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  • All Penny Hill Press Sites

All Penny Hill Press Sites


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

Abstracts of CRS Reports with 60k+ repor view full post » […]




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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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. Ap

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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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Insurance Regulation: Issues, Background, and Legislation in the 113th Congress – R43067

The individual states have been the primary regulators of insurance since 1868. Following the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act, this system has operated with the explicit blessing of Congress, but has also been subject to periodic scrutiny a

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Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Reform: An Overview of Proposals to Manage the Growth in the SSDI Rolls – R43054

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides benefits to nonelderly workers with certain disabilities and their eligible dependents. As in Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI)—Social Security’s retirement program&

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Cuba: U.S. Policy and Issues for the 113th Congress – R43024

On January 15, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule revising the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM). The revised air quality standards were completed pursuant to

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Air Quality: EPA’s 2013 Changes to the Particulate Matter (PM) Standard – R42934

On January 15, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule revising the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM). The revised air quality standards were completed pursuant to

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Water Quality Issues in the 113th Congress: An Overview – R42883

Much progress has been made in achieving the ambitious goals that Congress established 40 years ago in the Clean Water Act (CWA) to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters. How

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Emergency Assistance for Agricultural Land Rehabilitation – R42854

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers several permanently authorized programs to help producers recover from natural disasters. Most of these programs offer financial assistance to producers for a loss in the production

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Energy Policy: 114th Congress Issues – R42756

Energy policy in the United States has focused on three major goals: assuring a secure supply of energy, keeping energy costs low, and protecting the environment. In pursuit of those goals, government programs have been developed to im

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Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC): Background and Issues for Congress – R42723

On January 6, 2011, after spending approximately $3 billion in developmental funding, the Marine Corps cancelled the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) program due to poor reliability demonstrated during operational testing and exces

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Federal Land Management Agencies and Programs: CRS Experts – R42656

The following tables provide the names and contact information for CRS experts on: 

General Land Management Agency Issues  Bureau of Land Management  Fish and Wildlife Service  view full post » […]

Appropriations: CRS Experts – R42638

Appropriations are one part of a complex federal budget process that includes budget resolutions, appropriations (regular, supplemental, and continuing) bills, rescissions, and budget reconciliation bills. This report is a guide to the CRS exper

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Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress – R42567

The Coast Guard’s program of record (POR) calls for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard cutters and patrol

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Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, by Topic – R42507

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:

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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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EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track? – R41561

Since Barack Obama was sworn in as President in 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed and promulgated numerous regulations implementing the pollution control statutes enacted by Congress. Critics have reacted str

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Congressional Careers: Service Tenure and Patterns of Member Service, 1789-2015 – R41545

The average service tenure of Members of the Senate and House of Representatives has varied substantially since 1789. This report presents data on Member tenure and a historical analysis of tenure trends. 

During the 19th

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North Korea: Legislative Basis for U.S. Economic Sanctions – R41438

U.S. economic sanctions imposed on North Korea are instigated by that country’s activities related to weapons proliferation; regional disruptions; terrorism; narcotics trafficking; undemocratic governance; and illicit activities

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Reauthorizing the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 – R41303

Many counties are compensated for the tax-exempt status of federal lands. Counties with national forest lands and with certain Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands have historically received a percentage of agency revenues, primarily

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Contract Types: Legal Overview – R41168

Federal procurement contracts are commonly divided into two main types—fixed-price and cost-reimbursement — that primarily differ as to whether the government or the contractor assumes the risk of increases in the costs of perfo

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Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues – R40957

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) culminated years of effort by state and local government officials and business interests to control, if not eliminate, the imposition of unfunded intergovernmental and private-sector fed

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Public Health and Emergency Preparedness: CRS Experts – R40904

The following table provides access to names and contact information for CRS experts on policy concerns relating to public health and emergency preparedness. Policy areas identified include:


public health system view full post » […]

Wildfires: CRS Experts – R40884

The following table provides access to names and contact information for CRS experts on policy concerns relating to wildfires. Policy areas identified include federal wildfire policy; federal forest management; federal firefighting assistance; f

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Federal Crop Insurance: Background – R40532

The federal crop insurance program began in 1938 when Congress authorized the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. The current program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), pr

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Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation – R40529

The use of biomass as an energy feedstock has regularly been presented as a potentially viable alternative to address U.S. energy security concerns, foreign oil dependence, and rural economic development, and as a tool to possibly help

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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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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 c

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Congressional Salaries and Allowances: In Brief – RL30064

This report provides basic information on congressional salaries and allowances and recent developments. 

First, the report briefly summarizes the current salary of Members of Congress; limits or prohibitions on their outs

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State Challenges to Federal Enforcement of Immigration Law: Historical Precedents and Pending Litigation – R43839

States and localities can have significant interest in the manner and extent to which federal officials enforce provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) regarding the exclusion and removal of unauthorized aliens. Some st

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Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Eligibility and Benefit Amounts in State TANF Cash Assistance Programs – R43634

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant helps states fund, among other benefits and services, cash assistance for needy families with children. While there are some federal rules that determine who may qualify fo

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International Trade and Finance: Key Policy Issues for the 114th Congress – R43841

The U.S. Constitution grants authority over the regulation of foreign commerce to Congress. It exercises this authority in numerous ways, including through oversight of trade policy and the consideration of legislation to approve trade

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A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense-Issues for Congress – R43838

World events since late 2013 have led some observers to conclude that the international security environment is undergoing a shift from the familiar post-Cold War era of the last 20-25 years, also sometimes known as the unipolar moment

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Terrorism Risk Insurance Legislation in the 113th Congress: Issue Summary and Side-by- Side Analysis – R43619

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

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The ACA Medicaid Expansion – R43564

Historically, Medicaid eligibility has generally been limited to certain low-income children, pregnant women, parents of dependent children, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities; however, as of January 1, 2014, states have th

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The U.S. Postal Service’s Financial Condition: A Primer – R43162

Since 1971, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been a self-supporting government agency that covers its operating costs with revenues generated through the sales of postage and related products and services. 

The USPS is e

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Constitutional Authorities Under Which Congress Regulates State Taxation – R43842

A variety of clauses in the U.S. Constitution provide direct and implicit authority for Congress to enact legislation affecting the ability of states to impose taxes, and Congress has acted under several of them. In some situations, Co

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Keystone XL: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Assessments in the Final Environmental Impact Statement – R43415

On June 25, 2013, President Obama announced a national “Climate Action Plan” to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHG), as well as to encourage adaptation to climate change. During his spe

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Trade Promotion Authority (TPA): Frequently Asked Questions – R43491

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), formerly called fast track, likely will be considered in the 114th Congress. TPA is the authority Congress has granted to the President for limited periods of time to enter into reciprocal trade agreeme

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Federal Income Taxes and Noncitizens: Frequently Asked Questions – R43840

This report answers frequently asked questions about noncitizens and federal income taxes. Noncitizens may be subject to U.S. income taxes when, for example, they work in the United States or they live abroad but have U.S. source incom

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Research Tax Credit: Current Law and Policy Issues for the 114th Congress – RL31181

Technological innovation is a primary engine of long-term economic growth, and research and development (R&D) serves as the lifeblood of innovation. The federal government encourages businesses to invest more in R&D than they o

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An Overview of Selected Legislation in the 113th Congress Related to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – R43837

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been a controversial product of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203; the Dodd-Frank Act). Some in Congress view the CFPB as an important protec

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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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Secret Sessions of the House and Senate: Authority, Confidentiality, and Frequency – R42106

Secret, or closed, sessions of the House and Senate exclude the press and the public. They may be held for matters deemed to require confidentiality and secrecy—such as national security, sensitive communications received from th

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Mexico: Background and U.S. Relations – R42917

Congress has maintained significant interest in neighboring Mexico, a close ally and top trade partner whose political and economic situation has significant ramifications for the United States. President Enrique Peña Nieto of t

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The President’s State of the Union Address: Tradition, Function, and Policy Implications – R40132

The State of the Union address is a communication between the President and Congress in which the chief executive reports on the current conditions of the United States and provides policy proposals for the upcoming legislative year. F

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Desalination and Membrane Technologies: Federal Research and Adoption Issues – R40477

In the United States, desalination and membrane technologies are used to augment municipal water supply, produce high-quality industrial water supplies, and reclaim contaminated supplies (including from oil and gas development). Approx

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Clean Air Issues in the 113th Congress: An Overview – R42895

Oversight of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory actions was the main focus of interest as the 113th Congress considered air quality issues. Of particular interest were EPA’s proposed regulations on the emissions of

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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): A Primer on Eligibility and Benefits – R42505

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called the Food Stamp Program, is designed primarily to increase the food purchasing power of eligible low-income households to help them buy a nutritionally adequate low-c

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Canadian Oil Sands: Life-Cycle Assessments of Greenhouse Gas Emissions – R42537

Canadian Oil Sands and Climate Change 

Recent congressional interest in U.S. energy policy has focused in part on ways through which the United States could secure more economical and reliable petroleum resou

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