Congressional Research Service Reports - 82 Matching Results

Search Results

Immigration: Frequently Asked Questions on the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP)
This report addresses frequently asked questions regarding the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), a formula grant program that provides financial assistance to states and localities for correctional officer salary costs incurred for incarcerating "undocumented criminal aliens."
Intelligence Reform at the Department of Energy: Policy Issues and Organizational Alternatives
This report analyzes two consolidations of separate counterintelligence (CI) office -- the first authorized by Congress at the Department of Energy's (DOE) request; the second initiated by DOE -- and examines the impact of each on the effectiveness of the Department's CI program.
Sensitive Covert Action Notifications: Oversight Options for Congress
This report describes the statutory provision authorizing Gang of Eight notifications, reviews the legislative history of the provision, and examines the impact of such notifications on congressional oversight.
The European Union: Questions and Answers
This report provides a brief overview of the European Union (EU), an economic and political partnership between 27 sovereign member states. The report describes the formation of the EU, the three main institutions of the EU, and the EU's relationship with the United States.
"Gang of Four" Congressional Intelligence Notifications
This report reviews the history of Gang of Four notification process and compares this procedure with that of the "Gang of Eight" notification procedure.
Removing Aliens from the United States: Judicial Review of Removal Orders
This report analyzes the jurisdictional issues in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by focusing on the procedural mechanisms used to initiate judicial review and the reach of an Article III court's jurisdiction to review a removal order.
Tsunami Detection and Warnings for the United States
This report discusses topics in respect to tsunami disaster warnings for the United States, discussions ensued between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) about developing a multi-hazard warning and response system.
Taiwan-U.S. Relations: Recent Developments and Their Policy Implications
This report focuses on current developments in Taiwan, analyzing how those developments are affecting choices the United States makes about its policy toward Taiwan specifically and toward the People's Republic of China (PRC) more broadly.
International Population Assistance and Family Planning Programs: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the U.S. population assistance issues, policy issues in the U.S. family planning debate, and U.S. funding levels.
Federal Railroad Safety Programs: Selected Issues in Proposed Reauthorization Legislation
This report describes the major issues in the debate over reauthorization of Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in the 110th Congress. It also describes the major provisions of H.R. 2095 as passed by the House and as passed by the Senate.
Homeland Security Department: FY2009 Appropriations
This report is a guide to one of the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It summarizes the status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity, and is updated as events warrant.
Gasoline Prices: Causes of Increases and Congressional Response
This report, after analyzing factors that have contributed to high gasoline prices, describes the major legislative initiatives and discusses the issues involved.
Congressional Intervention in the Administrative Process: Legal and Ethical Considerations
This report briefly examines the currently applicable legal and ethical considerations and standards that mark the limits of interventions by Members of Congress. It reviews the judicial development and application of standards for determining whether congressional pressure or influence will be deemed to have tainted an agency proceeding. It concludes that the courts, in balancing Congress's performance of its constitutional and statutory obligations to oversee the actions of agency officials against the rights of parties before agencies, have shown a decided predilection for protecting the congressional prerogatives.
National Emergency Powers
No Description Available.
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with U.S. statutes and treaties such as the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Congress approved additional guidelines concerning the treatment of detainees via the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), which was enacted pursuant to both the Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-148), and the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006 (P.L. 109-163). Among other things, the DTA contains provisions that (1) require Department of Defense (DOD) personnel to employ United States Army Field Manual guidelines while interrogating detainees, and (2) prohibit the “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of persons under the detention, custody, or control of the United States Government.” These provisions of the DTA, which were first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the “McCain Amendment.” This report discusses the McCain Amendment, as modified and subsequently enacted into law.
The War Crimes Act: Current Issues
No Description Available.
Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006: S. 3931 and Title II of S. 3929, the Terrorist Tracking, Identification, and Prosecution Act of 2006
No Description Available.
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with U.S. statutes and treaties such as the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Congress approved additional guidelines concerning the treatment of detainees via the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), which was enacted pursuant to both the Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-148), and the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006 (P.L. 109-163). Among other things, the DTA contains provisions that (1) require Department of Defense (DOD) personnel to employ United States Army Field Manual guidelines while interrogating detainees, and (2) prohibit the “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of persons under the detention, custody, or control of the United States Government.” These provisions of the DTA, which were first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the “McCain Amendment.” This report discusses the McCain Amendment, as modified and subsequently enacted into law.
U.S. Agricultural Trade: Trends, Composition, Direction, and Policy
No Description Available.
The Department of Defense Rules for Military Commissions: Analysis of Procedural Rules and Comparison with Proposed Legislation and the Uniform Code of Military Justice
This report provides a background and analysis comparing military commissions as envisioned under M.C.O. No. 1 to general military courts-martial conducted under the UCMJ. The report notes some of the criticism directed at the President’s M.O., and explains how those concerns are addressed by the military commission orders and instructions. The report provides two charts to compare the regulations issued by the Department of Defense and standard procedures for general courts-martial under the Manual for Courts-Martial. The second chart, which compares procedural safeguards incorporated in the regulations with established procedures in courts martial, follows the same order and format used in CRS Report RL31262, Selected Procedural Safeguards in Federal, Military, and International Courts, in order to facilitate comparison with safeguards provided in federal court and the International Criminal Court.
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Iraq and Afghanistan: Effects and Countermeasures
This report discusses Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs, or roadside bombs) in Iraq and Afghanistan. IEDs have been responsible for many of the more than 2,000 combat deaths in Iraq, and 178 combat deaths in Afghanistan. IEDs are hidden behind signs and guardrails, under roadside debris, or inside animal carcasses, and encounters with these bombs are becoming more numerous and deadly in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The threat includes vehicle-borne IEDs, in which extremists drive cars laden with explosives directly into a target. DOD efforts to counter IEDs have proven only marginally effective, and U.S. forces continue to be exposed to the threat at military checkpoints, or whenever on patrol. IEDs are increasingly being used in Afghanistan, and DOD reportedly is concerned that they might eventually be more widely used by other insurgents and terrorists worldwide.
Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990
This report discusses U.S. security assistance to Taiwan (calling itself Republic of China (ROC)), including policy issues for Congress and legislation.
Generalized System of Preferences: Background and Renewal Debate
This report presents, first, a brief history, economic rationale, and legal background leading to the establishment of 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 (BDC's). A brief comparison of GSP programs worldwide, especially as they compare to the U.S. system, is also presented. Second, the report presents a discussion of U.S. implementation of the GSP, along with the present debate surrounding its renewal and legislative developments to date. Third, an analysis of the U.S. program's effectiveness and the positions of various stakeholders is presented. Fourth, implications of the expiration of the U.S. program and possible options for Congress are discussed.
Honduran-U.S. Relations
This report examines current political and economic conditions in Honduras as well as issues in Honduran-U.S. relations.
Gasoline Prices: Causes of Increases and Congressional Response
This report, after analyzing factors that have contributed to high gasoline prices, describes the major legislative initiatives and discusses the issues involved.
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with related U.S. statutes and treaties. Certain provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the "McCain Amendment." This report discusses the McCain amendment and also discusses the application of the McCain Amendment by the DOD in the updated 2006 version of the Army Field Manual.
Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Iraq and Afghanistan: Effects and Countermeasures
Since October 2001, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs, or roadside bombs) have been responsible for many of the more than 2,000 combat deaths in Iraq, and 178 combat deaths in Afghanistan. IEDs are hidden behind signs and guardrails, under roadside debris, or inside animal carcasses, and encounters with these bombs are becoming more numerous and deadly in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Department of Defense (DOD) efforts to counter IEDs have proven only marginally effective, and U.S. forces continue to be exposed to the threat at military checkpoints, or whenever on patrol. IEDs are increasingly being used in Afghanistan, and DOD reportedly is concerned that they might eventually be more widely used by other insurgents and terrorists worldwide.
The Department of Defense Rules for Military Commissions: Analysis of Procedural Rules and Comparison with Proposed Legislation and the Uniform Code of Military Justice
This report provides a background and analysis comparing military commissions as envisioned under Military Commission Order (M.C.O.) No. 1 to general military courts-martial conducted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). A summary of the case Rumsfeld v. Hamdan follows, in particular the shortcomings identified by the Supreme Court. The report provides an overview of relevant legislation. Finally, the report provides two charts to compare the regulations issued by the Department of Defense to standard procedures for general courts-martial under the Manual for Courts-Martial and to proposed legislation.
U.S. Agricultural Trade: Trends, Composition, Direction, and Policy
Leading markets for U.S. agricultural exports are Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, the European Union (EU), Taiwan, and Korea. The United States dominates world markets for corn, wheat, and cotton. Most U.S. agricultural imports are high-value products. The biggest import suppliers are Canada and the EU. Among the fastest-growing markets for U.S. agricultural exports are Canada and Mexico. Both the EU and the U.S. subsidize their agricultural sectors, but overall the EU out subsidizes the U.S. The U.S. has the most diverse food aid programs; others limit food aid to development assistance and emergencies.
Statutory Offices of Inspector General: Past and Present
Statutory offices of inspector general (OIG) consolidate responsibility for audits and investigations within a federal agency. Established by public law as permanent, nonpartisan, independent offices, they now exist in more than 60 establishments and entities, including all departments and largest agencies, along with numerous boards and commissions. Various initiatives and proposals in the 110th Congress are designed to strengthen the IGs' independence, add to their reports, and create new posts in the Intelligence Community.
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks
Iraq's current government, the result of a U.S.-supported election process designed to produce democracy, is instead a sectarian government incapable of reconciliation. The Administration says that the passage of some key laws represents progress on national reconciliation, and is a result of the U.S. "troop surge." Others say that combat among Shiite groups since March 2008, possibly motivated by provincial elections planned for October 2008, shows that force will not stabilize Iraq.
The Kurds in Post-Saddam Iraq
The Kurdish-inhabited region of northern Iraq is relatively peaceful and prospering economically, but the Iraqi Kurds' political autonomy and political strength in post- Saddam Iraq is causing friction with Arab leaders in Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. However, an overall reduction in violence in Iraq, coupled with continued U.S. political influence over the Kurds, is likely to prevent a destabilizing escalation of the Iraqi Kurd-Arab disputes. Also see CRS Report RL31339, Iraq: Post-Saddam Governance and Security, by Kenneth Katzman.
Social Security Reform
No Description Available.
Congressional Resources in CRS Research Centers and the La Follette Congressional Reading Room
This report describes types of CRS products and a selection of the most frequently used printed and online reference sources available in the reading room and research centers for use by congressional staff. These deal with legislation and public policy; bills, congressional documents, laws, and regulations; Congress, elections, and politics; the federal government; directories of organizations, associations, corporations, state agencies, educational institutions, and the media; biographical information; data on foreign countries and international affairs; quick facts and statistics; and special collections such as quotations.
Russia
No Description Available.
Juvenile Justice Legislation: Overview and the Legislative Debate
No Description Available.
Appropriations for FY2004: Commerce, Justice, State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies
Appropriations are one part of a complex federal budget process that includes budget resolutions, appropriations (regular, supplemental, and continuing) bills, rescissions, and budget reconciliation bills. This Report is a guide to one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress passes each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations Subcommittees.
Welfare Reform: An Issue Overview
No Description Available.
Federal Statutes: What They Are and Where to Find Them
No Description Available.
Brownfields and Superfund Issues in the 108th Congress
The Superfund program for cleaning up the nation’s worst hazardous waste sites was created by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, or CERCLA (P.L. 96-510, as amended). This report discusses recent development and background issues, superfund issues, revenue issues, comprehensive reauthorization, and legislation regarding superfund program.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
The nation’s health, wealth, and security rely on the production and distribution of certain goods and services. The array of physical assets, processes and organizations across which these goods and services move are called critical infrastructures (e.g. electricity, the power plants that generate it, and the electric grid upon which it is distributed). Computers and communications, themselves critical infrastructures, are increasingly tying these infrastructures together. This report aims to address the concern that this reliance on computers and computer networks raises the vulnerability of the nation’s critical infrastructures to “cyber” attacks.
Trade Negotiations in the 108th Congress
No Description Available.
Export Tax Benefits and the WTO: Foreign Sales Corporations and the Extraterritorial Replacement Provisions
The U.S. tax code’s Foreign Sales Corporation (FSC) provisions provided a tax benefit for U.S. exporters. However, the European Union (EU) in 1997 charged that the provision was an export subsidy and thus contravened the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements. A WTO ruling upheld the EU complaint, and to avoid WTO sanctioned retaliatory tariffs, U.S. legislation in November 2000 replaced FSC with the “extraterritorial income” (ETI) provisions, consisting of a redesigned export tax benefit of the same magnitude as FSC. The EU maintained that the new provisions are also not WTO-compliant and asked the WTO to rule on the matter.
Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests
The United States recognized the independence of all the former Soviet republics by the end of 1991, including the South Caucasus states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. The United States has fostered these states' ties with the West in part to end the dependence of these states on Russia for trade, security, and other relations. The FREEDOM Support Act of 1992 provides authorization for assistance to the Eurasian states for humanitarian needs, democratization, and other purposes. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, the Administration appealed for a national security waiver of the prohibition on aid to Azerbaijan, in consideration of Azerbaijan's assistance to the international coalition to combat terrorism. Azerbaijani and Georgian troops participate in stabilization efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Armenian personnel serve in Iraq.
Automobile and Light Truck Fuel Economy: The CAFE Standards
One of the least controversial provisions of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (P.L. 94-163) established corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for new passenger cars. This report presents a brief background and analysis regarding the price of crude oil that brought into sharp focus the fuel inefficiency of U.S. automobiles. The report also discusses the previous issues and the most recent developments regarding CAFE.
China-U.S. Relations
This report discusses the background information and most recent development in U.S.-China relations since mid-1996. Since the early 1990s, U.S.-China relations have followed an uneven course, with modest improvements overshadowed by various recurring difficulties and setbacks. Longstanding bilateral difficulties have included U.S. problems with the PRC’s worsening human rights record, growing tensions over the PRC’s southern military build-up opposite Taiwan and Taiwan’s political status, and continued controversy over allegations of Chinese proliferation of weapons to unstable regimes.
Indonesian Separatist Movement in Aceh
No Description Available.
Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Research and Development: Funding, Organization, and Oversight
No Description Available.
The Electoral College: Reform Proposals in the 107th Congress
Seven proposals to reform the Electoral College system have been introduced to date in the 107th Congress. H.J.Res. 3 (Representative Green of Texas), and H.J.Res. 5 (Representative Delahunt) would eliminate the electoral college, substituting direct popular election of the President. H.J.Res. 1 (Representative Clyburn), H.J.Res. 18 (Representative Engel), and H.J.Res. 37 (Representative Clement) would incorporate the “district” method of awarding electoral votes, and H.J.Res. 17 (Representative Engel) would provide for proportional award of electoral votes. H.J.Res. 25 (Representative Leach) is a hybrid plan. These measures have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee and await further action.
Elections Reform: Overview and Issues
This report discusses several issues as the Congress considers legislation to reform the voting process, a number of issues have emerged as part of the debate: the reliability of different types of voting technologies; voting problems and irregularities in the 2000 election; problems for militaryand overseas voters; the electoral college; and early media projections of election results. Both sessions of the 107th Congress considered and debated federal election reform legislation, and the Help America Vote Act (HAVA, P.L. 107-252) was enacted in October 2002.