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Venezuela: Political and Economic Crisis and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the ongoing political, economic, and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela under President Nicolás Maduro and U.S. responses.
Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) Mobility, Reconnaissance, and Firepower Programs
This report discusses the Army's Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs) and the transport and reconnaissance vehicles being developed for their use, as well as information about the FY2019 budget request for the program.
The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP): Issues in Brief
This report discusses the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program which is made up of four agencies (FEMA, The National Science Foundation, USGS, and National Institute of Standards and Technology) which are responsible for monitoring, reporting, and studying earthquakes and increasing resiliency to earthquakes through means such as stronger infrastructure, early warning systems, and recovery plans.
Expedited Removal of Aliens: Legal Framework
This report provides an overview of the statutory and regulatory framework that governs expedited removal of aliens under INA Section 235(b)(1) and exceptions to expedited removal -- including provisions to seek review of an asylum claim. Finally, the report addresses the scope of judicial review, some of the legal challenges that have been raised to the expedited removal process, and potential legal issues that may arise if expedited removal were expanded to cover additional categories of aliens present in the United States.
WTO Disciplines on U.S. Domestic Support for Agriculture
This report outlines the rules and disciplines the United States has committed to abide by as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Agency Delay: Congressional and Judicial Means to Expedite Agency Rulemaking
This report outlines the various tools that Congress can use to encourage agencies to act within a particular time frame. It then analyzes how those tools inform judicial analysis of challenges to agency actions as "unreasonably delayed" or "unlawfully withheld" under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and provides concluding remarks..
Navy Ship Names: Background for Congress
This report describes the naming process for U.S. naval ships and various regulations regarding the process. Recent legislation related to ship names is also included.
Air Force B-21 Raider Long-Range Strike Bomber
This report discusses the development of a new long-range bomber aircraft, the B-21 Raider (previously known as LRS-B). The U.S. Department of Defense proposes to acquire at least 100 of them, initially to replace the fleets of B-1 and B-2 bombers, and possibly to replace B-52s in the future.
The Palestinians: Overview and Key Issues for U.S. Policy
This report discusses key issues for the U.S. to consider in regard to policy toward the Palestinians, including Jerusalem, foreign aid, Hamas, Gaza, and the West Bank.
Conflict in Mali
This report outlines the security and governance challenges that Mali has faced since the 2011-2013 crisis that devastated the military, central government institutions, and northern populations and the peace accord that followed in 2015.
Can a Foreign Employee of a Foreign Company be Federally Prosecuted for Foreign Bribery?
This report discusses whether foreign nationals and companies may be federally prosecuted for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations under conspiracy and accomplice liability theories.
Venezuela: Overview of U.S. Sanctions
This report discusses the sanctions the U.S. employs against Venezuela related to terrorism, drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, antidemocratic actions, human rights violations, and corruption.
Trade Related Agencies: FY2019 Appropriations, Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS)
This report provides an overview of the FY2019 budget request and appropriations for the International Trade Administration (ITA), the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), and the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). These three trade-related agencies are funded through the annual Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations act. This report also provides a review of these agencies' trade-related programs.
Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs: FY2019 Budget and Appropriations
This report provides describes funding for Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) during fiscal year 2019, in comparison to fiscal year 2018 funding. It provides an overview, description of congressional action, and discussion of key issues for Congress, including agency funding as well as foreign assistance. It also includes several appendices with supplementary information and account-by-account comparisons.
U.S.-China Relations
This report discusses the relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China (PRC or China). Selected issues include strategic competition, trade, North Korea, synthetic drugs, the "one-China" policy, and human rights.
Homelessness: Targeted Federal Programs
This report discusses the definitions of homelessness used by targeted federal homeless programs and federal efforts to end homelessness. In addition, the report describes the current federal programs that provide targeted assistance to homeless individuals and families (other federal programs may provide assistance to homeless individuals but are not specifically designed to assist homeless persons).
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.
Congressional Primer on Responding to Major Disasters and Emergencies
This report provides information to aid policymakers related to the laws and administrative policies governing the disaster response and recovery process. It also reviews the legislative framework for providing federal financial assistance following disasters, as well as the policies the executive branch employs to provide supplemental help to state (or territory), tribal, and local governments during time of disasters.
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 EU.
Supreme Court October Term 2017: A Review of Selected Major Rulings
This report highlights seven notable cases from the October Term 2017 that could impact the work of Congress: (1) Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis; (2) Carpenter v. United States; (3) Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA); (4) Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31 (AFSCME); (5) National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra; (6) Trump v. Hawaii; and (7) Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). For each case it provides background information, summarizes the arguments presented to the Court, explains the Court's ruling, and examines the potential implications for Congress, including the ramifications for the jurisprudence in a given area of law.
Escalating Tariffs: Potential Impacts
This report examines the potential impacts of U.S. trade actions on steel and aluminium tariffs and tariffs against China.
Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress
This report describes the current status of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and highlights issues that Congress may address as the United States pursues its compliance concerns with Russia. It starts with a historical overview and provides summaries of the provisions of the INF Treaty, Russia's concerns, and options that the United States has under the agreement, as well as a discussion of a potential Russian violation regarding development of a non-compliant missle.
Federal Grants and Loans for State and Local Emergency Communications Projects: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides congressional staff with information on current federal grants and loans that fund emergency communications, including information on the application process, eligible communications activities, and other resources they can provide to constituents seeking federal grant and loan funding to support emergency communications projects.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks in U.S. Agriculture
This report discusses agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States, agricultural carbon sequestration, and practices that offset GHG emissions.
Advanced Pilot Training (T-X) Program
This report discusses the Advanced Pilot Training (T-X) aircraft, which may shift training from Field Training Units, where expensive fifth-generation aircraft are used, to less expensive trainer aircraft.
Iran's Nuclear Program: Tehran's Compliance with International Obligations
This report provides a brief overview of Iran's nuclear program and describes the legal basis for the actions taken by the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) board and the Security Council.
Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations for the Department of Energy
This report discusses the appropriations budget for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), funding proposed in the request, and key changes .
Kuwait: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses Kuwait's governmental structure and politics, defense policies and cooperation with the U.S., foreign policy towards its neighbors, economy, and human rights concerns.
Iran: Internal Politics and U.S. Policy and Options
This report discusses the political history, current politics, and human rights practices of Iran, as well as Iran's relations with the United States, U.S. policy toward Iran, and future policy options.
Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protections: In Brief
This report describes various sources of Intelligence Community (IC) whistleblower protections. Generally speaking, whistleblowers are those who expose misconduct (e.g., fraud, abuse, or illegal activity) within an organization. In the context of the IC, whistleblowers are generally employees or contractors of federal intelligence agencies who bring to light information on agency wrongdoings.
Army Corps of Engineers Annual and Supplemental Appropriations: Issues for Congress
This report summarizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's (USACE's) annual discretionary appropriations for civil works activities and its supplemental appropriations, principally following major flood and hurricane disasters. The appropriations described are for those accounts and activities that typically are funded through Title I of annual Energy and Water Development appropriations acts.
Jordan: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Jordanian politics and current issues in U.S.-Jordanian relations. It provides a brief discussion of Jordan's government and economy and of its cooperation with U.S. policies in the Middle East.
The Peace Corps: Current Issues
This report discuses the Peace Corps functions and funding as well as current issues, including: the available funding for Peace Corps expansion, whether volunteers are able to function in a safe and secure environment, and volunteer access to abortion.
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF): Overview, Issues, and Legislation
This report discusses the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) which is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and assists communities in building or restoring public water supply infrastructure to comply with federal standards for clean drinking water and public health safety.
Immigration: Frequently Asked Questions about "Public Charge"
This report provides answers to frequently-asked questions about current public charge policy, including the sources of laws that govern public charge determinations, who is subject to determinations, factors that are considered in determinations, and the consequences of determinations.
Iran's Foreign and Defense Policies
This report discusses Iran's foreign and defense policy and the reasoning behind it, as well as U.S. concerns regarding their power and nuclear weapon capability.
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
This report presents background information and issues for Congress concerning the Navy's force structure and shipbuilding plans. The current and planned size and composition of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy's shipbuilding plans have been oversight matters for the congressional defense committees for many years.
Protecting Consumers and Businesses from Fraudulent Robocalls
This report discusses efforts by Congress and the Federal Communications Commision (FCC) to combat robocall scams and prevent them from reaching consumers. It includes an overview of what robocalls are, their legitimate uses, regulation, and complaint procedures for consumers.
Latin America and the Caribbean: Issues in the 115th Congress
This report examines the political and economic environment in Latin America and the Caribbean and U.S. policy toward the region in the 115th Congress, highlighting congressional interest and legislative action.
VA Housing: Guaranteed Loans, Direct Loans, and Specially Adapted Housing Grants
This report discusses three types of housing assistance--the loan guaranty program, direct loan programs, and Specially Adapted Housing program-- includingg their origins, how they operate, and how they are funded. It also briefly describes a home rehabilitation pilot program designed to help veterans who have low incomes or disabilities repair or modify their homes, and has a section that discusses the default and foreclosure of VA-guaranteed loans.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) Risk Adjustment Program: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides responses to some frequently-asked questions (FAQs) about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) risk adjustment program. It includes background on the health insurance market, discusses why risk mitigation matters, and introduces the role of risk adjustment in risk mitigation. The report also describes the mechanics of the program and concludes with questions regarding the program's experience thus far and future changes to the program.
Intellectual Property Law: A Brief Introduction
This report provides a brief overview of each form of federal intellectual property (IP) protection, including patent law, copyright law, and trademarks.
Agriculture in the WTO: Rules and Limits on U.S. Domestic Support
This report provides a brief overview of the World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments that are most relevant for U.S. domestic farm policy. It includes a discussion regarding how WTO commitments may influence policies and questions for evaluating WTO compliance of domestic farm spending..
Mexico: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of political and economic conditions in Mexico, followed by assessments of selected issues of congressional interest in Mexico: security and foreign aid, extraditions, human rights, trade, migration, energy, education, environment, and water issues.
Temporary Protected Status: Overview and Current Issues
This report describes Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the context of humanitarian responses to migration and also briefly describes one alternative -- Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) -- including the historical use of these mechanisms. It also provides data on the countries currently designated for TPS, outlines past legislation to provide lawful permanent resident status to certain TPS-designated foreign nationals, and provides examples of activity in the 115th Congress related to TPS.
EPA Proposes the Affordable Clean Energy Rule to Replace the Clean Power Plan
This report explores the legal basis for the proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule and discusses the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) authority to consider various emission reduction options for existing power plants under the Clean Air Act (CAA).
Electric Grid Cybersecurity
This report discusses the current state of electric grid cybersecurity, and the interconnected dependency of critical infrastructure with regard to electric sector reliability. It includes discussions of recent developments, cyber and physical security, threats to the grid and supply chain risks, use of artificial intelligence, improvements to grid cybersecurity, recent legislation and other issues for Congress.
Social Media Adoption by Members of Congress: Trends and Congressional Considerations
This report examines Member adoption of social media platforms outside of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, such as Instagram, Flickr, and Google+, which have each been adopted by at least 2.5% of Representatives and Senators. It discusses the possible implications of the adoption of social media, including managing multiple platforms, the type of content and posting location, the allocation of office resources to social media communications, and archiving social media content.
Reserve Component Personnel Issues: Questions and Answers
This report is designed to provide an overview of key reserve component personnel issues. The term "Reserve Component" refers collectively to the seven individual reserve components of the Armed Forces: the Army National Guard of the United States, the Army Reserve, the Navy Reserve, the Marine Corps Reserve, the Air National Guard of the United States, the Air Force Reserve, and the Coast Guard Reserve.
Hurricane Florence: Brief Overview of FEMA Programs and Resources
This report provides a brief overview of emergency and major disaster declarations relevant to Hurricane Florence, and selected federal resources and links to CRS products related to emergency and disaster declarations, disaster response, and recovery.