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Total # of Reports: 56,289
Total # of Pages: 1,145,869

Reports added this week:162
Pages added this week: 5,580

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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 [...]

Climate Change and Existing Law: A Survey of Legal Issues Past, Present, and Future – R42613

This report surveys existing law for legal issues that have arisen, or may arise in the future, on account of climate change and government responses thereto.

At the threshold of many climate-change-related lawsuits are two barriers—whether the plaintiff has standing to sue and whether the claim being made presents a political question. Both barriers have [...]

Small Business Administration: A Primer on Programs and Funding – RL33243

The Small Business Administration (SBA) administers several types of programs to support small businesses, including loan guaranty and venture capital programs to enhance small business access to capital; contracting programs to increase small business opportunities in federal contracting; direct loan programs for businesses, homeowners, and renters to assist their recovery from natural disasters; and small [...]

Past Government Shutdowns: Key Resources – R41759

When federal government agencies and programs lack budget authority after the expiration of either full-year or interim appropriations, they experience a “funding gap.” Under the Antideficiency Act (31 U.S.C. §1341 et seq.), they must cease operations, except in certain circumstances when continued activities are authorized by law. When there is a funding gap that affects [...]

How to Develop and Write a Grant Proposal – RL32159

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 [...]

Agricultural Conservation: A Guide to Programs – R40763

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) currently administer close to 20 programs and subprograms that are directly or indirectly available to assist producers and landowners who wish to practice conservation on agricultural lands. The differences and number of these programs has created [...]

Youth Transitioning from Foster Care: Issues for Congress – R40218

Recent research has demonstrated that compared to their peers current and former foster youth are more likely to experience negative outcomes in adulthood. This research, along with the efforts of policymakers and child welfare advocates, has brought greater attention to the challenges facing older youth in care and those transitioning from foster care. In response, [...]

Selected Recently Expired Individual Tax Provisions (“Extenders”): In Brief – R43688

On April 3, 2014, the Senate Finance Committee voted to report the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act (S. 2260), which would extend a set of expired tax provisions for two years, through the end of 2015. This bill was reported on April 28 and subsequently became part of an amendment to H.R. [...]

Latin America: Terrorism Issues – RS21049

U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified in the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. In its 2013 Country Reports on Terrorism (issued in April 2014), the State Department maintained that the majority of terrorist attacks in the Western Hemisphere [...]

Senate Unanimous Consent Agreements: Potential Effects on the Amendment Process – 98-310

The Senate frequently enters into unanimous consent agreements (also called “UC agreements”) that establish procedure on a bill that the Senate is considering or soon will consider.There are few restrictions on what these agreements can provide, and once agreed to, they can be altered only by a further unanimous consent action. In recent practice, the [...]

Unemployment Insurance: Consequences of Changes in State Unemployment Compensation Laws – R41859

This report analyzes recent changes to state Unemployment Compensation (UC) programs. Two categories of UC state law issues are considered: (1) changes in the duration of state UC unemployment benefits, and (2) changes in the UC weekly benefit amount.

Over the past several years, some states have enacted legislation to decrease the maximum number of [...]

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Appropriations for FY2014 in P.L. 113-76 – R43689

Enacted on January 17, 2014, Title II of Division G of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (P.L. 113-76, H.R. 3547) provided $8.20 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for FY2014. The act appropriated funding for the full fiscal year through September 30, 2014, for all of the 12 regular appropriations acts, including EPA within [...]

Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA’s Air Compliance Agreement – RL32947

From an environmental quality standpoint, much of the interest in animal agriculture has focused on impacts on water resources, because animal waste, if not properly managed, can harm water quality through surface runoff, direct discharges, spills, and leaching into soil and groundwater. A more recent issue is the contribution of emissions from animal feeding operations [...]

Federalism Issues in Surface Transportation Policy: A Historical Perspective – R40431

P.L. 112-141, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), reauthorized federal highway and mass transit programs through the end of FY2014 (27 months), and authorized to be appropriated $105.2 billion for these programs in FY2013 and FY2014 (about $118 billion including already appropriated funding for FY2012). P.L. 113-159, the Highway and [...]

China’s Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States – RL33534

Prior to the initiation of economic reforms and trade liberalization 35 years ago, China maintained policies that kept the economy very poor, stagnant, centrally controlled, vastly inefficient, and relatively isolated from the global economy. Since opening up to foreign trade and investment and implementing free market reforms in 1979, China has been among the world’s [...]

State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2015 Budget and Appropriations – R43569

The annual State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs appropriations bill (also referred to here as “foreign affairs appropriations” or “foreign affairs funding”) is the primary legislative vehicle through which Congress reviews the U.S. international affairs budget and influences executive branch foreign policy making. (Foreign relations authorization and foreign assistance authorization legislation, required by law prior [...]

Social Security Survivors Benefits – RS22294

Social Security is formally known as the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program. This report focuses on the Survivors Insurance component of Social Security. When workers die, their spouses, former spouses, and dependents may qualify for Social Security survivors benefits. This report describes how a person becomes covered by Survivors Insurance and outlines the [...]

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. Many of these provisions take effect in 2014. This report provides resources to help congressional staff respond to constituents’ frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the law. The report lists selected resources [...]

Small Business Administration HUBZone Program – R41268

The Small Business Administration (SBA) administers several programs to support small businesses, including the Historically Underutilized Business Zone Empowerment Contracting (HUBZone) program. The HUBZone program is a small business federal contracting assistance program “whose primary objective is job creation and increasing capital investment in distressed communities.” It provides participating small businesses located in areas with [...]

Iran Sanctions – RS20871

Strict sanctions on Iran’s key energy and financial sectors harmed Iran’s economy. The economic pressure – coupled with the related June 14, 2013 election of the relatively moderate Hassan Rouhani as Iran’s president – contributed to Iran’s accepting a November 24, 2013 six-month interim agreement (“Joint Plan of Action,” JPA) that halts expansion of its [...]

Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances – RL31139

Restrictions on travel to Cuba have been a key and often contentious component in U.S. efforts to isolate Cuba’s communist government since the early 1960s. Under the George W. Bush Administration, restrictions on travel and on private remittances to Cuba were tightened. In March 2003, the Administration eliminated travel for people-to-people educational exchanges unrelated to [...]