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Congress and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2016

Description: This report briefly discusses authorization legislation for the water resources activities of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) in 2016, which the 114th Congress is anticipated to consider. These issues span the agency's role in new and existing navigation improvements, coastal and riverine flood risk reduction, and environmental restoration and protection efforts.
Date: January 5, 2016
Creator: Carter, Nicole T.

Iran-U.S. Air Service Not Imminent

Description: This report discusses the prospect of air travel between Iran and the U.S., which last operated during 1979, when the U.S. government imposed an embargo on flights following the Iran hostage crisis. Since then, travel and air cargo shipments between the two countries have been routed through third countries, and their extent has been limited by U.S. sanctions.
Date: January 21, 2016
Creator: Tang, Rachel Y.

U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation After "El Chapo" Guzmán's January 2016 Recapture

Description: This report discusses relations between the U.S. and Mexico following the escape and recapture of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán from a maximum security federal prison near Mexico City in July 2015. One key concern for U.S. policymakers is whether the Mexican government will be able to hold Guzmán securely in the same prison from which he escaped and then extradite him swiftly to the United States--a source of tension in U.S.-Mexican relations. Another is whether Guzmán's recapture, which was supported by U.S. intelligence, will lead to closer security cooperation moving forward.
Date: January 13, 2016
Creator: Beittel, June S. & Ribando Seelke, Clare

Appointment of African American U.S. Circuit and District Court Judges: Historical Overview and Current Data

Description: This report briefly provides historical and statistical information related to the appointment of African Americans as U.S. circuit and district court judges. Such information addresses ongoing congressional interest in the demographic characteristics of lower federal court judges.
Date: February 12, 2016
Creator: McMillion, Barry J.

Zika Virus: Global Health Considerations

Description: This report gives a brief overview of the Zika virus, which typically causes mild symptoms, including fever, rash, and conjunctivitis. Health experts are uncertain whether Zika causes microcephaly, a potentially-severe birth defect involving brain damage.
Date: February 6, 2016
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji

Taiwan's January 2016 Elections: A Preview

Description: This report briefly provides context for the January 16, 2016 presidential and legislative elections in Taiwan. The elections may determine whether an eight-year period of relative calm in relations between Taiwan (whose formal name is the Republic of China or ROC) and the People's Republic of China (PRC) continues, or comes to an end.
Date: January 12, 2016
Creator: Lawrence, Susan V. & Morrison, Wayne M.

Lead in Flint, Michigan's Drinking Water: Federal Regulatory Role

Description: This report discusses the federal regulatory role in regards to drinking water, more specifically in the context of the Flint water crisis. Lead exposure is a major public health concern, particularly because low-level exposures can impair the neurodevelopment of children. The main source of lead in drinking water is the corrosion of plumbing materials in the distribution system.
Date: February 16, 2016
Creator: Tiemann, Mary

FY2016 Changes to DOD's 1033 Program

Description: This report briefly discusses the current status of the Department of Defense's (DOD's) 1033 Program, under which excess DOD property -- such as personal computers, vehicles, and firearms -- are made available to qualified federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.
Date: February 16, 2016
Creator: Else, Daniel H.

Agency Final Rules Submitted After May 16, 2016, May Be Subject to Disapproval in 2017 Under the Congressional Review Act

Description: This report briefly discusses The Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. §§801-808), enacted as part of the 104th Congress's (1995-1996) "Contract with America," which established a special parliamentary mechanism whereby Congress can disapprove a final rule promulgated by a federal agency. With a change in the occupancy of the White House taking place in 2017, some in Congress are paying renewed attention to a parliamentary mechanism that might enable a new Congress and new President to overturn agency final rules of the Obama Administration issued after mid-May 2016.
Date: February 4, 2016
Creator: Davis, Christopher M. & Beth, Richard S.

Zika Virus: Global Health Considerations

Description: This report gives a brief overview of the Zika Vvrus, which typically causes mild symptoms, including fever, rash, and conjunctivitis. Health experts are uncertain whether Zika causes microcephaly, a potentially-severe birth defect involving brain damage.
Date: February 9, 2016
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji