Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Overview of Funding Mechanisms in the Federal Budget Process, and Selected Examples
This report explains various funding mechanisms used to fund federal programs and activities including timelines for budgetary decisionmaking and processes (e.g., committees); it illustrates the mechanisms with examples of how they have been applied in practice. How a particular funding mechanism is structured requires tradeoffs between the frequency of congressional review and the predictability of funding for the program.
Automakers Seek to Align Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Regulations
This report briefly discusses proposed regulatory changes to revise federal fuel economy and environmental standards and reduce potentially large penalties. The technical proposals would be the first major structural change in these standards since 2012, and they come at a time when federal agencies are undertaking a regulatory review that may result in far greater changes.
Qatar: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the political and security situation in Qatar as well U.S. policy towards the Qatari government.
FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Issues
This report provides a brief synopsis of sections in each bill (H.R. 4909 as passed by the House on May 26, 2016, and S. 2943 as passed by the Senate on July 21, 2016) that pertain to selected personnel policies. These include issues such as military end-strengths, pay and benefits, military healthcare (TRICARE), military retirement, and other major policy issues.
Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law
This report discusses the application of American criminal law outside the United States.
Supplemental Appropriations for Zika Response: The FY2016 Conference Agreement in Brief
This report presents funding proposals for response to the Zika outbreak, including proposals in Division B of the conference report, and, where applicable, associated proposed rescissions, including those in Division D of the conference report.
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.
Funding and Financing Highways and Public Transportation
This report begins with a discussion of the problems associated with the trust fund financing system (which supports both federal highway and public transportation programs) and then explores possible options for financing surface transportation infrastructure.
Digital Searches and Seizures: Overview of Proposed Amendments to Rule 41 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure
This report provides a brief overview of the proposed amendment to Rule 41. First, it provides a background on the origin of, and rationale underlying, the proposed amendment and a description of the rule as currently written. Second, it reviews the potential changes made by the proposed amendment and will survey various concerns commenters have raised with the proposal. Lastly, this report addresses efforts being made in Congress to alter, delay, or stop this rule change.
Zika Response Funding: Request and Congressional Action
This report presents the Administration's request for supplemental appropriations for the Zika response. It includes sections outlining Congressional actions, the emergency supplemental appropriations request for Zika response efforts -- by both U.S. health and human services agencies and international assistance programs -- and information about unobligated Ebola response funds.
Fatal Balloon Accident Highlights Disagreement Between Safety Agencies
This report briefly discusses the the safety of hot-air balloons and examines the current regulatory climate. On July 30, 2016, a hot-air balloon tour flight crashed about 30 miles south of Austin, Texas, killing the pilot and all 15 passengers on board.
Domestic Content Restrictions: The Buy American Act and Complementary Provisions of Federal Law
This report provides an overview of the Buy American Act, Trade Agreements Act, Berry Amendment (including its former specialty metals provision), and Buy America Act, specifically highlighting the commonalities and differences among them. The report also lists other federal domestic content restrictions codified in the U.S. Code.
U.S. Nuclear Weapons in Turkey
This report briefly discusses the debate about the security of U.S. nuclear weapons in Turkey in light of the failed coup in mid-July 2016.
Interior Immigration Enforcement: Criminal Alien Programs
This report describes four programs operated by the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to identify and remove criminal and other removable aliens.
Workers' Compensation: Overview and Issues
This report discusses workers' compensation, which provides cash and medical benefits to workers who are injured or become ill in the course of their employment and provides benefits to the survivors of workers killed on the job. Benefits are provided without regard to fault and are the exclusive remedy for workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths.
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.
Russia's Parliamentary Elections
This report discusses Russia's last parliamentary elections. On September 18, 2016, Russians will go to the polls to elect the State Duma.
Legal Processes for Contesting the Results of a Presidential Election
This report discusses the legal processes for contesting the results of a Presidential election.
Congress and the Budget: 2016 Actions and Events
This report seeks to assist in (1) anticipating what budget-related actions might occur within the upcoming year, and (2) staying abreast of budget actions that occur this year. It provides a general description of the recurrent types of budgetary actions, and reflects on current events that unfold in each category during 2016.
EU State Aid and Apple's Taxes
This report discusses the recent investigations by the European Union (EU) regarding claims that certain countries had provided illegal state aid via favorable tax rulings.
An Abridged Sketch of Extradition To and From the United States
This report discusses "extradition", which is the formal surrender of a person by a State to another State for prosecution or punishment.
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents
This report provides links to cybersecurity-related committee hearings in the 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses. It also provides a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security.
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.
The Advocacy of Terrorism on the Internet: Freedom of Speech Issues and the Material Support Statutes
This report discusses relevant precedent concerning the extent to which advocacy of terrorism may be restricted in a manner consistent with the First Amendment's Freedom of Speech Clause. The report also discusses the potential application of the federal ban on the provision of material support to foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) to the advocacy of terrorism, including as it relates to the dissemination of such advocacy via online services like Twitter or Facebook.
Gangs in Central America
This report describes the gang problem in Central America, discusses country approaches to deal with the gangs, and analyzes U.S. policy with respect to gangs in Central America.
Moldova: A Pivotal Election?
This report discusses Moldova's presidential election on October 30, 2016. This is the first time since 1996 that Moldova's president is being elected by a popular vote.
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.
Zika Response Funding: Request and Congressional Action
This report presents the Administration's request for supplemental appropriations for the Zika response. It includes sections outlining Congressional actions, the emergency supplemental appropriations request for Zika response efforts -- by both U.S. health and human services agencies and international assistance programs -- and information about unobligated Ebola response funds.
The Department of Defense Acquisition Workforce: Background, Analysis, and Questions for Congress
This report provides background on the Department of Defense (DOD) acquisition workforce. Specifically, the report addresses the following questions: 1. What is the acquisition workforce? 2. What is the current size of the acquisition workforce? 3. How has Congress sought to improve the acquisition workforce in the past? 4. What are some potential questions for Congress to explore in the area of acquisition workforce management to improve acquisitions?
Commodity Futures Trading Commission: Proposed Reauthorization in the 114th Congress
This report provides information about the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which regulates futures, most options, and swaps markets. It includes background information, a description of the CFTC reauthorization process, and more extensive explanations of selected provisions in H.R. 2289 and S. 2917 that were recently reauthorized or changed.
Internships, Fellowships, and Other Work Experience Opportunities in the Federal Government
This report describes Internet resources on major internship, fellowship, and work experience programs within the federal government. It is intended as a selective guide for students of all levels: high school, undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate.
U.S.-South Korea Relations
This report contains two main parts: a section describing recent events and a longer background section on key elements of the U.S.-South Korea relationship. It also provides a list of CRS products on South Korea and North Korea. The report identifies South Korean individuals by using their last name first.
Intelligence Community Programs, Management, and Enduring Issues
This report explains the management structure for the National Intelligence Program (NIP), and Military Intelligence Program (MIP), to include their two separate budget processes and the roles of the Director of National Intelligence and the Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence). The concluding section of this report considers the ability of the U.S. government to make the best use of its intelligence-related resources when: (1) total intelligence spending is impossible to calculate; (2) its management and oversight is completely decentralized; and (3) IC funding alone is largely divided into two categories (NIP and MIP)-- managed within the executive branch separately, justified to Congress separately, and overseen by separate congressional committees.
Trafficking in Persons and U.S. Foreign Policy Responses in the 114th Congress
This report provides an overview of recent global trends and U.S. foreign policy responses to address human trafficking. The report focuses in particular on efforts conducted by the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP) and the President's Interagency Task Force (PITF) on human trafficking, as well as discussion of the 2016 TIP Report.
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers and the TAA Reauthorization Act of 2015
This report describes Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers (TAA) as reauthorized by the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2015.
Regulation of Debit Interchange Fees
This report provides a description of the debit payments process and network pricing, as well as an overview of the effects of the Durbin Amendement implemented by the Federal Reserve which includes a cap on the interchange fee for large issuers. In particular, the Durbin Amendment is discussed in light of comments by Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy, and gives Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers a capability for conducting BMD operations. Congress's decisions on the Aegis BMD program could significantly affect U.S. BMD capabilities and funding requirements, and the BMD-related industrial base.
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.
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons
This report discusses the current status of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, which probably consists of approximately 110-130 nuclear warheads. Chronic political instability in Pakistan and Islamabad's military efforts against the Taliban and al-Qaeda have raised concerns about the security of the country's nuclear weapons. Some observers fear that Pakistan's strategic nuclear assets could be obtained by terrorists or used by elements in the Pakistani government; however, U.S. officials have generally expressed confidence in the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons.
Navy Ship Names: Background for Congress
This report discusses the process of naming Navy ships, which have traditionally been chosen and announced by the Secretary of the Navy. Rules for giving certain types of names to certain types of Navy ships have evolved over time.
Intelligence Community Spending: Trends and Issues
This report examines Intelligence Community (IC) funding over the past several decades, with an emphasis on the period from 2007-2017--the period in which total national and military intelligence program (NIP and MIP) spending dollars have been publicly disclosed on an annual basis. Intelligence-related spending (such as the Homeland Security Intelligence Program) that does not fall within the NIP and MIP is outside the scope of this report.
DHS Appropriations FY2017: Security, Enforcement, and Investigations
This report is part of a suite of reports that discuss appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for FY2017. It specifically discusses appropriations for the components of DHS included in the second title of the homeland security appropriations bill-- Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Secret Service. Collectively, Congress has labeled these components in recent years as "Security, Enforcement, and Investigations.
Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
This report provides an overview of the situation in Ukraine. In February 2014, the Kremlin-supported government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych collapsed. The demise of the regime was brought about by bitter protests that had erupted in Kyiv's Maidan Square in late 2013 over the government's decision to reject closer relations with the European Union (EU) and by civil society's reaction to a brutal government response to the Maidan protestors.
Evolution of the Meaning of "Waters of the United States" in the Clean Water Act
This report examines the changing definition of the phrase, "waters of the United States." The scope of waters that are properly the subject of federal water pollution legislation has been the subject of long-standing consideration by all three branches of the federal government, particularly in the aftermath of the 1972 amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act.
Military Construction: FY2017 Appropriations
This report discusses military construction for active and reserve components of the armed forces, military family housing construction and operations, and the U.S. contribution to the NATO Security Investment Program.
Argentina: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides background on the political and economic situation in Argentina and U.S.-Argentine relations. It also summarizes political and economic conditions in Argentina and issues in Argentine-U.S. relations.
Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report examines the current political state of Afghanistan at length, discussing the political background, security policy, and regional relations.
Brazil in Crisis
This report examines the current political and economic climate in Brazil, which is in the midst of severe economic and political crises that are closely intertwined and unlikely to be resolved quickly.
Department of Veterans Affairs FY2017 Appropriations
This report provides an overview of Veterans Affairs (VA) appropriations; for a discussion on military construction appropriations. The VA provides a range of benefits and services to veterans and eligible dependents who meet certain criteria as authorized by law.
Elections Strengthen Georgia's Ruling Party
This report discusses the country of Georgia's parliamentary elections, which domestic and international observers assessed as democratic, despite isolated violations and violent incidents.