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Central Valley Project Operations: Background and Legislation
This report provides an abbreviated background on the Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP). It also provides a summary of recent hydrologic conditions in California and their effect on water deliveries.
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program.
H.R. 1628: The American Health Care Act (AHCA)
This report provides an overview of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) provisions organized into three tables. 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 it repeals an ACA-related provision).
Qatar: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report provides a brief history of the state of Qatar, discussing its governance and human rights. The report also includes U.S.-Qatari defense and security cooperation and economic issues.
Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress
This report describes the current status of the INF Treaty and highlights issues that Congress may address as the United States pursues its compliance concerns with Russia. It includes a historical overview and summary of the provisions of the INF Treaty and Russia's concerns about U.S. compliance with the treaty; it concludes with a discussion of options that the United States might pursue to address its concerns regarding Russia's activities and options that it might pursue if Russia deploys new INF-range missiles.
The Debt Limit Since 2011
This report discusses the federal debt increase, which can increase when the government sells debt to the public to finance budget deficits and acquire the financial resources needed to meet its obligations (increasing debt held by the public), or when the federal government issues debt to certain government accounts in exchange for their reported surpluses (increasing debt held by government accounts).
EPA Policies Concerning Integrated Planning and Affordability of Water Infrastructure
This report examines two recent initiatives by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in which the agency works with states to develop and implement new approaches for water quality goals that will be more cost-effective and address the most pressing water infrastructure problems first. The examples include an integrated planning policy and a framework policy for assessing a community's financial capability to meet objectives and requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA).
Navy LX(R) Amphibious Ship Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the LX(R) amphibious ship program, a Navy program to build a new class of 11 amphibious ships. The Navy wants to procure the first LX(R) in FY2020 (p. 1).
Northern Ireland: Current Issues and Ongoing Challenges in the Peace Process
This report describes the Peace Agreement in Northern Ireland, which is one of four component "nations" of the United Kingdom (UK). The conflict, often referred to as "the Troubles," has its origins in the 1921 division of Ireland and has reflected a struggle between different national, cultural, and religious identities.
Science and Technology Issues in the 115th Congress
This report briefly outlines an array of science and technology (S&T) policy issues that may come before the 115th Congress. It breaks down selected issues into nine categories: overarching issues, agriculture, biomedical research and development, defense, energy, environment and natural resources, homeland security, information technology, physical and material sciences, and space.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel Visits President Trump
This report discusses the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel with President Donald Trump at the White House on March 17, 2017.
Major Disaster Declarations for Snow Assistance and Severe Winter Storms: An Overview
This report describes snow assistance and assistance for severe winter storms, including the declaration process, the criteria used to make eligibility determinations, and the types of assistance that are provided after the President has issued a major disaster declaration for the incident. This report also provides historical data on winter incidents since 2009 including obligations for the incidents from FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). The DRF is the main account used to fund a wide variety of programs, grants, and other forms of emergency and disaster assistance to states, local governments, certain nonprofit entities, and families and individuals affected by disasters.
Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile
This report presents a profile of the membership of the 115th Congress (2017-2018) as of March 13, 2017. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.
Presidential Transitions: Issues Involving Outgoing and Incoming Administrations
This report discusses issues surrounding the transition of Presidential power, including the variety of events, decisions, and activities contribute to it.
Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings for Supreme Court Nominations: Historical Overview and Data
This report discusses the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA; P.L. 108-173), which requires the Medicare Board of Trustees to provide in its annual reports an expanded analysis of Medicare expenditures and revenues (§801 of the MMA).
U.S. World War I (1917-1918) Centennial
This report outlines background information and congressional actions regarding the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Declaration of War resolution against Germany and subsequent entry in "The Great War" (World War I).
A Change in Direction for Seoul? The Impeachment of South Korea's President
This report discusses the Constitutional Court decision for impeachment of the former President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye. The decision was the latest development in a corruption scandal that has engulfed South Korean politics and the business world since October 2016, and comes against the backdrop of North Korean missile tests.
Colombia's Changing Approach to Drug Policy
This report describes how Colombia's drug policies have evolved in light of Colombia's peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and its changing counter-narcotics policy. The final peace agreement addresses important issues, such as illicit crop cultivation--a major source of FARC income--and rural development.
Dark Web
This report illuminates information on the various layers of the Internet, with a particular focus on the Dark Web. It discusses both legitimate and illicit uses of the Dark Web, including how the government may rely upon it. Throughout, the report raises issues that policy makers may consider as they explore means to curb malicious activity online.
Grants Work in a Congressional Office
This report discusses the federal grants funding that goes to state and local governments. Members of Congress receive numerous requests from grant seekers, including state and local governments, nonprofit social service and community action organizations, private research groups, small businesses, and individuals, for information and help in obtaining funds for projects.
Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity
This report discusses the various industrial uses for hemp, a variety of Cannabis sativa that is of the same plant species as marijuana. It compares hemp with marijuana and discusses global production, legal status, and recent legislative activity.
The Marijuana Policy Gap and the Path Forward
This report describes the federal response to state actions to decriminalize or legalize marijuana. It includes general information about marajuana and trends among states, the federal response, a discussion of the implications of legalization, and selected issues.
Taxpayers with Zero Income Tax Liability: Trends Over Time and Across Income Levels
This report discusses situations when individuals or households have not paid federal income taxes because their income was below the filing threshold.
U.S. Senate Vacancies: Contemporary Developments and Perspectives
This report provides information on current vacancies in the Senate, the constitutional origins of the Senate vacancy clause, the appointment process by which most vacancies are filled, and related contemporary issues.
Clean Power Plan: Legal Background and Pending Litigation in West Virginia v. EPA
This report provides legal background on the Clean Power Plan rule (CPP) to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), its Clean Air Act (CAA) framework under Section 111, and climate-related lawsuits that have preceded the present litigation over the CPP. It then gives an overview of the participants in the current litigation, including two groups of Members of Congress, who have offered briefs in support of the petitioners and the respondents, respectively.
Judge Neil M. Gorsuch: His Jurisprudence and Potential Impact on the Supreme Court
This report provides an overview of Judge Gorsuch's jurisprudence and discusses how the Supreme Court might be affected if he were to succeed Justice Scalia. It begins by discussing the nominee's views on two cross-cutting issues -- the role of the judiciary and statutory interpretation -- then addresses fourteen separate areas of law, arranged in alphabetical order, from "administrative law" to "takings." The report includes a table that notes the cases where the Supreme Court has reviewed majority opinions written or joined by Judge Gorsuch.
Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses issues surrounding the funding for development of Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACVs) and Marine Personnel Carriers (MPCs). The Marines are required by law to have the necessary equipment to conduct amphibious operations and land operations.
El Salvador: Background and U.S. Relations
This report examines El Salvador's political, security, human rights, and economic conditions. It then analyzes selected issues in U.S.-Salvadoran relations.
Medicaid Financial Eligibility for Long-Term Services and Supports
This report provides an overview of the financial requirements used for determining eligibility for Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTSS). It first provides background information on the Medicaid program, including general eligibility requirements. Then it describes federal statutes as well as selected regulations and guidance regarding these financial eligibility requirements, including rules related to spousal impoverishment, asset transfers, treatment of certain assets, post-eligibility treatment of income, and estate recovery.
China-U.S. Trade Issues
This report discusses the U.S.-China economic relationship and China's rapid expansion as a global economic market, within the context of the current global economic crisis. It also examines major U.S.-China trade issues and related legislation.
Federal Building and Facility Security: Frequently Asked Questions
This report discusses the security of federal government buildings and facilities that affect not only the daily operations of the federal government but also the health, well-being, and safety of federal employees and the public.
Military Benefits for Former Spouses: Legislation and Policy Issues
The purpose of this report is to provide a general discussion of legislative provisions and proposals relating to the military benefits for former spouses.
Resolutions of Inquiry in the House
This report examines the use of resolutions of inquiry in the House of Representatives from 1947 to 2011. A resolution of inquiry is a measure that formally calls on the executive branch to provide specified factual information to Congress.
U.S. Secret Service: Selected Issues and Executive and Congressional Responses
"This report provides a brief overview of the USSS's [U.S. Secret Service's] missions, structure and staffing. It examines enacted and proposed changes and reforms stemming from a series of incidents" (summary).
Defense Primer: A Guide for New Members
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...", as well as references to other reports on related topics.
Federal Land Ownership: Overview and Data
This report provides data and an overview of the land owned by federal government, which is roughly 640 million acres, about 28% of the 2.27 billion acres of land in the United States.
What Is the Effect of Enacting a Congressional Review Act Resolution of Disapproval?
This report discusses the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which provides Congress with a set of special parliamentary procedures to consider legislation to overturn federal regulations.
WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement
This report provides an overview of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), its provisions, and the United States' implementation and role in capacity building. It also provides options for Congress to consider in relation to the TFA.
The Greek Debt Crisis: Continuing Challenges
This report discusses the serious debt crisis of the Greek government.
U.S.-Mexican Water Sharing: Background and Recent Developments
This report describes U.S.-Mexican water sharing of the Colorado and Rio Grande rivers pursuant to binational agreements. The International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) is charged with addressing issues that arise during application of binational water treaties.
Anti-Money Laundering: An Overview for Congress
This report discusses anti-money laundering (AML), which refers to efforts to prevent criminal exploitation of financial systems to conceal the location, ownership, source, nature, or control of illicit proceeds.
Majority, Concurring, and Dissenting Opinions by Judge Neil M. Gorsuch
This report provides a tabular listing of cases in which Judge Gorsuch authored a majority, concurring, or dissenting opinion. The opinions are categorized into three tables: Table 1 identifies opinions authored by Judge Gorsuch on behalf of a unanimous panel; Table 2 contains controlling opinions authored by Judge Gorsuch in which one or more panelists wrote a separate opinion; and Table 3 lists cases where Judge Gorsuch wrote a concurring or dissenting opinion.
Russia: Background and U.S. Interests
This report provides background information on Russian politics, economics, and military issues. It also discusses a number of key issues for Congress concerning Russia's foreign relations and the U.S.-Russian relationship.
Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA): A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements
This report summarizes the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and its major programs and regulatory requirements. It includes the drinking water security provisions added to the SDWA by the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-188), and lead reduction provisions as amended by P.L. 111-380. It also outlines amendments made in December 2013 by P.L. 113-64 (H.R. 3588) to explicitly exempt fire hydrants from coverage under the act's lead plumbing restrictions.
The Scalia Vacancy in Historical Context: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides historical context to some of the frequently-asked questions about the vacancy created by Justice Scalia's departure from the Court.
Appropriations Subcommittee Structure: History of Changes from 1920 to 2017
This report details the evolution of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees' subcommittee structure from the 1920s to the present.
Federally Funded Academic Research Requirements: Background and Issues in Brief
This report contains background information and selected issues on federal regulations and administrative requirements related to federally-funded academic research, including a general overview and discussion of select issues.
Independence of Federal Financial Regulators: Structure, Funding, and Other Issues
This report discusses institutional features that make federal financial regulators (and other independent agencies) relatively independent from the President and Congress.
An Overview of Recent Tax Reform Proposals
This report provides a review of legislative tax reform proposals introduced since the 113th Congress. Several proposals have already been introduced in the 115th Congress to replace the current income tax system.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political and economic landscape of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its relationship with the U.S. The UAE has been a significant U.S. partner in Gulf security for more than two decades, and the alliance has deepened further in recent years in order to address multiple regional threats.