Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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U.S. International Food Aid Programs: Background and Issues
This report includes three principal sections: a description of U.S. international food aid programs under current law; a discussion of several important policy issues related to U.S. international food aid; and a description of Administration and congressional proposals intended to change the nature of U.S. food international aid.
Domestic Content Restrictions: The Buy American Act and Complementary Provisions of Federal Law
This report provides an overview of the Buy American Act, Trade Agreements Act, Berry Amendment (including its former specialty metals provision), and Buy America Act, specifically highlighting the commonalities and differences among them. The report also lists other federal domestic content restrictions codified in the U.S. Code.
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.
Paris Agreement: United States, China Move to Become Parties to Climate Change Treaty
This report discusses the Paris agreement, which was negotiated under the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and where President Obama and China's President Xi Jinping synchronously deposited their nations' signed instruments with U.N. Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon.
Sea-Level Rise and U.S. Coasts: Science and Policy Considerations
This report provides information for policymakers that are interested in sea-level rise because of the risk to coastal populations and infrastructure and the consequences for coastal species and ecosystems.
Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 114th Congress
This report discusses border security, interior enforcement, visa security, asylum, and other immigration-related issues that have received legislative action or are of significant congressional interest in the 114th Congress.
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.
Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses issues surrounding the funding for development of Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACVs) and Marine Personnel Carriers (MPCs). The Marines are required by law to have the necessary equipment to conduct amphibious operations and land operations.
The 2016 G-20 Summit
This report discusses the 2016 G-20 summit where the leaders of the Group of Twenty (G-20) countries met in Hangzhou, China.
The Advocacy of Terrorism on the Internet: Freedom of Speech Issues and the Material Support Statutes
This report discusses relevant precedent concerning the extent to which advocacy of terrorism may be restricted in a manner consistent with the First Amendment's Freedom of Speech Clause. The report also discusses the potential application of the federal ban on the provision of material support to foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) to the advocacy of terrorism, including as it relates to the dissemination of such advocacy via online services like Twitter or Facebook.
Burma Holds Peace Conference
This report discusses the Burma Peace conference that could be a step toward ending Burma's six-decade long, low-grade civil war and establishing a process eventually leading to reconciliation and possibly the formation of a democratic federated state.
Department of Veterans Affairs FY2017 Appropriations
This report provides and overview of department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and range of benefits and services to veterans. The report discusses VA budget and the President's budget request for FY2017 and congressional action
Digital Searches and Seizures: Overview of Proposed Amendments to Rule 41 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure
This report provides a brief overview of the proposed amendment to Rule 41, which would amend the federal search and seizure rules to permit the government to remotely access electronic devices although the location of the device may be unknown. First, the report provides a background on the origin of, and rationale underlying, the proposed amendment and a description of the rule as currently written. Second, it reviews the potential changes made by the proposed amendment and will survey various concerns commenters have raised with the proposal. Lastly, this report addresses efforts being made in Congress to alter, delay, or stop this rule change.
Interior Immigration Enforcement: Criminal Alien Programs
This report describes four programs operated by the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to identify and remove criminal and other removable aliens.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues
This report examines debates over what constitutes an unfunded federal mandate and the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act's (UMRA's) implementation. It also discusses particular mandates and procedures associated with UMRA, and assesses UMRA's impact on federal mandates and arguments concerning UMRA's future, focusing on UMRA's definitions, exclusions, and exceptions that currently exempt many federal actions with potentially significant financial impacts on nonfederal entities.
Corporate Inversions: Frequently Asked Legal Questions
This report answers frequently-asked legal questions about corporate inversions. It answers questions relating to the scope and operation of Section 7874, including how key statutory terms have been interpreted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It discusses important Department of Treasury regulations that were finalized in 2015 and 2016, and answers questions about the IRS's authority to issue these regulations. Other questions that are answered relate to legislation introduced in the 114th Congress, the interaction of Section 7874 with tax treaties, and the imposition of an excise tax on corporate insiders who benefit from an inversion.
Post-Heller Second Amendment Jurisprudence
This report examines the scope of the Second Amendment, as interpreted by the federal circuit courts of appeals, after the watershed Supreme Court decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago.
Qatar: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the political and security situation in Qatar as well U.S. policy towards the Qatari government.
Argentina: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides background on the political and economic situation in Argentina and U.S.-Argentine relations. It also summarizes political and economic conditions in Argentina and issues in Argentine-U.S. relations.
Leadership Succession in Uzbekistan
This report discusses the succession of Uzbekistan President, Islam Karimov. The 78-year-old Karimov served as Uzbekistan's only President from the time of its independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991.
EU State Aid and Apple's Taxes
This report discusses the recent investigations by the European Union (EU) regarding claims that certain countries had provided illegal state aid via favorable tax rulings.
How Big Should the Army Be? Considerations for Congress
This report provides an overview of active duty Army personnel strength changes in recent years, outlines the different end strength authorizations in the House and Senate versions of the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), highlights the perspectives which have contributed to these diverging approaches in the respective NDAAs, and outlines some factors which Congress may consider as it determines the appropriate size for the Army.
Zika Testing Poses Challenges for Blood Centers
This report discusses the updated guidance recommending that all U.S. blood centers begin testing donations for Zika virus (ZIKV) using an investigational test cleared by FDA.
Climate Change: Frequently Asked Questions about the 2015 Paris Agreement
This report discusses the frequently asked questions about the 2015 Paris Agreement (PA). The PA opened for signature by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on April 22, 2016, at U.N. headquarters in New York City.
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), as well as the Obama Administration's stated goal of pursuing U.S. ratification of the CTBT, although the Administration has mainly focused on securing Senate consent to ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START).
The European Union's Small Business Act: A Different Approach
This report provides information and analysis useful to Congress as it crafts small business policy for the United States. The Small Business Act for Europe (2008) is not an act, per se, as understood in the United States.
OPM Announces Premium Increase in the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program
This report discusses the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announcement regarding premium rate increase for long-term care insurance policies purchased through the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP).
U.S. Textile Manufacturing and the Proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
This report discusses the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), which is a regional free-trade agreement (FTA) signed by trade ministers of 12 member countries, including the United States, on February 4, 2016.
Zika Response Funding: Request and Congressional Action
This report presents the Administration's request for supplemental appropriations for the Zika response. It includes sections outlining Congressional actions, the emergency supplemental appropriations request for Zika response efforts -- by both U.S. health and human services agencies and international assistance programs -- and information about unobligated Ebola response funds.
Display of the Confederate Flag at Federal Cemeteries in the United States
This report discusses policies regarding the display of the Confederate Flag at national cemeteries. If a state observes a Confederate Memorial Day, National Park Service (NPS) cemeteries in the state may permit a sponsoring group to decorate the graves of Confederate veterans with small Confederate flags. Additionally, such flags may also be displayed on the nationally observed Memorial Day, to accompany the U.S. flag on the graves of Confederate veterans.
Army and Marine Corps Active Protection System (APS) Efforts
This report discusses the Active Protection Systems (APSs), which is a subsystems integrated into or installed on a combat vehicle to automatically acquire, track, and respond with hard or soft kill capabilities to a variety of threats, including rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).
Saudi Military Campaign in Yemen Draws Congressional Attention to U.S. Arms Sales
This report discusses the U.S.-Saudi military cooperation and the legislation seeking to condition or prohibit the sale or transfer of certain munitions after reports of Yemeni civilian casualties resulting from Saudi-led coalition military operations in Yemen
TPP: American Agriculture and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement
This report identifies four considerations about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that are particularly relevant for U.S. food and agriculture. It includes a partial snapshot of some of the higher-profile improvements in market access for agricultural products in the agreement, a summary of selected provisions beyond market access that are of interest to food and agriculture, a brief overview of industry reactions to the agreement, and a review of what would need to occur for the agreement to enter into force for the United States.
Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current state of reform and foreign policy in Bahrain. Outward signs of the uprising against Bahrain's Al Khalifa ruling family that began on February 14, 2011 have diminished, but continued smaller demonstrations, opposition boycotts of elections, and incarceration of dissident leaders counter government assertions that Bahrain has "returned to normal."
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.
Tolling U.S. Highways
This report provides a brief history of tolling on federal roads and relevant current law. It also discusses financial realities on toll roads and tolling policy issues.
Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides information and analysis relevant for Congress on the following: assessments of U.S.-Turkey relations, Turkish foreign policy, and Turkey's strategic orientation, Turkish efforts to cooperate with the United States against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and key issues regarding Turkey's domestic politics.
Cyprus: Reunification Proving Elusive
This report provides a brief overview of the history of the negotiations between Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, a review of the negotiations since 2008, and a description of some of the issues involved in the talks.
Coalition Contributions to Countering the Islamic State
This report discusses the formation of the Islamic State. Some 60 nations and partner organizations agreed to participate, contributing either military forces or resources (or both) to the campaign. In Brussels in December 2014, these 60 partners agreed to organize themselves along five "lines of effort," with at least two countries in the lead for each.
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
This report examines developments in U.S. policy restricting travel and remittances to Cuba, including significant changes that have occurred, current permissible travel and remittances, enforcement of the travel restrictions, and debate on lifting the travel restrictions.
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.
Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections
This report provides the results of recent elections in Latin America and the Caribbean. It includes three tables organized by region, containing the date of each country's independence, the name of the newly elected president or prime minister, and the projected date of the next election. Information in this report was gathered from numerous sources, including the U.S. State Department, Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA's) World Fact Book, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) Election Guide, Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and other news sources.
DOD Security Cooperation: An Overview of Authorities and Issues
This report provides a general overview of current Department of Defense (DOD) Title 10 authorities to assist foreign governments, militaries, security forces, and populations funded by the DOD budget. It presents background information; provides summary overviews of nine categories of security cooperation assistance and activities; and discusses recent issues related to the development, implementation, sustainment, and coordination of security cooperation to support continuing congressional oversight.
Heroin Trafficking in the United States
This report provides an overview of heroin trafficking into and within the United States. It includes a discussion of links between the trafficking of heroin and the illicit movement of related substances such as controlled prescription drugs and synthetic drugs like fentanyl. The report also outlines existing U.S. efforts to combat heroin trafficking and possible congressional considerations going forward.
Presidential Appointee Positions Requiring Senate Confirmation and Committees Handling Nominations
This report identifies, by Senate committee, presidentially-appointed positions requiring Senate confirmation based on referrals as of the date of passage of S. 679, which became P.L. 112-166 on August 10, 2012.
March-In Rights Under the Bayh-Dole Act
This report reviews the availability of march-in rights under the Bayh-Dole Act. It begins by providing a brief overview of the patent system and innovation policy, then introduces the Bayh-Dole Act. The report also reviews specific details of the march-in authority provided to federal agencies, considers past efforts to obtain march-in authorization from NIH, and identifies potential issues for congressional consideration.
Organization of American States: Background and Issues for Congress
This report covers the background of the Organization of American States (OAS). It discusses the importance of U.S. participation in this organization in order to exert authority and shape outcomes in the Western Hemisphere.
Venezuela: Background and U.S. Relations
This report examines the political and economic situation in Venezuela and U.S.-Venezuelan relations. It is divided into three main sections -- political background, current political and economic environment, U.S. relations and policy -- and also includes introductory and outlook information.
Iran: Politics, Gulf Security, and U.S. Policy
This report provides background on Iran's political history and examines the current political climate. The report also considers U.S. policy responses, specifically in regards to Iran's nuclear capabilities.
Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Navy's irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) operations. The Navy's IW and CT activities pose a number of potential oversight issues for Congress, including how much emphasis to place on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets.