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EPA's Affordable Clean Energy Proposal

Description: This report provides background information about the Clean Air Act (CAA) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the power sector, and also highlights some of the major components of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) "Affordable Clean Energy Rule" (ACE) proposal.
Date: November 2, 2018
Creator: Shouse, Kate C.; Ramseur, Jonathan L. & Tsang, Linda

U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians

Description: This report discusses a number of issues regarding U.S. aid to the Palestinians that have relevance for Congress. Since the establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the mid-1990s, the U.S. government has committed more than $5 billion in bilateral economic and non-lethal security assistance to the Palestinians.
Date: November 2, 2018
Creator: Zanotti, Jim

Mexico: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report provides an overview of political and economic conditions in Mexico, followed by assessments of selected issues of congressional interest in Mexico: security and foreign aid, extraditions, human rights, trade, migration, energy, education, environment, and water issues.
Date: October 2, 2018
Creator: Seelke, Clare Ribando

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.

Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF): Cartel Lite?

Description: This report discusses the functions of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), which was founded for the purpose of maximizing the value of natural gas; developing short-, medium-, and long-term analysis and forecasting; facilitating cooperation on issues of common interest among members; promoting natural gas as a fuel; and positioning the GECF as an internationally recognized organization. It also compares the GECF with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), describes structural constraints, and outlines concerns for Congress.
Date: August 2, 2018
Creator: Ratner, Michael

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.