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CRS Products on North Korea
This report provides a listing of CRS reports related to North Korea, organized by broad topical categories. It also includes contact information for CRS experts on various aspects of North Korea.
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP): Overview and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the General System of Preferences (GSP) which provides nonreciprocal, duty-free tariff treatment to certain products imported from designated beneficiary developing countries (BDCs).
Qatar: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses Qatar's governmental structure and politics, economy, foreign policy and regional disputes with other Gulf countries, U.S.-Qatar relations and security collaboration, and human rights issues.
Defense Spending Under an Interim Continuing Resolution: In Brief
This report provides a basic overview of interim continuing resolutions (CRs) and highlights some specific issues pertaining to operations of the Department of Defense (DOD) under a CR.
The Federal Tax System for the 2017 Tax Year
This report describes the current federal tax structure and provides some statistics on the tax system as a whole, as of 2017.
Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC): Structure and Activities
This report provides an overview of the The Financial Stability Oversight Council's (FSOC's) structure and analyzes FSOC policy-related issues and legislation.
Floodplain Management and Flood Resilience: Current Policy and Considerations for Congress
This report describes presidential direction for federal floodplain management and presents considerations for Congress.
Israel: Background and U.S. Relations in Brief
This report discusses relations between the U.S. and Israel and addresses recent developments such President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and various regional reactions to the announcement, local security concerns, Israeli-Palestinian relations, and Israeli domestic political disputes an ongoing criminal investigation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Policy Options to Increase Physician Training Education in Proper Opioid Prescribing
This report discusses the recommendations of the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis regarding mandating "medical education and prescriber education initiatives in proper opioid prescribing and risks of developing an SUD [Substance Use Disorder]." It provides an overview on various policy options to encourage further training for physicians and other prescription empowered providers while in school and training as well as on the job.
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. The Navy has identified the Columbia-class program as the Navy's top priority program, and wants to procure the first Columbia-class boat in FY2021.
Supreme Court Declines to Review Ninth Circuit Court Decision Applying Federal Reserved Water Rights Doctrine to Groundwater
This report discusses the case of "Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Coachella Valley Water District" relating to groundwater water rights on federal lands. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case in July 2017.
Tailoring Bank Regulations: Differences in Bank Size, Activities, and Capital Levels
This report discusses various types of banks and legislative proposals regarding how to tailor regulations to banks of different sizes.
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.
The 2017 National Security Strategy: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the 2017 National Security Strategy (NSS) document released by the Trump Administration on December 18, 2017, and its major themes.
Basic Concepts and Technical Considerations in Educational Assessment: A Primer
This report discusses assessments mandated by federal education policy and discusses the purpose of assessments, types of tests, technical considerations in assessment, and using assessment results appropriately. A glossary containing definitions of commonly used assessment and measurement terms is provided at the end of this report. The glossary provides additional technical information that may not be addressed within the text of the report.
The Deduction for Out-of-Pocket Teacher Expenses
This report discusses the tax deduction for out-of-pocket teacher expenses and the proposals to eliminate or increase it that were made in the House and Senate draft tax bills. The final bill left the deduction at its current rate.
Division A of H.R. 3922: The CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act
This report summarizes provisions in Division A of the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act that would extend funding for certain public health programs and provide offsets for these funding extensions. CRS Report R44989, Comparison of the Bills to Extend State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Funding, summarizes provisions in Division B.
EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers some frequently asked questions regarding the EPA Clean Power Plan and its repeal in progress. It also provides background information, discusses the statutory authority under which EPA promulgated the rule, and describes the rule's current status as of November 2017. The report also summarizes the provisions of the Clean Power Plan rule as it was finalized on August 3, 2015 and options that Congress has to influence EPA's action.
"Extraordinary Measures" and the Debt Limit
This report discusses the U.S. government debt limit and the use of extraordinary measures by the U.S. Treasury to delay implementation of the debt limit by Congress.
What Happens if H.R. 1 Conflicts with U.S. Tax Treaties?
This report discusses what happens if a new U.S. tax law contradicts existing U.S. international tax treaties, with considerations for Congress.
The Application of the "One Central Reason: Standard in Asylum and Withholding of Removal Cases
This report discusses asylum and withholding of removal immigration cases, and the application of the "one central reason" rule which dictates that asylum claimants demonstrate that an approved persecution grounds is one of the central reason they are claiming asylum. The same standard has been used in withholding of removal claim cases but a recent ruling by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court stated that the "one central reason" rule does not apply to withholding of removal cases creating a split in opinion among courts.
The National Science Foundation: Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations and Funding History
This report describes selected items from the Trump Administration's FY2018 budget request for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and tracks legislative action on FY2018 appropriations to the agency. It also details selected measures proposed in the 115th Congress to authorize increases in NSF appropriations limits and presents information on historical funding for the agency.
The Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and Its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape
This report discusses the structure and role of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and recent legislation in the 115th Congress regarding the FCC.
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. The report 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.
Small Business Administration HUBZone Program
This report discusses the Historically Underutilized Business Zone Empowerment Contracting (HUBZone) program, which provides participating small businesses located in areas with low income, high poverty, or high unemployment with contracting opportunities in the form of set-asides, sole-source awards, and price-evaluation preferences. It provides information about the program and it's structure; outlines arguments for an against targeting assistance and the continuation of the program; analyzes the program's administration; and examines related legislation.
What Share of Taxpayers Would See a Tax Increase or a Tax Decrease Under a Senate Version of the Tax Reform Bill
This report provides a brief overview and charts illustrating statistics about who would receive tax cuts, tax increases, or stay the same under the Senate version of the Tax Reform Bill.
The $50 Billion Threshold in the Dodd-Frank Act: Key Findings
This report provides an overview key findings from the newly issued CRS Report R45036, Bank Systemic Risk Regulation: The $50 Billion Threshold in the Dodd-Frank Act. It includes some background information and a list of bills that may also affect the legislation.
Federal Procurement Law and Natural Disasters
This report discusses the federal procurement laws regarding federal agencies hiring contractors for disaster recovery work and the encouragement to use local contractors for the work to help the local economy recover.
Mixed-Oxide Fuel Fabrication Plant and Plutonium Disposition: Management and Policy Issues
This report discusses an agreement made between Russia and the U.S. to dispose of excess weapons-grade plutonium, and describes both Russian and U.S. methods and plans for disposal. The U.S. plans are discussed in more detail, with various Congressional considerations regarding funding of the program.
Softwood Lumber Imports from Canada: Current Issues
This report discusses the latest softwood lumber dispute between the U.S. and Canada, known as Lumber V. This report provides background information on the dispute, summarizes the key issues leading to the tensions between the United States and Canada over softwood lumber, and examines current developments in Lumber V.
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant: A Primer on TANF Financing and Federal Requirements
This report the Temporary Assistance for Needy Children (TANF) block grant. It provides an overview of TANF financing and rules for state programs, describing federal TANF grants and state funds under a "maintenance-of-effort" (MOE) requirement; how federal TANF and state MOE funds may be used to help achieve the purpose and goals of the TANF block grant; rules that apply when TANF or MOE funds are used to provide "assistance" to needy families with children; rules that apply when TANF or MOE funds are used for benefits and services other than assistance; certain accountability requirements, including requirements that states submit plans and report data to the federal government; and provisions of TANF law not directly related to grants to states, such as competitive grants for promoting healthy marriage and responsible fatherhood, and tribal TANF provisions.
Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses Afghanistan's history of conflict, governmental structure, human rights issues, and security policies and initiatives. A special focus is put on the U.S. involvement in Afghan security and ongoing fights against the Taliban and other terrorist groups and U.S. aid to Afghanistan both economically and militarily. It includes fiscal year 2018 aid requests for both military assistance and economic and humanitarian aid.
China-U.S. 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.
Cluster Munitions: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses cluster munitions and their use and dangers. U.S. policy regarding them is discussed including the November 2017 rule issued by the DOD which relaxed standards for cluster munitions to allow the use of munitions that did not gave a 1% or less unexploded submunitions rate in extreme war situations reversing a 2008 rule.
Introduction to U.S. Economy: The Business Cycle and Growth
This report describes the concept of business cycles and their effect on the economy.
Navy Ship Names: Background for Congress
This report describes the naming process for U.S. naval ships and various regulations regarding the process. Recent legislation related to ship names is also included.
A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense--Issues for Congress
This report discusses the security environment of the world, how it has changed since the Cold War, and implications of the security environment for defense. The report also discusses issues for Congress concerning potential reassessment of U.S. defense.
Suing Subway: When Does a Class Action Settlement Benefit Only the Lawyers
This report explores the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit's "Subway" ruling which rejected a proposed settlement of a class-action suit brought against Subway for falsely advertising the length of their sandwiches; the settlement required them to inspect sandwich lengths and pay the plaintiff's attorney fees, but it only benefited the lawyers and not consumers. The report discusses the case's broader significance to class action litigation, tort reform, and consumer rights.
Supreme Court Declines to Take Up Military Commission Challenges-Al Bahlul and Al-Nashiri
This report discusses the Supreme Court's rejection of cases submitted by two detainees at Guantanamo Bay (Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman al Bahlul & Abd Al-Rahim Hussein Al-Nashiri) challenging the current military commission system under the Military Commissions Act (MCA). It discusses the merits of the cases, the various legal proceedings regarding them, and case law related to the issue.
Taylor Force Act: Palestinian Terrorism-Related Payments and U.S. Aid
This report discusses possible legislation (the Taylor Force Act) that would affect U.S. aid payments to the Palestinian Authority. It provides background on the concerns that money might go toward payments to families accused of terrorism by Israel, as well as a discussion of proposed bills.
Fiscal Year 2018 Defense Spending Under an Interim Continuing Resolution
This report discusses defense spending rates and funding for programs under the FY2018 interim continuing resolution.
Venezuela: Background and U.S, Policy
This report describes the government and political structure, economy, and the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela as well as U.S. policy towards Venezuela and recent humanitarian assistance offers made by Congress.
"Extraordinary Measures" and the Debt Limit
This report briefly examines the statutory debt limit and the use of extraordinary measures by the Treasury Department when Congress does not modify the debt limit by the deadline.
Jerusalem: U.S. Recognition as Israel's Capitol and Planned Embassy Move
This report discuses President's Trump's announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel and stating that the U.S. embassy would be moved there from Tel Aviv "as soon as practicable". It includes an overview of policy questions and concerns, international reactions, and Congressional reactions.
Medicare Temporary Payment Adjustments for Ground Ambulance Scheduled to Expire
This report discusses the Medicare program which allows for adjustments in payment for ambulances due to the location of the service and level of service provided. A chart is provided showing the number of zip-codes in urban, rural, and super-rural areas for each state and territory.
Nonimmigrant (Temporary) Admissions to the United States: Policy and Trends
This report discusses U.S. non-immigrant visa types and statistics regarding travel by visa types and place of origin.
Researching Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Resources for Congressional Staff
This report is designed to introduce congressional staff to selected governmental and nongovernmental sources that are useful in tracking and obtaining information on federal legislation and regulations. It includes governmental sources, such as, the Government Publishing Office's Federal Digital System (FDsys), and U.S. Senate and House websites. Nongovernmental or commercial sources include resources such as HeinOnline and the Congressional Quarterly (CQ) websites. The report also highlights classes offered by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and the Law Library of Congress.
Efforts to Address Seasonal Agricultural Import Competition in the NAFTA Renegotiation
This report discusses a proposal by the U.S. in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations that would allow U.S. agricultural producers of certain fruits and vegetables to more easily file an injury claim regarding imports from Mexico. It includes details regarding the proposal, Mexican produce imports statistics, and arguments for and against the proposal.