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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

Poverty in the United States in 2016: In Brief

Description: This report discuses the poverty rate in the United States for 2016 as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Census Bureau releases poverty estimates every September for the prior calendar year. Hence, most of the comparisons discussed in this report are year-to-year comparisons. However, in addition to the most recent year's data, this brief will present a historical perspective as well as information on poverty for demographic groups (by family structure, age, race and Hispanic origin, and work status) and by state. Over the past several decades, criticisms of the official poverty measure have led to the development of an alternative research measure called the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which the Census Bureau has also computed and released. Statistics comparing the official measure with the SPM are provided at the conclusion of this brief.
Date: October 25, 2017
Creator: Dalaker, Joseph

Reconsidering the Clean Power Plan

Description: This report provides background on the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and its proposed repeal, describes the administrative steps that are required to repeal or amend a rule, and discusses how the CPP and its proposed repeal fit into the context of recent and projected power sector evolution.
Date: October 25, 2017
Creator: McCarthy, James E.

Who Earns Pass-Through Business Income? An Analysis of Individual Tax Return Data

Description: This report analyzes individual tax return data to determine who earns pass-through business income which is from sole proprietorships, partnerships, and S corporations. The analysis finds that in 2011 over 82% of net pass-through income was earned by individuals with an adjusted gross income (AGI) over $100,000, although these taxpayers accounted for just 23% of individual returns with pass-through income. Who earns pass-through income may have important implications for tax reform.
Date: October 24, 2017
Creator: Keightley, Mark P.

Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal

Description: This report discusses disposal of nuclear waste, primarily highly radioactive spent fuel from nuclear power plants. Presidential and Congressional actions regarding nuclear waste disposal sites and the Yucca Mountain Project, other alternatives previously proposed by the Obama Administration, and temporary solutions are discussed.
Date: October 23, 2017
Creator: Holt, Mark

Comparison of the Bills to Extend State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Funding

Description: This report discuses recently proposed bills in the Senate (KIDS Act) and the House (HEALTHY KIDS Act) to extend funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which is currently unfunded for the 2018 fiscal year and running off of unused funds in each state from previous years. On October 4, 2017, both the Senate Finance Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee had markups on different bills that would extend CHIP federal funding through FY2022, among other provisions.
Date: October 23, 2017
Creator: Mitchell, Alison; Baumrucker, Evelyne P.; Dabrowska, Agata; Davis, Patricia A.; Gopalan, Susannah V. & Sarata, Amanda K.

Memorandum on States Obligations Under Additional Protocols to IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements

Description: This report discusses requirements for states with Additional Protocol Agreements under a Comprehensive Safeguard Agreement (CSA) administered by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as a part of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. It provides background and information about additional protocol including information required under the Additional Protocol (AP) and locations and access.
Date: October 23, 2017
Creator: Kerr, Paul K. & Nikitin, Mary Beth D.

Overview of "Travel Ban" Litigation and Recent Developments

Description: This report provides an overview of the series of three executive actions -- (the first two taking the form of executive orders, and the third issued as a presidential proclamation) commonly referred to as the "Travel Ban," which restrict the entry of specified categories of non-U.S. nationals (aliens) into the United States -- as well as the litigation related to those executive actions.
Date: October 23, 2017
Creator: Smith, Hillel R. & Harrington, Ben

Federal Lifeline Program: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report answers frequently asked questions regarding the Federal Lifeline Program which was established in 1985 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to assist qualifying low-income consumers in gaining access to and remaining on the telecommunications network. The program assists eligible individuals in paying the reoccurring monthly service charges associated with telecommunications usage. While initially designed to support traditional landline service, in 2005 the FCC expanded the program to cover either a landline or a wireless/mobile option. On March 31, 2016, the FCC adopted an Order (2016 Order or Order) to once again expand the program to make broadband an eligible service. The Lifeline program is available to eligible low-income consumers in every state, territory, commonwealth, and on tribal lands.
Date: October 19, 2017
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A.

Qatar: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report provides an overview of Qatar's governmental structure and leaders, economy, human rights concerns, relations with other Middle Eastern countries, defense cooperation with the U.S., and the recent severing of relations with Qatar by Saudi Arabia and several of its allies such as Bahrain, the UAE, and Egypt over its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and alleged state sponsorship of terrorism. The crisis and attempt at mediation by the U.S. and Kuwait are discussed.
Date: October 19, 2017
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Second Treasury Report on Regulatory Relief: Capital Markets

Description: This report describes highlights of the October 6, 2017, Treasury Department report "A Financial System that Creates Economic Opportunities: Capital Markets" that primarily examines the regulation of debt, equity, commodities, and derivatives markets. The report is the second of a series written in accordance with Executive Order (E.O.) 13772, which was issued by the President on February 3, 2017. The capital markets report provides 91 policy recommendations, the majority of which could be implemented by the primary regulators of U.S. capital markets: the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), state securities regulators, and Self-Regulatory Organizations (SROs). Nine of the 91 Treasury recommendations would require congressional action.
Date: October 19, 2017
Creator: Su, Eva

Congress Faces Calls to Address Expired Funds for Primary Care

Description: This report discusses funding for the Health Centers Program and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) which provide medical care to underserved populations through health centers and provide scholarships and loan repayment to physicians in exchange for working in underserved areas for at least two years through the NHSC.
Date: October 18, 2017
Creator: Heisler, Elayne J. & Redhead, C. Stephen

Executive Order for Review of National Monuments: Background and Data

Description: This report discusses the review process of national monuments established or expanded since 1996 that exceed 100,000 acres that was mandated by President Trump's executive order on April 26, 2017, and its results. The final report from the Interior Department was submitted to the President on August 24, 2017, and made individual recommendations for 10 of the 27 monuments that were reviewed.
Date: October 18, 2017
Creator: Vincent, Carol Hardy & Hanson, Laura A.

Human Trafficking: New Global Estimates of Forced Labor and Modern Slavery

Description: This report discusses a new report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Walk Free Foundation that estimates that 40.3 million people worldwide were victims of modern slavery (including forced labor run by individuals and governments, forced marriages, and sex trafficking) which used a new methodology that combined multiple data sources and statistical probability calculations. A brief overview of the findings, past reports and variance between State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP reports and other reports such as this one, and varying definitions of the terms modern slavery, human trafficking, and forced labor are discussed. Current bills to reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) in Congress are also discussed.
Date: October 18, 2017
Creator: Rosen, Liana W.

Iran Policy and the European Union

Description: This report discusses the European Union's reaction to President Trump's announcement of a new strategy for Iran and that the U.S. would not re-certify Iran under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA) which is separate from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) made in 2015. The European Union has expressed dismay with the announcement and urged support for the continued implementation of the JCPOA.
Date: October 18, 2017
Creator: Mix, Derek E. & Katzman, Kenneth

The Opioid Epidemic and Federal Efforts to Address It: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report answers common questions that have arisen as drug overdose deaths in the United States continue to increase. It does not provide a comprehensive overview of opioid abuse as a public health or criminal justice issue. The report is divided into the following sections: Overview of Opioid Abuse; Overview of Opioid Supply; Select Federal Agencies and Programs that Address Opioid Abuse; Recent Legislation; and Opioid Abuse and State Policies.
Date: October 18, 2017
Creator: Sacco, Lisa N. & Bagalman, Erin

Venezuela: Background and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses the ongoing political, economic, and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela under President Nicolás Maduro and U.S. responses to it. It provides an overview of the political, economic, and social challenges Venezuela faces and analyzes U.S. policy concerns and actions regarding democracy and human rights, drug trafficking and money laundering, terrorism, and energy issues in Venezuela. The section on democracy and human rights includes U.S. support for OAS efforts regarding Venezuela. Proposals in the 115th Congress regarding Venezuela are also discussed.
Date: October 18, 2017
Creator: Seelke, Clare Ribando & Nelson, Rebecca M.

The Net Neutrality Debate: Access to Broadband Networks

Description: This report discuses debates and regulations regarding net neutrality and broadband internet's classification as a telecommunication service in a 2015 rule that was upheld in court in 2016. A major focus in the debate is concern over whether the current regulatory framework as delineated in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) 2015 Open Internet Order is the appropriate approach to ensure access to the Internet for content, services, and applications providers, as well as consumers, or whether a less regulatory, "light touch" approach is more suitable.
Date: October 17, 2017
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A.

U.S. Withdrawal from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Description: This report discusses the announcement by President Trump that the U.S. was withdrawing from UNESCO due to payment arrears, organization issues, and anti-Israel bias. A brief background of U.S. involvement is provided along with previous withdrawals, ongoing tensions regarding UNESCO's actions in regard to Israel and the admittance of Palestine as a member, and possible effects of the U.S. being a nonmember observer state in UNESCO.
Date: October 17, 2017
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa

Gun Control: Silencers Under the Hearing Protection Act (H.R. 3668)

Description: This report discusses the proposed "Hearing Protection Act" (A part of the Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act,H.R. 3668) which would take gun silencers out from under the jurisdiction of the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) and have them regulated only by the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA). The NFA requires fingerprint based background checks, taxes various parts of the production process, requires sellers to be federally licensed, and silencers must be registered with ATF.
Date: October 16, 2017
Creator: Krouse, William J.