Congressional Research Service Reports - 1,211 Matching Results

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Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Some general issues include Arctic territorial disputes; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic, which could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition.
U.S. Climate Change Regulation and Litigation: Selected Legal Issues
This report provides a brief history of U.S. climate change regulation, reviews the different types of regulation and legal actions that have been pursued in the national debate over greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, examines selected legal issues and next steps in related litigation, and addresses what these legal and regulatory developments mean for Congress. President Trump's Executive Order of March 28, 2017 requiring agencies to reconsider their policies related to climate change is also discussed.
The Federal Anti-Nepotism Statute: Limits on Appointing, Hiring, and Promoting Relatives
This report discusses laws governing the hiring of family members in the executive branch and ant-nepotism efforts.
Mandatory Arbitration and the Federal Arbitration Act
This report examines the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and reviews the Supreme Court's decisions involving the statute's preemption of state law requirements. The report also explores the Court's decisions involving mandatory arbitration agreements that prohibit a consumer or employee from maintaining a class or collective action. In its October 2017 term, the Supreme Court will consider three consolidated cases that challenge such agreements on the grounds that they violate the right to engage in "other concerted activities" under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
Insurance and the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10)
This report discusses changes to current insurance law under the new Financial CHOICE Act.
Domestic Terrorism: An Overview
This report provides background regarding domestic terrorists--detailing what constitutes the domestic terrorism threat as suggested by publicly available U.S. government sources. It also illustrates some of the key factors involved in assessing this threat.
Insurance Regulation: Legislation in the 115th Congress
This report discusses insurance related legislation in the 115th Congress including H.R. 10, Title XI, which would merge and revamp the FIO and the independent insurance expert position on FSOC; S. 1463/H.R. 3110 which would alter the term of the FSOC independent insurance expert; H.R. 3363 which would add insurance claims adjusters to the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers licensing structure created by Congress in P.L. 114-1; and S. 1360 which would respond to the development of international standards by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).
Overview of the Federal Government's Power to Exclude Aliens
This report provides an overview of the legislative and executive powers to exclude aliens. First, the report discusses a gatekeeping legal principle that frames those powers: nonresident aliens outside the United States cannot challenge their exclusion from the country. Second, the report analyzes the extent to which the constitutional and statutory rights of U.S. citizens limit the exclusion power under the "facially legitimate and bona fide" test of Kleindienst v. Mandel. The report concludes with a case study. The report applies the principles of the Supreme Court's immigration jurisprudence to the two primary claims that U.S. persons and entities have pressed against the President's revised executive order in the "Travel Ban" litigation: (1) that the revised order violates the Establishment Clause; and (2) that the revised order violates the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Russia: Background and U.S. Policy
This report provides descriptions and background information on Russian government organization and power, the Russian military's role, and U.S. policy toward Russia. Specific topics covered include Russian governmental structures and background, Vladimir Putin's rise to power, human rights concerns, opposition groups, the economy of Russia and the impact of sanctions, the foreign relations of Russia with other countries in Europe, NATO, the EU, China, Syria, and the U.S., the Ukraine conflict and Russian military aggression. U.S. policies toward Russia, U.S. sanctions on Russia, and cyber warfare.
Remedies for Patent Infringement
This report discusses the current legal system rules for patent infringement cases and current bills introduced in Congress related to patents.
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report discusses China's maritime and and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) claims in the East China and South China Seas and their effect on U.S. policy and strategy in the region. Topics covered are the history of the territorial disputes and the interests of China, neighboring countries, and the United States in the disputes, maritime disputes in general, relevant treaties and agreements, China's approach to disputes, the United States's approach and position on the disputes, specific issues for Congress to address, and related legislative actions in 2017. Four appendices cover strategic context from an U.S. perspective, U.S. treaties with Japan and the Philippines, and operational rights in the EEZ, and options suggested by observers for strengthening U.S. actions.
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.
Retirement Benefits for Federal Law Enforcement Personnel
This report discusses federal law enforcement officers enhanced retirement benefits due to mandatory retirement ages making these employees retire younger than the average government employee. Many individuals and employee groups who work in law enforcement-related positions, but who have not qualified as law enforcement officers for retirement purposes, have sought enhanced benefits through legislation in recent Congresses. Possible pros and cons of such legislation are discussed.
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.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) Transitional Reinsurance Program
This report provides an overview of one of the three risk-mitigation programs of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the transitional reinsurance program. The first section of the report provides background information on reinsurance and the ACA risk-mitigation programs. The second section describes the components of the transitional reinsurance program, as well as implementation of and experience with the program. The third section discusses questions regarding the scope of HHS's authority to administer the transitional reinsurance program, including those raised by a 2016 Government Accountability Office report. Finally, the report includes a table in the Appendix that summarizes key aspects of the transitional reinsurance program.
Methane: An Introduction to Emission Sources and Reduction Strategies
This report discusses the "Climate Action Plan" (CAP) announced by President Obama to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs), as well as to encourage adaptation to expected climate change.
Issues in Autonomous Vehicle Deployment
This report discusses issues related to autonomous vehicle regulations on the federal and state level and proposals by Congress to establish new regulatory rules (H.R. 3388) that would create a federal standard for autonomous vehicles and require state law to be in agreement with the federal law.
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.
FY2018 Appropriations for Department of Justice Grant Programs
This report discusses the funding for a variety of grant programs through the Department of Justice (DOJ).
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.
Justice Department''s Role in Cyber Incident Response
This report outlines the federal framework for cyber incident response, highlighting the Department of Justice's (DOJ's) role in this response. It also discusses challenges for federal law enforcement and potential policy issues for Congress.
Cuba Sanctions: Legislative Restrictions Limiting the Normalization of Relations
This report outlines the various laws and sections of legislation that govern sanctions against Cuba and how they could be lifted or waived along with background information on the U.S. embargo of Cuba since the 1960s.
Energy and Water Development: FY2018 Appropriations
This report discusses the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps).
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.
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.
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.
Legislative Proposals Seek Statutory Protections Related to Removing a Special Counsel
This report discusses the current rules for special counsels investigating executive branch officials and new proposed laws regarding special counsels and the process required to remove one from their position.
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.
Pending ACA Legal Challenges Remain as Congress Pursues Health Care Reform
This report discusses developments since January 2017 related to legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and health care reform.
Presidential Pardons: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This report provides a general overview of the pardon power and briefly addresses a few frequently-asked legal questions concerning its scope and application, such as: whether the President can issue a "prospective pardon, pardon himself or issue "secret" pardons, whether the acceptance of a pardon is an admission of guilt, and whether Congress can regulate the President's pardon power.
Update: The Microsoft Ireland Decision: U.S. Appeals Court Rules that ECPA does not Require Internet Service Providers to Produce Electronic Communications Stored Overseas
This report discusses the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the case of "Microsoft Corporation v. United States" where the court ruled that the U.S. could not enforce a subpoena asking Microsoft to retrieve emails stored on a server in Ireland. On June 28, 2017 the United States filed for reversal of the decision through a writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court.
EPA and the Army Corps' Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"
This report describes the final revised rule--which the agencies refer to as the Clean Water Rule--announced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It includes a table comparing the existing regulatory language that defines "waters of the United States" with the revisions.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Some general issues include Arctic territorial disputes; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic, which could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition.
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.
Sanctuary Jurisdictions and Criminal Aliens: In Brief
This report examines the interplay between the federal government (i.e., Immigration and Customs Enforcement/ICE) and state and local jurisdictions in enforcing immigration law, with a specific focus on noncitizens who have been convicted of a crime. It explores major programs and federal resources available to state and local law enforcement agencies that cooperate with ICE to enforce immigration law.
Executive Authority to Exclude Aliens: In Brief
This report provides a brief overview of the Executive's authority under these provisions of Section 212(f) in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). It also briefly describes other provisions.
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Waiver Authority and Modification of Volumes
This report discusses the process and criteria for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to waive various portions of the renewable fuel standard (RFS), and the modification of applicable volumes.
Energy-Water Nexus: The Water Sector's Energy Use
This report provides background on energy for facilities that treat and deliver water to end users, and also to dispose of and discharge wastewater.
Selected Federal Water Activities: Agencies, Authorities, and Congressional Committees
The report focuses on the complexity of federal activities related to water, based on four general topics: (1) "Water Resources Development, Management, and Use"; (2) "Water Quality, Protection, and Restoration"; (3) "Water Rights and Allocation"; and (4) "Research and Planning." It aims to serve as a guide to federal water-related activities, including the administering agency (or agencies), the primary or overarching authorities for such activities, and House and Senate committee jurisdictions.
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.
U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: The Mérida Initiative and Beyond
This report begins with a brief discussion of security challenges in Mexico and Mexico's security strategy. It then provides information on congressional funding and oversight of the Mérida Initiative, with details about each of the program's four pillars. The report concludes by raising policy issues that Congress may wish to consider.
U.S. Postal Service Rolls Back Its Prices
This report discusses the USPS drop in the price of First-Class "Forever" (or equivalent domestic letter) postage.
Overview of U.S. Sanctions Regimes on Russia
This report discusses sanctions imposed by the Obama administration on Russia for malicious cyber activity.
Clean Power Plan: Legal Background and Pending Litigation in West Virginia v. EPA
This report provides legal background on the Clean Power Plan rule (CPP) to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), its Clean Air Act (CAA) framework under Section 111, and climate-related lawsuits that have preceded the present litigation over the CPP. It then gives an overview of the participants in the current litigation, including two groups of Members of Congress, who have offered briefs in support of the petitioners and the respondents, respectively.
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) §212(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.