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"Dear Colleague" Letters in the House of Representatives: Past Practices and Issues for Congress

Description: This report report provides a comparative analysis of how the use of the e-"Dear Colleague" system in the House of Representatives has changed between the 111th Congress (2009-2010) and the 113th Congress (2013-2014). This report provides an overview of the data and methodology used to evaluate "Dear Colleague" letter usage, discusses the characteristics and purpose of "Dear Colleague" letters, and discusses questions for Congress and observations on the use of "Dear Colleague" letters as a form of internal communications.
Date: February 22, 2017
Creator: Straus, Jacob R.

Health Care-Related Expiring Provisions of the 115th Congress, First Session

Description: This report provides descriptions of selected health care-related provisions that are scheduled to expire during the 115th Congress, first session (i.e., during calendar year [CY] 2017). It focuses on portions of law that are time limited and will lapse once a statutory deadline is reached absent further legislative action.
Date: February 22, 2017
Creator: Grossman, Joy M.

Current Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Issues

Description: This report discusses the missile defense program and whether current policy or program direction might change. The FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA, P.L. 114-328) made several notable changes that could have significant effects on the direction of U.S. BMD policy and programs.
Date: February 21, 2017
Creator: Hildreth, Steven A.

Legislative Branch: FY2017 Appropriations

Description: The first section of this report provides an overview of the consideration of fiscal year 2017 legislative branch appropriations, with subsections covering each action. It is followed by a section on prior year actions and funding, which contains historical tables. The report then addresses the FY2017 budget requests, requested administrative language, and selected funding issues for individual legislative branch agencies and entities.
Date: February 21, 2017
Creator: Brudnick, Ida A.

A New Authorization for Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State: Issues and Current Proposals

Description: This report focuses on several proposals for a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) specifically targeting the Islamic State made during the 113th and 114th Congresses. It includes a brief review of existing authorities and AUMFs, as well as a discussion of issues related to various provisions included in existing and proposed AUMFs that both authorize and limit presidential use of military force. Appendices provide a comparative analysis of similar provisions in new AUMFs proposed in the 113th and 114th Congresses. This report will be updated to reflect congressional activity.
Date: February 21, 2017
Creator: Weed, Matthew C.

Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons

Description: This report provides basic information about U.S. and Russian nonstrategic nuclear weapons. It reviews the issues that have been raised with regard to U.S. and Russian nonstrategic nuclear weapons, and summarizes a number of policy options that might be explored by Congress, the United States, Russia, and other nations to address these issues.
Date: February 21, 2017
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.

Iran: Politics, Human Rights, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses the relationship between the United States and Iran. The United States and Iran have been at odds politically and diplomatically, and U.S. policy has been intended to reduce the perceived threat posed by Iran to a broad range of U.S. interests. U.S. officials also express a broad range of concerns about Iran's human rights abuses, including its detentions of U.S.-Iran dual nationals.
Date: February 17, 2017
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile

Description: This report presents a profile of the membership of the 115th Congress (2017-2018) as of January 4, 2017. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.
Date: February 17, 2017
Creator: Manning, Jennifer E.

Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses issues regarding U.S.-Japan economic relations. Japan is a significant partner of the United States in a number of foreign policy areas, particularly in U.S. security priorities, which range from hedging against Chinese military modernization to countering threats from North Korea.
Date: February 16, 2017
Creator: Chanlett-Avery, Emma; Manyin, Mark E.; Nelson, Rebecca M.; Williams, Brock R. & Yamakawa, Taishu

Sanctuary Jurisdictions: Congressional Action and President Trump's Interior Enforcement Executive Order

Description: This report discusses President Trump's executive order (EO) "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States" issued on January 25, 2017, which seeks, among other things, to penalize "sanctuary jurisdictions." The term refers to states and localities that limit their cooperation with federal agencies on immigration law enforcement.
Date: February 15, 2017
Creator: Kandel, William A.

The Debt Limit Since 2011

Description: This report discusses the federal debt increase, which can increase when the government sells debt to the public to finance budget deficits and acquire the financial resources needed to meet its obligations (increasing debt held by the public), or when the federal government issues debt to certain government accounts in exchange for their reported surpluses (increasing debt held by government accounts).
Date: February 13, 2017
Creator: Austin, D. A.

Gun Control, Mental Incompetency, and Social Security Administration Final Rule

Description: This report discusses the Congressional Review Act disapproval resolution (H.J.Res. 40) passed by the House of Representative to overturn a final rule promulgated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding implementation of firearms restrictions for certain persons.
Date: February 13, 2017
Creator: Krouse, William J.; Szymendera, Scott D. & Morton, William R.

Gun Control, Mental Incompetency, and Social Security Administration Final Rule

Description: This report discusses the Congressional Review Act disapproval resolution (H.J.Res. 40) passed by the House of Representative to overturn a final rule promulgated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) regarding implementation of firearms restrictions for certain persons.
Date: February 13, 2017
Creator: Krouse, William J.; Szymendera, Scott D. & Morton, William R.

India's Natural Gas: A Small Part of the Energy Mix

Description: This report discusses India's natural gas plans that have implications for a number of issues in which Congress has expressed an interest. Those issues include the prospects for U.S. hydrocarbon exports, U.S. energy companies' investments, Indian investments in U.S. natural gas production, India's ability to meet its international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to combat climate change, and India's plans for integrating itself into the growing South Asian energy market.
Date: February 13, 2017
Creator: Ratner, Michael