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Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments

Description: This report discusses the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), as well as the Obama Administration's stated goal of pursuing U.S. ratification of the CTBT, although the Administration has mainly focused on securing Senate consent to ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START).
Date: September 1, 2016
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth D.
Item Type: Report

Recent State Election Law Challenges: In Brief

Description: This report begins by setting forth key constitutional provisions relevant to recent state election law challenges. Next, it discusses federal statutory provisions contained in the Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act and briefly examines pertinent Supreme Court precedent. Then, based on that legal framework, it provides an overview of several recent challenges to state election laws in Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas that resulted in major decisions by the various federal courts of appeals as illustrative examples of the types of challenges that have been playing out in the courts. Finally, the report discusses some potential implications of these challenges.
Date: November 2, 2016
Creator: Whitaker, L. P.
Item Type: Report

Judiciary Appropriations, FY2017

Description: The first section of this report provides an overview of the consideration of FY2017 judiciary appropriations, followed by a section on prior-year actions and funding. The report then provides an overview of judiciary accounts.
Date: August 3, 2016
Creator: Glassman, Matthew E.
Item Type: Report

U.S. Foreign Assistance as Colombia's Peace Talks on Cusp of Completion

Description: This report discusses the ongoing peace process in Colombia and the potential effects for U.S. policy. On July 18, 2016, the Colombian Constitutional Court approved a plebiscite to allow Colombian voters to decide the fate of the peace accord under negotiation between the government of President Juan Manuel Santos and the country's largest insurgent group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Date: July 20, 2016
Creator: Beittel, June S.
Item Type: Report

Did a Thermostat Break the Internet?

Description: This report discusses cyber security and the challenges the new form of hacking poses -- specifically, the attacks by a common malicious botnet named Mirai.
Date: October 26, 2016
Creator: Jaikaran, Chris
Item Type: Report

Federal Assistance for Victims of Terrorism or Mass Violence: In Brief

Description: This report focuses solely on assistance available from Department of Justice's (DOJ's) Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)--the primary federal assistance available to victims of terrorism or mass violence. Jurisdictions and individuals may be eligible to receive various types of victim assistance both directly from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and indirectly from DOJ through their respective state victim assistance agencies or other programs following incidents of terrorism or mass violence in the United States.
Date: August 3, 2016
Creator: Sacco, Lisa N.
Item Type: Report

Encryption: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report discusses encryption, which is a process to secure information from unwanted access or use. Encryption uses the art of cryptography to change information which can be read (plaintext) and make it so that it cannot be read (ciphertext).
Date: unknown
Creator: Jaikaran, Chris
Item Type: Report

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues

Description: This report examines debates over what constitutes an unfunded federal mandate and the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act's (UMRA's) implementation. It also discusses particular mandates and procedures associated with UMRA, and assesses UMRA's impact on federal mandates and arguments concerning UMRA's future, focusing on UMRA's definitions, exclusions, and exceptions that currently exempt many federal actions with potentially significant financial impacts on nonfederal entities.
Date: October 27, 2016
Creator: Dilger, Robert J. & Beth, Richard S.
Item Type: Report

Economic Implications of a United Kingdom Exit from the European Union

Description: This report provides an analysis of the possible economic implications for the United States and the global economy of an exit from the European Union (EU) by the United Kingdom (UK), commonly referred to as Brexit. It offers background information on possible implications of the vote to leave the EU, an overview of U.S.-UK trade and investment relations, and various estimates of Brexit's financial implications for the U.S. and global economies.
Date: July 14, 2016
Creator: Jackson, James K.; Akhtar, Shayerah I. & Mix, Derek E.
Item Type: Report

Private Flood Insurance in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

Description: This report briefly discusses federal law regarding flood insurance. By law or regulation, federal agencies, federally-regulated lending institutions, and government-sponsored enterprises must require certain property owners to purchase flood insurance as a condition of any mortgage that these entities make, guarantee, or purchase.
Date: October 12, 2016
Creator: Webel, Baird & Horn, Diane P.
Item Type: Report

Social Security: Cost-of-Living Adjustments

Description: This report discusses the issues surrounding Social Security recipients that usually receive an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).
Date: October 27, 2016
Creator: Whittaker, Julie M. & Liou, Wayne
Item Type: Report

FY2017 Defense Spending Under an Interim Continuing Resolution (CR): In Brief

Description: This report provides a basic discussion of interim "continuing resolutions" (CRs) and highlights some specific issues for the Department of Defense (DOD) under a CR. It also provides a brief look at selected FY2017 defense programs that could be affected by a CR.
Date: November 7, 2016
Creator: Williams, Lynn M. & Wees, Darren P.
Item Type: Report

Evolution of the Meaning of "Waters of the United States" in the Clean Water Act

Description: This report outlines how the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (BCTPAA) regulates the eligibility of covered trade agreements for expedited consideration, describes the operation of the statutory expedited procedures for considering implementing bills, and discusses how Congress may use the procedural mechanisms established by the act, as well as other pertinent rules of each chamber, to retain a substantial measure of control over legislation to implement covered trade agreements.
Date: August 12, 2016
Creator: Beth, Richard S.
Item Type: Report

Energy Policy: 114th Congress Issues

Description: This report begins by providing background on the economic rationale for energy market interventions; it highlights various market failures production and consumption of energy, and discusses possible interventions. The report concludes with an analysis of the current status of energy tax policy.
Date: September 30, 2016
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Item Type: Report

A New Aid Package for Israel

Description: This report discusses potential legislation that could impact the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on U.S. assistance to Israel as the countries continue to negotiate terms for the period FY2019-FY2028.
Date: August 4, 2016
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.
Item Type: Report

Acquisition Reform in the House and Senate Versions of the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act

Description: This report focuses on the sections of the House and Senate versions of the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4909 and S. 2943, respectively) that appear closely linked to the respective armed services committees' stated efforts to reform the acquisition system. For purposes of this analysis, CRS selected 31 sections of the House bill and 67 sections of the Senate bill.
Date: July 13, 2016
Creator: Schwartz, Moshe
Item Type: Report

Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments

Description: This report discusses the military retirement system. The system currently includes monthly compensation for qualified active and reserve retirees, disability benefits for those deemed medically unfit to serve, and a survivor annuity program for the eligible survivors of deceased retirees.
Date: September 12, 2016
Creator: Kamarck, Kristy N.
Item Type: Report

2016 Rio Games: Anti-Doping Testing

Description: This report discusses the the anti-doping testing program during the 2016 Summer Olympics. Responsibility for the rests with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The testing period began July 24, 2016, when the Olympic village opened, and continues through August 21, 2016, the date of the closing ceremony.
Date: August 3, 2016
Creator: Halchin, L. E.
Item Type: Report

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues

Description: This report examines debates over what constitutes an unfunded federal mandate and the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act's (UMRA's) implementation. It also discusses particular mandates and procedures associated with UMRA, and assesses UMRA's impact on federal mandates and arguments concerning UMRA's future, focusing on UMRA's definitions, exclusions, and exceptions that currently exempt many federal actions with potentially significant financial impacts on nonfederal entities.
Date: September 8, 2016
Creator: Dilger, Robert J. & Beth, Richard S.
Item Type: Report