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The Individual Mandate for Health Insurance Coverage: In Brief

Description: This report provides an overview of the individual mandate, its associated penalty, and the exemptions from the mandate. It discusses the ACA reporting requirements designed, in part, to assist individuals in providing evidence of having met the mandate. The report includes some national- and state-level data on the application of the mandate's penalty in tax year (TY) 2014 and TY2015.
Date: November 16, 2017
Creator: Mach, Annie L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Memorandum: Summary of the Substantive Provisions of S. 2010, the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017 and H.R. 3989, The USA Liberty Act of 2017

Description: This report summarizes the substantive provisions of S. 2010, the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017, as reported by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on October 25, 2017, and H.R. 3989, the USA Liberty Act of 2017, as ordered to be reported by the House Judiciary Committee on November 8, 2017. Both bills primarily amend and reauthorize Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA).
Date: November 16, 2017
Creator: Liu, Edward C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

OPEC and Non-OPEC Crude Oil Production Agreement: Compliance Status

Description: This report discusses OPEC's policy and agreement with 11 non-OPEC countries to reduce oil production to stabilize the price of oil which began January 1, 2017 and is in effect until March 31, 2018. Brief descriptions of the results of the agreement on global oil stocks are provided.
Date: November 16, 2017
Creator: Brown, Phillip
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Repair or Rebuild: Options for Electric Power in Puerto Rico

Description: This report explores several alternative electric power structures to PREPA for meeting the electricity services and needs of Puerto Rico. The ability of Puerto Rico and its citizens to assume the burden of paying for a rebuilt (and possibly restructured) electricity system is doubtful. Modernizing Puerto Rico’s grid, and taking the next steps to incorporate resiliency, could be expensive. None of the options discussed provides a silver bullet solution to the issues of the grid in Puerto Rico. Congress may consider whether the efforts to restore electric power in Puerto Rico need to progress beyond simple restoration of electricity, and require new investment and oversight by the federal government.
Date: November 16, 2017
Creator: Campbell, Richard J.; Clark, Corrie E. & Austin, D. Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Zimbabwe: A Military-Compelled Transition?

Description: This report discusses the military intervention in Zimbabwe which occurred on November 14 and 15th, 2017, and provides a discussion of the main events leading up to the action and possible outcomes.
Date: November 16, 2017
Creator: Cook, Nicolas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Article V Convention to Propose Constitutional Amendments: Current Developments

Description: This report provides information for Members of Congress and congressional staff on current developments in Congress, the states, and the relevant advocacy and policy communities concerning the Article V Convention alternative for proposing constitutional amendments.
Date: November 15, 2017
Creator: Neale, Thomas H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Joint Employment and the Save Local Business Act

Description: This report discusses the proposed "Save Local Business Act" in the House and its provisions and implications for employers and employees in businesses where unions exist. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) broadening of the definition of what constituted a joint employer in the case of Browning-Ferris Industries of California led to resist by some in the business community and the "Save Local Business Act" seeks to restore the former more narrow definition of joint employers.
Date: November 15, 2017
Creator: Shimabukuro, Jon O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telehealth Services Proposed for Medicare Part B Reimbursements, 2018: Fact Sheet

Description: This report discusses telehealth services covered under Medicare and describes the five conditions that a telehealth service must meet to be covered and paid for under Medicare Part B, provides an overview of how the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adds telehealth services to Medicare's reimbursable list, and includes a table listing the proposed telehealth services to be added to the CY2018 list for Medicare reimbursement.
Date: November 15, 2017
Creator: Elliott, Victoria L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Generalized System of Preferences: Overview and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program which provides non-reciprocal, duty-free tariff treatment to certain products imported from designated beneficiary developing countries (BDCs). This report examines, first, recent legislative developments, along with a brief history, economic rationale, and legal background leading to the establishment of the GSP. Second, the report describes U.S. GSP implementation. Third, the report briefly analyzes of the U.S. program's effectiveness and stakeholders' views, and discusses possible options for Congress in renewing the program for fiscal year 2018.
Date: November 14, 2017
Creator: Jones, Vivian C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Impact of the Budget Control Act Discretionary Spending Caps on a Continuing Resolution

Description: This report answers common questions regarding the government's discretionary spending limits under the Budget Control Act which if they are exceeded trigger sequestration. The result of continuing budget resolutions and possibilities for fiscal year 2018 are addressed.
Date: November 14, 2017
Creator: Lynch, Megan S. & Saturno, James V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

In Any Way, Shape, or Form? What Qualifies as "Any Court" Under the Gun Control Act?

Description: This report discusses the requirements under the Gun Control Act of 1968 that prohibit persons convicted of felony crimes and misdemeanor domestic violence from buying or possessing firearms and what courts are covered under the phrase "any court' in the legislation.
Date: November 14, 2017
Creator: Peck, Sarah Herman
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Latest Chapter in Insider Trading Law: Major Circuit Decision Expands Scope of Liability for Trading on a "Tip"

Description: This report discusses a recent court decision regarding insider trading laws and the liability of someone who acts on a tip that consists of inside information that they should have known was obtained or shared illegally. Background on the case, relevant case law, and implications of the decision are discussed.
Date: November 14, 2017
Creator: Vanatko, Nicole
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Primer on U.S. Immigration Policy

Description: This report provides a broad overview of U.S. immigration policy. The first section addresses policies governing how foreign nationals enter the United States either to reside permanently or to stay temporarily. Related topics within this section include visa issuance and security, forms of quasi-legal status, and naturalization. The second section discusses enforcement policies both for excluding foreign nationals from admission into the United States, as well as for detaining and removing those who enter the country unlawfully or who enter lawfully but subsequently commit crimes that make them deportable. The section also covers worksite enforcement and immigration fraud. The third section addresses policies for unauthorized aliens residing in the United States.
Date: November 14, 2017
Creator: Kandel, William A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA): Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report answers frequently asked questions regarding the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) program which requires international trade agreements that reduce tariff or non-tariff barriers to trade in ways that require changes in U.S. law, to be implemented only through the enactment of legislation. If the trade agreement and the process of negotiating it meet certain requirements, TPA allows Congress to consider the required implementing bill under expedited procedures, pursuant to which the bill may come to the floor without action by the leadership, and can receive a guaranteed up-or-down vote with no amendments.
Date: November 14, 2017
Creator: Fergusson, Ian F. & Davis, Christopher M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

21st Century Flood Reform Act (H.R. 2874): Reforming the National Flood Insurance Program

Description: This report discusses the National Flood Insurance Act and the proposed 21st Century Flood Reform Act in the House. House leaders submitted an Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute (H.R. 2874ANS) on November 6, 2017, that would modify H.R. 2874, the 21st Century Flood Reform Act, to add provisions from the six other bills approved by the House Financial Services Committee. H.R. 2874 would authorize the NFIP until September 30, 2022. This report summarizes selected provisions of the bill, concentrating on changes related to premiums and surcharges, affordability, increasing participation, the role of private insurance, treatment of multiple loss properties, and some provisions related to floodplain mapping and mitigation.
Date: November 13, 2017
Creator: Horne, Diane P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA Proposes to Repeal the Clean Power Plan

Description: This report discuses the EPA proposal in October 2017 to repeal the "Clean Power Plan" due to their determination after review of the rule that it exceeded their statutory authority to implement it. Steps in the process of repealing the rule, the outcome of the current court case regarding the rule, and possible replacement rules regarding Carbon dioxide emissions and power plants.
Date: November 13, 2017
Creator: Tsang, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Flood-Risk Reduction and Resilience: Federal Assistance and Programs

Description: This report provides an overview of flood assistance programs and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) related mitigation incentives; it also raises flood-related policy considerations associated with federal programs and practices.
Date: November 13, 2017
Creator: Carter, Nicole T.; Horne, Diane P.; Brown, Jared T.; Boyd, Eugene; Stubbs, Megan; Ramseur, Jonathan L. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Potential Effects of a U.S. NAFTA Withdrawal: Agricultural Markets

Description: This report examines some of the potential consequences to U.S. agricultural markets of a U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA, focusing on the possibility that higher tariffs could be imposed on U.S. imports and exports. In particular, under a NAFTA withdrawal, it is likely that most-favored nation (MFN) tariffs would be imposed on agricultural products traded among the NAFTA countries instead of the current zero tariff (i.e., duty-free trade) for most agricultural products. In general, MFN tariffs on U.S. agricultural imports would likely raise prices both to U.S. consumers and other end users, such as manufacturers of value-added food products.
Date: November 13, 2017
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tax Reform: The Child Credit and the Child Care Credit

Description: This report discusses the child credit and the child care credit and what changes are being made to them in the new tax reform plan currently being debated. This report provides background to help assess who would be assisted by potential changes to either credit. It shows what types of families with children receive both credits and how the credits are distributed across the income distribution.
Date: November 13, 2017
Creator: Crandall-Hollick, Margot L. & Falk, Gene
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Two-Sided Credit Card Markets: The Supreme Court Takes Up Novel Antitrust Issue

Description: This report discusses the case of "Ohio v. American Express" which the Supreme Court has accepted for hearing which poses the question of how federal antitrust law should treat two-sided markets which are platforms in which two distinct user groups operate in an interdependent way. The case challenges anti-steering clauses in American Express contract agreements with merchants that prevent the merchants from promoting the use of other credit cards. The case has the potential to change the way vendors accept card payments across the country--but the case also provides the Supreme Court with the opportunity to guide the lower courts that are increasingly confronting antitrust issues concerning two-sided markets. As a result, the American Express case raises several issues for Congress that could implicate its legislative and oversight roles with respect to the financial services industry and, more generally, the regulation of two-sided markets.
Date: November 13, 2017
Creator: Smith, Austin D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

Description: This report discuses the Diversity Immigrant Visa program (DV) which is a lottery system that makes 50,000 visas available annually to immigrants from countries who had sent less than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. over the last five years. Eligibility, the application and admission process, statistics on places of origin, and legislative proposals are discussed.
Date: November 9, 2017
Creator: Wilson, Jill H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Lebanon

Description: This report provides an overview of Lebanon's political and governmental structure, economy, security situation, refugee population, and other current issues of U.S. interest. It provides background information, analyzes recent developments and key policy debates, and tracks legislation, U.S. assistance, and recent congressional action.
Date: November 9, 2017
Creator: Humud, Carla E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department