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Temporary Protected Status: Overview and Current Issues
This report discusses Temporary Protected Status (TPS) which is offered to nationals of designated countries who due to civil unrest, natural disasters, and armed conflicts cannot safely return home. This report begins by situating TPS in the context of humanitarian responses to migration. Another form of blanket relief from removal--Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)--is also described, as is the historical use of these relief mechanisms. The report then provides data on the countries currently designated for TPS, including the conditions that have contributed to their designation. Past legislation to provide lawful permanent resident status to certain TPS-designated foreign nationals is also described, and the report concludes with examples of activity in the 115th Congress related to TPS.
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 question of how the United States should respond to China's military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, is a key issue in U.S. defense planning and budgeting. Many U.S. military programs for countering improving Chinese military forces (particularly its naval forces) fall within the U.S. Navy's budget. The issue for Congress is how the U.S. Navy should respond to China's military modernization effort, particularly its naval modernization effort. Decisions that Congress reaches on this issue could affect U.S. Navy capabilities and funding requirements and the U.S. defense industrial base. For an overview of the strategic and budgetary context in which China's naval modernization effort and its implications for U.S. Navy capabilities may be considered, see Appendix A.
The Rohingya Crises in Bangladesh and Burma
This report discusses the Rohingya refugee crisis in Burma and Bangladesh and proposed legislation in Congress regarding restrictions on Burmese military officials, trade, and humanitarian assistance. A brief background on the Rohingya people group, repressive policies by the Burmese government, current conditions in Burma and Bangladesh, risks of radicalization, human rights violations, and attempts by the U.N. and others to resolve the conflict are included in the report.
Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses Afghanistan's history of conflict, governmental structure, human rights issues, and security policies and initiatives. A special focus is put on the U.S. involvement in Afghan security and ongoing fights against the Taliban and other terrorist groups and U.S. aid to Afghanistan both economically and militarily. Fiscal Year 2018 aid requests for both military assistance and economic and humanitarian aid are included.
China-U.S. Relations: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy
The bilateral relationship between the U.S. and the People's Republic of China (PRC) is vitally important, touching on a wide range of areas including, among others, economic policy, security, foreign relations, and human rights. This report addresses relevant policy questions in current U.S.-China relations, discusses trends and key legislation in the current Congress, and provides a chronology of developments and high-level exchanges.
Emergency Preparedness and Continuity of Operations (COOP) Planning in the Federal Judiciary
This report discusses actions taken by AOUSC following the September 11 attacks, and describes expectations for emergency preparedness and COOP plans in the judiciary. Other sections address issues and policy questions Congress might consider, including matters of the status of judicial emergency and COOP preparedness, and funding for future policy and oversight questions regarding judicial contingency planning.
Homeland Security: Banking and Financial Infrastructure Continuity
No Description Available.
Internet Development and Information Control in the People's Republic of China
Since its founding in 1949, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has exerted great effort in manipulating the flow of information and prohibiting the dissemination of viewpoints that criticize the government or stray from the official Communist party view. The introduction of Internet technology in the mid-1990’s presented a challenge to government control over news sources, and by extension, over public opinion. While the Internet has developed rapidly, broadened access to news, and facilitated mass communications in China, many forms of expression online, as in other mass media, are still significantly stifled. This report discusses the history of this issue and examines the U.S.'s response.
Internet Development and Information Control in the People's Republic of China
Since its founding in 1949, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has exerted great effort in manipulating the flow of information and prohibiting the dissemination of viewpoints that criticize the government or stray from the official Communist party view. The introduction of Internet technology in the mid-1990’s presented a challenge to government control over news sources, and by extension, over public opinion. While the Internet has developed rapidly, broadened access to news, and facilitated mass communications in China, many forms of expression online, as in other mass media, are still significantly stifled. This report discusses the history of this issue and examines the U.S.'s response.
Foreign Aid: An Introduction to U.S. Programs and Policy
This report provides an overview of the U.S. foreign assistance program by answering frequently asked questions on the subject. It is intended to provide a broad view of foreign assistance over time.
Foreign Policy Budget Trends: A Thirty-Year Review
This report serves as a resource for the annual congressional debate on foreign policy spending, providing context and a trend analysis of the past 30 years. It considers the full scope of the International Affairs Budget, or Budget Function 150, as foreign policy spending is designated within the context of the Congressional Budget Resolution. It also illustrates spending trends of the major components that make up Budget Function 150. Other relevant “snapshots” of international spending are also examined, including how foreign aid resources have been allocated across several sub-categories and trends that are especially applicable to current funding priorities such as confronting global health problems and increasing aid to Africa.
China-U.S. Relations: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy
The bilateral relationship between the U.S. and the People's Republic of China (PRC) is vitally important, touching on a wide range of areas including, among others, economic policy, security, foreign relations, and human rights. This report addresses relevant policy questions in current U.S.-China relations, discusses trends and key legislation in the current Congress, and provides a chronology of developments and high-level exchanges.
America COMPETES Acts: FY2008-FY2013 Funding Tables
This report tracks historical federal funding associated with the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMEPETES) Reauthorization Act of 2010, which are set to expire in 2013.
America COMPETES 2010 and the FY2013 Budget
This report discusses the 112th Congress' possible changes to the implementation of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010. Signed on January 4, 2011, this law seeks to improve U.S. competitiveness and innovation by authorizing, among other things, increased federal support for research in the physical sciences and engineering; and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The specific debate about FY2013 funding for America COMPETES 2010 provisions will occur within the broader context of the national conversation about U.S. competitiveness.
The Attack Against the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea
This report briefly discusses the March 5 knife attack on U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert.
Russian Energy Policy Toward Neighboring Countries
This report begins with a brief discussion of the Russian oil and gas industries, including their efforts to purchase energy infrastructure in central and eastern Europe and reduce energy subsidies to neighboring countries. A second section deals with the impact of Russian energy policy on neighboring countries, all of them formerly part of the Soviet Union, de facto or de jure, and all heavily dependent on Russian energy imports. Many of these countries are concerned about what they see as Russian efforts to manipulate that dependency to achieve political goals. A final section deals with U.S. efforts to promote the energy security of these countries and on Congress's response to the issue.
Illegal Drug Trade in Africa: Trends and U.S. Policy
This report provides an introduction to the rising drug trafficking threat and discusses the drug trafficking trends in Africa and the U.S. policy.
Defense: FY2015 Authorization and Appropriations
This report examines the issues related to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the state and substance of the negotiations (to the degree that the information is publicly available), the specific areas under negotiation, the policy and economic contexts in which the TPP would fit, and the issues for Congress that the TPP presents.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Negotiations and Issues for Congress
This report examines the issues related to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the state and substance of the negotiations (to the degree that the information is publically available), the specific areas under negotiation, the policy and economic contexts in which the TPP would fit, and the issues for Congress that the TPP presents.
Gangs in Central America
This report describes the gang problem in Central America, discusses country and regional approaches to deal with the gangs, and analyzes U.S. policy with respect to gangs in Central America.
Russian Energy Policy Toward Neighboring Countries
This report begins with a brief discussion of the Russian oil and gas industries, including their efforts to purchase energy infrastructure in central and eastern Europe and reduce energy subsidies to neighboring countries.
Foreign Aid Reform: Agency Coordination
This report discusses the many agencies involved with U.S. foreign assistance, the mechanisms currently in place to coordinate foreign aid programs, particularly those related to development assistance, and agency coordination issues that Congress may consider as part of foreign assistance reform.
Russian Energy Policy Toward Neighboring Countries
This report begins with a brief discussion of the Russian oil and gas industries, including their efforts to purchase energy infrastructure in central and eastern Europe and reduce energy subsidies to neighboring countries. A second section deals with the impact of recent Russian energy policy on neighboring countries, all of them formerly part of the Soviet Union, de facto or de jure, and all heavily dependent on Russian energy imports.
Future of the Balkans and U.S. Policy Concerns
This report discusses the U.S. relations and policy with Balkans. It discusses the remaining challenges including dealing with the impact of Kosovo's independence; fighting organized crime, corruption, and enforcing the rule of law; bringing war criminals to justice; and reforming the economies of the region.
Greece Update
This report discusses current issues regarding Greece's recent elections, economy, and foreign policies.
Greece Update
This report discusses current issues regarding Greece's recent elections, economy, and foreign policies.
U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background and Current Issues
This report discusses background information on U.S. public diplomacy, the current structure of public diplomacy within the Department of State as well as its budget and personnel levels, overview of some of the major related policy issues, and proposed legislation intended to reform and improve U.S. public diplomacy.
Gangs in Central America
This report describes the gang problem in Central America, discusses country and regional approaches to deal with the gangs, and analyzes U.S. policy with respect to gangs in Central America.
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2014 Budget and Appropriations
This report provides a brief overview of the FY2014 State Department, Foreign Operations and Related Programs funding request, as well as top-line analysis of pending House and Senate State-Foreign Operations appropriations proposals.
Major U.S. Arms Sales and Grants to Pakistan Since 2001
A brief listing of major arms sales and grants made to Pakistan since 2001.
Africa Command: U.S. Strategic Interests and the Role of the U.S. Military in Africa
This report provides a broad overview of U.S. strategic interests in Africa and the role of U.S. military efforts on the continent as they pertain to the creation of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). A discussion of AFRICOM's mission, its coordination with other government agencies, and its basing and manpower requirements is included.
Science, Technology, and American Diplomacy: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of current U.S. international S&T policy; describes the role of the Department of State (DOS), the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other federal agencies; and discusses possible policy options for Congress. It focuses on international science and technology diplomacy, where American leadership in science and technology is used as a diplomatic tool to enhance another country's development and to improve understanding by other nations of U.S. values and ways of doing business.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Issues for Congress
This report examines the issues related to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the state and substance of the negotiations (to the degree that the information is publically available), the specific areas under negotiation, the policy and economic contexts in which the TPP would fit, and the issues for Congress that the TPP presents.
Private Security Contractors in Iraq: Background, Legal Status, and Other Issues
This report summarizes what is currently known publicly about companies that provide personnel for security missions in Iraq and some sources of controversy surrounding them. A treatment of legal status and authorities follows, including an overview of relevant international law as well as Iraqi law, which currently consists primarily of Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) orders that remain in effect until superceded. The various possible means for prosecuting contractors under U.S. law in civilian or military courts are detailed, followed by a discussion of possible issues for Congress, including whether protective services are inherently governmental functions. The report also summarizes pertinent legislative proposals.
NATO: Response to the Crisis in Ukraine and Security Concerns in Central and Eastern Europe
This report addresses the NATO and U.S. military response to the crisis in Ukraine. It does not discuss political, economic, or energy policy responses.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Issues for Congress
This report examines the issues related to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the state and substance of the negotiations (to the degree that the information is publically available), the specific areas under negotiation, the policy and economic contexts in which the TPP would fit, and the issues for Congress that the TPP presents.
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2013 Budget and Appropriations
This report provides a brief overview of the FY2014 State Department, Foreign Operations and Related Programs funding request, as well as top-line analysis of pending House and Senate State-Foreign Operations appropriations proposals.
Major U.S. Arms Sales and Grants to Pakistan Since 2001
A brief listing of major arms sales and grants made to Pakistan since 2001.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Issues for Congress
This report examines the issues related to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the state and substance of the negotiations (to the degree that the information is publically available), the specific areas under negotiation, the policy and economic contexts in which the TPP would fit, and the issues for Congress that the TPP presents.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Issues for Congress
This report examines the issues related to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the state and substance of the negotiations (to the degree that the information is publically available), the specific areas under negotiation, the policy and economic contexts in which the TPP would fit, and the issues for Congress that the TPP presents.
Diplomatic and Embassy Security Funding Before and After the Benghazi Attacks
This report presents a history and analysis of the requested and actual funding for diplomatic/embassy security since FY2008--what actually became available for the Department of State to spend after rescissions, sequestration, and transfers. It also provides funding data that was requested by the Administration, passed by the House of Representatives, passed by the Senate, and enacted by Congress for the two accounts that provide the bulk of the funding: the Worldwide Security Protection (WSP) and Worldwide Security Upgrades (WSU).
Direct Overt U.S. Aid Appropriations for and Military Reimbursements to Pakistan, FY2002-FY2014
This report provides data regarding the direct overt U.S. aid appropriations and military reimbursements to Pakistan.
The "Islamic State" Crisis and U.S. Policy
This report provides background and current information on the Islamic State, a transnational Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group that has expanded its control over areas of northwestern Iraq and northeastern Syria since 2013. The report also examines possible U.S. policy options in the wake of increasing international outrage at the Islamic States' brutality and apparent disregard for typical human rights conventions.
Direct Overt U.S. Aid Appropriations for and Military Reimbursements to Pakistan, FY2002-FY2015
This report provides data regarding the direct overt U.S. aid appropriations and military reimbursements to Pakistan.
Egypt and the IMF: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of the economic situation in post-revolution Egypt and negotiations between Egypt and the IMF. It also analyzes why an IMF program is controversial in Egypt and the relationship between an IMF program for Egypt and U.S. foreign policy goals in the region. It discusses the IMF program from a congressional perspective, including how debt relief for Egypt has been tied to an IMF program and legislation that would condition U.S. bilateral economic assistance to Egypt on an IMF program.
U.S. Citizens Kidnapped by the Islamic State
This report briefly discusses the Islamic State's (IS, or alternatively, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, ISIL, or Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS) kidnapping of American citizens and the implications for congressional response.
Gangs in Central America
This report describes the gang problem in Central America, discusses country and regional approaches to deal with the gangs, and analyzes U.S. policy with respect to gangs in Central America.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Negotiations and Issues for Congress
This report examines the issues related to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the state and substance of the negotiations (to the degree that the information is publicly available), the specific areas under negotiation, the policy and economic contexts in which the TPP would fit, and the issues for Congress that the TPP presents.
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2012 Budget and Appropriations
This report focuses on the $59.65 billion requested for programs and activities funded through the State-Foreign Operations appropriations bill, which excludes some portions of the International Affairs request such as certain commissions and foreign food aid requested as part of other budget functions.
America Competes 2010: FY2012 Funding and FY2008-FY2011 Funding Summary
This report discusses how funding affects the America COMPETES program, and subsequently U.S. interests in R&D in STEM disciplines.