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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.

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.

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.

State Innovation Waivers: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report answers nine frequently asked questions about the State Innovation Waiver program under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that allows states to obtain waivers from certain areas of the program and instead use their own state run processes.
Date: August 28, 2017
Creator: Mach, Annie L.

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.

Justice Department''s Role in Cyber Incident Response

Description: This report outlines the federal framework for cyber incident response, highlighting the Department of Justice's (DOJ's) role in this response. It also discusses challenges for federal law enforcement and potential policy issues for Congress.
Date: August 23, 2017
Creator: Finklea, Kristin

Labor Day Speech Resources: Fact Sheet

Description: This report provides Members of Congress with resources for information and speech samples for use at Labor Day celebrations.
Date: August 23, 2017
Creator: Cervantes, Valerie S.

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.

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations: Fiscal Year 2018

Description: This report provides an overview and analysis of FY2018 appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The primary focus of this report is on Congressional direction and funding provided to DHS through the appropriations process, though note is also made of funding made available to DHS outside this process (e.g., user fees and trust funds). It includes an Appendix with definitions of key budget terms used throughout the suite of Congressional Research Service reports on homeland security appropriations. It also directs the reader to other reports providing context for and additional details regarding specific component appropriations and issues engaged through the FY2018 appropriations process.
Date: August 22, 2017
Creator: Painter, William L.

Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Issues

Description: This report discusses military personnel issues considered during deliberations on H.R. 2810 and S. 1519 which were passed on July 14, 2017 as the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018. A brief synopsis of sections in each bill that pertain to selected personnel policies such as military end-strengths, pay and benefits, and other major policy issues are provided.
Date: August 22, 2017
Creator: Kamarck, Kristy N.; Kapp, Lawrence & Torreon, Barbara Salazar

Comparing DHS Component Funding, Fiscal Year 2018: In Brief

Description: This report illustrates the appropriations for various parts of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for fiscal year 2018 compared with funding levels for fiscal year 2017 in a series of charts and tables.
Date: August 21, 2017
Creator: Painter, William L.

Select Acquisition Reform Provisions in the House and Senate Versions of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act

Description: This report discusses the Department of Defense's acquisition reform provisions in the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018. The main areas of acquisition addressed by these provisions are commercial items, service contracts, Other Transaction (OT) authority, intellectual property, and acquisition system management.
Date: August 21, 2017
Creator: Rumbaugh, Russell

Corporate Expatriation, Inversions, and Mergers: Tax Issues

Description: This report discusses corporate inversions and mergers; these actions change the parent company to one based in another country with a low tax rate to avoid paying U.S. corporate taxes. It discusses past attempts and legislation outlawing varying forms of inversion, the most recent regulations issued by the Treasury Department to decrease inversions, and policy options that would remove the incentive for companies to invert.
Date: August 17, 2017
Creator: Marples, Donald J. & Gravelle, Jane G.

Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): History and Overview

Description: This report is about the history, role, and function of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) that exists to advise the President on matters related to science, engineering, and technology. It includes charts outlining both historical and current funding for the OSTP and past and present OSTP advisers organized by President.
Date: August 17, 2017
Creator: Sargent, John F., Jr. & Shea, Dana A.

U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report presents background information and issues for Congress on the overarching U.S. foreign policy issue of the U.S. role in the world. Certain statements and actions from the Trump Administration have led to uncertainty about the Administration's intentions regarding the future U.S. role, and have intensified an ongoing debate among foreign policy specialists, strategists, policymakers, and the public about what that role should be. This report includes (particularly in its appendixes) references to other CRS products that provide more in-depth discussions of specific policy and program areas bearing on the U.S. role.
Date: August 17, 2017
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald & Moodie, Michael