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The Shutdown of the Joint North/South Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex
This report briefly discusses the South Korean government's decision to shut down the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC), which is an 11-year-old industrial park located in North Korea just across the demilitarized zone where more than 120 South Korean manufacturers employed over 50,000 North Korean workers.
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons
This report discusses Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, which probably consists of approximately 110-130 nuclear warheads, although it could have more. Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is widely regarded as designed to dissuade India from taking military action against Pakistan, but Islamabad's expansion of its nuclear arsenal, development of new types of nuclear weapons, and adoption of a doctrine called "full spectrum deterrence" have led to concern about an increased risk of nuclear conflict between Pakistan and India.
Health Care Spending: Past Trends and Projections
This report focuses on trends in personal health care spending, which includes spending on health care goods and services provided to individuals and excludes expenditures for administrative costs, research, and public health activities. Personal health care expenditures have grown considerably over the past 40 years. It is estimated that personal health spending will exceed $2.9 trillion in 2013.
Federal Reserve: Oversight and Disclosure Issues
This report provides an overview of existing Federal Reserve (Fed) oversight and disclosure practices. It also considers the potential impact of greater oversight and disclosure on the Fed's independence and its ability to achieve its macroeconomic and financial stability goals.
Cyprus: Reunification Proving Elusive
This report provides a brief overview of the history of the negotiations between Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, a review of the negotiations since 2008, and a description of some of the issues involved in the talks.
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents
This report provides links to cybersecurity-related committee hearings in the 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses. It also provides a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security.
Trade Negotiations During the 109th Congress
This report discusses trade issues in the 109th Congress. For over 50 years, U.S. trade officials have negotiated multilateral trade agreements to achieve lower trade barriers and rules to cover international trade. During the 108th Congress, U.S. officials negotiated and Congress approved four bilateral free-trade agreements with Australia, Chile, Morocco, and Singapore.
The Retirement Savings Tax Credit: A Fact Sheet
This report discusses the saver's tax credit, under which eligible individuals receive a non-refundable tax credit of up to $1,000 for contributing to a traditional IRA or an employer-sponsored retirement plan that is qualified under §401, §403 or §457 of the Internal Revenue Code. The credit was first available in 2002 but will expire after 2006 unless extended by Congress.
Abortion: Justice O'Connor's Opinions
This report examines Justice O'Connor's notable opinions on abortion, and explores her role in the development of the undue burden standard, adopted in 1992. Under the new standard, a reviewing court would consider whether an abortion restriction has the effect of imposing an "undue burden" on a woman's right to obtain an abortion.
Surface Transportation: Reauthorization of TEA-21
This report briefly examines the debate regarding spending levels to reauthorize federal highway, highway safety, and transit programs.
Senate Committees: Categories and Rules for Committee Assignments
This report briefly examines Senate Rule XXV and party conference rules that address committee assignments. It includes a table for A, B, and C committees with an overview of limitations and procedures.
Electric Grid Physical Security: Recent Legislation
This report briefly discusses legislative initiatives to address the physical safety of electrical transformers and 0other parts of the U.S. electric grid which are vulnerable to damage from theft, vandalism, or terrorist attacks.
Detection of Explosives on Airline Passengers: Recommendation of the 9/11 Commission and Related Issues
This report discusses options for airline passenger explosives trace detection, ongoing federal R&D efforts and pilot equipment deployments, and policy issues related to the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458). The legislation directs the Department of Homeland Security to place high priority on developing and deploying equipment for passenger explosives screening; requires TSA to submit a strategic plan for deploying such equipment; and authorizes additional research funding.
Iraq: Elections, Government, and Constitution
This report discusses the Iraqi government in the wake of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Elections for a transitional National Assembly and government (January 30, 2005), a permanent constitution (October 15), and a permanent (four year) Council of Representatives and government (December 15) have been concluded despite insurgent violence. U.S. officials hope that the high turnout among Sunni Arabs in the December 15 elections -- and post-election bargaining among all factions -- will produce an inclusive government that reduces insurgent violence.
House Committee Markup: Vehicle for Consideration and Amendment
This report discusses aspects of the process by which House committees mark up and report legislation. The markup begins with the chair calling up a particular measure for consideration by the committee. The next action depends on the nature of the "markup vehicle" (i.e., the text that the chair intends for the committee to amend and report), which may be different from the measure laid before the panel for consideration. The vehicle can come before the committee in several different forms, each of which has its own procedural and political consequences.
Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
This report provides an overview of the situation in Ukraine, two years after the February 2014 collapse of the Kremlin-supported government of President Viktor Yanukovych. Following the collapse, there was an emergence of a pro-Western, pro-reform government and an energized public generally anxious to lessen Moscow's influence, committed to addressing the need for serious reform and determined to draw closer to Europe and the United States.
State Minimum Wages: An Overview
This report begins with a brief discussion of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage coverage. It then provides a summary of state minimum wage laws, followed by an examination of rates and mechanisms of adjustments in states with minimum wage levels above the FLSA rate. The report also discusses the interaction of federal and state minimum wages over time.
Volkswagen, Defeat Devices, and the Clean Air Act: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides answers to a series of frequently asked questions focusing on a description of modern diesel technologies, their market and emissions profiles, and some potential reasons that could underlie the use of defeat devices. It summarizes the specific allegations filed against VW under the Clean Air Act, the current status of federal and state investigations, and the potential civil and criminal penalties. Further, the report introduces several outstanding issues currently under debate regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) resources and activities, and issues surrounding VW's defeat device.
Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses issues surrounding the funding for development of Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC). The Marines are required by law to have the necessary equipment to conduct amphibious operations and land operations.
"Regulatory Relief" for Banking: Selected Legislation in the 114th Congress
This report discusses regulatory relief legislation for banks in the 114th Congress that has seen floor action or has been ordered to be reported by a committee. Many, but not all, of the bills would make changes to the Dodd-Frank Act (P.L. 111-203), a wide-ranging financial reform enacted in response to the financial crisis.
Continuing Resolutions: Overview of Components and Recent Practices
The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the components of Continuing Resolutions (CRs) and a longitudinal analysis of recent congressional practices. Consequently, the data and analysis in this report are inclusive of all appropriations acts entitled or otherwise designated as providing continuing appropriations. The first section of this report explains six of the possible main components of CRs: coverage, duration, funding rate, restrictions on new activities, anomalies, and legislative provisions. The second section discusses the enactment of regular appropriations prior to the start of the fiscal year and the number of regular appropriations bills enacted through a CR since FY1977. The third section analyzes variations in the number and duration of CRs enacted each fiscal year since FY1997, the most recent fiscal year that all regular appropriations were enacted on time. Finally, the fourth section of this report discusses the features of the 15 CRs that provided funding through the remainder of the fiscal year since FY1977. A list of all CRs enacted between FY1977 and FY2016 is provided at the end of this report in Table 4.
Iran Sanctions
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides some examples, based on open sources, of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran.
Social Security and the Federal Budget: What Does Social Security's Being "Off Budget" Mean?
This report discusses social security and its place in the federal budget. As a result of a series of laws enacted in 1983, 1985 and 1990, Social Security is considered to be "off budget" for federal budget purposes. While the meaning of this might seem obvious--that Social Security is not to be considered as part of the federal budget--many people are confused by the continued use of aggregate budget figures that include Social Security's receipts and expenditures.
Oil Sands and the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund: The Definition of "Oil" and Related Issues for Congress
This report provides background on oil sands resources followed by a discussion of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF), including authorized uses and revenue sources; the scope of oil subject to the per-barrel tax (that funds the OSLTF) versus the scope of oil that triggers activities under the Oil Pollution Act; and relevant legislative activities of the 113th and 114th Congresses. The final section offers concluding observations.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): In Brief
This report briefly summarizes some of the key controversial issues of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), including select market access issues (such as on dairy and other agricultural products, autos, and textiles and apparel) as well as the level of intellectual property protection, the scope and enforcement of environment and worker rights provisions, investor-state dispute settlement, access to government procurement, and the potential inclusion of provisions on currency valuation and exchange rates. The TPP is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) among 12 Asia-Pacific countries, which the Obama Administration casts as comprehensive, with economic and strategic significance for the United States.
Provisions of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3762
This report includes a table listing all provisions in H.R. 3762 and the Senate amendment to H.R. 3762 that would amend or repeal Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions. It also provides a brief explanation of the provisions included in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3762.
Grants Work in a Congressional Office
Report discussing grants requests for federal funds made to members of Congress by their constituents. It provides a general overview, information provided to constituents about grant funding, letters of support for grant seekers, federal assistance opportunities, proposal writing, following up on requests, announcements of grant awards, foundations and corporate grants, and additional grant-related resources.
Intelligence Spending: In Brief
This report examines intelligence funding over the past several decades, with an emphasis on the period from 2007-2017--the period in which total national and military intelligence program spending dollars have been publicly disclosed on an annual basis.
Party Leaders in Congress, 1789-2003: Vital Statistics
This report presents tables that provide historical data including service dates, party affiliation, and other information, for 15 House and Senate party leadership posts. This information has been updated to reflect leadership changes in the 107th Congress.
Iraq: Elections, Government, and Constitution
This report discusses the Iraqi government in the wake of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Elections for a transitional National Assembly and government (January 30, 2005), a permanent constitution (October 15), and a permanent (four year) Council of Representatives and government (December 15) have been concluded despite insurgent violence. U.S. officials hope that the high turnout among Sunni Arabs in the December 15 elections -- and post-election bargaining among all factions -- will produce an inclusive government that reduces insurgent violence.
Federal Student Loans: Terms and Conditions for Borrowers
This report discusses major provisions of the law pertaining to federal student loan borrowers who receive loans through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) and William D. Ford Direct Loan (DL) programs. The primary emphasis is placed on discussing provisions related to borrower eligibility, loan terms and conditions, borrower repayment relief, and loan default and its consequences for borrowers.
Escalating Violence in El Salvador
This report briefly discusses gangs and violence in El Salvador, and examines the U.S. policy response.
Agricultural Export and Food Aid Programs
This report discusses projected agricultural imports and exports for FY2006, as well as legislation that deals with federal programs in support of agricultural exports and federal aid dedicated to farms and agricultural reform.
Capital Punishment: An Overview of Federal Death Penalty Statutes
This report lists the current federal capital offenses and summarizes the procedures for federal civilian death penalty cases. Several laws are relevant to the topic including: P.L. 103-322, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994; the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996; and P.L. 107-197, the Terrorist Bombings Convention Implementation Act of 2002.
Safe Drinking Water Act: Implementation and Issues
This report discusses key drinking water issues in the 109th Congress, which have included problems caused by specific contaminants, such as methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and perchlorate, as well as the related issue of the appropriate federal role in providing financial assistance for water infrastructure projects. Congress last reauthorized the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in 1996, and although funding authority for most SDWA programs expired in FY2003, broad reauthorization bills have not been proposed, as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), states, and water systems remain busy implementing the 1996 amendments.
Iran's Nuclear Program: Tehran's Compliance with International Obligations
This report provides a brief overview of Iran's nuclear program and describes the legal basis for the actions taken by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board and the Security Council.
Presidential Vetoes, 1789-Present: A Summary Overview
This report discusses the veto power vested in the President by Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution. It provides a general overview and a table of presidential vetoes from 1789-2004, listing the coincident Congresses, regular vetoes, pocket vetoes, total vetoes, and vetoes overridden for each president.
Iran-U.S. Air Service Not Imminent
This report discusses the prospect of air travel between Iran and the U.S., which last operated during 1979, when the U.S. government imposed an embargo on flights following the Iran hostage crisis. Since then, travel and air cargo shipments between the two countries have been routed through third countries, and their extent has been limited by U.S. sanctions.
Child Welfare: Program Reauthorizations and Recent and FY2006 Proposed Funding Levels
This report discusses current funding levels for child welfare programs, intended to protect children from abuse and neglect and to ensure their well-being. In FY2005 the federal government appropriated $7.8 billion for these purposes. Most of this funding is made available to states through open-ended entitlement programs or as formula grants and is authorized under Title IV-E and Title IV-B of the Social Security Act or under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).
Federal Securities Law: Insider Trading
This report discusses various regulations regarding insider trading violations. Insider trading in securities may occur when a person in possession of material nonpublic information about a company trades in the company's securities and makes a profit or avoids a loss.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress such as: Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic that could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation or competition.
Deficits and Debt: Economic Effects and Other Issues
This report explores distinctions in the concept and composition of deficits and debt, explains how these two measures interact, and discusses their possible effects on the economy. The combination of persistent budget deficits and a large and increasing federal debt has generated discussions over the long-term sustainability of current budget projections. Federal debt totaled $18.922 trillion at the end of calendar year 2015, and as a percentage of GDP is at its highest value since the end of World War II; $13.673 trillion of that debt was held by the public.
Appropriations for FY2002: U.S. Department of Agriculture and Related Agencies
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 Appropriations Subcommittees on Agriculture by summarizing the current legislative status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related legislative activity. The report also lists the key CRS staff relevant to the issues covered and related CRS products.
K-12 Education Programs: Appropriations Summary
This report summarizes the amount of federal appropriations for K-12 education, including total elementary and secondary funding, recent increases, and the major components counted in the K-12 total. K-12 components include: the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLBA), P.L. 107-110; the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998; and the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA).
Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2004 (S. 2290, 108th Congress)
This report provides an overview of S. 2290, 108th Congress, the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2004 (or FAIR Act of 2004). The bill is a revised version of S. 1125, 108th Congress, and would create the Office of Asbestos Disease Compensation to award damages to asbestos claimants on a no-fault basis. Asbestos claims could no longer be filed or pursued under state law, except for the enforcement of judgments no longer subject to any appeal or judicial review before the date of enactment of the bill.
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate program, a program to procure a large number of LCSs and modified LCSs (frigates). The Navy's execution of the program has been a matter of congressional oversight attention for several years.
Ocean Energy Agency Appropriations, FY2016
This report discusses FY2016 appropriations for the Department of the Interior's (DOI's) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), and Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR)--the three agencies that collectively administer federal ocean energy resources covering more than 1.7 billion acres on the U.S. outer continental shelf (OCS).
Iran Sanctions
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides some examples, based on open sources, of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran.
Constitutional Bounds on Congress' Ability to Protect the Environment
This report reviews five newly-emergent constitutional areas related to environmental issues, based on Supreme Court decisions. For each area, the focus is its significance for current and future federal environmental legislation.
Naming Post Offices Through Legislation
This report describes how the practice of naming post offices through public law originated and how it is commonly done today. House and Senate practices for approving legislation and procedures followed by the U.S. Postal Service in organizing a dedication ceremony, are also described. An increasingly common form of legislation is the naming of post offices for former Members of Congress or other figures of local or national renown. About one in six public laws passed by the 108th Congress was a post office naming bill approved under suspension of the rules. Unanimity of a state's congressional delegation is required for the movement of naming bills to the floor of the House or Senate. The costs of dedicating a post office in the name of an individual are modest, and this action results in no change in public identification of the facility by its geographic location.