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Department of Labor's 2016 Fiduciary Rule: Background and Issues

Description: This report discusses fiduciary standard with respect to his or her advice, an individual had to, which include: (1) make recommendations on investing in, purchasing, or selling securities or other property, or give advice as to the value (2) on a regular basis (3) pursuant to a mutual understanding that the advice (4) will serve as a primary basis for investment decisions, and (5) will be individualized to the particular needs of the plan regarding such matters as, among other things, investment policies or strategy, overall portfolio composition, or diversification of plan investments.
Date: July 3, 2017
Creator: Topoleski, John J. & Shorter, Gary

Gulf Coast Restoration: RESTORE Act and Related Efforts

Description: This report provides information on environmental damage and restoration activities related to the Deepwater Horizon spill. An overview of how the RESTORE Act is being implemented and a discussion of multiple funding sources and plans to recover and restore the Gulf Coast environment are discussed. Further, potential issues for Congress related to this restoration initiative are presented.
Date: July 24, 2017
Creator: Stern, Charles V.; Sheikh, Pervaze A. & Ramseur, Jonathan L.

Disaster Debris Management: Requirements, Challenges, and Federal Agency Roles

Description: This report focuses on the requirements applicable to disaster debris management and the challenges that communities face when attempting to manage it both quickly and safely. This report also provides an overview of the types of support provided by FEMA, the Corps, and EPA with respect to disaster debris removal. A discussion of the programs or statutory authorities under which that support may be provided is beyond the scope of this report. There are a number of conditions under which federal agencies may support communities with disaster debris removal. With respect to FEMA's involvement in debris removal assistance, this report focuses on support that may be provided after the President declares the incident to involve a "major disaster" under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act, P.L. 93-288, as amended).
Date: September 6, 2017
Creator: Luther, Linda

Paris Agreement: U.S. Climate Finance Commitments

Description: This report discusses the commitment of the United States and other industrialized countries to provide financial assistance for global environmental initiatives, including climate change, through a variety of multilateral agreements.
Date: June 19, 2017
Creator: Lattanzio, Richard K.

Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): History and Overview

Description: This report is about the history, role, and function of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) that exists to advise the President on matters related to science, engineering, and technology. It includes charts outlining both historical and current funding for the OSTP and past and present OSTP advisers organized by President.
Date: August 17, 2017
Creator: Sargent, John F., Jr. & Shea, Dana A.

Update: The Microsoft Ireland Decision: U.S. Appeals Court Rules that ECPA does not Require Internet Service Providers to Produce Electronic Communications Stored Overseas

Description: This report discusses the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the case of "Microsoft Corporation v. United States" where the court ruled that the U.S. could not enforce a subpoena asking Microsoft to retrieve emails stored on a server in Ireland. On June 28, 2017 the United States filed for reversal of the decision through a writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court.
Date: June 28, 2017
Creator: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.

Climate Change: Frequently Asked Questions About the 2015 Paris Agreement

Description: This report discusses the frequently asked questions about the 2015 Paris Agreement (PA). The PA opened for signature by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on April 22, 2016, at U.N. headquarters in New York City.
Date: June 28, 2017
Creator: Leggett, Jane A. & Lattanzio, Richard K.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)

Description: This report discusses the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) comprising nine members, two ex officio members, and other members as appointed by the President representing major departments and agencies within the federal executive branch. While the group generally has operated in relative obscurity, the proposed acquisition of commercial operations at six U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World in 2006 placed the group's operations under intense scrutiny by Members of Congress and the public.
Date: August 12, 2016
Creator: Jackson, James K.

Justice Department''s Role in Cyber Incident Response

Description: This report outlines the federal framework for cyber incident response, highlighting the Department of Justice's (DOJ's) role in this response. It also discusses challenges for federal law enforcement and potential policy issues for Congress.
Date: August 23, 2017
Creator: Finklea, Kristin

Stafford Act Assistance and Acts of Terrorism

Description: This report provides an overview of emergency and major disaster declarations and explains how they might be used in the aftermath of a terrorist incident that does not involve a fire or an explosion, such as high casualty mass shootings or chemical gas attacks. This report also provides an overview of Stafford Act assistance provided for past terrorist incidents.
Date: June 2, 2017
Creator: Lindsay, Bruce R.

Military Enlisted Personnel

Description: This report describes each level of military enlisted personnel and the percentage of the force that they make up along with how many people are in each pay grade in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. A chart of insignia for the various ranks is also included.
Date: July 3, 2017
Creator: Kapp, Lawrence & Cucchiara, Adam J.

Natural Gas Discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean

Description: This report discusses a series of large natural gas discoveries in the Levant Basin, the Eastern Mediterranean region. New gas reserves could change how energy is used in the region.
Date: August 15, 2016
Creator: Ratner, Michael

Cybersecurity Issues and Challenges: In Brief

Description: This report discusses the federal role in cyber-security, which involves both securing federal systems and assisting in protecting non-federal systems.
Date: August 12, 2016
Creator: Fischer, Eric A.

Selected Homeland Security Issues in the 115th Congress

Description: This report outlines an array of homeland security issues that may come before the 115th Congress. After a brief discussion of the definitions of homeland security, the homeland security budget, and the role of homeland security actors in the intelligence community, the report divides the specific issues into five broad categories: Counterterrorism and Security Management; Border Security and Trade; Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery; Cybersecurity; and DHS Management Issues. Each of those areas contains a survey of topics briefly analyzed by Congressional Research Service experts. The information included only scratches the surface of most of these selected issues. More detailed information on these topics and others can be obtained by consulting the CRS reports referenced herein, or by contacting the relevant CRS expert.
Date: May 11, 2017
Creator: Painter, William L.

Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report presents background information and issues for Congress concerning the Navy's ship force-structure goals and shipbuilding plans. The planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy's shipbuilding plans have been matters of concern for the congressional defense committees for the past several years.
Date: June 30, 2017
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald