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Immigration Arrests in the Interior of the United States: A Primer

2021 Elections in Honduras

Federal Emergency Declarations

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

The Bannon Indictment and Prosecution

Native American Heritage Month: Fact Sheet

Fifth Circuit Stays OSHA Vaccination and Testing Standard

COVID-19: Restrictions on Noncitizen Travel

Minimum Taxes on Business Income: Background and Policy Options

EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program

Caribbean Basin Security Initiative

Recent Funding Increases for FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance

Russian Military Intelligence: Background and Issues for Congress

Congressional Redistricting Criteria and Considerations

Hindu Holidays: Fact Sheet

Latin America and the Caribbean: Impact of COVID-19

Title 36 Congressional Charters

Trends and Proposals for Corporate Tax Revenue

The Weatherization Assistance Program Formula

Defense Primer: Strategic Nuclear Forces

Title X Family Planning Program: 2019 Final Rule

Stablecoins: Background and Policy Issues

Supply Chain Bottlenecks at U.S. Ports

FY2022 NDAA: Budgetary Context

Emerging Military Technologies: Background and Issues for Congress

EU Climate Action and U.S.-EU Relations

Iraq and U.S. Policy

Defense Primer: Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps

Insider Trading

Veterans Day Speech Resources: Fact Sheet

Lebanon

FY2022 NDAA: Selective Service and Draft Registration

Defense Primer: The Department of Defense

Confucius Institutes in the United States: Selected Issues

Defense Primer: Commanding U.S. Military Operations

Membership of the 117th Congress: A Profile

The Military’s COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate

Air Force Tanker Strategy Changes

The Army’s Multi-Domain Task Force (MDTF)

Defense Primer: Personnel Tempo (PERSTEMPO)

Does the President Have the Power to Legalize Marijuana?

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Assistance

Landsat 9 and the Future of the Sustainable Land Imaging Program

Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962

FY2022 NDAA: Strategic Context

The Legality of DACA: Recent Litigation Developments

Air Force F-15EX Eagle II Fighter Program

Congressional Salaries and Allowances: In Brief

Elections Grant Programs: Policy Options

Defense Primer: Military Health System

Clean Energy Standards: Selected Issues for the 117th Congress

Continued State Flexibility to Assist Older Foster Youth Act

Military Criminal Justice System

Mexico: Evolution of the Mérida Initiative, FY2008-FY2022

COVID-19 Variants: Vaccines, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics

The World Bank’s Doing Business Report

Cuba: U.S. Policy Overview

Bank Mergers and Acquisitions

U.S. Climate Change Policy

Mark-to-Market Taxation of Capital Gains

Dam Removal and the Federal Role

Central American Migration: Root Causes and U.S. Policy

Defense Primer: United States Airpower

United Nations Issues: U.S. Funding of U.N. Peacekeeping

Defense Primer: The United States Air Force

Resources for Tracking Federal COVID-19 Spending

Artemis: NASA’s Program to Return Humans to the Moon

Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA)

Defense Primer: Department of the Navy

Defense Primer: Naval Forces

Defense Primer: Geography, Strategy, and U.S. Force Design

Defense Primer: Army Multi-Domain Operations (MDO)

The Internal Revenue Service’s Private Tax Debt Collection Program

Pandemic Relief: The Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The Freedom to Vote Act (S. 2747): Selected Major Provisions

Defense Primer: RDT&E

Resolving Subpoena Disputes in the January 6 Investigation

Compensation Programs for Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Injuries

Defense Primer: Quantum Technology

Addressing Unruly Airline Passengers

Iraq’s October 2021 Election

Patriot Day: Fact Sheet

Tallying Federal Funding for COVID-19: In Brief

Tribal Lands: An Overview

USPS Changes Postal Service Standards

USMCA: Motor Vehicle Provisions and Issues

Russian Arms Sales and Defense Industry

Mexican Drug Trafficking and Cartel Operations amid COVID-19

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant

A Brief Introduction to the National Flood Insurance Program

What Happens If the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Lapses?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

Panama: An Overview

COVID-19-Related Loan Assistance for Agricultural Enterprises

Congressional Reform: A Perspective

Bulgaria: An Overview

The Pregnancy Assistance Fund

Qatar: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy

Social Security Dual Entitlement

Chile: An Overview

National Park Service: Government Shutdown Issues

Russian Military Exercises

Commercial Human Spaceflight

Defense Primer: Emerging Technologies

Nuclear Arms Control After the Biden-Putin Summit

Costa Rica: An Overview

Noncitizen Eligibility for Federal Housing Programs

COVID-19 Vaccination: Selected U.S. Data Sources

Germany’s September 26 Elections

Apportionment and Redistricting Following the 2020 Census

Medical Product Regulation: Drugs, Biologics, and Devices

Argentina: An Overview

SBA Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program (SVOG)

Who Pays the Corporate Tax?

Federal Disaster Assistance for Agriculture

SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund Grants

Supervised Release (Parole): An Overview of Federal Law

Recent Developments in Everglades Restoration

Supervised Release (Parole): An Abbreviated Outline of Federal Law

Need-Tested Benefits: Children and Poverty

B-52 Re-Engining Program Begins

Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS)

The Army’s Project Convergence

Jamaica

The Debt Limit in 2021

Cameroon: Key Issues and U.S. Policy

The Buy American Act: Proposed Rules

Social Security: The Average Wage Index

Noncitizen Eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Key Issues in WTO Agriculture Negotiations

Colombia: Challenges for U.S. Policymakers in 2021

Addressing Environmental Justice Through NEPA

Water Resources Development Acts: Primer

An Overview of Rural Credit Markets

Syria and U.S. Policy

National Infrastructure Bank: Proposals in the 117th Congress

National Flood Insurance Program Borrowing Authority

Belarus: An Overview

FY2022 Electronic Warfare Funding Trends

COVID-19 Testing: Frequently Asked Questions

Venezuela: Political Crisis and U.S. Policy

The FAFSA Simplification Act

Universal Preschool in the “Build Back Better Act”

Potential WTO TRIPS Waiver and COVID-19

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Fact Sheet

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Political Transition in Tokyo

The Palestinians: Overview, Aid, and U.S. Policy Issues

Pipeline Cybersecurity: Federal Programs

Section 301: Tariff Exclusions on U.S. Imports from China

Ethiopia’s Transition and the Tigray Conflict

Federal Crop Insurance for Hemp Crops

S. 503, the Parents Act of 2021

Wildfire Statistics

Ecuador: An Overview

Social Security’s Funding Shortfall

House Full Committee Hearings: 107th-116th Congresses

Social Security Overview

U.S. Capital Markets and China: Issues for Congress

Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks in U.S. Agriculture

Canadian Railroads Competing to Acquire Major U.S. Freight Line

Libya and U.S. Policy

Social Security Trust Fund Investment Practices

The Home Office Tax Deduction

U.S. Sanctions on Russia: An Overview

Bolivia: An Overview

The CDC’s Federal Eviction Moratorium

U.S. Challenges to China’s Farm Policies

Moldova: An Overview

The “Shadow Docket”: The Supreme Court’s Non-Merits Orders

Dominican Republic

Afghan Aerial Evacuation in Context

Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Natural Gas Pipeline to Germany

Trade Remedies: Countervailing Duties

Confederate Names and Military Installations

USDA Nutrition Assistance Programs: Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Unemployment Rates During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Vehicle Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Standards

Labor Day Speech Resources: Fact Sheet

The Bioeconomy: A Primer

Afghan Women and Girls: Status and Congressional Action

Overview of the 2018 Farm Bill Energy Title Programs

Terrorist Groups in Afghanistan

The Philippines

The Great American Outdoors Act (P.L. 116-152)

European Union Enlargement

The Big Tech Antitrust Bills

Potential Military Roles for Supersonic Transports

The Digital Equity Act of 2021

Tax Treatment of Gig Economy Workers

COVID-19: Government Resources for Real-Time Economic Indicators

Federal Assistance for Wildfire Response and Recovery

Defense Health Primer: Military Vaccinations

Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act: Overview and Issues

Overview of Long-Term Services and Supports

Infrastructure and the Economy

Who Pays for Long-Term Services and Supports?

The United Kingdom, France and the Indo-Pacific

Global COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Impact in Africa

Diplomacy with North Korea: A Status Report

The U.S. Capitol Police: Brief Background

Veteran Suicide Prevention

COVID-19 and the U.S. Timber Industry

Wild Horse and Burro Management: Overview of Costs

“Extraordinary Measures” and the Debt Limit

How Stable Are Stablecoins?

Insurgency in Northern Mozambique: Nature and Responses

Salton Sea Restoration

The LIBOR Transition

Military Suicide Prevention and Response

Craft Alcoholic Beverage Industry: Overview and Regulation

Global Human Rights: International Religious Freedom Policy

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM): An Overview

Veterans’ Employment

The Law of Immigration Detention: A Brief Introduction

India-U.S. Relations

Marine Corps Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV)

Haiti: Concerns After the Presidential Assassination

FY2022 Budget Documents: Internet and GPO Availability

Crisis in Mali

Army Future Vertical Lift (FVL) Program

India’s Domestic Political Setting

Defense Primer: Gold Star Designation

Pakistan-U.S. Relations

United Nations Issues: U.S. Funding to the U.N. System

United Nations Issues: Overview of the United Nations System

Crisis in the Central African Republic

Biodiversity

Reinstatement of Removal: An Introduction

U.S.-Kenya FTA Negotiations

Algeria

Grants Work in a Congressional Office

Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2)

China’s Engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean

The European Deterrence Initiative: A Budgetary Overview

Army Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFABs)

Child Welfare: Purposes, Federal Programs, and Funding

Latin America and the Caribbean: U.S. Policy Overview

Introduction to U.S. Economy: Productivity

FEMA Funeral Assistance for COVID-19

Defense Primer: Military Commissaries and Exchanges

Resources for Grantseekers

Women in Congress: Statistics and Brief Overview

Carbon Storage Requirements in the 45Q Tax Credit

U.S.-EU Privacy Shield

U.S. Funding for International Conservation and Biodiversity

Independence Day Speech Resources: Fact Sheet

U.S.-European Relations in the 117th Congress

Ukrainian Armed Forces

The Kingdom of Bhutan

The Debt Collection Market and Selected Policy Issues

Controlling Lead in Public Drinking Water Supplies

Mongolia’s Presidential Election

How FEMA Individual Assistance Works

Army Corps of Engineers: Continuing Authorities Programs

Military Medical Malpractice and the Feres Doctrine

1890 Land-Grant Universities: Background and Selected Issues

Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974

Origins of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Constituent Services: Overview and Resources

Georgia: Background and U.S. Policy

Formal Removal Proceedings: An Introduction

Overview of the ACA Medicaid Expansion

The Census Bureau Director

Drought in the Klamath River Basin

Deep Fakes and National Security

The Tax Credit for Carbon Sequestration (Section 45Q)

China Primer: Uyghurs

The Director of National Intelligence (DNI)

Department of Defense Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems

The Marine Corps’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV)

The Open Skies Treaty: Background and Issues

WTO: Ministerial Delay, COVID-19, and Ongoing Issues

Defense Primer: U.S. Precision-Guided Munitions

Drought Response and Preparedness: Policy and Legislation

Potential WTO TRIPS Waiver and COVID-19

Tax Treatment of Capital Gains at Death

Djibouti

The Army’s Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV)

Judiciary Budget Request, FY2022

Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)

WaterSense® Program: Congressional Authorization

Child Welfare Programs: A Timeline

The Bahamas: An Overview

Mexico’s Immigration Control Efforts

Infertility in the Military

The European Parliament and U.S. Interests

South Korea: Background and U.S. Relations

Pandemic-Related Provisions Expiring in the 117th Congress

Senate Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper: A Primer

Section 307 and Imports Produced by Forced Labor

House Sergeant at Arms: A Primer

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Title X Family Planning Program

H.R. 1 and S. 1: Overview and Related CRS Products

Trends in Active-Duty Military Deaths Since 2006

Defense Primer: DOD “Title 10” Security Cooperation

Housing Funding in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

U.S.-Japan Relations

Platte River Restoration Efforts

COVID-19 and the U.S. Economy

Defense Primer: Active Duty Enlisted Retention

Weather and Climate Change: What’s the Difference?

FY2021 Refugee Ceiling Increase

The Islamic State

Turkey-U.S. Relations: Timeline and Brief Historical Context

Global Refugee Resettlement: Selected Issues and Questions

COVID-19: Household Debt During the Pandemic

TurkStream: Russia’s Southern Pipeline to Europe

U.S. Retirement Assets in 2020

Trusted Traveler Programs

5G Fund for Rural America

Introduction to U.S. Economy: Housing Market

African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)

U.S.-Singapore Relations

The Venezuela Regional Humanitarian Crisis and COVID-19

U.S. Refugee Admissions in FY2021

U.S.-Mexico Trade Relations

The Three Seas Initiative

The Energy Credit or Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

Export Restrictions in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims: A Brief Introduction

Smart Cars and Trucks: Spectrum Use for Vehicle Safety

Agency Use of Guidance Documents

Handguns, Stabilizing Braces, and Related Components

Oil and Gas Tax Preferences

Federal Scientific Integrity Policies: A Primer

North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons and Missile Programs

Poverty in the United States in 2019

COVID-19: Financial Relief and Assistance Resources for Renters

Negotiated Rulemaking: In Brief

U.S. Antipersonnel Landmine Use Policy

Lying in State or Honor in the U.S. Capitol by Non-Members of Congress

Section 230: An Overview

Funding U.S.-Mexico Border Barrier Construction: Current Issues

Is High Inflation a Risk in 2021?

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA): An Overview

An Expiration Date for Temporary Control of Fentanyl Analogues

SPAC IPO: Background and Policy Issues

Romania: An Overview

High Court to Review Tribal Police Search and Seizure Case

Payroll Tax Credit for COVID-19 Sick and Family Leave

Naming VA Facilities: Fact Sheet

Biometric Technologies and Global Security

Federal Eviction Moratoriums in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Searches and Seizures at the Border and the Fourth Amendment

Domestic Funding for COVID-19 Vaccines: An Overview

Executive Orders: An Introduction

Boko Haram and the Islamic State’s West Africa Province

Mexico: Challenges for U.S. Policymakers in 2021

Calculation and Use of the Disaster Relief Allowable Adjustment

Recent White House Actions on Immigration

The Liquidity Coverage Ratio and the Net Stable Funding Ratio

Stafford Act Assistance for Public Health Incidents

Finding Medicare Enrollment Statistics

An Overview of Federal Regulations and the Rulemaking Process

Coup in Burma (Myanmar): Issues for U.S. Policy

Federal Taxation of Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Pension Provisions in the American Rescue Plan of 2021

Special Financial Assistance to Multiemployer Plans

The Debt Limit

Introduction to U.S. Economy: Business Investment

Defense Primer: Arlington National Cemetery

WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA)

Medicaid Work Requirements: An End to the Litigation?

Green Building Overview and Issues

Saudi Arabia

The National Guard and the COVID-19 Pandemic Response

Airport Privatization: Issues and Options for Congress

Congressional Member Organizations (CMOs) and Informal Member Groups

The Qualified Mortgage (QM) Rule and Recent Revisions

Venezuela: Challenges for U.S. Policymakers in 2021

A Brief Overview of FEMA’s Public Assistance Program

Federal Offshore Oil and Gas Revenues During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Resurgence of Chemical Weapons Use: Issues for Congress

The Endangered Species Act: Overview and Implementation

Russia: Poisoning of Alexei Navalny and U.S. Policy

Commercial Filming and Photography on Federal Lands

Regulating Contaminants Under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)

China Primer: U.S.-China Relations

Farmer Protests in India

Reauthorizing Highway and Transit Funding Programs

Europe, COVID-19, and U.S. Relations

Highway and Public Transit Funding Issues

Iran’s Nuclear Program and U.N. Sanctions Reimposition

U.S. Agricultural Aid in Response to COVID-19

Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR): An Overview

Quarter and Half Dollar Coins: History and Current Status

Are Temporary Protected Status Recipients Eligible to Adjust Status?

COVID-19 Testing Supply Chain

U.S. Dollar Coins: History and Current Status

A Brief History of U.S. Electricity Portfolio Standard Proposals

Huawei and U.S. Law

Women’s Suffrage: Fact Sheet

Supreme Court Appointment Process: President’s Selection of a Nominee

Supreme Court Appointment Process: Senate Debate and Confirmation Vote

Wildlife Trade, COVID-19, and Other Zoonotic Diseases

Federal Crop Insurance: A Primer

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers (TAA)

Miscellaneous Tariff Bills (MTBs)

Rules of Origin

Power Outages in Texas

The Disaster Relief Fund: Overview and Issues

U.S.-Vietnam Relations

U.S.-China Trade Relations

The Federal Land Management Agencies

Boeing-Airbus Subsidy Dispute: Recent Developments

U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America: An Overview

Prescription Drug Importation

Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG): An Overview

Syria Conflict Overview: 2011-2021

Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs): Frequently Asked Questions

Wildfire Smoke: Air Quality Concerns and Management

Class 8 Truck Zero-Emission Routes

The World Trade Organization

Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) Reductions

House Conferees: Restrictions on Their Authority

The Federal Reserve’s Response to COVID-19: Policy Issues

Agency Rescissions of Legislative Rules

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program

DOD Concerns About the FCC-Approved Ligado Network

Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank)

Defense Primer: Acquiring Specialty Metals and Sensitive Materials

Defense Primer: Department of Defense Contractors

Defense Primer: The National Technology and Industrial Base

Environmental Provisions in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)

Status of U.S.-Russian Nuclear Arms Control Talks

South China Sea Disputes: Background and U.S. Policy

Bangladesh

Dispute Settlement in the WTO and U.S. Trade Agreements

U.S.-Proposed Missile Technology Control Regime Changes

Lebanese Hezbollah

Fiscal Policy and Recovery from the COVID-19 Recession

African Elections in 2021

Illicit Fentanyl and China’s Role

Farm Service Agency Committees: In Brief

Defense Primer: Active Duty Enlisted Recruiting

Defense Primer: Reserve Forces

Sri Lanka

U.S. International Investment Agreements (IIAs)

The Emoluments Clauses of the U.S. Constitution

Commemorative Coins: An Overview

Motor Vehicle Safety: Issues for Congress

Army Corps of Engineers: Environmental Infrastructure Assistance

U.S. Health Care Coverage and Spending

Kyrgyz Republic

Kazakhstan

Commemorative Commissions: Overview, Structure, and Funding

U.S.-South Korea (KORUS) FTA

Farmer Mac and Its Board Members

Keystone XL Pipeline: The End of the Road?

Venezuela: Overview of U.S. Sanctions

Defense Primer: U.S. Defense Industrial Base

Parliamentary Elections in Kazakhstan

Defense Primer: Lowest Price Technically Acceptable Contracts

Defense Primer: DOD Transfer and Reprogramming Authorities

Farm Credit Administration and Its Board Members

Burma: Key Issues in 2021

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Expedited Removal of Aliens: An Introduction

U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA)

Selected Trump Administration Foreign Aid Priorities: A Wrap-Up

U.S.-EU Trade and Investment Ties: Magnitude and Scope

Social Security: Benefit Calculation

New Zealand

U.S.-China Investment Ties: Overview

U.S. Export Control Reforms and China: Issues for Congress

Export Controls: Key Challenges

Brexit and Outlook for a U.S.-UK Free Trade Agreement

Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs Funding for FY2021

The Tax Treatment of Canceled Mortgage Debt

U.S.-Turkey Trade Relations

SelectUSA Program: U.S. Inbound Investment Promotion

U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Trade Agreement

COVID-19-Related Suspension of Immigrant Entry

Safeguards: Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974

Human Rights in China

The International Monetary Fund

Buying American: The Berry and Kissell Amendments

Defense Primer: The Berry and Kissell Amendments

Presidential Authority to Address Tariff Barriers in Trade Agreements

Defense Primer: Department of Defense Civilian Employees

Overview of the Federal Procurement Process and Resources

U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)

Enactment of the National Landslide Preparedness Act (P.L. 116-323)

China’s Economy: Current Trends and Issues

The Social Security Administration’s Death Data: In Brief

U.S. Tariff Policy: Overview

Aviation and Climate Change

Trade Remedies: Antidumping and Countervailing Duties

Defense Primer: The United States Space Force

USMCA: Labor Provisions

Inauguration Security and Operations

The Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Program

Defense Primer: Procurement

The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Program

Defense Primer: Military Pay Raise

Election Day: Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19-Related Suspension of Nonimmigrant Entry

Nepal

Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)

COVID-19: Presidential Order Deferring Individual Payroll Taxes

China’s 14th Five-Year Plan: A First Look

COVID-19: Employment Across Industries

Climate Change Risk Mitigation by U.S. Foreign Assistance Agencies

Water Resources Development Act of 2020

Defense Primer: Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering

Introduction to U.S. Economy: GDP and Economic Growth

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Invasive Species Efforts

Introduction to Financial Services: Consumer Finance

Introduction to Financial Services: The Regulatory Framework

Foreign Direct Investment: Overview and Issues

Introduction to Financial Services: Insurance

Supreme Court Considers Statute of Limitations for Military Rape Cases

Introduction to U.S. Economy: The Business Cycle and Growth

Introduction to Financial Services: Banking

Introduction to Financial Services: Systemic Risk

Introduction to Financial Services: The Federal Reserve

Introduction to Financial Services: Capital Markets

Russian Cyber Units

Exchange Rates and Currency Manipulation

Defense Primer: National Security Space Launch

Defense Primer: Intelligence Support to Military Operations

Defense Primer: Budgeting for National and Defense Intelligence

Defense Primer: National and Defense Intelligence

Defense Primer: Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security

Introduction to U.S. Economy: Inflation

New Census Bureau Products Track COVID-19’s Effects

U.S.-Taiwan Trade Relations

U.S.-India Trade Relations

Hong Kong: Key Issues in 2021

Ozone and Particulate Matter Air Standards: EPA Review

Defense Primer: United States Transportation Command

2020 Census Fieldwork Delayed by COVID-19

Defense Primer: The Military Departments

Inaugural Tickets: Past Practices and Considerations for 2021

SolarWinds Attack—No Easy Fix

U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement Negotiations

Labor Enforcement Issues in U.S. FTAs

Worker Rights Provisions in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)

SBA EIDL and Emergency EIDL Grants: Data by State

Pandemic-Related Statutory Provisions Expiring in 2020

Membership of the 116th Congress: A Profile

Defense Primer: Information Operations

Defense Primer: The Defense Logistics Agency

Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management: An Introduction

Cybersecurity: A Primer

Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974: Origin, Evolution, and Use

Defense Primer: Future Years Defense Program (FYDP)

Managed Trade and Quantitative Restrictions: Issues for Congress

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)

Overview of the Global Humanitarian and Displacement Crisis

Methane Emissions: A Primer

Burkina Faso

Section 301 Investigations: Vietnam’s Timber Trade and Currency Practices

U.S. Trade Debates: Select Disputes and Actions

The U.S. Trade Deficit: An Overview

The Dollar and the U.S. Trade Deficit

Defense Primer: Department of Defense Maintenance Depots

Defense Primer: Defense Support of Civil Authorities

How FEMA Public Assistance Works

TikTok: Technology Overview and Issues

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Tests

Indonesia

Introduction to U.S. Economy: Fiscal Policy

Digital Trade

U.S. Trade Policy Functions: Who Does What?

Defense Primer: Regular Military Compensation

Defense Primer: Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC)

Eight Mechanisms to Enact Procedural Change in the U.S. Senate

The Unfolding Conflict in Ethiopia

The Federal Death Penalty

Introduction to U.S. Economy: Personal Income

Size of the U.S. House of Representatives

Medicaid Primer

Defense Primer: Defense Working Capital Funds

Introduction to U.S. Economy: Personal Saving

Defense Primer: Military Officers

Defense Primer: Military Enlisted Personnel

U.S.-Brazil Economic Relations

Women in the Middle East and North Africa: Issues for Congress

Legal Issues in COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Deployment

Presidential Transitions: An Overview

Defense Primer: Military Installations Management

Presidential Transitions: Executive Orders

Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (Legco)

The Child Tax Credit

Defense Primer: Military Retirement

USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program: Round One (CFAP-1)

Overview of Recent Anti-Lynching Proposals

Changes to Behavioral Health Treatment During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Trump Administration’s Prosper Africa Initiative

TRICARE Cost-Sharing Changes in 2021

Burma’s 2020 Parliamentary Elections

Instructing Senate Conferees

Impact of the Recession on Medicaid

Foreign Trade Remedy Investigations of U.S. Agricultural Products

The Federal Income Tax: How Do Marginal Income Tax Rates Work in 2020?

COVID-19 Pandemic’s Impact on Household Employment and Income

COVID-19: How Quickly Will Unemployment Recover?

Introduction to U.S. Economy: Unemployment

Child Soldiers Prevention Act: Security Assistance Restrictions

The “Regular Order”: A Perspective

Homelessness and COVID-19

The Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program

FY2021 Refugee Ceiling and Allocations

The COVID-19 Health Care Provider Relief Fund

Economic Development Revolving Loan Funds (ED-RLFs)

Public Confidence in Elections

The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act

Guyana: An Overview

U.S.-Brazil Trade Relations

The Electoral College: A 2020 Presidential Election Timeline

CARES Act Payroll Support to Air Carriers and Contractors

Bolivia’s October 2020 General Elections

Brunei Darussalam

Adoption Tax Benefits: An Overview

CDBG-CV Formula Allocation Methods

Protection of Federal Government Officials

U.N. Ban on Iran Arms Transfers and Sanctions Snapback

Immigration Parole

Heroes Act (H.R. 6800/H.R. 925): Selected Consumer Loan Provisions

Immigration Detainers: Background and Recent Legal Developments

Delivery of Economic Impact Payments (EIPs)

Lebanon’s Economic Crisis

The Good Neighbor Authority

State Veterans Homes

Community Development Block Grants and the CARES Act

The Federal Taxing Power: A Primer

Competition Among Video Streaming Services

Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s Resignation and the U.S.-Japan Alliance

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): An Introduction

Uzbekistan

Military Medical Care: Mitigating Impacts From Medical Unit Deployments

COVID-19 and the U.S. Seafood Sector

The Civil Rights Act of 1964: An Overview

Marijuana and Restrictions on Immigration

The World Bank

Russian Private Military Companies (PMCs)

Intra-Afghan Talks Commence in Doha, Qatar

Patent Law: A Handbook for Congress

Immigration: Public Charge

Do Veterans Have Choices in How They Access Health Care?

U.S. Trade Policy: Background and Current Issues

Selected Privileges and Courtesies Extended to Former Members of Congress

The Schedule I Status of Marijuana

Russia: Domestic Politics and Economy

Industrial Loan Companies (ILCs): Background and Policy Issues

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Protecting Against Rogue Drones

Air Force F-15EX Fighter Program

The Global Compact on Migration (GCM) and U.S. Policy

2020 Wildfire Season: Brief Overview of FEMA Programs and Resources

Use of National Statuary Hall: Assignment and Historic Events

The GSEs’ Adverse Market Refinance Fee

The Future of Space Tourism

Alternative Data in Financial Services

Military Spouse Employment

A Brief Overview of FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program

Health Care for Federal Prisoners

The U.S. Blood Supply and the COVID-19 Response: In Brief

Turkmenistan

The Armed Forces Retirement Home

DOD Domestic School System: Background and Issues

U.S. Agency for International Development: An Overview

Tajikistan

Members’ Representational Allowance: History and Usage

Prospects for Enhanced U.S.-Saudi Nuclear Energy Cooperation

The Great American Outdoors Act, P.L. 116-152: Selected Provisions

Title IX’s Application to Transgender Athletes: Recent Developments

Concurrent Receipt of Military Retirement and VA Disability

“Made in China 2025” Industrial Policies: Issues for Congress

Forecasting Tropical Cyclones: Overview and Issues for Congress

PHMSA’s Pipeline Safety Reauthorization: Funding Issues

Long-Term Care Insurance: Overview

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and U.S. Trade Agreements

United States European Command: Overview and Key Issues

U.S. Military Presence in Poland

Ethiopia

USDA’s ReConnect Broadband Pilot Program

COVID-19: Resources for Tracking Federal Spending

House Conferees: Selection

Presidential Candidate and Nominating Convention Security

EU Data Protection Rules and U.S. Implications

State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

Juneteenth: Fact Sheet

The Charitable Deduction for Individuals

COVID-19: Measuring Unemployment

The International Emergency Economic Powers Act: Key Facts

VH-92 Presidential Helicopter

Proposed Extension of the Reclamation Water Settlements Fund

Mongolia

Food Safety and COVID-19

Taxation of Carried Interest

CARES Act Higher Education Provisions

Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms: An Overview

COVID-19: Restrictions on Travelers at U.S. Land Borders

Hydrogen in Electricity’s Future

DARPA’s Pandemic-Related Programs

Russian Armed Forces: Capabilities

District of Columbia Statehood and Voting Representation

EU-Japan FTA: Implications for U.S. Trade Policy

Congress and Police Reform: Current Law and Recent Proposals

U.S.-South Korea Alliance: Issues for Congress

The North American Development Bank

Thailand: Background and U.S. Relations

Conflict at the China-India Frontier

COVID-19: Effect on Organ Donation and Transplantation

Federal Reserve: Emergency Lending in Response to COVID-19

Argentina’s Economic Crisis and Default

Social Security Benefit Taxation Highlights

COVID-19: Global Implications and Responses

Legal Issues Related to the COVID-19 Outbreak: An Overview

COVID-19: Potential Impacts on the Electric Power Sector

Congress, Civilian Control of the Military, and Nonpartisanship

Police Accountability Measures

State and Local Fiscal Conditions and Economic Shocks

Malaysia

Strategic Petroleum Reserve: Recent Developments

HIPAA, Telehealth, and COVID-19

COVID-19: U.S. Public Health Data and Reporting

WIFIA Program: Background and Recent Developments

A-76 Competitions in the Department of Defense

Spectrum Interference Issues: Ligado, the L-Band, and GPS

CFIUS: New Foreign Investment Review Regulations

COVID-19: Federal Travel Restrictions and Quarantine Measures

PJM Minimum Offer Price Rule Impact on Future Renewables

Medicaid Financing for the Territories

Treatment of COVID-19: Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine

Time Is Time, but Money Is Money

The WTO Withdrawal Resolutions

Medicare Overview

COVID-19 and Federal Employment Protections for Work Refusals

EPA Reconsiders Benefits of Mercury and Air Toxics Limits

Federal Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs

The Mortgage Interest Deduction

U.S. Foreign Assistance

Judiciary Budget Request, FY2021

Health Insurance Options Following Loss of Employment

Older Americans Act: Nutrition Services Program

Muslim Holidays: Fact Sheet

Islam is one of the three major Abrahamic faiths, alongside Judaism and Christianity. Islam, considered by the Pew Research Center to be the world’s fastest growing religion, has approximately 1.8 billion followers worldwide, of whom some 3.35 million live in the United States. Muslims annually observe two major holidays: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. This fact sheet describes the two holidays’ significance and American Muslims’ observance of them, and addresses the ways the holidays have been recognized by elected officials. The fact sheet also briefly describes two other widely celebrated...

Memorial Day Speech Resources: Fact Sheet

Memorial Day is a day of reflection and remembrance of those who died while serving in the U.S. military. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials and placing flags or wreaths. They may also participate in a Memorial Day parade or hold a family gathering, such as a barbeque. Memorial Day also unofficially marks the beginning of summer.

This guide is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to celebrating Memorial Day.

U.S.-North Korea Relations

Prior Converted Cropland Under the Clean Water Act

Federal Capital Punishment: Recent Developments

COVID-19 Testing: Key Issues

Marine Debris: NOAA’s Role

Graduation: Fact Sheet

Graduation and commencement ceremonies at U.S. academic institutions are often held in the months of May and June. This guide is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to graduation celebrations. It contains a brief history of the ceremonial tradition and the attire worn, sample speeches by government officials, presidential commencement addresses, and statistical resources on educational attainment and graduation rates from authoritative government sources.

U.S. Trade: Recent Trends and Developments

Private Flood Insurance and the National Flood Insurance Program

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the main source of primary flood insurance coverage in the United States, collecting approximately $4.6 billion in premiums, fees, and surcharges for over five million flood insurance policies. This is in contrast to the majority of other property and casualty risks, such as damage from fire or accidents, which are covered by a broad array of private insurance companies. One of the primary reasons behind the creation of the NFIP in 1968 was the withdrawal by private insurers from providing flood insurance coverage, leaving flood victims...

The Hatch Act: A Primer

Nuclear Waste Storage Sites in the United States

Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund and COVID-19

Unemployment Insurance Provisions in the CARES Act

American Battlefield Protection Program

The Courts and COVID-19

COVID-19: Response of the Oil and Gas Pipelines Sector

Earth Day: Fact Sheet

Earth Day is an annual event to raise awareness about environmental issues. It was first held on April 22, 1970, and marks its 50th anniversary in 2020. This fact sheet assists congressional offices with work related to Earth Day. It contains historical information, links to legislation, sample speeches and remarks from the Congressional Record, presidential proclamations and statements, and web resources.

Disrupted Federal Elections: Policy Issues for Congress

Money Market Mutual Funds: A Financial Stability Case Study

Judges Urge Congress to Revise What Can Be Patented

Supreme Court Grants Stay in MPP Case

Department of Education Support for School Safety Initiatives

Election Security: Federal Funding for Securing Election Systems

Red Army Equifax Hackers Indicted

Pakistan’s Domestic Political Setting

Mauritania

COVID-19: U.S.-China Economic Considerations

U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) Program

Is There Liability for Cross-Border Shooting?

Regulating Drinking Water Contaminants: EPA PFAS Actions

Medicaid Coverage for Former Foster Youth Up to Age 26

Section 199A Deduction for Pass-through Business Income: An Overview

Women’s History Month Speech Resources: Fact Sheet

Women’s History Month commemorates the contributions of American women. March was first designated as Women’s History Month on March 12, 1987, by P.L. 100-9. Since then, Presidents have issued annual proclamations promoting this observance.

This guide is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to Women’s History Month. It provides links to sample congressional speeches and recognitions, presidential proclamations, statistical data, and selected historical resources.

Carbon Sequestration Legislation in the 116th Congress

Deadlines, Programs, and Regulations Mandated by FIRRMA

CFIUS Reform Under FIRRMA

Immigration

Workers’ Compensation: Overview and Issues

UPDATED: Recent U.S. Airstrikes: Legal Authorities and Questions

United States Central Command

What Is An Autodialer? A Lingering Robocall Enforcement Question

U.S.-Vietnam Economic and Trade Relations: Issues in 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT): An Overview

FDA Regulation of Cannabidiol (CBD) Consumer Products

Court Tosses Convictions for Killing ICE Agent Abroad

U.S.-China Phase I Deal: Agriculture

Federal Securities Laws: An Overview

Introduction to Financial Services: Corporate Governance

Section 232 Auto Investigation

National African American History Month Speech Resources: Fact Sheet

This fact sheet links to authoritative information resources related to National African American History Month, which is also referred to as African American History Month and Black History Month. It is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to National African American History Month by providing links to legislation, CRS reports, sample speeches and remarks from the Congressional Record, and presidential proclamations and remarks. It also links to additional government web resources and selected advocacy, educational, cultural, and military, organizations.

USMCA: Amendment and Key Changes

Challenges to the United States in Space

U.S. Relations with Burma: Key Issues in 2020

Design of United States Paper Currency

Immigration-Related Criminal Offenses

Veterans’ Benefits and Bankruptcy

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month Speech Resources: Fact Sheet

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. It is designed to be a time to recognize the contributions and achievements of Americans of Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Island descent.

This guide is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month celebrations. It contains links to census and demographic information, CRS reports, and presidential proclamations, as well as additional web resources commemorating Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. The guide also provides a list of educational, cultural, and advocacy organizations...

Somalia

Birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington: Fact Sheet

Washington’s Birthday, often informally called Presidents’ Day, is a federal holiday celebrating the birth of President George Washington on the third Monday in February. In some regions of the United States, the birth of President Abraham Lincoln is also unofficially celebrated on this holiday. The official designation for this holiday is “Washington’s Birthday.” Although other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is federal policy to always refer to holidays by the names designated in the law.

This guide assists congressional...

China’s Corporate Social Credit System

Al Shabaab

Employer Tax Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave

Kenya

Trying to Kill An FBI Agent: Sentence Too Low

Reforms in Uzbekistan

Iran’s Ballistic Missile and Space Launch Programs

The 2019-2020 Iran Crisis and U.S. Military Deployments

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Speech Resources: Fact Sheet

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a federal holiday observed annually on the third Monday in January. It celebrates the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. in honor of his birthday and achievements. The day is also referred to as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday; MLK Day; Martin Luther King Day; the King Holiday; and the King Day of Service. In 2020, this holiday is celebrated on January 20.

This guide assists congressional offices with work related to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It contains links to legislation, CRS reports, sample speeches and remarks from the...

USMCA: Investment Provisions

Small Satellite Boom Poses Challenges for Regulators

Hong Kong: Recent Developments and U.S. Relations

USMCA: Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Defense Primer: Legal Authorities for the Use of Military Forces

U.S. Withdrawal from the INF Treaty: What’s Next?

Changes to India’s Citizenship Laws

Hong Kong’s Protests of 2019

Christian Holidays: Fact Sheet

Christianity is one of the three major Abrahamic faiths, alongside Islam and Judaism. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 70% of Americans self-identify as Christian. There are a large number of Christian traditions, with great variation in which holidays are celebrated and how.

This fact sheet highlights two holidays—Easter and Christmas—observed by a significant portion of Christian American denominations and addresses the ways these holidays are currently recognized in the United States.

This fact sheet is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to...

Dairy Provisions in USMCA

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States

Laos

Defining Active Ingredient: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Legal Interpretation of Regulatory Exclusivities

Whether many provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) apply to a particular drug product turns in part on the novelty of the “active ingredient” of the drug in question. In particular, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must assess the novelty of the active ingredient in a new drug, comparing it to a previously approved drug’s active ingredient to determine whether the new drug qualifies for the five-year “new chemical entity” (NCE) exclusivity. FDA generally cannot accept new drug applications that refer to a drug with NCE exclusivity (i.e., rely on its...

Dam Safety: Federal Programs and Authorities

Repurchase Agreements (Repos): A Primer

Jewish Holidays: Fact Sheet

Judaism is one of the three major Abrahamic faiths, alongside Islam and Christianity. Many traditions and variations of Judaism are practiced in the United States, including cultural and religious variations. According to the Pew Research Center, about 2.2% of Americans (6.7 million people) self-identify as religiously or culturally Jewish. Roughly 22% of American Jews describe themselves as culturally, but not religiously, Jewish.

This fact sheet highlights four major cultural and religious holidays observed by a significant portion of Jewish American populations (Passover, Rosh Hashanah,...

Head Start: Overview and Current Issues

Social Services Block Grant

National Park Service Affiliated Areas: An Overview

Zimbabwe: A Continuing Crisis

Thanksgiving: Fact Sheet

Thanksgiving is a federal holiday observed on the fourth Thursday in November. It began in 1621 as a harvest celebration between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians and has become a time for families and friends to gather to reflect and express gratitude.

In 1789, President George Washington declared November 26 a national day of Thanksgiving. Subsequent Presidents issued Thanksgiving proclamations, but the dates of the commemoration changed. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation establishing the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving.

In October 1941, Congress...

Green Climate Fund: Resource Mobilization, Recent Projects

Kinship Care

DOD’s Cloud Strategy and the JEDI Cloud Procurement

The Equal Rights Amendment: Close to Adoption?

Presidential Directives: An Introduction

Negotiation of Drug Prices in Medicare Part D

“Things of Value” and the Foreign Contribution Ban

South Sudan

2018 Farm Bill (P.L. 115-334) Primer Series: A Guide to Omnibus Farm and Food Legislation

This report summarizes a series of In Focus products prepared by CRS on the enacted Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 farm bill; P.L. 115-334). The President signed the 2018 farm bill into law in December 2018. To a large extent, the 2018 farm bill continues the general thrust of prior farm and food policy by reauthorizing many of the existing programs through 2023. In some cases, Congress modified existing programs, while also creating new programs and allowing certain other programs to expire.

Australia

Uruguay: An Overview

Introduction to Veterans Health Care

Hong Kong’s Proposed Extradition Law Amendments

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Drug Testing Unemployment Compensation Applicants & the Fourth Amendment

The Congressional Arts Caucus and the Congressional Art Competition: History and Current Practice

Sponsored by the Congressional Arts Caucus, and known in recent years as “An Artistic Discovery,” the Congressional Art Competition is open to high school students nationwide. Begun in 1982, the competition, based in congressional districts, provides the opportunity for Members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since its inception, more than 650,000 high school students nationwide have been involved in the program.

Each year, the art of one student per participating congressional district is selected to represent the district. The...

Global Trends in HIV/AIDS

Obstruction of Justice As a Sidecar

Frequently Asked Questions About Flag Law

The “flag code” is the federal law that sets forth guidelines for the appearance and display of the U.S. flag (“flag”) by private citizens. These guidelines specify times and conditions for display of the flag, manners and methods of display, and buildings where such display should occur. The guidelines for flag display vary based on the context and occasion, and there are detailed specifications for displaying flags at “half-staff.” The flag code also specifies how to deliver the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag and appropriate conduct while watching a performance of the National Anthem....

Paris Agreement: U.S. Climate Finance Commitments

The Global Environment Facility (GEF)

The Green Climate Fund (GCF)

Final Rules Changing Endangered Species Act Regulations

The Endangered Species Act and Climate Change: Selected Legal Issues

For more than a decade, federal agencies have grappled with how to address climate change effects when implementing the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). The ESA aims to protect threatened and endangered fish, wildlife, and plants from extinction. As set forth by Congress, one of the main purposes of the ESA is to “provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (collectively, the Services) have acknowledged that the changing...

H.R. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission Act

The Designation of Election Systems as Critical Infrastructure

Holocaust-Era Insurance Claims

Regulating Big Tech: Legal Implications

Systemic Risk And The Long-Term Capital Management Rescue

In September 1998, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York coordinated a rescue of Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM), a hedge fund that was on the brink of failure. The survival of a hedge fund, a private investment partnership available only to wealthy individuals and institutions, is normally not a matter of public concern. This case was different: LTCM had used such extensive leverage —it had augmented the size of its investments by borrowing and through use of derivative financial instruments — that its failure seemed to carry a “systemic” risk to financial markets in general and to the...

Older Americans Month Speech Resources: Fact Sheet

May is Older Americans Month—a time to celebrate and pay tribute to older people across the country. Since 1992, the Administration on Aging has selected an annual theme for Older Americans Month. The May 2019 theme is Connect, Create, Contribute. The Administration for Community Living website contains a list of past themes.

This guide is designed to assist congressional offices with work-related Older Americans Month celebrations. It contains a brief history with resources for additional historical, legislative and budget information, CRS reports, examples of speeches and recognitions...

China’s Engagement in Djibouti

The Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville)

The International Joint Commission (IJC)

How to Develop and Write a Grant Proposal

This report is intended for Members and staff assisting grant seekers in districts and states and covers writing proposals for both government and private foundation grants. In preparation for writing a proposal, the report first discusses preliminary information gathering and preparation, developing ideas for the proposal, gathering community support, identifying funding resources, and seeking preliminary review of the proposal and support of relevant administrative officials.

The second section of the report covers the actual writing of the proposal, from outlining of project goals,...

U.S.-EU Trade and Economic Issues

The Nordic Countries and U.S. Relations

Sudan

Russia, the Skripal Poisoning, and U.S. Sanctions

Proposed Relocation/Realignment of USDA’s ERS and NIFA

Introduction to Tort Law

Votes on Measures to Adjust the Statutory Debt Limit, 1978 to Present

Almost all borrowing by the federal government is conducted by the Treasury Department, within the restrictions established by a single, statutory limit (ceiling) on the total amount of debt that may be outstanding at any time. By law, the Treasury cannot exceed federal debt limits, so the Treasury periodically has had to ask Congress to enact new debt limits so it can fulfill its financial commitments. Since 1978, 59 measures adjusting or suspending the statutory debt limit either as stand-alone legislation or as part of legislation dealing with other matters have been enacted into...

Firearm “Red Flag” Laws in the 116th Congress

Uganda

Nonprofit Donor Information Disclosure

Medicaid’s Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD) Exclusion

Federal Indian Law: Judicial Developments in the October 2018 Supreme Court Term

Each term, the Supreme Court typically hears arguments in one or more cases concerning the rights and status of Indian tribes and their members. Prominent issues addressed by the Supreme Court in recent terms have included (1) tribes’ civil jurisdiction over nonmembers, (2) the scope of tribal sovereign immunity, and (3) termination of Indian parents’ rights in adoption cases.

The October 2018 term likewise featured several Indian law issues: the Court heard arguments in three significant cases, each of which implicated the complex relationships among tribal, state, and federal laws. In...

Facing the FACT Act: Abortion and Free Speech (Part II)

Military Health System Reform

Facing the FACT Act: Abortion and Free Speech (Part I)

Federal Disaster Assistance Response and Recovery Programs: Brief Summaries

This report is designed to assist Members of Congress and their staff as they address the needs of their states, communities, and constituents after a disaster. It includes a summary of federal programs that provide federal disaster assistance to individual survivors, states, territories, local governments, and nongovernmental entities following a natural or man-made disaster. A number of federal agencies provide financial assistance through grants, loans, and loan guarantees to assist in the provision of critical services, such as temporary housing, counseling, and infrastructure...

Ebola Outbreak: Democratic Republic of Congo

Zambia

Hazing in the Armed Forces

Child Care Entitlement to States

Bankruptcy and Student Loans

As overall student loan indebtedness in the United States has increased over the years, many borrowers have found themselves unable to repay their student loans. Ordinarily, declaring bankruptcy is a means by which a debtor may discharge—that is, obtain relief from—debts he is unable to repay. However, Congress, based upon its determination that allowing debtors to freely discharge student loans in bankruptcy could threaten the student loan program, has limited the circumstances in which a debtor may discharge a student loan. Under current law, a debtor may not discharge a student loan...

Nigeria

The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF): Background and Potential Reauthorization

The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) provides cash benefits to certain persons whose health may have been affected by exposure to debris or toxic substances in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, and the terrorist-related aircraft crash at Shanksville, PA. Congress created the original VCF shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks to provide compensation to persons injured and to the families of persons killed in the attacks and their immediate aftermath. In 2011, Congress reopened the VCF to provide benefits to...

Forecasting Hurricanes: Role of the National Hurricane Center

Drug Price Disclosures and the First Amendment

The Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA)

Guatemala: Corruption, Uncertainty Mar August 2019 Elections

No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels (NOPEC) Act of 2019

Congressional Access to the President’s Federal Tax Returns

Foreign Relations Reauthorization: Background and Issues

Enforcing U.S. Trade Laws: Section 301 and China

Papua New Guinea

U.S.-China Trade Issues

Technology Service Providers for Banks

Major Features of 529 Plans and Coverdells

Gun Crime Penalty Tossed

Burma’s Prospects for Peace in 2019

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission: An Overview

U.S.-Iran Tensions Escalate

Extradition of U.S. Citizens

Opioid Treatment Programs and Related Federal Regulations

The Gambia

Frequently Asked Questions about the Julian Assange Charges

Broadband Deployment: Status and Federal Programs

Iran and Israel: Tension Over Syria

WTO Disciplines on U.S. Domestic Support for Agriculture

HIV/AIDS in the Military

Antitrust Law: An Introduction

China’s Currency Policy

The Reclamation Fund

African Swine Fever (ASF)

The Plug-In Electric Vehicle Tax Credit

The Pacific Islands

When Can the Firearm Industry Be Sued?

2018 Farm Bill Primer: Dairy Programs

The 2020 Decennial Census: Overview and Issues

Cyprus: Reunification Proving Elusive

Four months into 2019, unification talks intended to end the division of Cyprus after 55 years as a politically separated nation and 45 years as a physically divided country have remained suspended since July 2017. Attempts by the United Nations to find common ground between the two Cypriot communities to resume the negotiations have not been successful. The talks have fallen victim to the realities of five decades of separation and both sides’ inability to make the necessary concessions to reach a final settlement. As a result, the long-sought bizonal, bicommunal, federal solution for the...

Cooperative Security in the Middle East: History and Prospects

Access to Broadband Networks: Net Neutrality

Civil Rights at School: Agency Enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits federally funded programs, activities, and institutions from discriminating based on race, color, or national origin. In its current form, largely unchanged since its adoption, Title VI incorporates a number of unique features. Besides barring federally funded programs from discriminating based on race, Title VI also authorizes and directs all federal funding agencies to promulgate rules effectuating that nondiscrimination mandate. Those rules were also made subject to presidential approval, an authority since delegated to the Attorney...

The Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA) of 2018

Foreign Leaders Addressing Congress

Judiciary Budget Request, FY2020

The European Union and China

Cyprus

Categories of Federal Civil Service Employment: A Snapshot

According to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the federal workforce consists of an estimated two million civilian employees. Federal law categorizes these employees into three types of service—the competitive service, the excepted service, and the Senior Executive Service (SES)—that may be distinguished by different selection, compensation, and other standards. Title 5 of the U.S. Code (Title 5) contains most of the standards governing federal employment, and OPM is generally responsible for implementing these requirements.

The competitive service largely consists of all civil...

Global Trends: Malaria

Europe’s Refugee and Migration Flows

Legislative Support Resources: Offices and Websites for Congressional Staff

This report provides a brief list of key House, Senate, legislative support agencies, and executive branch offices, as well as links to online resources of use to new congressional staff who work with legislative procedures and conduct legislative research. Some of the websites listed are available only to congressional offices; other sites are restricted by chamber and are only available to those staff working in either House or Senate offices. This report is intended for congressional use only and will be updated annually.

Senegal

Financing Airport Improvements

There are five major sources of airport capital development funding: the federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP); local passenger facility charges (PFCs) imposed pursuant to federal law; tax-exempt bonds; state and local grants; and airport operating revenue from tenant lease and other revenue-generating activities such as landing fees. Federal involvement is most consequential in AIP, PFCs, and tax-exempt financing.

The AIP has been providing federal grants for airport development and planning since the passage of the Airport and Airway Improvement Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-248). AIP funding...

Coalition-Building Against Iran

Cameroon

Eritrea

2018 Farm Bill Primer: Energy Title

Social Security Benefit Claiming Age

Federal Records: Types and Treatments

Are Excessive Fines Fundamentally Unfair?

Congressional Franked Mail: Overview

A Snapshot of Federal Student Loan Debt

Armenia’s Velvet Revolution

Farm Bill Primer Series: A Guide to Agriculture and Food Programs in the 2014 Farm Bill

This report constitutes a guide to a series of two-page reports that examine the various programs and policies that comprise periodic omnibus legislation on farm and food policy, commonly known as “the 2014 farm bill.” The Agriculture Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-79), or 2014 farm bill, was signed into law in February 2014. Many of the programs authorized by the 2014 farm bill expired in 2018, but most were subsequently reauthorized for five years and in many cases revised or otherwise amended by the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-334), the 2018 farm bill, which was signed into...

Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO)

Introduction to Financial Services: Derivatives

Introduction to Financial Services: The Housing Finance System

Global Trends: Tuberculosis

The Opioid Epidemic and the Food and Drug Administration: Legal Authorities and Recent Agency Action

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the annual number of drug overdose deaths in the United States involving opioids has more than quadrupled since 1999. CDC estimates that in 2016, more than 63,000 people died from a drug overdose, and approximately 42,000 of these deaths involved an opioid. In combating the opioid epidemic, one central challenge for state and federal regulators is striking a balance between taking aggressive action to fight opioid misuse and addiction, while simultaneously protecting access to medication for patients who experience severe...

Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile

This report presents a profile of the membership of the 115th Congress (2017-2018) as of December 20, 2018. 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.

In the House of Representatives, there are 238 Republicans (including 1 Delegate and the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico), 201 Democrats (including 4 Delegates), and 5 vacant seats. The Senate has 51 Republicans, 47...

The Congressional Review Act (CRA)

2018 World Bank Capital Increase Proposal

TANF Reauthorization: H.R. 5861

The U.S. Economy in a Global Context

Cybersecurity: Data, Statistics, and Glossaries

This report describes data and statistics from government, industry, and information technology (IT) security firms regarding the current state of cybersecurity threats in the United States and internationally. These include incident estimates, costs, and annual reports on data security breaches, identity thefts, cybercrimes, malware, and network securities.

Much is written on this topic, and this CRS report directs the reader to authoritative sources that address many of the most prominent issues. The annotated descriptions of these sources are listed in reverse chronological order, with...

Who Can Serve as Acting Attorney General

DACA: Litigation Status Update

Veterans and Homelessness

The Posse Comitatus Act and Related Matters: A Sketch

The Posse Comitatus Act states that “Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.” 18 U.S.C. § 1385. It reflects an American tradition that bridles at military involvement in civilian affairs. Congress, however, has approved a number of instances where extraordinary circumstances warrant a departure from the general rule, particularly in...

Invasive Species: A Brief Overview

Regulation of Cell-Cultured Meat

Religious Intolerance in Indonesia

Columbus Day: Fact Sheet

Columbus Day is a federal holiday commemorating Christopher Columbus’s historic voyage landing in the Americas on October 12, 1492. It has also become a time to honor Italian American heritage.

This guide is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to Columbus Day celebrations. It contains biographical information on Christopher Columbus and background on the holiday. It provides links to sample speeches marking the observance of Columbus Day from the Congressional Record and to official proclamations issued by the White House. It also contains links to selected...

Pakistan’s Economic Crisis

Social Media Adoption by Members of Congress: Trends and Congressional Considerations

Communication between Members of Congress and their constituents has changed with the development of online social networking services. Many Members now use email, official websites, blogs, YouTube channels, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms to communicate—technologies that were nonexistent or not widely available just a few decades ago.

Social networking services have arguably enhanced the ability of Members of Congress to fulfill their representational duties by providing them with greater opportunities to share information and potentially to gauge constituent...

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a provision of the Internal Revenue Code that allows employers that hire individuals with certain personal characteristics to claim a tax credit equal to a portion of the wages paid to those individuals. WOTC-eligible populations include recipients of certain public benefits (such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), qualified veterans, ex-felons, and other specified populations. In 2015, the WOTC was extended through 2019 as part of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015...

Dairy Revenue Protection Insurance

Long-Tenured Displaced Workers

Farm Bill Primer: Federal Crop Insurance

Tax Policy and Disaster Recovery

Securities Regulation and Initial Coin Offerings: A Legal Primer

Initial coin offerings (ICOs)—a method of raising capital in exchange for digital coins or tokens that entitle their holders to certain rights—are a hot topic among legislators, regulators, and financial market professionals. In response to a surge in the popularity of ICOs over the past 18 months, regulators in a number of countries have banned ICOs. Other foreign regulators have cautioned that unregistered ICOs may violate their securities laws, issued guidance clarifying the application of their securities laws to ICOs, or proposed new rules or legislation directed at regulating ICOs....

Supreme Court Nomination: CRS Products

Turkey’s Currency Crisis

Loan Sharking Isn’t a Violent Crime?

Overview of U.S.-South Korea Agricultural Trade

South Korea is an important export market for U.S. agricultural products. In 2017, U.S. farmers and ranchers sold about $7 billion of goods to South Korea, making it the sixth-largest export market by value for U.S. agricultural products. Leading U.S. agricultural exports to South Korea include beef, corn, soybeans, pork, wheat, oranges, nuts, and cheese. Further, the United States had a trade surplus of more than $6.3 billion in food and agricultural products with South Korea in 2017.

The trading relationship between the two countries has been governed by the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade...

Maritime Fuel Regulations

The James Webb Space Telescope

National Flood Insurance Program: Selected Issues and Legislation in the 115th Congress

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was established by the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (NFIA, 42 U.S.C. §4001 et seq.), and was most recently reauthorized until November 30, 2018 (P.L. 115-225). The general purpose of the NFIP is both to offer primary flood insurance to properties with significant flood risk, and to reduce flood risk through the adoption of floodplain management standards. A longer-term objective of the NFIP is to reduce federal expenditure on disaster assistance after floods. The NFIP also engages in many “non-insurance” activities in the public interest:...

Zimbabwe: Forthcoming Elections

Colombia’s 2018 Elections

Trinidad and Tobago

T-Mobile – Sprint Merger

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

Financial Aid for Students: Online Resources

Congressional offices are frequently contacted by constituents who are researching how to pay for postsecondary education. This report identifies various online sources targeted to students and parents that provide information on planning and acquiring funds for postsecondary education. Some resources also contain information on repaying, forgiving, or discharging educational debt.

Students are often in the best position to determine which aid programs they may qualify for and which best meet their needs. Many of the websites listed in this report enable a student to conduct and save...

Farm Bill Primer: Sugar Program

ENERGY STAR Program

Farm Bill Primer: Budget Issues

2018 Summit of the Americas

Regulatory Reform 10 Years After the Financial Crisis: Dodd-Frank and Securities Law

From 2007-2009, the United States experienced what many commentators believe was the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. In the wake of the crisis, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) in 2010. Title IX of Dodd-Frank, entitled “Investor Protections and Improvements to the Regulation of Securities,” focuses on the powers and authorities of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and authorizes the SEC to promulgate certain rules intended to enhance corporate accountability and corporate governance. This report...

Sexual Harassment and Title VII: Selected Legal Issues

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) generally prohibits discrimination in the workplace, but does not contain an express prohibition against harassment. The Supreme Court, however, has interpreted the statute to prohibit certain forms of harassment, including sexual harassment. Since first recognizing the viability of a Title VII harassment claim in a unanimous 1986 decision, the Court has also established legal standards for determining when offensive conduct amounts to a Title VII violation and when employers may be held liable for such actionable harassment, and...

Federal Student Aid: Need Analysis Formulas and Expected Family Contribution

This report describes the need analysis formulas used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) for federal student aid applicants. The formulas are codified in Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA), as amended. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the data collection instrument through which students submit the information that is used to calculate the EFC.

The HEA has three EFC formulas: one for dependent students and one each for independent students with and without dependents. A student’s dependency status is determined by the student’s age and other...

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Related Groups

TPP: Overview and Current Status

Inland Waterways Trust Fund

Eurasian Economic Union

U.S. Manufacturing in International Perspective

The health of the U.S. manufacturing sector has long been of great concern to Congress. The decline in manufacturing employment since the start of the 21st century has stimulated particular congressional interest, leading Members to introduce hundreds of bills over many sessions of Congress intended to support domestic manufacturing activity in various ways. The proponents of such measures frequently contend that the United States is by various measures falling behind other countries in manufacturing, and they argue that this relative decline can be mitigated or reversed by government...

How Many People Experience Homelessness?

FEMA Individual Assistance Programs: In Brief

When the President declares a major disaster pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (P.L. 93-288), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises the President about types of federal assistance administered by FEMA available to disaster victims, states, localities, and tribes. The primary types of assistance provided under a major disaster declaration include funding through the Public Assistance program, Mitigation Assistance programs, and the Individual Assistance program.

The Public Assistance program provides federal financial...

AT&T-Time Warner Merger Overview

EPA’s Methane Regulations: Legal Overview

On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order 13783, directing federal agencies to review existing regulations and policies that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources. Acting pursuant to the order, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reviewing and reconsidering several regulations issued during the Obama Administration that address methane emissions from various industrial sectors. Methane is a short-lived greenhouse gas (GHG) with a Global Warming Potential of more than 25 times carbon dioxide that is emitted from...

21st Century Flood Reform Act (H.R. 2874): Reforming the National Flood Insurance Program

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was established by the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (NFIA, 42 U.S.C. §4001 et seq.), and was reauthorized until February 8, 2018 (H.R. 195). Unless reauthorized or amended by Congress, the following will occur after February 8, 2018: (1) the authority to provide new flood insurance contracts will expire; and (2) the authority for the NFIP to borrow funds from the Treasury will be reduced from $30.425 billion to $1 billion.

The House passed H.R. 2874, the 21st Century Flood Reform Act, on November 14, 2017, with a vote of 237-189. H.R....

Disney-Fox Transaction

Financial Reform: Bank Supervision

Respirable Crystalline Silica in the Workplace: New Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standards

On March 25, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the Department of Labor (DOL) published new standards regulating exposure to crystalline silica in the workplace. Under the new standards, the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for crystalline silica is to be reduced to 50 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter of air). Employers are to be required to monitor crystalline silica exposure if workplace levels may exceed 25 µg/m3 for at least 30 days in a year and provide medical monitoring to employees in those workplaces. In the case of construction workers, medical...

UPDATE: Who’s the Boss at the CFPB?

Financial Reform: Muni Bonds and the LCR

Possible Additional Sanctions on Iran

The European Union and Latin America

Agricultural Trade Balances Under NAFTA

What Next for the Third Offset Strategy?

Tax Reform: The Senate Tax Proposal

Tax Reform: The Alternative Minimum Tax

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP)

Cybersecurity: Education, Training, and R&D Authoritative Reports and Resources

Much is written on the topics of current gaps in the education and training of a cybersecurity workforce and the need for technology research and development (R&D) to solve cybersecurity technical issues. This CRS report directs the reader to authoritative sources that address these issues. The annotated descriptions of these sources are listed in reverse chronological order, with an emphasis on material published in the past several years. This report also includes resources and studies from government agencies (federal, state, local, and international), think tanks, academic...

Tax Reform: Estate and Gift Tax

End-Year DOD Contract Spending

Tax Reform: H.R. 1, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Speechwriting Resources: Fact Sheet

As elected officials and leaders, Senators and Representatives are frequently called upon to deliver speeches and other public remarks to a range of audiences. Congressional staff often prepare draft speeches for Members of Congress.

Effective delivery can greatly improve the reception of a speech. In general, congressional speechwriters should make every effort to become familiar with the speaking style of the Member for whom they are writing, adjusting drafts accordingly. Contemporary American public address emphasizes a style that is natural, direct, low key, casual, and conversational....

Overview of Artificial Intelligence

Chad

Introduction to Financial Services: International Supervision

Farm Bill Primer: Dairy Safety Net

European Union Digital Single Market

The Tax Reform Framework

Pre-Merger Review and Challenges Under the Clayton Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act

Preserving competition is an overarching purpose of federal laws governing business mergers. Though other federal laws, including the Sherman Act, seek to address anticompetitive behavior relating to monopolization, two federal statutes, in particular, address harms that may result from proposed mergers. Section 7 of the Clayton Act prohibits mergers “in any line of commerce or in any activity affecting commerce” that may substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly. Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act) prohibits unfair methods of competition, which...

Autonomous and Semi-autonomous Trucks

Mandatory Arbitration and the Federal Arbitration Act

Arbitration is a method of legal dispute resolution in which a neutral, private third party, rather than a judge or jury, renders a decision on a particular matter. Under a growing number of consumer and employment agreements, companies have come to require arbitration to resolve disputes. While arbitration is often viewed as an expeditious and economical alternative to litigation, consumer advocates and others contend that mandatory arbitration agreements create one-sided arrangements that deny consumers and employees advantages afforded by a judicial proceeding.

The Federal Arbitration...

TPP: Digital Trade Provisions

FEMA Disaster Housing: The Individuals and Households Program—Implementation and Potential Issues for Congress

Following a major disaster declaration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may provide three principal forms of assistance. These include Public Assistance, which addresses repairs to a community and states’ or tribe’s infrastructure; Mitigation Assistance which provides funding for projects a state or tribe submits to reduce the threat of future damage; and Individual Assistance (IA) which provides help to individuals and families.

IA can include several programs, depending on whether the governor of the affected state or the tribal leader has requested that specific help....

House Standing Committee Chairs and Ranking Minority Members: Rules Governing Selection Procedures

House rules, Republican Conference rules, and Democratic Caucus rules each detail aspects of the procedures followed in selecting standing committee chairs and ranking minority members. The Republican Steering Committee and the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee are constituted during the early organization meetings traditionally held in November and December to determine most committee chairs and ranking minority members and to make committee assignments for most committees. Their recommendations are then forwarded to the full Republican Conference and Democratic Caucus for...

House Rules Manual: Summary of Contents

The House Rules and Manual, officially titled Constitution, Jefferson’s Manual and Rules of the House of Representatives, contains the fundamental source material describing procedures in the House of Representatives. The Manual includes the Constitution of the United States, selected provisions of Jefferson’s Manual, rules of the House, provisions of law and resolutions enacted or adopted under the rule-making authority of the House, and pertinent decisions of the Speaker and chairmen of the Committee of the Whole interpreting the rules and procedural authority used in the House, often...

Orderly Liquidation Authority

Reinsurance in Health Insurance

Farm Bill Primer: The Farm Safety Net

U.S. Circuit and District Court Judges: Profile of Select Characteristics

This report addresses ongoing congressional interest in the demographic characteristics and professional experiences of those individuals nominated and appointed to fill lower federal court judgeships. It focuses on demographic and other background characteristics of active U.S. circuit and district court judges who are currently serving on the federal bench.

Unless otherwise noted, the statistics provided in the report do not reflect all of a particular President’s circuit or district court appointments during his time in office—but only active judges appointed by that President. A judge...

Remedies for Patent Infringement

For more than a decade, some Members of Congress have considered bills that have proposed reforms to the law of patent remedies. Under current law, courts may award damages to compensate patent proprietors for an act of infringement. Damages consist of the patent owner’s lost profits due to the infringement, if they can be proven. Otherwise the adjudicated infringer must pay a reasonable royalty. Courts may also award enhanced damages of up to three times the actual damages in exceptional cases. In addition, courts may issue an injunction that prevents the adjudicated infringer from...

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Gulf Coast Restoration Efforts

Judicial Review of Medicaid Work Requirements Under Section 1115 Demonstrations

Proposals have been introduced in the 115th Congress to reform the Medicaid program, which provides medical assistance to low-income and needy individuals. One such approach, taken by House-passed H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act of 2017, would allow states to impose work requirements on certain categories of individuals as a condition of coverage under the Medicaid program. A similar approach is also taken in the discussion draft of the Better Care Reconciliation Act, a proposed amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 1628, which was published by the Senate Budget Committee...

Judiciary Budget Request, FY2018

Generic Drugs and GDUFA Reauthorization: In Brief

A generic drug is a lower-cost copy of a brand-name chemical drug. Marketing of the generic drug becomes possible only when the brand-name—also called innovator—drug is no longer protected from market competition by patent and other protections, called regulatory exclusivity.

Prior to marketing, the sponsor of a brand-name drug must submit to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clinical data in a new drug application (NDA) to support the claim that the drug is safe and effective for its intended use. The FDA uses the information in the NDA as a basis for approving or denying the...

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI)

The Road to Veterans Benefits

Farm Bill Primer: Forestry Title

Finding Quotes for Speeches: Fact Sheet

A well-chosen quote can strengthen a speech by emphasizing and reinforcing a point, tapping into the audience’s memories and associations, and bolstering the speaker’s credibility. The right quote can capture the listener’s attention, add poignancy, and infuse drama or poetic flair.

The following resources will help the user find quotes for speeches and other communications. The resources are divided into three categories: General Quotations, Americana, and Religion. There is some overlap among the categories.

Congressional staffers who need assistance finding or verifying a quote, or who...

Telehealth and Medicare

Ecuador’s 2017 Elections

National Health Service Corps: Background, Funding, and Programs

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) is a pipeline for clinician recruitment and training. Its program objective is to increase the availability of primary care services to populations in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). It aims to increase clinician availability by making loan repayments and awarding scholarships to individuals in exchange for their agreement to serve as NHSC clinicians (or providers) at approved sites. NHSC providers are mainly physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and behavioral/mental health professionals who must serve for a minimum of...

OSHA State Plans: In Brief, with Examples from California and Arizona

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) authorizes states to establish their own occupational safety and health plans and preempt standards established and enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA must approve state plans if they are “at least as effective” as OSHA’s standards and enforcement. Currently, 21 states and Puerto Rico have state plans that cover all employers and 5 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands have state plans that cover only state and local government employers, who are not covered by the OSH Act. OSHA estimates that 40%...

Office of Government Ethics: A Primer

Federal Securities Law: Insider Trading

Insider trading in securities may occur when a person in possession of material nonpublic information about a company trades in the company’s securities and makes a profit or avoids a loss. Certain federal statutes have provisions that have been used to prosecute insider trading violations. For example, Section 16 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 requires the disgorgement of short-swing profits by named insiders—directors, officers, and 10% shareholders. The 1934 Act’s general antifraud provision, Section 10(b), is frequently used in the prosecution of insider traders. Although the...

Collective Bargaining and the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute: Selected Legal Issues

Title VII of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, commonly referred to as the “Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute” (FSLMRS), recognizes the right of most federal employees to engage in collective bargaining with respect to their conditions of employment. In 2016, 27.4% of all federal employees were members of a union. While the union membership rate for federal workers has declined slightly over the past ten years, it continues to exceed the union membership rate of 6.4% for private-sector employees.

Under the FSLMRS, a labor organization becomes the exclusive...

Sanctuary Jurisdictions and Select Federal Grant Funding Issues: In Brief

On January 25, 2017, President Donald J. Trump issued Executive Order (EO) 13768, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.” Among other things, the EO raises questions regarding whether, and to what extent, federal agencies will withhold federal grant funds that would have otherwise been awarded to a designated “sanctuary jurisdiction.” Under the EO, the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) is directed to designate a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction at his discretion, and to the extent consistent with law, for those jurisdictions found to have willfully...

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Utah

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Missouri

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: New York

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Alabama

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Idaho

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Nevada

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: New Jersey

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Delaware

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Kentucky

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Iowa

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: North Dakota

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Colorado

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Illinois

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Texas

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Virginia

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: District of Columbia

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Rhode Island

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Connecticut

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Wyoming

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Nebraska

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Georgia

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Hawaii

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: New Hampshire

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: California

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Tennessee

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Massachusetts

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: South Dakota

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Vermont

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Alaska

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Indiana

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Arkansas

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Michigan

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Ohio

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Montana

Deficits and Debt

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: West Virginia

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Mississippi

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: North Carolina

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Minnesota

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Kansas

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Florida

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Wisconsin

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Oklahoma

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Arizona

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Washington

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Maine

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Oregon

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: New Mexico

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Pennsylvania

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Louisiana

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: South Carolina

Major Disaster Assistance from the DRF: Maryland

News and Transcript Resources: Fact Sheet

Searching for news items can sometimes be challenging. Despite the apparent ease of free online resources like Google News, there is a significant amount of news coverage (especially older or fee-based content) that is not freely available online, and which may be difficult to find. Although dozens of databases exist that contain news articles and transcripts, their content is often available only with a paid subscription, and they may be overwhelming to navigate if the user is not familiar with them. In addition, access to subscription news databases in congressional offices varies,...

California Drought: Water Supply and Conveyance Issues

Fundamental Elements of the U.S. Sugar Program

Cybersecurity: Federal Agency Roles

Teacher Preparation Regulations

Caregiver Support to Veterans

Legislative Planning: Considerations for Congressional Staff

The Congressional Research Service frequently receives inquiries about legislative planning. Legislative and office action plans are often used by congressional offices for almost every significant project, from organizing an extensive conference in the district or state to introducing and guiding legislation. A major action plan requires a firm understanding of the project’s goal, a research strategy, and a time line for completing the project.

This report presents some of the factors usually considered in preparing an action plan. The information is provided in three sections. The first...

Veterans’ Benefits: Eligibility of Merchant Mariners

Although merchant mariners have supported the Armed Forces in every war fought by the United States, they generally are not considered veterans for the purpose of eligibility for federal benefits. Pursuant to legislation enacted in 1977 (P.L. 95-202) and 1988 (P.L. 105-368) and to decisions made by the Secretary of the Air Force in 1985 and 1988, the following groups of World War II-era merchant mariners are the only merchant mariners eligible for veterans’ benefits.

Eligible for all veterans’ benefits:

United States merchant seamen who served on blockships in support of Operation...

Special Order Speeches: Current House Practices

Special order speeches (commonly called “special orders”) usually take place at the end of the day after the House has completed all legislative business. During the special order period, individual Representatives deliver speeches on topics of their choice for up to 60 minutes. Special orders provide one of the few opportunities for non-legislative debate in the House. They also give Members a chance to speak outside the time restrictions that govern legislative debate in the House and the Committee of the Whole.

The rules of the House do not provide for special order speeches. Instead,...

One-Minute Speeches: Current House Practices

Recognition for one-minute speeches (commonly called “one minutes”) in the House of Representatives is the prerogative of the Speaker. A period for one minutes usually takes place at the beginning of the legislative day after the daily prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, and approval of the previous day’s Journal. During this time, Representatives ask unanimous consent to address the House for one minute on a topic of their choice. In addition, one-minute speeches are often permitted after legislative business ends, but before special order speeches begin.

The rules of the House do not...

Intergenerational Income Mobility

Health Benefits for Members of Congress and Designated Congressional Staff: In Brief

Many private- and public-sector firms offer employer-sponsored health insurance to their employees and contribute toward the cost of that insurance as part of the employee’s compensation package. The federal government, as an employer, also offers health benefits to its employees and retirees. In general, federal employees receive health benefits through the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program, administered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). However, Members of Congress and designated congressional staff receive employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) through the District...

Federal Efforts to Control Invasive Plant and Animal Species

Cybersecurity Issues and Challenges

Border-Adjusted Taxes: A Primer

Introduction to Financial Services: “Regulatory Relief”

The Arms Trade Treaty

U.S. Economy in a Global Context

Poverty and Economic Opportunity

Special Minimum Wages for Workers with Disabilities: Frequently Asked Questions

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as amended, sets the minimum wage for covered workers at $7.25 per hour. Section 14(c) of the FLSA permits certified employers to pay a worker with a disability that impairs the worker’s productive capacity a special minimum wage (SMW). The SMW may be below the federal minimum wage but must be commensurate with the worker’s productivity and the job’s prevailing wage. This short report answers common questions related to SMWs. It covers federal legislation that authorizes SMWs; how individuals qualify for SMWs; how employers are certified to pay SMWs and...

Membership of the 114th Congress: A Profile

This report presents a profile of the membership of the 114th Congress (2015-2016). 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.

As of December 5, 2016, in the House of Representatives, there are 248 Republicans (including 1 Delegate), 192 Democrats (including 4 Delegates and the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico), and one vacancy. The Senate has 54 Republicans, 44...

The Powers of Congress: A Brief Overview

Financial Innovation: “Fintech”

Global Efforts to Control Cholera

Global Polio Eradication Efforts

Election and Voting Law: Resources for Congressional Staff

This report is intended to serve as a starting point for congressional staff covering voting and elections. It focuses on resources related to laws governing federal elections and voting. It outlines and describes some of the key sources of laws, pending legislation, regulations, cases, CRS Products, and federal agencies working in this subject area. It also contains sections dedicated to the voting process, voting rights, campaign finance, and presidential elections.

Congress’s Early Organization Meetings

Since the mid-1970s, the House and Senate have convened early organization meetings in November or December of even-numbered years to prepare for the start of the new Congress in January.

The purposes of these meetings are both educational and organizational. Educational sessions range from legislative procedures and staff hiring to current issues. Organizational sessions elect class officers, party leaders, and chamber officers; name committee representatives and other party officials; and select committee chairmen and often committee members. Such actions are officially ratified at the...

Effects of Lower Oil Prices

Legal Processes for Contesting the Results of a Presidential Election

Questions occasionally surface regarding potential voting fraud or election irregularities in presidential elections. (See, for example, Sean Sullivan and Philip Rucker, “Trump’s Claim of Rigged’ Vote Stirs Fears of Trouble,” Washington Post, October 18, 2016, p. A1; Edward-Isaac Dovere, “Fears Mount on Trump’s Rigged Election’ Rhetoric,” Politico, October 16, 2016; Daniel Kurtzleben, “5 Reasons (And Then Some) Not to Worry About A Rigged’ Election,” NPR, October 18, 2016). If legitimate and verifiable allegations of voting fraud, or indications of misconduct by election officials on...

Social Media in the House of Representatives: Frequently Asked Questions

Recently, the number of Member offices adopting social media as an official communications tool has increased. With the increased use of social media accounts for official representational duties, the House has adopted policies and regulations regarding the creation, content, and use of third-party social media services. This report answers several questions about the regulation of social media accounts in the House of Representatives. How does the House define social media? How are social media accounts regulated in the House? What makes a social media account an official resource? Can...

TPP: Investment Provisions

Veterans’ Benefits: The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Duty to Assist Claimants

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides an array of benefits to veterans and to certain members of their families. These benefits include disability compensation and pensions, education benefits, survivor benefits, medical treatment, life insurance, vocational rehabilitation, and burial and memorial benefits. In order to apply for these benefits, in most circumstances, the claimant will send an application to his or her local VA Regional Office or apply online. Once a veteran has filed an application for benefits with the VA, the agency has a unique obligation to the claimant when...

Overview of the Appeal Process for Veterans’ Claims

Congress, through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), provides a variety of benefits and services to veterans and to certain members of their families. These benefits include disability compensation and pensions, education benefits, survivor benefits, medical treatment, life insurance, vocational rehabilitation, and burial and memorial benefits. In order to receive these benefits, a veteran (or an eligible family member) must apply for them by submitting the necessary information to a local VA office. The local VA office will make an initial determination on the application for...

U.S. International Food Aid Programs

House of Representatives v. Burwell and Congressional Standing to Sue

On November 21, 2014, the House of Representatives filed a lawsuit against the Departments of Health and Human Services and the Treasury, pursuant to H.Res. 676. House of Representatives v. Burwell included two claims regarding the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). In September 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion addressing the preliminary jurisdictional and justiciability questions at issue in the case. In May 2016, the district court issued its decision on the merits, in which the House prevailed as to...

Sea-Level Rise and U.S. Coasts

Digital Searches and Seizures: Overview of Proposed Amendments to Rule 41 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure

With the Rules Enabling Act, Congress granted to the Supreme Court the authority to write federal rules of procedure, including the rules of criminal procedure. After several years of evaluation by the Judicial Conference, the policy-making arm of the federal judiciary, on April 28, 2016, the Supreme Court transmitted to Congress proposed changes to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. These proposed changes would amend the federal search and seizure rules in two ways. First, they would permit the government to remotely access electronic devices although the location of the...

Patent Cases in the October 2015 Term of the U.S. Supreme Court: Halo Electronics v. Pulse Electronics and Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee

This report examines the two patent law cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in its October 2015 Term. The first patent case, decided on June 13, 2016, Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., concerns the circumstances in which the awarding of enhanced damages in a patent infringement case are warranted and the discretion of the district courts to award them. Section 284 of the Patent Act provides that the court may increase damages up to three times the amount found by a jury or assessed by the court, but does not provide any guidance to the court, or any express limits or...

Corporate Inversions: Frequently Asked Legal Questions

In general, corporate inversions are transactions in which a U.S. corporation “inverts” its ownership structure so that it now has a foreign parent. There are various ways in which this can be achieved. Corporate inversions have been controversial because it appears, in at least some cases, the primary motivation is the reduction of U.S. income tax liability.

In 2004, Congress added Section 7874 to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), which significantly limits the tax benefits associated with corporate inversions. While Section 7874 appeared to slow the rate of inversions in the years...

FATCA Reporting on U.S. Accounts: Recent Legal Developments

Enacted in 2010, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is intended to curb U.S. tax evasion occurring through the use of offshore accounts. Key among its provisions is the requirement that foreign financial institutions (FFIs), such as foreign banks and hedge funds, report information on their U.S. account holders to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). FFIs that fail to comply will have tax withheld at a rate of 30% on many payments made to them from U.S. sources, including interest and dividends.

Since FATCA’s passage, there has been international criticism of the FFI provisions,...

Space Exploration

TPP: U.S.-Japan Issues

Carcieri v. Salazar: The Secretary of the Interior May Not Acquire Trust Land for the Narragansett Indian Tribe Under 25 U.S.C. Section 465 Because That Statute Applies to Tribes “Under Federal Jurisdiction” in 1934

In Carcieri v. Salazar, 555 U.S. 379 (2009), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a 1934 statute provides no authority for the Secretary of the Interior (SOI) to take land into trust for the Narragansett Indian Tribe (Tribe) because the statute applies only to tribes under federal jurisdiction when that law was enacted. The reach of the decision may be broad because it relies on the major statute under which the SOI acquires land in trust for the benefit of Indians. It affects the SOI’s authority to take land into trust for any recently recognized tribe unless the trust acquisition has been...

Airline Passenger Rights: The Federal Role in Aviation Consumer Protection

The 1978 deregulation of the airline industry in the United States eliminated federal control over many airline business practices, including pricing and domestic route selection. However, the federal government continues to legislate and enforce certain consumer protections for airline passengers. Congress largely determines the degree to which the rights of airline passengers are codified in law or developed through regulatory rulemaking.

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation are the primary...

TPP: Labor Provisions

Cybersecurity Issues and Challenges: In Brief

The information and communications technology (ICT) industry has evolved greatly over the last half century. The technology is ubiquitous and increasingly integral to almost every facet of modern society. ICT devices and components are generally interdependent, and disruption of one may affect many others. Over the past several years, experts and policymakers have expressed increasing concerns about protecting ICT systems from cyberattacks, which many experts expect to increase in frequency and severity over the next several years.

The act of protecting ICT systems and their contents has...

Repair, Modification, or Resale of Software-Enabled Consumer Electronic Devices: Copyright Law Issues

Modern consumer electronic devices and products often contain software programs that facilitate their operations or provide automation, Wi-Fi and smartphone connectivity, remote control, and other sophisticated functions. Equipment manufacturers have integrated software in televisions, refrigerators, thermostats, coffee makers, garage door openers, automobiles, vacuums, printers, and medical devices. When consumers buy these “software-enabled” products from retailers, they acquire ownership of the physical hardware, but may only receive a limited license (a form of legal permission) to use...

The President’s Pardon Power and Legal Effects on Collateral Consequences

Article II of the U.S. Constitution vests the President with the power “to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” The President’s pardon power, which derives from English custom, is an extraordinary remedy that is sought by many but received by few. The President may use his clemency authority only for criminal penalties, not civil. Moreover, he may use his clemency authority to pardon federal offenses but not state offenses.

Typically, individuals receive either a pardon or a commutation of sentence, each of which is a type of...

Health Care Fraud and Abuse Laws Affecting Medicare and Medicaid: An Overview

A number of federal statutes aim to combat fraud and abuse in federally funded health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Using these statutes, the federal government has been able to recover billions of dollars lost due to fraudulent activities. This report provides an overview of some of the more commonly used federal statutes used to fight health care fraud and abuse.

Title XI of the Social Security Act contains Medicare and Medicaid program-related anti-fraud provisions, which impose civil penalties, criminal penalties, and exclusions from federal health care programs on...

Agriculture Issues in U.S.-EU Trade Negotiations

Campaign Contributions and the Ethics of Elected Officials: Regulation Under Federal Law

Allegations of political corruption often involve questions regarding a public official or candidate’s use of campaign funds or the relationship between campaign contributors and the candidate or official. A common concern is that a particular individual, private organization, company, or other entity “bought”—through large campaign contributions widely distributed—particular official favors, official acts, or official forbearance from officers or employees of the federal government. These issues have been highlighted in several high-profile cases over recent years. In 2016, the Supreme...

TPP: Estimates of Economic Effects

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Child Labor Provisions

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938 prohibits the employment of “oppressive child labor” in the United States, which the act defines—with some exceptions—as the employment of youth under the age of 16 in any occupation or the employment of youth under 18 years old in hazardous occupations. The act includes several exemptions, however, that create a complex set of thresholds that depend on the child’s age, local school hours, the nature of the work (e.g., occupation, industry, and work environment), parental involvement in the child’s employment, and other factors. Notably,...

Expulsion, Censure, Reprimand, and Fine: Legislative Discipline in the House of Representatives

The House of Representatives—in the same manner as the United States Senate—is expressly authorized within the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 5, clause 2) to discipline or “punish” its own Members. This authority of the House to discipline a Member for “disorderly Behaviour” is in addition to any criminal or civil liability that a Member of the House may incur for particular misconduct, and is used not merely to punish an individual Member, but to protect the institutional integrity of the House of Representatives, its proceedings, and its reputation.

The House may...

Judiciary Budget Request, FY2017

Nonprofit Challenges to the Contraceptive Coverage Requirement: The Meaning of Substantial Burdens on Religious Exercise Under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act

In the spring of 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court considered a set of challenges alleging that the contraceptive coverage regulations under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) violate the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Following oral arguments in which the eight sitting Justices appeared to be evenly divided, the Court unanimously declined to declare an answer in the set of seven consolidated cases, each brought by nonprofit religious entities with objections to the provision and use of contraceptives as well as to the process by which their objections may be accommodated under...

The Gender Earnings Gap

Social Media in Congress: The Impact of Electronic Media on Member Communications

The mediums through which Members and constituents communicate have changed significantly over American history and continue to evolve today. Whereas most communications traditionally occurred through the media, via postal mail, or over a telephone, the adoption and use of electronic communications via email and social media technologies (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other sites) changes how Representatives and Senators disseminate and gather information, who they communicate with, and what types of information they share and receive from the general public, many not residing in...

Who Is a “Veteran”?—Basic Eligibility for Veterans’ Benefits

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a broad range of benefits to U.S. Armed Forces veterans and certain members of their families. Among these benefits are various types of financial assistance, including monthly cash payments to disabled veterans, health care, education, and housing. Basic criteria must be met to be eligible to receive any of the benefits administered by the VA.

This report examines the basic eligibility criteria for VA administered veterans’ benefits, including the issue of eligibility of members of the National Guard and reserve components.

For a former...

Pay Equity: Legislative and Legal Developments

According to some federal data, on average, full-time female workers earn approximately 20% less than full-time male workers. At least a portion of this gap is due to observable factors such as hours worked and the concentration of female workers in lower-paid occupations. Some interpret these data as evidence that discrimination, if present at all, is a minor factor in the pay differentials and conclude that no policy changes are necessary. Conversely, advocates for further policy interventions note that some of the explanatory factors of the pay gap (such as occupation and hours worked)...

A Presidential Visit to Hiroshima

Franking Privilege: Historical Development and Options for Change

The franking privilege, which allows Members of Congress to transmit mail matter under their signature without postage, has existed in the United States since colonial times. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the franking privilege served a fundamental democratic role, allowing Members of Congress to convey information to their constituents about the operations of government and policy matters before Congress. Conversely, it also provided a mechanism for citizens to communicate their feelings and concerns to Members (prior to 1873, Members could both send and receive mail under the...

Franking Privilege: Mass Mailings and Mass Communications in the House, 1997-2015

Despite significant reductions in congressional mail postage costs over the past 25 years, critics continue to raise concerns about the franking privilege. While proponents of the franking privilege argue that the frank allows Members to fulfill their representational duties by providing for greater communication between the Member and individual constituents, critics argue that it is both financially wasteful and gives an unfair advantage to incumbents in congressional elections. In particular, mass mailings have come under increased scrutiny as critics argue that the vast majority of...

The Climate Investment Funds (CIFs)

TPP: Rules of Origin

General Policy Statements: Legal Overview

Agencies frequently use guidance documents to set regulatory policy. While “legislative rules” carry the force of law and are required to undergo the notice and comment procedures of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), guidance documents are exempt from these constraints and can be issued more swiftly than legislative rules. The issuance of such guidance documents, however, has not escaped criticism. Some have argued that agencies use guidance documents to effectively change the law or expand the scope of their delegated regulatory authorities. This report focuses on agency use and...

Congressional Official Mail Costs

The congressional franking privilege allows Members of Congress to send official mail via the U.S. Postal Service at government expense. This report provides information and analysis on the costs of franked mail in the House of Representatives and Senate.

In FY2015, total expenditures on official mail were $8.3 million. House official mail costs ($6.8 million) were 82% of the total, whereas Senate official mail costs ($1.5 million) were 18% of the total. In FY2014, total expenditures on official mail were $16.9 million. House official mail costs ($15.1 million) were 89% of the total,...

Hatch Act Restrictions on Federal Employees’ Political Activities in the Digital Age

Federal officers and employees historically have been subject to certain limitations when engaging in partisan political activities. Although they have always retained their right to vote and privately express political opinions, for most of the last century, they were prohibited from being actively involved in political management or political campaigns. At the beginning of the 20th century, civil service rules imposed a general ban on voluntary, off-duty participation in partisan politics by merit system employees. The ban prohibited employees from using their “official authority or...

Higher Oil Prices?

Surveillance of Foreigners Outside the United States Under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush authorized the National Security Agency to conduct a Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP) to “intercept international communications into and out of the United States” by “persons linked to al Qaeda or related terrorist organizations.” After the TSP activities were concluded in 2007, Congress enacted the Protect America Act (PAA, P.L. 110-55), which established a mechanism for the acquisition, via a joint certification by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Attorney General (AG), but without an individualized...

Class Action Litigation: The Court and Congress

The class action suit is a procedural device for joining numerous parties in a civil lawsuit when the issues involved are common to the class as a whole and when the issues turn on questions of law applicable in the same manner to each member of the class. Class actions are intended to save the resources of both the courts and the parties by permitting an issue potentially affecting every class member to be litigated together in an economical fashion. The class action is also intended to allow parties to pursue a legal remedy when it is not economically feasible to obtain relief, such as...

Net Neutrality: Selected Legal Issues Raised by the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order

In February 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted an order that will impose rules governing the management of Internet traffic as it passes over broadband Internet access services (BIAS), whether those services are fixed or wireless. The rules are commonly known as “net neutrality” rules. The order was released in March 2015 and published in the Federal Register on April 13, 2015. The order took effect on June 12, 2015. According to the order, the rules ban the blocking of legal content, forbid paid prioritization of affiliated or proprietary content, and prohibit the...

Medicare Preferred Pharmacy Networks

Telemarketing Regulation: National and State Do Not Call Registries

Today, it is axiomatic that telemarketers in the United States generally are not permitted to place outgoing telemarketing calls to phone numbers on the National Do Not Call List, unless an exception applies. This was not always the case, however. The National Do Not Call Registry was authorized by Congress and implemented by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to widespread frustration on the part of citizens with what were perceived to be abusive telemarketing practices. Particularly irritating and invasive were the numerous...

Congressional Efforts to Amend Title I of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

This report examines selected differences between the House and the Senate legislation that would amend Title I of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA; 15 U.S.C. 2601-2629). Title I of TSCA is the principal federal statute that applies to the regulation of the lifecycle of commercial chemicals from their manufacture (defined to include importation) to disposal if elements of the lifecycle are found to present unreasonable risks.

Additional U.S. Ground Troops to Counter the Islamic State? Five Questions

This report addresses common questions regarding Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR)--the military campaign to counter the Islamic State (IS)--which has three primary components: coordinated air strikes, training and equipping local security forces, and targeted special operations based out of northern Iraq.

President Obama's Historic Visit to Cuba

This report briefly discusses the details of President Obama's visit to Cuba. Before the trip, the White House set forth the goals of the visit, stating that the President would build on progress toward normalizing relations, including advancing commercial and people-to-people ties and expressing support for human rights.

Burma's Union Parliament Selects New President

This report discusses implications of the Union Parliament's selection of Htin Kyaw, childhood friend and close advisor to Aung San Suu Kyi, to serve as the nation's first President since 1962 who has not served in the military.

Aliens’ Right to Counsel in Removal Proceedings: In Brief

The scope of aliens’ right to counsel in removal proceedings is a topic of recurring congressional and public interest. This topic is complicated, in part, because the term right to counsel can refer to either (1) the right to counsel of one’s own choice at one’s own expense, or (2) the right of indigent persons to counsel at the government’s expense. A right to counsel can also arise from multiple sources, including the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), other federal statutes, and federal regulations. Further, in some cases,...

Nominations to the Supreme Court During Years of Divided and Unified Party Government

This report provides data and analysis related to nominations made to the Supreme Court during years of unified and divided party government.

Nominations to the Supreme Court During Presidential Election Years (1900-Present)

This report provides data and analysis related to nominations made to the Supreme Court during presidential election years from 1900 to the present.

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA): Congressional Interest and Executive Enforcement, In Brief

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA) was enacted principally to prevent corporate bribery of foreign officials. This act had three major parts: (1) it required the keeping by corporations of accurate books, records, and accounts; (2) it required issuers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to maintain a responsible internal accounting control system; and (3) it prohibited bribery by American corporations of foreign officials.

For a number of years after passage of the act, Congress debated amending it in response to numerous criticisms. On August 23, 1988, the...

Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies

This report is a list of about 200 congressional liaison offices, intended to help congressional offices in placing telephone calls and addressing correspondence to government agencies. In each case, the information was supplied by the agency itself and is current as of the date of publication. Entries are arranged alphabetically in four sections: legislative branch; judicial branch; executive branch; and agencies, boards, and commissions.

The March 2016 Nuclear Security Summit

This report discusses the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS), a biennial summit which aims to focus global attention at the highest level of government on the threat of nuclear terrorism.

Legal Issues with Federal Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food: In Brief

Genetically engineered (GE) foods, sometimes referred to as genetically modified foods (GMO foods), are foods that are derived from scientific methods used to introduce new traits or characteristics to an organism. The labeling of GE foods has been the subject of debate among members of the general public and federal and state governments since the introduction of GE foods to the food supply in the 1990s.

Federal law does not impose specific labeling requirements on a food just because it may or may not contain GE ingredients or was derived using GE techniques. The Food and Drug...

Veterans’ Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries

Burial benefits are nonmonetary and monetary benefits that eligible veterans receive for their military service. Servicemembers and veterans have been provided nonmonetary burial benefits since the Civil War and monetary burial benefits since World War I.

Eligible veterans and active duty members of the Armed Forces can be interred in national cemeteries and can receive government-furnished headstones or markers, and in their honor, next of kin can receive presidential memorial certificates and burial flags. Their spouses or surviving spouses, minor children, and, under certain conditions,...

The Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Leak: State and Federal Response and Oversight

This report briefly discusses the large, uncontrollable natural gas leak in the Aliso Canyon Underground Storage Facility near the Porter Ranch community in Los Angeles County, California, which occurred between October 23, 2015, and February 11, 2016.

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau's State Visit, March 2016

This report briefly discusses Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's scheduled visit to the United States on March,10 2016. It will be the first state visit by a Canadian leader since 1997, when then-President Clinton hosted then-Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.

Heroin Production in Mexico and U.S. Policy

This report discusses Mexico's role as an illicit drug suppler to the U.S, specifically focusing on Heroin production and trafficking.

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

This report discusses the federal regulatory role in regards to drinking water, more specifically in the context of the Flint water crisis. EPA's current Flint responses include providing technical assistance for water testing and treatment, conducting water monitoring, and identifying lead service line locations.

U.S. Efforts to Address Global Violence Against Women

Perspectives on Federal Cybersecurity Spending

The federal government invests significant resources in cybersecurity across every agency through a variety of activities. Although a methodologically rigorous total for these investments has not been calculated and may not be possible, an understanding of how the federal government applies resources to protect U.S. public and private sector data and networks from cyberattacks is necessary for Congress to provide constructive oversight of those efforts.

This report considers federal cybersecurity investments in three broad categories:

Agency spending to protect its own systems, networks,...

Unlocking the Set-Top Box

U.S. Farm Policy: Local and Regional Food Systems

Legal Issues Associated with FDA Standards of Identity: In Brief

Standards of identity for foods overseen by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) generally define the composition of a food, prescribing both mandatory and optional ingredients and fixing the relative proportions of each ingredient. This report addresses the following legal issues associated with the promulgation and enforcement of standards of identity for foods.

Section 401 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) establishes the legal authority for the FDA to promulgate standards of identity for food. According to this statutory authority, a standard of identity for a...

FY2016 Changes to DOD's 1033 Program

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.

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

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.

Federal Grant Financial Reporting Requirements and Databases: Frequently Asked Questions

Congress and federal agencies frequently undertake initiatives to conduct oversight of federal grant programs and expenditures. The ability to oversee is influenced by the existing reporting requirements placed on recipients of federal grant funds. Limitations in accessing information contained in federal databases used to collect grant data also influence the level of transparency into the use of federal grant funds. Congress has also debated the reporting burden placed on federal grant recipients and how to balance grant recipient capacity with the desire for transparency into the use of...

The Shutdown of the Joint North/South Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex

This report briefly discusses the South Korean government's decision to shut down the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC), which is an 11-year-old industrial park located in North Korea just across the demilitarized zone where more than 120 South Korean manufacturers employed over 50,000 North Korean workers.

Aung San Suu Kyi's Party Takes Control of Parliament in Burma

This report discusses politics and government in Burma following elections in November 2015. Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) has now assumed control of Burma's Union Parliament. The lower chamber (People's Assembly) and the upper chamber (National Assembly) took office on February 1 and 3, 2016, respectively.

Renewed Crypto Wars?

This report briefly examines renewed tensions between tech companies and the government regarding encryption "back doors" and how quickly-advancing technologies could impact law enforcement investigations.

Is Broadband Deployment Reasonable and Timely?

This report briefly discusses the state of broadband Internet in America as determined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in its latest Broadband Progress Report.

Military Maternity and Parental Leave Policies

This report briefly discusses the U.S. Department of Defense's (DOD) new policies for maternity and parental leave as part of the department's "Force of the Future" initiative.

Spending on Unauthorized Programs

Overview of Major Federal Securities Laws: In Brief

This report discusses in a very general way the major federal securities laws. The major federal securities laws may be grouped into two categories according to the time of their passage: the acts passed in the wake of the stock market crash of 1929 and the acts passed later in the 20th century and early in the 21st century. The acts in the first group include the most important of the federal securities acts: the Securities Act of 1933, which concerns the initial registration of securities, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which requires ongoing disclosure reports. The acts in the...

Apprenticeship in the United States: Frequently Asked Questions

Apprenticeship is a job training strategy that combines on-the-job training with related instruction, typically provided in a classroom setting. This report answers frequently asked questions about apprenticeship and the federal activities that support this training approach.

This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) report focuses on the Registered Apprenticeship system, through which the U.S. Department of Labor (or a recognized state apprenticeship agency) certifies a program as meeting federal requirements related to duration, intensity, and benefit to the apprentice. Historically, the...

Conflict and History at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

This report briefly discusses the conflict at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR) in January of 2016.

Iran-U.S. Air Service Not Imminent

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.

The Fight Against Al Shabaab in Somalia in 2016

This report discusses current efforts to counter Al Shabaab, a Somalia-based Al Qaeda affiliate.

Taiwan's January 2016 Elections: A Preview

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.

Guatemala: One President Resigns; Another Elected, to Be Inaugurated January 14

This report discusses the transfer of power to the newly-elected president of Guatemala and its context, following the resignation of the former president and vice-president, their arrest for government corruption, and the succeeding interim government.

Cambodia

Perspectives on Enhanced Interrogation Techniques

This report briefly summarizes what constituted Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EITs), provides background on their adoption and use, and discusses differing views on three questions that underpin discussion and debate of this topic.

The Federal Cybersecurity Workforce: Background and Congressional Oversight Issues for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security

This report examines congressional oversight of two strategies undertaken by Congress and the executive branch to strengthen the federal cybersecurity workforce: initiatives to define and identify the federal cybersecurity workforce, and hiring and pay flexibilities applicable to cybersecurity positions at the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

North Korea's January 6, 2016, Nuclear Test

This report provides a brief background about North Korea's announcement that it successfully tested a "hydrogen bomb" (its fourth nuclear test) on January 6, 2016. The official statement also called the device an experimental or "pilot H-bomb."

Federal Reserve Issues Final Rule on Emergency Lending

This report briefly discusses major provisions of the Federal Reserve's (Fed's) Final Rule, governing emergency lending under Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act and implementing Section 1101 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank).

Electric Grid Physical Security: Recent Legislation

This report briefly discusses legislative initiatives to address the physical safety of electrical transformers and 0other parts of the U.S. electric grid which are vulnerable to damage from theft, vandalism, or terrorist attacks.

President Obama's $1 Billion Foreign Aid Request for Central America

This report discusses the Obama Administration's recent request for over $1 billion in foreign assistance during FY2016 to support a whole-of-government "U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America."

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

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.

The Animal Welfare Act: Background and Selected Animal Welfare Legislation

In 1966, Congress passed the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act (P.L. 89-54) to prevent pets from being stolen for sale to research laboratories, and to regulate the humane care and handling of dogs, cats, and other laboratory animals. Farm animals are not covered by the AWA. The law was amended in 1970 (P.L. 91-579), changing the name to the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The AWA is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Congress periodically amends the act to strengthen enforcement, expand coverage to more animals and activities, or...

The President’s State of the Union Address: Tradition, Function, and Policy Implications

The State of the Union address is a communication between the President and Congress in which the chief executive reports on the current conditions of the United States and provides policy proposals for the upcoming legislative year. Formerly known as the “Annual Message,” the State of the Union address originates in the Constitution. As part of the system of checks and balances, Article II, Section 3, clause 1 mandates that the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge...

The WTO Nairobi Ministerial

This report briefly discusses a limited set of deliverables agreed upon by trade ministers and their senior representatives in Nairobi at the 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Sex Discrimination and the United States Supreme Court: Developments in the Law

In its sex discrimination decisions, the United States Supreme Court not only has defined the applicability of the equal protection guarantees of the Constitution and the nondiscriminatory policies of federal statutes, but also has rejected the use of gender stereotypes and has continued to recognize the discriminatory effect of gender hostility in the workplace and in schools. This report focuses on sex discrimination challenges based on: the equal protection guarantees of the Fourteenth and Fifth Amendments; the prohibition against employment discrimination contained in Title VII of the...

Wildlife Poaching in Africa: An Overview

Executive Agreements

Community Banks

Economic Effects of the FY2014 Shutdown

Legal Protections for Subcontractors on Federal Prime Contracts: In Brief

Payment and other protections for subcontractors on federal contracts are of perennial interest to Members and committees of Congress, in part, because many subcontractors are small businesses, and it is the “declared policy of the Congress that the Government should aid, counsel, assist, and protect, insofar as is possible, the interests of small business concerns.” Subcontractors on federal contracts do not have “privity of contract”—or a direct contractual relationship—with the federal government. As such, subcontractors would generally lack the payment and other protections that...

Ecosystem Restoration in the Puget Sound

IMF Quota and Governance Reforms

U.S. Military Casualty Statistics

The Post-2015 Global Development Agenda

Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Final Rule for 2014, 2015, and 2016

This report discusses the final rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which was released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While the rule contains wide-ranging information, most stakeholders are primarily concerned with the annual volume amounts for total renewable fuel, advanced biofuel, cellulosic biofuel, and biomass-based diesel.

U.S. Tax Court: A Brief Introduction

Legal Authority for Aliens to Claim Refundable Tax Credits: In Brief

The question is frequently asked whether aliens who enter or remain in the United States in violation of federal immigration law (called unlawfully present aliens for purposes of this report) are permitted to claim refundable tax credits. There is no general provision in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) prohibiting unlawfully present aliens from claiming refundable tax credits. Rather, the restrictions that exist are established on a credit-by-credit basis. For example, one credit—the earned income tax credit (EITC)—requires that taxpayers provide work-authorized Social Security numbers...

Doubling Research and Development for Clean Energy: "Mission Innovation"

This report briefly provides background for "Mission Innovation," a new initiative crafted by 20 countries to increase their public investment in research and development (R&D) in "clean energy" technologies.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Background and Supreme Court Cases

Congress passed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in 1993 in part to “balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families.” To that end, the FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to set amounts of unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. These reasons include, for example, the care of a spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition, and the care of a newborn or newly adopted child. Employers who interfere with an employee’s exercise of FMLA rights or retaliate against an employee for exercising her FMLA...

The November 2015 Terrorist Siege in Mali

On November 20, 2015, gunmen laid siege to the Radisson Blu, a hotel popular with foreigners in Mali's capital, Bamako. This report discusses issues for Congress in the wake of the attack.

Argentina Votes for Change in 2015 Presidential Election

This report briefly discusses the November 22, 2015 elections in Argentina. Mauricio Macri defeated Daniel Scioli. In a close race, Macri, the mayor of Buenos Aires, took 51.4% of the vote compared to 48.6% for Scioli, the governor of Buenos Aires province.

Legislation Eliminating the Federal Reserve's Surplus

The Fed retains some of its profits in a surplus account, which currently has a balance of $29.3 billion. This report discusses H.Amdt. 824 to the highway bill (H.R. 22) and H.R. 3189, which would permanently eliminate the surplus.

Paris Attacks and "Going Dark": Intelligence-Related Issues to Consider

This report discusses intelligence efforts on tracking numerous individuals involved in the deadly assault in Paris on November 13, 2015.

Medicare, Observation Care, and the Two-Midnight Rule

The NLRB's Enforcement of the NLRA Against Tribal Employers and the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act of 2015, H.R. 511 and S. 248

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) provides workers with the right to collectively bargain with employers and requires employers to bargain in good faith. The NLRA excludes from the definition of the term “employer” “the United States or any wholly owned government corporation or any state or political subdivision thereof.” The NLRA does not specify whether Indian tribal employers are covered.

Prior to 2004, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the agency responsible for enforcing the NLRA, followed a rule that excluded from the NLRA tribal employers located on tribal land, but...

Securities Fraud Class Action Certification: Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc.

On June 23, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court decided a much-anticipated case in the area of federal securities law: Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc. The history of the case spans more than a decade, through three rounds in federal district court and two rounds in the court of appeals and the Supreme Court. All of the cases so far have dealt with the issue of class certification for securities fraud plaintiffs. The merits of the case have not yet been considered.

Class certification is important in the area of securities law because the merits of the case cannot be considered until...

The State Department's Final Decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline

This report briefly discusses the State Department's denial of TransCanada's request for a Presidential Permit for proposed pipeline facilities.

Social Security and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Provisions in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

Title VIII of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (H.R. 1314, P.L. 114-74) makes several changes to the Social Security programs. Among these changes is a temporary reallocation of the Social Security payroll taxes so that a larger share is deposited in the Disability Insurance (DI) trust fund to extend the life of this trust fund beyond its current predicted exhaustion in 2016. Under this provision, the allocation of the 12.40% Social Security payroll tax assigned to the DI trust fund increases from 1.80% to 2.37% and the allocation to the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) trust fund...

Aiding Israel after the Iran Nuclear Deal: Issues for Congress

This report discusses recent indications from the Obama administration that the United States may provide Israel with additional military aid during the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran.

House Transportation Bill Would Hold Spending Below Senate Bill

This report discusses the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (STRRA), which provides only those spending increases the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has determined are needed to cover projected inflation in the cost of the existing surface transportation program.

Congressional Efforts to Reduce Restrictions on Growing Industrial Hemp

This report briefly discusses U.S. agricultural policies regarding the industrial use of hemp.

Air Force Bomber Contract Awarded

This report briefly discusses the Department of Defense's recent announcement of its intention to award the contract to build the new Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) to Northrop Grumman Corporation. The program will continue under the LRS-B name; the Air Force has not yet assigned the aircraft a "B-3"-style type designation.

Federal Reserve: Dividends Paid to Commercial Banks

This report briefly provides background on dividends paid to banks by the Federal Reserve (Fed), which would be reduced in the Senate-passed highway trust fund bill (H.R. 22) as a budgetary offset.

U.S. Relations with Burma: Key Issues for 2015 (Update)

Is This the First Step in Undoing Mass Incarceration? 6,000 Federal Drug Offenders Set to be Released

In early November, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is scheduled to release approximately 6,000 federal inmates convicted of drug trafficking offenses. This report briefly examines the background of this release and its potential effects.

Elections in Haiti

This report briefly discusses various issues regarding the election process in Haiti. Haiti is in the midst of a national election cycle to fill all 119 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, 20 seats in the 30-seat Senate, and most municipal offices - and to elect a new president.

U.S.-China Cyber Agreement

During the state visit on September 24-25, 2015, President Xi Jinping of China and President Barack Obama reached a Cyber Agreement. This report briefly discusses that agreement.

Less-than-Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement Signed in Burma

Eight ethnic groups and representatives of Burma's government signed a ceasefire agreement on October 15, possibly moving the country one step closer to ending its six decade long civil war. This report briefly discusses the process that lead to the agreement and its implications.

U.S. Natural Gas Exports and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement

On October 5, 2015, President Obama announced the conclusion of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade agreement (FTA) among the United States and 11 other Asia-Pacific nations - Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. This report briefly discusses the agreement and its potential effects.