This report details legislation and policies that restrict or place requirements on U.S. funding of abortion or family planning activities abroad. The level and extent of federal funding for these activities is an ongoing and controversial issue in U.S. foreign assistance and will likely continue to be a point of contention during the 113th Congress.
This report discusses the current state of Bahrain, which has undergone substantial political reforms since the late 1990s, but which still suffers from tension between the Shiite majority and the Sunni-led government. This report focuses particularly on Bahrain's relationship with Iran and with the United States.
This report displays and discusses some of the data related to the poverty of children and their living arrangements and data on male employment and earnings, educational attainment, and incarceration. It then provides information on federal programs that could play a greater role in addressing poverty of children through the fathers of these children (nearly all noncustodial parents are fathers). The report also examines federal programs that have the purposes of preventing teen pregnancy and helping disadvantaged youth obtain the skills and support they need to make the transition to adulthood. The report concludes by presenting several public policy approaches proposed by the policy community that might improve the lives of low-income noncustodial fathers and their children.
This report discusses the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which bans all nuclear explosion and was in 1996 adopted by the U.N. General Assembly but rejected by the U.S. Senate in 1997. This report discusses the Obama Administration's stated goal of pursuing U.S. ratification of the CTBT, although the Administration has mainly focused on securing Senate consent to ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). This report also discusses other nuclear weapons-related issues as well as the long history of nuclear testing.
This report covers health benefits made available to Members of Congress through federal government employment, including Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), dental and vision insurance, flexible spending accounts, long-term care insurance, services at the Office of the Attending Physician and military hospitals, and Medicare. It also offers a comparison of FEHBP to health benefits offered by the private sector and state and local governments and a discussion of the effect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on Members' health benefits.
This report discusses the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program, which is one of the federal government’s primary policy tools for encouraging the development and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing. These non-refundable federal housing tax credits are awarded to developers of qualified rental projects via a competitive application process administered by state housing finance authorities.
This report provides an overview of the Federal Reserve and issues for Congress. The Federal Reserve (the Fed) defines monetary policy as the actions it undertakes to influence the availability and cost of money and credit. Because the expectations of market participants play an important role in determining prices and growth, monetary policy can also be defined to include the directives, policies, statements, and actions of the Fed that influence how the future is perceived. In addition, the Fed acts as a "lender of last resort" to the nation's financial system, meaning that it ensures continued smooth functioning of financial intermediation by providing financial markets with adequate liquidity.
This report summarizes what is known from open sources about the North Korean nuclear weapons program — including weapons-usable fissile material and warhead estimates — and assesses current developments in achieving denuclearization.