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Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Negotiations
This report provides: (1) context for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations; (2) analysis of possible trade and investment issues in the negotiations; and (3) discussion of issues for Congress. The U.S.-EU negotiations on TTIP are not public, however, the information and analysis in this report on issues in the negotiations are based on publicly-available information.
The 2010 Oil Spill: Natural Resource Damage Assessment Under the Oil Pollution Act
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill leaked an estimated 4.1 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, damaging the waters, shores, and marshes, and the fish and wildlife that live there. When resources in the public trust are harmed by contamination, federal, state, foreign, and tribal governments may seek compensation for damage to natural resources under certain laws. This is done in two steps: first, by assessing the harm; then, by determining how and what restoration will take place. Compensation for natural resource damage is intended to restore the natural resources to their condition before the damage and to compensate the public for the lost use of those resources. This report discusses legislation that provides a framework for assessing and mitigating the damage caused by such spills.
The 2010 Oil Spill: The Minerals Management Service (MMS) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
This report will review environmental procedures after an exploratory oil well in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing 11 people and causing an oil spill.
The Northeast Heating Oil Supply, Demand, and Factors Affecting Its Use
This report discusses the United States' exports and imports of refined petroleum products and a number of factors that may contribute to the nation's declining demand for heating oil.
U.S.-EU Cooperation on Ukraine and Russia
This report discusses the United States, and European Union policies with Russia in response to the crisis in Ukraine.
U.S.-EU Cooperation on Ukraine and Russia
This report discusses the United States, and European Union policies with Russia in response to the crisis in Ukraine.
U.S.-EU Cooperation on Ukraine and Russia
This report briefly discusses U.S.-EU responses to the Ukrainian conflict, specifically focusing on the possible expansion of sanctions against Russia.
U.S.-EU Cooperation on Ukraine and Russia
This report examines the U.S. and EU reactions to the crisis in Ukraine, focusing on the EU's hesitation to issue severe sanctions on par with the U.S. prior to the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. The report discusses the EU's new, wider-ranging sanctions in the wake of MH17 and its implications on U.S.-EU relations.
International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues
This report provides background on current International Criminal Court (ICC) cases and examines issues raised by the ICC's actions in Africa, including the potential deterrence of future abuses and the potential impact on African peace processes.
International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues
This report provides background on current International Criminal Court (ICC) cases and examines issues raised by the ICC's actions in Africa, including the potential deterrence of future abuses and the potential impact on African peace processes.
International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues
This report provides background on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its investigations in Africa, with an overview of cases currently before the Court. The report also examines issues raised by the ICC's actions in Africa, including the potential deterrence of future abuses and the potential impact on African peace processes.
International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has, to date, opened cases exclusively in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Statute of the ICC, also known as the Rome Statute, entered into force on July 1, 2002, and established a permanent, independent Court to investigate and bring to justice individuals who commit war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. As of October 2010, 114 countries-including 31 African countries, the largest regional block-were parties to the Statute. The United States is not a party. This report provides background on current ICC cases and examines issues raised by the ICC's actions in Africa.
International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has, to date, opened cases exclusively in Africa. Cases concerning 25 individuals are open before the Court, pertaining to crimes allegedly committed in six African states: Libya, Kenya, Sudan (Darfur), Uganda (the Lord's Resistance Army, LRA), the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic. This report provides background on current ICC cases and examines issues raised by the ICC's actions in Africa.
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (S. 524): Comparison of Senate- and House-Passed Versions
This report discusses selected differences and similarities between the Senate- and House-passed versions of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA; S. 524), which aims to address the problem of opioid addiction in the United States. The two versions of the bill differ substantially. The scope of the differences may be illustrated by their structures: The Senate bill has 28 sections organized in 8 titles, whereas the House bill has 69 sections organized in 18 titles.
Judicial Discipline Process: An Overview
The first part of this report covers the process for handling complaints against federal judges and judicial discipline, which was enacted on November 2, 2002 as the Judicial Improvements Act of 2002. The second part of this report covers two impeachments during the 111th Congress, those of Judge Samuel B. Kent and Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr.
The International Criminal Court (ICC): Jurisdiction, Extradition, and U.S. Policy
This report focuses on the process by which the Office of the Prosecutor investigates allegations of war crimes and second on U.S policy towards the International Criminal Court (ICC) and how the court might assert jurisdiction over U.S. nationals.
Many Aspects of the Affordable Care Act Would Not Be Affected by King v. Burwell
This report briefly discusses the possible effects of the King v. Burwell case on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) law. The case examines whether or not the ACA allows the IRS to make premium tax credits available to residents of states that decline to establish health insurance exchanges.
Federal Stafford Act Disaster Assistance: Presidential Declarations, Eligible Activities, and Funding
This report provides an overview of the Stafford Act and Stafford Act declarations. The report discusses the types of assistance and eligibility, funding caps and cost shares, hazard mitigation assistance, disaster relief funds, and other issues for the 111th Congress.
Federal Stafford Act Disaster Assistance: Presidential Declarations, Eligible Activities, and Funding
This report discusses the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the Stafford Act) that authorizes the President to issue major disaster, emergency, and fire management declarations, which in turn enable federal agencies to provide assistance to state and local governments overwhelmed by catastrophes.
Environmental Laws: Summaries of Major Statutes Administered by the Environmental Protection Agency
This report summarizes several federal statutes providing legal authority for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) programs and activities. These include: the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Ocean Dumping Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the Solid Waste Disposal Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA), the Emergency Planning Act, and the Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).
Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals
This report discusses comprehensive food safety bills that are progressing in the 111th Congress and could affect farmers and ranchers. Interest in on-farm practices was renewed after more than 1,300 persons in 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada were found to be infected with the same unusual strain of bacteria (Salmonella Saintpaul) in April-July 2008.
Energy and Water Development: FY2010 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), for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.
Energy and Water Development: FY2014 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), for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.
Energy and Water Development: FY2014 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), for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.
Energy and Water Development: FY2015 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), for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.
Energy Policy: 112th Congress Issues and Legislative Proposals
This report discusses the energy policy in the United States, which has focused on three major goals: assuring a secure supply of energy, keeping energy costs low, and protecting the environment.
Energy Policy: 113th Congress Issues
Report that discusses the energy policy in the United States, which is focused on three major goals: assuring a secure supply of energy, keeping energy costs low, and protecting the environment.
Energy Policy: 113th Congress Issues
This report discusses the energy policy in the United States that is focused on three major goals: assuring a secure supply of energy, keeping energy costs low, and protecting the environment.
Energy Policy: 113th Congress Issues
This report discusses the energy policy in the United States that is focused on three major goals: assuring a secure supply of energy, keeping energy costs low, and protecting the environment.
Energy Policy: 113th Congress Issues
This report discusses various aspects and considerations regarding energy policy in the United States. The report covers topics including energy conservation, efficiency, supply, prices and legislation.
Mexico: Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Organizations
This report provides background on drug trafficking and organized crime inside Mexico: it identifies the major DTOs, and it examines how the organized crime "landscape" has been significantly altered by fragmentation.
Securing America's Borders: The Role of the Intelligence Community
Maintaining the security of U.S. borders is a fundamental responsibility of the federal government. This report discusses the contribution of intelligence agencies to the border security efforts of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and other federal agencies that work in cooperation with state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. Much of the intelligence community's border security-related efforts are classified, however.
Supreme Court Nominations: Senate Floor Procedure and Practice, 1789-2011
This report examines the ways in which the Senate has handled the 160 Supreme Court nominations the President has sent to the Senate. As the purpose of this report is to examine the forms taken by Senate proceedings on these 160 nominations, it treats each nomination as a separate case. It is not couched in terms of the smaller number of different individuals nominated or the ultimate outcome the confirmation process may have had for each individual.
Domestic Federal Law Enforcement Coordination: Through the Lens of the Southwest Border
This report discusses the law enforcement task forces and intelligence information sharing centers. The report focuses on those task forces and information sharing efforts that respond to federal counterdrug and counterterrorism priorities in the Southwest border region.
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.
Terrorism Information Sharing and the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Report Initiative: Background and Issues for Congress
This report describes the NSI, the rationale for the sharing of terrorism-related SARs, and how the NSI seeks to achieve this objective. It examines the privacy and civil liberties concerns raised by the initiative and identifies other oversight issues for Congress.
Organized Crime: An Evolving Challenge for U.S. Law Enforcement
In the last two decades, organized crime has grown more complex, posing evolving challenges for U.S. federal law enforcement. These criminals have transformed their operations in ways that broaden their reach and make it harder for law enforcement to combat them. They have adopted more-networked structural models, internationalized their operations, and grown more tech savvy. They are a significant challenge to U.S. law enforcement. There still is no single agency charged with investigating organized crime in the way the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been designated the lead investigative agency for terrorism. Further, resources to tackle this issue are divided among many federal agencies. As such, Congress may exert its oversight authority regarding the federal coordination of organized crime investigations via the 2011 strategy. Policymakers may also debate the efficacy of current resources appropriated to combat organized crime.
The International Labor Organization (ILO): Background in Brief
This report discusses the International Labor Organization (ILO), and describes the ILO's mission, structure, and functions; presents case studies on how the ILO offers assistance to countries in promoting worker rights; and identifies issues for Congress.
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Waiver Authority and Modification of Volumes
This report discusses the process and criteria for the Environmental Protection Agency to waive various portions of the renewable fuel standard (RFS), and the modification of applicable volumes.
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.
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Waiver Authority and Modification of Volumes
This report discusses the process and criteria for the Environmental Protection Agency to waive various portions of the renewable fuel standard (RFS), and the modification of applicable volumes.
Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress
This report discusses the use of biomass as an energy feedstock, which is emerging as a potentially viable alternative to address U.S. energy security concerns, foreign oil dependence, rural economic development, and diminishing sources of conventional energy. Biomass (organic matter that can be converted into energy) may include food crops, crops for energy (e.g., switchgrass or prairie perennials), crop residues, wood waste and byproducts, and animal manure. This report discusses legislation regarding biomass, the evolving definition of biomass, and the positions of supporters and detractors of biomass as an alternative energy source.
Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress
This report discusses the use of biomass as an energy feedstock, which is emerging as a potentially viable alternative to address U.S. energy security concerns, foreign oil dependence, rural economic development, and diminishing sources of conventional energy. Biomass (organic matter that can be converted into energy) may include food crops, crops for energy (e.g., switchgrass or prairie perennials), crop residues, wood waste and byproducts, and animal manure. This report discusses legislation regarding biomass, the evolving definition of biomass, and the positions of supporters and detractors of biomass as an alternative energy source.
Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress
The use of biomass as an energy feedstock is emerging as a potentially viable alternative to address U.S. energy security concerns, foreign oil dependence, rural economic development, and diminishing sources of conventional energy. Biomass (organic matter that can be converted into energy) may include food crops, crops for energy, crop residues, wood waste and byproducts, and animal manure. Most legislation involving biomass has focused on encouraging the production of liquid fuels from corn. For over 30 years, the term biomass has been a part of legislation enacted by Congress for various programs, indicating some interest by the general public and policymakers in expanding its use. To aid understanding of why U.S. consumers, utility groups, refinery managers, and others have not fully adopted biomass as an energy resource, this report investigates the characterization of biomass in legislation.
The Workforce Investment Act and the One-Stop Delivery System
This report provides details of WIA Title I state formula program structure, services, allocation formulas, and performance accountability. In addition, it provides a program overview for national grant programs. It also provides brief overviews of Titles II and IV. Title III of WIA amends the Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933, which establishes the Employment Service (ES), to make the ES an integral part of the One-Stop system created by WIA. Because the ES is a central part of the One-Stop system, it is discussed briefly in this report even though it is authorized by separate legislation (Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933).
The Workforce Investment Act and the One-Stop Delivery System
Report that provides details of WIA Title I state formula program structure, services, allocation formulas, and performance accountability. In addition, it provides a program overview for national grant programs.
The Workforce Investment Act and the One-Stop Delivery System
This report focuses on Titles I and II of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), both of which authorize programs to provide job search, education, and training activities for individuals seeking to gain or improve their employment prospects.
Out of Office: Vacancies, Acting Officers, and Day 301
This report discusses the provisions of the Vacancies Act and the upcoming expiration of the time limit for temporary staff to to perform the duties of advice and consent staff positions that are still unfilled. Legal effects of letting the Vacancies Act take effect are also discussed.
"Chevron" Deference: A Primer
This report discusses the Chevron decision (which set up the current process for judicial review of regulatory agencies), explains the circumstances in which the Chevron doctrine applies, explores how courts apply the two steps of Chevron, and highlights some criticisms of the doctrine, with an eye towards the potential future of Chevron deference.
Nondiscrimination in Environmental Regulation: A Legal Analysis
This report will examine the relevant legal authorities that may be asserted to address disproportionate impacts that result from how an agency implements environmental regulations, including the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and various environmental and conservation statutes. It will discuss administrative efforts to address "environmental justice," a term used by some advocates to refer to the distribution of environmental quality across various demographic groups, including the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Plan EJ 2014. It will also analyze the use of these authorities to prevent such impacts and the likelihood of success for future challenges under each legal theory.