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Creating a Federal Advisory Committee in the Executive Branch

Description: This report report provides a brief overview on how Congress can establish federal advisory committees, and provides some considerations as to why a federal advisory committee may or may not be an appropriate mechanism to assist a particular policy or funding question. The report also explores why Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) may or may not be appropriate for application to particular advisory committees. It presents data on the number of active FACA committees established by Congress with special emphasis on the committees established in FY2015. This report concludes by presenting a list of the federal advisory committees currently proposed for statutory establishment in the 114th Congress.
Date: December 9, 2016
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy & Burgat, Casey

March-In Rights Under the Bayh-Dole Act

Description: This report reviews the availability of march-in rights under the Bayh-Dole Act. It begins by providing a brief overview of the patent system and innovation policy, then introduces the Bayh-Dole Act. The report also reviews specific details of the march-in authority provided to federal agencies, considers past efforts to obtain march-in authorization from NIH, and identifies potential issues for congressional consideration.
Date: August 22, 2016
Creator: Thomas, John R.

General Policy Statements: Legal Overview

Description: This report examines one type of guidance document of particular recent prominence: agency policy statements. It explores judicial doctrine regarding the difference between legislative rules and statements of policy; discusses when such statements are judicially reviewable; analyzes when courts will grant deference to agency interpretations contained in guidance documents; and notes the relative costs and benefits of potential judicial and statutory rules regarding their use.
Date: April 14, 2016
Creator: Cole, Jared P. & Garvey, Todd

Social Security Primer

Description: This report provides an overview of Social Security financing and benefits under current law. Specifically, the report covers the origins and a brief history of the program; Social Security financing and the status of the trust funds; how Social Security benefits are computed; the types of Social Security benefits available to workers and their family members; the basic eligibility requirements for each type of benefit; the scheduled increase in the Social Security retirement age; and the federal income taxation of Social Security benefits.
Date: December 5, 2016
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn

Defense Primer: A Guide for New Members

Description: This report describes the power of the Congress over the armed forces, including the power to "to raise and support Armies," "to provide and maintain a Navy," "to make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces" and "to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States.... "
Date: February 6, 2017
Creator: Kapp, Lawrence

Federal Citations to the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases

Description: This report compiles a table of Federal Register notices related to federal regulatory actions that specifically cite the social cost of carbon (SC-CO2), SC-CH4 (social cost of methane), SC-N2O (social cost of nitrous oxide), or SC-GHG (social cost of greehnouse gases).
Date: December 6, 2016
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.

The Veterans Choice Program (VCP): Program Implementation

Description: This report discusses the Veterans Choice Program (VCP),which is a new, temporary program (the VCP is set to expire in August 2017 or whenever funds in the Veterans Choice Fund are exhausted). The VCP enables eligible veterans to receive medical care in the community.
Date: January 5, 2017
Creator: Viranga Panangala, Sidath

Has the U.S. Government Ever "Defaulted"?

Description: This report discusses the concept of default in the context of the federal government's financial obligations and provides examples of past cases in which the federal government failed to make certain payments on time.
Date: December 8, 2016
Creator: Austin, D. Andrew

Army and Marine Corps Active Protection System (APS) Efforts

Description: This report discusses the Active Protection Systems (APSs), which is a subsystems integrated into or installed on a combat vehicle to automatically acquire, track, and respond with hard or soft kill capabilities to a variety of threats, including rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).
Date: August 30, 2016
Creator: Feickert, Andrew

European Union Efforts to Counter Disinformation

Description: This report discusses European Union efforts to counter the use of propaganda by both state and non-state actors, including new strategies to combat disinformation.
Date: December 1, 2016
Creator: Morelli, Vincent L. & Archick, Kristin

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

Description: This report discusses China's proposal of creating a new multilateral development bank (MDB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with the purpose to provide financing for infrastructure needs throughout Asia, as well as in neighboring regions.
Date: February 3, 2017
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.

Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Long-Range Ballistic Missiles: Background and Issues

Description: This report provides an overview of the rationale for the prompt global strike (PGS) mission and the possible deployment of conventional warheads on long-range ballistic missiles or boost-glide systems in support of this mission. It also reviews the Air Force and Navy efforts to develop these systems, summarizes congressional reaction to these proposals, and provides a more detailed account of the issues raised by these concepts and programs.
Date: February 3, 2017
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.

The Islamic State and U.S. Policy

Description: This report provides background on the Islamic State organization, discusses its goals, operations, and affiliates, reviews U.S. legislative and policy debates, and describes select FY2017 legislative proposals.
Date: February 2, 2017
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M. & Humud, Carla E.

The Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC): In Brief

Description: This report describes the eligibility criteria for the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) and the types of health insurance to which the tax credit may be applied. The tax credit's purpose is to make the purchase of health insurance more affordable for eligible individuals. The report also briefly describes the administration of the HCTC program and receipt of the credit by eligible taxpayers; it concludes with a summary of the HCTC's statutory history.
Date: December 6, 2016
Creator: Fernandez, Bernadette

Party Leaders in the United States Congress, 1789-2017

Description: This report briefly describes current responsibilities and selection mechanisms for 15 House and Senate party leadership posts and provides tables with historical data, including service dates, party affiliation, and other information for each.
Date: January 5, 2017
Creator: Heitshusen, Valerie

Dakota Access Pipeline: Siting Controversy

Description: This report discusses the Dakota Access Pipeline including background on the project and information about siting approval, as well as opposition and litigation against the pipeline.
Date: January 26, 2017
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.

Statutory Restrictions on the Position of Secretary of Defense: Issues for Congress

Description: This report is designed to assist Congress as it considers how to proceed with the proposed nomination of General (Ret.) James Mattis to be Secretary of Defense. After exploring the history of the statutory restriction and its evolution over time, it touches upon some of the broader questions that have recently been raised in the public debate on whether, and how, this proposed nomination might impact civilian-military relations and the principle of civilian control of the military.
Date: January 5, 2017
Creator: McInnis, Kathleen J.

Dakota Access Pipeline: Siting Controversy

Description: This report discusses the Dakota Access Pipeline including background on the project and information about siting approval, as well as opposition and litigation against the pipeline.
Date: December 8, 2016
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.

Privileged Business on the House Floor

Description: This report discusses privileged business, which relates to the order or priority of business before the House and is defined in House rules and precedents as business that has precedence over the regular order of business.
Date: January 23, 2017
Creator: Saturno, James V.