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Federally Funded Academic Research Requirements: Background and Issues in Brief
This report contains background information and selected issues on federal regulations and administrative requirements related to federally-funded academic research, including a general overview and discussion of select issues.
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.
Iran Policy and the European Union
This report expresses concerns by European Union (EU) officials that the Trump Administration might abandon consensus U.S.- EU policy toward Iran.
Export-Import Bank: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses frequently-asked questions about the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, grouped in the following categories: congressional interest and the Ex-Im Bank reauthorization debate; market context; international context; organizational structure and management; programs; statutory requirements and policies; risk management; budget and appropriations; implications of a sunset in authority; and historical and current approaches to reauthorization.
Judge Neil M. Gorsuch: His Jurisprudence and Potential Impact on the Supreme Court
This report provides an overview of Judge Gorsuch's jurisprudence and discusses how the Supreme Court might be affected if he were to succeed Justice Scalia. It begins by discussing the nominee's views on two cross-cutting issues -- the role of the judiciary and statutory interpretation -- then addresses fourteen separate areas of law, arranged in alphabetical order, from "administrative law" to "takings." The report includes a table that notes the cases where the Supreme Court has reviewed majority opinions written or joined by Judge Gorsuch.
What Is the Effect of Enacting a Congressional Review Act Resolution of Disapproval?
This report discusses the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which provides Congress with a set of special parliamentary procedures to consider legislation to overturn federal regulations.
U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emission Trends and the Role of the Clean Power Plan
This report examines recent trends in U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions -- particularly CO2 emissions from electricity generation -- and the factors that impact emission levels in that sector. In addition, this report examines the degree to which Clean Power Plan (CPP) implementation (or lack thereof) may impact CO2 emission levels from electric power plants.
Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile
This report presents a profile of the membership of the 115th Congress (2017-2018) as of January 4, 2017. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.
Discretionary Spending Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
This report examines the Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) effects on discretionary spending. It first discusses all the ACA authorizations (and reauthorizations) of appropriations for grant and other programs; this information, along with actual funding amounts, is summarized in a series of tables. The report then reviews the ACA administrative costs borne by CMS and the IRS.
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.
Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns
This report discusses Presidential campaign funding and provides a brief policy overview and raises potential issues for congressional consideration.
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program.
The Marijuana Policy Gap and the Path Forward
This report describes the federal response to state actions to decriminalize or legalize marijuana. It includes general information about marajuana and trends among states, the federal response, a discussion of the implications of legalization, and selected issues.
Arms Control and Nonproliferation: A Catalog of Treaties and Agreements
This report provides an overview of many of the key arms control and nonproliferation agreements and endeavors of the past 40 years, divided into three sections. The first describes arms control efforts between the United States and the states of the former Soviet Union. The second section describes multilateral nuclear nonproliferation efforts. The final section reviews treaties and agreements that address chemical, biological, and conventional weapons.
U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues
This report reviews the ongoing programs that will affect the expected size and shape of the U.S. strategic nuclear force structure.
Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile
This report presents a profile of the membership of the 115th Congress (2017-2018) as of March 13, 2017. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.
Current Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Issues
This report discusses the missile defense program and whether current policy or program direction might change. The FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA, P.L. 114-328) made several notable changes that could have significant effects on the direction of U.S. BMD policy and programs.
U.S.-Mexican Water Sharing: Background and Recent Developments
This report describes U.S.-Mexican water sharing of the Colorado and Rio Grande rivers pursuant to binational agreements. The International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) is charged with addressing issues that arise during application of binational water treaties.
Air Force B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
This report discusses the development of the new long-range bomber aircraft, the B-21 (previously known as LRS-B), and proposes to acquire 100 of them.
Provisions Affecting the Congressional Budget Process Included in H.Res. 5 (115th Congress)
This report provides information on the standing rules and separate orders that might affect the congressional budget process.
Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings for Supreme Court Nominations: Historical Overview and Data
This report discusses the Supreme Court nomination to the Senate, and the Judiciary Committee that assumes the principal responsibility for investigating the background and qualifications of each Supreme Court nominee.
Import Taxes on Mexican Crude Oil
This report discusses the possibility raised by the Trump administration of imposing a 20% tax, or fee, on imports from Mexico, presumably including imports of crude oil.
H.R. 1628: The American Health Care Act (AHCA)
This report provides an overview of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) provisions organized into three tables. Table 1 includes provisions that apply to the private health insurance market, Table 2 includes provisions that affect the Medicaid program, and Table 3 includes provisions related to public health and taxes. Each table contains a column identifying whether the AHCA provision is related to an ACA provision (e.g., whether it repeals an ACA-related provision).
Gun Control, Mental Incompetency, and Social Security Administration Final Rule
This report discusses the Congressional Review Act disapproval resolution (H.J.Res. 40) passed by the House of Representative to overturn a final rule promulgated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding implementation of firearms restrictions for certain persons.
Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA): A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements
This report summarizes the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and its major programs and regulatory requirements. It includes the drinking water security provisions added to the SDWA by the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-188), and lead reduction provisions as amended by P.L. 111-380. It also outlines amendments made in December 2013 by P.L. 113-64 (H.R. 3588) to explicitly exempt fire hydrants from coverage under the act's lead plumbing restrictions.
U.S. Senate Vacancies: Contemporary Developments and Perspectives
This report provides information on current vacancies in the Senate, the constitutional origins of the Senate vacancy clause, the appointment process by which most vacancies are filled, and related contemporary issues.
Worker Participation in Employer-Sponsored Pensions: A Fact Sheet
This fact sheet provides data on the percentage of American workers who have access to, and who participate in, employer-sponsored pension plans. The information is from the National Compensation Survey (NCS), conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The NCS provides data on occupational earnings and the availability of employee benefits among U.S. workers.
Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity
This report discusses the various industrial uses for hemp, a variety of Cannabis sativa that is of the same plant species as marijuana. It compares hemp with marijuana and discusses global production, legal status, and recent legislative activity.
Defense Primer: A Guide for New Members
This report describes the power of the Congress over the armed forces, including the power to "to raise and support Armies," "to provide and maintain a Navy," "to make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces" and "to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States...", as well as references to other reports on related topics.
EPA Policies Concerning Integrated Planning and Affordability of Water Infrastructure
This report examines two recent initiatives by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in which the agency works with states to develop and implement new approaches for water quality goals that will be more cost-effective and address the most pressing water infrastructure problems first. The examples include an integrated planning policy and a framework policy for assessing a community's financial capability to meet objectives and requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA).
Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments
This report discusses the military retirement system, which 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.
Gun Control: FY2017 Appropriations for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Other Initiatives
This report provides coverage of congressional action on President Barack Obama's FY2017 budget request for his gun safety initiative. This coverage includes analysis of the ATF Congressional Budget Submission, including discussion of selected data trends that could affect ATF workloads during FY2017.
The Selective Service System and Draft Registration: Issues for Congress
This report is intended to provide Congress with information about how the Military Selective Service Act (MSSA), the Selective Service System (SSS), and associated requirements for registration have evolved over time. It explains why the United States developed the SSS, what the system looks like today, how constituents are affected by the MSSA requirements, and what the options and considerations may be for the future of the Selective Service.
Medicaid Financial Eligibility for Long-Term Services and Supports
This report provides an overview of the financial requirements used for determining eligibility for Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTSS). It first provides background information on the Medicaid program, including general eligibility requirements. Then it describes federal statutes as well as selected regulations and guidance regarding these financial eligibility requirements, including rules related to spousal impoverishment, asset transfers, treatment of certain assets, post-eligibility treatment of income, and estate recovery.
Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings for Supreme Court Nominations: Historical Overview and Data
This report discusses the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA; P.L. 108-173), which requires the Medicare Board of Trustees to provide in its annual reports an expanded analysis of Medicare expenditures and revenues (ยง801 of the MMA).
House Office of Congressional Ethics: History, Authority, and Procedures
This report describes the history and rationale behind the creation of the House Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), its operations, and its relationship with the House Committee on Ethics, and potential options available for Congress if further amendments to the House ethics process are desired.
Unaccompanied Children from Central America: Foreign Policy Considerations
This report examines policy considerations for Congress in response to the recent influx of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) from Central American countries being apprehended at the U.S. border. The report also discusses the current policy framework and the Obama Administration's diplomatic response.
Majority, Concurring, and Dissenting Opinions by Judge Neil M. Gorsuch
This report provides a tabular listing of cases in which Judge Gorsuch authored a majority, concurring, or dissenting opinion. The opinions are categorized into three tables: Table 1 identifies opinions authored by Judge Gorsuch on behalf of a unanimous panel; Table 2 contains controlling opinions authored by Judge Gorsuch in which one or more panelists wrote a separate opinion; and Table 3 lists cases where Judge Gorsuch wrote a concurring or dissenting opinion.
Grants Work in a Congressional Office
This report discusses the federal grants funding that goes to state and local governments. Members of Congress receive numerous requests from grant seekers, including state and local governments, nonprofit social service and community action organizations, private research groups, small businesses, and individuals, for information and help in obtaining funds for projects.
Qatar: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report provides a brief history of the state of Qatar, discussing its governance and human rights. The report also includes U.S.-Qatari defense and security cooperation and economic issues.
What is the Proposed U.S.-EU Insurance Covered Agreement?
This report discusses arrangement between the United States and European Union (EU), on the first insurance "covered agreement."
Independence of Federal Financial Regulators: Structure, Funding, and Other Issues
This report discusses institutional features that make federal financial regulators (and other independent agencies) relatively independent from the President and Congress.
Dark Web
This report illuminates information on the various layers of the Internet, with a particular focus on the Dark Web. It discusses both legitimate and illicit uses of the Dark Web, including how the government may rely upon it. Throughout, the report raises issues that policy makers may consider as they explore means to curb malicious activity online.
Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses issues surrounding the funding for development of Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACVs) and Marine Personnel Carriers (MPCs). The Marines are required by law to have the necessary equipment to conduct amphibious operations and land operations.
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--from introduction to committee and floor consideration to possible presidential consideration.
Appropriations Subcommittee Structure: History of Changes from 1920 to 2017
This report details the evolution of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees' subcommittee structure from the 1920s to the present.
Federal Building and Facility Security: Frequently Asked Questions
This report discusses the security of federal government buildings and facilities that affect not only the daily operations of the federal government but also the health, well-being, and safety of federal employees and the public.
Filling Advice and Consent Positions at the Outset of Recent Administrations, 1981-2009
This report describes and analyzes the processes, during a presidential transition, by which top-level executive branch PAS (Presidentially-appointed and approved by the Senate) positions have been filled in the recent past. Outside of top White House staff appointments, these are a new President's earliest and arguably most important appointments.
Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons
This report provides basic information about U.S. and Russian nonstrategic nuclear weapons. It reviews the issues that have been raised with regard to U.S. and Russian nonstrategic nuclear weapons, and summarizes a number of policy options that might be explored by Congress, the United States, Russia, and other nations to address these issues.
WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement
This report provides an overview of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), its provisions, and the United States' implementation and role in capacity building. It also provides options for Congress to consider in relation to the TFA.