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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.
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 (IAEA) board and the Security Council.
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.
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
This report examines developments in U.S. policy restricting travel and remittances to Cuba, including significant changes that have occurred, current permissible travel and remittances, enforcement of the travel restrictions, and debate on lifting the travel restrictions.
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.
The Scalia Vacancy in Historical Context: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides historical context to some of the frequently-asked questions about the vacancy created by Justice Scalia's departure from the Court.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel Visits President Trump
This report discusses the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel with President Donald Trump at the White House on March 17, 2017.
The European Union: Current Challenges and Future Prospects
This report provides a brief history of the European Union (EU) and the major challenges currently confronting the EU as an institution. It also discusses the potential implications both for the EU itself and for U.S.-EU relations.
Navy LX(R) Amphibious Ship Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the LX(R) amphibious ship program, a Navy program to build a new class of 11 amphibious ships. The Navy wants to procure the first LX(R) in FY2020 (p. 1).
Surveillance of Foreigners Outside the United States Under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)
This report discusses the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-261), which created separate procedures for targeting non-U.S. persons and U.S. persons reasonably believed to be outside the United States under a new Title VII of FISA.
Why Did March 2016 U.N. Sanctions Not Curb China's Imports of Coal from North Korea?
This report discusses sanctions on North Korea in response to the country's fourth nuclear test and China's imports of coal from North Korea.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
This report provides background information regarding the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The Bank's stated purpose is to provide financing for infrastructure needs throughout Asia, as well as in neighboring regions. As of January 2017, the AIIB has approved nine projects, investing a total of $1.7 billion.
Mens Rea Reform: A Brief Overview
This report provides a brief background on the history of "mens rea," including an exploration of the Supreme Court's default mens rea rules; analyzes the various bills that intend to create new default rules; and applies these rules to various existing federal criminal offenses.
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions
This report provides an overview of monetary policy and recent developments. It discusses issues for Congress, including transparency and proposals to change the Fed's mandate, and ends with a brief overview of the Fed's regulatory responsibilities.
Central Valley Project Operations: Background and Legislation
This report provides an abbreviated background on the Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP). It also provides a summary of recent hydrologic conditions in California and their effect on water deliveries.
Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress
This report discusses issues regarding U.S.-Japan economic relations. Japan is a significant partner of the United States in a number of foreign policy areas, particularly in U.S. security priorities, which range from hedging against Chinese military modernization to countering threats from North Korea.
U.S. Sanctions and Russia's Economy
This report discusses the sanctions on Russia, imposed by United States in response to Russia's annexation of the Crimean region of neighboring Ukraine and its support of separatist militants in Ukraine's east.
Presidential Transitions: Issues Involving Outgoing and Incoming Administrations
This report discusses issues surrounding the transition of Presidential power, including the variety of events, decisions, and activities contribute to it.
"Dear Colleague" Letters in the House of Representatives: Past Practices and Issues for Congress
This report report provides a comparative analysis of how the use of the e-"Dear Colleague" system in the House of Representatives has changed between the 111th Congress (2009-2010) and the 113th Congress (2013-2014). This report provides an overview of the data and methodology used to evaluate "Dear Colleague" letter usage, discusses the characteristics and purpose of "Dear Colleague" letters, and discusses questions for Congress and observations on the use of "Dear Colleague" letters as a form of internal communications.
Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Long-Range Ballistic Missiles: Background and Issues
This report provides an overview of the rationale for the prompt global strike (PGS) mission and the possible deployment of conventional warheads on long-range ballistic missiles or boost-glide systems in support of this mission. It also reviews the Air Force and Navy efforts to develop these systems, summarizes congressional reaction to these proposals, and provides a more detailed account of the issues raised by these concepts and programs.
Russia: Background and U.S. Interests
This report provides background information on Russian politics, economics, and military issues. It also discusses a number of key issues for Congress concerning Russia's foreign relations and the U.S.-Russian relationship.
Taxpayers with Zero Income Tax Liability: Trends Over Time and Across Income Levels
This report discusses situations when individuals or households have not paid federal income taxes because their income was below the filing threshold.
Withdrawal from International Agreements: Legal Framework, the Paris Agreement, and the Iran Nuclear Agreement
This report outlines the legal framework for withdrawal from international agreements under domestic and international law, and it examines legal issues related to the potential termination of two agreements that may be of significance to the 115th Congress: the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) related to Iran's nuclear program.
Health Care-Related Expiring Provisions of the 115th Congress, First Session
This report provides descriptions of selected health care-related provisions that are scheduled to expire during the 115th Congress, first session (i.e., during calendar year [CY] 2017). It focuses on portions of law that are time limited and will lapse once a statutory deadline is reached absent further legislative action.
Legislative Actions in the 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act
This report a brief overview of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and discusses the legislative process known as budget reconciliation in an effort to repeal parts of the ACA.
The Internet Tax Freedom Act: In Brief
This report discusses the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA; P.L. 105-277) enacted in 1998, which implemented a three-year moratorium preventing state and local governments from taxing Internet access, or imposing multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce.
Appropriations and Fund Transfers in the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
This report provides resources to answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Patient Protect and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L. 111-148, as amended). It includes a list of contacts for specific questions on insurance coverage and for questions about and tax provisions as well as sources for congressional staff to contact federal agencies. It also contains a glossary and general information about public health programs and related topics.
China-U.S. Trade Issues
This report provides background and analysis of U.S.-China commercial ties, including history, trends, issues, and outlook.
History, Evolution, and Practices of the President's State of the Union Address: Frequently Asked Questions
This report takes the format of answers to frequently asked questions about the State of the Union address -- a communication from the President to Congress in which the chief executive reports on the current conditions of the United States and provides policy proposals for the upcoming legislative year.
Congressional Gold Medals, 1776-2016
This report discusses the Congressional Gold Medal which is a sponsor proposals recognizing historic events and outstanding achievements by individuals or institutions.
U.S. Restrictions on Relations with Burma
This report discusses the major changes in Burma's political situation since 2008 that have raised issues for Congress concerning the appropriateness of U.S. restrictions on relations with Burma (Myanmar). These issues include whether Congress should reexamine U.S. policy toward Burma in general, what criteria are appropriate for analyzing the current situation in Burma, and whether it should make adjustments to current U.S. restrictions on relations with Burma.
Defense: FY2017 Budget Request, Authorization, and Appropriations
This report discusses the current administration's request of $523.9 billion to cover the fiscal year 2017 discretionary "base budget" of the Department of Defense (DOD).
Iran's Foreign and Defense Policies
This report discusses Iran's national security policy. Some experts forecast that Iran's foreign and defense policies might shift after international sanctions were eased in January 2016 in accordance with the July 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA).
Sanctuary Jurisdictions: Congressional Action and President Trump's Interior Enforcement Executive Order
This report discusses President Trump's executive order (EO) "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States" issued on January 25, 2017, which seeks, among other things, to penalize "sanctuary jurisdictions." The term refers to states and localities that limit their cooperation with federal agencies on immigration law enforcement.
Challenges for U.S. Policymakers in Latin America and the Caribbean
This report discusses the U.S. relations and economic linkages with the Latin American and Caribbean region that have made significant political and economic advances over the past three decades, though challenges remain.
Colombia's Changing Approach to Drug Policy
This report describes how Colombia's drug policies have evolved in light of Colombia's peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and its changing counter-narcotics policy. The final peace agreement addresses important issues, such as illicit crop cultivation--a major source of FARC income--and rural development.
The Greek Debt Crisis: Continuing Challenges
This report discusses the serious debt crisis of the Greek government.
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.
India's Natural Gas: A Small Part of the Energy Mix
This report discusses India's natural gas plans that have implications for a number of issues in which Congress has expressed an interest. Those issues include the prospects for U.S. hydrocarbon exports, U.S. energy companies' investments, Indian investments in U.S. natural gas production, India's ability to meet its international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to combat climate change, and India's plans for integrating itself into the growing South Asian energy market.
The Electoral College: How It Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections
This report provides information about the electoral college including its origins, who makes up the college today, the 2012 presidental election, and calls for the reform of the electoral college.
El Salvador: Background and U.S. Relations
This report examines El Salvador's political, security, human rights, and economic conditions. It then analyzes selected issues in U.S.-Salvadoran relations.
Science and Technology Issues in the 115th Congress
This report briefly outlines an array of science and technology (S&T) policy issues that may come before the 115th Congress. It breaks down selected issues into nine categories: overarching issues, agriculture, biomedical research and development, defense, energy, environment and natural resources, homeland security, information technology, physical and material sciences, and space.
Federal Land Ownership: Overview and Data
This report provides data and an overview of the land owned by federal government, which is roughly 640 million acres, about 28% of the 2.27 billion acres of land in the United States.