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Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses the current state of Bahrain, which has undergone substantial political reforms since the late 1990s, but which still suffers from tension between the Shiite majority and the Sunni-led government. This report focuses particularly on Bahrain's relationship with Iran and with the United States.
Date: November 6, 2013
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

U.S. Farm Income

Description: This report provides the highlights of 2013 farm income forecast. The report discusses farm asset values and debt, and average farm household income. It also provides annual figures regarding U.S. farms.
Date: August 30, 2013
Creator: Schnepf, Randy

Federal Employees' Retirement System: Benefits and Financing

Description: This report discusses the retirement systems in place for federal employees. Most civilian federal employees who were hired before 1984 are covered by the Civil Service Retirement System, and contribute 7.0% of their pay to a retirement fund. Federal employees hired in 1984 or later are covered by the Federal Employees' Retirement System and contribute 0.8% of their pay to a retirement fund. Both require participants to contribute toward the cost of their pensions through a payroll tax. This report also summarizes relevant legislation in the 113th Congress that would make significant changes to federal benefits and financing, including H.J.Res. 59, S. 18, S. 1678, and H.R. 3639.
Date: December 20, 2013
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.

Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections

Description: This report provides the results of recent elections in Latin America and the Caribbean. Below are three tables organized by region, including the date of each country's independence, the name of the newly elected president or prime minister, and the projected date of the next election. Information in this report was gathered from numerous sources, including the U.S. State Department, the CIA's Open Source, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and other news sources.
Date: December 3, 2013
Creator: Torreon, Barbara Salazar

Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses some of the commercial and federal radio frequency spectrum policy changes required by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. It also summarizes new policy directions for spectrum management under consideration in the 112th Congress, such as the encouragement of new technologies that use spectrum more efficiently.
Date: May 28, 2013
Creator: Moore, Linda K.

Medal of Honor: History and Issues

Description: This report describes the history of the Medal of Honor and the laws and regulations pertaining to the award. The report discusses the privileges/benefits available to the recipients are discussed. Finally, this report analyzes efforts to have the Medal of Honor awarded to certain individuals outside of the normal procedures.
Date: December 19, 2013
Creator: Burrelli, David F. & Salazar Torreon, Barbara

Congressional Member Organizations: Their Purpose and Activities, History, and Formation

Description: This report examines the purpose and activities of Committee on House Administration as congressional Member organizations (CMO) and the reasons Members form them. It also identifies and describes seven CMO types, and it provides an overview of the historical development of informal Member organizations since the first Congress, focusing on their regulation in the House by the Committee on House Oversight/Committee on House Administration, the rise and fall of legislative service organizations (LSOs), and the House's decision in 1995 to issue regulations for establishing CMOs and governing their behavior. It concludes with a step-by-step guide for House Members and staff who might be interested in forming a CMO.
Date: August 28, 2013
Creator: Dilger, Robert Jay & Gerrity, Jessica C.

Salaries of Members of Congress: Recent Actions and Historical Tables

Description: The report contains information on congressional pay procedure and recent adjustments. It includes historical information on pay rates since 1789; the adjustments projected by the Ethics Reform Act as compared to actual adjustments in Member pay; details on past legislation enacted with language prohibiting the annual pay adjustment; and Member pay in constant and current dollars since 1992.
Date: September 24, 2013
Creator: Brudnick, Ida A.

GAO Bid Protests: Trends and Analysis

Description: This report provides an overview of the time frames and procedures in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) bid protest, including (1) what issues can be protested with GAO; (2) who can file or be a party to a GAO protest; (3) the procedures for bringing and resolving GAO protests; (4) the time frames involved in GAO protests; (5) the automatic stay of contract award or performance triggered by a GAO protest, as well as the basis for agency overrides of automatic stays and judicial review of agency override determinations; (6) the basis and effects of GAO decisions; and (7) reconsideration and "appeal" of GAO decisions.
Date: August 9, 2013
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.; Schwartz, Moshe & Martinez, Lucy P.

Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Description: This report discusses the Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) are based on the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). All CSRS retirees and survivors receive COLAs. Under FERS, however, non-disabled retirees under age 62 do not receive COLAs. This report discusses cost-of-living adjustments for government retirees, as well as related legislation.
Date: November 1, 2013
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.

Small Business Administration HUBZone Program

Description: This report examines arguments both for and against targeting assistance to geographic areas with specified characteristics, such as low income, high poverty, or high unemployment, as opposed to providing assistance to people or businesses with specified characteristics. It then assesses the arguments both for and against the continuation of the HUBZone program
Date: December 17, 2013
Creator: Dilger, Robert Jay

The G-20 and International Economic Cooperation: Background and Implications for Congress

Description: This report discusses the G-20, an international forum for discussing and coordinating economic policies among major advanced and emerging economies. Previous summits have, for example, focused on financial regulatory reform, global imbalances, funding for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), voting power of emerging economies in international financial institutions, and fossil fuel subsidies.
Date: November 7, 2013
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.

Federal-Aid Highway Program (FAHP): In Brief

Description: This report discusses the major characteristics of the federal highway program that have been constant since the early 1920s. Generally, federal money can be spent only on designated federal-aid highways, which make up roughly a quarter of U.S. public roads.
Date: December 16, 2013
Creator: Kirk, Robert S.

Pay Equity: Legislative and Legal Developments

Description: This report discusses pay equity litigation, including Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, a case in which the Supreme Court rejected class action status for current and former female Wal-Mart employees who allege that the company has engaged in pay discrimination.
Date: November 22, 2013
Creator: Collins, Benjamin & Feder, Jody

U.S.-Taiwan Relationship: Overview of Policy Issues

Description: This report is a succinct overview of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship including an analysis of issues. For decades, Taiwan has been of significant security, economic, and political interest to the United States. While the United States does not diplomatically recognize Taiwan, it is a significant autonomous actor in the world.
Date: November 6, 2013
Creator: Kan, Shirley A. & Morrison, Wayne M.

Women in the United States Congress, 1917-2013: Biographical and Committee Assignment Information, and Listings by State and Congress

Description: This report includes biographical information, including the names, committee assignments, dates of service, listings by Congress and state, and (for Representatives) congressional districts of the 297 women who have served in Congress.
Date: December 16, 2013
Creator: Manning, Jennifer E. & Brudnick, Ida A.

Members' Representational Allowance: History and Usage

Description: This report provides a history and overview of the Members' Representational Allowance (MRA) and examines spending patterns over three years--2005, 2006, and 2007. The data exclude non-voting Members, including Delegates and the Resident Commissioner. Members who were not in Congress for all of the first session of a Congress, whether the Member left Congress prior to the end of the year or entered any time after the beginning of the session, were also excluded.
Date: November 25, 2013
Creator: Brudnick, Ida A.

Carbon Capture: A Technology Assessment

Description: This report is a brief summary of what carbon capture and storage (CCS) is, how it is supposed to work, why it has gained the interest and support of some members of Congress, and what some of the challenges are to its implementation and deployment across the United States.
Date: November 5, 2013
Creator: Folger, Peter