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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): FY2016 Appropriations – R44189

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is the lead federal law enforcement agenc

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Follow-On Biologics: Intellectual Property Issues – R44173

The term “biologics” refers to a category of medical preparations derived from a living organism. These medicines have added notable therapeutic options for many diseases and impacted fields such as oncology and rheumatology. The bio

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ESEA Title I-A Formulas: In Brief – R44164

Title I-A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) aut

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Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods and the WTO Trade Dispute on Meat Labeling – RS22955

Since the final rule to implement country-of-origin labeling (COOL) took effect in March 2009, most retail food stores have been required to inform consumers about the country of origin of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, shellfish, peanuts, p

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Proxy Voting and Polling in Senate Committee – RS22952

In an effort to operate efficiently despite the competing scheduling demands placed on its members, all Senate standing committe

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The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program: The Fixed Subsidy and Variable Rate – RS22917

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program was originally designed to provide

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Veterans’ Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs – RS22804

This report discusses selected veteran pension programs administered by the […]

Railroad Retirement Board: Trust Fund Investment Practices – RS22782

Beginning in 2002, a significant portion of the assets of the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) has been invested in private stocks

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Qualified Charitable Distributions from Individual Retirement Accounts: Features and Legislative History – RS22766

A provision of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-280) allows tax-free d

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Senate Committee Hearings: The “Minority Witness Rule” – RS22649

When a Senate committee other than the Appropriations Committee holds a hearing, the minority party members of

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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

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Procedural Analysis of Private Laws Enacted: 1986-2015 – RS22450

Between 1986 and 2015 (99th-114th Congresses), 170 private laws were enacted. As of this writing, no private laws have been enacted in the 114th Congress (2015-2016). Most private laws during this period dealt with immigration issues or claims a

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Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress – RS22373

The Navy for several years has carried out a variety of irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) activities. Among the most readily visible of the Navy’s recent IW operations have been those carried out by Navy sailors serving asho

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Military Funeral Honors and Military Cemeteries: Frequently Asked Questions – RS21545

This report is written in response to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about military funeral honors and military cemeteries. It provides information to questions in three general areas: implementation of the funeral honors and eligibility crit

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Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues – RS20844

When civil unrest, violence, or natural disasters erupt in spots around the world, concerns arise over the safety of foreign nationals from these troubled places who are in the United States. Provisions exist in the

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Expedited or “Fast-Track” Legislative Procedures – RS20234

Expedited or “fast-track” legislative procedures are special procedures that Congress adopts to promote timely committee and floor action on a specifically defined type of bill or resolution. For example, House and Senate considerati

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General Debate in Committee of the Whole – RS20200

The House considers most important bills (and resolutions) on the floor by resolving into the […]

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress – RL34391

Coast Guard polar icebreakers perform a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in

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Seafood Fraud – RL34124

Fraudulent seafood sales and marketing—the act of defrauding buyers of seafood for economic gain—has been widely reported and has gained greater public attention in recent years. The extent of seafood fraud is difficult to determine

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Statutory Qualifications for Executive Branch Positions – RL33886

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, some Members of Congress and others questioned the competence of lead

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Generalized System of Preferences: Overview and Issues for Congress – RL33663

The U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program provides non-recipr

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Jordan: Background and U.S. Relations – RL33546

This report provides an overview of Jordanian politi

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

Prior to the initiation of economic reforms and trade liberalization 36 years ago, China maintained policies that kept the economy very poor, stagnant, centrally-controlled, vastly inefficient, and relatively isolated from the global economy. Si

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Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations – RL33533

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ruled by

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Abortion: Judicial History and Legislative Response – RL33467

In 1973, the […]

U.S.-China Nuclear Cooperation Agreement – RL33192

Negotiated by the Reagan Administration nearly 30 years ago, the current U.S. peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement with the […]

Birthright Citizenship Under the 14th Amendment of Persons Born in the United States to Alien Parents – RL33079

Over the past couple of decades, growing concern about illegal immigration, chain migration, and national security has led some Members of Congress to reexamine the long-established tenet that a person who is born in the United States and subjec

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Federal Disaster Assistance Response and Recovery Programs: Brief Summaries – RL31734

This report is designed to assist Members of Congress and their staff as they address the needs of their s

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Federal Employees’ Retirement System: Budget and Trust Fund Issues – RL30023

Most of the civilian federal workforce is covered by one of two retirement systems: (1) the […]

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Commercial Outlook for a New Industry – R44192

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)—commonly referred to as drones—have become a staple of U.S. military reconnaissance and weapons delivery in overseas war zones such as […]

National Hispanic Heritage Month: Fact Sheet – R44191

This guide is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to Nation

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News and Transcript Resources: Fact Sheet – R44190

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is the lead

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Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Financing Issues – R44188

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

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Encryption and Evolving Technology: Implications for U.S. Law Enforcement Investigations – R44187

Because modern-day criminals are constantly developing new tools and techniques to facilitate their illicit activities, law enforcement is challenged with leveraging its tools and authorities to keep pace. For instance, interconnectivity and tec

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Federal Reserve: Emergency Lending – R44185

The worsening of the financial crisis in 2008 led the

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Pope Francis and Selected Global Issues: Background for Papal Address to Congress – R44184

Pope Francis (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio) assumed the papacy on March 13, 2013, following the surprise resignati

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The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act: Background and Issues – R44181

Today stakeholders broadly agree on the need for strong measures to control vessel discharges, especially ballast wa

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Drought Legislation: Comparison of Selected Provisions in H.R. 2898 and S. 1894 – R44180

Several western states are experiencing extreme, and in some cases exceptional, drought conditions. The persistence and intensit

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Federal Tactical Teams – R44179

In 2014 and 2015, reports of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams used by […]

U.S. Catfish Industry and Foreign Trade: A Fact Sheet – R44177

U.S. Aquaculture Production and Catfish Farming  

Aquaculture refers to the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of animals or plants in water environments, such as ponds, lakes, and oceans. It includes the

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Essential Air Service (EAS) – R44176

The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 gave airlines almost total freedom to determine which dom

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Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Hypervelocity Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress – R44175

The Navy is currently developing three potential new weapons that could improve the ability of its surface ships to defend themselves against enemy missiles—solid state lasers (SSLs), the […]

Apprenticeship in the United States: Frequently Asked Questions – R44174

The term “biologics” refers to a category of medical preparations derived from a living organism. These medicines have added notable therapeutic options for many diseases and impacted fields such as oncology and rheumatology. The bio

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The International Labor Organization (ILO): Background in Brief – R44165

This report is intended as a primer on the International Labor Organization (ILO). The ILO was founded in 1919 under the […]

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s Essential Health Benefits (EHB) – R44163

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L.

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Veterans’ Benefits: Eligibility of Merchant Mariners – R44162

Although merchant mariners have supported the Armed Forces in every war fought by the United States, they generally are not considered veterans for the purpose of eligibility for federal benefits. Pursuant to legislation enacted in 1977 (P.L. 95

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Expedited Removal Authority for VA Senior Executives (38 U.S.C. § 713): Selected Legal Issues – R44161

This report discusses selected legal issues relating to the authority for summary removal of individuals in senior executive positions at the […]

The Excise Tax on High-Cost Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage: Background and Economic Analysis – R44160

Beginning in 2018, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care

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The Excise Tax on High-Cost Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance: Estimated Economic and Market Effects – R44159

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L.

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Irrigation in U.S. Agriculture: On-Farm Technologies and Best Management Practices – R44158

Recent threats to water availability as a result of moderate to exceptional drought in several states have raised questions about […]