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Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Resources for Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report provides resources to help answer frequently asked questions regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It includes information and links for topics such as the individual mandate, private health insurance, exchanges and subsidies, employee-sponsored coverage, Medicaid and Medicare, specific populations, behavioral health, state innovation waivers, taxes, costs and statistics, and regulatory issues.
Date: December 1, 2017
Creator: Napili, Angela

Vessel Incidental Discharge Legislation in the 115th Congress: Background and Issues

Description: This report outlines regulations for vessels discharging ballast water into U.S waters, to prevent the spread of invasive species and pollution of bodies of water. It discusses various federal, state, and Coast Guard requirements along with exempted vessel types, and recent legislative action regarding the issue.
Date: January 8, 2018
Creator: Gatz, Laura

Nuclear Negotiations with North Korea: In Brief

Description: This report summarizes past nuclear and missile negotiations between the United States and North Korea, also known by its formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and highlights some of the lessons and implications that can be drawn from these efforts.
Date: December 4, 2017
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth D.; Chanlett-Avery, Emma & Manyin, Mark E.

Efforts to Address Seasonal Agricultural Import Competition in the NAFTA Renegotiation

Description: This report discusses a proposal by the U.S. in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations that would allow U.S. agricultural producers of certain fruits and vegetables to more easily file an injury claim regarding imports from Mexico. It includes details regarding the proposal, Mexican produce imports statistics, and arguments for and against the proposal.
Date: December 7, 2017
Creator: Johnson, Renée

Financial Regulation: Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations and the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10)

Description: This report discusses the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10) and the FY 2018 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Bill (H.R. 3354, Division D). The Senate Appropriations Committee released an FY2018 FSGG chairmen's mark on November 20, 2017, but further action has yet to occur on the bill. Much of the federal government, including agencies covered by FSGG appropriations, has been operating for the first part of FY2018 under a continuing resolution effective through December 8, 2017.
Date: December 7, 2017
Creator: Webel, Baird & Labonte, Marc

Federal Procurement Law and Natural Disasters

Description: This report discusses the federal procurement laws regarding federal agencies hiring contractors for disaster recovery work and the encouragement to use local contractors for the work to help the local economy recover.
Date: December 14, 2017
Creator: Carpenter, David H. & Lunder, Ericka K.

The U.S. Export Control System and the Export Control Reform Initiative

Description: This report discusses the U.S. export control system and the initiative started by President Obama to study and make recommendations for reform of the export control system by streamlining processes and consolidating control of the program in one agency.
Date: January 8, 2018
Creator: Fergusson, Ian F. & Kerr, Paul K.

Who's the Boss at the CFPB?

Description: This report discusses an ongoing dispute over who the new acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is following the resignation of the past director on Nov. 24., 2017. President Trump appointed Mick Mulvaney as the acting director, but the past director had already appointed Leandra English who has filed a lawsuit and asked for a temporary restraining order preventing Mulvaney from performing the duties of director. This report outlines the merits of the case and the President's power to fill vacancies under the Vacancies Act.
Date: November 28, 2017
Creator: Brannon, Valerie C. & Cole, Jared P.

Softwood Lumber Imports from Canada: Current Issues

Description: This report discusses the latest softwood lumber dispute between the U.S. and Canada, known as Lumber V. This report provides background information on the dispute, summarizes the key issues leading to the tensions between the United States and Canada over softwood lumber, and examines current developments in Lumber V.
Date: December 14, 2017
Creator: Hoover, Katie & Fergusson, Ian F.

Update: Who's the Boss at the CFPB

Description: This report is an update regarding the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as there were two indivuduals who claimed the right to the job. The Trump Administration appointed acting director, Mick Mulvaney, was confirmed in his position after a lawsuit filed by the previous acting director, Leandra English, was denied by the DC courts.
Date: January 11, 2018
Creator: Brannon, Valerie C. & Cole, Jared P.

Senate Committee Hearings: Preparation

Description: This report identifies many of the tasks that need to be performed by a full committee or subcommittees in advance of a hearing; these are based on Senate or committee rules, or common committee practice. It also outlines responsibilities which are divided among the committee's majority staff, shared by majority and minority staff, or performed by a Senator's personal office staff, depending on the tasks.
Date: December 4, 2017
Creator: Heitshusen, Valerie

National Flood Insurance Borrowing Authority

Description: This report evaluates the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP's) borrowing authority to receive loans from the U.S. Department of the Treasury -- particularly in the context of major floods -- and discusses the current financial situation of the NFIP as it pays claims from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
Date: January 3, 2018
Creator: Horn, Diane P.

Acquisition Reform in the FY2016-FY2018 National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAAs)

Description: This report provides a brief overview of selected acquisition-related provisions found in the National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAAs) for FY2016 (P.L. 114-92), FY2017 (P.L. 114-328), and FY2018 (P.L. 115-91), including the following topics that were a focus of the legislation: Major Defense Acquisition Programs, the acquisition workforce, commercial items, Other Transaction Authority, and contract types. This report also discusses the breakup of the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, as well as the shift of authority from that office to the military departments.
Date: January 4, 2018
Creator: Schwartz, Moshe

The Deduction for Out-of-Pocket Teacher Expenses

Description: This report discusses the tax deduction for out-of-pocket teacher expenses and the proposals to eliminate or increase it that were made in the House and Senate draft tax bills. The final bill left the deduction at its current rate.
Date: December 19, 2017
Creator: Sherlock, Molly F. & Crandall-Hollick, Margot L.

Bank Systemic Risk Regulation: The $50 Billion Threshold in the Dodd-Frank Act

Description: This report focuses on one pillar of the Dodd-Frank Act's (P.L. 111-203) response to addressing financial stability and ending too big to fail: a new enhanced prudential regulatory regime that applies to all banks with more than $50 billion in assets and to certain other financial institutions. Under this regime, the Federal Reserve is required to apply a number of safety and soundness requirements to large banks that are more stringent than those applied to smaller banks. These requirements are intended to mitigate systemic risk posed by large banks. This report also examines the question of which banks are systemically important.
Date: December 6, 2017
Creator: Labonte, Marc & Perkins, David W.

Changes to "Too Big to Fail" Treasury Recommends Revisions to Dodd-Frank SIFI Designation Process for Non-Banks (Part 1)

Description: First part of a report discussing the Treasury Department's recent report recommending revisions to the Financial Stability Oversight Council's (FSOC's) process for designating non-bank financial institutions as "systematically important financial institutions (SIFI's) also known as "Too Big to Fail" institutions. This part provides general background on the SIFI designation process
Date: December 1, 2017
Creator: Sykes, Jay B.

Supreme Court Declines to Take Up Military Commission Challenges-Al Bahlul and Al-Nashiri

Description: This report discusses the Supreme Court's rejection of cases submitted by two detainees at Guantanamo Bay (Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman al Bahlul & Abd Al-Rahim Hussein Al-Nashiri) challenging the current military commission system under the Military Commissions Act (MCA). It discusses the merits of the cases, the various legal proceedings regarding them, and case law related to the issue.
Date: December 12, 2017
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.

Facing the FAST Act: Abortion and Free Speech (Part 2)

Description: Second part of a report regarding the Supreme Court case: "National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra;" it involves a California state law that requires certain pregnancy centers to distribute particular information to clients which they contend violates their free speech rights. This report discusses the potential implications of any Supreme Court decision in "NIFLA" for First Amendment jurisprudence and legislatures seeking to regulate in this area.
Date: January 10, 2018
Creator: Killion, Victoria L.