Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act
This report summarizes legislative and other actions taken to repeal, defund, or delay the Affordable Care Act (ACA), since the law's enactment. The information is presented in four appendixes.
Members' Representational Allowance: History and Usage
This report provides a history and overview of the Members' Representational Allowance (MRA) and examines spending patterns over three years--2005, 2006, and 2007. The data exclude non-voting Members, including Delegates and the Resident Commissioner. Members who were not in Congress for all of the first session of a Congress, whether the Member left Congress prior to the end of the year or entered any time after the beginning of the session, were also excluded.
Carbon Capture: A Technology Assessment
This report is a brief summary of what carbon capture and storage (CCS) is, how it is supposed to work, why it has gained the interest and support of some members of Congress, and what some of the challenges are to its implementation and deployment across the United States.
Increasing the Efficiency of Existing Coal- Fired Power Plants
This report focuses on efficiency improvements to power plants, and discusses retrofits, technologies, and other modifications to facility operations which offer the potential to improve power plant efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.
U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress
This report discusses policy issues regarding military-to-military (mil-to-mil) contacts with the People's Republic of China (PRC) and provides a record of major contacts and crises since 1993. The first part of this CRS Report discusses policy issues regarding such military-to-military (mil-to-mil) contacts. The second part provides a record of such contacts since 1993, when the United States resumed exchanges after suspending them in response to the Tiananmen Crackdown in 1989. Congress has exercised important oversight.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis
This report provides a legal analysis of the various constitutional challenges that have been brought against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT)".
Implementation of Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS): Issues for Congress
This report analyzes data from a variety of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) presentations, testimony, and other sources to present a historical overview of program performance to date. It identifies an ongoing gap between the number of facilities that have received final risk tier assignments and the total number of regulated facilities.
Geoengineering: Governance and Technology Policy
This report is intended as a primer on the policy issues, science, and governance of geoengineering technologies. The report will first set the policy parameters under which geoengineering technologies may be considered. It will then describe selected technologies in detail and discuss their status. The third section provides a discussion of possible approaches to governmental involvement in, and oversight of, geoengineering, including a summary of domestic and international instruments and institutions that may affect geoengineering projects.
Child Labor in America: History, Policy, and Legislative Issues
This report examines the historical issue of child labor in America and summarizes legislation that has been introduced from the 108th Congress to the 113th Congress.
The Budget Reconciliation Process: Timing of Legislative Action
This report discusses the budget reconciliation process that has been one of the chief tools used by Congress during the period covering from 1980 to the present to implement major changes in budget policy. Following a brief overview of the budget reconciliation process, this report provides information on the timing of House and Senate action on reconciliation measures.
Interim Agreement on Iran's Nuclear Program
This report discusses the recent development regarding the negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program. The report provides background information on Iranian nuclear program and debates the November 24 Joint Plan of Action Elements.
Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, focusing particularly on the influence of the Taliban and other militant groups and on the leadership of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. This report also discusses the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship, in both the short and long term, and U.S. efforts under the Obama Administration to provide military, reconstructive, and stabilization aid.
Highway Bridge Conditions: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the nation's transportation infrastructure in general, and in particular the federal role in funding, building, maintaining, and ensuring the safety of roads and especially bridges in the United States.
Length of Time from Nomination to Confirmation for U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominees: Overview and Policy Options to Shorten the Process
This report seeks to inform the current debate over the nomination and confirmation for U.S. circuit and district court nominees in three ways: first, by providing an overview of the time taken by the Senate during recent presidencies to confirm U.S. circuit and district court nominees; second, by identifying potential consequences of a protracted confirmation process for such nominees; and third, by identifying policy options the Senate might consider to shorten the length of time from nomination to confirmation for U.S. circuit and district court nominees.
Brief History of NIH Funding: Fact Sheet
This report provides a brief history of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and figures on NIH appropriations for FY1994-FY2014.
Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions
This report discusses the current issues in Burma (Myanmar) in regards to political prisoners and the resulting U.S. sanctions against the nation. It includes an introduction and definitions; information about current estimates of prisoners and prisoner releases; the relation of political prisoners, parliamentary elections and national reconciliation; and U.S. sanctions and U.S. efforts regarding political prisoners, as well as relevant issues for Congress to consider.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
This report gives a brief overview of P.L. 110-49, the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007. Although both the President and Congress are directly involved in formulating the scope and direction of U.S. foreign investment policy, this law broadens Congress' oversight role; it also explicitly includes the areas of homeland security and critical infrastructure as separately-identifiable components of national security that the President must consider when evaluating the national security implications of a foreign investment transaction.
China and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missiles: Policy Issues
This report discusses the security problem of China's role in weapons proliferation and issues related to the U.S. policy response since the mid-1990s. China has taken some steps to mollify U.S. and other foreign concerns about its role in weapons proliferation.
Women in the United States Congress: Historical Overview, Tables, and Discussion
This report includes a discussion of the impact of women in Congress as well as historical information, including the number and percentage of women in Congress over time, means of entry to Congress, comparisons to international and state legislatures, records for tenure, firsts for women in Congress, women in leadership, and African American and Asian Pacific American women in Congress.
Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Background and Funding
This report discusses the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, which was created by Title I of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-322). The mission of the COPS program is to advance community policing in all jurisdictions across the United States. Legislation introduced in the 111th Congress would reauthorize the COPS program through FY2014 and reestablish COPS as a multi-grant program. This report provides an overview and analysis of issues Congress might choose to consider when taking up legislation to reauthorize the COPS program.
Samantar v. Yousef: The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and Foreign Officials
This report provides an overview of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), followed by a consideration of the remaining options for foreign officials who seek immunity from lawsuits, as well as some of the questions that may emerge from each option. The report also discusses legislation addressing the immunity of foreign officials (the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, H.R. 3143 and S. 1535).
Expiring Unemployment Insurance Provisions
This report discusses several key provisions related to extended federal unemployment benefits that are temporary and, therefore, scheduled to expire. This report describes the consequences of these expirations for the financing and availability of unemployment benefits in states. It also summarizes the last three laws that have extended these expiring provisions: P.L. 112-240, P.L. 112-96, and P.L. 112-78.
U.S. Textile Manufacturing and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations
This report examines the potential implications of a prospective Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) on the U.S. textile manufacturing industry. The TPP is a proposed regional free trade agreement (FTA) currently under negotiation among 11 Pacific Rim countries.
The Army's Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV): Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information on the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) and it discusses the Army's proposed replacement to the Vietnam-era M-113 personnel carriers, which are still in service in a variety of support capacities in Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs).
South Africa: Politics, Economy, and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the politics and governance of South Africa. South Africa has the largest, most diversified, and highly industrialized economy in Africa. To address diverse challenges, the government is investing billions of dollars to upgrade infrastructure and improve public service delivery, but is likely to face continuing challenges in meeting popular expectations.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues
This report examines debates regarding what constitutes an "unfunded federal mandate" and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995's (UMRA) implementation. It focuses on UMRA's requirement that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issue written cost estimate statements for federal mandates in legislation, its procedures for raising points of order in the House and Senate concerning unfunded federal mandates in legislation, and its requirement that federal agencies prepare written cost estimate statements for federal mandates in rules. It also assesses UMRA's impact on federal mandates and arguments concerning UMRA's future, focusing on UMRA's definitions, exclusions, and exceptions which currently exempt many federal actions with potentially significant financial impacts on nonfederal entities.
Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain
This report provides a discussion of the major issues and concerns of the global supply chain for rare earth elements (REEs), their major end uses, and legislative and other policy proposals that Congress may consider to improve the U.S. rare earth position.
The Berry Amendment: Requiring Defense Procurement to Come from Domestic Sources
This report examines the original intent and purpose of the Berry Amendment and legislative proposals to amend the application of domestic source restrictions, as well as potential options for Congress.
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs).
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions
This report discusses how the Federal Reserve (Fed) handles monetary policy, including background information about the execution of monetary policy, the recent and current stance of monetary policy, and current legislation and Congressional oversight that would affect the Fed's practices.
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA): Union Representation Procedures and Dispute Resolution
This report begins with a brief overview of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and describes the basic procedures that employees and employers must follow during a unionizing campaign. The report explains different types of mediation and arbitration that can be used to resolve bargaining disputes. The report describes the jurisdictional standards that an employer must meet before the NLRB will exert jurisdiction over a question of union representation (e.g., for a small business).
Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2013
This report summarizes budgetary decisions relating to research and development funding for FY2013.
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding
This report looks at the purpose and background of Community Services Block Grants (CSBG), which provide federal funds to states, territories, and tribes for distribution to local agencies to support a wide range of community-based activities to reduce poverty. CSBG was last reauthorized in 1998, although and related programs have been funded by Congressional approval since then.
EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?
This report provides background information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory activity during the Obama Administration to help address these issues. It examines major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at EPA since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of the rule (including identification of related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA's estimates of costs and benefits, where available. The report includes tables that show which rules remain under development, and an appendix that describes major or controversial rules that are now final.
The Medical Device Excise Tax: Economic Analysis
This report reviews the issues surrounding the medical devices tax within the framework of basic principles surrounding the choice of commodities to tax under excise taxes. The next section describes the tax and its legislative origins. After that, the report analyzes the arguments for retaining and repealing the tax.
Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08): Current Status of Benefits
This report summarizes the structure of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) benefits currently available through December 28, 2013 (December 29, 2013, for New York). It also provides the legislative history of the EUC08 program.
Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines: Process and Timing of FERC Permit Application Review
This report provides an overview of the federal certification process for interstate natural gas pipelines. It discusses the length of the review for recent interstate gas pipeline applications--a topic of specific interest to Congress and industry. In this context, the report discusses the key provisions in H.R. 1900 and their implications for gas pipeline certificate approval.
Expiring Unemployment Insurance Provisions
This report discusses several key provisions related to extended federal unemployment benefits that are temporary and, therefore, scheduled to expire. This report describes the consequences of these expirations for the financing and availability of unemployment benefits in states. It also summarizes the last three laws that have extended these expiring provisions: P.L. 112-240, P.L. 112-96, and P.L. 112-78.
Thailand: Background and U.S. Relations
This report looks at the relationship between the U.S. and Thailand, in particular, recent rivalries between populist political forces, nepotism in government, and Thai relationships with neighboring countries.
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program
This report discusses Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Act, which was enacted by the 108th Congress as Section 1057 of the FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-136). It includes background of the SAFER Act, appropriations from FY2011-FY2013, reauthorization of the program in the House and Senate, and information about program implementation.
Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions
This report discusses the release of Burma's political prisoners and the role that plays in U.S. policy and Burma's political future.
War in Afghanistan: Campaign Progress, Political Strategy, and Issues for Congress
This report describes the current strategic context, the state of the campaign, next steps in the campaign, and what it would take to make campaign gains sustainable; and it offers questions that may be of help to Congress in providing oversight of further U.S. efforts in Afghanistan.
Medical Child Support: Background and Current Policy
This report describes current federal policy with respect to medical child support. It also examines the potential impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the Child Support Enforcement (CSE) program. It provides a legislative history of medical support provisions in the CSE program and state data on the medical support coverage of children in the CSE program.
Majority Cloture for Nominations: Implications and the "Nuclear" Proceedings
This report explains the procedural context within which the precedent was set and addresses the precedent's effects on floor consideration of nominations (as well as noting other potential effects on the nominations process). In addition, since the parliamentary circumstances under which the precedent was set fall within proceedings often called the "nuclear option," the report concludes by briefly noting the precedent's relevance for future proposals to alter or reinterpret Senate rules through the establishment of new precedent.
Federal Civil Aviation Programs: In Brief
This report discusses the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs and activities are funded under four broad budget accounts: operations and maintenance (such as air traffic control and aviation safety functions); facilities and equipment (such as control towers and navigation beacons); grants for airport improvements under the airports improvement program (AIP); and civil aviation research and development conducted or sponsored by FAA. Additionally, aviation programs fund aviation programs administered by the Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of the Secretary, including the Essential Air Service Program that subsidizes airline service to certain small and isolated communities.
The Renewable Fuel Standard: In Brief
This report provides a basic description of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), including some of the widely discussed issues.
Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit
This report provides an overview of the U.S. balance of payments, an explanation of the broader role of capital flows in the U.S. economy, an explanation of how the country finances its trade deficit or a trade surplus, and the implications for Congress and the country of the large inflows of capital from abroad.
The New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions
This report provides an overview of the New Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (START), including a comparison to the original START Treaty, the belief of the Obama Administration and outside analysts that New START will enhance U.S. national security, and the criticisms of those who say that New START is a distraction from more important items on the nonproliferation agenda.
Keystone XL Pipeline Project: Key Issues
This report describes the Keystone XL pipeline proposal and the process required for federal approval. It summarizes key arguments for and against the pipeline put forth by the pipeline's developers, federal agencies, environmental groups, and other stakeholders. The report discusses potential consistency challenges faced by the State Department in reviewing the pipeline application given its recent prior approvals of similar pipeline projects. Finally, the report reviews the constitutional basis for the State Department's authority to issue a Presidential Permit, and opponents' possible challenges to this authority.
The Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and Its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape
The report discusses the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-Related Congressional Actions in the 112th Congress.