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Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Gun-Launched Guided Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on three new ship-based weapons the Navy is developing that could improve the ability of Navy surface ships to defend themselves against missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and surface craft: the Surface Navy Laser Weapon System (SNLWS), the electromagnetic railgun (EMRG), and the gunlaunched guided projectile (GLGP), previously known as the hypervelocity projectile (HVP). The Navy refers to the initial (i.e., Increment 1) version of SNLWS as HELIOS, an acronym meaning high-energy laser with integrated optical dazzler and surveillance.
Date: July 5, 2018
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald

NATO's 2018 Brussels Summit

Description: This report discusses the meeting of leaders from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO's) 29 member states, scheduled to take place on hold a summit at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on July 11-12, 2018. Despite the heightened U.S.-European tensions, NATO officials say they expect the allies to announce new NATO initiatives in six main areas at the summit: enhancing collective defense and deterrence, defense spending and burdensharing, countering terrorism, enhancing NATO cooperation with the European Union, and NATO enlargement.
Date: July 5, 2018
Creator: Belkin, Paul

The Opioid Epidemic and the Food and Drug Administration: Legal Authorities and Recent Agency Action

Description: This report focuses on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a key player in federal efforts to curb the opioid epidemic. It provides an overview of FDA's role in approving new prescription drugs, including challenges of approval and regulation of opioid products; addresses FDA's multifaceted approach in responding, including recent agency action; and concludes with a discussion of selected opioid-related legislation in the 115th Congress.
Date: June 5, 2018
Creator: Staman, Jennifer A.

The Congressional Review Act: Determining Which "Rules" Must Be Submitted to Congress

Description: This report describes what types of agency actions can be overturned using the Congressional Review Act (CRA) by providing a close examination and discussion of the statutory definition of "rule." It also explains how Members can use the CRA to overturn agency rules that have not been submitted to Congress.
Date: July 5, 2018
Creator: Brannon, Valerie C. & Carey, Maeve P.

Section 232 Investigations: Overview and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which provides the President with the ability to impose restrictions on certain imports based on an affirmative determination by the U.S. Department of Commerce that the product under investigation "is being imported into the United States in such quantities or under such circumstances as to threaten to impair the national security." It also analyzes the Trump Administration's Section 232 investigations and actions, and considers potential policy and economic implications and issues for Congress.
Date: July 5, 2018
Creator: Fefer, Rachel F.; Jones, Vivian C.; Hammond, Keigh E.; Murrill, Brandon J.; Platzer, Michaela D. & Williams, Brock R.

What Happens When Five Supreme Court Justices Can't Agree?

Description: This report discusses the Supreme Court case of "Hughes v. United States" where all five justices agreed on the party that should win but they could not agree on why that party should win. The report discusses what justice's opinion, if any should enter future law through case law precedent, similar past cases, and the background of the "Hughes" case.
Date: April 5, 2018
Creator: Lewis, Kevin M.

Abortion and Family Planning-Related Provisions in U.S. Foreign Assistance Law and Policy

Description: This report details legislation and policies that restrict or place requirements on U.S. funding of abortion or family planning activities abroad. The level and extent of federal funding for these activities is an ongoing and controversial issue in U.S. foreign assistance and has continued to be a point of contention during the 115th Congress.
Date: April 5, 2018
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa

SBA's Office of Inspector General: Overview, Impact, and Relationship with Congress

Description: This report examines the Small Business Administration(SBA), Office of the Inspector General (OIG's) statutory authorities; reporting requirements; funding ($26.9 million in FY2018, including $7 million in supplemental appropriations for overseeing SBA disaster assistance); staffing and organizational structure; and recent activities (audits, investigations, etc.). It also examines the SBA OIG's impact on monetary savings, SBA programs and operations, and legislation affecting the agency. The report concludes with observations concerning the SBA OIG's relationship with Congress.
Date: April 5, 2018
Creator: Dilger, Robert Jay

Tax Incentives for Opportunity Zones: In Brief

Description: This report discusses tax incentives for opportunity zones (OZ) which are low-income areas selected by state governors for revitalization efforts. This report briefly describes what census tracts are eligible to be nominated as an OZ by the "chief executive officer" (typically, the governor) of each state or territory, what types of entities can be certified as Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs), and the tax benefits of investments in QOFs.
Date: April 5, 2018
Creator: Lowry, Sean & Marples, Donald J.

Statutory Interpretation: Theories, Tools, and Trends

Description: This report begins by discussing the general goals of statutory interpretation, reviewing a variety of contemporary as well as historical approaches. The report then briefly describes the two primary theories of interpretation employed today, before examining the main types of tools that courts use to determine statutory meaning. The report concludes by exploring developing issues in statutory interpretation.
Date: April 5, 2015
Creator: Brannon, Valerie C.

Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies

Description: This report lists about 200 congressional liaison offices and is intended to help congressional offices in placing telephone calls and addressing correspondence to government agencies. The information was supplied by the appropriate agency and is current as of the date of publication. Entries are arranged alphabetically in four sections: legislative branch; judicial branch; executive branch; and agencies, boards, and commissions.
Date: February 5, 2018
Creator: Crane-Hirsch, Audrey Celeste