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    19.09.2014
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    22.12.2013

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

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[…]

Speaking on the House Floor: Gaining Time and Parliamentary Phraseology – RS22991

House rules and precedents structure Members’ opportunities to speak on the floor about pending legislation. Under some circumstances, Members arrange to speak on legislation by communicating with the leaders of the committee that reported the

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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, disa

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The Help America Vote Act and Election Administration: Overview and Issues – RS20898

The deadlocked November 2000 presidential election focused national attention on previously obscure details of election administration. Even before the U.S. Supreme Court had resolved the election in December, numerous bills to address the faili

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The Budget Control Act and Trends in Discretionary Spending – RL34424

Discretionary spending is provided and controlled through appropriations acts, which fund many of the activities commonly associated with such federal government functions as running executive branch agencies, congressional offices and agencies,

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Casework in a Congressional Office: Background, Rules, Laws, and Resources – RL33209

In a congressional office, the term casework refers to the response or services that Members of Congress provide to constituents who request assistance. Each year, thousands of constituents turn to Members of Congress with a wide range

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China and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missiles: Policy Issues – RL31555

Congress has long been concerned about whether policy advances the U.S. interest in reducing the role of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and missiles that could deliver them. Recip

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Senate Standing Committees’ Rules on Legislative Activities and Executive Business: Analysis for the 113th Congress – R43799

Senate Rule XXVI directs Senate committees to adopt rules of procedure and publish them in the Congressional Record by March 1 of the first year of a new Congress. A committee’s rules must be “not inconsistent” with the Senate’s

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The Obama Administration’s November 2014 Immigration Initiatives: Questions and Answers – R43798

On November 20, 2014, President Obama delivered a televised address wherein he broadly described the steps that his administration is taking to “fix” what he has repeatedly described as a “broken immigration system.” Following the Presid

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U.S. Secret Service Protection Mission Funding and Staffing: Fact Sheet – R43797

The U.S. Secret Service (USSS) has two broad missions, criminal investigations and protection. The protection mission, which is the focus of this fact sheet, covers the President, Vice President, their families, and candidates for those offices,

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Department of Homeland Security: FY2015 Appropriations – R43796

This report analyzes the FY2015 appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). While this report makes note of many budgetary resources provided to DHS, its primary focus is on funding approved by Congress through the appropriatio

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U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Recent Trends and Factors – R43795

On June 25, 2013, President Obama affirmed his commitment to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 if all other major economies agreed to limit their emissions as well. In addition, during a November 2014 tr

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Export-Import Bank Reauthorization: Frequently Asked Questions – R43671

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

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State Children’s Health Insurance Program: An Overview – R43627

The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a means-tested program that provides health coverage to targeted low-income children and pregnant women in families that have annual income above Medicaid eligibility levels but have no h

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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 proposed a rule defining the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The proposal would revise regulations that

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Iran: Interim Nuclear Agreement and Talks on a Comprehensive Accord – R43333

On November 24, 2013, Iran and the six powers that have negotiated with Iran about its nuclear program since 2006 (the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, and Germany— collectively known as the “P5+1”) finalized an interim agree

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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 respond to

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Energy-Water Nexus: The Energy Sector’s Water Use – R43199

Water and energy are critical resources that are reciprocally linked; this interdependence is often described as the water-energy nexus. Meeting energy-sector water needs, which are often large, depends upon the local availability of water for f

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Securing U.S. Diplomatic Facilities and Personnel Abroad: Legislative and Executive Branch Initiatives – R43195

The September 11, 2012, attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, prompted sustained congressional attention on the specific circumstances of the events in question, as well as broader questions regarding how U.S. diplomatic personnel and fa

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An Overview of Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas: Resources and Federal Actions – R43148

The United States has seen resurgence in petroleum production, mainly driven by technology improvements—especially hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling—developed for natural gas production from shale formations. Application of these

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Counting Regulations: An Overview of Rulemaking, Types of Federal Regulations, and Pages in the Federal Register – R43056

Federal rulemaking is an important mechanism through which the federal government implements policy. Federal agencies issue regulations pursuant to statutory authority granted by Congress. Therefore, Congress may have an interest in performing o

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Membership of the 113th Congress: A Profile – R42964

This report presents a profile of the membership of the 113th Congress (2013-2014). Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of co

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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, the Internet is

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U.S.-Taiwan Relationship: Overview of Policy Issues – R41952

This CRS Report, updated through the 113th Congress, provides an overview with analysis of the major issues in U.S. policy on Taiwan. Taiwan formally calls itself the Republic of China (ROC), tracing its political lineage to the ROC set up after

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Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court’s Climate Change Decision in Massachusetts v. EPA: A Chronology – R41103

In 2007, the Supreme Court rendered one of its most important environmental decisions. In Massachusetts v. EPA, the Court held 5-4 that greenhouse gases (GHGs), widely viewed as contributing to climate change, constitute “air pollutan

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The “8(a) Program” for Small Businesses Owned and Controlled by the Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Legal Requirements and Issues – R40744

Commonly known as the “8(a) Program,” the Minority Small Business and Capital Ownership Development Program is one of several federal contracting programs for small businesses. The 8(a) Program provides participating small businesses with tr

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Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues – 97-868

Navigating the Internet requires using addresses and corresponding names that identify the location of individual computers. The Domain Name System (DNS) is the distributed set of databases residing in computers around the world that contain add

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The Legislative Process on the House Floor: An Introduction – 95-563

The daily order of business on the floor of the House of Representatives is governed by standing rules that make certain matters and actions privileged for consideration. On a day-to-day basis, however, the House usually decides to grant individ

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A Guide to U.S. Military Casualty Statistics: Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom – RS22452

This report presents statistics regarding U.S. military casualties in the active missions Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR, Iraq and Syria) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF, Afghanistan), as well as operations that have ended, Operation New Da

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Kuwait: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy – RS21513

Kuwait has been pivotal to U.S. efforts to secure the Persian Gulf region because of its willingness to cooperate with U.S. strategy and military operations in the region, its location close to both Iran and Iraq, and its role as the object of p

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U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress – RS21048

Special Operations Forces (SOF) play a significant role in U.S. military operations, and the Administration has given U.S. SOF greater responsibility for planning and conducting worldwide counterterrorism operations. U.S. Special Operations Comm

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Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations – RL34170

This report provides an overview and analysis of U.S.-Yemeni relations amidst evolving political change in Yemeni leadership, ongoing U.S. counterterrorism operations against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives in Yemen’s hinte

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Farm and Food Support Under USDA’s Section 32 Program – RL34081

“Section 32” is a permanent appropriation that since 1935 has set aside the equivalent of 30% of annual customs receipts to support the farm sector through the purchase of surplus commodities and a variety of other activities. The appropriat

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U.S. Trade Concepts, Performance, and Policy: Frequently Asked Questions – RL33944

Congress plays a major role in U.S. trade policy through its legislative and oversight authority. There are a number of major trade issues that are currently the focus of Congress. For example, bills were introduced in the 113th Congress to reau

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U.S. Family Wealth from 1989 to 2013: Evidence and Analysis – RL33433

U.S. family wealth has been an underlying consideration in congressional deliberations on various issues, including education, taxation, social welfare, and recovery from the 2007-2009 recession. This report analyzes the change over time in the

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Overview of the Federal Tax System – RL32808

The major sources of federal tax revenue are individual income taxes, Social Security and other payroll taxes, corporate income taxes, excise taxes, and estate and gift taxes. This report describes the federal tax structure, provides some statis

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Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses – RL32048

Since the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, a priority of U.S. policy has been to reduce the perceived threat posed by Iran to a broad range of U.S. interests. However, a common enemy has emerged in the form of the Islamic State organization,

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Food Recalls and Other FDA Administrative Enforcement Actions – R43794

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures the safety of all food except for meat, poultry, and certain egg products over which the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has regulatory oversight. Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmet

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Intelligence Authorization Legislation for FY2014 and FY2015: Provisions, Status, Intelligence Community Framework – R43793

An Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for Fiscal Years (FY) 2014 and 2015 (H.R. 4681) was considered in May 2014 and passed by the House but not by the Senate. Instead, both chambers passed, and the President signed an IAA for FY2014

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State Minimum Wages: An Overview – R43792

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), enacted in 1938, is the federal legislation that establishes the general minimum wage that must be paid to all covered workers. While the FLSA mandates broad minimum wage coverage, states have the option of e

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Natural Gas for Cars and Trucks: Options and Challenges – R43791

The increase in domestic supplies of natural gas has raised new interest in expanding its use in the transportation sector. This report considers issues related to wider use of natural gas as a fuel in passenger cars and commercial vehicles.

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Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange: Legislative History, Litigation, and Current Issues – R43790

The U.S. Armed Forces used a variety of chemical defoliants to clear dense jungle land in Vietnam during the war. Agent Orange (named for the orange-colored identifying stripes on the barrels) was by far the most widely used herbicide during the

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Adult Education and Family Literacy Act: Major Statutory Provisions – R43789

The Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) is the primary federal legislation that supports basic education for out-of-school adults. Commonly called “adult education,” the programs and activities funded by AEFLA typically support e

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Defense: FY2015 Authorization and Appropriations – R43788

In contrast with the debate over the FY2014 defense budget, congressional action on the FY2015 Department of Defense (DOD) budget request was not complicated by disputes over the total amount at issue. President Obama’s FY2015 DOD budget reque

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Terrorism Risk Insurance Legislation: Issue Summary and Side-by-Side Analysis – R43619

Prior to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, insurance covering terrorism losses was normally included in general insurance policies without additional cost to the policyholders. Following the attacks, this ceased to be the case as insure

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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 facilitatio

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Reauthorization of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) – R43490

One hundred fifteen million U.S. households watch television. Approximately 88% of those households subscribe to a service that carries the retransmitted signals of broadcast stations over fiber optic cables, telephone lines, or through a satell

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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 organizat

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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 and missile dev

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Cybersecurity: Data, Statistics, and Glossaries – R43310

This report describes data and statistics from government, industry, and IT security firms regarding the current state of cybersecurity threats in the United States and internationally. These include incident estimates, costs, and annual reports o

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U.S. Family-Based Immigration Policy – R43145

Family reunification is a key principle underlying U.S. immigration policy. It is embodied in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which specifies numerical limits for five family-based admission categories, as well as a per-country limit

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