Congressional Research Service Reports - 523 Matching Results

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Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Technology Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs
This report gives an overview of the federal incentives that support the development and deployment of alternatives to conventional fuels and engines in transportation including tax deductions and credits for vehicle purchases and the installation of refueling systems; federal grants for conversion of older vehicles to newer technologies; mandates for the use of biofuels; and incentives for manufacturers to produce alternative fuel vehicles. It also addresses how these incentives relate to goals of reducing petroleum consumption and import dependence, improving environmental quality, expanding domestic manufacturing, and promoting agriculture and rural development.
The Defense Production Act of 1950: History, Authorities, and Considerations for Congress
This report examines some of the extensive history of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA), focusing primarily on its creation and most recent legislative reauthorization. This report also identifies relevant delegations of the President's DPA authorities made in Executive Order (E.O.) 13603 -- National Defense Resources Preparedness -- and provides a brief overview of issues Congress may consider in its oversight.
U.S. Ground Forces Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) and Artificial Intelligence (AI): Considerations for Congress
This report discusses issues for Congress to consider regarding robotics and autonomous systems (RAS) and artificial intelligence (AI), which have the potential to change the nature of warfare. Other nations, notably peer competitors Russia and China, are aggressively pursuing RAS and AI for a variety of military uses, raising considerations about the U.S. military's response--to include lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS)--that could be used against U.S. forces.
Federal Grants and Loans for State and Local Emergency Communications Projects: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides congressional staff with information on current federal grants and loans that fund emergency communications, including information on the application process, eligible communications activities, and other resources they can provide to constituents seeking federal grant and loan funding to support emergency communications projects.
The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP): Issues in Brief
This report discusses the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program which is made up of four agencies (FEMA, The National Science Foundation, USGS, and National Institute of Standards and Technology) which are responsible for monitoring, reporting, and studying earthquakes and increasing resiliency to earthquakes through means such as stronger infrastructure, early warning systems, and recovery plans.
Calling Balls and Strikes: Ethics and Supreme Court Justices
This report examines questions related to the integrity and independence of the Supreme Court, and Congress's potential role in regulating the ethics of the Supreme Court Justices. For example: What mechanisms ensure the integrity of Justices as federal officials? Are Justices subject to any rules of ethical conduct? How might such ethics rules be enforced?
MS-13 in the United States and Federal Law Enforcement Efforts
This report provides a brief background on the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), a violent criminal gang operating in the United States and abroad--namely Central America. It focuses on MS-13's structure and criminal activities in the U.S. and highlights law enforcement initiatives to counter the gang's illicit activities. The report also provides an overview of selected domestic policy issues Congress may examine as part of its efforts to counter MS-13.
"Duck Boat" Accident Highlights Gap in Regulation
This report discusses recent accidents involving amphibious passenger vehicles (APVs), commonly known as "duck boats." The report highlights a gap in the regulation of APVs and provides recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to improve safety.
Iran Nuclear Agreement and U.S. Exit
This report discusses the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and various options for possible U.S. withdrawal if President Trump decided to try to reimpose sanctions on Iran.
Supreme Court Invalidates Public-Sector Union Agency Fees: Considerations for Congress in the Wake of Janus
This report discusses the Supreme Court case Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31 (AFSCME). In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that "agency fee" arrangements between a union and a government employer necessarily violate the First Amendment, overruling its 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education.
The Trump Administration's "Zero Tolerance" Immigration Enforcement Policy
This report briefly reviews the statutory authority for prosecuting persons who enter the United States illegally between U.S. ports of entry, and the policies and procedures for processing apprehended illegal border entrants and any accompanying children. It explains enforcement policies in the past and then discusses the Trump Administration's zero tolerance policy on illegal border crossers and the attendant family separations. The report concludes by presenting varied policy perspectives on the zero-tolerance policy and briefly reviews recent related congressional activity. An appendix examines recent trends in the apprehension of family units at the U.S. southern border.
The Trump-Putin Summit
This report discusses the Trump-Putin summit that took place on July 16, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland. The report summarizes issues discussed in the summit press conference, including election interference, Syria, Ukraine, arms control, nonproliferation, and counterterrorism and cybersecurity.
U.S.-EU Trade and Economic Issues
This report discusses U.S.-EU trade and economic relations, which currently face heightened tension, particularly due to the Trump Administration's trade policy, which is focusing on unilateral tariff measures under U.S. trade law and taking a critical view of the U.S. role in international economic cooperation. Given U.S.-EU historical joint leadership on global trade and economic issues, these developments could have implications for the rules-based international trading system, a foundation of the global economic order that has contributed to global economic growth and stability in the post-World War II era.
U.S.-EU Trade and Investment Ties: Magnitude and Scope
This report provides background information and analysis on the trade and investment relationship between the United States and the European Union. It also discusses the EU economy and issues for Congress.
The Vacancies Act: A Legal Overview
This report first describes how the Vacancies Act operates and outlines its scope, identifying when the Vacancies Act applies to a given office, how it is enforced, and which offices are exempt from its provisions. The report then explains who may serve as an acting officer and for how long, focusing on the limitations the Vacancies Act places on acting service. Finally, the report turns to issues of particular relevance to Congress, primarily highlighting the Vacancies Act's enforcement mechanisms.
Economic and Fiscal Conditions in the U.S. Virgin Islands
This report discusses the fiscal and economic challenges facing the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) and related issues for Congress, such as: oversight of federal policies that could affect the USVI's long-term fiscal stability; further legislation that would extend or restructure long-range disaster assistance programs to mitigate those challenges and promote greater resiliency of infrastructure and public programs; and how responses to the USVI's fiscal distress could affect municipal debt markets more broadly.
Federal Disaster Assistance Response and Recovery Programs: Brief Summaries
This report is designed to assist Members of Congress and their staff as they address the needs of their states, communities, and constituents after a disaster. It includes a summary of federal programs that provide federal disaster assistance to individual survivors, states, territories, local governments, and nongovernmental entities following a natural or man-made disaster.
Military Enjoined from Transferring American ISIS Suspect to Foreign Country--at Least for Now
This report discusses the case of Doe v. Mattis, a case with potential ramifications regarding the authority to conduct military operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (D.C. Circuit) upheld 2-1 the district court's injunctions temporarily protecting "John Doe" from forcible transfer to another country from Iraq, where he is currently being held by the U.S. military as a suspected ISIS combatant.
Recent Violent Crime Trends in the United States
This report provides an analysis of changes in violent crime since 1960, with a focus on changes from 2014 to 2016 in violent crime and homicide rates in the 48 largest cities in the United States for which violent crime and homicide data were submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program.
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs).
The Economic Effects of Trade: Overview and Policy Challenges
This report focuses on a number of major issues concerning the role of trade and trade agreements in the economy and issues that are particular to Free Trade Agreements (FTA), including the role of trade in the economy and the macroeconomic forces that drive the trade deficit; the impact of trade on employment and the adjustment costs experienced by firms and workers; estimates of the number of jobs in the economy that are supported by trade and economic models used to estimate the impact of FTAs on employment; the impact of FTAs on foreign investment and employment; and the relationship between trade and the distribution of income.
The Mental Health Workforce: A Primer
This report begins with a working definition of the mental health workforce and a brief discussion of alternative definitions. It then describes three dimensions of the mental health workforce that may influence quality of care, access to care, and costs of care: licensure requirements and scope of practice for each provider type in the mental health workforce, estimated numbers of each provider type in the mental health workforce, and average annual wages for each provider type in the mental health workforce. The report then briefly discusses how these dimensions of the mental health workforce might inform certain policy discussions.
Registered Apprenticeship: Federal Role and Recent Federal Efforts
This report discusses apprenticeship programs and the federal certification process for official apprenticeships as well as recent government activity related to apprenticeship guidelines and funding.
The Senate "Two-Hour Rule" Governing Committee Meeting Times
This report discusses the creation, provisions, and use of the Senate's two-hour rule for committee meetings while the Senate is in session.
U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses Special Operations Forces (SOF), which play a significant role in U.S. military operations and, in recent years, have been given greater responsibility for planning and conducting worldwide counterterrorism operations.
The Veterans Choice Program (VCP): Program Implementation
This report discusses the Veterans Choice Program (VCP) which allows veterans to use community health care providers and still be covered under VA insurance benefits. The report provides details on how the VCP is being implemented and is meant to provide insight into the execution of the current VCP program.
2017 Disaster Supplemental Appropriations: Overview
This report provides a detailed breakdown of the requested and enacted supplemental funding in each of the disaster relief supplemental appropriation measures for 2017 natural disasters, and provides a contact listing for CRS experts on the funded relief and recovery programs.
Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-123): CHIP, Public Health, Home Visiting, and Medicaid Provisions in Division E
This report provides information about the provisions from Division E of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA 2018) related to CHIP, certain public health programs, the MIECHV program, and the Medicaid program.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): A Brief Legislative History
This report provides a general overview of the current earned income tax credit (EITC). The report summarizes the key legislative changes to the credit and provides analysis of some of the congressional intentions behind these changes. An overview of the current structure of the EITC can be found in Appendix A at the end of this report.
Eight Mechanisms to Enact Procedural Change in the U.S. Senate
This report highlights eight parliamentary mechanisms that might be used to implement procedural change in the Senate and links to additional reading material on the subject.
Federal Support for Drug Courts: In Brief
This report explains the concept of a "drug court,", how the term and programs have expanded to include wider meanings and serve additional subgroups, how the federal government supports drug courts, and research on the impact of drug courts on offenders and court systems. In addition, it briefly discusses how drug courts might provide an avenue for addressing the opioid epidemic and other emerging drug issues that Congress may consider.
Germaneness of Debate in the Senate: The Pastore Rule
This report discusses the Pastore rule in the Senate which governs germaneness in debate.
Iran's Foreign and Defense Policies
This report discusses Iran's foreign and defense policy and various factors influencing its development and goals.
Net Neutrality: Will the FTC Have Authority Over Broadband Service Providers
This report discusses the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decision in "FTC v. AT&T Mobility". The implications of this decision on net neutrality are also discussed.
Paid Family Leave in the United States
This report discusses paid family leave's availability in the United States and recent legislation and proposals related to it.
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC): A Primer
This report discusses The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's (PBGC) structure, funding, and functions.
Campus-Based Student Financial Aid Programs Under the Higher Education Act
This report describes the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study (FWS), and Federal Perkins Loan programs. It also presents historical information on appropriations provided for the programs and the federal student aid that has been made available to students through the programs.
Fiscal Year 2018 Defense Spending Under an Interim Continuing Resolution
This report discusses defense spending for FY2018 under an interim continuing resolution and effects that this has on spending levels and types.
Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multi-employer Pensions Plans: Structure, Procedures, and CRS Experts
This report discusses the structure, powers, and funding of the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans and provides an overview of the parliamentary procedures the chambers may use to consider its work product. The report includes contact information for CRS policy analysts who work on issues related to the structure and policy work of the panel.
Memorandum: Civil-Suit Provision in the House-Passed Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R. 38)
This report evaluates legal issues potentially arising from the civil-suit provision in H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which the House of Representatives passed on December 6, 2017
Where Can Corporations Be Sued for Patent Infringement? Part 1
This report is part one of two and discusses patent venue jurisprudence, including the "TC Heartland" opinion, and the impact of the decision on the patent litigation system generally.
Where Can Corporations Be Sued for Patent Infringement? Part 2
This report is part two of two and discusses other implications of the "TC Heartland" decision, including two notable recent decisions in the Federal Circuit interpreting the decision, "In re Cray" and "In re Micron Technology, Inc.," as well as other potential issues raised by TC Heartland and options for Congress.
Department of Veterans Affairs Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations
This report focuses on FY2018 appropriations and FY2019 advance appropriations for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It includes an overview of the VA, a description of the appropriations, other funding developments through the Veterans Choice Program (VCP), presidential budget requests, and congressional actions.
The Net Neutrality Debate: Access to Broadband Networks
This report discusses the net neutrality debate and the recent ruling by the FCC to repeal a rule which classified internet providers as telecommunication providers and thus required them to provide equal service to all. It also discusses Congressional activity in the 115th Congress regarding the issue.
The War in Yemen: A Compilation of Legislation in the 115th Congress
This report provides a summary of all legislative proposals that the 115th Congress has considered to date regarding the conflict in Yemen. Proposed stand-alone legislation, resolutions, and amendments to wider bills [National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 2810; P.L. 115-91) and Defense appropriations (H.R. 3219/Division I, H.R. 3354)] reflect a range of congressional perspectives and priorities. This product will be updated during the second session of the 115th Congress to reflect new legislative proposals.
TPP Countries Near Agreement without U.S. Participation
This report discuses the negotiations between the signatory countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after the U.S. withdrawal in January 2017 and possible effects of the implementation of an agreement without the U.S. on the U.S. economy and their image in Asia.
Confederate Symbols: Relation to Federal Lands and Programs
This report focuses primarily on Confederate symbols administered by three federal entities-- NPS, the VA, and DOD. Each of these entities manages multiple sites or programs that involve Confederate symbols. The report begins with a discussion of recent legislative proposals, and then discusses the agencies' current policies with respect to Confederate symbols, along with issues for Congress.
Hurricanes and Electricity Infrastructure Hardening
This report discusses the measures undertaken by electric utilities to prevent or mitigate power outages resulting from severe weather events. Power lines and transformers used to provide electricity to customers are particularly susceptible to damage due to their exposure to the elements. The loss of life and extensive damage seen so far in the 2017 hurricane season has refocused the attention of Congress on the destructive potential of such storms. High winds, rain, and coastal surges can combine to create floods which exacerbate damage from hurricanes.
Insurance Regulation: Legislation in the 115th Congress
This report discusses insurance related legislation in the 115th Congress including H.R. 10, Title XI, which would merge and revamp the FIO and the independent insurance expert position on FSOC; S. 1463/H.R. 3110 which would alter the term of the FSOC independent insurance expert; H.R. 3363 which would add insurance claims adjusters to the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers licensing structure created by Congress in P.L. 114-1; and S. 1360 which would respond to the development of international standards by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).
This report provides an overview of Lebanon and current issues of U.S. interest. It provides background information, analyzes recent developments and key policy debates, and tracks legislation, U.S. assistance, and recent congressional action. Topics discussed include politics, security challenges, Hezbollah and its wars and power, economic issues, and refugees in Lebanon from Syria.