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China and Falun Gong
“Falun Gong,” also known as “Falun Dafa,”1 combines an exercise regimen with meditation and moral tenets. The “Falun Gong” movement has led to the largest and most protracted public demonstrations in China since the democracy movement of 1989. On April 25, 1999, an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 adherents assembled in front of Zhongnanhai, the Chinese Communist Party leadership compound, and participated in a silent protest against state repression of their activities. On July 21, 1999, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government, fearful of the spread of social unrest, outlawed the movement and began to arrest Falun Gong protesters.
Afghanistan: Elections, Constitution, and Government
In 2004 and 2005, Afghanistan adopted a permanent constitution and elected a president and a parliament. The parliament is emerging as a significant force in Afghan politics, as shown in debates over a new cabinet and the 2006 budget. See CRS Report RL30588, Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy, by Kenneth Katzman.
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.
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Options
This report discusses issues for Congress regarding foreign policy toward Iran. According to the Administration’s “National Security Strategy” document released on March 16, 2006, the United States “may face no greater challenge from a single country than Iran.”
The Budget for Fiscal Year 2006
The July 2005 mid-year budget report from the Administration had an improved deficit outlook through FY2010, while CBO’s August 2005 mid-year report included a somewhat worsened baseline deficit outlook. Congress passed three continuing resolutions (CRs) on appropriations during the fall and early winter to fund otherwise unfunded activities. It needed the time to complete action on the regular appropriation bills for FY2006. The last two cleared Congress on December 21, almost three months after the start of FY2006.
Peru: 2006 Elections and Issues for Congress
No Description Available.
U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT): Overview and Application to Interrogation Techniques
No Description Available.
Border Security: The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol
This report includes some issues for Congress to consider which could include the slow rate of integration between the USBP’s biometric database of illegal aliens and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) biometric database of criminals and terrorists; the number of unauthorized aliens who die attempting to enter the country each year; the organized human smuggling rings that have proliferated as entering the country has become more difficult; and the threat posed by terrorists along the sparsely defended Northern border as well as the more porous Southwest border.
Bolivia: Political and Economic Developments and Implications for U.S. Policy
This report includes background information on Bolivia’s political unrest, economic situation, and relations with the United States. In the past few years, Bolivia has experienced extreme political unrest resulting in the country having six presidents since 2001. Under policies of recently-elected leftist-leaning President Evo Morales, Bolivia's relations with neighboring countries, foreign investors, and the United States have been complicated. For some 20 years, U.S. interest in Bolivia has centered on its role as a coca producer and its relationship to Colombia and Peru, the two other major coca- and cocaine-producing countries in the Andes. U.S.-Bolivian relations have become tense in 2006 in the wake of the Morales government's questionable commitment to combating illegal drugs, increasing ties with Venezuela and Cuba, and the nationalization measure.
High Performance Computers and Export Control Policy: Issues for Congress
Congress has a strong interest in export control policy with regard to technologies that may have both commercial and military applications outside of the United States. Through its constitutionally delegated authority to regulate foreign commerce, Congress has the authority to control exports for national security or foreign policy purposes. This report examines congressional interest in the exportation of High Performance Computers, which are either single computing machines (usually called supercomputers) or a cluster of easily available, high-end workstations or personal computers.
Libya: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides background information on Libya and U.S.-Libyan relations; profiles Libyan leader Muammar al Qadhafi; discusses Libya’s political and economic reform efforts; and reviews current issues of potential congressional interest.
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 109th Congress: Conflicting Values and Difficult Choices
The 109th Congress is considering proposals to amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA; P.L. 93-205, 16 U.S.C. §§1531-1543). Major issues in recent years have included changing the role of science in decision-making, modifying critical habitat (CH) procedures, incorporating further protection and incentives for property owners, and increasing protection of listed species, among others. In addition, many have advocated enacting as law some ESA regulations promulgated during the Clinton Administration. This report identifies other bills that have been introduced in the 109th Congress to address specific concerns related to how the ESA is implemented and how endangered species are managed.
Legal Developments in International Civil Aviation
This report provides background on U.S. civil aviation agreements, updates the current status of U.S. “Open Skies” negotiations with the EU, and addresses the status of the legal debate concerning both the foreign ownership and control rules and the cabotage laws.
Implementing International Agreements on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs): Proposed Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act
The focus of this report is on proposed amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
The Budget for Fiscal Year 2006
The July 2005 mid-year budget report from the Administration had an improved deficit outlook through FY2010, while CBO’s August 2005 mid-year report included a somewhat worsened baseline deficit outlook. Congress passed three continuing resolutions (CRs) on appropriations during the fall and early winter to fund otherwise unfunded activities. It needed the time to complete action on the regular appropriation bills for FY2006. The last two cleared Congress on December 21, almost three months after the start of FY2006.
Israeli-Arab Negotiations: Background, Conflict, and U.S. Policy
No Description Available.
Sunset and Program Review Commission Bills in the 109th Congress: Comparing H.R. 3282 and H.R. 5766
No Description Available.
Agroterrorism: Threats and Preparedness
The potential of terrorist attacks against agricultural targets (agroterrorism) is increasingly recognized as a national security threat, especially after the events of September 11, 2001. This report focuses primarily on biological weapons (rather than chemical weapons) because biological weapons generally are considered the more potent agroterrorism threat. This report also focuses more on the threat of agroterrorism against agricultural production, rather than on food processing and distribution, although the latter is discussed.
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.
Lebanon
This report provides background information and analysis on Lebanon. It discusses the political situation and its relation with U.S.
Foreign Operations (House)/State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (Senate): FY2007 Appropriations
This report is a guide to one of the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House Subcommittee on Foreign Operations and the Senate Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. It summarizes the status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity, and is updated as events warrant.
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.
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Options
This report discusses the debate over U.S. policy toward Iran, much of which has centered on the nature of the current regime. Some experts believe that Iran, a country of almost 70 million people, is a threat to U.S. interests because hardliners in Iran’s regime dominate and set a policy direction intended to challenge U.S. influence and allies in the region. President Bush, in his January 29, 2002, State of the Union message, labeled Iran part of an “axis of evil” along with Iraq and North Korea.
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.
Agroterrorism: Threats and Preparedness
No Description Available.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Progress Report and Issues for Congress
The report discusses the progress and issues regarding the global fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Progress Report and Issues for Congress
The report discusses the progress and issues regarding the global fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
Navy Attack Submarine Force-Level Goal and Procurement Rate: Background and Issues for Congress
No Description Available.
North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program
No Description Available.
Renewable Energy: Tax Credit, Budget, and Electricity Production Issues
No Description Available.
Energy Tax Policy
No Description Available.
Long-Term Growth of the U.S. Economy: Significance, Determinants, and Policy
The rate of long-term economic growth is the salient measure of the nation's ability to steady advance its material living standard. The pace of long-term economic growth is likely to be a center of attention in the decades just ahead, as the U.S. economy confronts the need to undertake unprecedentedly large generational transfers of income to pay for the retirement of the huge baby-boom generation as well as large transfers to the rest of the world to meet the debt service costs of the United States' large and still growing foreign debt.
Agroterrorism: Threats and Preparedness
The potential of terrorist attacks against agricultural targets (agroterrorism) is increasingly recognized as a national security threat, especially after the events of September 11, 2001. Agroterrorism is a subset of bioterrorism, and is defined as the deliberate introduction of an animal or plant disease with the goal of generating fear, causing economic losses, and/or undermining social stability. This report outlines the probable strategic reasoning behind agroterrorism, the vulnerabilities of the agriculture industry, and the funding and legislation behind several preventive Congressional measures.
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 Budget for Fiscal Year 2006
The Administration's Mid-Session Review (July 2006) had a revised deficit estimate for FY2006 of $296 billion (2.3% of gross domestic product). This was over $100 billion below the FY2006 deficit estimate in the President's FY2007 budget (February 2006). On March 17, 2005, the House and Senate adopted their respective budget resolutions for FY2006. After extensive leadership discussion, a conference reached agreement on April 28; both chambers adopted it later that day. The conference agreement included reconciliation instructions for mandatory spending reductions, tax reductions, and an increase in the statutory debt limit. This report explores these issues in full, as well as detailing additional legislation regarding the FY2006 Budget and budget resolutions.
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
According to an Administration national security strategy document released on March 16, 2006, the United States "may face no greater challenge from a single country than Iran." The Bush Administration announced May 31, 2006, that it would negotiate with Iran in concert with U.S. allies. If diplomacy and sanctions do not succeed, some advocate military action against Iran's nuclear infrastructure rather than acquiescence to a nuclear-armed Iran. U.S. concerns regarding Iran include Iran's nuclear program, Iran's influence on Iraq by way of providing arms and other material assistance to Shiite Islamist militias, and Iran's human rights practices, which include strict limits on free expression and repression of ethnic and religious minorities.
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.
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.
Norht Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program
North Korea's decisions to restart nuclear installations at Yongbyon that were shut down under the U.S.-South Korean Agreed Framework of 1994 and to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty create an acute foreign policy problem for the United States. Restarting the Yongbyon facilities opens up a possible North Korean intent to stage a "nuclear breakout" of its nuclear program and openly produce nuclear weapons. The main objective of the Bush Administration is to secure the dismantling of North Korea's plutonium and uranium-based nuclear programs. China, South Korea, and Russia have criticized the Bush Administration for not negotiating directly with North Korea, and they voice opposition to economic sanctions and to the use force against Pyongyang. China, Russia, and even South Korea increasingly have expressed support for North Korea's position in six-party talks facilitated by China, but the talks have made little progress.
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.
Farm Labor Shortages and Immigration Policy
This report first explains the connection made over the past several years between farm labor and immigration policies. It next examines the composition of the seasonal agricultural labor force and presents the arguments of grower and farmworker advocates concerning its adequacy relative to employer demand. The report closes with an analysis of the trends in employment, unemployment, time worked and wages of authorized and unauthorized farmworkers to determine whether they are consistent with the existence of a nationwide shortage of domestically available farmworkers.
Afghanistan: Narcotics and U.S. Policy
This report describes the structure and development of the narcotics trade in Afghanistan and explores its relevance to Afghan, U.S., and international security interests, including the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the United States make a long term commitment to the stability and security of Afghanistan. The report provides current statistical information on the opium trade, profiles its various participants, explores alleged narco-terrorist linkages, and reviews the U.S. and international policy response since late 2001. The report also considers current policy debates regarding the role of the U.S. military in future counternarcotics operations in Afghanistan; planned opium poppy eradication; and funding issues for Congress.
Caribbean Region: Issues in U.S. Relations
This report deals with broader issues in U.S. relations with the Caribbean and does not include an extensive discussion of Haiti and Cuba. U.S. policy toward these Caribbean nations is covered in two CRS products: CRS Report RL32294, Haiti: Developments and U.S. Policy Since 1991 and Current Congressional Concerns, and CRS Report RL32730, Cuba: Issues for the 109th Congress.
Energy Efficiency: Budget, Oil Conservation, and Electricity Conservation Issues
This report discusses various budget issues regarding the Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency Program, which is conducted by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).