Congressional Research Service Reports - 42 Matching Results

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Federal Election Commission: Membership and Policymaking Quorum: In Brief
This report discusses the Federal Election Commission's structure, membership, and quorum requirements and what happens if they lose their policymaking quorum.
Millennium Challenge Corporation
This report provides an overview of the Millennium Challenge Corporation's (MCC) functions, funding, and success rate. The MCC provides economic assistance through a competitive selection process to developing nations that demonstrate positive performance in three areas: ruling justly, investing in people, and fostering economic freedom.
Regulatory Reform 10 Years After the Financial Crisis: Systemic Risk Regulation of Non-Bank Financial Institutions
This report discusses the progress of regulatory reform for non-bank financial institutions since the 2008 financial crisis.
Softwood Lumber Imports from Canada: Current Issues
This report discusses current issues and developments in "Lumber V", a dispute between Canada and the U.S. over the pricing and quantity of softwood lumber imports from Canada to the U.S., which has been a source of friction between the two countries for decades.
U.S. Senate Vacancies: Contemporary Developments and Perspectives
This report discusses the procedures for filling a vacant Senate seat and provides a brief description of the most recent Senate vacancies and the election proceedings used to fill the vacancies. Various legislative proposals to alter the procedures for filling Senate vacancies are also discussed.
Cost-Benefit Analysis and Financial Regulator Rulemaking
This report examines issues related to financial regulators and cost-benefit analysis' (CBA), including potential difficulties facing such regulators and methods available to them when preforming a CBA, the analytical requirements the agencies currently face, and the arguments for and against increasing requirements on financial regulators. This report also briefly describes several examples of proposed legislation that would change the requirements facing financial regulators.
Surface Transportation Devolution
This report discusses proposals regarding the devolution of surface transportation building and maintenance to states and the economic and safety related impacts such an act might have. Arguments for and against the idea and recent revisions to surface transportation legislation which already reduce federal regulation are also discussed.
Counting Casualties in Syria and Iraq: Process and Challenges
This report discusses the difficulties of collecting war-related casualty data in Iraq and Syria and provides an overview of some of the current estimated figures available through selected organizations.
Defense: FY2017 Budget Request, Authorization, and Appropriations
This report discusses the current administration's request of $523.9 billion to cover the fiscal year 2017 discretionary "base budget" of the Department of Defense (DOD).
Friended but not Friends: Federal Ethics Authorities Address Role of Social Media in Politics
This report discusses rules governing acceptance of gifts by government employees and how social media and the concept of being "friends" on a social media network effect the personal friendship clause of the gift ethics rules.
The U.S. Intelligence Community: Selected Cross-Cutting Issues
This report focuses on cross-cutting management issues that affect the Intelligence Community's (IC's) ability to counter "pervasive and emerging threats" to the United States and balance resources both appropriately and wisely. The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is charged with integrating the community of intelligence agencies so that they operate effectively as one team.
Federal Authority to Regulate the Compounding of Human Drugs
This report will examine the FDA's regulation of drug compounding and will discuss relevant legal authorities. The report will conclude by discussing potential limits to the FDA's authority to regulate human drug compounding.
The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of the history of science and technology (S&T) advice to the President. It also discusses selected issues and options for Congress regarding the Office of Science and Technology Policy OSTP's Director, (OSTP) management and operations, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).
The STOCK Act, Insider Trading, and Public Financial Reporting by Federal Officials
This report gives an overview of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 (STOCK), which affirms and makes explicit the fact that there is no exemption from the "insider trading" laws and regulations for Members of Congress, congressional employees, or any federal officials.
The G-20 and International Economic Cooperation: Background and Implications for Congress
The G-20 is an international forum for discussing and coordinating economic policies among major advanced and emerging economies. Congress may want to exercise oversight over the Administration's participation in the G-20 process, including the policy commitments that Administration is making in the G-20 and the policies it is encouraging other G-20 countries to pursue.
The Lacey Act: Protecting the Environment by Restricting Trade
This report looks at the history and applications of the Lacey Act. As it stands now the Act, via a 2008 amendment, allows the U.S. to enforce the laws of other countries as well. One currently proposed legislation would limit application of the law to specific wood products, while another would eliminate any reference to violations of foreign laws and end criminal prosecutions for violating the act.
Biennial Budgeting: Options, Issues, and Previous Congressional Action
Proponents of biennial budgeting have generally advanced three arguments-that a two-year budget cycle would (1) reduce congressional workload by eliminating the need for annual review of routine matters; (2) reserve the second session of each Congress for improved congressional oversight and program review; and (3) allow better long-term planning by the agencies that spend federal funds at the federal, state, or local level.
Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs
The "digital divide" is a term used to describe a perceived gap between "information haves and have-nots," or in other words, between those Americans who use or have access to telecommunications and information technologies and those who do not. Whether or not individuals or communities fall into the "information haves" category depends on a number of factors, ranging from the presence of computers in the home, to training and education, to the availability of affordable Internet access.
The Congressional Research Service and the American Legislative Process
The Legislative Reference Service, it was charged with responding to congressional requests for information. For more than 50 years, this department assisted Congress primarily by providing facts and publications and by transmitting research and analysis done largely by other government agencies, private organizations, and individual scholars. In 1970, Congress enacted a law transforming the Legislative Reference Service into the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and directing CRS to devote more of its efforts and increased resources to performing research and analysis that assists Congress in direct support of the legislative process.
Disaster Relief Funding and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations
This report describes the various components of the DRF, including (1) what authorities have shaped it over the years; (2) how FEMA determines the amount of the appropriation requested to Congress (pertaining to the DRF); and (3) how emergency supplemental appropriations are requested. In addition to the DRF, information is provided on funds appropriated in supplemental appropriations legislation to agencies other than the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Aspects of debate concerning how disaster relief is budgeted are also highlighted and examined, and alternative budgetary options are summarized.
The Federal Budget: Issues for FY2011, FY2012, and Beyond
The federal budget is central to Congress's ability to exercise its "power of the purse." Over the last several fiscal years the imbalance between spending and revenues has grown as a result of the economic downturn and policies enacted in response to financial turmoil. In FY2010, the last completed fiscal year, the U.S. government spent $3,456 billion (23.8% of GDP) and collected $2,162 billion in revenue (14.9% of GDP), resulting in a budget deficit of $1,294 billion (8.9% of GDP).
Navy Ford (CVN-78) Class Aircraft Carrier Program: Background and Issues for Congress
Report discussing the U.S. Navy's Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) class aircraft carrier program, including the CVN-78, CVN-79 and CVN-80, which are the first of the class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers (CVNs). The report provices background on the program and funding, as well as related issues for Congress.
Navy SSBN(X) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Navy's plan to develop and design a class of 12 next-generation ballistic missile submarines, or SSBN(X)s, as replacements for the 14 Ohio class SSBNs currently in operation. The report explores certain related issues for Congress, including the affordability of the project and its potential impact on other Navy shipbuilding programs, alternatives to the program, and which shipyard or shipyards will build the proposed ships.
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and oversight issues for Congress on the Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program. The Navy's proposed FY2012 budget requests procurement funding for the 15th and 16th Virginia-class boats, and advance procurement (AP) funding for Virginia-class boats to be procured in future years. 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.
Proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Background and Issues
This report examines three labor issues and arguments related to the pending U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (CFTA; H.R. 5724 and S. 2830): violence against trade unionists, impunity (accountability for or punishment of the perpetrators), and worker rights protections for Colombians.
War Powers Resolution: Presidential Compliance
This report gives a summary of the usage of the War Powers Resolution (WPR) and various issues related to proposals to modify or repeal the resolution. The report summarizes most recent developments and background, and gives an overview of United Nations actions, and WPR activities in former Yugoslavia/Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq (post-1991), Haiti, and Somalia. It also includes commentary on the instances formally reported under the WPR, consultation with Congress, and the current issues which Congress is considering.
War Powers Resolution: Presidential Compliance
Two separate but closely related issues confront Congress each time the President introduces armed forces into a situation abroad that conceivably could lead to their involvement in hostilities. One issue concerns the division of war powers between the President and Congress, whether the use of armed forces falls within the purview of the congressional power to declare war and the War Powers Resolution. The other issue is whether or not Congress concurs in the wisdom of the action. A longer-term issue is whether the War Powers Resolution is an appropriate and effective means of assuring congressional participation in actions that might get the United States involved in war.
Afghanistan Casualties: Military Forces and Civilians
This report collects statistics from a variety of sources on casualties sustained during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), which began on October 7, 2001. OEF actions took place primarily in Afghanistan; however, OEF casualties also includes American casualties in Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Yemen.
The April 2010 Coup in Kyrgyzstan: Context and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report discusses the coup and its aftermath in Kyrgyzstan, and its implications for Kyrgyzstan, U.S. interests, Russia and other Euroasian states.
Bosnia: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
This report presents an overview of the economic and political situation in Bosnia. It starts out by describing the current situation, the negotiations on forming a new central government, the international role in Bosnia, and the last part discusses the implications of U.S. policy.
Climate Change: EU and Proposed U.S. Approaches to Carbon Leakage and WTO Implications
This report discusses climate change and issues related to carbon leakage by examining the European Union's (EU's) cap-and-trade program with a review and analysis of various EU efforts to address the concerns of energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries. Additionally, it considers similar provisions enacted or proposed by the U.S.and analyzes potential World Trade Organization (WTO) implications in relation to U.S. trade agreements.
Federal Building and Facility Security
No Description Available.
Federal Financial Services Regulatory Consolidation: Structural Response to the 2007-2009 Financial Crisis
This report provides a brief history and overview of the U.S. federal financial services regulatory structure and examines the regulatory structural changes the three major federal government proposals would make to remedy the causes of the financial crisis. It concludes with a discussion of some possible implications of reform.
Foreign Aid Reform, National Strategy, and the Quadrennial Review
This report addresses foreign aid reform through early 2010. Several development proponents, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and policymakers have pressed Congress to reform U.S. foreign aid capabilities to better address 21st century development needs and national security challenges.
Impact on the Federal Budget of Freezing Non-Security Discretionary Spending
In his FY2011 budget proposal, the President made several proposals to immediately curb spending, while acknowledging that additional steps are needed to achieve long-term fiscal stability. This report examines the impact on the federal budget of the President's proposals, specifically the proposed freeze in non-security discretionary spending and how the freeze might change the fiscal outlook over the 10-year budget window.
International Agreements on Climate Change: Selected Legal Questions
This report provides background information on global climate change negotiations. The report discuses the United Nations framework for convention for climate change, the Kyoto protocol, and the Copenhagen accord.
Kosovo: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political state of Kosovo, which, on February 7, 2008, declared its independence from Serbia. Since then, Serbia has contested Kosovo's declaration of independence, leading to parallel governing institutions and ongoing talks between the two nations. This report discusses challenges Kosovo faces regarding international recognition and the status of its ethnic minorities. This report also discusses Kosovo's relationship with the United States, and U.S. foreign aid efforts to Kosovo.
Mountaintop Mining: Background on Current Controversies
This report provides background on regulatory requirements, controversies and legal challenges to mountaintop mining, and recent Administration actions. Congressional interest in these issues also is discussed, including legislation in the 111th Congress seeking to restrict the practice of mountaintop mining and other legislation intended to block the Obama Administration’s regulatory actions.
Permissible Securities Activities of Commercial Banks Under the Glass-Steagall Act (GSA) and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)
This report explains the extent to which commercial banks, their subsidiaries, and affiliates were able to engage in securities activities, including securities underwriting, dealing, and brokerage, under the authorities of the Glass-Steagall Act (GSA) and other pre-GLBA (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) banking laws, most notably the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (BHCA; 70 Stat. 133). It also discusses how the volume and scope of these securities activities expanded over time, and how the GLBA changed the GSA construct by facilitating affiliations among commercial banks and securities firms..
Serbia: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current state of Serbia; the country is seeking to integrate into the European Union (EU), but its progress has been hindered by a failure to arrest remaining indicted war criminals, and by tensions with the United States and many EU countries over the independence of Serbia's Kosovo province. This report discusses these issues in addition to issues regarding U.S.-Serbia relations.
Super-Majority Votes in the Senate
No Description Available.
Trends in Discretionary Spending
This report discusses historical, current, and projected discretionary spending trends. It also describes how current discretionary spending trends reflect national priorities. Discretionary spending is provided in, and controlled by, annual appropriations acts, which fund many of the routine activities commonly associated with such federal government functions as running executive branch agencies, congressional offices and agencies, and international operations of the government.