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Enforcing U.S. Trade Laws: Section 301 and China

Description: This report discusses the Trump Administration's decision to proceed with a Section 301 case against China's intellectual property rights (IPR) policies and their intent to impose 25% ad valorem tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese products. It also looks at past use of Section 301 against China.
Date: August 2, 2018
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.

North Korea's Nuclear and Ballistic Missile Programs

Description: This report discusses the rapid advancements North Korea has made in its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs since 2012. Despite the absence of any missile launch activity or nuclear tests in 2018 to date, previous tests and official North Korean statements suggest that North Korea is striving to build a credible regional nuclear warfighting capability that might evade regional ballistic missile defenses. Such an approach likely reinforces their deterrent and coercive diplomacy strategy--lending more credibility as it demonstrates capability--but it also raises serious questions about crisis stability and escalation control. Congress may further examine these advances' possible effects on U.S. policy.
Date: August 2, 2018
Creator: Hildreth, Steven A. & Nikitin, Mary Beth D.

Cuba: U.S. Policy Overview

Description: This report discusses U.S. policy towards Cuba, including issues of government-to-government engagement, travel and commerce, change in U.S. immigration policy, continued human rights concerns, injuries of U.S. Embassy personnel in Havana, and Congressional action.
Date: July 2, 2018
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.

Defense Acquisitions: How and Where DOD Spends Its Contracting Dollars

Description: This report examines how much money the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) obligates on contracts, what DOD is buying, and where that money is being spent. This report also examines the extent to which these data are sufficiently reliable to use as a factor when developing policy or analyzing government operations.
Date: July 2, 2018
Creator: Schwartz, Moshe; Sargent, John F., Jr. & Mann, Christopher T.

Federal Quantum Information Science: An Overview

Description: This report provides an overview of quantum information science (QIS) technologies, including examples of their existing and future applications; brief summaries of funding and selected initiatives in research and development (R&D) in the United States and elsewhere around the world; a description of U.S. congressional activity; and a discussion of related policy considerations.
Date: July 2, 2018
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney

Navy Ford (CVN-78) Class Aircraft Carrier Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) class aircraft carrier program. The Navy's proposed FY2019 budget requests a total of $1,598.2 million in procurement funding for the program. Congress's decisions on the CVN-78 program could substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements and the shipbuilding industrial base.
Date: July 2, 2018
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald

Partisan Gerrymandering: Supreme Court Provides Guidance on Standing and Maintains Legal Status Quo

Description: This report discusses the Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Gill v. Whitford. On June 18, 2018 the Supreme Court ruled that in order to establish standing to sue upon a claim of unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering on the basis of vote dilution, challengers must allege injuries to their interests as voters in individual districts. Topics discussed include Supreme Court precedent, case background, and implications for the future.
Date: July 2, 2018
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige

Private Flood Insurance and the National Flood Insurance Program

Description: This report describes the current role of private insurers in U.S. flood insurance, and discusses barriers to expanding private sector involvement. The report considers potential effects of increased private sector involvement in the U.S. flood market -- both for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and for consumers -- and outlines the provisions relevant to private flood insurance in the House and Senate NFIP reauthorization bills.
Date: July 2, 2018
Creator: Horn, Diane P. & Webel, Baird

Law Enforcement Access to Overseas Data Under the CLOUD Act

Description: This report discusses the CLOUD Act recently passed by Congress which gives the U.S. government's the ability to force companies to disclose information stored on overseas servers that is covered under a warrant and updates the reciprocal agreements with other countries accessing data as a part of criminal investigations that is held in the United States. Legal commentary on the law is provided.
Date: May 2, 2018
Creator: Mulligan, Stephen P.

The Travel Ban Case and Nationwide Injunctions

Description: This report addresses when, if ever, a regional federal trial judge adjudicating a case involving the federal government can award nationwide injunctive relief--a court order that commands a party to take or refrain from taking some action throughout the country. In the context of a suit against the federal government, an injunction with this type of "universal" effect acts to effectively void the law or policy in question. This report briefly explores the nationwide injunction at issue in the travel ban case (Trump v. Hawaii) and surveys a handful of the scholarly and judicial arguments surrounding the nationwide injunction in general
Date: May 2, 2018
Creator: Freeman, Wilson C.

U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations During President Trump's First Year in Office: Comparative Analysis with Recent Presidents

Description: This report provides statistics related to the nomination and confirmation of U.S. circuit and district court nominees during the first year of the Trump presidency, as well as during the first year of each of his three immediate predecessors: Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
Date: May 2, 2018
Creator: McMillion, Barry J.

Conference Committee and Related Procedures: An Introduction

Description: This report is a brief summary of House and Senate procedures for reaching agreement on legislation. It discusses the provisions of House Rule XXII and Senate Rule XXVIII as well as other applicable rules, precedents, and practices. The report focuses on the most common and customary procedures. There are many exceptions, complications, and possibilities that are not addressed, and the House and Senate may modify or waive their procedures by unanimous consent or by other means.
Date: April 2, 2018
Creator: Rybicki, Elizabeth

District Court Decision May Help Pave the Way for Trump Administration's Border Wall Plans

Description: This report discusses the U.S. District for the Southern District of California's recent decision in a case brought by the State of California against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding DHS's right to waive environmental and other administrative laws for border fence building projects. The court agreed with other court rulings on the issue and affirmed DHS's right to waive the laws.
Date: April 2, 2018
Creator: Vann, Adam