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Economic Effects of Government Shutdown, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following.

The FY2014 Government Shutdown: Economic Effects, November 1, 2013

Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act, October 30, 2013

Membership of the 113th Congress: A Profile, October 31, 2013

Salaries of Members of Congress: Recent Actions and Historical Tables, November 4, 2013

Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990-2013, November 4, 2013

Women in the United States Congress: Historical Overview, Tables, and Discussion, September 26, 2013

Women in the United States Congress, 1917-2013: Biographical and Committee Assignment Information, and Listings by State and Congress, September 26, 2013

Burma’s Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions, October 30, 2013

Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances, November 1, 2013

Israel: Background and U.S. Relations, November 1, 2013

Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses, November 4, 2013

Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following.

Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress, October 28, 2013

Foreign Assistance: Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), October 28, 2013

Oil and Natural Gas Industry Tax Issues in the FY2014 Budget Proposal, October 30, 2013

Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Reauthorization Proposals in the 113th Congress: Comparison of Major Features of Current Law and S.1356, October 29, 2013

Automatic Continuing Resolutions: Background and Overview of Recent Proposals, October 28, 2013

The “Pay Ratio Provision” in the Dodd-Frank Act: Legislation to Repeal It in the 113th Congress, October 28, 2013

Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, October 25, 2013

Multiyear Procurement (MYP) and Block Buy Contracting in Defense Acquisition: Background and Issues for Congress, October 29, 2013

Army Drawdown and Restructuring, and More from CRS

New or newly updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following.

Army Drawdown and Restructuring: Background and Issues for Congress, October 25, 2013

Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy, October 23, 2013

Chemical Regulation in the European Union: Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals, October 23, 2013

Proposed Reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in the 113th Congress: S. 1009 Compared with S. 696 and Current Law, October 23, 2013

Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, October 25, 2013

Carbon Capture: A Technology Assessment, and More from CRS

New or updated reports from the Congressional Research Service obtained by Secrecy News include the following.

Carbon Capture: A Technology Assessment, October 21, 2013

Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?, October 21, 2013

Video Relay Service: Program Funding and Reform, October 22, 2013

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing: Federal Aggravated Identity Theft, October 22, 2013

Hydraulic Fracturing: Selected Legal Issues, October 22, 2013

Federal Financial Reporting: An Overview, October 22, 2013

Fatherhood Initiatives: Connecting Fathers to Their Children, October 22, 2013

Promoting Global Internet Freedom: Policy and Technology, October 22, 2013

The G-20 and International Economic Cooperation: Background and Implications for Congress, October 23, 2013

U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues, October 22, 2013

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online distribution include the following.

Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing: The 18 U.S.C. 924(c) Tack-On in Cases Involving Drugs or Violence, October 21, 2013

The Mental Health Workforce: A Primer, October 18, 2013

Student Bullying: Overview of Research, Federal Initiatives, and Legal Issues, October 18, 2013

Improper Payments and Recovery Audits: Legislation, Implementation, and Analysis, October 18, 2013

Tax-Advantaged Accounts for Health Care Expenses: Side-by-Side Comparison, 2013, October 18, 2013

Army Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects: Authorization and Appropriations, October 18, 2013

The 2013 Farm Bill: A Comparison of the Senate-Passed (S. 954) and House-Passed (H.R. 2642, H.R. 3102) Bills with Current Law, October 18, 2013

Budget Issues Shaping a Farm Bill in 2013, October 21, 2013

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs, October 18, 2013

Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress, October 18, 2013

Telecom (and Privacy) Statutes Need Updating, and More from CRS

The laws that govern and regulate the communications industry are substantially out of date and need to be revised, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

“The communications sector does not look at all as it did when the Telecommunications Act was passed in 1996. Most significantly, consumer behavior in 2013 bears little resemblance to that in 1996,” the report says.  See Updating the Statutory Framework for Communications for the Digital Age: Issues for Congress, September 30, 2013.

The new CRS report does not address communications privacy issues or surveillance-related concerns. However, the underlying statutes in these areas are no less obsolete and urgently in need of updating, almost everyone agrees.  Related hearings earlier this year in the House Judiciary Committee have recently been published.

“The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, or ECPA, is complicated, outdated, and largely unconstitutional,” said Rep. James Sensenbrenner, chair of the Judiciary Committee, at the first hearing.  “The 1986 law governing the Internet is like having a national highway policy drafted in the 19th century.” See ECPA (Part I): Lawful Access to Stored Content, March 19, 2013,  and Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) (Part II): Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance, April 25, 2013.

Relatedly, a new report from the Brennan Center for Justice “takes a comprehensive look at the multiple ways U.S. intelligence agencies collect, share, and store data on average Americans.”  See “What the Government Does with Americans’ Data,” October 8, 2013.

Here are some other new reports from the Congressional Research Service:

FY2014 Appropriations: District of Columbia, October 15, 2013

FY2014 Appropriations Lapse and the Department of Homeland Security: Impact and Legislation, October 11, 2013

Oil and Chemical Spills: Federal Emergency Response Framework, October 10, 2013:

Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress, updated October 17, 2013

Govt Shutdown to Have Limited Effect on Obamacare, Says CRS

“Substantial implementation” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare) will continue even as most of the federal government is shutdown, the Congressional Research Service explained in a new report.

“A lapse in [government] funding does not automatically result in the suspension of applicable laws, including the filing and payment deadlines applicable to taxes created by the ACA…. Because a funding lapse is the result of legislative inaction, a government shutdown could not have the effect of either explicitly or implicitly repealing the underlying law,” the CRS report said.

See Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Appropriations Process: FAQs Regarding Potential Legislative Changes and Effects of a Government Shutdown, September 27, 2013.

Other new and newly updated CRS reports obtained by Secrecy News include the following.

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), U.S. Global HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Programs: A Description of Permanent and Expiring Authorities, September 27, 2013

In Brief: The September 2013 Terrorist Attack in Kenya, September 27, 2013

Farm-to-Food Price Dynamics, September 27, 2013

EPA Standards for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Power Plants: Many Questions, Some Answers, September 30, 2013

 

Pentagon Operations During a Government Shutdown, and More from CRS

If Congress fails to appropriate funds for the new fiscal year beginning October 1, then most of the government will be obliged to shut down and cease operations.

However, based on past practice, some national security-related activities would be exempted from the shutdown. A newly updated report from the Congressional Research Service anticipates that “many Department of Defense activities would continue, though other activities would halt.” CRS sorts through many of the relevant issues in Government Shutdown: Operations of the Department of Defense During a Lapse in Appropriations, September 26, 2013.

Update: On September 27, the Department of Defense held a press briefing on DoD planning for a possible government shutdown.

Other new and newly updated CRS reports that Congress has sought to withhold from online public distribution include the following.

Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects, September 25, 2013

Federal Funding Gaps: A Brief Overview, September 23, 2013

The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases, September 25, 2013

Salaries of Members of Congress: Recent Actions and Historical Tables, September 24, 2013

Current Debates over Exchange Rates: Overview and Issues for Congress, September 26, 2013

Health Insurance Exchanges: Health Insurance “Navigators” and In-Person Assistance, September 25, 2013

Monuments and Memorials in the District of Columbia: Analysis and Options for Proposed Exemptions to the Commemorative Works Act, September 24, 2013

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Background and Legislative Issues, September 25, 2013

Tajikistan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests, September 25, 2013

Kenya: Current Issues and U.S. Policy, September 23, 2013

Issues in Homeland Security Policy for the 113th Congress, September 23, 2013

Funding and Financing Highways and Public Transportation, September 23, 2013

The Army’s Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV): Background and Issues for Congress, September 24, 2013

Federalism, State Sovereignty and the Constitution: Basis and Limits of Congressional Power, September 23, 2013

Reaching the Debt Limit, and More from CRS

Noteworthy new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following.

Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, September 20, 2013

Reaching the Debt Limit: Background and Potential Effects on Government Operations, September 19, 2013

Across-the-Board Rescissions in Appropriations Acts: Overview and Recent Practices, September 20, 2013

Private Health Plans Under the ACA: In Brief, September 19, 2013

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Resources for Frequently Asked Questions, September 19, 2013

Medicare Financing, September 19, 2013

The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress, September 20, 2013

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993: History, Implementation, and Effects, September 18, 2013

U.S. Natural Gas Exports: New Opportunities, Uncertain Outcomes, September 17, 2013

America COMPETES Acts: FY2008-FY2013 Funding Tables, September 20, 2013

The DHS S&T Directorate: Selected Issues for Congress, September 17, 2013

U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress, September 18, 2013

Rare Earth Elements in National Defense, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service obtained by Secrecy News include the following.

Rare Earth Elements in National Defense: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress, September 17, 2013

Chemical Weapons: A Summary Report of Characteristics and Effects, September 13, 2013

North Korea: U.S. Relations, Nuclear Diplomacy, and Internal Situation, September 13, 2013

Federal Climate Change Funding from FY2008 to FY2014, September 13, 2013

Climate Change Legislation in the 113th Congress, September 16, 2013

Federal Permitting and Oversight of Export of Fossil Fuels, September 17, 2013

Expiration and Extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, September 16, 2013

Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments, September 12, 2013

Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests, September 13, 2013

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Categorical Eligibility, September 17, 2013

Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program: Overview and Current Issues, September 13, 2013

Rebuilding Household Wealth: Implications for Economic Recovery, September 13, 2013

Consumers and Food Price Inflation, September 13, 2013

Synthetic Drugs: Overview and Issues for Congress, September 16, 2013