Border Fences, Looted Antiquities, and Indicted Senators (Oh my!)

Just in time for your weekend reading list – our roundup of recently entered CRS reports.

2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force: Issues Concerning Its Continued Application

Is this the best way to authorize counterterrorism? “Nevertheless, the Obama Administration still finds itself relying on 2001 AUMF authority not only for continuing U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, but also for beginning a new campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, with the possibility of expansion to other countries if the Islamic State or Al Qaeda groups or associates effectively expand their reach and pose a threat to U.S. national security and interests.”

Barriers Along the U.S. Borders: Key Authorities and Requirements

To build or not to build, that is the question. “In recent years, DHS has largely stopped deploying additional fencing along the border, as the agency has altered its enforcement strategy in a manner that places less priority upon fencing.”

Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Comparison of H.R. 1560 and H.R. 1731

Who will share what with whom? “Comparison of the bills reveals many similarities but also significant differences, for example in how they define terms in common such as cyber threat indicator, the roles they provide for federal agencies (especially, the Department of Homeland Security and the intelligence community), processes for nonfederal entities to share information with the federal government; processes for protecting privacy and civil liberties, uses permitted for shared information, and reporting requirements.”

Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities

Is there such a thing as too much high-performance computing? “Current concerns are the role of the federal government in supporting information technology (IT) R&D and the level of funding to allot to it.”

FEMA’s Public Assistance Grant Program: Background and Considerations for Congress

Has there ever been a more glorious use of the semicolon? “Given the importance of PA Program assistance to communities recovering from disasters, and the amount of federal dollars spent on the assistance, Congress may consider several policy issues related to the PA Program. For example, Congress may consider:  Reviewing current FEMA policies implementing the authorizing statute and, when desired, codifying or overriding the policies through further clarification in law;  Evaluating major forthcoming changes to the PA Program authorized by SRIA and an earlier law, the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-390);  Weighing options for decreasing the improper use of PA assistance by applicants, perhaps by revising the conditions of management cost assistance or improving the collection of data in the PA Program;  Expanding or restricting the eligibility of the PA Program, possibly to exclude certain PNPs from assistance or to grant assistance to privately owned facilities; Deciding if and how the PA Program should provide hazard mitigation assistance on facility restoration projects; and Defining the role of PA Program as it potentially overlaps with the disaster assistance authorities of other federal agencies.”

IMF Reforms: Issues for Congress

Can the “IMF” become truly “I”? “If enacted, these reforms would increase the size of the IMF’s core source of funding (IMF ‘quota’), and increase the representation of emerging market and developing countries at the IMF to reflect more accurately their weight in the global economy.”

Islamic State Financing and U.S. Policy Approaches

Spare the antiquities, please. “While IS funding streams remain fluid, the group’s largest revenue sources appear (based on open-source information) to include oil sales, taxation and extortion, and the sale of looted antiquities.”

Status of a Senator Who Has Been Indicted for or Convicted of a Felony

Are we all innocent until proven guilty? “There are no federal statutes or Rules of the Senate that directly affect the status of a Senator who has been indicted for a crime that constitutes a felony.”

U.S. International Food Aid Programs: Background and Issues

Can we build it? Yes we can! “Objectives of U.S. foreign food aid include providing emergency and humanitarian assistance in response to natural or manmade disasters and promoting agricultural development and food security.”


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