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Army Corps of Engineers: Water Resource Authorization and Project Delivery Processes
This report summarizes congressional authorization legislation for U.S. Army Corps of Engineer (USACE) water resource development projects, the standard project delivery process, authorities for alternative water resource project delivery, and other USACE authorities.
Establishment of Task Force on the U.S. Postal Service
This report discusses the task force on the U.S. Postal Service established by President Trump's Executive Order on April 12, 2018, (EO 13829) and the topics the task force is directed to address. It concludes with potential issues for congressional consideration.
Federal Public Transportation Program: In Brief
This report provides a brief description of the Federal Public Transportation Program and its functions and funding.
Introduction to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
This report provides introductory information on key components of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), ranging from floodplain mapping to the standard flood insurance forms. This report will be updated as significant revisions are made to the NFIP through legislation or administrative action. However, this report does not provide detail on current or future legislative issues for Congress, which are covered in a separate report
Military Suicide Prevention and Response
This report discusses suicide among military service members, including the scope of the issue, efforts previously taken to address it, and considerations for confronting the issue in the future.
Options to Cease Implementing the Iran Nuclear Agreement
This report analyzes some of the options the Administration and Congress might use to end or alter U.S. implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) AKA the Iran Nuclear deal. Potential implications of these options are analyzed as well. This report bases its analysis primarily on the text of key documents involved in the issue--the JCPOA itself;3 U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 of July 20, 2015,4 which endorsed the JCPOA; and the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA, P.L. 114-17, of May 22, 2015).
Teen Birth Trends: In Brief
This report provides context for Congress about the U.S. teen birth rate--or the number of births per 1,000 females aged 15 to 19 each year--and its changes since the 1950s. Over this period, the teen birth rate has generally been in decline. This decline has been most significant in recent years, with the rate reaching a record low in 2016. Multiple factors have likely contributed to the decrease, though the influence of any single factor is not fully known. Reduced teen sexual activity, particularly among younger adolescents, could be one explanation. Increases in use of contraceptives, including highly effective and multiple methods, among sexually active teens could be another. Other factors, such as broader social and economic trends, may also be at play.
Teen Pregnancy: Federal Prevention Programs
This report discusses federal programs that assist in reducing teen pregnancy rates. This report begins with a brief discussion of recent developments in funding for the four teen pregnancy prevention programs. It then provides background on the role of Congress and the executive branch in preventing teen pregnancy. The remainder of the report focuses on the four programs, examining the types of grants they provide as well as related funding, requirements, and research activities.
Third Circuit Invalidates "De Facto" Life Sentences for "Non-Incorrigible" Juvenile Offenders
This report discusses a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in the case of "United States v. Grant" that prohibits the use of "de facto" life sentences without possibility of parole (created by sentencing juveniles to prison terms longer than the average lifespan or that would end after they reached the typical retirement age) for juvenile offenders who have a reasonable potential for rehabilitation. The report also discusses previous decisions related to this issue and the split among appeals court over the proper application of the Eighth Amendment to juvenile sentencing restrictions.
Unemployment and Employment Programs Available to Workers Affected by Disasters
This report discusses two income support programs and two workforce service programs that are available to those who lose their jobs due to a disaster. In each benefit category, there is a broader permanent program and a more-targeted program for disaster-affected workers. All of these programs are administered through state agencies and some programmatic details may be state-specific.
Family Planning Program Under Title X of the Public Health Service Act
This report discuses the federal Family Planning Program (Title X) and its functions and funding. The FY2019 budget request is included.
The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the FirstNet communication system for first responders and other emergency personnel. Its creation, purpose, and future use are discussed.
Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy, and gives Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers a capability for conducting BMD operations.
OPIC, USAID, and Proposed Development Finance Reorganization
This report discusses a proposed reorganization of U.S. developmental aid programs that would consolidate several agencies into one central agency. Various pros and cons of the proposal are also included.
SBA Veterans Assistance Programs :An Analysis of Contemporary Issues
This report opens with an examination of the economic circumstances of veteran-owned businesses drawn from the Bureau of the Census's 2012 Survey of Business Owners (SBO). It then provides a brief overview of veterans' employment experiences. The report also describes the employment assistance programs offered by several federal agencies to assist veterans in their transition from the military to the civilian labor force. It also discusses the SBA's Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and P.L. 114-38, the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act of 2015.
African American Members of the United States Congress: 1870-2018
This report provides statistics on the current numbers and roles of African American Members of Congress as well as historical data on African American Members of Congress.
Artificial Intelligence and National Security
This report discuses research and development of artificial intelligence (AI) applications for the military, their potential uses, and the programs of competing nations such as China and Russia.
Federally Supported Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment Programs
This report provides background information on the types of water supply and wastewater treatment projects traditionally funded by the federal government and the several existing programs to assist communities with water supply and wastewater treatment.
Kuwait: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses Kuwait's governmental structure and politics, defense policies and cooperation with the U.S., foreign policy towards its neighbors, economy, and human rights concerns.
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on maritime territorial and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) disputes in the East China (ECS) and South China Sea (SCS) involving China, with a focus on how these disputes may affect U.S. strategic and policy interests.
The National Health Service Corps
This report provides an overview of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), including the program's funding, the number and types of providers the program supports, and the locations where they serve.
OPEC and Non-OPEC Crude Oil Production Agreement: Compliance Status
This report discusses OPEC countries and 11 non-OPEC countries agreement starting in late 2016 to reduce oil production and the purposes and impact of the agreement.
The Peace Corps: Current Issues
This report discuses the Peace Corps functions and funding as well as current issues such as the available funding for Peace Corps expansion, whether volunteers are able to function in a safe and secure environment, and volunteer access to abortion.
Runaway and Homeless Youth: Demographics and Programs
This report discusses runaway and homeless youth, and the federal response to support this population. The report begins with an overview of the runaway and homeless youth population. It then describes the challenges in defining and counting the runaway and homeless youth population, as well as the factors that influence homelessness and leaving home. The report also provides background on the evolution of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act from the 1970s until it was last amended in 2008. It then describes the administration and funding of the Basic Center, Transitional Living, and Street Outreach programs that were created from authorizations in the act. Finally, the report discusses other federal programs that may be used to assist runaway and homeless youth.
A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense-Issues for Congress
This report discusses the changing international security environment and how the new realities should effect U.S. defense spending and strategy.
What is the Farm Bill?
This report provides an overview of the different sections of the Farm Bill and the purposes of the bill.
White House Directs EPA to Review Air Quality Standards and Permitting Process
This report discusses a recent Presidential memorandum that directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review and streamline the implementation of the Clean Air Act .
China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on China's naval modernization effort and its implications for U.S. Navy capabilities. For an overview of the strategic and budgetary context in which China's naval modernization effort and its implications for U.S. Navy capabilities may be considered, see Appendix A.
Covert Action and Clandestine Activities of the Intelligence Community: Selected Definitions in Brief
This report provides definitions of clandestine versus covert intelligence activities and discusses what agencies are authorized to undertake which types of intelligence. It also covers military intelligence terms that are different than ones used by civilian government activities.
Foreign Aid: An Introduction to U.S. Programs and Policy
This report provides an overview of the U.S. foreign assistance program by answering frequently asked questions on the subject. It is intended to provide a broad view of foreign assistance over time, and will be updated periodically.
Medicaid's Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP)
This report describes the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) calculation used to reimburse states for most Medicaid expenditures, and it lists the statutory exceptions to the regular FMAP rate.
Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress
This report describes the current status of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between Russia and the United States and highlights issues that Congress may address as the United States pursues its compliance concerns with Russia. It begins with a historical overview that describes the role of intermediate-range nuclear weapons in NATO's security construct in the late 1970s and the political and security considerations that affected the negotiation of the INF Treaty. In addition, the report summarizes the provisions of the INF Treaty, highlighting those central to the discussion about Russia's current activities. It then reviews the publicly available information about the potential Russian violation and Russia's possible motivations for pursuing the development of a noncompliant missile. Next, the report summarizes Russia's concerns with U.S. compliance with the treaty. The report concludes with a discussion of options that the United States might pursue to address its concerns with Russia's activities and options that it might pursue if Russia deploys new INF-range missiles.
Army Futures Command
This report discusses the Army Futures Command, a proposed central command focused on Army modernization efforts.
Can Corporations be Held Liable Under the Alien Tort Statute?
This report is an update of an earlier report discussing the Supreme Court case of "Jesner v. Arab Bank" which reports the final decision that foreign corporations such as Arab Bank may not be brought as defendants in lawsuits under the Alien Tort Statute.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress such as: Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic that could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition. The FY2019 budget request for arctic research is included.
Children's Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME)
This report describes the Children's Hospital Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program's purpose and structure, history, and authorizations and appropriations. It also provides select program data, including the number of hospitals supported under the program, their location, the amount of funding they receive, and the number of residents trained. Finally, the report discusses alternative sources of GME funding available and some issues that Congress may consider as part of the program's reauthorization.
Closing the Flood Insurance Gap
This report discusses the flood insurance coverage gaps in the United States, provides statistics on the level of coverage and amount of flooding in coastal areas recently hit by hurricanes, and provides possible solutions to the flood insurance gap.
The Consumer Product Safety Act: A Legal Analysis
This report provides a legal overview of the Consumer Product Safety Act's (CPSC) structure, jurisdiction, and statutory powers under the CPSA.
Frequently Asked Questions about Prescription Drug Pricing and Policy
This report answers frequently asked questions about prescription drug pricing regulations and policy.
Monuments and Memorials Authorized Under the Commemorative Works Act in the District of Columbia: Current Development of In-Progress and Lapsed Works
This report provides a status update on 13 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.
Transatlantic Perspectives on Defense Innovation: Issues for Congress
This report discusses defense innovation and technology research and development in the American, British, French, and German military and ways to use implement such innovations into NATO forces.
Work Authorization for H-4 Spouses of H-1B Temporary Workers: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides answers to frequently asked questions about work authorization for H-4 visa holders (visas for spouses and unmarried children under 21 of H-1B visa holders).
Australia, China, and the Indo-Pacific
This report discusses Australia's relations with China and the changing power dynamics in the Pacific region.
Cross-Border Data Sharing Under the CLOUD Act
This report reviews the development of cross-border data sharing laws in criminal matters in the United States. It begins with an overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and the Stored Communications Act (SCA). Next, the report discusses the questions raised in the Microsoft litigation and the impact of the CLOUD Act on those issues. Finally, the report examines the new form of international agreements authorized by the CLOUD Act and the commentary on the benefits and drawbacks of the potential new international data sharing agreements.
Overview of "Travel Ban" Litigation and Recent Developments
This report is an update of an earlier report regarding the "travel ban" litigation going through the courts and includes President Trump's April 10th,2018, executive order lifting travel restrictions on nationals of Chad.
U.S. Trade with Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Partners
This report presents data on U.S. merchandise (goods) trade with its Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partner countries. The data are presented to show bilateral trade balances for individual FTA partners and groups of countries representing such major agreements as the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central American Free Trade Agreement and Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR) relative to total U.S. trade balances. This report also discusses the issues involved in using bilateral merchandise trade balances as a standard for measuring the economic effects of a particular FTA.
What's the Difference?: Comparing U.S. and Chinese Trade Data
This report examines the differences in the trade data from the two nations in two ways. First, it compares the trade figures using the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (Harmonized System) to discern any patterns in the discrepancies between the U.S. and Chinese data. The second approach to examining the differing trade data involves a review of the existing literature on the technical and non-technical sources of the trade data discrepancies. This report is updated annually, after the release of official trade data by China and the United States.
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.