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Mixed-Oxide Fuel Fabrication Plant and Plutonium Disposition: Management and Policy Issues

Description: This report discusses an agreement made between Russia and the U.S. to dispose of excess weapons-grade plutonium, and describes both Russian and U.S. methods and plans for disposal. The U.S. plans are discussed in more detail, with various Congressional considerations regarding funding of the program.
Date: December 14, 2017
Creator: Holt, Mark & Nikitin, Mary Beth D.

Softwood Lumber Imports from Canada: Current Issues

Description: This report discusses the latest softwood lumber dispute between the U.S. and Canada, known as Lumber V. This report provides background information on the dispute, summarizes the key issues leading to the tensions between the United States and Canada over softwood lumber, and examines current developments in Lumber V.
Date: December 14, 2017
Creator: Hoover, Katie & Fergusson, Ian F.

Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses Afghanistan's history of conflict, governmental structure, human rights issues, and security policies and initiatives. A special focus is put on the U.S. involvement in Afghan security and ongoing fights against the Taliban and other terrorist groups and U.S. aid to Afghanistan both economically and militarily. It includes fiscal year 2018 aid requests for both military assistance and economic and humanitarian aid.
Date: December 13, 2017
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth & Thomas, Clayton

Suing Subway: When Does a Class Action Settlement Benefit Only the Lawyers

Description: This report explores the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit's "Subway" ruling which rejected a proposed settlement of a class-action suit brought against Subway for falsely advertising the length of their sandwiches; the settlement required them to inspect sandwich lengths and pay the plaintiff's attorney fees, but it only benefited the lawyers and not consumers. The report discusses the case's broader significance to class action litigation, tort reform, and consumer rights.
Date: December 12, 2017
Creator: Lewis, Kevin M.

Supreme Court Declines to Take Up Military Commission Challenges-Al Bahlul and Al-Nashiri

Description: This report discusses the Supreme Court's rejection of cases submitted by two detainees at Guantanamo Bay (Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman al Bahlul & Abd Al-Rahim Hussein Al-Nashiri) challenging the current military commission system under the Military Commissions Act (MCA). It discusses the merits of the cases, the various legal proceedings regarding them, and case law related to the issue.
Date: December 12, 2017
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.

Efforts to Address Seasonal Agricultural Import Competition in the NAFTA Renegotiation

Description: This report discusses a proposal by the U.S. in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations that would allow U.S. agricultural producers of certain fruits and vegetables to more easily file an injury claim regarding imports from Mexico. It includes details regarding the proposal, Mexican produce imports statistics, and arguments for and against the proposal.
Date: December 7, 2017
Creator: Johnson, Renée

Financial Regulation: Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations and the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10)

Description: This report discusses the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10) and the FY 2018 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Bill (H.R. 3354, Division D). The Senate Appropriations Committee released an FY2018 FSGG chairmen's mark on November 20, 2017, but further action has yet to occur on the bill. Much of the federal government, including agencies covered by FSGG appropriations, has been operating for the first part of FY2018 under a continuing resolution effective through December 8, 2017.
Date: December 7, 2017
Creator: Webel, Baird & Labonte, Marc

Lebanon

Description: This report provides an overview of Lebanon and current issues of U.S. interest. It provides background information, analyzes recent developments and key policy debates, and tracks legislation, U.S. assistance, and recent congressional action. The report includes information regarding Prime Minister Saad Hariri's resignation and subsequent reinstatement in November 2017.
Date: December 7, 2017
Creator: Humud, Carla E.

Yemen: Civil War and Regional Intervention

Description: This report provides information on the ongoing crisis in Yemen. The report includes an overview, information about the latest developments in the conflict, Yemen's participation in the United Nations, and the U.S. response to Yemen's humanitarian access.
Date: December 7, 2017
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.

Bank Systemic Risk Regulation: The $50 Billion Threshold in the Dodd-Frank Act

Description: This report focuses on one pillar of the Dodd-Frank Act's (P.L. 111-203) response to addressing financial stability and ending too big to fail: a new enhanced prudential regulatory regime that applies to all banks with more than $50 billion in assets and to certain other financial institutions. Under this regime, the Federal Reserve is required to apply a number of safety and soundness requirements to large banks that are more stringent than those applied to smaller banks. These requirements are intended to mitigate systemic risk posed by large banks. This report also examines the question of which banks are systemically important.
Date: December 6, 2017
Creator: Labonte, Marc & Perkins, David W.

Natural Disasters of 2017: Congressional Considerations Related to FEMA Assistance

Description: This report provides a short overview of issues Congress may consider in its oversight of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) federal assistance during the 2017 hurricane season (e.g., Harvey, Irma, and Maria) and other disasters (e.g., fires in California).
Date: December 6, 2017
Creator: Brown, Jared T.; Horn, Diane P.; Painter, William L. & Reese, Shawn

Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the U.S. and Russia which bans all land-based missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers. This report outlines the original treaty provisions and then discusses compliance concerns for both Russia and the U.S., as well as possible responses to the situation by the U.S.
Date: December 6, 2017
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.