Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED
Faith-Based Organizations and Their Relationship with State and Local Governments: Analysis of Recent Initiatives
This report discusses federal, state, and local government funding for faith-based organizations (FBOs) to provide services to needy citizens. It provides an overview of several selected issues including the effectiveness of FBOs, their accountability for results, and the working relationship that FBOs have at various levels of government.
Islam: A Primer
No Description Available.
Campaign Activity by Churches: Legal Analysis of Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act, H.R. 235 (108th Congress)
Churches and other Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations can lose their tax-exempt status if they participate in a political campaign. The Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act, H.R. 235 (108th Congress) would permit churches to engage in limited types of political campaign activity, in unlimited amounts, without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status. This report provides an overview of current tax and campaign finance law relevant to this legislation, a discussion of how H.R. 235 (108th Congress) would amend current law, and a comparison of H.R. 235 (108th Congress) to H.R. 2357 (107th Congress).
House and Senate Chaplains
No Description Available.
Chaplain of the House: Selection and Related Procedures
House procedures to elect an officer during a Congress differ from those followed at the start of a Congress. A resolution to elect a replacement officer to fill a vacancy during a Congress is privileged and debatable under the hour rule. By statute, the Speaker has authority to appoint a temporary replacement officer, and in some cases, temporary appointments have continued in effect for the remainder of a Congress. This report describes the consultative process that ultimately led to Father Coughlin’s temporary appointment, and related parliamentary issues concerning the selection of House officers.
Terrorists and Suicide Attacks
No Description Available.
Islamic Religious Schools,
No Description Available.
The Islamic Traditions of Wahhabism and Salafiyya
No Description Available.
Islam: Sunnis and Shiites
No Description Available.
The Constitutionality of Including the Phrase "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance
On October 14, 2003, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the appeal regarding the California statute, and on June 14, 2004, the Court reversed the Ninth Circuit’s decision finding that Newdow lacked standing to challenge the school district’s policy in federal court. This report summarizes the facts of the case, the opinions that have been rendered, congressional action, and the appeal to the Supreme Court. It will be updated as circumstances warrant.
Charitable Choice, Faith-Based Initiatives, and TANF
This report is one in the series of reports that discusses the Charitable Choice Act of 2001 (Title II of the House bill) and its rules, as well as the charitable choice laws, and other areas of this program.
Islamic Religious Schools,
No Description Available.
The Islamic Traditions of Wahhabism and Salafiyya
No Description Available.
House and Senate Chaplains
No Description Available.
Campaign Activity by Churches: Legal Analysis of Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act
Under current law, churches and other IRC § 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations are prohibited from engaging in such activity and risk losing their tax-exempt status if they do. While this outcome is rare, it is possible. This report provides an overview of the current tax and campaign finance law relevant to this legislation, a discussion of how each bill would amend current law, and a chart that compares the bills.
The Law of Church and State: Selected Opinions of Justice O'Connor
No Description Available.
Islamist Extremism in Europe
No Description Available.
Gonzales vs. Oregon
No Description Available.
Muslims in Europe: Integration Policies in Selected Countries
This report examines the integration of Muslims into the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Spain. It also analyzes policies at the European Union (EU) level that affect Muslim populations. However, key policies relating to integrating Muslims into society — including citizenship laws, education, treatment of religious institutions, and anti-discrimination measures — largely lie with individual governments.
The Law of Church and State: Opinions of Judge Samuel Alito
This report provides an overview of opinions addressing issues related to the law of church and state written by Judge Alito while serving on the Third Circuit and Supreme Court precedent relevant to those cases.
Islamic Religious Schools, Madrasas: Background
This report provides an overview of madrasas, their role in the Muslim world, and issues related to their alleged links to terrorism. The report also addresses the findings of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the “9/11 Commission”) and issues relevant to the second session of the 109th Congress.
Charitable Choice Rules and Faith-Based Organizations
This report discusses the Bush administration's "Charitable Choice" agenda aimed at expanding the ability of faith-based organizations to provide federally funded social services.
Charitable Choice: Legal and Constitutional Issues
This report provides analysis of a number of factual, civil rights, and constitutional questions that have been raised regarding charitable choice in general. The analysis is generally focused on those provisions enacted as part of the 1996 welfare reform law. More recent charitable choice rules may give rise to the same or similar concerns. Primarily, this report focuses on civil rights concerns that have arisen in the context of charitable choice and First Amendment issues, as well as recent legal developments related to charitable choice.
Palestinian Education and the Debate Over Textbooks
No Description Available.
The Islamic Traditions of Wahhabism and Salafiyya
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and subsequent discussions of religious extremism have called attention to Islamic puritanical movements known as Wahhabism and Salafiyya. Al Qaeda leaders and their ideological supporters have advocated a violent message that some suggest is an extremist interpretation of this line of puritanical Islam. Other observers have accused Saudi Arabia, the center of Wahhabism, of having disseminated a religion that promotes hatred and violence, targeting the United States and its allies. Saudi officials strenuously deny these allegations. This report provides a background on Wahhabism and its relationship to active terrorist groups; it also summarizes recent charges against Wahhabism and responses, including the findings of the final report of the 9/11 Commission and relevant legislation in the 110th Congress.
Islamic Religious Schools, Madrasas: Background
No Description Available.
Iraq: Reconciliation and Benchmarks
Iraq's current government, the result of a U.S.-supported election process designed to produce democracy, is instead a sectarian government incapable of reconciliation. The Administration says that the passage of some key laws represents progress on national reconciliation, and is a result of the U.S. "troop surge." Others say that combat among Shiite groups since March 2008, possibly motivated by provincial elections planned for October 2008, shows that force will not stabilize Iraq.
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
Iran is materially assisting all major Shiite Muslim political factions in Iraq, most of which have longstanding ideological, political, and religious ties to Tehran, and their armed militias. The Administration notes growing involvement by Tehran in actively directing training, and arming Shiite militiamen linked, to varying degrees, to hardline cleric Moqtada Al Sadr. Some analysis goes so far as to see a virtual "proxy war" between the United States and Iran inside Iraq.
Iraq: Reconciliation and Benchmarks
Iraq's current government, the result of a U.S.-supported election process designed to produce democracy, is instead a sectarian government incapable of reconciliation. The Administration says that the passage of some key laws represents progress on national reconciliation, and is a result of the U.S. "troop surge." Others say that combat among Shiite groups since March 2008, possibly motivated by provincial elections planned for October 2008, shows that force will not stabilize Iraq.
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
Iran is materially assisting and attempting to influence, in most cases against the United States, major Shiite Muslim factions in Iraq, most of which have ideological, political, and religious ties to Tehran. The Administration asserts that Tehran is actively directing, training, and arming Shiite militiamen linked, to varying degrees, to hardline anti-U.S. cleric Moqtada Al Sadr. Some analysts see a virtual "proxy war" between the United States and Iran inside Iraq.
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks
Iraq's current government, the result of a U.S.-supported election process designed to produce democracy, continues to be riven by sectarianism and factional infighting. However, the Administration says that the passage of some key laws in 2008 represents major progress on national reconciliation and that planned provincial elections will help heal remaining communal rifts.
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
Iran is materially assisting and influencing major Shiite Muslim factions in Iraq, most of which have ideological, political, and religious ties to Tehran. Among these factions is that of hardline anti-U.S. cleric Moqtada Al Sadr, whose Mahdi Army militia, according to some observers, serves as a proxy force for Tehran against the United States.
Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns
The international market for Islamic finance has grown between 10% to 15% annually in recent years. Islamic finance historically has been concentrated in the Persian Gulf countries, but has expanded globally to both Muslim and non-Muslim countries. There is a small but growing market for Islamic finance in the United States. Through international and domestic regulatory bodies, there has been effort to standardize regulations in Islamic finance across different countries and financial institutions, although challenges remain. Critics of Islamic finance express concerns about possible ties between Islamic finance and political agendas or terrorist financing and the use of Islamic finance to circumvent U.S. economic sanctions. Proponents argue that Islamic finance presents significant new business opportunities and provides alternate methods for capital formation and economic development.
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks
Iraq's political system, the result of a U.S.-supported election process, continues to be riven by sectarianism and ethnic and factional infighting. The Administration asserts that the passage of key laws in 2008 will help heal remaining rifts and continue to reduce violence. Others see the schisms widening as Iraqi leaders wrangle over unresolved issues that are complicating the holding of provincial elections.
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
Iran is materially assisting and influencing major Shiite Muslim factions in Iraq, most of which have ideological, political, and religious ties to Tehran. Among these factions is that of hardline anti-U.S. cleric Moqtada Al Sadr, whose Mahdi Army militia, according to some observers, serves as a proxy force for Tehran against the United States.
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
Iran is materially assisting and influencing major Shiite Muslim factions in Iraq, most of which have ideological, political, and religious ties to Tehran. The Shiite faction of paramount concern to the Administration is that of Moqtada Al Sadr, whose Mahdi Army militia has periodically battled U.S. and Iraqi government forces, although it is currently relatively quiescent.
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks
Iraq's current government, the result of a U.S.-supported election process designed to produce democracy, is instead a sectarian government incapable of reconciliation. The Administration says that the passage of some key laws represents progress on national reconciliation, and is a result of the U.S. "troop surge." Others say that combat among Shiite groups since March 2008, possibly motivated by provincial elections planned for October 2008, shows that force will not stabilize Iraq.
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
With a conventional military and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threat from Saddam Hussein's regime removed, Iran seeks to ensure that Iraq can never again become a threat to Iran, either with or without U.S. forces present in Iraq. By supporting armed Shiite factions, Iran's influence in Iraq has at times hindered U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq, and has heightened the U.S. threat perception of Iran generally. However, Iran faces difficult choices in Iraq now that its protege Shiite factions, formerly united, are competing and often fighting each other.
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks
Iraq's political system, the result of a U.S.-supported election process, continues to be riven by sectarianism and ethnic and factional infighting. The Administration is optimistic that the passage of key laws in 2008, including a law to govern provincial elections to be held in early 2009, will sustain recent reductions in violence.
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks
Iraq's political system, the result of a U.S.-supported election process, continues to be riven by sectarianism and ethnic and factional infighting. The Administration is optimistic that the passage of key laws in 2008, including a law to govern provincial elections to be held in early 2009, will sustain recent reductions in violence.
Islamist Militancy in the Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Region and U.S. Policy
Increasing militant activity in western Pakistan poses three key national security threats: an increased potential for major attacks against the United States itself; a growing threat to Pakistani stability; and a hindrance of U.S. efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. This report addresses this issue at length. It also describes the recent upsurge of militant activity on the Pakistani side of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, as well as the general political climates of Pakistan and Afghanistan and their relationships with the United States.
Iran: Ethnic and Religious Minorities
Iran is home to approximately 70.5 million people who are ethnically, religiously, and linguistically diverse. This report discusses these minorities, their treatment under the Islamic regime, and the reactions of international rights groups.
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
This report discusses the relationship between Iraq and Iran in the post-Saddam Hussein era, with particular focus on what Iran's intentions and/or long-term goals may be for increasing its influence in Iraq. The report explores the various strategies that Iran has used to spread its influence throughout Iraq's military and political spheres. The report also addresses the United States' concern over the Iran-Iraq relationship, especially as it concerns armed Shiite factions and U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq.
The Law of Church and State: Public Aid to Sectarian Schools
This report gives a brief overview of the evolution of the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment in regards to sectarian schools at all levels. It analyzes the categories of aid that have been addressed by the Court and also explains which categories have been held to be constitutionally permissible or impermissible, both at the elementary and secondary school level and at the college level. The report also briefly discusses H.R. 1 of the 111th Congress, economic stimulus legislation that includes provisions that would provide assistance to institutions of higher education for modernization, renovation, and repair of facilities.
Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns
This report discusses Islamic finance, which is based on principles of shariah, or "Islamic law." Major financial principles of shariah are a ban on interest, a ban on contractual uncertainty, adherence to risk-sharing and profit-sharing, promotion of ethical investments that enhance society, and asset-backing. While the Islamic finance industry represents a fraction of the global finance market, it has grown at double-digit rates in recent years.
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
This report discusses the relationship between Iraq and Iran in the post-Saddam Hussein era, with particular focus on what Iran's intentions and/or long-term goals may be for increasing its influence in Iraq. The report explores the various strategies that Iran has used to spread its influence throughout Iraq's military and political spheres. The report also addresses the United States' concern over the Iran-Iraq relationship, especially as it concerns armed Shiite factions and U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq.
Legal Issues Related to Funding for Religious Schools in P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
This report will provide a brief overview of the prohibition on the use of funds by institutions of higher education, including proposals considered by the House and Senate before the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, P.L. 111-5) was enacted. It will also analyze the constitutionality of the distribution of federal money to religious schools in the context of common questions raised by these provisions.
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
This report discusses the relationship between Iraq and Iran in the post-Saddam Hussein era, with particular focus on what Iran's intentions and/or long-term goals may be for increasing its influence in Iraq. The report explores the various strategies that Iran has used to spread its influence throughout Iraq's military and political spheres. The report also addresses the United States' concern over the Iran-Iraq relationship, especially as it concerns armed Shiite factions and U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq.
Legal Analysis of Religious Exemptions for Photo Identification Requirements
This report analyzes the legal issues associated with religious exemptions to photo identification laws. Although no lawsuits appear to have challenged federal laws with photo requirements, state photo identification laws have been challenged for several decades.
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
This report discusses the relationship between Iraq and Iran in the post-Saddam Hussein era, with particular focus on what Iran's intentions and/or long-term goals may be for increasing its influence in Iraq. The report explores the various strategies that Iran has used to spread its influence throughout Iraq's military and political spheres. The report also addresses the United States' concern over the Iran-Iraq relationship, especially as it concerns armed Shiite factions and U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq.