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The End of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program: Some Immediate Takeaways
This report outlines some of the major implications of ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, including common questions about what happens to current DACA recipients, and possibilities for Congress to consider.
Remedies for Patent Infringement
This report discusses the current legal system rules for patent infringement cases and current bills introduced in Congress related to patents.
No "Bivens" for You?
This report discusses the Supreme Court's ruling in "Ziglar v. Abbassi" and the "Bivens" remedy that the plaintiffs were attempting to use to win their case. The "Bivens" remedy is a legal precedent that came from a 1971 case where the plaintiff Bivens sued federal agents with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics for violations of the fourth amendment due to them handcuffing him inside his own home without a warrant. It has been used two other times for suits against federal officials related to breaches of constitutional rights, one related to gender bias and equality and the other for lack of medical care in prison.
Labor Day Speech Resources: Fact Sheet
This report provides Members of Congress with resources for information and speech samples for use at Labor Day celebrations.
Corporate Expatriation, Inversions, and Mergers: Tax Issues
This report discusses corporate inversions and mergers; these actions change the parent company to one based in another country with a low tax rate to avoid paying U.S. corporate taxes. It discusses past attempts and legislation outlawing varying forms of inversion, the most recent regulations issued by the Treasury Department to decrease inversions, and policy options that would remove the incentive for companies to invert.
Military Enlisted Personnel
This report provides background information and includes charts that show active military enlisted members by pay grade and branch, as well as associated insignia.
Navy Littoral Combat Ship/Frigate (LCS/FF) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship/Frigate (LCS/FF) program, a program to procure a total of 40, and possibly as many as 52, small surface combatants (SSCs), meaning LCSs and frigates.
Select Acquisition Reform Provisions in the House and Senate Versions of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act
This report discusses the Department of Defense's acquisition reform provisions in the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018. The main areas of acquisition addressed by these provisions are commercial items, service contracts, Other Transaction (OT) authority, intellectual property, and acquisition system management.
Navy Littoral Combat Ship/Frigate (LCS/FFGX) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship/Frigate (LCS/FFG(X)) program, a program to procure a total of 40, and possibly as many as 52, small surface combatants (SSCs), meaning LCSs and frigates.
In Brief: Highlights of Fiscal Year 2018 Defense Appropriations Actions
This report outlines the defense related appropriations request for fiscal year 2018 and selected issues in Congress dealing with the defense budget.
Retirement Benefits for Federal Law Enforcement Personnel
This report discusses federal law enforcement officers enhanced retirement benefits due to mandatory retirement ages making these employees retire younger than the average government employee. Many individuals and employee groups who work in law enforcement-related positions, but who have not qualified as law enforcement officers for retirement purposes, have sought enhanced benefits through legislation in recent Congresses. Possible pros and cons of such legislation are discussed.
Medicare: Insolvency Projections
This report focuses on the two separate trust funds that fund Medicare, the Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund and Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) trust fund. Almost from its inception, the HI trust fund has faced a projected shortfall and eventual insolvency. Because of the way it is financed, the SMI trust fund cannot become insolvent; however, the Medicare Trustees continue to express concerns about the rapid growth in SMI costs.
Introduction to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
This report provides introductory information on key components of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), ranging from floodplain mapping to the standard flood insurance forms. This report will be updated as significant revisions are made to the NFIP through legislation or administrative action.
Repair, Modification, or Resale of Software-Enabled Consumer Electronic Devices: Copyright Law Issues
This report provides a discussion and analysis of copyright law issues that may be implicated by the repair, modification, or resale of software-enabled consumer electronic devices. These issues include software licensing, fair use, the first sale doctrine, and the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
Airline Passenger Rights: The Federal Role in Aviation Consumer Protection
This report examines aviation consumer protections following the 1978 elimination of most governmental control regarding airline business practices. It explains the roles of Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in protecting airline consumers, and discusses some major passenger rights issues and related laws and regulations.
Department of Homeland Security Appropriations: Fiscal Year 2018
This report provides an overview and analysis of FY2018 appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The primary focus of this report is on Congressional direction and funding provided to DHS through the appropriations process, though note is also made of funding made available to DHS outside this process (e.g., user fees and trust funds). It includes an Appendix with definitions of key budget terms used throughout the suite of Congressional Research Service reports on homeland security appropriations. It also directs the reader to other reports providing context for and additional details regarding specific component appropriations and issues engaged through the FY2018 appropriations process.
Methane and Other Air Pollution Issues in Natural Gas Systems
This report discusses the natural gas supply chain that contributes to air pollution in several ways, including (1) the leaking, venting, and combustion of natural gas in the course of production operations; and (2) the combustion of other fossil fuel resources or other emissions during associated operations.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) Transitional Reinsurance Program
This report provides an overview of one of the three risk-mitigation programs of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the transitional reinsurance program. The first section of the report provides background information on reinsurance and the ACA risk-mitigation programs. The second section describes the components of the transitional reinsurance program, as well as implementation of and experience with the program. The third section discusses questions regarding the scope of HHS's authority to administer the transitional reinsurance program, including those raised by a 2016 Government Accountability Office report. Finally, the report includes a table in the Appendix that summarizes key aspects of the transitional reinsurance program.
U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress
This report presents background information and issues for Congress on the overarching U.S. foreign policy issue of the U.S. role in the world. Certain statements and actions from the Trump Administration have led to uncertainty about the Administration's intentions regarding the future U.S. role, and have intensified an ongoing debate among foreign policy specialists, strategists, policymakers, and the public about what that role should be. This report includes (particularly in its appendixes) references to other CRS products that provide more in-depth discussions of specific policy and program areas bearing on the U.S. role.
Navy Ship Names: Background for Congress
This report discusses the process of naming Navy ships, which have traditionally been chosen and announced by the Secretary of the Navy. Rules for giving certain types of names to certain types of Navy ships have evolved over time.
Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS): OECD Tax Proposals
This report first reviews the basics of international tax rules. It then discusses the various action items organized into Action Item 1, which relates to the digital economy and proposes standards only with respect to VATS; Action Items 2-5, 7, and 8-10, items related primarily to profit shifting; Action Item 5, which relates to harmful tax practices; Action Item 6, regarding tax treaties; and Action Items 11-15, which are primarily administrative in nature.
Al Qaeda and U.S. Policy: Middle East and Africa
This report examines the threat posed by Al Qaeda affiliates in the Middle East and Africa as described by U.S. officials and outside observers, as well as the U.S. approach to date in responding to the threat posed by individual groups.
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 future Navy budgets.
The Peace Corps: Current Issues
The report discusses the President's annual funding request for the Peace Corps, efforts to reauthorize the Peace Corps, and related issues. Current issues include the extent to which there is available funding for Peace Corps expansion, whether volunteers are able to function in a safe and secure environment, volunteer access to abortion, and other issues.
Federal Research and Development Funding: Fiscal Year 2018
This report begins with a discussion of the overall level of President Trump's FY2018 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 report concludes with discussion and analysis of the R&D budget requests of selected federal departments and agencies that, collectively, account for nearly 99% of total federal R&D funding. Selected terms associated with federal R&D funding are defined in the text box on the next page. Appendix A provides a list of acronyms and abbreviations.
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices
This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the changing oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade balance.
Legislative Branch Appropriations: Frequently Asked Questions
This report responds to frequently-asked questions about legislative branch appropriations, including: items that are funded within this bill; development, presentation, and consideration of the legislative branch budget requests; the legislative branch budget in historical perspective; and recent actions.
The Legal and Practical Effects of Private Immigration Legislation and Recent Policy Changes
This report discusses the use of private immigration bills in Congress which allow Congress to grant permanent residency status to an immigrant who is not eligible under normal immigration procedures but that they deem to have extraordinary equities in the United States. It also addresses the announcement of new rules by the Immigration and Citizenship Enforcement Department (ICE) that limit stays of removal granted to immigrants who are proposed beneficiaries of a private immigration bill in Congress.
Methane: An Introduction to Emission Sources and Reduction Strategies
This report discusses the "Climate Action Plan" (CAP) announced by President Obama to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs), as well as to encourage adaptation to expected climate change.
Arms Sales: Congressional Review Process
This report reviews the process and procedures that currently apply to congressional consideration of foreign arms sales proposed by the President. This includes consideration of proposals to sell major defense equipment, defense articles and services, or the re-transfer to third party states of such military items.
Inspectors General in and Beyond the Presidential Transition Period
This report discusses the federal government transition period, as a new Congress convenes and a new Administration prepares to assume leadership of the executive branch.
Constitutional Limits on States's Efforts to "Uphold" the Paris Agreement
This report discusses state government efforts to uphold the requirements of the Paris Agreement on climate change after the announcement of the U.S.'s planned withdrawal from the agreement and constitutional limits on their efforts.
The Meaning of "Made in U.S.A."
This report discusses the provisions in federal law are intended to support manufacturing in the United States. On April 18, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order directing federal agencies to ensure that federal grants and procurement maximize the use of manufactured goods produced in the United States, although it defined "produced in the United States" only for iron and steel products.
Issues in Autonomous Vehicle Deployment
This report discusses issues related to autonomous vehicle regulations on the federal and state level and proposals by Congress to establish new regulatory rules (H.R. 3388) that would create a federal standard for autonomous vehicles and require state law to be in agreement with the federal law.
Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: An Economic Analysis
This report discusses the foreign direct investment in the United States that declined sharply after 2000, when a record $300 billion was invested in U.S. businesses and real estate.
Lobbying Registration and Disclosure: The Role of the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate
This report explains the role of the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate in implementing lobbying registration and disclosure requirements and summarizes the guidance documents they have jointly issued.
Defense: FY2017 Budget Request, Authorization, and Appropriations
This report discusses the current administration's request of $523.9 billion to cover the fiscal year 2017 discretionary "base budget" of the Department of Defense (DOD).
Reception and Placement of Refugees in the United States
This report discusses the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), which is managed by the Department of State (DOS), responsible for resettling refugees from around the world in the United States.
The Federal Budget: Overview and Issues for FY2018 and Beyond
This report summarizes issues surrounding the federal budget, examines policy changes relevant to the budget framework for FY2018, and discusses recent major policy proposals included in the President's FY2018 budget. It concludes by addressing major short- and long-term fiscal challenges facing the federal government.
Pending ACA Legal Challenges Remain as Congress Pursues Health Care Reform
This report discusses developments since January 2017 related to legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and health care reform.
Department of Labor's 2016 Fiduciary Rule: Background and Issues
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.
Gulf Coast Restoration: RESTORE Act and Related Efforts
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.
Disaster Debris Management: Requirements, Challenges, and Federal Agency Roles
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).
FY2018 Appropriations for Department of Justice Grant Programs
This report discusses the funding for a variety of grant programs through the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Paris Agreement: U.S. Climate Finance Commitments
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.
The Coast Guard's Role in Safeguarding Maritime Transportation: Selected Issues
This report discusses the the U.S. Coast Guard responsibility for safeguarding vessel traffic on the nation's coastal and inland waterways.
Introduction to FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
This report provides introductory information on key components of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), ranging from floodplain mapping to the standard flood insurance forms.
Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): History and Overview
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.
Comparison of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA)
This report discusses the comparison between the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the "discussion draft" titled, "The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017" (BCRA) intended to repeal or modify provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Update: The Microsoft Ireland Decision: U.S. Appeals Court Rules that ECPA does not Require Internet Service Providers to Produce Electronic Communications Stored Overseas
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.