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Keystone XL Pipeline: Recent Developments

Description: This report discusses the Keystone XL Pipeline and the recent route modification and its effects on permits and permissions needed. A brief overview of the controversy regarding the pipeline and areas of land that require various permits to cross are included.
Date: November 21, 2017
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W. & Carter, Nicole T.

Post-Heller Second Amendment Jurisprudence

Description: This report examines the scope of the Second Amendment, as interpreted by the federal circuit courts of appeals, after the watershed Supreme Court decisions in "District of Columbia v. Heller" and "McDonald v. City of Chicago". After "Heller" and "McDonald", numerous challenges were brought on Second Amendment grounds to various federal, state, and local firearm laws and regulations. Because Heller neither purported to define the full scope of the Second Amendment, nor suggested a standard of review for evaluating Second Amendment claims, the lower federal courts have been tasked with doing so in the Second Amendment challenges brought before them. This report discusses in detail notable post-Heller Second Amendment cases decided by federal courts of appeals. Because "Heller" and "McDonald" provide the only recent Supreme Court guidance on the Second Amendment, the analyses in these cases may provide useful guideposts for Congress should it seek to enact further firearm regulations.
Date: November 21, 2017
Creator: Herman, Sarah S.

Monuments and Memorials Authorized and Completed Under the Commemorative Works Act in the District of Columbia

Description: This report describes memorials built under the authority of the Commemorative Works Act (CWA) of 1986 in the District of Columbia. It contains a catalog of the 19 authorized works that have been completed and dedicated since 1986. For each memorial, the report provides a rationale for each authorized work, as expressed by a Member of Congress, as well as the statutory authority for its creation; and identifies the group or groups which sponsored the commemoration, the memorial's location, and the dedication date. A picture of each work is also included. The Appendix includes a map showing each completed memorial's location.
Date: November 17, 2017
Creator: Straus, Jacob R.

Monuments and Memorials Authorized Under the Commemorative Works Acts in the District of Columbia: Current Development of In-Progress and Lapsed Works

Description: This report describes monuments and memorials under construction or in planning in the District of Columbia that were authorized under the Commemorative Works Act of 1986. It provides a status update on 12 in-progress memorials and 4 memorials with lapsed authorizations. For each monument or memorial, the report provides a rationale for the work as expressed in the Congressional Record or a House or Senate committee report; its statutory authority; the group or groups sponsoring the commemoration; and the memorial's location (or proposed location), if known. A picture or rendering of each work is also included, when available.
Date: November 17, 2017
Creator: Straus, Jacob R.

Contracting the Adversary

Description: This report discusses the training of Navy and Air Force pilots through the use of "adversary" squadrons which fly planes that are either similar or actual versions of those used by enemy countries. The Air Force is considering contracting out this service due to the pilot shortage in the Air Force. Various options and precedent for such contracting services are discussed.
Date: November 16, 2017
Creator: Gertler, Jeremiah

The Individual Mandate for Health Insurance Coverage: In Brief

Description: This report provides an overview of the individual mandate, its associated penalty, and the exemptions from the mandate. It discusses the ACA reporting requirements designed, in part, to assist individuals in providing evidence of having met the mandate. The report includes some national- and state-level data on the application of the mandate's penalty in tax year (TY) 2014 and TY2015.
Date: November 16, 2017
Creator: Mach, Annie L.

Memorandum: Summary of the Substantive Provisions of S. 2010, the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017 and H.R. 3989, The USA Liberty Act of 2017

Description: This report summarizes the substantive provisions of S. 2010, the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017, as reported by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on October 25, 2017, and H.R. 3989, the USA Liberty Act of 2017, as ordered to be reported by the House Judiciary Committee on November 8, 2017. Both bills primarily amend and reauthorize Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA).
Date: November 16, 2017
Creator: Liu, Edward C.

Repair or Rebuild: Options for Electric Power in Puerto Rico

Description: This report explores several alternative electric power structures to PREPA for meeting the electricity services and needs of Puerto Rico. The ability of Puerto Rico and its citizens to assume the burden of paying for a rebuilt (and possibly restructured) electricity system is doubtful. Modernizing Puerto Rico’s grid, and taking the next steps to incorporate resiliency, could be expensive. None of the options discussed provides a silver bullet solution to the issues of the grid in Puerto Rico. Congress may consider whether the efforts to restore electric power in Puerto Rico need to progress beyond simple restoration of electricity, and require new investment and oversight by the federal government.
Date: November 16, 2017
Creator: Campbell, Richard J.; Clark, Corrie E. & Austin, D. Andrew

Joint Employment and the Save Local Business Act

Description: This report discusses the proposed "Save Local Business Act" in the House and its provisions and implications for employers and employees in businesses where unions exist. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) broadening of the definition of what constituted a joint employer in the case of Browning-Ferris Industries of California led to resist by some in the business community and the "Save Local Business Act" seeks to restore the former more narrow definition of joint employers.
Date: November 15, 2017
Creator: Shimabukuro, Jon O.

Telehealth Services Proposed for Medicare Part B Reimbursements, 2018: Fact Sheet

Description: This report discusses telehealth services covered under Medicare and describes the five conditions that a telehealth service must meet to be covered and paid for under Medicare Part B, provides an overview of how the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adds telehealth services to Medicare's reimbursable list, and includes a table listing the proposed telehealth services to be added to the CY2018 list for Medicare reimbursement.
Date: November 15, 2017
Creator: Elliott, Victoria L.

Generalized System of Preferences: Overview and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program which provides non-reciprocal, duty-free tariff treatment to certain products imported from designated beneficiary developing countries (BDCs). This report examines, first, recent legislative developments, along with a brief history, economic rationale, and legal background leading to the establishment of the GSP. Second, the report describes U.S. GSP implementation. Third, the report briefly analyzes of the U.S. program's effectiveness and stakeholders' views, and discusses possible options for Congress in renewing the program for fiscal year 2018.
Date: November 14, 2017
Creator: Jones, Vivian C.

The Latest Chapter in Insider Trading Law: Major Circuit Decision Expands Scope of Liability for Trading on a "Tip"

Description: This report discusses a recent court decision regarding insider trading laws and the liability of someone who acts on a tip that consists of inside information that they should have known was obtained or shared illegally. Background on the case, relevant case law, and implications of the decision are discussed.
Date: November 14, 2017
Creator: Vanatko, Nicole

A Primer on U.S. Immigration Policy

Description: This report provides a broad overview of U.S. immigration policy. The first section addresses policies governing how foreign nationals enter the United States either to reside permanently or to stay temporarily. Related topics within this section include visa issuance and security, forms of quasi-legal status, and naturalization. The second section discusses enforcement policies both for excluding foreign nationals from admission into the United States, as well as for detaining and removing those who enter the country unlawfully or who enter lawfully but subsequently commit crimes that make them deportable. The section also covers worksite enforcement and immigration fraud. The third section addresses policies for unauthorized aliens residing in the United States.
Date: November 14, 2017
Creator: Kandel, William A.