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U.S. Tariff Policy: Overview
This report provides a brief overview of United States tariff policy. A tariff is a customs duty levied on imported and exported goods and services, typically used to protect domestic industries or as leverage in trade negotiations and disputes.
Defense Primer: United States Airpower
This report provides an overview of the airpower of the United States military. This includes the U.S. Air Force, and Army, Naval, and Marine Corps aviation.
Defense Primer: Congress's Constitutional Authority with Regard to the Armed Forces
This report provides an overview of Congress's war powers under the U.S. Constitution.
Defense Primer: Legal Authorities for the Use of Military Forces
This report provides an overview of United States war powers.
Global Human Rights: Multilateral Bodies & U.S. Participation
This report provides an overview of multilateral bodies regarding human rights, including the United Nations, International Criminal Court, and regional bodies.
Defense Primer: Organization of U.S. Ground Forces
This report outlines the organization of the Army, the U.S. military's primary ground force, and the Marine Corps, the Navy's land-based fighting force.
U.S. Ground Forces Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) and Artificial Intelligence (AI): Considerations for Congress
This report discusses issues for Congress to consider regarding robotics and autonomous systems (RAS) and artificial intelligence (AI), which have the potential to change the nature of warfare. Other nations, notably peer competitors Russia and China, are aggressively pursuing RAS and AI for a variety of military uses, raising considerations about the U.S. military's response--to include lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS)--that could be used against U.S. forces.
Immigration: "Recalcitrant" Countries and the Use of Visa Sanctions to Encourage Cooperation with Alien Removals
This report discusses the use of visa sanctions by the Trump Administration, past uses of visa sanctions, and alternatives to visa sanctions to encourage countries to comply with repatriation of their citizens.
What Role Might the Federal Government Play in Law Enforcement Reform?
This report discuses policy options for Congress to consider in regard to law enforcement reform. Over the past few years, several high-profile police-involved shootings and alleged instances of excessive force have generated congressional interest in state and local policing.
Global Trends in HIV/AIDS
This report discusses positive developments, challenges, and outlook of HIV/AIDS around the globe.
Defense Primer: Special Operations Forces
This report provides an overview of U.S. military Special Operations Forces (SOF), including personnel selection, command structure, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), and Theater Special Operations Commands (TSOCs).
Defense Primer: Department of the Army and Army Command Structure
This report discusses the senior leadership and operational and institutional missions of the Department of the Army (DA).
Defense Primer: The United States Air Force
This report provides an overview of U.S. Air Force operations.
Defense Primer: Defense Appropriations Process
This report provides an overview of the defense appropriations process. The congressional appropriations process includes various rules and practices that Congress has adopted to distinguish appropriations measures and facilitate their consideration.
The DOD's JEDI Cloud Program
This report discusses the Deputy Secretary of Defense (DSD) Patrick Shanahan's memorandum calling for the accelerated adoption of a Department of Defense (DOD)-wide cloud computing system. Under the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) Cloud program, DOD seeks to "acquire services solution that can support Unclassified, Secret, and Top Secret requirements," with a focus on commercially-available services.
Defense Primer: Naval Forces
This report provides an overview of the United States Naval Forces, which includes the Navy and Marine Corps.
District Court Temporarily Blocks Implementation of Asylum Restrictions on Unlawful Entrants at the Southern Border
This report discusses the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) barring the Trump Administration from implementing new asylum restrictions. The asylum restrictions were prompted by reports of a "migrant caravan" traveling through Mexico to the southern border of the United States.
Infrastructure Investment and the Federal Government
This report discusses federal infrastructure investment. The condition and performance of infrastructure are generally thought to be important for the nation's health, welfare, and economy.
The Venezuela Regional Migration Crisis
This report discusses the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Venezuela, which has elevated congressional concerns about the country. Venezuela remains in a deep political and economic crisis under the authoritarian rule of President Nicolás Maduro.
Supersonic Passenger Flights
This report provides an overview of the development of supersonic air travel, renewed interest in supersonic passenger flights, and issues and challenges related to supersonic flights.
The Defense Production Act of 1950: History, Authorities, and Considerations for Congress
This report examines some of the extensive history of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA), focusing primarily on its creation and most recent legislative reauthorization. This report also identifies relevant delegations of the President's DPA authorities made in Executive Order (E.O.) 13603 -- National Defense Resources Preparedness -- and provides a brief overview of issues Congress may consider in its oversight.
Guide to Individuals Seated on the House Dais
This report outlines the members of the House of Representatives who are seated on the dais during meetings in the House chamber of the Capitol.
Oman: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses Oman's political and governmental structure, economy, foreign policy, and human rights concerns as well as U.S. security assistance and cooperation.
Defense Primer: Personnel Tempo (PERSTEMPO)
This report explains the Department of Defense's (DOD's) personnel tempo (PERSTEMPO) management, policies and programs. PERSTEMPO refers to the pace of operations for servicemembers and can affect quality of life, work satisfaction, and overall morale for members and their families.
U.S.-India Trade Relations
This report discusses trade relations between the United States and India. Many observers believe bilateral commercial ties could be more extensive if trade and investment barriers were addressed.
Teacher Preparation Policies and Issues in the Higher Education Act
This report provides a description of current programs and provisions in Title II-A and identifies a number of the key issues that may be part of the debate over the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA).
World Trade Organization: Overview and Future Direction
This report provides background history of the World Trade Organization (WTO), its organization, and current status of negotiations. It also explores concerns regarding the WTO's future direction and key policy issues for Congress.
China's Status as a Nonmarket Economy (NME)
This report discusses China's classification by the World Trade Organization (WTO). China contends that language in its WTO accession protocol required all WTO members to terminate their use of the alternative methodology; the United States and other WTO members argue that that the WTO language did not automatically obligate them to extend market economy status (MES) to China.
Iran Sanctions
This report discusses U.S. sanctions against Iran and the 2016 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement which led to the lifting of sanctions based on nuclear proliferation in Iran. It outlines the various sanctions against Iran and their current implementation status, international efforts to bring about compliance, and their effects; it also addresses recent discussions regarding President's Trump announcement that the U.S. was decertifying the nuclear agreement and the possibility of reinstating certain sanctions.
Morocco: Background and U.S. Relations
This report outlines the politics, economy, terrorism issues, and foreign relations of Morocco.
FY2018 and FY2019 Agriculture Appropriations: Federal Food Safety Activities
This report provides a brief overview of the FY2018 and FY2019 appropriations that address food safety activities at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
The National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC): An Overview
This report summarizes the background and functions of the U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC).
Serbia: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Serbia and its governmental structure, economy, and foreign relations with the U.S., Kosovo, Turkey, Russia, and the European Union (EU).
Bahrain: Unrest, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the political structure and human rights issues in Bahrain, including the 2011 uprising and its aftermath. Additionally, the report discusses Bahrain's relations with the United States and with the other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) alliance.
Video Relay Service: Program Funding and Reform
This report provides an introduction about how the video relay service works and and overview of the program. It discusses the fundamental restructuring of the program to support innovation and competition.
Brexit at a Pivotal Moment
This report discusses the draft withdrawal agreement in the the United Kingdom's (UK's) expected withdrawal from the European Union (EU), known as Brexit. It also summarizes issues for the U.S. Congress to consider in regard to Brexit.
Presidential Disability Under the Twenty-fifth Amendment: Constitutional Provisions and Perspectives for Congress
This report provides a description and analysis of Sections 3 and 4 of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, which deal with presidential disability or inability. It also reviews the history of presidential disability and earlier proposals to provide for such contingencies, provides a legislative history of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment and examines relevant legislative proposals pending in the 115th Congress.
The Posse Comitatus Act and Related Matters: A Sketch
This report examines instances, as approved by Congress, where circumstances warrant a departure from the general rule of the Posse Comitatus Act, wherein the military is typically prevented from direct involvement in civilian affairs.
Introduction to the Legislative Process in the U.S. Congress
This report introduces the main steps through which a bill (or other item of business) may travel in the legislative process. For many bills, the process will not follow the sequence of congressional stages that are often understood to make up the legislative process. This report presents a look at each of the common stages through which a bill may move, but complications and variations abound in practice.
Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills: FY1961-FY2019
This report is a research aid that lists the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) authorization and appropriations bills for FY1961-FY2019 including: bill numbers, report numbers, dates reported and passed, recorded vote numbers and vote tallies, dates of passage of the conference reports with their numbers and votes, vetoes, substitutions, dates of final passage, and public law numbers. Significant definitions are also included.
Lame Duck Sessions of Congress Following a Majority-Changing Election: In Brief
This report describes "lame duck" sessions of Congress, which take place whenever one Congress meets after its successor is elected but before the term of the current Congress ends. It specifically provides additional information on the 1954, 1994, and 2010 lame duck sessions.
Defense Primer: RDT&E
This report describes the appropriations structure and funding levels for the U.S. Department of Defense's (DOD's) research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E). The DOD relies on scientific and technical research funded by the department and performed by industry, universities, federal laboratories, and others; the DOD also relies on technology developed by the private sector for commercial markets.
Quantum Information Science: Applications, Global Research and Development, and Policy Considerations
This report provides an overview of quantum information science (QIS) technologies: sensing and metrology, communications, and computing and simulation. It also includes examples of existing and potential future applications; brief summaries of funding and selected R&D initiatives in the United States and elsewhere around the world; a description of U.S. congressional activity; and a discussion of related policy considerations.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): Historical Overview, Funding, and Reauthorization
This report provides a brief history of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) with an overview of the crimes addressed through the act. It includes brief descriptions of earlier VAWA reauthorizations and a more-detailed description of the most recent reauthorization in 2013. The report concludes with a discussion of VAWA programs and a five-year history of funding from FY2014 through FY2018.
Iran and Israel: Tension Over Syria
This report discusses the tensions between Iran and Israel, which have been exacerbated since 2011 by Iranian military operations in support of the Syrian government.
Defense Primer: Navigating the NDAA
This report provides an overview of the structure and organization of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP): Background and Funding
This report begins by describing the population using emergency food assistance. It goes on to discuss the the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) program, including its administration at the federal, state, and local levels, eligibility rules, and funding structure. The report concludes by summarizing TEFAP's role in disaster response and recent reauthorization efforts.
U.S. Agent Orange/Dioxin Assistance to Vietnam
This report discusses U.S. assistance to Vietnam for the environmental and health damage attributed to a dioxin contained in Agent Orange and other herbicides sprayed over much of the southern portion of the country during the Vietnam War, which remains a major issue in bilateral relations.
Tribal Broadband: Status of Deployment and Federal Funding Programs
This report discusses federal funding for tribal broadband, and whether or not it is sufficient. Native American tribal areas and communities tend to lag behind other areas and segments of American society with respect to broadband and telecommunications services.
Section 232 Investigations: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, analyzes the Trump Administration's Section 232 investigations and actions, and considers potential policy and economic implications and issues for Congress. To provide context for the current debate, the report also includes a discussion of previous Section 232 investigations and a brief legislative history of the statute.