Congressional Research Service Reports - 66 Matching Results

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History, Evolution, and Practices of the President's State of the Union Address: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers frequently asked questions about the President's annual State of the Union Address.
The Logan Act: An Overview of a Sometimes Forgotten 18th Century Law
This report discusses the Logan Act, including a brief explanation of some of the constitutional concerns that surround the law. This report concludes with a discussion of what Congress could do to modify the statute to make it less susceptible to some of these concerns.
Small Business Administration Microloan Program
This report discusses the Small Business Administration's (SBA) microloan program. It describes the Microloan program's eligibility standards and operating requirements for lenders and borrowers and examines the arguments presented by the program's critics and advocates. It also examines changes to the program authorized by P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 and several bills introduced during the 114th and 115th Congresses.
Trends in Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Enforcement
This report provides an overview of recent trends in the enforcement of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), the principal U.S. anti-money laundering law regulating financial institutions. The report begins by providing general background information on BSA penalties and enforcement. The report concludes by discussing three recent trends that commentators have observed in BSA enforcement: (1) an increase in the frequency with which BSA enforcement actions involve an assessment of money penalties, and an increase in the size of those penalties, (2) an increased emphasis by regulators on the acceptance of responsibility by institutions entering into settlement agreements for BSA violations, and (3) an increased risk of individual liability for BSA violations.
U.S. Postal Service Governors: And Then There Were None
This report discusses the U.S. Postal Service's Board of Governors and the current state of the board having no governors on it. The workings of the board and the implications of the board's lack of members is also discussed.
Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report examines the current political state of Afghanistan at length, discussing the political background, security policy, and regional relations.
Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR): Background and Selected Issues
This report discusses the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) -- originally named the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research -- which was established at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1978 to address congressional concerns about an "undue concentration" of federal research and development (R&D) funding in certain states.
The Excise Tax on High-Cost Employer- Sponsored Health Insurance: Estimated Economic and Market Effects
This report examines several issues related to health insurance: it evaluates the potential of the Cadillac tax to affect health insurance coverage (and, therefore, the health market), and examines the expected incidence (burden) of the tax--that is, which group will pay the price of the tax.
Finding Medicare Enrollment Statistics
This report presents basic categories and definitions for terms related to Medicare enrollment data, a quick reference table that summarizes key data available in selected resources, and a more detailed overview of core resources.
Sponsorship and Cosponsorship of House Bills
This report briefly discusses the processes of sponsoring, cosponsoring, and gaining cosponsors for bills in the House of Representatives.
Intelligence Authorization Legislation for FY2014 and FY2015: Provisions, Status, Intelligence Community Framework
This report examines selected provisions in the two Intelligence Authorization Acts (IAAs) passed in 2014: the IAA for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 (P.L. 113-126) and an IAA for FY2015 (P.L. 113-293). TIt also provides an intelligence community framework in the Appendix.
Iran Sanctions
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides some examples, based on open sources, of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran.
Taiwan's January 2016 Elections: A Preview
This report briefly provides context for the January 16, 2016 presidential and legislative elections in Taiwan. The elections may determine whether an eight-year period of relative calm in relations between Taiwan (whose formal name is the Republic of China or ROC) and the People's Republic of China (PRC) continues, or comes to an end.
Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan and the Afghan government. It also discusses Afghanistan's relationship with the United States, particularly U.S. efforts to urge President Hamid Karzai to address corruption within the Afghan government.
Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Status and Issues
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Medicaid Financial Eligibility for Long-Term Services and Supports
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Offender Reentry: Correctional Statistics, Reintegration into the Community, and Recidivism
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Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues
This report is a brief overview of current policies regarding temporary protected status (TPS), which is relief from removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). It includes information about humanitarian migrants, temporary protected status, other blanket forms of relief, nationalities receiving protections, and issues with TPS, as well as recent legislation.
USDA’s “GIPSA Rule” on Livestock and Poultry Marketing Practices
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Wilderness: Legislation and Issues in the 114th Congress
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Wilderness: Overview and Statistics
In 1964, the Wilderness Act established a national system of congressionally designated areas to be preserved in a wilderness condition: “where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” This report provides a brief history of wilderness, describes what wilderness is, identifies permitted and prohibited uses in wilderness areas, and provides data on the 109.8 million acres of designated wilderness areas as of January 1, 2015.
The World Trade Organization at 20
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Enforcement of Private Health Insurance Market Reforms Under the Affordable Care Act (PPACA)
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The Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and Its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape
The report discusses the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-Related Congressional Actions in the 112th Congress. The policymakers, including some in Congress, have long called for varying degrees and types of reform to the FCC. Most proposals fall into two categories: (1) procedural changes made within the FCC or through congressional action that would affect the agency's operations or (2) substantive policy changes requiring congressional action that would affect how the agency regulates different services and industry sectors.
Forestry in the Next Farm Bill
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Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 112th Congress
This report discusses immigration-related issues that have received legislative action or are of significant congressional interest in the 112th Congress.
Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues
As Congress considers addressing some of the problems in the nation's immigration system, the detention of noncitizens in the United States may be an issue as Congress may choose to reevaluate detention priorities (i.e., who should be detained) and resources. There are many policy issues surrounding detention of aliens. The Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) increased the number of aliens subject to mandatory detention, and raised concerns about the justness of mandatory detention, especially as it is applied to asylum seekers arriving without proper documentation. Additionally, as DHS increases its ability to identify aliens who are subject to removal from local jails in more remote locations, the nationwide allocation of detention space may become an issue.
In Brief: Assessing DOD's New Strategic Guidance
On January 5, 2012, President Obama announced new defense strategic guidance entitled "Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense." This report highlights and analyzes key strategic-level issues raised by the new guidance.
Nuclear Power Plant Design and Seismic Safety Considerations
This report presents some of the general design concepts of operating nuclear power plants in order to discuss design considerations for seismic events. This report does not attempt to conclude whether one design is inherently safer or less safe than another plant. Nor does it attempt to conclude whether operating nuclear power plants are at any greater or lesser risk from earthquakes given recent updates to seismic data and seismic hazard maps.
Nuclear Power Plant Design and Seismic Safety Considerations
This report presents some of the general design concepts of operating nuclear power plants in order to discuss design considerations for seismic events. This report does not attempt to conclude whether one design is inherently safer or less safe than another plant. Nor does it attempt to conclude whether operating nuclear power plants are at any greater or lesser risk from earthquakes given recent updates to seismic data and seismic hazard maps.
Overview of Immigration Issues in the 112th Congress
This report synthesizes immigration issues as a multi-tiered debate. It breaks down the U.S. immigration law and policy into key elements: border control and visa security; legal immigration; documentation and verification; interior immigration enforcement; integration, status, and benefits; and refugees and other humanitarian populations. This report also delineates the debate in the 112th Congress for a range of issues, including border security, criminal aliens, and worksite enforcement.
Peacekeeping/Stabilization and Conflict Transitions: Background and Congressional Action on the Civilian Response/Reserve Corps and other Civilian Stabilization and Reconstruction Capabilities
In November 2011, the Obama Administration announced the creation of a new State Department Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations to provide the institutional focus for policy and “operational solutions” to prevent, respond to, and stabilize crises in priority states. This bureau integrates the former Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS). In December 2011, the Administration nominated Frederick D. Barton to two posts: the Assistant Secretary for Conflict and Stabilization Operations and the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization. The second session of the 112th Congress may wish to follow the progress of the CSO Bureau in furthering the work of S/CRS as part of appropriations and oversight functions.
Peacekeeping/Stabilization and Conflict Transitions: Background and Congressional Action on the Civilian Response/Reserve Corps and other Civilian Stabilization and Reconstruction Capabilities
This report provides background on the establishment of S/CRS, its functions, and its operations, as well as on the CRC. The report tracks S/CRS budget requests and congressional actions. It discusses four issues raised during the S/CRS years that may still be relevant for the CSO Bureau: S/CRS's effectiveness, the appropriate size for the CRC, flexible funding for stabilization operations, and funding for a reserve component.
Preserving Homeownership: Foreclosure Prevention Initiatives
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Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information
This report discusses federal laws governing consumer financial information held by financial companies, Gramm-Leach-Bliley's privacy provisions, and public and industry reaction.
Text and Multimedia Messaging: Issues for Congress
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Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress
Trafficking in persons (TIP) for the purposes of exploitation is believed to be one of the most prolific areas of international criminal activity and is of significant concern to the United States and the international community. This report discusses the global and ongoing problem of TIP in detail, as well as anti-TIP programs and U.S. and international efforts to combat TIP.
Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report discusses the current status of Central Asian states and U.S. policy, which has been aimed at facilitating their cooperation with U.S. and NATO stabilization efforts in Afghanistan and their efforts to combat terrorism, proliferation, and trafficking in arms, drugs, and persons. Congress will be considering an increase in support for the programs in Central Asia.
China's Currency: An Analysis of the Economic Issues
Report that provides an overview of the economic issues surrounding the current debate over China's currency policy. It identifies the economic costs and benefits of China's currency policy for both China and the United States, and possible implications if China were to allow its currency to significantly appreciate or to float freely. It also examines proposed legislation in the 111th Congress that seek to address China's currency policy.
Director of National Intelligence Statutory Authorities: Status and Proposals
This report discusses the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) position created by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458). It includes an overview of the authorities granted to the DNI by legislation in 2004 and later as well as the varying opinions of Congress regarding new DNI authorities, as well as related legislation from FY2010 through FY2012.
The Employee Free Choice Act
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Major Decisions in the House and Senate on Social Security: 1935-2010
This report responds to the many inquiries that CRS gets for Social Security vote information, which range from requests for general information about legislative action over the years to requests for information about specific floor amendments. It is intended to be a reference document on the major statutory decisions made by Congress on the Social Security program. A detailed table of contents and a summary table of the legislation discussed are provided to aid the reader.
Military Benefits for Former Spouses: Legislation and Policy Issues
The purpose of this report is to provide a general discussion of legislative provisions and proposals relating to the military benefits for former spouses.
The Military Survivor Benefit Plan: A Description of Its Provisions
This report describes the basic provisions of the military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) and all relevant changes or modifications that have occurred since its creation in 1972.
Patent Reform: Issues in the Biomedical and Software Industries
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Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress
This report discusses whether to enact new legislation specifically addressing spyware, or to rely on industry self-regulation and enforcement actions by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice under existing law, as well as the opinions of both the opponents and the supporters of industry self-regulation.
Trade Promotion Authority and Fast-Track Negotiating Authority for Trade Agreements: Major Votes
Report that profiles significant legislation, including floor votes, that authorized the use of presidential Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) --previously known as fast-track trade negotiating authority --since its inception in 1974. The report also includes a list of floor votes since 1979 on implementing legislation for trade agreements that were passed under TPA fast-track procedures.
U.S.-China Relations: Policy Issues
No Description Available.
VA-Home Loan Guaranty Program: An Overview
Report containing a summary of the VA Home Loan Guaranty Program.
Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs
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