, including GMAC Mortgage, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, have raised concerns about "robo-signing" -- the practice of having a small number of individuals sign a large number of affidavits and other legal documents submitted to courts and other public authorities by mortgage companies to execute foreclosure. This report explores concerns related to these issues by explaining the mortgage market process, procedural problems that have surfaced during foreclosure proceedings, and other relevant information.
Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, and Missile Proliferation Sanctions: Selected Current Law
This report offers a listing and brief description of legal provisions that require or authorize the imposition of some form of economic sanction against countries, companies, persons, or entities that violate U.S. nonproliferation norms. For each provision, information is included on what triggers the imposition of sanctions, their duration, what authority the President has to delay or abstain from imposing sanctions, and what authority the President has to waive the imposition of sanctions.
Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program
"Section 32" is a permanent appropriation that since 1935 has set aside the equivalent of 30% of annual customs receipts to support the farm sector through the purchase of surplus commodities and a variety of other activities. This report first describes how the Section 32 account operates by tracing funds flowing into and out of the account. Second, a more detailed discussion is provided for each type of use, including historical policies.
U.S. Secret Service Protection Mission Funding and Staffing: Fact Sheet
The U.S. Secret Service (USSS) has two broad missions, criminal investigations and protection. The protection mission, which is the focus of this fact sheet, covers the President, Vice President, their families, and candidates for those offices, along with the White House and Vice President's residence, through the Service's Uniformed Division. Protective duties also extend to foreign missions in the District of Columbia and to designated individuals, such as the DHS Secretary and visiting foreign dignitaries. This fact sheet provides information on USSS funding and staffing because congressional attention has turned to the USSS and its operations due to several recent incidents.
Obama Administration Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline Permit Request: Could Congress Nevertheless Approve It?
This legal sidebar discusses the rejection by Obama administration of TransCanada's application for the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Obama Administration's Announced Immigration Initiative: A Primer
This report discusses the immigration initiative announced by Obama administration that could enable a substantial portion of the unlawfully-present alien population to obtain temporary relief from removal and work authorization.
Energy Policy: 113th Congress Issues
This report discusses the energy policy in the United States that is focused on three major goals: assuring a secure supply of energy, keeping energy costs low, and protecting the environment.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): A Legal Overview
This report discusses the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 that guarantees parental access to student education records, while limiting the disclosure of those records to third parties.
Child Labor in America: History, Policy, and Legislative Issues
This report examines the historical issue of child labor in America and summarizes legislation that has been introduced from the 108th Congress to the 113th Congress.
Legislative Options for Financing Water Infrastructure
This report addresses 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.
Mayo v. Prometheus: Implications for Patents, Biotechnology, and Personalized Medicine
Report that reviews the Supreme Court's 2012 Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories decision (wherein the court held that a patent claiming a method of optimizing therapies for autoimmune disease was invalid) and briefly consider its implications for innovation and public health.
Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance
This report discusses recent legislative initiatives seeking to establish climate change impacts as a common law nuisance. The report explains what private and public nuisances are, the issues faced by policymakers when litigating a climate-change/nuisance suit, and also discusses five climate-chance/nuisance suits that are now or formerly active, as a basis of comparison. The report also explores arguments of those both for and against addressing the complex issue of climate change through common law suits.
Iran: Interim Nuclear Agreement and Talks on a Comprehensive Accord
This report discusses the nuclear agreement talks between Iran and the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany--collectively known as the "P5+1, which finalized an interim agreement ("Joint Plan of Action," JPA) requiring Iran to freeze many aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for relief from some international sanctions.
EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"
This report describes the March 25, 2014 proposed rule to define "waters of the United States," particularly focused on clarifying the regulatory status of waters located in isolated places in a landscape, the types of waters with ambiguous jurisdictional status following the Supreme Court's ruling. It includes a table comparing the proposal to existing regulatory language.
International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues
This report provides background on current International Criminal Court (ICC) cases and examines issues raised by the ICC's actions in Africa, including the potential deterrence of future abuses and the potential impact on African peace processes.
Iran-U.S. Air Service Not Imminent
This report discusses the prospect of bilateral air service between Iran and the United States to resume, after the July 2015 agreement in which Iran accepted strict limits on its nuclear program.
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 Arctic-related issues.
Iran Nuclear Agreement
This report provides background on the agreement negotiated by Iran and six other countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany--collectively known as the P5+1) regarding Iran's nuclear program, and discusses the implications for U.S.-Iran relations.
Cuba: Issues for the 114th Congress
This report is divided into three major sections analyzing Cuba's political and economic environment, U.S. policy, and selected issues in U.S.-Cuban relations. A final section of the report provides a listing of bills and resolutions introduced in the 114th Congress.
EPA and the Army Corps' "Waters of the United States" Rule: Congressional Response and Options
This report discusses four legislative options that Congress could consider to halt or redirect the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineer's proposed "waters of the United States" rule.
Iran's Foreign Policy
This report provides an overview of Iran's foreign policy, which has been a subject of numerous congressional hearings and of sanctions and other legislation for many years. The report analyzes Iranian foreign policy as a whole and by region.
Cuba: Issues for the 114th Congress
This report is divided into three major sections analyzing Cuba's political and economic environment, U.S. policy, and selected issues in U.S.-Cuban relations.