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Penny Hill Press updates CRS products on a daily basis. These products include the following sites:

Abstracts of CRS Reports with 60k+ reports: Executive summaries of CRS Reports with 12k+ reports: CRS Legal Sidebars (“Nota Bene”): CRS In Sights Reports: CRS In Focus Reports: […]



Those who subscribe to our FREE DAILY REPORT receive titles and summaries of just-released CRS reports every Monday through Friday while sipping their first morning cup of coffee. Use the Subscribe tab ( or eMail to subscribe to be added to the Daily Report mailing list. For those […]

Security Assistance Reform: “Section 1206″ Background and Issues for Congress – RS22855

Section 1206 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2006, as amended and regularly extended, provides the Secretary of Defense with authority to train and equip foreign military forces for two specified purposes—counterterrorism and stability operations—and foreign security forces for counterterrorism operations. Section 1206 authority now extends through FY2017.

The Senate Armed […]

Juvenile Justice Funding Trends – RS22655

Although juvenile justice has always been administered by the states, Congress has had significant influence in the area through funding for grant programs administered by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) of 1974, P.L. 93-415, was the first comprehensive juvenile […]

The Office of the Parliamentarian in the House and Senate – RS20544

The House and the Senate each has an Office of the Parliamentarian to provide expert advice and assistance on questions relating to the meaning and application of that chamber’s legislative rules, precedents, and practices. The Speaker began naming a parliamentarian in 1927; the Senate first recognized its parliamentarian in 1935. At present, the House parliamentarian […]

Veterans and Homelessness – RL34024

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan brought renewed attention to the needs of veterans, including the needs of homeless veterans. Researchers have found both male and female veterans to be overrepresented in the homeless population, and, as the number of veterans increased due to these conflicts, there was concern that the number of homeless veterans […]

Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress – RL33745

The Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy, gives Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers a capability for conducting BMD operations. Under MDA and Navy plans, the number of BMD-capable Navy Aegis ships is scheduled to grow from 33 at the end of FY2014 […]

Federal Deductibility of State and Local Taxes – RL32781

Under current law, taxpayers who itemize can deduct state and local real estate taxes, personal property taxes, and income taxes from federal income when calculating taxable income. In addition, a temporary deduction for sales taxes in lieu of income taxes was available, through December 31, 2013. The federal deduction for state and local taxes results […]

Keystone XL Pipeline: Overview and Recent Developments – R43787

TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL Pipeline would transport oil sands crude from Canada and shale oil produced in North Dakota and Montana to a market hub in Nebraska for further delivery to Gulf Coast refineries. The pipeline would consist of 875 miles of 36-inch pipe with the capacity to transport 830,000 barrels per day. Because it […]

Federal Proposals to Tax Marijuana: An Economic Analysis – R43785

The combination of state policy and general public opinion favoring the legalizing of marijuana has led some in Congress to advocate for legalization and taxation of marijuana at the federal level. The Marijuana Tax Equity Act of 2013 (H.R. 501) would impose a federal excise tax of 50% on the producer and importer price of […]

FEMA’s Disaster Declaration Process: A Primer – R43784

The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (referred to as the Stafford Act—42 U.S.C. 5721 et seq.) authorizes the President to issue “major disaster” or “emergency” declarations before or after catastrophes occur. Emergency declarations trigger aid that protects property, public health, and safety and lessens or averts the threat of an incident […]

School Meals Programs and Other USDA Child Nutrition Programs: A Primer – R43783

“Child nutrition programs” is an overarching term used to describe the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS) programs that provide food for children in school or institutional settings. The best known programs, which serve the largest number of children, are the school meals programs: the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the […]

Executive Discretion as to Immigration: Legal Overview – R43782

President Obama announced in June 2014 that he would seek “to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own” through administrative action. Although the Obama Administration has not yet announced the specific immigration actions it intends to take, the President has stated that they will occur before the end of […]

The “Islamic State” Crisis and U.S. Policy – R43612

The Islamic State is a transnational Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group that has expanded its control over areas of parts of Iraq and Syria since 2013. It threatens the governments of both countries and potentially several other countries in the region, and has drawn a military response from the international community. There is debate […]

Agriculture in the WTO Bali Ministerial Agreement – R43592

At the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) Ninth Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia, December 3-7, 2013, ministers adopted the so-called Bali Package—a series of decisions aimed at streamlining trade (referred to as trade facilitation), allowing developing countries more options for providing food security, boosting least-developed-country trade, and helping development more generally. The Bali Package represents the […]

Legislative Branch: FY2015 Appropriations – R43557

The legislative branch appropriations bill provides funding for the Senate; House of Representatives; Joint Items; Capitol Police; Office of Compliance; Congressional Budget Office (CBO); Architect of the Capitol (AOC); Library of Congress (LOC), including the Congressional Research Service (CRS); Government Printing Office (GPO); Government Accountability Office (GAO); and Open World Leadership Center.

The legislative branch […]

Implementation of Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS): Issues for Congress – R43346

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) implements the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) regulations, which regulate security at high-risk facilities possessing more than certain amounts of one or more chemicals of interest. Facilities possessing more than the specified amount must register with DHS through this program (a process known as the Top- Screen) and […]

Medicaid Coverage of Long-Term Services and Supports – R43328

Long-term services and supports (LTSS) refer to a broad range of health and health-related services and supports needed by individuals who lack the capacity for self-care due to a physical, cognitive, or mental disability or condition. Often the individual’s disability or condition results in the need for hands-on assistance or supervision over an extended period […]

Resources for Key Economic Indicators – R43295

An understanding of economic indicators and their significance is seen as essential to the formulation of economic policies. These indicators, or statistics, provide snapshots of an economy’s health as well as starting points for economic analysis. This report contains a list of selected authoritative U.S. government sources of economic indicators such as gross domestic product […]

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Resources for Frequently Asked Questions – R43215

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L. 111-148, as amended) has numerous provisions affecting private health insurance and public health coverage programs. This report provides resources to help congressional staff respond to constituents’ frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the law. The report lists selected resources regarding consumers, employers, and other stakeholders, with a […]

Chemical Facility Security: Issues and Options for the 113th Congress – R42918

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has statutory authority to regulate chemical facilities for security purposes. The 113th Congress extended this authority through December 11, 2014. Congressional policy makers have debated the scope and details of reauthorization and continue to consider establishing an authority with longer duration. Some Members of Congress support an extension, either […]

Voter Identification Requirements: Background and Legal Issues – R42806

Some states require voters at a polling place to produce identification before casting a ballot. Such requirements have emerged as a controversial issue in recent elections, particularly requirements in some states for photographic identification (photo ID), and they are the focus of this report.

Since 2008, more than 30 states have enacted laws relating to […]