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Sanctuary Jurisdictions: Congressional Action and President Trump's Interior Enforcement Executive Order
This report discusses President Trump's executive order (EO) "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States" issued on January 25, 2017, which seeks, among other things, to penalize "sanctuary jurisdictions." The term refers to states and localities that limit their cooperation with federal agencies on immigration law enforcement.
Sea-Level Rise and U.S. Coasts: Science and Policy Considerations
This report provides information for policymakers that are interested in sea-level rise because of the risk to coastal populations and infrastructure and the consequences for coastal species and ecosystems.
State Voter Identification Requirements: Analysis, Legal Issues, and Policy Considerations
This report provides an updated overview of state requirements for voters to present some form of ID before casting a ballot in a federal election. The report also discusses the origins of voter ID, relevant federal legislative action in the 114th Congress, and selected legal and policy issues related to state voter ID laws.
Post-Heller Second Amendment Jurisprudence
This report examines the scope of the Second Amendment, as interpreted by the federal circuit courts of appeals, after the watershed Supreme Court decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago.
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.
Legislative Options in the 114th Congress for Financing Water Infrastructure
This report addresses several options 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.
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 also discusses administrative and congressional actions to deal with the UAC surge in FY2014 and ongoing action to address possible future surges.
EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?
This report provides background information on EPA regulatory activity during the Obama Administration. It examines major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at EPA from January 2009 to late 2016, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of rules not yet promulgated (including identification of related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA's estimates of costs and benefits, where available.
President Trump's Executive Order on Suspending Entry of Select Foreign Nationals: The Seven Countries
This report the executive order (EO) entitled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorists Entry Into the United States." Invoking Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) ยง212(f), the President barred citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days, with limited exceptions for those traveling on diplomatic and certain other types of visas.
Oil and Natural Gas Industry Tax Issues in the FY2014 Budget Proposal
This report discusses the FY2014 budget proposal that outlines a set of proposals, framed as the termination of tax preferences, that would potentially increase the taxes paid by the oil and natural gas industries, especially those of the independent producers.
Mandatory Minimum Sentencing: Federal Aggravated Identity Theft
This report discusses the aggravated identity theft, which is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment for two years or by imprisonment for five years if it relates to a terrorism offense.
Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentences: The Safety Valve and Substantial Assistance Exceptions
This report discusses the federal law that requires a sentencing judge to impose a minimum sentence of imprisonment following conviction for any of a number of federal offenses.
The Federal Rulemaking Process: An Overview
The purpose of this report is to provide Congress with an overview of the federal rulemaking process and a brief discussion of the major laws and executive orders that prescribe the procedures agencies are to apply when promulgating regulations.
Department of Health and Human Services Halts Cost-Sharing Reduction (CSR) Payments
This report discusses the the case "House of Representatives v. Hargan" which was a case by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) appealing the House's decision to end cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments. Questions regarding the status of the case and possible legal and legislative methods of restoring CSR payments are addressed.
President Trump's Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement Raises Legal Questions: Parts 1 and 2
This report discusses various legal questions raised by President Trump's announcement of the U.S.'s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. Questions addressed include the withdrawal process, whether the agreement is binding or non-binding, the role of United States in other international climate meetings, and why President Trump announced the exit.
A Primer on U.S. Immigration Policy
This report provides a broad overview of U.S. immigration policy. The first section addresses policies governing how foreign nationals enter the United States either to reside permanently or to stay temporarily. Related topics within this section include visa issuance and security, forms of quasi-legal status, and naturalization. The second section discusses enforcement policies both for excluding foreign nationals from admission into the United States, as well as for detaining and removing those who enter the country unlawfully or who enter lawfully but subsequently commit crimes that make them deportable. The section also covers worksite enforcement and immigration fraud. The third section addresses policies for unauthorized aliens residing in the United States.
Unmanned and Unregulated? Court of Appeals Rejects FAA Regulation of Many Drones
This report discusses a ruling by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals which said that model aircraft including many drones were exempt from the FAA's registration rule. Carious implications of the ruling are also discussed.
The Federal Government's Plenary Immigration Power Collides with the Constitutional Right to an Abortion (Part 2)
This report is the secondt in a two-part series discussing "Garza v. Hargan", a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit involving a detained unaccompanied alien minor and the right to terminate a pregnancy. Debate among judges regarding the right of an unaccompanied alien minor to have an abortion when the minor was detained at the border and technically never formally entered the United States are discussed.
Drug Testing and Crime-Related Restrictions in TANF, SNAP, and Housing Assistance
This report describes and compares the drug- and crime-related policy restrictions contained in selected federal programs that provide assistance to low-income individuals and families: the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps), and the three primary federal housing assistance programs (the public housing program, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, and the project-based Section 8 rental assistance program).
Banning the Use of Racial Preferences in Higher Education: A Legal Analysis of Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action
This report discusses the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Laws based on suspect classifications such as race or gender, however, typically receive heightened scrutiny and require a stronger, if not compelling, state interest to justify the classification.
Immigration Detainers: Legal Issues
Report that 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.
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.
Presidential Review of Independent Regulatory Commission Rulemaking: Legal Issues
Report that discusses the constitutionality and the legal effects of extending centralized review of rulemaking to independent regulatory commissions (IRC).
Airline Passenger Rights: The Federal Role in Aviation Consumer Protection
This report examines aviation consumer protections following the 1978 elimination of most governmental control regarding airline business practices. It explains the roles of Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in protecting airline consumers, and discusses some major passenger rights issues and related laws and regulations.
Department of Labor's 2016 Fiduciary Rule: Background and Issues
This report discusses fiduciary standard with respect to his or her advice, an individual had to, which include: (1) make recommendations on investing in, purchasing, or selling securities or other property, or give advice as to the value (2) on a regular basis (3) pursuant to a mutual understanding that the advice (4) will serve as a primary basis for investment decisions, and (5) will be individualized to the particular needs of the plan regarding such matters as, among other things, investment policies or strategy, overall portfolio composition, or diversification of plan investments.
Overview of U.S. Sanctions Regimes on Russia
This report discusses the U.S.-imposed sanctions on Russia for malicious cyber activity.
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.
State Innovation Waivers: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers nine frequently asked questions about the State Innovation Waiver program under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that allows states to obtain waivers from certain areas of the program and instead use their own state run processes.
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.
Patentable Subject Matter Reform
This report reviews the current law governing patentable subject matter and recent proposals for legislative reform. It begins by providing a basic overview of the patent system and introducing the principles of patentable subject matter. It then considers the leading Supreme Court decisions construing section 101 of the Patent Act. The report then considers the implications of these decisions within the information technology and life sciences industries. The report closes with a review of legislative reform options.
Who Regulates Whom? An Overview of the U.S. Financial Regulatory Framework
This report attempts to set out the basic frameworks and principles underlying U.S. financial regulation and to give some historical context for the development of that system. The first section briefly discusses the various modes of financial regulation and the next section identifies the major federal regulators and the types of institutions they supervise (see Table 1). It then provides a brief overview of each federal financial regulatory agency. Finally, the report discusses other entities that play a role in financial regulation--interagency bodies, state regulators, and international standards.
The House May Vote to File an Amicus Brief: Is this Unprecedented?
This report discusses the historical precedence of the House authorizing the filing of an amicus brief. The case involves state challenges to the Obama Administration's expansion of its deferred action program for certain aliens brought to the U.S. as children and unauthorized aliens who are the parents of U.S. citizens or legal permanent resident aliens.
Justice Antonin Scalia's Last Opinion
This report discusses Justice Antonin Scalia's last opinion for the court (Kansas v. Carr). There, the Court reversed two decisions of the Kansas Supreme Court and held that "the Eighth Amendment [does not] require... capital-sentencing courts to instruct the jury that mitigating circumstances need not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt." It also held that the Eighth Amendment did not require separate trials for two of the defendants in one of the Kansas cases.
No "Bivens" for You?
This report discusses the Supreme Court's ruling in "Ziglar v. Abbassi" and the "Bivens" remedy that the plaintiffs were attempting to use to win their case. The "Bivens" remedy is a legal precedent that came from a 1971 case where the plaintiff Bivens sued federal agents with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics for violations of the fourth amendment due to them handcuffing him inside his own home without a warrant. It has been used two other times for suits against federal officials related to breaches of constitutional rights, one related to gender bias and equality and the other for lack of medical care in prison.
What Does Justice Scalia's Death Mean for Congress and the Nation?
This legal sidebar briefly provides an overview of the major implications of Justice Scalia's death for Congress. Justice Scalia's absence may alter the outcome of several cases of interest to Congress pending before the Court and could mark a seismic shift in many legal doctrines, depending on who is confirmed to fill the newly vacant seat on the Court. The job of confirming the President's nomination to fill the vacancy resides with the Senate, making Justice Scalia's death likely to have a profound impact in both the short and long term on Congress.
Airline Passenger Denied Boarding: Rules and Regulations
This report discusses regulations regarding an airline's responsibilities when a passenger with a confirmed ticket is denied boarding on a flight due to lack of seats (known as overselling). The various updates to the original regulation from 1967 are discussed with the latest modifications occurring in 2015.
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.
Selected International Insurance Issues in the 115th Congress
This report discusses trade in insurance services and summarizes the various international entities and agreements affecting the regulation of and trade in insurance. It then addresses particular issues and controversies in greater depth, including a focus on the pending U.S.-EU covered agreement, and concludes with a section on issues relating to international insurance standards.
President Trump's Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement Raises Legal Questions: Parts 1 and 2
This report discusses legal questions related to President's Trump's announcement that the United States intends to leave the Paris Climate Agreement.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Background and Summary
This report reviews issues related to financial regulation and provides brief descriptions of major provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, along with links to CRS products going in to greater depth on specific issues. It does not attempt to track the legislative debate in the 115th Congress.
Iran Sanctions
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides some examples, based on open sources, of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran. CRS has no way to independently corroborate any of the reporting on which these examples are based and no mandate to assess whether any firm or other entity is complying with U.S. or international sanctions against Iran. The sections are grouped by function, in the chronological order in which the themes have emerged
Workers' Compensation: Overview and Issues
This report discusses workers' compensation in the United States beginning with a brief history of its origins and its elements. Costs, federal oversight of state programs, and Texas and Oklahoma's noncompulsory workers' compensation programs are also discussed.
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.
Farm Bill Primer Series: A Guide to Omnibus Legislation on Agriculture and Food Programs
This report constitutes a guide to a series of two-page reports that examine the various programs and policies that comprise periodic omnibus legislation on farm and food policy, commonly known as "the farm bill." The current farm bill (P.L. 113-79) was signed into law in February 2014. Many of the programs authorized by the 2014 farm bill are scheduled to expire in 2018 unless Congress provides for an extension, or reauthorizes them. Without congressional action, key commodity support programs would revert to permanently authorized legislation from the 1930s and 1940s.
Six Justice Court to Decide Liability of Officials for Post 9/11 Detention
This report discusses a Supreme Court case regarding whether men detained after 9/11 by federal authorities can sue the individual officials involved in their arrest and detainment that was due to be heard by a six justice court due to the death of Justice Scalia and the recusements of two other justices.
Dressed to the Nines: What's Next for the Nine-Justice Supreme Court?
This report discusses the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch as a Supreme Court Justice and the effects he may have on current and upcoming cases as the ninth member of the Supreme Court.
When Does Sovereign Immunity Protect Property Owned by State Sponsors of Terrorism?
This report discusses sovereign states' immunity from suits and attachments by U.S. nationals except under very specific circumstances, as well as legal interpretations and cases involving immunity rules. It particularly describes state-sponsored terrorism and the effect of The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which was proposed to allow U.S. nationals to file civil suits in U.S. courts against foreign nations for aiding and abetting acts of terrorism under a new exception to the general rule of immunity.
U.S. Strike on Syrian Airbase: Legal Under International Law?
This report discusses whether the U.S. airstrike on a Syrian airbase in retaliation for Syria's use of chemical weapons was legal under international laws as outlined in the U.N. Charter.
Charlottesville Car Crash Attack: Possibility of Federal Criminal Prosecution
This report discusses the announcement that the Charlottesville, Virginia car crash attack is being investigated as a federal civil rights case. It also outlines the sections of the federal law under which the attack could be classified.
Overview of "Travel Ban" Litigation and Recent Developments
This report provides an overview of the series of three executive actions -- (the first two taking the form of executive orders, and the third issued as a presidential proclamation) commonly referred to as the "Travel Ban," which restrict the entry of specified categories of non-U.S. nationals (aliens) into the United States -- as well as the litigation related to those executive actions.