Congressional Research Service Reports - 407 Matching Results

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Global Trends in Democracy: Background, U.S. Policy, and Issues for Congress
This report for Congress outlines and synthesizes information, analysis, and a variety of perspectives on issues regarding democracy around the world. In particular, it provides brief conceptual background on democracy and on democracy promotion's historical role in U.S. policy, analyzes aggregate trends in the global level of democracy using data from two major democracy indexes, and discusses some of the key factors that may be broadly affecting democracy around the world.
Iran: Internal Politics and U.S. Policy and Options
This report discusses the political history, current politics, and human rights practices of Iran, as well as Iran's relations with the United States, U.S. policy toward Iran, and future policy options.
Jordan: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Jordanian politics and current issues in U.S.-Jordanian relations. It provides a brief discussion of Jordan's government and economy and of its cooperation with U.S. policies in the Middle East.
Serbia: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Serbia and its governmental structure, economy, and foreign relations with the U.S., Kosovo, Turkey, Russia, and the EU.
U.S.-Japan Announce New Limited Trade Negotiations
This report discusses announced plans for bilateral negotiations for a trade agreement between the United States and Japan.
The United States and the "World Court"
This report reviews the most recent International Court of Justice (ICJ) proceedings against the United States by Iran and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the implications for Congress of the Trump Administration's withdrawal decision.
Afghanistan: Background and U.S. Policy In Brief
This report provides an overview of current political and military dynamics, with a focus on the Trump Administration's new strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia, the U.S.-led coalition and Afghan military operations, and recent political developments, including prospects for peace talks and elections.
The "Flores Settlement" and Alien Families Apprehended at the U.S. Border: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers frequently asked legal questions pertaining to the Flores Settlement and the it's impact on the detention of alien families apprehended at or near the U.S. border. In particular, the report addresses (1) background of the litigation, (2) how the Settlement restricts DHS's power to keep families in detention, (3) the relationship between the Ms. L. litigation and the Settlement, (4) the executive branch's policy options under the Settlement, (5) proposed rulemaking for implementation, and (6) the extent to which either the executive branch or Congress can override or modify the terms of the Settlement.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks in U.S. Agriculture
This report discusses agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States, agricultural carbon sequestration, and practices that offset GHG emissions.
Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Research Efforts in the Military
This report discusses substance abuse trends in the military, efforts by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to address the opioid crisis, and the main elements of DOD's substance abuse prevention, compliance, and disciplinary policies.
Violence Against Journalists in Mexico: In Brief
This report discusses Mexico's problem of violence committed against journalists. Topics include press freedom in Mexico compared to other Latin American countries, crimes against journalists, Mexican government efforts to address these crimes, and U.S. policy on the issue.
Agricultural Conservation: A Guide to Programs
This report provides a listing of federal agricultural conservation assistance programs. Each listing includes a brief description of the program, information on major amendments in the Agricultural Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-79, 2014 farm bill), national scope and availability, states with the greatest participation, the backlog of applications or other measures of continuing interest, program funding authority, FY2018 funding, FY2019 Administration budget request, statutory authority, the authorization expiration date, and a link to the program's website.
Comparing DHS Component Funding, FY2018: In Brief
This report compares the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) request and actual funding in FY2018 with last years budget.
Cuba After the Castros
This report discusses the resignation of Raul Castro as president of Cuba and the appointment of a new president who is not a part of the Castro family and possible implications of the change in leadership.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request Fact Sheet
This report provides a brief overview of the FY2019 budget request for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), with links to relevant Administration budget documents and CRS reports. A list of CRS analysts with expertise on various aspects of the HUD budget is also provided.
The H-2B Visa and the Statutory Cap: In Brief
This report discusses H-2B visas for temporary non-agricultural workers and the statutory cap on the number issued each year along with recent extensions of the cap number due to high-demand from U.S. employers.
Implementing EPA's 2015 Ozone Air Quality Standards
This report discusses the ongoing debate and process of implementing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2015 Ozone Air Quality Standards and provides a cost-benefit analysis of the new air quality standards.
Murderous Schemes are not Violent Crimes?
This report discusses the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit's decision in the case of "U.S. v. McCollum" which stated that conspiracy to murder was not a violent crime for federal sentencing purposes and discusses the background of the case and the prior case law which led to the decision.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), Reinsurance, and Catastrophe Bonds
This report discusses the use of reinsurance to transfer some of the risk of an insurance policy from the primary insurer to a secondary insurer and the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) decision to use reinsurance through the issuance of catastrophe bonds (which pay out when a particular type of disaster set out in the bond agreement occurs) by the secondary private insurers.
The Orderly Liquidation Authority: Reform Proposals
This report discusses the Orderly Liquidation Authority (OLA) which was created by Title II of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203) to allow the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to resolve certain failing financial institutions whose collapse could threaten the stability of the financial system. Although OLA has never been used, it has become the subject of a number of reform proposals. This report briefly describes the OLA and two prominent examples of such proposals.
Small Business Size Standards: A Historical Analysis of Contemporary Issues
This report provides a historical examination of the Small Business Administration's (SBA) size standards and assesses competing views concerning how to define a small business. It also discusses recent legislation related to small business size standards and regulation.
U.S. Farm Commodity Support: An Overview of Selected Programs
This report provides an overview of federal farm commodity support programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and possible issues for Congress to consider regarding them.
Comparison of the Bills to Extend State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
This report discusses the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and compares and summarizes the provisions in the KIDS Act and in Division B of the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act.
Federal Financing for the State Children's Health Insurance Program
This report discusses funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). It provides an overview of CHIP financing.
Highway Bridge Conditions: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the state of highway bridges in the U.S. and federal funding programs to assist in their repair and maintenance. Statistics on the numbers of structurally deficient bridges and their locations are included.
Temporary Protected Status: Overview and Current Issues
This report discusses Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and the current countries with the status. The ongoing debate regarding whether TPS recipients should receive a pathway to legal permanent residency is also discussed. The report concludes with examples of activity in the 115th Congress related to TPS.
Wilderness: Issues and Legislation
This report discusses information on wilderness protection and a discussion of issues in the wilderness debate--some pros and cons of wilderness designation generally; proposed legislation; and a discussion of wilderness study area designations and protections and related issues.
Congressional Commissions: Overview, Structure, and Legislative Considerations
This report provides an overview and analysis of congressional advisory commissions, information on the general statutory structure of a congressional commission, and a catalog of congressional commissions created since the 101st Congress.
End-Year DOD Contract Spending
This report discusses the levels of year-end contract spending by defense agencies and reasons this occurs and possible wasteful spending practices.
Monuments and Memorials Authorized and Completed Under the Commemorative Works Act in the District of Columbia
This report describes memorials built under the authority of the Commemorative Works Act (CWA) of 1986 in the District of Columbia. It contains a catalog of the 19 authorized works that have been completed and dedicated since 1986. For each memorial, the report provides a rationale for each authorized work, as expressed by a Member of Congress, as well as the statutory authority for its creation; and identifies the group or groups which sponsored the commemoration, the memorial's location, and the dedication date. A picture of each work is also included. The Appendix includes a map showing each completed memorial's location.
Monuments and Memorials Authorized Under the Commemorative Works Acts in the District of Columbia: Current Development of In-Progress and Lapsed Works
This report describes monuments and memorials under construction or in planning in the District of Columbia that were authorized under the Commemorative Works Act of 1986. It provides a status update on 12 in-progress memorials and 4 memorials with lapsed authorizations. For each monument or memorial, the report provides a rationale for the work as expressed in the Congressional Record or a House or Senate committee report; its statutory authority; the group or groups sponsoring the commemoration; and the memorial's location (or proposed location), if known. A picture or rendering of each work is also included, when available.
Tax Incentives for Charitable Giving in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1)
This report discusses provisions of the proposed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R.1) which would reduce the tax incentive for charitable giving by decreasing the deduction amounts that most taxpayers would receive from charitable gift deductions.
Guatemala: Political and Socioeconomic Conditions and U.S. Relations
This report describes the political structure and government in Guatemala and the presidency of Jimmy Morales and his anti-corruption efforts as well as socioeconomic conditions in Guatemala, Relations between the U.S. and Guatemala are also discussed.
Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Hypervelocity Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on three potential new weapons that could improve the ability of Navy surface ships to defend themselves against enemy missiles--solid state lasers (SSLs), the electromagnetic railgun (EMRG), and the hypervelocity projectile (HVP).The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's funding requests and proposed acquisition strategies for these three potential new weapons for the 2018 fiscal year. Congress's decisions on this issue could affect future Navy capabilities and funding requirements and the defense industrial base.
The Net Neutrality Debate: Access to Broadband Networks
This report discuses debates and regulations regarding net neutrality and broadband internet's classification as a telecommunication service in a 2015 rule that was upheld in court in 2016. A major focus in the debate is concern over whether the current regulatory framework as delineated in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) 2015 Open Internet Order is the appropriate approach to ensure access to the Internet for content, services, and applications providers, as well as consumers, or whether a less regulatory, "light touch" approach is more suitable.
U.S. Withdrawal from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
This report discusses the announcement by President Trump that the U.S. was withdrawing from UNESCO due to payment arrears, organization issues, and anti-Israel bias. A brief background of U.S. involvement is provided along with previous withdrawals, ongoing tensions regarding UNESCO's actions in regard to Israel and the admittance of Palestine as a member, and possible effects of the U.S. being a nonmember observer state in UNESCO.
The State Department's "Trafficking in Persons" Report: Scope, Aid Restrictions, and Methodology
This report describes the legislative provisions that govern the U.S. Department of State's production of the annual TIP Report, reviews country ranking trends in the TIP Report, and identifies recent congressional oversight of and legislative activity to modify the TIP Report. Answers to selected frequently asked questions (FAQs) are included throughout the report.
Corporate Expatriation, Inversions, and Mergers: Tax Issues
This report discusses corporate inversions and mergers; these actions change the parent company to one based in another country with a low tax rate to avoid paying U.S. corporate taxes. It discusses past attempts and legislation outlawing varying forms of inversion, the most recent regulations issued by the Treasury Department to decrease inversions, and policy options that would remove the incentive for companies to invert.
Cuba Sanctions: Legislative Restrictions Limiting the Normalization of Relations
This report outlines the various laws and sections of legislation that govern sanctions against Cuba and how they could be lifted or waived along with background information on the U.S. embargo of Cuba since the 1960s.
For First Time, FinCEN Imposes Penalty on Foreign-Based Virtual Currency Exchange for Violations of Anti-Money Laundering Laws
This report discusses the first case of enforcement by the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) against a foreign-based virtual currency exchange. The action was taken agains BTC-e for violations of anti-money laundering regulations in the U.S. and potential money laundering activities.
Foreign Money and U.S. Elections
This report provides an overview of the prohibitions on foreign money under federal campaign finance law.
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report discusses China's maritime and and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) claims in the East China and South China Seas and their effect on U.S. policy and strategy in the region. Topics covered are the history of the territorial disputes and the interests of China, neighboring countries, and the United States in the disputes, maritime disputes in general, relevant treaties and agreements, China's approach to disputes, the United States's approach and position on the disputes, specific issues for Congress to address, and related legislative actions in 2017. Four appendices cover strategic context from an U.S. perspective, U.S. treaties with Japan and the Philippines, and operational rights in the EEZ, and options suggested by observers for strengthening U.S. actions.
Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): History and Overview
This report is about the history, role, and function of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) that exists to advise the President on matters related to science, engineering, and technology. It includes charts outlining both historical and current funding for the OSTP and past and present OSTP advisers organized by President.
U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress
This report presents background information and issues for Congress on the overarching U.S. foreign policy issue of the U.S. role in the world. Certain statements and actions from the Trump Administration have led to uncertainty about the Administration's intentions regarding the future U.S. role, and have intensified an ongoing debate among foreign policy specialists, strategists, policymakers, and the public about what that role should be. This report includes (particularly in its appendixes) references to other CRS products that provide more in-depth discussions of specific policy and program areas bearing on the U.S. role.
Violence Against Members of Congress and Their Staff: Selected Examples and Congressional Responses
This report discusses instances of violence against Members of Congress and their staffs, and provides brief descriptions of a selected list of incidents and previous legislation passed to increase security after attacks. It also includes a list of current legislative proposals in response to the June 14, 2017 attack on Republican Members of Congress at a Congressional baseball game practice in Alexandria, Virginia.
Who Regulates Whom? An Overview of the U.S. Financial Regulatory Framework
This report attempts to set out the basic frameworks and principles underlying U.S. financial regulation and to give some historical context for the development of that system. The first section briefly discusses the various modes of financial regulation and the next section identifies the major federal regulators and the types of institutions they supervise (see Table 1). It then provides a brief overview of each federal financial regulatory agency. Finally, the report discusses other entities that play a role in financial regulation--interagency bodies, state regulators, and international standards.
Human Rights in China and U.S. Policy: Issues for the 115th Congress
This report discusses U.S. policy toward China in regards to the many human rights abuses found there. A selection of the top areas human rights violations in China are discussed such as internet control. religious freedom, the criminal justice system, family planning policies, and the persecution of ethnic minorities. This is followed by a discussion of U.S. efforts and policies aimed at ending or decreasing human rights abuses in China.
Israel: Background and U.S. Relations in Brief
This report discusses U.S. relations with Israel and recent developments. Israeli-Palestinian issues and conflict are a major focus of the report.
OPEC and Non-OPEC Crude Oil Production Agreement: Compliance Status
This report discusses the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC's) influence on global oil prices through coordinated production decisions that can impact the global oil market supply and demand balance.
Presidential Authority to Permit Access to National Security Information
This report discuses whether the President has power to disclose classified national security information to foreign agents with the goal of advancing U.S, national interests and from what laws or legal rulings that power may stem.