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Bahrain: Unrest, Security, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses the political structure and human rights issues in Bahrain, including the 2011 uprising and its aftermath. Additionally, the report discusses Bahrain's relations with the United States and with the other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) alliance.
Date: December 4, 2018
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Brexit at a Pivotal Moment

Description: This report discusses the draft withdrawal agreement in the the United Kingdom's (UK's) expected withdrawal from the European Union (EU), known as Brexit. It also summarizes issues for the U.S. Congress to consider in regard to Brexit.
Date: November 28, 2018
Creator: Mix, Derek E.

Iran Sanctions

Description: This report discusses U.S. sanctions against Iran and the 2016 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement which led to the lifting of sanctions based on nuclear proliferation in Iran. It outlines the various sanctions against Iran and their current implementation status, international efforts to bring about compliance, and their effects; it also addresses recent discussions regarding President's Trump announcement that the U.S. was decertifying the nuclear agreement and the possibility of reinstating certain sanctions.
Date: November 28, 2018
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

The "National Security Exception" and the World Trade Organization

Description: This report examines the meaning of the national security exception in Article XXI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)--a provision also implicated in a recent World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute between Russia and Ukraine; a blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates; and a few other disputes.
Date: November 28, 2018
Creator: Murrill, Brandon J.

U.S. Sanctions on Russia

Description: This report provides a comprehensive overview of U.S. sanctions against Russia. It provides an overview of U.S. sanctions authorities and tools; describes various sanctions regimes that have been used and entities or that are available for this purpose, addressing authorities, tools, targets, and historical context; briefly discusses countersanctions by Russia; addresses the evolution of U.S. coordination with the European Union; and assesses the economic impact of sanctions on Russia at the level of the national economy and individual firms.
Date: November 28, 2018
Creator: Welt, Cory; Archick, Kristin; Nelson, Rebecca M. & Rennack, Dianne E.

U.S. Tariff Policy: Overview

Description: This report provides a brief overview of United States tariff policy. A tariff is a customs duty levied on imported and exported goods and services, typically used to protect domestic industries or as leverage in trade negotiations and disputes.
Date: November 28, 2018
Creator: Casey, Christopher A.

Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills: FY1961-FY2019

Description: This report is a research aid that lists the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) authorization and appropriations bills for FY1961-FY2019 including: bill numbers, report numbers, dates reported and passed, recorded vote numbers and vote tallies, dates of passage of the conference reports with their numbers and votes, vetoes, substitutions, dates of final passage, and public law numbers. Significant definitions are also included.
Date: November 27, 2018
Creator: DeBruyne, Nese F. & Torreon, Barbara Salazar

District Court Temporarily Blocks Implementation of Asylum Restrictions on Unlawful Entrants at the Southern Border

Description: This report discusses the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) barring the Trump Administration from implementing new asylum restrictions. The asylum restrictions were prompted by reports of a "migrant caravan" traveling through Mexico to the southern border of the United States.
Date: November 27, 2018
Creator: Smith, Hillel R. & Harrington, Ben

The Venezuela Regional Migration Crisis

Description: This report discusses the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Venezuela, which has elevated congressional concerns about the country. Venezuela remains in a deep political and economic crisis under the authoritarian rule of President Nicolás Maduro.
Date: November 27, 2018
Creator: Margesson, Rhoda & Seelke, Clare Ribando

Section 232 Investigations: Overview and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, analyzes the Trump Administration's Section 232 investigations and actions, and considers potential policy and economic implications and issues for Congress. To provide context for the current debate, the report also includes a discussion of previous Section 232 investigations and a brief legislative history of the statute.
Date: November 21, 2018
Creator: Fefer, Rachel F.; Jones, Vivian C.; Hammond, Keigh E.; Murrill, Brandon J.; Platzer, Michaela D. & Williams, Brock R.

U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues

Description: This report reviews the ongoing programs that will affect the expected size and shape of the U.S. strategic nuclear force structure. It includes information of the historic structure and changes over time as well as details about each category of delivery vehicle--land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and heavy bombers--focusing on their current deployments and ongoing and planned modernization programs. The report concludes with a discussion of issues related to decisions about the future of the U.S. strategic nuclear force.
Date: November 21, 2018
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.

Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Technology Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs

Description: This report gives an overview of the federal incentives that support the development and deployment of alternatives to conventional fuels and engines in transportation including tax deductions and credits for vehicle purchases and the installation of refueling systems; federal grants for conversion of older vehicles to newer technologies; mandates for the use of biofuels; and incentives for manufacturers to produce alternative fuel vehicles. It also addresses how these incentives relate to goals of reducing petroleum consumption and import dependence, improving environmental quality, expanding domestic manufacturing, and promoting agriculture and rural development.
Date: November 20, 2018
Creator: Cunningham, Lynn J.; Canis, Bill; Arostegui, Danielle A. & Yacobucci, Brent D.

The Defense Production Act of 1950: History, Authorities, and Considerations for Congress

Description: This report examines some of the extensive history of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA), focusing primarily on its creation and most recent legislative reauthorization. This report also identifies relevant delegations of the President's DPA authorities made in Executive Order (E.O.) 13603 -- National Defense Resources Preparedness -- and provides a brief overview of issues Congress may consider in its oversight.
Date: November 20, 2018
Creator: Brown, Jared T. & Schwartz, Moshe

U.S. Ground Forces Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) and Artificial Intelligence (AI): Considerations for Congress

Description: This report discusses issues for Congress to consider regarding robotics and autonomous systems (RAS) and artificial intelligence (AI), which have the potential to change the nature of warfare. Other nations, notably peer competitors Russia and China, are aggressively pursuing RAS and AI for a variety of military uses, raising considerations about the U.S. military's response--to include lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS)--that could be used against U.S. forces.
Date: November 20, 2018
Creator: Feickert, Andrew; Kapp, Lawrence; Elsea, Jennifer K. & Harris, Laurie A.

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP): Background and Funding

Description: This report begins by describing the population using emergency food assistance. It goes on to discuss the the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) program, including its administration at the federal, state, and local levels, eligibility rules, and funding structure. The report concludes by summarizing TEFAP's role in disaster response and recent reauthorization efforts.
Date: November 19, 2018
Creator: Billings, Kara Clifford

Quantum Information Science: Applications, Global Research and Development, and Policy Considerations

Description: This report provides an overview of quantum information science (QIS) technologies: sensing and metrology, communications, and computing and simulation. It also includes examples of existing and potential future applications; brief summaries of funding and selected R&D initiatives in the United States and elsewhere around the world; a description of U.S. congressional activity; and a discussion of related policy considerations.
Date: November 19, 2018
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney

United States and Saudi Arabia Energy Relations

Description: This report provides an overview of the U.S.-Saudi Arabia energy relationship that dates back to at least 1933. Since then, this relationship has witnessed the creation of the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco), nationalization and ownership transfer of Aramco to Saudi Arabia (renamed Saudi Aramco), a Saudi-supported embargo of crude oil shipments to the United States, and various periods of energy cooperation. Today, the U.S.-Saudi energy relationship includes interests within three general categories: (1) energy trade, (2) business operations, and (3) global petroleum prices.
Date: November 19, 2018
Creator: Brown, Phillip & Pirog, Robert

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): Historical Overview, Funding, and Reauthorization

Description: This report provides a brief history of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) with an overview of the crimes addressed through the act. It includes brief descriptions of earlier VAWA reauthorizations and a more-detailed description of the most recent reauthorization in 2013. The report concludes with a discussion of VAWA programs and a five-year history of funding from FY2014 through FY2018.
Date: November 19, 2018
Creator: Sacco, Lisa N.