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"Fiscal Space" and the Federal Budget

Description: This report discusses plans for the federal budget and the concept of "fiscal space," or the amount of room available for additional government borrowing.
Date: December 9, 2016
Creator: Driessen, Grant A. & Labonte, Marc
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: January 6, 2017
Creator: Kamarck, Kristy N.
Item Type: Report

U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses Special Operations Forces (SOF), which play a significant role in U.S. military operations and, in recent years, have been given greater responsibility for planning and conducting worldwide counterterrorism operations. A potential issue for Congress is the Administration's decision to send U.S. SOF forces to Syria.
Date: January 6, 2017
Creator: Feickert, Andrew
Item Type: Report

The Federal Budget Deficit and the Business Cycle

Description: This report discusses the annual federal budget deficit, which has fallen significantly over the course of the current economic expansion, from a high of 9.8% of gross domestic product (GDP) in FY2009 to 3.2% of GDP in FY2016
Date: December 9, 2016
Creator: Driessen, Grant A. & Labonte, Marc
Item Type: Report

U.S. Trade in Services: Trends and Policy Issues

Description: This report provides background information and analysis on U.S. international trade in services, as well as policy issues. It examines emerging issues and current negotiations, including the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP).
Date: December 6, 2016
Creator: Fefer, Rachel F.
Item Type: Report

Internet Sales and State Taxes: Policy Issues

Description: This report discusses Internet sales, which do not always include sales and use tax. Customers who do not pay sales or use tax to the vendor are typically required to remit the tax to their home state.
Date: December 1, 2016
Creator: Lowry, Sean & Lunder, Erika K.
Item Type: Report

Creating a Federal Advisory Committee in the Executive Branch

Description: This report report provides a brief overview on how Congress can establish federal advisory committees, and provides some considerations as to why a federal advisory committee may or may not be an appropriate mechanism to assist a particular policy or funding question. The report also explores why Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) may or may not be appropriate for application to particular advisory committees. It presents data on the number of active FACA committees established by Congress with special emphasis on the committees established in FY2015. This report concludes by presenting a list of the federal advisory committees currently proposed for statutory establishment in the 114th Congress.
Date: December 9, 2016
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy & Burgat, Casey
Item Type: Report

March-In Rights Under the Bayh-Dole Act

Description: This report reviews the availability of march-in rights under the Bayh-Dole Act. It begins by providing a brief overview of the patent system and innovation policy, then introduces the Bayh-Dole Act. The report also reviews specific details of the march-in authority provided to federal agencies, considers past efforts to obtain march-in authorization from NIH, and identifies potential issues for congressional consideration.
Date: August 22, 2016
Creator: Thomas, John R.
Item Type: Report

General Policy Statements: Legal Overview

Description: This report examines one type of guidance document of particular recent prominence: agency policy statements. It explores judicial doctrine regarding the difference between legislative rules and statements of policy; discusses when such statements are judicially reviewable; analyzes when courts will grant deference to agency interpretations contained in guidance documents; and notes the relative costs and benefits of potential judicial and statutory rules regarding their use.
Date: April 14, 2016
Creator: Cole, Jared P. & Garvey, Todd
Item Type: Report

Social Security Primer

Description: This report provides an overview of Social Security financing and benefits under current law. Specifically, the report covers the origins and a brief history of the program; Social Security financing and the status of the trust funds; how Social Security benefits are computed; the types of Social Security benefits available to workers and their family members; the basic eligibility requirements for each type of benefit; the scheduled increase in the Social Security retirement age; and the federal income taxation of Social Security benefits.
Date: December 5, 2016
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn
Item Type: Report

Defense Primer: A Guide for New Members

Description: This report describes the power of the Congress over the armed forces, including the power to "to raise and support Armies," "to provide and maintain a Navy," "to make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces" and "to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States.... "
Date: February 6, 2017
Creator: Kapp, Lawrence
Item Type: Report

Federal Citations to the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases

Description: This report compiles a table of Federal Register notices related to federal regulatory actions that specifically cite the social cost of carbon (SC-CO2), SC-CH4 (social cost of methane), SC-N2O (social cost of nitrous oxide), or SC-GHG (social cost of greehnouse gases).
Date: December 6, 2016
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.
Item Type: Report

The Veterans Choice Program (VCP): Program Implementation

Description: This report discusses the Veterans Choice Program (VCP),which is a new, temporary program (the VCP is set to expire in August 2017 or whenever funds in the Veterans Choice Fund are exhausted). The VCP enables eligible veterans to receive medical care in the community.
Date: January 5, 2017
Creator: Viranga Panangala, Sidath
Item Type: Report

Has the U.S. Government Ever "Defaulted"?

Description: This report discusses the concept of default in the context of the federal government's financial obligations and provides examples of past cases in which the federal government failed to make certain payments on time.
Date: December 8, 2016
Creator: Austin, D. Andrew
Item Type: Report

Army and Marine Corps Active Protection System (APS) Efforts

Description: This report discusses the Active Protection Systems (APSs), which is a subsystems integrated into or installed on a combat vehicle to automatically acquire, track, and respond with hard or soft kill capabilities to a variety of threats, including rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).
Date: August 30, 2016
Creator: Feickert, Andrew
Item Type: Report

European Union Efforts to Counter Disinformation

Description: This report discusses European Union efforts to counter the use of propaganda by both state and non-state actors, including new strategies to combat disinformation.
Date: December 1, 2016
Creator: Morelli, Vincent L. & Archick, Kristin
Item Type: Report

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)

Description: This report discusses China's proposal of creating a new multilateral development bank (MDB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with the purpose to provide financing for infrastructure needs throughout Asia, as well as in neighboring regions.
Date: February 3, 2017
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Item Type: Report