Congressional Research Service Reports - 36 Matching Results

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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.
Noncitizen Eligibility for Federal Public Assistance: Policy Overview
This report discusses the extent to which residents of the United States who are not U.S. citizens should be eligible for federally-funded public aid. This issue meets at the intersection of two major policy areas: immigration policy and welfare policy. This report deals with the four major federal means-tested benefit programs: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant programs, and Medicaid.
"Smith v. Obama": A Servicemember's Legal Challenge to the Campaign Against the Islamic State
This report discuses the case of "Smith v. Obama" where a military officer sued President Obama for overstepping his bounds as President by waging war on the Islamic State without a Congressional declaration of war. The case was dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction by the court.
2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review: Evolution of a Strategic Review
No Description Available.
Cash Versus Accrual Basis of Accounting: An Introduction
No Description Available.
Chemical Facility Security: Issues and Options for the 113th Congress
No Description Available.
Electoral College Reform: Contemporary Issues for Congress
No Description Available.
Federal Laws Relating to Cybersecurity: Overview of Major Issues, Current Laws, and Proposed Legislation
No Description Available.
Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments
No Description Available.
The National Popular Vote Initiative: Direct Election of the President by Interstate Compact
No Description Available.
An Overview of Accreditation of Higher Education in the United States
No Description Available.
Special Prosecutors: Investigations and Prosecutions of Police Use of Deadly Force
This legal sidebar discusses the suggestion to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate cases of alleged law enforcement criminality.
U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress
No Description Available.
Campaign Contribution Limits: Selected Questions About McCutcheon and Policy Issues for Congress
This report offers a preliminary analysis of major policy issues and potential implications that appear to be most relevant as the House and Senate prepare for the ruling and decide whether or how to respond.
EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?
This report provides background information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory activity during the Obama Administration to help address these issues. It examines major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at EPA since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of the rule (including identification of related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA's estimates of costs and benefits, where available. The report includes tables that show which rules remain under development, and an appendix that describes major or controversial rules that are now final.
Federal Crop Insurance: Background
No Description Available.
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Annual Fee on Health Insurers
This report discusses the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148) and the Reconciliation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-152) that impose a fee on certain for-profit health insurers, starting in 2014.
Status of the WTO Brazil-U.S. Cotton Case
No Description Available.
Turkmenistan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests
No Description Available.
The U.S.-Japan Alliance
No Description Available.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues
This report examines debates regarding what constitutes an "unfunded federal mandate" and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995's (UMRA) implementation. It focuses on UMRA's requirement that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issue written cost estimate statements for federal mandates in legislation, its procedures for raising points of order in the House and Senate concerning unfunded federal mandates in legislation, and its requirement that federal agencies prepare written cost estimate statements for federal mandates in rules. It also assesses UMRA's impact on federal mandates and arguments concerning UMRA's future, focusing on UMRA's definitions, exclusions, and exceptions which currently exempt many federal actions with potentially significant financial impacts on nonfederal entities.
An Analysis of STEM Education Funding at the NSF: Trends and Policy Discussion
This report analyzes National Science Foundation funding trends and selected closely-related STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education policy issues to provide fiscal and policy context. It concludes with an analysis of potential policy options.
Clean Water Act Section 401: Background and Issues
Under the Clean Water Act (CWA), an applicant for a federal license or permit to conduct any activity that may result in a discharge to waters of the United States must provide the federal agency with a Section 401 certification. This report discusses the certification, which provides states with two distinct powers: one, the power indirectly to deny federal permits or licenses by withholding certification; and two, the power to impose conditions upon federal permits by placing limitations on certification.
IMF Reforms: Issues for Congress
Report that provides information about the reforms made by the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in December 2010, Congress's role in the reform process, and how the reforms could affect U.S. interests at the IMF.
Outside Employment, “Moonlighting,” by Federal Executive Branch Employees
No Description Available.
Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945 (Updated)
Income tax rates are at the center of many recent policy debates over taxes. Some policymakers argue that raising tax rates, especially on higher income taxpayers, to increase tax revenues is part of the solution for long-term debt reduction. This report examines the top tax rates since 1945 and analyzes the ways in which tax rates affect economic growth.
Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, as well as the Afghan government. This report 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. The report also includes discussion of election fraud and corruption in Afghanistan.
Drug Offenses: Maximum Fines and Terms of Imprisonment for Violation of the Federal Controlled Substances Act and Related Laws
This is a chart of the maximum fines and terms of imprisonment that may be imposed as a consequence of conviction for violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and other drug supply and drug demand related laws. It lists the penalties for: heroin, cocaine, crack, PCP, LSD, marihuana (marijuana), amphetamine, methamphetamine, listed (precursor) chemicals, paraphernalia, date rape drugs, rave drugs, designer drugs, ecstasy, drug kingpins, as well as the other substances including narcotics and opiates assigned to Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III, Schedule IV, and Schedule V of the Controlled Substances Act and the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (Title II and Title III of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Control Act).
International Climate Change Financing: The Green Climate Fund (GCF)
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, Treaty Number: 102-38, 1992), the Copenhagen Accord (2009), and the UNFCCC Cancun Agreements (2010), wherein the higher-income countries pledged jointly up to $30 billion of "fast start" climate financing for lower-income countries for the period 2010-2012, and a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020. The Cancun Agreements also proposed that the pledged funds are to be new, additional to previous flows, adequate, predictable, and sustained, and are to come from a wide variety of sources, both public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance.
Keystone XL Pipeline Project: Key Issues
This report describes the Keystone XL pipeline proposal and the process required for federal approval. It summarizes key arguments for and against the pipeline put forth by the pipeline's developers, federal agencies, environmental groups, and other stakeholders. The report discusses potential consistency challenges faced by the State Department in reviewing the pipeline application given its recent prior approvals of similar pipeline projects. Finally, the report reviews the constitutional basis for the State Department's authority to issue a Presidential Permit, and opponents' possible challenges to this authority.
Recess Appointments: Frequently Asked Questions
No Description Available.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
This report discusses the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), a free trade agreement that includes nations on both sides of the Pacific. Original members of the TPP were Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore. The United States, Australia, Peru, and Vietnam have committed themselves to joining and expanding this group. This report discusses similar trade partnerships, the importance of Asia to U.S. trade and security interests, and U.S. participation in the TPP.
World Trade Organization Negotiations: The Doha Development Agenda
This report discusses the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations, begun in November 2001, which has entered its 11th year. The report includes background on Doha and the significance fo the negotiations as well as a breakdown of issues on the Doha agenda and the role of the Congress.