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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 [...]

Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer – RS22937

In order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states, it must conclude a framework agreement that meets specific requirements under Section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA). The AEA also provides for export control licensing procedures and criteria for terminating cooperation. Congressional review is required for Section 123 [...]

Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments – RS22570

Since 2000, the U.S. military has been building up forward-deployed forces on the westernmost U.S. territory of Guam (west of Hawaii) to increase U.S. operational presence, deterrence, and power projection for potential responses to crises, disasters, or other contingencies to support Japan, Republic of Korea (ROK), the Philippines, Taiwan, or others in Asia. Since 2006, [...]

Navy Ship Names: Background For Congress – RS22478

Names for Navy ships traditionally have been chosen and announced by the Secretary of the Navy, under the direction of the President and in accordance with rules prescribed by Congress. Rules for giving certain types of names to certain types of Navy ships have evolved over time. There have been exceptions to the Navy’s ship-naming [...]

Railroad Retirement Board: Retirement, Survivor, Disability, Unemployment, and Sickness Benefits – RS22350

The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) administers retirement, survivor, disability, unemployment, and sickness insurance for railroad workers and their families. Benefits provided by the RRB are separate from those provided by the Social Security system, although the railroad and Social Security systems share common features and are linked in several key ways. This report describes Railroad [...]

Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights – RS21968

Since the 2011 U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq, sectarian and ethnic divisions have widened, fueling a major challenge to Iraq’s stability and to Iraq’s non-Muslim minority communities. Iraq’s Sunni Arabs have sided with radical Sunni Islamist insurgents as a means to reduce Shiite political domination. Iraq’s Kurds have been separately embroiled in political disputes with [...]

Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance – RS21922

The capacity, transparency, legitimacy, and cohesiveness of Afghan governance are crucial to Afghan stability as U.S.-led NATO forces exit Afghanistan by 2016. The size and capability of the Afghan governing structure has increased significantly since the Taliban regime fell in late 2001. But, the government remains rife with corruption and ethnic and political tensions among [...]

Agriculture in the WTO: Rules and Limits on Domestic Support – RS20840

Omnibus U.S. farm legislation—referred to as the farm bill—is renewed about every five years. Farm income and commodity price support programs have been a part of U.S. farm bills since the 1930s. Each successive farm bill usually involves some modification or replacement of existing farm programs. A key question likely to be asked of [...]

Navy Ford (CVN-78) Class Aircraft Carrier Program: Background and Issues for Congress – RS20643

CVN-78, CVN-79, and CVN-80 are the first three ships in the Navy’s new Gerald R. Ford (CVN- 78) class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers (CVNs).

CVN-78 was procured in FY2008. The Navy’s proposed FY2015 budget estimates the ship’s procurement cost at $12,887.2 million (i.e., about $12.9 billion) in then-year dollars. The ship received advance procurement funding [...]

The U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA): Provisions and Implications – RL34330

President Obama signed the legislation implementing the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) on October 21, 2011 (P.L. 112-41), and the Korean National Assembly passed the agreement on November 22, 2011. The KORUS FTA entered into force on March 15, 2012.

With the KORUS FTA now in force for over two years, focus has [...]

Lame Duck Sessions of Congress, 1935-2010 (74th-112th Congresses) – RL33677

A “lame duck” session of Congress occurs whenever one Congress meets after its successor is elected, but before the term of the current Congress ends. Under present conditions, any meeting of Congress after election day in November, but before the following January 3, is a lame duck session. Prior to 1933, when the 20th Amendment [...]

China-U.S. Trade Issues – RL33536

U.S.-China economic ties have expanded substantially over the past three decades. Total U.S.- China trade rose from $2 billion in 1979 to $562 billion in 2013. China is currently the United States’ second-largest trading partner, its third-largest export market, and its biggest source of imports. China is estimated to be a $300 billion market for [...]

Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response – RL33487

The summer 2014 offensive in neighboring Iraq by the insurgent terrorist group known as the Islamic State (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL/ISIS) has reshaped longstanding debates over U.S. policy toward the three-year old conflict in Syria. The Islamic State controls large areas of northeastern Syria, where it continues [...]

Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress – RL33436

Japan is a significant partner for the United States in a number of foreign policy areas, particularly in U.S. security priorities, which range from hedging against Chinese military modernization to countering threats from North Korea. The post-World War II alliance has long been an anchor of the U.S. security role in Asia. The alliance facilitates [...]

China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities-Background and Issues for Congress – RL33153

China is building a modern and regionally powerful Navy with a modest but growing capability for conducting operations beyond China’s near-seas region. The question of how the United States should respond to China’s military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, is a key issue in U.S. defense planning. The question is of particular importance [...]

Social Security Reform: Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefit Entitlement Issues – RL32822

Calculations indicating that the Social Security program will not be financially sustainable in the long run under the present statutory scheme have fueled the current debate regarding Social Security reform. This report addresses selected legal issues that may be raised regarding entitlement to Social Security benefits as Congress considers possible changes to the Social Security [...]

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant: Responses to Frequently Asked Questions – RL32760

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant funds a wide range of benefits and services for low-income families with children. TANF was created in the 1996 welfare reform law (P.L. 104-193). This report responds to some frequently asked questions about TANF; it does not describe TANF rules (see, instead, CRS Report RL32748, The [...]

The Child Care and Development Block Grant: Background and Funding – RL30785

The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) provides subsidies to assist low-income families in obtaining child care so that parents can work or participate in education or training activities. Discretionary funding for this program is authorized by the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 (as amended), which is currently due for [...]

Poverty: Major Themes in Past Debates and Current Proposals – R43731

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty, but poverty remains a difficult policy challenge. The Obama Administration and some in Congress have offered proposals that seek to address poverty, with the proposals differing considerably in their focus and content. However, the themes reflected in these proposals echo prior efforts to address [...]

The No Fly List: Procedural Due Process and Hurdles to Litigation – R43730

In order to protect national security, the government maintains various terrorist watchlists, including the “No Fly” list, which contains the names of individuals to be denied boarding on commercial airline flights. Travelers on the No Fly list are not permitted to board an American airline or any flight on a foreign air carrier that lands [...]

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit – R43729

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 for 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 [...]