Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

State Sponsors of Acts of International Terrorism--Legislative Parameters: In Brief
This brief report provides information on legislation that authorizes the designation of any foreign government as a state sponsor of acts of international terrorism. It addresses how each statute defines acts of international terrorism; establishes a list to limit or prohibit aid or trade; provides for systematic removal of a foreign government from a list, including timeline and reporting requirements; authorizes the President to waive restrictions on a listed foreign government; and provides (or does not provide) Congress with a means to block a delisting. The report closes with a summary of delisting in the past.
The Department of the Interior's Final Rule on Offshore Well Control
This report discusses regulations regarding blowout preventer systems and well control for oil and gas operations on the U.S. outer continental shelf (81 Fed. Reg. 25887). The regulations aim to reduce the risk of an offshore oil or gas blowout that could jeopardize human safety and harm the environment.
Navy Ship Names: Background for Congress
This report discusses the process of naming Navy ships, which have traditionally been chosen and announced by the Secretary of the Navy. Rules for giving certain types of names to certain types of Navy ships have evolved over time.
North American Leaders' Summit
This report discusses the North American Leaders' Summits (NALS), a trilateral summit that meets in effort to increase cooperation on broader economic and security issues between the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Orlando Nightclub Mass Shooting: Gun Checks and Terrorist Watchlists
This report discusses the policy climate surrounding gun control in the wake of the attack in an Orlando, Florida nightclub. On June 12, 2016, an armed assailant killed 49 people and wounded over 50 others in the club.
Declining Dynamism in the U.S. Labor Market
This report discusses certain measures of the U.S. labor market "dynamism" or "fluidity"--including job reallocation, worker churn, and geographic labor mobility-- which some observers note have been declining for the past 20 years or more.
EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions
This report summarizes the issues the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encountered when developing regulations for "carbon pollution" from existing power plants as part of the Clean Power Plan, and describes how the EPA resolved these issues.
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."
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 Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate program, a program to procure a large number of LCSs and modified LCSs. The modified LCSs are to be referred to as frigates. The Navy's execution of the program has been a matter of congressional oversight attention for several years. The program presents several oversight issues for Congress.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Key Provisions and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) among the United States and 11 Asia-Pacific countries. It examines the key provisions of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), related policy and economic contexts, and issues of potential interest to Congress.
When Are Violent Crimes Federal Hate Crimes?
This legal sidebar briefly explains federal law in regards to hate crimes.
Iran's Nuclear Program: Status
This report looks at the background of Iran's nuclear policy. It covers the current status of Iran's nuclear facilities, and current controversy surrounding them, as well as the effects of international sanctions on Iran, recent sabotages on the Iran Enrichment Program, an estimated timeline of Iran's nuclear weapon capabilities, and whether or not Iran even has a nuclear weapons program.
Iran's Nuclear Program: Status
This report looks at the background of Iran's nuclear policy. It covers the current status of Iran's nuclear facilities, and current controversy surrounding them, as well as the effects of international sanctions on Iran, recent sabotages on the Iran Enrichment Program, an estimated timeline of Iran's nuclear weapon capabilities, and whether or not Iran even has a nuclear weapons program.
The Islamic State's Acolytes and the Challenges They Pose to U.S. Law Enforcement
This report provides an analysis of publicly available information on homegrown violent jihadist activity in the United States since September 11, 2001, which suggests that the Islamic State (IS) and its acolytes may pose broad challenges to domestic law enforcement and homeland security efforts.
Mass Shootings and Terrorism: CRS Products
This document provides a list of CRS reports on issues relevant to the mass shooting incident in Florida, including mass murder with firearms, firearms regulation, domestic terrorism, and hate crime.
Overseas Contingency Operations Funding: Background and Status
This report discusses funding for war-related activities, which has been largely provided through supplemental appropriation acts or has been designated as an "emergency" or "overseas contingency operation/global war on terror" (OCO/GWOT) requirement - or both.
Overview of FY2017 Appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS)
This report tracks and describes actions taken by the Administration and Congress to provide FY2017 appropriations for the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) accounts. It also provides an overview of FY2016 appropriations for agencies and bureaus funded as part of annual CJS appropriations.
Runaway and Homeless Youth: Demographics and Programs
This report discusses runaway and homeless youth, and the federal response to support this population. It provides an overview defining the population, a history of the evolution of relevant federal policy, a description of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program and its funding, and a summary of additional federal support.
Sifting Domestic Terrorism from Hate Crime and Homegrown Violent Extremism
This report examines the differences between domestic terrorism, hate crime, and homegrown violent extremism. Federal law enforcement agencies use these three distinct concepts to categorize key types of criminals whose illegal activities are at least partly ideologically motivated.
Athletic Footwear for the Military: The Berry Amendment Controversy
This report briefly examines issues regarding the Berry Amendment, which is a 1941 federal law (10 U.S.C. ยง2533a) requiring the Department of Defense (DOD) to purchase only wholly American-made clothing, textiles, and other essential items for the military.
The Future of Internet Governance: Should the United States Relinquish Its Authority over ICANN?
This report discusses legislation relevant to the future of Internet governance that has been introduced in the 113th and 114th Congresses which would prevent, delay, or impose conditions or additional scrutiny on the transition of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA's) stewardship role and procedural authority over key Internet domain name functions to the global Internet multi-stakeholder community.
Membership of the 114th Congress: A Profile
This report presents a profile of the membership of the 114th Congress (2015-2016). Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.
The Open Skies Treaty: Issues in the Current Debate
This report discusses the current debate surrounding the Treaty on Open Skies, which the United States, Canada, and 22 European nations signed on March 24, 1992. The treaty entered into force on January 1, 2002, and now has 34 member states. Each participant must permit unarmed observation aircraft to fly over its entire territory to observe military forces and activities.
FY2017 Appropriations for the Department of Justice
This report discusses appropriations for the Department of Justice (DOJ) for fiscal year 2017. It includes an overview of the DOJ's accounts, broken down by department and program; an comparison of appropriations for fiscal years 2016 and 2017; and select legislative proposals.
FY2017 Appropriations for the Department of Justice Grant Programs
This report provides an overview of congressional actions to fund the Department of Justice's (DOJ's) grant programs through these accounts for FY2017. The report also provides information on FY2016 appropriations for DOJ's grant programs.
Fact Sheet: Selected Highlights of the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4909, S. 2943)
This report provides selected highlights of the version of the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the House on May 18, 2016 (H.R. 4909) and the version reported by the Senate Armed Services Committee on the same date (S. 2943). Table 1 provides a summary of amounts recommended for authorization. Table 2 provides a summary of selected congressional budget reductions and restrictions, and Table 3 provides a summary of selected Administration policy and cost-cutting proposals. Table 4 provides a summary of selected congressional budget increases and policy initiatives.
A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense--Issues for Congress
This report briefly describes the shift in the international security environment that some observers believe has occurred, and identifies some defense-related issues for Congress that could arise from it. Congress's decisions on these issues could have significant implications for U.S. defense capabilities and funding requirements.
A Retrospective of House Rules Changes Since the 110th Congress
This report analyzes rules changes made on only the opening day of the 110th, 111th, 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses, with references in footnotes to other selected legislation and actions during these Congresses that also affected House rules. One of the majority party's prerogatives is writing House rules and using its numbers to effect the chamber's rules on the day a new House convenes. Because all Members of the House stand for election every two years, the Members-elect constitute a new House that must adopt rules at the convening of each Congress.
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.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)
This report contains information on how to ascertain if an individual is eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits, which are available only to those individuals who have become unemployed as a direct result of a declared major disaster. DUA is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is administered by the Department of Labor (DOL) through each state's UC agency.
The FDA Medical Device User Fee Program: MDUFA IV Reauthorization
This report describes current law regarding medical device user fees, the impact of Medical Device User Fee and Modernization Act (MDUFMA) on Federal Drug Administration (FDA) review time of various medical device applications, and the agency's medical device program budget.
FinCEN Seeks Shell-Company Transparency
This legal sidebar discusses the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network's (FinCEN) rules outlining anti-money laundering due diligence requirements. These rules require certain financial institutions to identify and verify beneficial owners of legal entity customers.
India-U.S. Relations and the Visit of Prime Minister Modi
This report briefly discusses Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "working visit" to Washington D.C. that will include addressing Congress, the first such address by an Indian leader since 2005.
OSHA State Plans: In Brief, with Examples from California and Arizona
This report examines various state plans under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act), which authorizes states to establish their own occupational safety and health plans and preempt standards established and enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA must approve state plans if they are "at least as effective" as OSHA's standards and enforcement. The report provides specific examples from California and Arizona
Federal Inspectors General: History, Characteristics, and Recent Congressional Actions
This report provides background on the statutory creation of federal offices of inspector general (OIGs) and provides historical context for contemporary debates about the strengths and limitations of the offices. Federal inspectors general (IGs) are authorized to combat waste, fraud, and abuse within their affiliated federal entities; to execute their missions, OIGs conduct and publish audits and investigations--among other duties.
Goldwater-Nichols at 30: Defense Reform and Issues for Congress
This report is designed to assist Congress as it evaluates the many different defense reform proposals suggested by the variety of stakeholders and institutions within the U.S. national security community. It includes an outline of the strategic context for defense reform, both in the Goldwater-Nichols era and today. It then builds a framework to understand the DOD management challenge, and situates some of the most-discussed reform proposals within that framework. It concludes with some questions Congress may ponder as it exercises oversight over the Pentagon.
Legislative Branch: FY2017 Appropriations
The first section of this report provides an overview of the consideration of FY2017 legislative branch appropriations, with subsections covering each action. It is followed by a section on prior year actions and funding, which contains historical tables. The report then addresses the FY2017 budget requests, requested administrative language, and selected funding issues for individual legislative branch agencies and entities.
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.
Constitutional Limits to Agency Independence
This legal sidebar examines issues regarding the "separation of powers" among the three branches of U.S. government, specifically in regards to federal agencies.
Legislative Options for Financing Water Infrastructure
This report discusses several options considered by Congress to address the financing needs of local communities for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects and to decrease or close the gap between available funds and projected needs.
Military Lending Act: Timeline, New Rules, and Issues
This report briefly discusses new rules under the Military Lending Act (MLA) that change the definition of consumer credit for covered servicemembers and dependents; it will apply to transactions or accounts that are established on or after October 3, 2016. These rules may have an impact on the regulatory burdens for businesses that provide credit products to the military and may also affect military readiness.
An Overview of Air Quality Issues in Natural Gas Systems
This report provides information on the natural gas industry and the types and sources of air pollutants in the sector. It examines the role of the federal government in regulating these emissions, including the provisions in the Clean Air Act and Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) regulatory activities. It concludes with a brief discussion of the outstanding issues.
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. The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region's future.
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.
DOD's Rotation to the Philippines
This report briefly discusses the Department of Defense's (DOD's) announcement of its intention to "rebalance" by focusing more of its attention and activity on Asia. One goal is to influence the development of regional norms and rules, particularly as China exerts greater influence.
Iran Nuclear Agreement
This report provides background on the agreement negotiated by Iran and six other countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany--collectively known as the P5+1) regarding Iran's nuclear program, and discusses the implications for U.S.-Iran relations.
Iran's Nuclear Program: Tehran's Compliance with International Obligations
This report provides a brief overview of Iran's nuclear program and describes the legal basis for the actions taken by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board and the Security Council.
Navy LX(R) Amphibious Ship Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on maritime territorial and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) disputes in the East China (ECS) and South China Sea (SCS) involving China, with a focus on how these disputes may affect U.S. strategic and policy interests.
Offsets, Supplemental Appropriations, and the Disaster Relief Fund: FY1990-FY2013
This report discusses the history of the use of offsetting rescissions to pay for supplemental appropriations to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) from FY1990 through FY2013.