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Expedited Procedures Governing Senate Consideration of Legislation Waiving a Restriction Related to the Military Service of the Secretary of Defense

Description: This report discusses the Section 179 of the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017 (P.L. 114-254), which establishes expedited or "fast track" parliamentary procedures governing Senate consideration of legislation that would waive a legal restriction related to the prior military service of the Secretary of Defense.
Date: December 27, 2016
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.

Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer

Description: This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation.
Date: December 27, 2016
Creator: Kerr, Paul K. & Nikitin, Mary Beth D.

The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

Description: This report discusses concerns about food safety, the resources required to ensure food safety, and whether federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then.
Date: December 16, 2016
Creator: Johnson, Renée

U.S. Policy on Cuban Migrants: In Brief

Description: This report discusses the U.S. policy on Cuban migration that has been shaped by a 1966 law known as the Cuban Adjustment Act, as amended, and U.S.-Cuban migration agreements signed in the mid-1990s, operating in conjunction with the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Date: December 16, 2016
Creator: Bruno, Andorra

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): In Brief

Description: This report provides a basic description of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which mandates that U.S. transportation fuel must contain a minimum volume of biofuel, and is a federal statutory requirement. The mandated minimum volume increases annually and can be met using both conventional biofuel (e.g., cornstarch ethanol) and advanced biofuels. This report also includes some of the widely-discussed issues.
Date: December 14, 2016
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi

Women in Combat: Issues for Congress

Description: This report looks at the history of women in US military roles and combat since the 1990s and discusses critics' views of exclusionary policy as a civil rights issue. Over the past two decades of conflict, women have served with valor and continue to serve on combat aircraft, naval vessels, and in support of ground combat operations. The expansion of roles for women in the armed forces has evolved since the early days of the military when women were restricted by law and policy from serving in certain occupations and units.
Date: December 13, 2016
Creator: Kamarck, Kristy N.

Noncitizen Eligibility for Federal Public Assistance: Policy Overview

Description: This report discusses the extent to which residents of the United States who are not U.S. citizens should be eligible for federally-funded public aid. This issue meets at the intersection of two major policy areas: immigration policy and welfare policy. This report deals with the four major federal means-tested benefit programs: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant programs, and Medicaid.
Date: December 12, 2016
Creator: Siskin, Alison

Creating a Federal Advisory Committee in the Executive Branch

Description: This report report provides a brief overview on how Congress can establish federal advisory committees, and provides some considerations as to why a federal advisory committee may or may not be an appropriate mechanism to assist a particular policy or funding question. The report also explores why Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) may or may not be appropriate for application to particular advisory committees. It presents data on the number of active FACA committees established by Congress with special emphasis on the committees established in FY2015. This report concludes by presenting a list of the federal advisory committees currently proposed for statutory establishment in the 114th Congress.
Date: December 9, 2016
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy & Burgat, Casey

Terrorist Material Support: An Overview of 18 U.S.C. §2339A and §2339B

Description: This report discusses the two federal material support statutes that have been at the heart of the Justice Department's terrorist prosecution efforts. One provision outlaws providing material support for the commission of certain designated offenses that might be committed by terrorists (18 U.S.C. 2339A); the other outlaws providing material support to certain designated terrorist organizations (18 U.S.C. 2339B). They share a common definition of the term "material support," some aspects of which have recently come under constitutional attack.
Date: December 8, 2016
Creator: Doyle, Charles

Federal Workforce Statistics Sources: OPM and OMB

Description: This report describes online tools, reports, and data compilations created by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that contain statistics about federal employees and the federal workforce. The report also describes key characteristics of each resource and briefly discusses selected methodological differences, with the intention of facilitating the selection of appropriate data for specific purposes.
Date: December 7, 2016
Creator: Jennings, Julie

The Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC): In Brief

Description: This report describes the eligibility criteria for the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) and the types of health insurance to which the tax credit may be applied. The tax credit's purpose is to make the purchase of health insurance more affordable for eligible individuals. The report also briefly describes the administration of the HCTC program and receipt of the credit by eligible taxpayers; it concludes with a summary of the HCTC's statutory history.
Date: December 6, 2016
Creator: Fernandez, Bernadette

Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer

Description: This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation.
Date: December 6, 2016
Creator: Kerr, Paul K. & Nikitin, Mary Beth D.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Resources for Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report provides resources to answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Patient Protect and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L. 111-148, as amended). It includes a list of contacts for specific questions on insurance coverage and for questions about HealthCare.gov and tax provisions as well as sources for congressional staff to contact federal agencies. It also contains a glossary and general information about public health programs and related topics.
Date: December 6, 2016
Creator: Napili, Angela