Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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The Essential Neil Gorsuch Reader: What Judge Gorsuch Cases Should You Read?
This report discusses President Trump's nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and deliberation by Senators as part of the initial phases of determining whether to provide "Advice and Consent" to the nomination.
Gun Control, Mental Incompetency, and Social Security Administration Final Rule
This report discusses the Congressional Review Act disapproval resolution (H.J.Res. 40) passed by the House of Representative to overturn a final rule promulgated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding implementation of firearms restrictions for certain persons.
The United States Withdraws from the TPP
This report discusses discusses the withdrawal of the United States as a signatory from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement as directed by President Trump.
Defense Primer: A Guide for New Members
This report describes the power of the Congress over the armed forces, including the power to "to raise and support Armies," "to provide and maintain a Navy," "to make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces" and "to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States.... "
What Is Manufacturing? Why Does the Definition Matter
This report discusses provisions that define manufacturing as the process of physically transforming goods and the importance of such provisions in federal law.
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)
This report discusses China's proposal of creating a new multilateral development bank (MDB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with the purpose to provide financing for infrastructure needs throughout Asia, as well as in neighboring regions.
Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Long-Range Ballistic Missiles: Background and Issues
This report provides an overview of the rationale for the prompt global strike (PGS) mission and the possible deployment of conventional warheads on long-range ballistic missiles or boost-glide systems in support of this mission. It also reviews the Air Force and Navy efforts to develop these systems, summarizes congressional reaction to these proposals, and provides a more detailed account of the issues raised by these concepts and programs.
Army Corps Easement Process and Dakota Access Pipeline Easement Status
This report discusses the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), a 1,172-mile pipeline system to transport oil from North Dakota to Illinois.
The Islamic State and U.S. Policy
This report provides background on the Islamic State organization, discusses its goals, operations, and affiliates, reviews U.S. legislative and policy debates, and describes select FY2017 legislative proposals.
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
This report presents background information and issues for Congress concerning the Navy's ship force-structure goals and shipbuilding plans. The planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy's shipbuilding plans have been matters of concern for the congressional defense committees for the past several years.
Five-Year Program for Federal Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing: Status and Issues in Brief
This report discusses the five year plan as amended under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) for proposed public oil and gas lease sales on the U.S. outer continental shelf (OCS).
Dakota Access Pipeline: Siting Controversy
This report discusses the Dakota Access Pipeline including background on the project and information about siting approval, as well as opposition and litigation against the pipeline.
Considering Measures in the House Under the One-Hour Rule
This report discusses the fundamental rule of the House of Representatives governing debate is the one-hour rule.
Privileged Business on the House Floor
This report discusses privileged business, which relates to the order or priority of business before the House and is defined in House rules and precedents as business that has precedence over the regular order of business.
Questions of Privilege in the House
This report describes and discusses the difference between privileged business and questions of privilege.
Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills: FY1970-FY2017
This report is a research aid that lists the Department of Defense (DOD) authorization bills (Table 1) and appropriations bills (Table 2) for FY1970-FY2017. This report includes all the pertinent information on the passage of these bills through the legislative process: bill numbers, report numbers, dates reported and passed, recorded vote numbers and vote tallies, dates of passage of the conference reports with their numbers and votes, vetoes, substitutions, dates of final passage, and public law numbers.
EPA's Mid-Term Evaluation of Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards
This report discusses the standards for fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for new light-duty vehicles.
Millennium Challenge Corporation
This report discusses the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) which 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.
Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), which is an Army-led, multi-service initiative to develop a family of light tactical vehicles as a successor to the High Mobility, Multi-Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs). It includes background information; a description of the JLTV program, program history, and program activities; information about the JLTV contract, Lockheed Martin's protest to the program, budgetary issues, and potential issues for Congress.
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.
Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments
This report discusses the military retirement system. The system currently includes monthly compensation for qualified active and reserve retirees, disability benefits for those deemed medically unfit to serve, and a survivor annuity program for the eligible survivors of deceased retirees.
U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses Special Operations Forces (SOF), which play a significant role in U.S. military operations and, in recent years, have been given greater responsibility for planning and conducting worldwide counterterrorism operations. A potential issue for Congress is the Administration's decision to send U.S. SOF forces to Syria.
Party Leaders in the United States Congress, 1789-2017
This report briefly describes current responsibilities and selection mechanisms for 15 House and Senate party leadership posts and provides tables with historical data, including service dates, party affiliation, and other information for each.
Statutory Restrictions on the Position of Secretary of Defense: Issues for Congress
This report is designed to assist Congress as it considers how to proceed with the proposed nomination of General (Ret.) James Mattis to be Secretary of Defense. After exploring the history of the statutory restriction and its evolution over time, it touches upon some of the broader questions that have recently been raised in the public debate on whether, and how, this proposed nomination might impact civilian-military relations and the principle of civilian control of the military.
The Veterans Choice Program (VCP): Program Implementation
This report discusses the Veterans Choice Program (VCP),which is a new, temporary program (the VCP is set to expire in August 2017 or whenever funds in the Veterans Choice Fund are exhausted). The VCP enables eligible veterans to receive medical care in the community.
The Budget Reconciliation Process: Stages of Consideration
This report discusses the budget reconciliation process which allows Congress to use an expedited procedure when considering legislation that would bring existing spending, revenue, and debt limit laws into compliance with current fiscal priorities established in the annual budget resolution.
Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2017
This report provides data on elections of the Speaker in each Congress since 1913, when the House first reached its present size of 435 Members. During that period (63rd through 115th Congresses), a Speaker was elected five times with the votes of less than a majority of the full membership.
Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) Negotiations: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides a brief overview of U.S. trade in services, background on services in U.S. trade agreements, and an in-depth discussion of the ongoing Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiations.
The "Waters of the United States" Rule: Legislative Options and 114th Congress Responses
This report discusses legislative activity in the 114th Congress regarding a major regulatory initiative related to the "waters of the United States" rule. Despite the court's stay of the rule, some in Congress favor halting the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) and the Corps' current approach to defining "waters of the United States."
Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs
This report provides an overview of the "digital divide," which is a term used to describe a perceived gap between those Americans who use or have access to telecommunications and information technologies and those who do not.
Expedited Procedures Governing Senate Consideration of Legislation Waiving a Restriction Related to the Military Service of the Secretary of Defense
This report discusses the Section 179 of the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017 (P.L. 114-254), which establishes expedited or "fast track" parliamentary procedures governing Senate consideration of legislation that would waive a legal restriction related to the prior military service of the Secretary of Defense.
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation.
International Trade and Finance: Overview and Issues for the 115th Congress
This report provides a brief overview of some of the trade and finance issues that may be of interest or continuing attention of the 115th Congress. During its 114th session, Congress faced numerous international trade and finance policy issues.
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
This report discusses concerns about food safety, the resources required to ensure food safety, and whether federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then.
U.S. Policy on Cuban Migrants: In Brief
This report discusses the U.S. policy on Cuban migration that has been shaped by a 1966 law known as the Cuban Adjustment Act, as amended, and U.S.-Cuban migration agreements signed in the mid-1990s, operating in conjunction with the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Agency Final Rules Submitted on or After June 13, 2016, May Be Subject to Disapproval by the 115th Congress
This report discusses the possibility of the new Congress and the new President to overturn agency final rules of the Obama Administration issued after early June 2016.
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): In Brief
This report provides a basic description of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which mandates that U.S. transportation fuel must contain a minimum volume of biofuel, and is a federal statutory requirement. The mandated minimum volume increases annually and can be met using both conventional biofuel (e.g., cornstarch ethanol) and advanced biofuels. This report also includes some of the widely-discussed issues.
Department of Defense Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E): Appropriations Structure
This report discusses the Department of Defense's (DOD's) research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E) in support of its mission requirements.
Women in Combat: Issues for Congress
This report looks at the history of women in US military roles and combat since the 1990s and discusses critics' views of exclusionary policy as a civil rights issue. Over the past two decades of conflict, women have served with valor and continue to serve on combat aircraft, naval vessels, and in support of ground combat operations. The expansion of roles for women in the armed forces has evolved since the early days of the military when women were restricted by law and policy from serving in certain occupations and units.
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.
Creating a Federal Advisory Committee in the Executive Branch
This report report provides a brief overview on how Congress can establish federal advisory committees, and provides some considerations as to why a federal advisory committee may or may not be an appropriate mechanism to assist a particular policy or funding question. The report also explores why Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) may or may not be appropriate for application to particular advisory committees. It presents data on the number of active FACA committees established by Congress with special emphasis on the committees established in FY2015. This report concludes by presenting a list of the federal advisory committees currently proposed for statutory establishment in the 114th Congress.
The Federal Budget Deficit and the Business Cycle
This report discusses the annual federal budget deficit, which has fallen significantly over the course of the current economic expansion, from a high of 9.8% of gross domestic product (GDP) in FY2009 to 3.2% of GDP in FY2016
"Fiscal Space" and the Federal Budget
This report discusses plans for the federal budget and the concept of "fiscal space," or the amount of room available for additional government borrowing.
Dakota Access Pipeline: Siting Controversy
This report discusses the Dakota Access Pipeline including background on the project and information about siting approval, as well as opposition and litigation against the pipeline.
Has the U.S. Government Ever "Defaulted"?
This report discusses the concept of default in the context of the federal government's financial obligations and provides examples of past cases in which the federal government failed to make certain payments on time.
Terrorist Material Support: An Overview of 18 U.S.C. §2339A and §2339B
This report discusses the two federal material support statutes that have been at the heart of the Justice Department's terrorist prosecution efforts. One provision outlaws providing material support for the commission of certain designated offenses that might be committed by terrorists (18 U.S.C. 2339A); the other outlaws providing material support to certain designated terrorist organizations (18 U.S.C. 2339B). They share a common definition of the term "material support," some aspects of which have recently come under constitutional attack.
The Trump-Tsai Call and the United States' "Unofficial" Relationship with Taiwan
This report discusses the controversy over the President-elect Donald J. Trump's telephone call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on December 2, 2016.
Federal Workforce Statistics Sources: OPM and OMB
This report describes online tools, reports, and data compilations created by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that contain statistics about federal employees and the federal workforce. The report also describes key characteristics of each resource and briefly discusses selected methodological differences, with the intention of facilitating the selection of appropriate data for specific purposes.
An Introduction to Judicial Review of Federal Agency Action
This report provides a broad overview of the issues that may be relevant to any number of present and future challenges to agency action in federal court.
EPA's Mid-Term Evaluation of Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards
This report discusses the standards set by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for fuel economy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for new light-duty vehicles (defined generally as passenger cars and light trucks).