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Introduction to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

Description: 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.
Date: September 12, 2017
Creator: Horn, Diane P. & Brown, Jared T.

Congressional Primer on Responding to Major Disasters and Emergencies

Description: This report provides information to aid policymakers as they navigate the many levels of responsibility, and numerous policy pressure points that occur after a disaster. It describes the laws and administrative policies governing the disaster response and recovery process. The report also reviews the legislative framework that exists for providing federal financial assistance following disasters, as well as the policies the executive branch employs to provide supplemental help to state, tribal, and local governments during time of disasters.
Date: September 8, 2017
Creator: Brown, Jared T.; Lindsay, Bruce R. & Petruzzelli, Jaclyn

Patentable Subject Matter Reform

Description: This report reviews the current law governing patentable subject matter and recent proposals for legislative reform. It begins by providing a basic overview of the patent system and introducing the principles of patentable subject matter. It then considers the leading Supreme Court decisions construing section 101 of the Patent Act. The report then considers the implications of these decisions within the information technology and life sciences industries. The report closes with a review of legislative reform options.
Date: September 8, 2017
Creator: Thomas, John R.

Options to Cease Implementing the Iran Nuclear Agreement

Description: This report analyzes some of the options the Administration might use to end or alter U.S. implementation of the JCPOA, if there is a decision to do so. These options, which might involve use of procedures in the JCPOA itself or the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (P.L. 114-17), are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
Date: September 7, 2017
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth; Kerr, Paul K. & Heitshusen, Valerie

Disaster Debris Management: Requirements, Challenges, and Federal Agency Roles

Description: 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).
Date: September 6, 2017
Creator: Luther, Linda

Issues in Autonomous Vehicle Deployment

Description: 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.
Date: September 5, 2017
Creator: Canis, Bill

Retirement Benefits for Federal Law Enforcement Personnel

Description: 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.
Date: September 5, 2017
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.

Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy, and gives Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers a capability for conducting BMD operations. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify Department of Defense (DOD) acquisition strategies and proposed funding levels for the Aegis BMD program. Congress's decisions on the Aegis BMD program could significantly affect U.S. BMD capabilities and funding requirements, and the BMD-related industrial base.
Date: September 1, 2017
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald

FEMA Disaster Housing: The Individuals and Households Program-Implementation and Potential Issues for Congress

Description: This report explains the traditional approach for temporary housing through the IHP program following a disaster, how it is implemented, and considers if the current policy choices are equitable for disaster victims. This report will review those expenditures and provide information on the relative costs, and applications of, several categories of assistance. As a part of this examination, the report looks at other forms of housing repair assistance such as the Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Program for homeowners as well as assistance that is provided, in some instances, through the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-DR) program.
Date: August 31, 2017
Creator: Lindsay, Bruce R.

Presidential Pardons: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Description: This report provides a general overview of the pardon power and briefly addresses a few frequently-asked legal questions concerning its scope and application, such as: whether the President can issue a "prospective pardon, pardon himself or issue "secret" pardons, whether the acceptance of a pardon is an admission of guilt, and whether Congress can regulate the President's pardon power.
Date: August 28, 2017
Creator: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.

China-U.S. Trade Issues

Description: This report provides an overview of U.S.-China commercial ties, identifies major issues of contention, describes the Trump Administration's trade policies toward China, and reviews possible outcomes.
Date: August 26, 2017
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

Description: This report describes the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) benefits are available only to those individuals who have become unemployed as a direct result of a declared major disaster and information on how to ascertain if an individual is eligible for DUA benefits.
Date: August 24, 2017
Creator: Whittaker, Julie M.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) Transitional Reinsurance Program

Description: 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.
Date: August 23, 2017
Creator: Uberoi, Namrata K. & Liu, Edward C.