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Congressional interest in small business access to capital has increased in recent years because of concerns that small businesses might be prevented from accessing sufficient capital to enable them to create and retain jobs and assist in the economic recovery. Some, including President Obama, have argued that the federal government should provide additional resources to [...]
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 perform [...]
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. 1030, outlaws conduct that victimizes computer systems. It is a cyber security law. It protects federal computers, bank computers, and computers connected to the Internet. It shields them from trespassing, threats, damage, espionage, and from being corruptly used as instruments of fraud. It is not a [...]
The 113th Congress has considered legislation that would extend certain expired and expiring tax provisions. The Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act (S. 2260), which was reported by the Senate Finance Committee on April 28, 2014, would extend most expired and expiring tax provisions through the end of 2015. The bill did not [...]
This report provides references to analytical reports on cybersecurity from CRS, other government agencies, trade associations, and interest groups. The reports and related websites are grouped under the following cybersecurity topics:
policy overview National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) cloud computing and FedRAMP critical infrastructure cybercrime, data breaches, and data security national security, [...]
At present, Guinea is one of three countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The outbreak is impacting Guinea’s economy, social relations, food security, and politics, with potentially dire implications. For coverage of the outbreak and U.S. responses to it, see CRS Report R43697, The 2014 Ebola Outbreak: International and U.S. Responses, [...]
The issue of same-sex marriage generates debate on both the federal and state levels. Either legislatively or judicially, same-sex marriage is legal in more than a dozen states. Conversely, many states have statutes and/or constitutional amendments limiting marriage to the union of one man and one woman. These state-level variations raise questions about the validity [...]
Nuclear energy issues facing Congress include reactor safety and regulation, radioactive waste management, research and development priorities, federal incentives for new commercial reactors, nuclear weapons proliferation, and security against terrorist attacks.
The earthquake and resulting tsunami that severely damaged Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on March 11, 2011, raised questions in Congress about the [...]
The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (H.R. 4980), an omnibus bill that includes both child welfare and child support provisions, was signed into law on September 29, 2014, as P.L. 113-183. The bill received broad congressional support, passing the House by voice vote (under suspension of the rules) on July 23, 2014, and [...]
The National Park Service (NPS) receives appropriations in the annual Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. For FY2015, the Obama Administration requested $2.615 billion in discretionary appropriations for NPS, an increase of $53.1 million (2.1%) over the enacted FY2014 amount of $2.562 billion. On July 23, 2014, the House Appropriations Committee reported H.R. 5171, [...]
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 [...]
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) operates several programs that supplement the income of farmers and ranchers in times of low farm prices and natural disasters. The following programs are collectively called the farm safety net.
• Federal crop insurance is often referred to as the centerpiece of the farm safety net because of its [...]
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 [...]
Under the Commemorative Works Act (CWA) of 1986, Congress may authorize commemorative works to be placed in the District of Columbia or its environs. Once a commemorative work has been authorized, Congress continues to be responsible for statutorily designating a memorial site location.
This report provides a status update on eight in-progress memorials and five [...]
Since the 1970s, Morocco and the independence-seeking Popular Front for the Liberation of Saqiat al Hamra and Rio de Oro (Polisario) have vied, at times violently, for control of the Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony. In 1991, the United Nations (U.N.) arranged a ceasefire and proposed a settlement plan calling for a referendum to [...]
Energy-related research and development (R&D)—on coal-based synthetic petroleum and on atomic power—played an important role in the successful outcome of World War II. In the postwar era, the federal government conducted R&D on fossil fuel and nuclear energy sources to support peacetime economic growth. The energy crises of the 1970s spurred the government to broaden [...]
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, [...]
An estimated 6.5 million individuals currently abuse prescription drugs in the United States. Unlike policy on street drugs, federal policy on prescription drug abuse is complicated by the need to maintain access to prescription controlled substances (PCS) for legitimate medical use. The federal government has several roles in reducing prescription drug abuse.
Coordination. The [...]
Since the enactment of the Commemorative Works Act (CWA) in 1986, Congress has authorized 31 commemorative works to be placed in the District of Columbia or its environs. Seventeen of these works have been completed and dedicated.
This report contains a catalog of the 18 authorized works that have been completed and dedicated since 1986. [...]
Both House and party rules detail procedures for committee assignments. House rules address the election and membership of committees, especially limitations on membership. The Democratic Caucus and Republican Conference rules designate categories of committees (shown in Table 1) and specify service limitations in addition to those in the House rules.
Date of Report: October 17, [...]