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Temporary Protected Status: Overview and Current Issues

Description: This report discusses Temporary Protected Status (TPS) which is offered to nationals of designated countries who due to civil unrest, natural disasters, and armed conflicts cannot safely return home. This report begins by situating TPS in the context of humanitarian responses to migration. Another form of blanket relief from removal--Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)--is also described, as is the historical use of these relief mechanisms. The report then provides data on the countries currently designated for TPS, including the conditions that have contributed to their designation. Past legislation to provide lawful permanent resident status to certain TPS-designated foreign nationals is also described, and the report concludes with examples of activity in the 115th Congress related to TPS.
Date: November 2, 2017
Creator: Wilson, Jill H.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: Lessons Learned and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discuses the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from electric power plants. The first section of this report provides an overview of the RGGI cap-and-trade program and the participating RGGI states. The subsequent sections discuss selected issues raised by RGGI that may be of interest to Congress. The final section provides some final observations that may be instructive to policymakers.
Date: May 16, 2017
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.

Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act

Description: This report discusses the FY2018 defense budget request and provides a summary of congressional action on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year (FY) 2018. The annual NDAA authorizes appropriations for the Department of Defense (DOD) and defense-related nuclear energy programs of the Department of Energy and typically includes provisions affecting DOD policies or organization. Unlike an appropriations bill, the NDAA does not provide budget authority for government activities.
Date: November 8, 2017
Creator: Towell, Pat & Williams, Lynn M.

Small Business Administration: A Primer on Programs and Funding

Description: This report discusses the Small Business Administration (SBA) and their various programs along with various programmatic changes resulting from the enactment of P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, P.L. 112-239, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, P.L. 114-38, the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act of 2015, P.L. 114-88, the Recovery Improvements for Small Entities After Disaster Act of 2015 (RISE After Disaster Act of 2015), P.L. 114-92, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, and P.L. 114-328, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017. In addition, it provides an overview of the SBA's budget and references other CRS reports that examine these programs in greater detail.
Date: June 5, 2017
Creator: Dilger, Robert Jay & Lowry, Sean

Votes on Measures to Adjust the Statutory Debt Limit, 1978 to Present

Description: This report discusses the statuary debt limit and legislation regarding it. Since 1978, 57 measures adjusting or suspending the statutory debt limit either as stand-alone legislation or as part of legislation dealing with other matters have been enacted into law. This report provides roll call vote data identified by the Congressional Research Service for measures to adjust the statutory debt limit. This report will be updated as events warrant.
Date: November 6, 2017
Creator: Murray, Justin

The President's Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Request for the National Science Foundation

Description: This report discuses the Trump Administration's 2018 fiscal year budget request for the National Science Foundation which proposed significant funding cuts across the agency's major research, education, and construction accounts. Overall, the request includes $6.653 billion for NSF, $819 million (11%) below the FY2017 enacted amount of $7.472 billion (P.L. 115-31).
Date: June 14, 2017
Creator: Harris, Laurie A.

Advanced Pilot Training (T-X) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the Air Force's planned procurement of 350 new Advanced Pilot Training (APT T-X) aircraft and 46 Ground Based Training Systems (GBTS) at a cost valued at roughly $1.5 billion for the Research, Design, Test, and Evaluation phase of the program and estimated at $18 billion in future procurement costs. The APT T-X acquisition strategy poses potential oversight issues for Congress, including the following: Is the number of planned aircraft purchases sufficient? Given the reported pilot shortage, should the procurement be accelerated? What effects do increased F-35A & KC-46 purchases, along with development of the new Long Range Strike Bomber, B-21, have on the USAF budget and the feasibility of an additional Major Defense Acquisition Program? These questions and the Air Force's FY 2017 appropriations requests' for the program are addressed in this report.
Date: May 31, 2017
Creator: Coral, Ceir

Potential Effects of a U.S. NAFTA Withdrawal: Agricultural Markets

Description: This report examines some of the potential consequences to U.S. agricultural markets of a U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA, focusing on the possibility that higher tariffs could be imposed on U.S. imports and exports. In particular, under a NAFTA withdrawal, it is likely that most-favored nation (MFN) tariffs would be imposed on agricultural products traded among the NAFTA countries instead of the current zero tariff (i.e., duty-free trade) for most agricultural products. In general, MFN tariffs on U.S. agricultural imports would likely raise prices both to U.S. consumers and other end users, such as manufacturers of value-added food products.
Date: November 13, 2017
Creator: Johnson, Renée

Unemployment Insurance: Legislative Issues in the 115th Congress

Description: This report provides short summaries of legislative proposals with respect to unemployment insurance (UI) programs. It also gives a brief overview of the UI programs that may provide benefits to eligible unemployed workers. In addition, it briefly summarizes UI proposals included in the President's budget for FY2018. President Trump signed H.J.Res. 42 on March 30, 2017 (P.L. 115-17). This Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution negated 20 C.F.R. Part 620. This now-negated rule had set out the circumstances under which states were allowed to prospectively drug test UC claimants based upon the prevalence of drug testing in the occupations in which they were seeking employment.
Date: May 30, 2017
Creator: Whittaker, Julie M. & Isaacs, Katelin P.

Jewish Holidays: Fact Sheet

Description: This report discusses major Jewish holidays and their significance as well as how American Jews celebrate them. This fact sheet is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to Jewish holidays. It contains sample speeches and remarks from the Congressional Record, presidential proclamations and remarks, and selected historical and cultural resources.
Date: October 31, 2017
Creator: Higgins, Molly

Resolutions of Inquiry: An Analysis of Their Use in the House, 1947-2017

Description: This report discusses resolutions of inquiry in the House of Representatives which allow the House to demand the President or an executive department head to furnish the House with specific factual information in the Administration's possession. Under the rules and precedents of the House of Representatives, such resolutions, if properly drafted, are given a privileged parliamentary status. Between 1947 and October 20, 2017, 313 resolutions of inquiry were submitted in the House of Representatives. Two periods in particular, 1971-1975 and 2003-2006, saw the highest levels of activity on resolutions of inquiry during the 70 years studied.
Date: November 9, 2017
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.

Cuba: U.S. Policy in the 115th Congress

Description: This report examines U.S. policy toward Cuba in the 115th Congress. It is divided into three major sections analyzing Cuba's political and economic environment; U.S. policy toward Cuba; and selected issues in U.S.-Cuban relations, including restrictions on travel and trade, funding for democracy and human rights projects in Cuba and for U.S. government-sponsored radio and television broadcasting, migration, antidrug cooperation, U.S. property claims, and U.S. fugitives from justice in Cuba. Legislative initiatives in the 115th Congress are noted throughout the report, and Appendix A lists introduced bills. Appendix B provides links to U.S. government information and reports on Cuba.
Date: November 22, 2017
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.

Energy Tax Provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts (H.R.1)

Description: This report discusses energy-related tax provisions in the The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R.1). These changes are summarized in Table 1. H.R. 1 includes a broad restructuring of the federal income tax system. A full analysis of the consequences of this proposal for the energy sector, or various subsets of the energy sector, is beyond the scope of this insight.
Date: November 8, 2017
Creator: Sherlock, Molly F. & Hughes, Joseph S.

The Small Business Lending Fund

Description: This report discusses on the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF). It begins with a discussion of the supply and demand for small business loans. The SBLF's advocates argued that the fund was an important part of a larger effort to enhance the supply of small business loans. After describing the program's structure, the report then examines other arguments that were presented both for and against the program's enactment. Advocates claimed the SBLF would increase lending to small businesses and, in turn, create jobs. Opponents contended that the SBLF could lose money, lacked sufficient oversight provisions, did not require lenders to increase their lending to small businesses, could serve as a vehicle for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) recipients to effectively refinance their TARP loans on more favorable terms with little or no resulting benefit for small businesses, and could encourage a failing lender to make even riskier loans to avoid higher dividend payments. The report concludes with an examination of the SBLF's implementation by the Department of the Treasury and a discussion of bills introduced during recent Congresses to amend the SBLF.
Date: October 27, 2017
Creator: Dilger, Robert Jay