Congressional Research Service Reports - 37 Matching Results

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Supreme Court October Term 2017: A Preview of Select Cases
This report highlights four of the notable cases of the new term that could impact the work of Congress: (1) Carpenter v. United States, which examines the limits the Fourth Amendment imposes on the warrantless collection of the historical cell phone location records of a criminal suspect; (2) Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), a case exploring whether Congress, by prohibiting a state from partially repealing a state law, impermissibly commandeers the powers of the state; (3) Gill v. Whitford, which considers when a state's redistricting plan amounts to impermissible partisan gerrymandering; and (4) Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which asks whether a baker has a First Amendment right to decline to make cakes for same-sex weddings. Each case is addressed in a separate section that provides background information on the case; summarizes the arguments that were or are likely to be presented to the Court in each case; and examines the implications that the Court's ruling could have for Congress, including broader ramifications for the jurisprudence in a given area of law.
The Defense Production Act of 1950: History, Authorities, and Reauthorization
This report examines some of the history of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA), focusing primarily on its creation and most recent legislative reauthorization. It also discusses the foremost active authorities of the DPA.
Energy and Water Development: FY2018 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).
"Chevron" Deference: A Primer
This report discusses the Chevron decision (which set up the current process for judicial review of regulatory agencies), explains the circumstances in which the Chevron doctrine applies, explores how courts apply the two steps of Chevron, and highlights some criticisms of the doctrine, with an eye towards the potential future of Chevron deference.
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.
Government Contract Bid Protests In Brief: Analysis of Legal Processes and Recent Developments
This report briefly analyzes the varying legal procedures applicable to bid protests under each forum, which may be relevant to Congress as it assesses potential reforms to the bid protest process. First, the report provides an overview of bid protests generally and the legal procedures applicable to bid protests made in each forum. Next, the report analyzes the legal distinctions among these forums. Finally, the report discusses recent legislative developments affecting bid protest procedures and potential considerations for Congress.
The Glass-Steagall Act: A Legal and Policy Analysis
This report provides background on the economic conditions in which the Glass-Steagall Act was enacted and provides an economic and legal analysis of the Glass-Steagall Act's enactment, erosion, and partial repeal by GLBA. The report concludes with an analysis of the Glass-Steagall Act's relationship with financial stability and the Glass-Steagall-like provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act.
"Regulatory Relief" for Banking: Selected Legislation in the 114th Congress
This report discusses regulatory relief legislation for banks in the 114th Congress that has seen floor action or has been ordered to be reported by a committee. Many, but not all, of the bills would make changes to the Dodd-Frank Act (P.L. 111-203), a wide-ranging financial reform enacted in response to the financial crisis.
Telework for Executive Agency Employees: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Legislation Pending in the 111th Congress
This report discusses legislation (S. 707 and H.R. 1722) designed to foster the development of telework in executive agencies of the federal government.
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.
EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?
This report provides background information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory activity during the Obama Administration to help address these issues. It examines major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at EPA since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of the rule (including identification of related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA's estimates of costs and benefits, where available. The report includes tables that show which rules remain under development, and an appendix that describes major or controversial rules that are now final.
Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification
This report discusses some of the most difficult immigration policy questions regarding unauthorized immigration and unauthorized employment.
Piracy: A Legal Definition
Pirate attacks in the waters off the Horn of Africa, including those on U.S.-flagged vessels, have brought continued U.S. and international attention to the long-standing problem of piracy in the region. A recent development in one of the piracy trials in Norfolk, VA, has highlighted a potential limitation in the definition of piracy under the United States Code. This report first examines the historical development of the offense of piracy, as defined by Congress and codified in the United States Code. The focus then turns to how contemporary international agreements define piracy. Finally, the report highlights a recent federal district court ruling that the offense of piracy under 18 U.S.C. § 1651 requires a robbery at sea.
Federal Affirmative Action Law: A Brief History
This report provides a brief history of federal affirmative action law, including legal and political developments at the federal, state, and local levels. It describes the origins, affirmative action in public education, minority contracting, and recent developments as of 2015.
Basic Concepts and Technical Considerations in Educational Assessment: A Primer
This report discusses assessments mandated by federal education policy and discusses the purpose of assessments, types of tests, technical considerations in assessment, and using assessment results appropriately. A glossary containing definitions of commonly used assessment and measurement terms is provided at the end of this report. The glossary provides additional technical information that may not be addressed within the text of the report.
U.S. Sanctions on Burma
This report provides a brief history of U.S. policy towards Burma and the development of U.S. sanctions, a topical summary of those sanctions, and an examination of additional sanctions that have been considered, but not enacted, by Congress, or that could be imposed under existing law or executive orders. The report concludes with a discussion of options for Congress.
Police Shootings and Federal Support for Law Enforcement Safety
This report discusses federal support for law enforcement safety in light of the recent shooting deaths of police officers in Dallas, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Obstruction of Justice Statutes: Legal Issues Concerning FBI Investigations, Specific Intent, and Executive Branch Personnel
This report discusses obstruction of justice statutes and discussions about whether they apply to FBI investigations in response to the allegations that President Trump interfered in an FBI investigation by encouraging Director James Comey to terminate the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Five-Year Program for Federal Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing: Status and Issues in Brief
This report summarizes developments in the offshore oil leasing 2017-2022 program and considers selected congressional issues and actions related to the program. President Trump issued an executive order on April 28, 2017, directing the Secretary of the Interior to review and consider revising the 2017-2022 program. The 115th Congress could influence the five-year program by enacting legislation to alter the program, as well as by conducting oversight.
Visa Waiver Program
This report discusses the visa waiver program (VWP), which allows foreign visitors to bypass the first, screening step for admissibility to enter the United States. Some policymakers are concerned that this waiver allows terrorists to more easily enter the country. The report provides waiver-related statistics and related legislation.
Piracy off the Horn of Africa
This report discusses recent pirate attacks on vessels, including United States vessels, in the waters off the Horn of Africa. The Horn of Africa is sometimes called the Somali Peninsula and includes the nations of Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somalia. This report explores reasons behind the increased number of pirate attacks in recent years, as well as what efforts are being taken to combat said attacks, including those by the 111th Congress and President Obama and his Administration.
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.
H.R. 3080 and S. 601: Comparison of Select Provisions and Conference Developments
This report discusses the conference report H.Rept. 113-449 that would resolve differences between H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA 2013), and S. 601, the Water Resources Development Act of 2013 (WRDA 2013). Both bills represented omnibus authorization legislation for water resource activities, principally associated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps).
Energy Tax Policy: Issues in the 113th Congress
This report discusses the energy tax policy that may also be considered as part of comprehensive tax reform legislation in the 113th Congress. Also the report discusses a number of other energy tax incentives scheduled to expire at the end of 2013, including provisions to support building energy efficiency and renewable fuels.
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.
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.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress such as: Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic that could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition.
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.
Emergency Response: Civil Liability of Volunteer Health Professionals
This report discusses the patchwork of federal and state laws that operate to protect volunteers, which can include volunteer health professionals (VHPs), and those laws that trigger liability protection only for VHPs — with a focus on some of the midwestern states in addition to the Gulf region.
Pesticide Use and Water Quality: Are the Laws Complementary or in Conflict?
This report provides background on the conflict over interpretation and implementation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA). A brief discussion of the two laws is followed by a review of the major litigation of interest.
Supreme Court Appointment Process: Roles of the President, Judiciary Committee, and Senate
This report discusses the appointment of Supreme Court Justices, including the President's selection of a nominee and process to reach confirmation in the Senate.
The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment
This report covers the recent background of the Exon-Florio provision with special regards to issues faced in the 112th Congress. The Exon-Florio provision grants the President the authority to block proposed or pending foreign acquisitions of "persons engaged in interstate commerce in the United States" that threaten to impair the national security.
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation.
Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and “DREAM Act” Legislation
This report looks at the background and history of recent "DREAM Act"s, which address the status of unauthorized alien students. It pays special attention to the June 15, 2012 announcement that come individuals who were brought into the U.S. as children and meet other requirements would be eligible for deferred action for two years.
The President's Authority to the National Guard or the Armed Forces to Secure the Border
This report discusses the President's legal authority to send the National Guard or regular military forces to secure the U.S. border with Mexico and examines the statutes and precedent related to such uses of Presidential authority.
Iran, Gulf Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses issues regarding Iran's political history and structure. It also takes a look at economic and defense policy responses for Congress.
Iran Sanctions
This report discusses the recent development regarding the negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program. It provides background information on Iranian nuclear program and debates the November 24 Joint Plan of Action Elements.