Congressional Research Service Reports - 36 Matching Results

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Government Contract Bid Protests: Analysis of Legal Processes and Recent Developments
This report briefly analyzes the varying legal procedures applicable to bid protests under each forum. First, it provides an overview of bid protests generally and then analyzes the legal distinctions among these forums. Finally, the report discusses recent legislative developments affecting bid protest procedures and potential considerations for Congress.
Iran Sanctions
This report discusses U.S. sanctions against Iran and the 2016 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement which led to the lifting of sanctions based on nuclear proliferation in Iran. The bulk of the report outlines the various sanctions against Iran and their current implementation status, international efforts to bring about compliance, and their effects; it also addresses recent discussions regarding President's Trump announcement that the U.S. was decertifying the nuclear agreement and the possibility of reinstating certain sanctions.
Water Infrastructure Financing: The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program
This report discusses the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act which is planning to provide subsidized loans and credit assistance to water infrastructure projects through the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
U.S. Sanctions on Russia: An Overview
This report provides an overview of U.S. sanctions imposed against Russia for aggression against Ukraine, election interference, malicious cyber activity, human rights violations, weapons proliferation, and other activities.
UPDATE: Supreme Court Takes Fourth Amendment Case about Cell Phone Location Data
This report provides an update to a June 2017 report on the Carpenter v. United States case on government collection of cell phone location information. On June 22, 2018, the Supreme Court held in a 5-to-4 decision in Carpenter v. United States that government acquisition of historical cell site location information (CSLI) constitutes a Fourth Amendment search. The Court further held that the government needs a warrant supported by probable cause.
Public Sector Union Dues: Grappling with Fixed Stars and Stare Decisis (Part 1)
This report is part 1 of two of a report discussing the upcoming Supreme Court case of "Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31.
Public Sector Union Dues: Grappling with Fixed Stars and Stare Decisis (Part 2)
This report is part 1 of two of a report discussing the upcoming Supreme Court case of "Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31."
Department of Health and Human Services Halts Cost-Sharing Reduction (CSR) Payments
This report discusses the the case "House of Representatives v. Hargan" which was a case by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) appealing the House's decision to end cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments. Questions regarding the status of the case and possible legal and legislative methods of restoring CSR payments are addressed.
When is Running Guns from the Philippines to Mexico a Federal Crime?
This report discusses the case "United States v. Ubaldo" which concerns whether a gun smuggler who smuggled guns from a foreign country through the United States and then into another foreign country can be charged with a federal crime. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the conviction for conspiracy and causing the importation of weapons in violation of the Arms Export Control Act and ban on importing military firearms.
Banking Policy Issues in the 115th Congress
This report provides a broad overview of selected banking-related issues, including prudential regulation, consumer protection, "too big to fail" (TBTF) banks, community banking, regulatory agency structures and independence, and recent market and economic trends. It is not an exhaustive look at all bank policy issues, nor is it a detailed examination of any one issue. Rather, it provides concise background and analyses of certain prominent issues that have been the subject of recent discussion and debate. In addition, this report provides a list of Congressional Research Service reports that examine specific bills, including the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10) and bills proposing to provide regulatory relief for banks.
The Fifth Amendment in Congressional Investigations
This report discusses the use and rules regarding invoking Fifth Amendments rights during Congressional investigations in the wake of the use of the Fifth Amendment by former national security adviser Michael Flynn during Congressional investigations.
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.
Law Enforcement Using and Disclosing Technology Vulnerabilities
This report provides background on law enforcement's use of technology vulnerabilities in criminal investigations. It also provides information on the government's system by which agencies collectively determine whether to maintain or disclose newly discovered vulnerabilities. The report also outlines a range of policy issues that may arise regarding the use and disclosure of vulnerabilities in technology.
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.
Supreme Court: Length of the Scalia Vacancy in Historical Context
This report provides data and analysis related to the potential length of the current vacancy on the Supreme Court caused by the death of Antonin Scalia on February 13, 2016. Specifically, this report provides the number of days the Scalia vacancy will have existed on specified future dates if a nominee has not been confirmed.
The Buy American Act--Preferences for "Domestic" Supplies: In Brief
This report discusses the Buy American Act of 1933, which is the earliest and arguably the best known of various statutes regarding federal procurement of domestic products. The act attempts to protect U.S. businesses and labor by restricting the acquisition and use of end products or construction materials that are not "domestic."
Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Programs
This report analyzes the special immigrant visas (SIVs) classifications for Iraqis and Afghans within the context of both the larger INA special immigrant category and selected other permanent admissions categories. It discusses the legislative changes to the individual Iraqi and Afghan special immigrant programs since their initial authorization, provides statistics on visa issuances, and considers challenges that have faced the programs.
EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed "Waters of the United States" Rule: Congressional Response and Options
This report discusses four legislative options that Congress could consider to halt or redirect the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineer's proposed "waters of the United States" rule: the Congressional Review Act, appropriations bill limitations, targeted legislation, and broad amendments to the Clean Water Act. Each option faces a steep path to enactment.
Freedom of Information Act Legislation in the 114th Congress: Issue Summary and Side-by- Side Analysis
This report provides an overview of two The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) bills in the 114th Congress, S. 337 and H.R. 653, and provides analysis of certain FOIA-related provisions within each.
Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions
This report identifies the legislative bases for sanctions imposed on Iran, and the nature of the authority to waive or lift those restrictions. It comprises two tables that present legislation and executive orders that are specific to Iran and its objectionable activities in the areas of terrorism, human rights, and weapons proliferation.
Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions
This report identifies the legislative bases for sanctions imposed on Iran, and the nature of the authority to waive or lift those restrictions. It comprises two tables that present legislation and executive orders that are specific to Iran and its objectionable activities in the areas of terrorism, human rights, and weapons proliferation.
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
This report discusses the reasons that Iran is considered a threat to U.S. security, including Iran's nuclear program, involvement with terrorist organizations, and involvement with neighboring countries' local governments. It also discusses ways in which the U.S. hopes to modify Iran's behavior with sanctions, and the effectiveness of these sanctions.
Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY2000-FY2015
This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration requested and how much Congress appropriated for U.S. payments to the multilateral development banks (MDBs) since 2000. It also provides a brief description of the MDBs and the ways they fund their operations.
Iran: Interim Nuclear Agreement and Talks on a Comprehensive Accord
This report discusses the nuclear agreement talks between Iran and the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany--collectively known as the "P5+1, which finalized an interim agreement ("Joint Plan of Action," JPA) requiring Iran to freeze many aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for relief from some international sanctions.
Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework
This report explains the nature of U.S. authority over offshore areas pursuant to international and domestic law. It also describes the laws, at both the state and federal levels, governing the development of offshore oil and gas and the litigation that has flowed from development under these legal regimes. Also included is an outline of recent changes to the authorities regulating offshore development, as well as a discussion of recent executive action and legislative proposals concerning offshore oil and natural gas exploration and production.
Bills of Attainder: The Constitutional Implications of Congress Legislating Narrowly
This report discusses congressional bills of attainder, defined by the Supreme Court as "law[s] that legislatively determine guilt and inflict punishment upon an identifiable individual without provision of the protections of a judicial trial." The report specifically examines the two main criteria courts use to determine whether legislation is a bill of attainder: specificity and punishment.
Financial Condition of Depository Banks
This report discusses the congressional interest in the financial conditions of depository banks or the commercial banking industry that has increased in the wake of the financial crisis that unfolded in 2007-2009, which resulted in a large increase in the number of distressed institutions.
U.S. Crude Oil Export Policy: Background and Considerations
This report provides background and context about the crude oil legal and regulatory framework, discusses motivations that underlie the desire to export U.S. crude oil, and presents analysis of issues that Congress may choose to consider during debate about U.S. crude oil export policy.
The Buy American Act in Brief: Preferences for "Domestic" Supplies and Construction Materials in Federal Procurements
This report discusses the Buy American Act of 1933, which is the earliest and arguably the best known of various statutes regarding federal procurement of domestic products.
Iran Sanctions
The objective of sanctions may be on its way to achievement but has not been accomplished to date. U.S. officials believe that these sanctions caused Iran to return to the nuclear bargaining table in April 2012 with greater seriousness and intent toward peaceful resolution. Despite the imposition of what many now consider to be "crippling" sanctions, some in Congress believe that economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran needs to increase further and faster. In the 112th Congress, legislation would enhance both the economic sanctions and human rights-related provisions of a previous Iran sanctions laws However, movement on new sanctions might be on hold pending the outcome of a second round of nuclear talks slated for May 23 in Baghdad.
Federal Civil Rights Statutes: A Primer
Under federal law, an array of civil rights statutes are available to protect individuals from discrimination. This report provides a brief summary of selected federal civil rights statutes.
Iran Sanctions
This report gives an overview of the U.S. sanctions in place on Iran and legislation that would enhance both the economic sanctions and human rights-related provisions of CISADA and other laws. It also discusses the measures that the United Nations and others have enacted against Iran and the effects of the sanctions.
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.
Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law
Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried, and punished according to the laws of the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under certain limited circumstances. A surprising number of federal criminal statutes have extraterritorial application, but prosecutions have been few. This may be because when extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction does exist, practical and legal complications, and sometimes diplomatic considerations, may counsel against its exercise.
Comparison of Rights in Military Commission Trials and Trials in Federal Criminal Court
This report provides a brief summary of legal issues raised by the choice of forum for trying accused terrorists and a chart comparing selected military commissions rules under the Military Commissions Act, as amended, to the corresponding rules that apply in federal court.
International Law and Agreements: Their Effect Upon U.S. Law
This report provides an introduction to the roles that international law and agreements play in the United States. International law is derived from two primary sources--international agreements and customary practice. Under the U.S. legal system, international agreements can be entered into by means of a treaty or an executive agreement. The Constitution allocates primary responsibility for entering into such agreements to the executive branch, but Congress also plays an essential role.