Congressional Research Service Reports - 26 Matching Results

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Class Actions are Back at the Supreme Court: Statutory Time Limits and "Serial Relitigation" of Class Certification
This report discusses the the Supreme Court case of "China Agritech v. Rush" which concerns whether a plaintiff in a failed class action suit can sue again individually even if they would have normally been barred from doing so by the statute of limitations. The report explores the history behind the existing rules that apply with respect to statutes of limitations and class actions (the American Pipe rule), before discussing the specifics of China Agritech and the importance of the case for Congress.
The Constitutionality of Censuring the President
This report discusses whether Congressional censure of the President is constitutional and provides examples of past Congressional censures of presidents.
EPA's Wood Stove/Wood Heater Regulations: Frequently Asked Questions
This report presents some of the most frequent questions raised concerning the EPA's new wood heater emissions rule, so as to provide basic background information about the final wood heater rule, its potential impacts, and stakeholder reactions to it.
Latin American and the Caribbean: Issues in the 115th Congress
This report provides an overview of U.S. policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean during the 115th Congress. It begins with background on the region's political and economic environment and then examines U.S. policy toward the region, focusing on the Trump Administration. The report then examines selected regional and country issues, highlighting congressional interest and legislative action. An Appendix lists hearings on the region in the 115th Congress.
Threats to National Security Foiled? A Wrap Up of New Tariffs on Steel and Aluminium.
This report discusses the new tariffs on steel and aluminium imports which go into effect on March 23, 2018. Possible effects of the tariff on the American market and reactions to the tariffs by other countries are also discussed.
The FCC's Rules and Policies Regarding Media Ownership, Attribution, and Ownership Diversity
This report discusses the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) broadcast media ownership rules, which restrict the number of media outlets that a single entity may own or control. Its attribution rules define which relationships the FCC counts as ownership. In 2004 and again in 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, directed the FCC to review its broadcast ownership diversity policies in conjunction with the media ownership rules.
Climate Change Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report focuses on legislative actions--including comprehensive bills with individual climate change titles, sections, or provisions--that explicitly address climate change issues. The provisions in these bills fall into six general categories: carbon price (i.e., tax or fee) on greenhouse (GHG) emissions; other mechanisms intended to encourage mitigation of GHG emissions (e.g., sequestration of emissions); research on climate change-related issues; adaptation activities related to expected climate change impacts; support for international climate change-related activities; and action that limits or prohibits climate change-related authorities, efforts, or considerations.
Energy Provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill (P.L. 113-79)
This report focuses on the policies contained in the 2014 farm bill that support agriculture based renewable energy, especially biofuels. The introductory sections of this report briefly describe how U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) bioenergy policies evolved and how they fit into the larger context of U.S. biofuels policy.
The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress
This report provides and introduction to key provisions in the Spectrum Act to improve public safety communications and discusses planning authority, state and local participation, federal governance and other issues regarding the evolving network technologies.
Health Insurance Premium Credits in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)
This report describes the eligibility criteria applicable to the premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies, and the calculation method for the credit and subsidy amounts. It also highlights selected issues addressed in the final regulation on premium credits.
The Help America Vote Act and Election Administration: Overview and Issues
This report discusses the Help America Vote Act (HAVA; P.L. 107-252) enacted in 2002. It provides background information about HAVA and its provisions, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), funding for the agency and for state programs to improve elections, and a number of enduring election administration issues.
Spectrum Policy: Provisions in the 2012 Spectrum Act
This report discusses the Spectrum Act, a provision of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. It includes an overview of the Spectrum Act, the specific policy revisions (deficit reduction, directed auctions, incentive auctions, federal spectrum use and reallocation, and unlicensed spectrum) and a conclusion discussing geographic coverage of spectrum licenses, spectrum caps, and planning for future needs.
What Is the Farm Bill?
This report describes the Farm Bill (P.L. 110-246, Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008), which was enacted into law on June 18, 2008.
Environmental Regulation and Agriculture
This report discusses the impact of environmental regulation on agriculture. Most environmental regulations, in terms of permitting, inspection, and enforcement, are implemented by state and local governments, often based on federal EPA regulatory guidance. In some cases, agriculture is the direct or primary focus of the regulatory actions. In other cases, agriculture is one of many affected sectors. Traditionally, farm and ranch operations have been exempt or excluded from many environmental regulations.
Guns, Excise Taxes, and Wildlife Restoration
As a result of the recent debate over guns, gun rights, and gun-related violence, there has been a marked increase in sales of many weapons as well as ammunition. Through an excise tax on firearms and ammunition, such sales have a marked beneficial effect on funding for state wildlife programs through the Wildlife Restoration Program (also known as Pittman-Robertson or P-R). This report examines these taxes, their allocation, and their use. It also examines the effects of sequestration of this account, pursuant to the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA, P.L. 112-25).
The Role of Local Food Systems in U.S. Farm Policy
This report looks at the growing popularity of locally produced foods, and how that popularity and regional/local food systems are affected by the reauthorization of the 2008 farm bill.
Cybersecurity: Cyber Crime Protection Security Act (S. 2111)—A Legal Analysis
The Cyber Crime Protection Security Act (S. 2111) would enhance the criminal penalties for the cyber crimes outlawed in the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Those offenses include espionage, hacking, fraud, destruction, password trafficking, and extortion committed against computers and computer networks. S. 2111 contains some of the enhancements approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee when it reported the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act (S. 1151), S.Rept. 112-91 (2011).
The Independent Payment Advisory Board
In response, in part, to overall growth in Medicare program expenditures and growth in expenditures per Medicare beneficiary, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act created the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB, or the Board) and charged the Board with developing proposals to "reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending." This report discusses the responsibilities and duties.
Wildfire Damages to Homes and Resources: Understanding Causes and Reducing Losses
Wildfires are getting more severe, with more acres and houses burned and more people at risk. This results from excess biomass in the forests, due to past logging and grazing and a century of fire suppression, combined with an expanding wild land-urban interface-more people and houses in and near the forests-and climate change, exacerbating drought and insect and disease problems. This report looks at the causes of wildfires, and the pros and cons of their treatment.
Air Force KC-X Tanker Aircraft Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses issues for Congress in FY2011, which are whether to approve, reject, or modify DOD's new KC-X competition strategy, and whether to approve, reject, or modify the Air Force's request for FY2011 research and development funding for the new KC-X program.
Earthquake Risk, Insurance, and Recovery: Issues for Congress
This report examines earthquake catastrophe risk and insurance in the United States in light of recent developments, particularly the devastating earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. It examines both traditional and non-traditional approaches for financing recovery from earthquake losses as well as challenges in financing catastrophe losses with insurance.
Economic Effects of a Budget Deficit Exceeding $1 Trillion
This report evaluates questions regarding whether the current deficit is manageable and what effects it will have on the economy.
Iran Sanctions
This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue.
The Magnitude of Changes That Would Be Required to Balance the FY2011 Budget
This report lays out generic scenarios for balancing the budget in the next fiscal year. Although these are not policy options that are likely to be enacted, they are meant to offer simple examples to gauge the scope of tradeoffs that would be required if policymakers eventually decide to bring the budget back to balance. If changes are postponed or stretched over a longer time period, they would need to be larger because of higher debt service.
Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer
This report provides an overview of the nanotechnology that is believed by many to offer extraordinary economic and societal benefits and two others: nanomanufacturing and public understanding of and attitudes toward nanotechnology.
The National Debt: Who Bears Its Burden?
This report discusses various views on the issue of who bears the burden of the national debt, future generations or the generation that incurred it.