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Yemen: Civil War and Regional Intervention
This report provides information on the ongoing crisis in Yemen. Now in its fourth year, the war in Yemen shows no signs of abating. On June 12, 2018, the Saudi-led coalition, a multinational grouping of armed forces led primarily by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), launched Operation Golden Victory, with the aim of retaking the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah. The coalition also has continued to conduct air strikes inside Yemen. The war has killed thousands of Yemenis, including combatants as well as civilians, and has significantly damaged the country's infrastructure. According to the United Nations (U.N.) High Commissioner for Human Rights, from the start of the conflict in March 2015 through August 9, 2018, the United Nations documented "a total of 17,062 civilian casualties -- 6,592 dead and 10,470 injured." This figure may vastly underestimate the war's death toll.
Election Security: Issues in the 2018 Midterm Elections
This report discusses concerns over possible election interference that could take place during the 2018 midterm elections.
Implementing EPA's 2015 Ozone Air Quality Standards
This report provides background on NAAQS (federal standards that apply to outdoor air), the process used to establish them, the 2008 and 2015 ozone standards, and issues that have been raised as EPA implements the final rule.
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. A total of 32 LCSs have been procured through FY2018. For FY2019, the Navy is requesting the procurement of the 33rd LCS. The LCS program presents several oversight issues for Congress. Congress's decisions on the program will affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the shipbuilding industrial base.
IRS Will No Longer Require Disclosure of Certain Nonprofit Donor Information
This report will first provide background on the statute and regulations regarding tax-exempt organizations' (EOs') disclosure of contributor information. Next, the report will discuss the justifications of and reactions to the new policy, including the views of proponents and opponents of the new policy. The report will then discuss the litigation Montana has filed against the policy. Finally, the report will provide considerations for Congress.
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers and the TAA Reauthorization Act of 2015
After a brief discussion of the program's purpose and most recent reauthorization, this report describes TAA as reauthorized by the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2015 (TAARA, Title IV of P.L. 114-27).
Kosovo: Background and U.S. Relations
This report describes Kosovo's government and political structure, economy, and relations with the U.S., Serbia, and the European Union (EU).
Nuclear Energy: Overview of Congressional Issues
This report discusses nuclear energy and various issues and concerns related to it use. Congressional actions and related CRS reports are described for six topics which are: radioactive waste, economic viability, safety, technological advances, security and emergency plans, and nuclear weapon nonproliferation.
Qatar: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses Qatar's governmental structure and politics, economy, foreign policy and regional disputes with other Gulf countries, U.S.-Qatar relations and security collaboration, and human rights issues.
The War in Yemen: A Compilation of Legislation in the 115th Congress
This report provides a summary of all legislative proposals that the 115th Congress has considered to date regarding the conflict in Yemen. Proposed stand-alone legislation, resolutions, and amendments to wider bills [National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 2810; P.L. 115-91) and Defense appropriations (H.R. 3219/Division I, H.R. 3354)] reflect a range of congressional perspectives and priorities.
Can the President Pardon Contempt of Court? Probably Yes.
This report provides a brief background of contempt of court, explores the various arguments regarding whether a pardon can relieve an individual of criminal liability for contempt, and discusses potential congressional responses to the perceived abuse of the pardon power.
Glider Kit, Engine, and Vehicle Regulations
This report examines EPA's and selected other federal agencies' requirements on glider kits and glider vehicles and outlines the congressional response.
Military Child Development Program: Background and Issues
This report traces the development of DOD-sponsored childcare services and discusses these issues in greater depth in order to support Members of Congress in their oversight role. The next section gives an overview of DOD's justification for the CDP program and demand for services. Next is a discussion of current CDP components, policies, and funding. This is followed by the legislative history of DOD-sponsored childcare in the military. The final section discusses issues and options for Congress related to oversight and funding of military childcare programs.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues
This report examines debates over what constitutes an unfunded federal mandate and UMRA's implementation. It focuses on UMRA's requirement that 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.
Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) in the United States
This report includes a primer on the CCS (and carbon utilization) process and discusses the current state of CCS in the United States, as well as the DOE program for CCS R&D and CCS-related legislation in the 115th Congress.
Congress's Power over Courts: Jurisdiction Stripping and the Rule of Klein
This report highlights a series of Supreme Court rulings that have examined separation-of-powers-based limitations on the Exceptions Clause, congressional jurisdiction stripping, and the ability of Congress to amend laws with the purpose of directly impacting litigation. The Court's jurisprudence largely begins with the Reconstruction-era case, United States v. Klein, and leads to Patchak v. Zinke, from the October 2017 term.
Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs: FY2019 Budget and Appropriations
This report outlines the 2019 fiscal year budget request for the U.S. State Department, foreign operations, and related programs such as foreign aid. It discusses information about funding levels requested, major projects for the year, and Congressional actions.
Iran's Nuclear Program: Status
This report looks at the background of Iran's nuclear policy. It covers the current status of Iran's nuclear facilities, and current controversy surrounding them, as well as the effects of international sanctions on Iran, recent sabotages on the Iran Enrichment Program, an estimated timeline of Iran's nuclear weapon capabilities, and whether or not Iran even has a nuclear weapons program.
Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)
This report looks at the background and current status of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), which was formed to increase international cooperation in interdicting shipments of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
The U.S. Export Control System and the Export Control Reform Initiative
This report discusses the U.S. export control system for defense related exports and examines the current split administration of the various parts of the system and proposals to unify and streamline the system.
Abortion, Justice Kennedy, and Judge Kavanaugh
This report addresses the questions that have arisen about the future of the Supreme Court's abortion jurisprudence, after the recent retirement of Justice Kennedy, the last remaining justice from the Casey plurality. The report first reviews the undue burden standard set from the Casey decision and discusses Justice Kennedy's views on the standard in the case law that has developed since Casey. Then, in light of President Trump's July 9, 2018 nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Kennedy, it examines Judge Kavanaugh's only substantive abortion opinion: a dissent in the 2017 case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit), Garza v. Hargan. Finally, as lower courts continue to apply the undue burden standard to new abortion regulations, the report concludes by noting some of the abortion cases that the Supreme Court could possibly review in the near future.
Iran Sanctions
This report discusses U.S. sanctions against Iran and the 2016 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement which led to the lifting of sanctions based on nuclear proliferation in Iran. The bulk of the report outlines the various sanctions against Iran and their current implementation status, international efforts to bring about compliance, and their effects. Recent discussions regarding President's Trump announcement that the U.S. was decertifying the nuclear agreement and the possibility of reinstating certain sanctions are also discussed.
Military Service Records, Awards, and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources
This report provides information on locating military unit histories and individual service records of discharged, retired, and deceased military personnel. It also provides information on locating and replacing military awards and medals as well as contact information for military history centers, websites for additional sources of research, and a bibliography of other publications, including related CRS reports.
Navy Columbia (SSBN-826) Class Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Columbia-class program, a program to design and build a new class of 12 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to replace the Navy's current force of 14 Ohio-class SSBNs. The program was previously known as the Ohio replacement program (ORP) or SSBN(X) program. The Navy has identified the Columbia-class program as the Navy's top priority program. The Navy wants to procure the first Columbia-class boat in FY2021. The Navy's proposed FY2019 budget requests $3,005.3 million in advance procurement (AP) funding and $704.9 million in research and development funding for the program
Serbia: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Serbia and its governmental structure, economy, and foreign relations with the U.S., Kosovo, Turkey, Russia, and the EU.
Advising the President: Rules Governing Access and Accountability of Presidential Advisors
This Sidebar examines three categories of Presidential advisors and the related ethics requirements and limitations that apply to their respective roles: employees who serve full-time, regular appointments; outside advisors who are formally appointed to temporary roles; and informal, personal advisors with whom the President consults.
Proposals to Impose Sanctions on Russian Sovereign Debt
This report discusses sanctions the U.S. imposes against Russia. The United States imposes sanctions on hundreds of Russian individuals and entities for aggression against Ukraine, election interference, malicious cyber activity, human rights violations, weapons proliferation, and other activities. Some Members of Congress are proposing additional sanctions in response to continuing objectionable behavior by the Russian government. One proposal is to sanction new debt issued by the Russian government. If enacted, U.S. investors would be prohibited from buying or trading new Russian sovereign debt.
Afghanistan: Background and U.S. Policy In Brief
This report provides an overview of current political and military dynamics, with a focus on the Trump Administration's new strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia, the U.S.-led coalition and Afghan military operations, and recent political developments, including prospects for peace talks and elections.
Buprenorphine and the Opioid Crisis: A Primer for Congress
This report addresses questions policymakers may have about the effectiveness of the opioid addiction treatment drug buprenorphine, the demand for buprenorphine, and access to buprenorphine.
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). The Coast Guard's proposed FY2019 budget requests a total of $705 million in acquisition funding for the NSC, OPC, and FRC programs.
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's program for acquiring new polar icebreakers. The Coast Guard's proposed FY2019 budget requests $750 million in acquisition funding for the program.
Federal Research and Development (R&D) Funding: Fiscal Year 2019
This report begins with a discussion of the overall level of President Trump's FY2019 R&D request, followed by analyses of the R&D funding request from a variety of perspectives and for selected multiagency R&D initiatives. The remainder of the report then provides discussion and analysis of the R&D budget requests of selected federal departments and agencies that, collectively, account for approximately 99% of total federal R&D funding.
A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense--Issues for Congress
This report focuses on defense-related issues and does not discuss potential implications of a shift in the international security environment for other policy areas, such as foreign policy and diplomacy, trade and finance, energy, and foreign assistance.
Enforcing U.S. Trade Laws: Section 301 and China
This report discusses the Trump Administration's decision to proceed with a Section 301 case against China's intellectual property rights (IPR) policies and their intent to impose 25% ad valorem tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese products. It also looks at past use of Section 301 against China.
Navy Ship Names: Background for Congress
This report describes the naming process for U.S. naval ships and various regulations regarding the process. Recent legislation related to ship names is also included.
North Korea's Nuclear and Ballistic Missile Programs
This report discusses the rapid advancements North Korea has made in its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs since 2012. Despite the absence of any missile launch activity or nuclear tests in 2018 to date, previous tests and official North Korean statements suggest that North Korea is striving to build a credible regional nuclear warfighting capability that might evade regional ballistic missile defenses. Such an approach likely reinforces their deterrent and coercive diplomacy strategy--lending more credibility as it demonstrates capability--but it also raises serious questions about crisis stability and escalation control. Congress may further examine these advances' possible effects on U.S. policy.
U.S.-China Trade Issues
This report provides a summary of U.S.-China commercial ties, including history, trends, issues, and outlook.
U.S.-China Trade Issues
This report provides background and analysis of U.S.-China commercial ties, including history, trends, issues, and outlook.
Wildfire Statistics
This report briefly covers statistics about wildfires, such as annual wildfires and acres burned and top five years with largest wildfires.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Education
This report discusses artificial intelligence in education, including current applications, benefits and drawbacks, and policy considerations.
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.
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.
China's Actions in South and East China Seas: Implications for U.S. Interests--Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress regarding China's actions in the South China Sea (SCS) and East China Sea (ECS), with a focus on implications for U.S. strategic and policy interests. Other CRS reports focus on other aspects of maritime territorial disputes involving China.
Defense Primer: Military Pay Raise
This report discusses military pay raises and the annual statutory basic pay raise based on changes in the Employment Cost Index. It includes descriptions of information related to the topic along with a table of historical increases in basic pay.
The Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and Its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape
This report discusses the structure and role of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and recent legislation in the 115th Congress regarding the FCC.
Iran's Ballistic Missile and Space Launch Programs
This report provides an overview of the sociopolitical and economic situation in Iran, and discusses Iran's ballistic missile and space launch programs.
Mexico's Immigration Control Efforts
This report discusses the surge in unauthorized migration from Central America into Mexico and the U.S that began in 2014. Topics covered include Mexico's southern border plan, human rights concerns, and U.S. policy and developments under the Trump Administration.
Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy, and gives Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers a capability for conducting BMD operations. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify Department of Defense (DOD) acquisition strategies and proposed funding levels for the Aegis BMD program. Congress's decisions on the Aegis BMD program could significantly affect U.S. BMD capabilities and funding requirements, and the BMD-related industrial base.
Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Navy's irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) operations. The Navy's IW and CT activities pose a number of potential oversight issues for Congress, including how much emphasis to place on IW and CT activities in Navy budgets, particularly in a context of constraints on Navy budgets and Navy desires to devote resources to developing "high end" combat capabilities for countering improved conventional military capabilities of countries such as China and Russia. Congress's decisions regarding Navy IW and CT operations can affect Navy operations and funding requirements, and the implementation of the nation's overall IW and CT strategies.
Navy John Lewis (TAO-205) Class Oiler Shipbuilding Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the John Lewis (TAO205) class oiler shipbuilding program, a program to build a new class of 20 fleet oilers for the Navy. The TAO-205 program was previously known as the TAO(X) program. The Navy's proposed FY2019 budget requests the procurement of the third and fourth ships in the program.