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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

Australia

Description: This report discusses Australia's strategic alliance with the United States and their economic ties with China and ways these two interests may conflict. Relations between the U.S. and Australia and recent tensions between U.S. President Trump and Australian President Turnbull are also discussed.
Date: May 12, 2017
Creator: Vaughn, Bruce

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

Doing Business with Iran: EU-Iran Trade and Investment Relations

Description: This report discusses the European Union's (EU's) resumption of business with Iran after the signing of the 2015 nuclear disarmament agreement which led to the lifting of nuclear related sanctions. It outlines rates of business and major investments in Iran by European companies and the effect possible U.S. re-imposition of sanctions against Iran may have on the market and U.S.-EU relations.
Date: October 25, 2017
Creator: Cimino-Isaacs, Cathleen D. & Katzman, Kenneth

China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on China's naval modernization effort and its implications for U.S. Navy capabilities. The question of how the United States should respond to China's military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, is a key issue in U.S. defense planning and budgeting. Many U.S. military programs for countering improving Chinese military forces (particularly its naval forces) fall within the U.S. Navy's budget. The issue for Congress is how the U.S. Navy should respond to China's military modernization effort, particularly its naval modernization effort. Decisions that Congress reaches on this issue could affect U.S. Navy capabilities and funding requirements and the U.S. defense industrial base. For an overview of the strategic and budgetary context in which China's naval modernization effort and its implications for U.S. Navy capabilities may be considered, see Appendix A.
Date: November 1, 2017
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald

Unique Identification Codes for Federal Contractors: DUNS Numbers and CAGE Codes

Description: This report discusses systems used by the federal government to keep track of all the different government contractors through the use of unique identifying numbers. The first section provides basic information on the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) which is the current system that is slowly being phased out and the Commercial and Government Entity System and Codes (CAGE) which has been being implemented more recently. The final section discusses the federal government's reliance on DUNS, interest in and exploration of alternatives to DUNS, and government actions that possibly could pave the way for the adoption of an alternative system, or a hybrid system that includes DUNS. The CAGE system, which is an existing, federal government identification system, may be a candidate for either option.
Date: May 31, 2017
Creator: Halchin, L. Elaine

The Corporation for National and Community Service: Overview of Programs and Funding

Description: This report discusses the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) which authorizes grants for service programs such as Americorps and VISTA. The FY2017 appropriations amount for CNCS is $1.030 billion, which is $65 million less than the FY2016 amount of $1.095 billion. Amounts of funding for each program of CNCS is included.
Date: June 2, 2017
Creator: Fountain, Joselynn H. & Overbay, Abigail R.

The Trump Administration and the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions

Description: This report provides an overview of the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, discusses the additional significance of the Unified Agenda in the Trump Administration, provides summary information about content of the 2017 Update, and discusses what additional information can be expected in the subsequent edition of the Agenda.
Date: November 29, 2017
Creator: Carey, Maeve P. & Francis, Kathryn A.

H.R. 1628: The American Health Care Act (AHCA)

Description: This report contains three tables that, together, provide an overview of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) provisions, as amended by the five manager's amendments and the amendment referenced in H.Res. 254. Table 1 includes provisions that apply to the private health insurance market, Table 2 includes provisions that affect the Medicaid program, and Table 3 includes provisions related to public health and taxes. Each table contains a column identifying whether the AHCA provision is related to an ACA provision (e.g., whether the AHCA provision repeals an ACA-related provision). In addition to the three tables, the report includes more detailed summaries of each AHCA provision and two graphics showing the effective dates of AHCA provisions. Figure 1 covers AHCA provisions related to the private health insurance market, public health, and taxes. Figure 2 covers AHCA provisions related to the Medicaid program. A table identifying key CRS policy staff appears at the end of the report.
Date: May 26, 2017
Creator: Mach, Annie L.

Softwood Lumber Imports From Canada: Current Issues

Description: This report discusses the softwood lumber (conifer wood) disputes between the U.S. and Canada. There have been five major disputes since the 1980s with the fifth dispute (Lumber V) having started in 2016 after the expiration of a 2006 softwood lumber agreement. The 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: May 19, 2017
Creator: Hoover, Katie & Fergusson, Ian F.