Congressional Research Service Reports - 34 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.
Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations for the Department of Justice
This report discusses proposed appropriations for the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the 2018 fiscal year divided into each department of the DOJ. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (P.L. 115-31) appropriated $28.962 billion for DOJ while President Trump's proposed 2018 budget requests $28.205 billion for DOJ which amounts to 2.6% less than the FY2017-enacted appropriation.
Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2017
This report lists hundreds of instances in which the United States has used its Armed Forces abroad in situations of military conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetime purposes. It was compiled in part from various older lists and is intended primarily to provide a rough survey of past U.S. military ventures abroad, without reference to the magnitude of the given instance noted.
Multiyear Procurement (MYP) and Block Buy Contracting in Defense Acquisition: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on multiyear procurement (MYP) and block buy contracting (BBC),1 which are special contracting mechanisms that Congress permits the Department of Defense (DOD) to use for a limited number of defense acquisition programs. Compared to the standard or default approach of annual contracting, MYP and BBC have the potential for reducing weapon procurement costs by several percent.
NAFTA Renegotiation and Modernization
This report provides a brief overview of The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the role of Congress in the renegotiation process. It discusses key issues that are likely to be discussed during the current negotiations, and it provides a discussion of policy implications for Congress going forward.
The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP): Issues in Brief
This report discusses the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program which is made up of four agencies (FEMA, The National Science Foundation, USGS, and National Institute of Standards and Technology) who are responsible for monitoring, reporting, and studying earthquakes and increasing resiliency to earthquakes through means such as stronger infrastructure, early warning systems, and recovery plans.
CRISPR Gene Editing Research in Embryos Generates Scientific and Ethics Debate
This report discusses the results of a recent experiment on the use of gene modification for decreasing the chance of children having hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which was done through the use of CRISPR to modify the genes of human embryos at a private facility. Restrictions on the use of public funds for such studies, a brief explanation of the science, and ethical concerns are discussed.
Executive Branch Legislative Proposals Affecting Veterans Benefits in the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget
This report discusses legislative proposals that would affect veterans' disability payments and Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) in the 2018 Fiscal Year budget proposals.
Introduction to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
This report provides introductory information on key components of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), ranging from floodplain mapping to the standard flood insurance forms. This report will be updated as significant revisions are made to the NFIP through legislation or administrative action.
Military Sexual Assault: A Framework for Congressional Oversight
This report provides a framework for Congressional analysis and oversight of sexual assault in the military and seeks to help congressional staff understand the legislative and policy landscape, link proposed solutions with potential impact metrics, and identify possible gaps that remain unaddressed. Four categories of oversight and action related to sexual assault in the military are addressed; Department of Defense (DOD) management and accountability, prevention, victim protection and support, and military justice and investigation.
Programs for Minority Serving Institutions Under the Higher Education Act
This report describes the several programs devoted to financially assisting minority serving institutions (MSIs) under the Higher Education Act (HEA). First discussed is how the various HEA MSI programs are funded. It then provides a description of each program, organized by the type of MSI to which the program is available. Included in each program description is a discussion of eligibility criteria for program participation; a description of authorized uses of financial awards; and administrative procedures, including a description of how funds are allocated among multiple institutions either via a competitive award process or a formula-based grant. Appendix A provides a list of acronyms used in this report. Appendix B details mandatory and discretionary appropriations for selected MSI programs authorized under the HEA. MSIs include, but are not limited to, American Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs); Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions (ANNHs); predominantly Black institutions (PBIs); Native American-serving, nontribal institutions (NASNTIs); Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions (ANNAPISIs), historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and Hispanicserving institutions (HSIs).
Section 471 of H.R. 10, H.R. 1219, S. 444, and Section 914 of H.R. 3280: Supporting America's Innovators
This report discusses various current bills in Congress that are related to to increasing business innovation and easing regulation on securities and venture-capitol firms. Brief outlines of the goals of each bill and their current progress along with arguments for and against them are presented.
Social Security: The Trust Funds
This report covers how the Social Security program is financed and how the Social Security trust funds work. It will be updated annually to reflect current projections of the financial status of the Social Security trust funds.
Social Security: What Would Happen if the Trust Funds Ran Out?
This report explains what the Social Security trust funds are and how they work. It describes the historical operations of the trust funds and the Social Security trustees' projections of future operations. It explains what could happen if Congress allowed the trust funds to run out. It also analyzes two scenarios that assume Congress waits until the moment of insolvency to act, showing the magnitude of benefit cuts or tax increases needed and how such changes would affect beneficiaries.
Taylor Force Act: Palestinian Terrorism-Related Payments and U.S. Aid
This report discusses the proposed Taylor Force Act in Congress which relates to the amount of foreign aid sent to the Palestinian Authority and reductions and further requirements being implemented due to Palestinian payments to families of those killed in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict whether as combatants or civilians and Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons that have been convicted of terrorism related offenses.
U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress
This report presents background information and issues for Congress on the overarching U.S. foreign policy issue of the U.S. role in the world. Certain statements and actions from the Trump Administration have led to uncertainty about the Administration's intentions regarding the future U.S. role, and have intensified an ongoing debate among foreign policy specialists, strategists, policymakers, and the public about what that role should be.
Availability of Legislative Measures in the House of Representatives (The "Three-Day Rule")
This report discuses rules in the House of Representatives governing the length of time legislative measures must be available to Members before being considered on the floor. Generally most measures are required to be available for three calendar days excluding weekends and holidays unless the House is in session on those days. The House has several means by which it can choose to waive these availability requirements and call up, debate, and vote on a measure in a single calendar day, even if the text of the measure was not made available prior to consideration. These include adopting a special rule that waives the three-day requirement; adopting a special rule that waives the one-day requirement for another special rule; and convening a second legislative day on the same calendar day.
Energy and Water Development Appropriations for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation: In Brief
This report discusses the Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation (DNN) programs, which was reorganized starting with the FY2016 request.
The Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10) and the Dodd- Frank Act
This report discusses the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017 (H.R. 10), a bill that was passed by the House on June 8, 2017.
Political Status of Puerto Rico: Brief Background and Recent Developments for Congress
This report provides policy and historical background about Puerto Rico's political status--a term of art referring to the relationship between the federal government and a territorial one. It emphasizes recent developments that are likely to be most relevant for Congress. Congress has not altered the island's status since 1952, when it approved a territorial constitution.
This report discusses Australia's strategic alliance with the United States and their economic ties with China and ways these two interests may conflict. Relations between the U.S. and Australia and recent tensions between U.S. President Trump and Australian President Turnbull are also discussed.
China 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. The issue for Congress is how the U.S. Navy should respond to China's military modernization effort, particularly its naval modernization effort.
Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure
This report examines the source of the contempt power, reviews the historical development of the early case law, outlines the statutory and common law basis for Congress's contempt power, and analyzes the procedures associated with inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas. The report also includes a detailed discussion of two recent information access disputes that led to the approval of contempt citations in the House against then-White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder. Finally, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally based limitations on the contempt power.
The Growing Gap in Life Expectancy by Income: Recent Evidence and Implications for the Social Security Retirement Age
This report provides a brief overview of the concept of life expectancy, how it is measured, and how it has changed over time in the United States. While life expectancy may be studied in a variety of contexts, this report focuses on the link between life expectancy and socioeconomic status (SES), as measured by lifetime income. In particular, this report synthesizes recent research on the life expectancy gap by income and the relationship between this gap and Social Security benefits. Finally, this report discusses the implications of this research for one type of Social Security reform proposal: increasing the Social Security retirement age.
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.
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.