Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Millennium Challenge Corporation
This report discusses the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) which provides economic assistance through a competitive selection process to developing nations that demonstrate positive performance in three areas: ruling justly, investing in people, and fostering economic freedom.
The Zika Outbreak Is Declared a Public Health Emergency in Puerto Rico
This report provides background on the Zika virus (ZIKV) -- first recognized in Uganda in 1947 -- which emerged in South America early in 2015. It also specifically discusses the authority to declare a public health emergency in relation to Zika.
Terrorist Material Support: An Overview of 18 U.S.C. §2339A and §2339B
This report discusses the two federal material support statutes that have been at the heart of the Justice Department's terrorist prosecution efforts. One provision outlaws providing material support for the commission of certain designated offenses that might be committed by terrorists (18 U.S.C. 2339A); the other outlaws providing material support to certain designated terrorist organizations (18 U.S.C. 2339B). They share a common definition of the term "material support," some aspects of which have recently come under constitutional attack.
Cross-Border Energy Trade in North America: Present and Potential
This report provides an overview of the United States' energy trade with Canada and Mexico. For the principal energy commodities, it summarizes estimates of the resource potential for the three countries, recent energy production, and expectations for future production.
Expedited Procedures Governing Senate Consideration of Legislation Waiving a Restriction Related to the Military Service of the Secretary of Defense
This report discusses the Section 179 of the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017 (P.L. 114-254), which establishes expedited or "fast track" parliamentary procedures governing Senate consideration of legislation that would waive a legal restriction related to the prior military service of the Secretary of Defense.
The Budget Reconciliation Process: Stages of Consideration
This report discusses the budget reconciliation process which allows Congress to use an expedited procedure when considering legislation that would bring existing spending, revenue, and debt limit laws into compliance with current fiscal priorities established in the annual budget resolution.
U.S. Trade with Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Partners
This report presents data on U.S. merchandise (goods) trade with its Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partner countries. The data are presented to show bilateral trade balances for individual FTA partners and groups of countries representing such major agreements as the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central American Free Trade Agreement and Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR) relative to total U.S. trade balances.
International Insurance Issues and H.R. 5143
This report discusses the international response to the financial crisis, which included the creation of a Financial Stability Board (FSB) largely made up of various national financial regulators and the increased focus by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).
Cyprus: Reunification Proving Elusive
This report provides a brief overview of the history of the negotiations between Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, a review of the negotiations since 2008, and a description of some of the issues involved in the talks.
Navy Columbia Class (Ohio Replacement) Ballistic Missile Submarine (SSBN[X]) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Columbia class program, previously known as the Ohio replacement program (ORP) or SSBN(X) program, a program to design and build a new class of 12 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to replace the Navy's current force of 14 Ohio-class SSBNs.
Iran's Foreign Policy
This report provides an overview of Iran's foreign policy, which has been a subject of numerous congressional hearings and of sanctions and other legislation for many years. The report analyzes Iranian foreign policy as a whole and by region.
Questions of Privilege in the House
This report describes and discusses the difference between privileged business and questions of privilege.
Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) Negotiations: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides a brief overview of U.S. trade in services, background on services in U.S. trade agreements, and an in-depth discussion of the ongoing Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiations.
Military Benefits for Former Spouses: Legislation and Policy Issues
The purpose of this report is to provide a general discussion of legislative provisions and proposals relating to the military benefits for former spouses.
Colombia Adopts Revised Peace Accord: What Next?
This report discusses the Colombian government's revised peace accord, signed in November 2016 by President Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC's leader (known as Timochenko).
Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
This report provides an overview of the situation in Ukraine. Following the February 2014 collapse of the Kremlin-supported government of President Viktor Yanukovych, there was an emergence of a pro-Western, pro-reform government and an energized public generally anxious to lessen Moscow's influence, committed to addressing the need for serious reform and determined to draw closer to Europe and the United States.
Display of the Confederate Flag at Federal Cemeteries in the United States
This report discusses policies regarding the display of the Confederate Flag at national cemeteries. If a state observes a Confederate Memorial Day, National Park Service (NPS) cemeteries in the state may permit a sponsoring group to decorate the graves of Confederate veterans with small Confederate flags. Additionally, such flags may also be displayed on the nationally observed Memorial Day, to accompany the U.S. flag on the graves of Confederate veterans.
Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections
This report provides the results of recent elections in Latin America and the Caribbean. It includes three tables organized by region, containing the date of each country's independence, the name of the newly elected president or prime minister, and the projected date of the next election. Information in this report was gathered from numerous sources, including the U.S. State Department, Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA's) World Fact Book, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) Election Guide, Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and other news sources.
How Treasury Issues Debt
This report examines Treasury's debt management practices, focusing on the auction process, how prices and interest rates of securities are determined, and the role of market participants in the process. It also addresses the role of debt plays in influencing present and future budget outcomes.
Political Status of Puerto Rico: Brief Background and Recent Developments for Congress
This report provides policy and historical background about Puerto Rico's political status--a term of art referring to the relationship between the federal government and a territorial one. The report emphasizes recent developments that are likely to be most relevant for Congress. Congress has not altered the island's status since 1952, when it approved a territorial constitution.
The Trump-Tsai Call and the United States' "Unofficial" Relationship with Taiwan
This report discusses the controversy over the President-elect Donald J. Trump's telephone call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on December 2, 2016.
U.S. Policy on Cuban Migrants: In Brief
This report discusses the U.S. policy on Cuban migration that has been shaped by a 1966 law known as the Cuban Adjustment Act, as amended, and U.S.-Cuban migration agreements signed in the mid-1990s, operating in conjunction with the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
What Is Manufacturing? Why Does the Definition Matter
This report discusses provisions that define manufacturing as the process of physically transforming goods and the importance of such provisions in federal law.
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
This report discusses concerns about food safety, the resources required to ensure food safety, and whether federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then.
Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Navy's irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) operations. The Navy's IW and CT activities pose a number of potential oversight issues for Congress, including how much emphasis to place on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets.
The "Waters of the United States" Rule: Legislative Options and 114th Congress Responses
This report discusses legislative activity in the 114th Congress regarding a major regulatory initiative related to the "waters of the United States" rule. Despite the court's stay of the rule, some in Congress favor halting the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) and the Corps' current approach to defining "waters of the United States."
The Pacific Islands: Policy Issues
This report presents Congress with a diverse array of policy issues regarding Pacific Islands region, also known as the South Pacific or Southwest Pacific.
U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy: Considering "No First Use"
This report have discusses the benefits and risks of the U.S. nuclear weapons policy, known as a "no first use" pledge. U.S. officials have repeatedly stated that the United States could, under certain circumstances, use nuclear weapons against a state, even if the latter has not already done so.
Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response
This report discusses the ongoing conflict in Syria and provides an overview of U.S. policy responses. The rise of the insurgent terrorist group known as the Islamic State (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL/ISIS) and Russia's military intervention on behalf of the Syrian government have reshaped debates over U.S. policy toward the ongoing civil conflict in Syria, now in its fifth year.
Waiver of Statutory Qualifications Relating to Prior Military Service of the Secretary of Defense
This report discusses the status of the Secretary of Defense, who has authority, direction, and control over the Department of Defense, as a civilian appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.
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.
DOD Security Cooperation: An Overview of Authorities and Issues
This report provides a general overview of current Department of Defense (DOD) Title 10 authorities to assist foreign governments, militaries, security forces, and populations funded by the DOD budget. It presents background information; provides summary overviews of nine categories of security cooperation assistance and activities; and discusses recent issues related to the development, implementation, sustainment, and coordination of security cooperation to support continuing congressional oversight.
Zika Testing Poses Challenges for Blood Centers
This report discusses the updated guidance recommending that all U.S. blood centers begin testing donations for Zika virus (ZIKV) using an investigational test cleared by FDA.
Women in Combat: Issues for Congress
This report looks at the history of women in US military roles and combat since the 1990s and discusses critics' views of exclusionary policy as a civil rights issue. Over the past two decades of conflict, women have served with valor and continue to serve on combat aircraft, naval vessels, and in support of ground combat operations. The expansion of roles for women in the armed forces has evolved since the early days of the military when women were restricted by law and policy from serving in certain occupations and units.
Kuwait: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report examines Kuwait's relationships with its neighbors in the Persian Gulf, and its own political system which has been in turmoil since 2006. Kuwait remains pivotal to U.S. efforts to secure the Persian Gulf region because of its willingness to cooperate with U.S. strategy and military operations in the region and its proximity to both Iran and Iraq.
The Impeachment of South Korea's President
This report discusses the impeachment of the president of South Korean after the largest anti-Park protests in the country's history.
Federal Workforce Statistics Sources: OPM and OMB
This report describes online tools, reports, and data compilations created by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that contain statistics about federal employees and the federal workforce. The report also describes key characteristics of each resource and briefly discusses selected methodological differences, with the intention of facilitating the selection of appropriate data for specific purposes.
Presidential Appointee Positions Requiring Senate Confirmation and Committees Handling Nominations
This report identifies, by Senate committee, presidentially-appointed positions requiring Senate confirmation based on referrals as of the date of passage of S. 679, which became P.L. 112-166 on August 10, 2012.
Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills: FY1970-FY2017
This report is a research aid that lists the Department of Defense (DOD) authorization bills (Table 1) and appropriations bills (Table 2) for FY1970-FY2017. This report includes all the pertinent information on the passage of these bills through the legislative process: 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.
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.
Supreme Court: Length of the Scalia Vacancy in Historical Context
This report provides data and analysis related to the potential length of the current vacancy on the Supreme Court caused by the death of Antonin Scalia on February 13, 2016. Specifically, this report provides the number of days the Scalia vacancy will have existed on specified future dates if a nominee has not been confirmed.
An Introduction to Judicial Review of Federal Agency Action
This report provides a broad overview of the issues that may be relevant to any number of present and future challenges to agency action in federal court.
U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel
This report provides an overview of U.S. foreign assistance to Israel. It includes a review of past aid programs, data on annual assistance, and an analysis of current issues.
"Fiscal Space" and the Federal Budget
This report discusses plans for the federal budget and the concept of "fiscal space," or the amount of room available for additional government borrowing.
Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments
This report discusses the military retirement system. The system currently includes monthly compensation for qualified active and reserve retirees, disability benefits for those deemed medically unfit to serve, and a survivor annuity program for the eligible survivors of deceased retirees.
Saudi Military Campaign in Yemen Draws Congressional Attention to U.S. Arms Sales
This report discusses the U.S.-Saudi military cooperation and the legislation seeking to condition or prohibit the sale or transfer of certain munitions after reports of Yemeni civilian casualties resulting from Saudi-led coalition military operations in Yemen
U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses Special Operations Forces (SOF), which play a significant role in U.S. military operations and, in recent years, have been given greater responsibility for planning and conducting worldwide counterterrorism operations. A potential issue for Congress is the Administration's decision to send U.S. SOF forces to Syria.
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.
Democratic Republic of Congo: Targeted Sanctions
This report discusses human rights and humanitarian hardship in war-ravaged eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
EPA's Mid-Term Evaluation of Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards
This report discusses the standards set by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for new light-duty vehicles (defined generally as passenger cars and light trucks).