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Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management: An Introduction
This report reviews cyber supply chain risks, discusses ways in which they are currently managed, and provides issues that Congress may consider.
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. Recent discussions regarding President's Trump announcement that the U.S. was decertifying the nuclear agreement and the possibility of reinstating certain sanctions are also discussed.
Navy Columbia (SSBN-826) Class Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Columbia-class program, a program to design and build a new class of 12 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to replace the Navy's current force of 14 Ohio-class SSBNs.
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program. Decisions that Congress makes on procurement of Virginia-class boats could substantially affect U.S. Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
U.S. Research and Development Funding and Performance: Fact Sheet
This report begins by providing a profile of the U.S. research and development (R&D) enterprise, including historical trends and current funding by sector and by whether the R&D is basic research, applied research, or development. The final section of this fact sheet includes data on R&D performance by sector.
When Can You Be Convicted of a Crime That Is Not a Crime?
This report discusses the case United States v. Melgar-Cabrera. A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Tenth Circuit) recently upheld the murder conviction of the defendant who the court conceded had been "convicted of a crime that is not a crime."
Boko Haram and the Islamic State's West Africa Province
This report discusses the terrorist group Boko Haram, including the history of the group, leadership and group divisions, objectives and areas of operation, capabilities, and relationships with other terrorist groups.
Justice Kennedy Retires: Initial Considerations for Congress
This report discusses the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy from the Supreme Court. In so doing, this post provides a broad overview of key legal issues Congress (and, more specifically the Senate, through its advice and consent role) may wish to consider as it reflects on Justice Kennedy's jurisprudence and how his eventual successor might shape the future of the Court, Congress, and the nation as a whole.
Permitting for Pesticide Discharges into Navigable Waters: Issues and Legislation in the 115th Congress
This report discusses the pesticide general permit (PGP), which is required for discharges of biological pesticides and chemical pesticides that leave a residue in navigable waters. Possible actions from the 115th Congress are also discussed.
Trade Deficits and U.S. Trade Policy
This report examines the components of the U.S. trade deficit in terms of the merchandise trade account and the broader current account. It also assesses the relationship between the trade deficit and U.S. free trade agreements, perceived unfair treatment in trading relationships, the trade deficit and U.S. rates of unemployment, and the impact of tariffs on the U.S. trade deficit, as well as raises issues for potential congressional consideration.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
This report discusses the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) which is a presidential advisory body consisting of nine cabinet members, two ex officio members, and other members appointed by the President to oversee direct investments by foreign countries in the United States. It discusses the basics of the committee's operations and laws governing their conduct and power, presidential blocks of investment, previous reforms to the original law governing the committee and its actions and current propositions in Congress to further amend the laws regarding the committe.
Defense Primer: RDT&E
This report describes the appropriations structure and funding levels for the U.S. Department of Defense's (DOD's) research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E). The DOD relies on scientific and technical research funded by the department and performed by industry, universities, federal laboratories, and others; the DOD also relies on technology developed by the private sector for commercial markets.
Efforts to Preserve Economic Benefits of the Iran Nuclear Deal
This report discusses the response of the non-U.S. parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to the Trump Administration's decision to cease implementing U.S. commitments under the agreement. The other parties, which include the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China, the European Union (EU) and Iran, opposed the U.S. move and have undertaken intensive negotiations to try to preserve the accord.
Federal Assistance for Wildfire Response and Recovery
This report briefly discusses the options for federal support and assistance for areas affected by wildfire disasters, including the period during wildfires, in the aftermath, and subsequently for preventing a recurrence.
Foreign Relations Reauthorization: Background and Issues
This report summarizes foreign relations reauthorization, including history, current legislation, background, and relevance.
Global Research and Development Expenditures: Fact Sheet
This report describes the rates of funding for research and development in the United States compared to the rest of the world through several charts.
Legislative Actions to Modify the Affordable Care Act in the 111th-115th Congresses
This report summarizes legislative actions taken during the 111th-115th Congresses to modify the health care-related provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA). Since enactment of the ACA and HCERA, lawmakers have repeatedly debated the laws' implementation and considered bills to repeal, defund, or otherwise amend them.
Mexico's 2018 Elections
This report discusses issues surrounding Mexico's 2018 elections -- particularly the presidential election -- including Mexico's political climate, electoral process, presidential candidates, and predicted outcome.
Organizing Executive Branch Agencies: Who Makes the Call?
This report lays out the applicable legal considerations relevant to analyzing potential executive branch agency reorganizations that have been proposed by the Trump Administration.
President's Selection of a Nominee for a Supreme Court Vacancy: Overview
This report provides an overview of several issues related to the selection of a Supreme Court nominee by a President for a vacancy on the Court.
Supreme Court Appointment Process: President's Selection of a Nominee
This report discusses the process for appointing Supreme Court Justices. Each appointment to the nine-member Court is of consequence because of the enormous judicial power that the Court exercises, separate from, and independent of, the executive and legislative branches.
TRICARE Modernization: Eligibility for the Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program
This report discusses the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) and the upcoming expansion of eligibility to certain TRICARE beneficiaries. TRICARE is the health care program for uniformed service members, retirees, and their families.
U.S. Intelligence Community Elements: Establishment Provisions
This report summarizes dates and directives for the establishment of each of the 17 U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) component organizations.
UPDATE: Public Sector Union Dues: Grappling with Fixed Stars and Stare Decisis (Part I)
This report discusses the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of "Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council." In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that public-sector agency fee arrangements violate the First Amendment, overruling its 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education.
Venezuela: Background and U.S. Relations
This report report provides an overview of the overlapping political, economic, and social crises in Venezuela, followed by an overview of U.S. policy toward Venezuela.
Defense Primer: Understanding the Process for Auditing the Department of Defense
This report explains why the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) receives annual audits, how the audits are conducted, limitations of audits, and considerations for Congress.
Opioid Treatment Programs and Related Federal Regulations
This report provides information on federal regulations regarding treatment for opioid addiction, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT), opioid treatment programs (OTPs), and DATA-waived providers (DWPs).
Supreme Court Drives Home Its Concern for Privacy in Collins v. Virginia
This report discusses the Collins decision and its potential implications for Fourth Amendment law. Facing a clash between two well-established Fourth Amendment doctrines--the primacy of the home in Fourth Amendment case law versus the "automobile exception" to the Amendment's warrant requirement--the Supreme Court in Collins v. Virginia ultimately came down on the side of protecting privacy within the home and its adjoining property.
The Trump Administration's Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations
This report discusses the Trump Administration's "Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century: Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations" (the Reform Plan). The stated goal of the Reform Plan is to "improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of agencies."
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.
Enforcing U.S. Trade Laws: Section 301 and China
This report discusses the Trump Administration's decision to proceed with a Section 301 case against China's intellectual property rights (IPR) policies and their intent to impose 25% ad valorem tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese products. It also looks at past use of Section 301 against China.
The G-7 Summit in Charlevoix, Canada: Changing U.S. Leadership in Global Forums
This report covers the 44th annual Group of 7 (G-7) summit on June 8-9. Seven of the world's largest advanced economies meet annually to discuss and coordinate economic and foreign policies, with the 2018 agenda focusing on economic growth, gender equality, jobs, and the environment.
An Overview of U.S. Immigration Laws Regulating the Admission and Exclusion of Aliens at the Border
This report discusses U.S. immigration law as it relates to the Trump Administration's zero tolerance policy to criminally prosecute migrants who unlawfully enter the United States at the southern border; a policy which has led to the separation of children from parents awaiting prosecution for unlawful entry.
Debates over Exchange Rates: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides information on current debates over exchange rates in the global economy. It offers an overview of how exchange rates work; analyzes specific disagreements and debates; and examines existing frameworks for potentially addressing currency disputes. It also lays out some policy options available to Congress.
FEMA and SBA Disaster Assistance for Individuals and Households: Application Process, Determinations, and Appeals
This report provides an overview of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) Individual Assistance (IA) program and the Small Business Administration's (SBA's) Disaster Loan Program. It includes discussions about how declarations put the programs into effect, the application process for both programs, the criteria used by FEMA and the SBA to determine assistance, and the FEMA and SBA appeal processes. The report concludes with policy observations and considerations for Congress.
Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity
This report discusses the various industrial uses for hemp, a variety of Cannabis sativa of the same plant species as marijuana. It compares hemp with marijuana and discusses global production, legal status, and recent legislative activity.
A Primer on U.S. Immigration Policy
This report provides a broad overview of U.S. immigration policy. The first section addresses policies governing how foreign nationals enter the United States either to reside permanently or to stay temporarily. The second section discusses enforcement policies for excluding foreign nationals from admission into the United States, as well as for detaining and removing those who enter the country unlawfully or who enter lawfully but subsequently commit crimes that make them deportable. The third section addresses policies for unauthorized aliens residing in the United States.
U.S. Global Health Assistance: FY2001-FY2019 Request
This report outlines U.S. funding for global health by agency and program. Congress may debate several pressing global health issues, including strengthening health systems, bolstering pandemic preparedness, considering the FY2019 budget request, protecting life in global health assistance, and authorizing the extension of PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief).
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political and economic landscape of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its relationship with the U.S. The UAE has been a significant U.S. partner in Gulf security for more than two decades, and the alliance has deepened further in recent years in order to address multiple regional threats.
The Purple Heart: Background and Issues for Congress
This report examines the history of the Purple Heart award for military service members and changes in eligibility over time. It also discusses current issues facing Congress -- such as whether traumatic brain injuries or PTSD diagnoses should be grounds for receiving the award, and whether those injured or killed assisting others during terror attacks outside their military duties should be eligible.
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.
The Army's Modular Handgun Procurement
This report discusses the Army Modular Handgun System (MHS), a weapon system produced by Sig Sauer that is to replace the Beretta M9/11 pistol, which has been used by the U.S. Army since 1986. Topics discussed include the conract, previous replacement effort, criticisms of the procurement process, and price determination.
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. The report includes information regarding Prime Minister Saad Hariri's resignation and subsequent reinstatement in November 2017.
Indexing Capital Gains Taxes for Inflation
This report discusses the debate over proposals to index capital gains for inflation. The proposed change would eliminate the part of capital gains that reflects inflation by increasing the basis (i.e., the amount subtracted from sales price to determine capital gains) by inflation occurring since acquisition of the asset.
Intelligence Community Spending: Trends and Issues
This report examines Intelligence Community (IC) funding over the past several decades, with an emphasis on the period from 2007-2019--the period in which total National Intelligence Program (NIP) and Military Intelligence Program (MIP) spending dollars have been publicly disclosed on an annual basis. Intelligence-related spending (such as the Homeland Security Intelligence Program) that does not fall within the NIP and MIP is outside the scope of this report.
Renewable Energy R&D Funding History: A Comparison with Funding for Nuclear Energy, Fossil Energy, Energy Efficiency, and Electric Systems R&D
This report provides a cumulative history of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding for renewable energy compared with funding for the other energy technologies--nuclear energy, fossil energy, energy efficiency, and electric systems.
Canada-U.S. Relations
This report presents an overview of Canada's political situation, foreign and security policy, and economic and trade policy, focusing particularly on issues that may be relevant to U.S. policymakers.