Congressional Research Service Reports - 380 Matching Results

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Reorganization and Proposed Reorganization Relating to Energy and Natural Resources
This report discusses the reorganization of the Executive Branch and proposals regarding the reorganization of the energy and natural resources sections.
Global Climate Change: Selected Legal Questions About the Kyoto Protocol
This report addresses legal issues after the United States signed the Kyoto Protocol to the UnitedNations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The protocol is not yet in effect internationally and cannot be legally binding on the U.S. unless and until the Senate gives its advice and consent.
U.S. International Investment Agreements: Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of U.S. international investment agreements, focusing specifically on bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and investment chapters in free trade agreements (FTAs). It discusses key trends in U.S. and international investment flows, governance structures for investment at the bilateral and multilateral levels, the goals and basic components of investment provisions in U.S. international investment agreements, the outcomes of the Administration's Model BIT review, and key policy issues for Congress.
Membership of the 109th Congress: A Profile
This report presents a profile of the membership of the 109th Congress. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age and length of service, occupation, religious affiliation, female and minority Members, foreign-born Members, and military service.
Nuclear Power Plant Sites: Maps of Seismic Hazards and Population Centers
This report gives a map of current commercial nuclear power plants and their relation to seismic hazards.
The U.S. Oil Refining Industry: Background in Changing Markets and Fuel Policies
This report begins by looking at the current production capacity of the oil refineries operating in the United States, and the sources and changes in crude oil supply. It then examines the changing characteristics of petroleum and petroleum product markets and identifies the effects of these changes on the refining industry. The report concludes with discussion of the policy and regulatory factors that are likely to affect the structure and performance of the industry during the next decade.
NATO and the European Union
This report addresses the following issues central to the debate over European security and the future of the broader transatlantic relationship that may be of interest in the second session of the 110th Congress: the specific security missions of NATO and the European Union and the appropriate relationship between the two organizations; the types of military forces that are necessary for NATO's role in collective defense and for the EU's role in crisis management; the appropriateness and compatibility of NATO and EU's decision-making structures and procedures to ensure that there is an adequate and timely response to emerging threats; and the proper balance between political and military tools for defending Europe and the United States from terrorism and weapons proliferation.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): A Primer on Eligibility and Benefits
This report focuses on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility and the form and function of benefits. SNAP, formerly called the Food Stamp Program, is designed primarily to increase the food purchasing power of eligible low-income households to help them buy a nutritionally adequate low-cost diet.
FY2011 Budget Proposals and Projections
This report provides an overview of major budget estimates and projections for the FY2011 federal budget cycle. The report presents and compares budget projections calculated by the Obama Administration's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The Debt Limit Since 2011
This report discusses the federal debt limit and its suspensions and resets since 2011.
Discretionary Budget Authority by Subfunction: An Overview
This report provides a graphical overview of historical trends in discretionary budget authority (BA) from FY1976 through FY2011, enacted levels for FY2012 spending, and the levels consistent with President Obama's proposals for FY2013 through FY2017. It also includes a background on functional categories and a section discussing historical spending trends.
Trends in Discretionary Spending
This report discusses recent trends in discretionary spending. Topics examined include fiscal policy in the wake of the recession, discretionary spending limits reimposed in 2011, the FY2013 sequestration, long term trends, and security spending.
Does Price Transparency Improve Market Efficiency? Implications of Empirical Evidence in Other Markets for the Health Sector
This report reviews the empirical studies of the effect of changes in price transparency on prices and quality of goods in a variety of industries; addresses the extent to which this evidence might be applicable to the health care market and certain special characteristics of the health care market which may reduce the importance of prices as signals; examines how prices are actually set by hospitals and the evidence that exists on price dispersion both across hospitals and across patient categories; discusses some initiatives undertaken by governments, insurers, and interest groups to improve information about prices and to regulate price discrimination; and finally, suggests that while it is difficult to determine the consequences of greater consumer price transparency, it is reasonable to believe that greater transparency would improve outcomes.
Addressing Sexual Harassment by Modifying the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995: A Look at Key Provisions in H.R. 4822.
This report discusses the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (CAA) and proposed reforms to how it handles harassment claims through the bill H.R. 4822. The report highlights and considers some of the major differences between the current process provided under the CAA and the process that would exist if H.R. 4822 were enacted, as well as other changes proposed by the bill that could affect both legislative branch employees and Members of Congress.
The Berry Amendment: Requiring Defense Procurement to Come from Domestic Sources
This report examines the original intent and purpose of the Berry Amendment and legislative proposals to amend the application of domestic source restrictions, as well as options for Congress.
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve: History, Perspectives, and Issues
This reports discusses the history and establishment of Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) and acquisition of crude oil for the SPR. It also talks about the debate over the years regarding when should the SPR be used.
Trade Law: An Introduction to Selected International Agreements and U.S. Laws
This report is an introductory overview of the legal framework governing trade-related measures. The agreements and laws selected for discussion are those most commonly implicated by U.S. trade interests, but there are U.S. trade obligations beyond those reviewed in this report.
Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces: Facts and Issues
This report provides an overview of the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) task forces that has been designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide specialized assistance after buildings or other structures collapse.
Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program
This report discusses “Section 32”, which is a permanent appropriation that since 1935 has earmarked the equivalent of 30% of annual customs receipts to support the farm sector through a variety of activities. Today, most of this appropriation (now approximately $6.5 billion yearly) is transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) account that funds child nutrition programs.
Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program
This report describes provisions in the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-234) related to Section 32 appropriations and how non-transferred money (funding not put toward child nutrition programs) may be spent. It includes an overfiew of how Section 32 funds have generally been used and the implications of the new restrictions.
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.
The International Space Station and the Space Shuttle
This report discusses the International Space Station (ISS) program, which began in 1993, with Russia joining the United States, Europe, Japan, and Canada.
The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11
This report analyzes war funding for the Department of Defense (DOD) and tracks funding for USAID and Veteran's Affairs (VA) Medical funding. Information on costs helps Congress to assess the FY2010 Supplemental for war costs for the Department of Defense (DOD) and State/USAID FY2011 war requests; conduct oversight of past war costs; and consider the longer-term costs implications of the buildup of troops in Afghanistan and potential problems in the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
Filibusters and Cloture in the Senate
Report that discusses major aspects of Senate procedure related to filibusters and cloture.
Nigeria's Boko Haram: Frequently Asked Questions
This report explores several questions that have been often asked in relation to the Boko Haram, a violent Islamist insurgent group originally based in northeast Nigeria, the impact of its attacks, and the response of the Nigerian government and other international actors, including the United States.
Health Care Reform: An Introduction
This report provides an introduction to health care reform. It focuses on the three predominant concerns just mentioned--coverage, cost and spending, and quality--and some of the legislative issues within which they likely will be debated, including the scope of reform (particularly whether Medicare and Medicaid should be included); the choice between public and private coverage; whether employment-based insurance should be strengthened, weakened, or left alone; and what role states might play.
F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program: Background, Status, and Issues
This report discusses the background, status, and current issues of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. The Defense Department's F-35 Lightning II JSF is one of three aircraft modernization programs in tactical aviation, the others being the Air Force F-22A fighter and the Navy F/A-18E/F fighter/attack plane.
Overview of Labor Enforcement Issues in Free Trade Agreements
This report identifies two types of labor enforcement issues related to Free Trade Agreements approved by Congress: (1) those that relate to the FTA provisions themselves, including their definitions and their enforceability, and (2) those that relate to executive branch responsibilities, such as resource availability and determining dispute settlement case priorities. This report does not address other labor issues in the various free trade agreements, including cooperative consultation provisions.
U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones: Trade Agreement Parity (TAP) Proposal
This report provides an introduction to U.S. Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ). The report discusses the details of the Trade Agreement Parity (TAP) proposal, the potential winners and losers under the TAP proposal, economic studies on the TAP proposal, and policy analysis on the TAP proposal.
Economic Development Administration: FY2016 Appropriations
This report discusses budget issues for the Economic Development Administration (EDA), which was created pursuant to the enactment of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965, with the objective of fostering growth in economically distressed areas characterized by high levels of unemployment and low per-capita income levels.
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): In Brief
This report provides a basic description of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which mandates that U.S. transportation fuel must contain a minimum volume of biofuel, and is a federal statutory requirement. The mandated minimum volume increases annually and can be met using both conventional biofuel (e.g., cornstarch ethanol) and advanced biofuels. This report also includes some of the widely-discussed issues.
Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Reauthorization Proposals in the 113th Congress: Comparison of Major Features of Current Law and S.1356
This report summarizes each of the WIA titles and highlights the major features of S. 1356, as ordered reported, pertaining to each title. The report also compares the proposed provisions of S. 1356 to current law
The Law of Church and State: Public Aid to Sectarian Schools
This report gives a brief overview of the evolution of the Court's interpretation of the Establishment Clause in this area and analyzes the categories of aid that have been addressed by the Court. The report explains which categories have been held to be constitutionally permissible or impermissible, both at the elementary and secondary school level and at the postsecondary level. The report also briefly addresses a set of cases (Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn; Garriott v. Winn) currently before the Court regarding the constitutionality of an Arizona statute that permits individuals to claim a tax credit for certain donations to school tuition organizations that use the funds for scholarships to private and, in some instances, religious schools.
Privatizing the Tennessee Valley Authority: Options and Issues
This report will discuss the history and role of Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) mostly from an energy standpoint, considering current and future obligations, and other issues related to TVA’s provision of electrical energy. Issues for Congress may involve consideration of whether a federal role is still necessary to achieve the TVA Act’s objectives.
First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
This report provides background information and policy analysis pertinent to proposals to restructure first responder assistance programs. Specifically, this report provides information on existing programs, appropriations, legislation in the 108th Congress, and selected policy issues. This report does not discuss all relevant policy issues, but, rather, those issues that may be germane to any significant restructuring of existing programs.
Farm Commodity Programs: Wool and Mohair
This report discusses price support for wool and mohair, which became mandatory through legislation enacted in 1947 and in 1949. The National Wool Act of 1954 (P.L. 83-690) established direct payments for wool and mohair producers. The act’s stated purpose was to encourage production of wool because it was considered an essential and strategic commodity.
U.S. Motor Vehicle Industry: Federal Financial Assistance and Restructuring
This report focuses on the current situation faced by the Detroit 3, key aspects of their current crisis, including possible consequences of a failure of one or more companies, and some aspects of legislative actions that have been considered to bridge their financial conditions to a more stable situation.
The Trump Administration and the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions
This report provides an overview of the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, discusses the additional significance of the Unified Agenda in the Trump Administration, provides summary information about content of the 2017 Update, and discusses what additional information can be expected in the subsequent edition of the Agenda.
Constitutional Analysis of Suspicionless Drug Testing Requirements for the Receipt of Governmental Benefits
This report gives an overview of the issues related to federal or state laws that condition the initial or ongoing receipt of governmental benefits on passing drug tests. These regulations are vulnerable to constitutional challenge, most often due to issues of personal privacy and Fourth Amendment protections against "unreasonable searches."
Army Corps of Engineers: Water Resource Authorizations, Appropriations, and Activities
This report summarizes congressional authorization and appropriations processes for the Army Corps of Engineers. It also discusses agency activities under general authorities. Congress directs the Corps through authorizations, appropriations, and oversight of its studies, construction projects, and other activities.
Army Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects: Authorization and Appropriations
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers attracts congressional attention because its projects can have significant local and regional economic benefits and environmental effects, in addition to their water resource development purposes. This report provides an overview of the Corps civil works program. It covers the congressional authorization and appropriation process, the standard project development process, and other Corps activities and authorities. It also includes an Appendix on the evolution of Corps civil works missions and authorities and a description of the limits on the Corps' role in levee accreditation and improvements for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Army Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects: Authorization and Appropriations
This report summarizes congressional authorization and appropriations processes for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It also discusses agency activities under general authorities.
The Federal Government Debt: Its Size and Economic Significance
This report explains the different measures of the U.S. government debt, discusses the historical growth in the debt, identifies the current owners of the debt, presents comparisons with government debt in other countries, and examines the potential economic risks associated with a growing federal debt.
Afghanistan Casualties: Military Forces and Civilians
This report collects statistics from a variety of sources on casualties sustained during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), which began on October 7, 2001, and is ongoing. OEF actions take place primarily in Afghanistan; however, OEF casualties also include American casualties in Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Yemen.
Gun Trafficking and the Southwest Border
This report includes legal analyses of three ATF-investigated, Southwest border gun trafficking cases to illustrate the federal statutes that are typically violated as part of wider gun trafficking schemes. The report also examines anti-gun trafficking proposals introduced in the 110th Congress.
Journalists' Privilege: Overview of the Law and Legislation in the 109th and 110th Congresses
This report discusses the journalists' privilege, provides and overview of the law, describes the Grand Jury Subpoena related to the Judith Miller case, and gives an overview of the congressional response in the 109th and 110th Congresses.
The Good Cause Exception to Notice and Comment Rulemaking: Judicial Review of Agency Action
This report will examine judicial analysis of the good cause standard and map several factors that lead courts to uphold or reject agencies' invocation of the exception. Federal agencies issue numerous rules pursuant to congressionally delegated authority. The Administrative Procedure Act's (APA's) "good cause" exception, however, permits agencies to forgo Section 553's notice and comment requirement if "the agency for good cause finds" that compliance would be "impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest" and to bypass its requirement that rules be published 30 days before implementation if good cause exists.
Impeachment and Removal
This report discusses the impeachment process, which provides a mechanism for removal of the President, Vice President, and other "civil Officers of the United States" found to have engaged in "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Overview and Issues
This report discusses the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) of 1986, which was enacted to improve absentee registration and voting for this group of voters and to consolidate existing laws.
Apprenticeship in the United States: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers frequently asked questions about apprenticeship and the federal activities that support this training approach. Apprenticeship is a job training strategy that combines on-the-job training with related instruction, typically provided in a classroom setting.