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Christian Holidays: Fact Sheet

Description: This report discusses major holidays in Christianity and their significance as well as how American Christians celebrate them. This fact sheet is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to Christian holidays. It contains sample speeches and remarks from the Congressional Record, presidential statements and remarks, and selected historical and cultural resources.
Date: October 31, 2017
Creator: Larson, Elizabeth C.

The Federal Assets Sale and Transfer Act of 2016: Background and Key Provisions

Description: This report discuses Federal real property holdings and the disposition process for unneeded space. A new law called the Federal Assets Sale and Transfer Act of 2016 (FASTA) now governs the process of disposal through a newly created Public Buildings Reform Board that reviews requests and provides funding for needed repairs before sale or lease of property. Various challenges addressed by the new system and those that remain are discussed.
Date: October 31, 2017
Creator: Hatch, Garrett

Hindu Holidays: Fact Sheet

Description: This report discusses major Hindu holidays and their significance as well as how American Hindus celebrate them. This fact sheet is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to Hindu 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: Mahendra, Sundeep

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

Muslim Holidays: Fact Sheet

Description: This report discuses major Muslim holidays and their significance as well as how American Muslims celebrate them. This report is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to Islamic 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: Gibbs, David S.

Presidential Appointments to Full-Time Positions in Executive Departments During the 114th Congress

Description: This report identifies all nominations submitted to the Senate during the 114th Congress for full-time positions in 15 executive departments. Information for each department is presented in tables. The tables include full-time positions confirmed by the Senate, pay levels for these positions, and appointment action within each executive department. Additional summary information across all 15 executive departments appears in the Appendix. During the 114th Congress, the President submitted 102 nominations to the Senate for full-time positions in executive departments. Of these 102 nominations, 64 were confirmed, 8 were withdrawn, and 30 were returned to him in accordance with Senate rules. For those nominations that were confirmed, a mean (average) of 156.1 days elapsed between nomination and confirmation. The median number of days elapsed was 125.5.
Date: October 31, 2017
Creator: Greene, Michael & Nagel, Jared C.

Wildfire Management Funding: Background, Issues, and Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations

Description: This report provides an overview of the accounts that fund wildfire management activities and historical wildfire management appropriations data, as well as information on FY2018 appropriations. The Administration requested a combined $3.72 billion in FY2018, a 12% decrease from FY2017 enacted levels. On September 14, 2017, the Housed passed H.R. 3354, an omnibus measure covering all 12 appropriations bills, including the FY2018 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies bill. This bill would provide $3.85 billion combined for wildfire purposes, an 8% decrease from FY2017 enacted levels and 3% above the Administration's requested levels.
Date: October 31, 2017
Creator: Hoover, Katie

Renegotiating NAFTA and U.S. Textile Manufacturing

Description: This report discuses the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its effects on the textile and apparel industry. Various provisions of NAFTA regarding textiles and apparel are discussed along with a general discussion of the U.S textile industry.
Date: October 30, 2017
Creator: Platzer, Michaela D.

Taiwan: Issues for Congress

Description: This report describes Taiwan's governmental structure, politics, economy, relations with its neighbors, and ongoing sovereignty disputes with China which have intensified recently. U.S. relations with Taiwan and legislation related to Taiwan in the 115th Congress is also discussed.
Date: October 30, 2017
Creator: Lawrence, Susan V. & Morrison, Wayne M.

The Vacancies Act: A Legal Overview

Description: This report first describes how the Vacancies Act operates and outlines its scope, identifying when the Vacancies Act applies to a given office, how it is enforced, and which offices are exempt from its provisions. The report then explains who may serve as an acting officer and for how long, focusing on the limitations the Vacancies Act places on acting service. Finally, the report turns to issues of particular relevance to Congress, primarily highlighting the Vacancies Act's enforcement mechanisms.
Date: October 30, 2017
Creator: Brannon, Valerie C.

Navy Ship Names: Background for Congress

Description: This report discusses the Navy's ship naming practices and the process of choosing new ship names. Methods of Congress expressing support for a name and recent legislation recommending the name "Los Alamos" for the Navy's next nuclear submarine are also included.
Date: October 27, 2017
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald

Niger: Frequently Asked Questions About the October 2017 Attack on U.S. Soldiers

Description: This report provides background information in response to the following frequently asked questions regarding the October 4, 2017 attack on U.S. soldiers in Niger: What is the security situation in Niger?, How big is the U.S. military presence in Niger?, For what purposes are U.S. military personnel in Niger, and what role has Congress played in the U.S. military presence there?, Is the U.S. military presence in Niger related to the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF)?, What is the state of U.S.-Niger relations and aid?, Where else in Africa are U.S. military personnel deployed?, Medical evacuation: What is the "golden hour" and does it apply to troop deployments in Africa?, What are the broader implications of building partner capacity in Niger for DOD?, Who were the four U.S. soldiers killed in Niger on October 4?, and What do we know about the alleged perpetrators of the October 4 attack? It also identifies potential issues for Congress as Members look ahead to ongoing and future authorization, appropriations, and oversight activities. A chronology of terrorist attacks in the Sahel and related developments is provided in an Appendix. Additional details surrounding the October 4 ambush and its aftermath may continue to emerge as information becomes available.
Date: October 27, 2017
Creator: Arieff, Alexis; Blanchard, Lauren Ploch; Feickert, Andrew; McInnis, Kathleen J.; Rollins, John W. & Weed, Matthew C.

The North Korean Nuclear Challenge: Military Options and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the North Korean nuclear threat and possible military options the U.S. could use to reduce or eliminate the threat. The report begins with a brief overview of the situation, nuclear capabilities of North Korea, and effects military action would have on the region and its stability. Seven military related options are discussed along with possible issues of interest to Congress.
Date: October 27, 2017
Creator: McInnis, Kathleen J.; Feickert, Andrew; Manyin, Mark E.; Hildreth, Steven A.; Nikitin, Mary Beth D. & Chanlett-Avery, Emma

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

Department of Health and Human Services Halts Cost-Sharing Reduction (CSR) Payments

Description: This report discusses the the case "House of Representatives v. Hargan" which was a case by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) appealing the House's decision to end cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments. Questions regarding the status of the case and possible legal and legislative methods of restoring CSR payments are addressed.
Date: October 26, 2017
Creator: Liu, Edward C. & Staman, Jennifer A.

Navy Frigate (FFG[X]) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and discusses potential issues for Congress regarding the Navy's FFG(X) program, a program to procure a new class of guided-missile frigates. The FFG(X) program was initiated as part of the Navy's FY2018 budget submission. The Navy wants to procure the first FFG(X) in FY2020. The Navy's proposed FY2018 budget requests $143.5 million in research and development funding for the program. The FFG(X) program presents several potential oversight issues for Congress. Congress's decisions on the program could affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements and the shipbuilding industrial base.
Date: October 26, 2017
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald

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

EPA Proposes to Repeal the Clean Power Act

Description: This report discusses the EPA's proposal to repeal the Obama Administration's 2015 rule "Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units (EGUs)" commonly known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP). It includes information about the legal basis for the repeal, process, possible challenges and impacts, as well as actions that Congress might take.
Date: October 25, 2017
Creator: Tsang, Linda