Congressional Research Service Reports - 88 Matching Results

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When Does Double Prosecution Count as Double Jeopardy?
This report discusses the Fifth Amendment's Double Jeopardy Clause; although the Clause provides that no person shall "be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb," the Supreme Court has made clear that that protection has its limits.
IRS Will No Longer Require Disclosure of Certain Nonprofit Donor Information
This report will first provide background on the statute and regulations regarding tax-exempt organizations' (EOs') disclosure of contributor information. Next, the report will discuss the justifications of and reactions to the new policy, including the views of proponents and opponents of the new policy. The report will then discuss the litigation Montana has filed against the policy. Finally, the report will provide considerations for Congress.
Emergency Use Authorization and FDA's Related Authorities
This report discusses when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may permit a medical product to be provided to patients outside of the standard regulatory framework.
Iran Sanctions
This report discusses U.S. sanctions against Iran and the 2016 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement which led to the lifting of sanctions based on nuclear proliferation in Iran. The bulk of the report outlines the various sanctions against Iran and their current implementation status, international efforts to bring about compliance, and their effects. Recent discussions regarding President's Trump announcement that the U.S. was decertifying the nuclear agreement and the possibility of reinstating certain sanctions are also discussed.
Buy America and the Electric Bus Market
This report discusses a current controversy over how Buy America (which requires that federally-funded highway, public transportation, aviation, and intercity passenger rail projects use U.S.-made manufactured goods) applies to battery-powered buses. This controversy illustrates the challenges in determining whether or not a product is made in the United States.
Iran's Threats, the Strait of Hormuz, and Oil Markets: In Brief
This report discusses the how the exchange of threats between members of the governments of Iran and the United States, have again raised the specter of an interruption of shipping through the Strait of Hormuz. The Strait is a key waterway for the transit of oil and natural gas to world markets. The report also discusses the possibility of Congress to consider legislation regarding sanctions on Iran.
Proposals to Impose Sanctions on Russian Sovereign Debt
This report discusses sanctions the U.S. imposes against Russia. The United States imposes sanctions on hundreds of Russian individuals and entities for aggression against Ukraine, election interference, malicious cyber activity, human rights violations, weapons proliferation, and other activities. Some Members of Congress are proposing additional sanctions in response to continuing objectionable behavior by the Russian government. One proposal is to sanction new debt issued by the Russian government. If enacted, U.S. investors would be prohibited from buying or trading new Russian sovereign debt.
Proposals to Impose Sanctions on Russian Sovereign Debt
This report discusses proposals to impose sanctions on Russian sovereign debt. The U.S. already imposes sanctions on Russia for aggression against Ukraine, election interference, malicious cyber activity, human rights violations, weapons proliferation, and other activities. The sovereign debt sanction would prohibit U.S. investors from buying or trading new Russian sovereign debt.
Buprenorphine and the Opioid Crisis: A Primer for Congress
This report addresses questions policymakers may have about the effectiveness of the opioid addiction treatment drug buprenorphine, the demand for buprenorphine, and access to buprenorphine.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress such as: Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic that could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition.
Mexico's Immigration Control Efforts
This report discusses the surge in unauthorized migration from Central America into Mexico and the U.S that began in 2014. Topics covered include Mexico's southern border plan, human rights concerns, and U.S. policy and developments under the Trump Administration.
Protecting Consumers and Businesses from Fraudulent Robocalls
This report discusses efforts by Congress and the Federal Communications Commision (FCC) to combat robocall scams and prevent them from reaching consumers. It includes an overview of what robocallls are, their legitimate uses, regulation, and complaint procedures for consumers.
Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations
The first section of this report includes a table that summarizes the history of appropriations for both wastewater and drinking water infrastructure programs. The next section discusses several historical developments in water infrastructure funding. The last section contains a detailed chronology of congressional activity regarding wastewater and drinking water infrastructure funding for each fiscal year since the 1987 CWA amendments.
Presidential Pardons: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This report provides a general overview of the pardon power and briefly addresses a few frequently-asked legal questions concerning its scope and application, such as: whether the President can issue a "prospective pardon, pardon himself or issue "secret" pardons, whether the acceptance of a pardon is an admission of guilt, and whether Congress can regulate the President's pardon power.
State Innovation Waivers: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers nine frequently asked questions about the State Innovation Waiver program under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that allows states to obtain waivers from certain areas of the program and instead use their own state run processes.
Congressional Health Coverage: Is the Government Contribution in Limbo?
This report first provides an overview of the statutory framework governing congressional health coverage and the current Office of Personnel Management (OPM) rule, and then addresses certain legal considerations that may come into play should the Trump Administration take action to modify this existing rule.
Justice Department''s Role in Cyber Incident Response
This report outlines the federal framework for cyber incident response, highlighting the Department of Justice's (DOJ's) role in this response. It also discusses challenges for federal law enforcement and potential policy issues for Congress.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) Transitional Reinsurance Program
This report provides an overview of one of the three risk-mitigation programs of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the transitional reinsurance program. The first section of the report provides background information on reinsurance and the ACA risk-mitigation programs. The second section describes the components of the transitional reinsurance program, as well as implementation of and experience with the program. The third section discusses questions regarding the scope of HHS's authority to administer the transitional reinsurance program, including those raised by a 2016 Government Accountability Office report. Finally, the report includes a table in the Appendix that summarizes key aspects of the transitional reinsurance program.
Legislative Proposals Seek Statutory Protections Related to Removing a Special Counsel
This report discusses the current rules for special counsels investigating executive branch officials and new proposed laws regarding special counsels and the process required to remove one from their position.
Domestic Terrorism: An Overview
This report provides background regarding domestic terrorists--detailing what constitutes the domestic terrorism threat as suggested by publicly available U.S. government sources. It also illustrates some of the key factors involved in assessing this threat.
Russia: Background and U.S. Policy
This report provides descriptions and background information on Russian government organization and power, the Russian military's role, and U.S. policy toward Russia. Specific topics covered include Russian governmental structures and background, Vladimir Putin's rise to power, human rights concerns, opposition groups, the economy of Russia and the impact of sanctions, the foreign relations of Russia with other countries in Europe, NATO, the EU, China, Syria, and the U.S., the Ukraine conflict and Russian military aggression. U.S. policies toward Russia, U.S. sanctions on Russia, and cyber warfare.
Cuba Sanctions: Legislative Restrictions Limiting the Normalization of Relations
This report outlines the various laws and sections of legislation that govern sanctions against Cuba and how they could be lifted or waived along with background information on the U.S. embargo of Cuba since the 1960s.
For First Time, FinCEN Imposes Penalty on Foreign-Based Virtual Currency Exchange for Violations of Anti-Money Laundering Laws
This report discusses the first case of enforcement by the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) against a foreign-based virtual currency exchange. The action was taken agains BTC-e for violations of anti-money laundering regulations in the U.S. and potential money laundering activities.
Foreign Money and U.S. Elections
This report provides an overview of the prohibitions on foreign money under federal campaign finance law.
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report discusses China's maritime and and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) claims in the East China and South China Seas and their effect on U.S. policy and strategy in the region. Topics covered are the history of the territorial disputes and the interests of China, neighboring countries, and the United States in the disputes, maritime disputes in general, relevant treaties and agreements, China's approach to disputes, the United States's approach and position on the disputes, specific issues for Congress to address, and related legislative actions in 2017. Four appendices cover strategic context from an U.S. perspective, U.S. treaties with Japan and the Philippines, and operational rights in the EEZ, and options suggested by observers for strengthening U.S. actions.
Who Regulates Whom? An Overview of the U.S. Financial Regulatory Framework
This report attempts to set out the basic frameworks and principles underlying U.S. financial regulation and to give some historical context for the development of that system. The first section briefly discusses the various modes of financial regulation and the next section identifies the major federal regulators and the types of institutions they supervise (see Table 1). It then provides a brief overview of each federal financial regulatory agency. Finally, the report discusses other entities that play a role in financial regulation--interagency bodies, state regulators, and international standards.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Some general issues include Arctic territorial disputes; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic, which could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition.
Charlottesville Car Crash Attack: Possibility of Federal Criminal Prosecution
This report discusses the announcement that the Charlottesville, Virginia car crash attack is being investigated as a federal civil rights case. It also outlines the sections of the federal law under which the attack could be classified.
Insurance and the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10)
This report discusses changes to current insurance law under the new Financial CHOICE Act.
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.
Supreme Court: Length of the Scalia Vacancy in Historical Context
This report provides data and analysis related to the potential length of the current vacancy on the Supreme Court caused by the death of Antonin Scalia on February 13, 2016. Specifically, this report provides the number of days the Scalia vacancy will have existed on specified future dates if a nominee has not been confirmed.
Iran's Foreign Policy
This report provides an overview of Iran's foreign policy, which has been a subject of numerous congressional hearings and of sanctions and other legislation for many years. The report analyzes Iranian foreign policy as a whole and by region.
Airline Passenger Rights: The Federal Role in Aviation Consumer Protection
This report examines aviation consumer protections following the 1978 elimination of most governmental control regarding airline business practices. It explains the roles of Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in protecting airline consumers, and discusses some major passenger rights issues and related laws and regulations.
Methane: An Introduction to Emission Sources and Reduction Strategies
This report discusses the "Climate Action Plan" (CAP) announced by President Obama to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs), as well as to encourage adaptation to expected climate change.
The Federal Anti-Nepotism Statute: Limits on Appointing, Hiring, and Promoting Relatives
This report discusses laws governing the hiring of family members in the executive branch and ant-nepotism efforts.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Some general issues include Arctic territorial disputes; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic, which could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition.
Clean Power Plan: Legal Background and Pending Litigation in West Virginia v. EPA
This report provides legal background on the Clean Power Plan rule (CPP or Rule) to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), its Clean Air Act (CAA) framework under Section 111, and climate-related lawsuits that have preceded the present litigation over the CPP. It then gives an overview of the participants in the current litigation, including two groups of Members of Congress, who have offered briefs in support of the petitioners and the respondents, respectively.
Evolution of the Meaning of "Waters of the United States" in the Clean Water Act
This report examines the changing definition of the phrase, "waters of the United States." The scope of waters that are properly the subject of federal water pollution legislation has been the subject of long-standing consideration by all three branches of the federal government, particularly in the aftermath of the 1972 amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, commonly referred to as the Clean Water Act.
The Federal Circuit Rules on Trademarks Considered Offensive: May Affect Redskins Trademark Dispute
This legal sidebar examines cases involving the revocation of the Washington Redskins' federally-registered trademarks (Pro-Football, Inc. v. Blackhorse) and the refusal to grant registration for a rock band's name (In re Tam). These cases raise questions about the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Trademark Act of 1946 (conventionally known as the Lanham Act), which denies trademark registration to certain offensive content.
State Challenges to Federal Enforcement of Immigration Law: From the Mid-1990s to the Present
This report provides an overview of challenges by states to federal officials' alleged failure to enforce provisions of immigration law. It begins by discussing (1) the lawsuits filed by six states in the mid-1990s; (2) Arizona's counterclaims to the federal government's suit to enjoin enforcement of S.B. 1070; and (3) Mississippi's challenge to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative. It then describes the challenge brought by over 25 states or state officials in December 2014 to the Obama Administration's proposal to expand DACA and create a similar program for unauthorized aliens whose children are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent resident aliens (LPRs) (commonly known as DAPA).
Drug Testing and Crime-Related Restrictions in TANF, SNAP, and Housing Assistance
This report describes and compares the drug- and crime-related policy restrictions contained in selected federal programs that provide assistance to low-income individuals and families: the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps), and the three primary federal housing assistance programs (the public housing program, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, and the project-based Section 8 rental assistance program).
The International Labor Organization (ILO): Background in Brief
This report discusses the International Labor Organization (ILO), and describes the ILO's mission, structure, and functions; presents case studies on how the ILO offers assistance to countries in promoting worker rights; and identifies issues for Congress.
Mandatory Minimum Sentencing: Federal Aggravated Identity Theft
This report discusses sentencing for aggravated identity theft, which is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment for two years, or by imprisonment for five years if it relates to a terrorism offense.
Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview
This report opens with an analysis of recent unaccompanied alien children (UAC) apprehension data. It then discusses current policy on the treatment, care, and custody of the population, with a description of the responsibilities of each federal agency involved with the population. The report then discusses both administrative and congressional actions to deal with the UAC surge in FY2014 and ongoing action to address possible future surges.
Iran, Gulf Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses issues regarding Iran's political history and structure. It also takes a look at economic and defense policy responses for Congress, specifically focusing on Iran's nuclear capabilities.
Iran Nuclear Agreement: Selected Issues for Congress
This report addresses some of the many issues raised by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), including: those related to monitoring and enforcing the Iran Nuclear Agreement itself, how the sanctions relief provided by the agreement would affect Iran's regional and domestic policies, the implications for regional security, and the potential for the agreement to change the course of U.S.-Iran relations.
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.
Procedures for Congressional Action in Relation to a Nuclear Agreement with Iran: In Brief
This report provides, in brief, analysis of the congressional procedural provisions laid out in the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-17). The act establishes a period for Congress to review any comprehensive agreement, during which certain presidential actions to provide relief from sanctions on Iran are barred.
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. U.S. sanctions have been a major feature of U.S.-Iran policy since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, but the imposition of U.N. and worldwide bilateral sanctions on Iran that began in 2006 and increased dramatically as of 2010 is recent by comparison.
Special Immigrant Juveniles: In Brief
This report provides a brief explanation of the statutory basis of special immigrant juvenile (SIJ) status and how it has evolved. It also presents statistics on the number of children who have applied for and received SIJ status since FY2005. The report concludes with a discussion of the applicability of SIJ status for unaccompanied alien children.