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    19.09.2014
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All Penny Hill Press Sites

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

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Domestic Human Trafficking Legislation in the 114th Congress – R43917

Legislation aimed at combating trafficking in persons (TIP) is a top item on the legislative agenda for the 114th Congress. TIP is of significant interest to the United States as a serious human rights concern, and it is believed to be

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ESEA Reauthorization Proposals in the 114th Congress: Selected Key Issues – R43916

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was last amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB; P.L. 107-110). During the 114th Congress, to date, the House Education and the Workforce Committee has considered and ord

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Climate Change Adaptation by Federal Agencies: An Analysis of Plans and Issues for Congress – R43915

Though Congress has debated the significance of global climate change and what federal policies, if any, should address them, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) since 2013 has identified the changing climate as one of the 30 mo

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The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Action of November 20, 2014: Overview and Issues – R43852

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced his Immigration Accountability Executive Action which would revise some U.S. immigration policies and initiate several programs, including a revised border security policy for the Southwe

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State Sponsors of Acts of International Terrorism-Legislative Parameters: In Brief – R43835

Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria are identified by the U.S. government as countries with governments that support acts of international terrorism. As the 114th Congress is sworn in and begins its first session, U.S. foreign policy and nati

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Legislation to Facilitate Cybersecurity Information Sharing: Economic Analysis – R43821

Data breaches, such as those at Target, Home Depot, Neiman Marcus, JPMorgan Chase, and Anthem, have affected financial records of tens of millions of households and seem to occur regularly. Companies typically respond by trying to incr

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Export-Import Bank: Overview and Reauthorization Issues – R43581

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank or the Bank), a wholly-owned U.S. government corporation, is the official export credit agency (ECA) of the United States. Its mission is to assist in the financing of U.S. export

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EPA and the Army Corps’ Proposed Rule to Define “Waters of the United States” – R43455

On March 25, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) jointly announced a proposed rule defining the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The proposal would revi

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Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions – R43311

The United States has led the international community in imposing economic sanctions on Iran, in an effort to change the government of that country’s support of acts of international terrorism, poor human rights record, weapons a

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The Army’s Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV): Background and Issues for Congress – R43240

The Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) is the Army’s proposed replacement for the Vietnam-era M-113 personnel carriers, which are still in service in a variety of support capacities in Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs). Whil

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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 r

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Ozone Air Quality Standards: EPA’s 2015 Revision – R43092

On November 26, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced proposed revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone. If finalized, the proposal would set more stringent standards, l

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The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System: A Brief Overview – R42614

The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 (P.L. 90-542, 16 U.S.C. §§1271 et seq.) created the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The act established a policy of preserving designated free-flowing rivers for the benefit and

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Legal Authorities Governing Federal Contracting and Subcontracting with Small Businesses – R42391

Congress has generally broad authority to impose requirements upon the federal procurement process (i.e., the process whereby agencies obtain supplies and services from the private sector). One of the many ways in which Congress has exercised view full post » […]

Teacher Quality Issues in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act – R42127

One of the major goals of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB, P.L. 107-110), is to raise the achievement of students who currently fail to meet grade-leve

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Social Security Administration (SSA): Budget Issues – R41716

The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Special Benefits for Certain World War II Veterans pr

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Small Business Management and Technical Assistance Training Programs – R41352

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has provided technical and managerial assistance to small businesses since it began operations in 1953. Initially, the SBA provided its own small business management and technical assistance trai

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Locate an Agency or Program Within Appropriations Bills – R40858

The major source of appropriated funds for each of the following federal agencies or programs is identified in Table 1. The Appendix provides a listing of House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees.

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Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate – R40616

As congressional policy makers continue to debate telecommunications reform, a major discussion point revolves around what approach should be taken to ensure unfettered access to the Internet. The move to place restrictions on the owne

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Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit – R40611

The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA, P.L. 108-173) established a voluntary, outpatient prescription drug benefit under Medicare Part D, effective January 1, 2006. Medicare Part D provides cov

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Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections – 98-684

This report provides the results of recent elections in Latin America and the Caribbean. Below are three tables organized by region, including the date of each country’s independence, the name of the newly elected president or pr

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Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy – 95-1013

An uprising against Bahrain’s Al Khalifa royal family that began on February 14, 2011, has not achieved the goals of the mostly Shiite opposition to establish a constitutional monarchy. Demonstrations have diminished since 2012,

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Health Care for Dependents and Survivors of Veterans – RS22483

The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) was established by the Veterans Health Care Expansion Act of 1973 (P.L. 93-82). CHAMPVA is primarily a health insurance program where certain eligi

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Debarment and Suspension of Government Contractors: Legal Overview – RL34753

Debarment and suspension (collectively known as “exclusion”) are of perennial interest to Congress because exclusion is one of the primary techniques that federal agencies use to avoid dealings with vendors who have failed,

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Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy – RL33460

A pro-reform, pro-Western government has emerged in Ukraine after the collapse of the government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on February 21, 2014. Russia responded to the change of government in Kyiv by seizing Ukraine&rsq

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International Law and Agreements: Their Effect upon U.S. Law – RL32528

This report provides an introduction to the roles that international law and agreements play in the United States. International law is derived from two primary sources—international agreements and customary practice. Under the U

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Refugee Admissions and Resettlement Policy – RL31269

A refugee is a person fleeing his or her country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Typically, the annual nu

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Congressional Gold Medals, 1776-2014 – RL30076

Senators and Representatives are frequently asked to support or sponsor proposals recognizing historic events and outstanding achievements by individuals or institutions. Among the various forms of recognition that Congress bestows, th

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Bee Health: The Role of Pesticides – R43900

Over the past few decades there has been heightened concern about the plight of honey bees as well as other bee species. Given the importance of honey bees and other bee species to food production, many have expressed concern about whe

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Tax Provisions that Expired in 2014 (“Tax Extenders”) – R43898

In the past, Congress has regularly acted to extend expired or expiring temporary tax provisions. Collectively, these temporary tax provisions are often referred to as “tax extenders.” Fifty-two temporary tax provisions expired at th

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A New Authorization for Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State: Issues and Current Proposals in Brief – R43760

In 2014, the armed offensive of the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIL, ISIS, or Daesh) in northern and western Iraq and northeastern Syria raised significant concerns for the United States. After first ordering multiple deployments

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): FY2015 Appropriations – R43709

Enacted on December 16, 2014, Title II of Division F of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (P.L. 113-235; H.R. 83) provided $8.14 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for FY2015. The act appropriate

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Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2015 Appropriations – R43509

This report tracks and describes actions taken by the Administration and Congress to provide FY2015 appropriations for the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) accounts. It also provides an overview of FY2014 appropri

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Child Welfare: An Overview of Federal Programs and Their Current Funding – R43458

Child welfare services are intended to prevent the abuse or neglect of children; ensure that children have safe, permanent homes; and promote the well-being of children and their families. As the U.S. Constitution has been interpreted,

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Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents – R43317

Cybersecurity vulnerabilities challenge governments, businesses, and individuals worldwide. Attacks have been initiated against individuals, corporations, and countries. Targets have included government networks, companies, and political organiz

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An Overview of the Housing Finance System in the United States – R42995

When making a decision about housing, a household must choose between renting and owning. Multiple factors, such as a household’s financial status and expectations about the future, will influence the decision. Few that d

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Overview and Issues for Implementation of the Federal Cloud Computing Initiative: Implications for Federal Information Technology Reform Management – R42887

Cloud computing is a new name for an old concept: the delivery of computing services from a remote location, analogous to the way electricity, water, and other utilities are provided to most customers. Cloud computing services are deli

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Tax Deductions for Individuals: A Summary – R42872

Every tax filer has the option to claim deductions when filing their income tax return. Deductions serve four main purposes in the tax code: (1) to account for large, unusual, and necessary personal expenditures, such as extraordinary medic

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Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress – R42351

The Internet is often described as a “network of networks” because it is not a single physical entity, but hundreds of thousands of interconnected networks linking hundreds of millions of computers around the world. As such

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The U.S. Tsunami Program: A Brief Overview – R41686

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Weather Service (NWS) manages two tsunami warning centers that monitor, detect, and issue warnings for tsunamis. The NWS operates the Pacific Tsunami W

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Is Biopower Carbon Neutral? – R41603

To promote energy diversity and improve energy security, Congress has expressed interest in biopower—electricity generated from biomass. Biopower, a baseload power source, can be produced from a large range of biomass feedstocks

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Small Business Administration 504/CDC Loan Guaranty Program – R41184

The Small Business Administration (SBA) administers programs to support small businesses, including several loan guaranty programs designed to encourage lenders to provide loans to small businesses “that might not otherwise obtai

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U.S. Farm Income Outlook for 2015 – R40152

According to USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), national net farm income—a key indicator of U.S. farm well-being—is forecast at $73.6 billion in 2015, down 32% from last year’s level of $108.0 billion. The

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Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies – 98-446

This list of about 200 congressional liaison offices is 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 it

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Guide to Individuals Seated on the Senate Dais – 98-397

The Senate meets in the Senate chamber of the Capitol. Seated at the head of the chamber on the top of a two-tiered dais is the presiding officer. Members are assigned to the 100 desks that are arranged in a semicircle facing the presi

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House Committee on Ethics: A Brief History of Its Evolution and Jurisdiction – 98-15

The United States Constitution (Article 1, Section 5, clause 1) provides each House of Congress with the s

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EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases: Congressional Responses and Options – R41212

Both the Administration and Congress expect that regulation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be an important issue in 2015. EPA has proposed standards to limit GHG emissions from both new and exis

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The Unemployment Trust Fund (UTF): State Insolvency and Federal Loans to States – RS22954

Although states have a great deal of autonomy in how they establish and run their unemployment insurance programs, federal law requires states to pay Unemployment Compensation (UC) benefits promptly as provided under state law. During

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Veterans’ Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs – RS22804

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers several pension benefit programs for veterans as well as their surviving spouses and dependent children. The most current pension programs available (for those meeting the eli

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Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF): Program Overview and Issues – RS22037

In the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996, Congress authorized a drinking water state revolving loan fund (DWSRF) program to help public water systems finance infrastructure projects needed to comply with federal drinkin

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