Drought in the United States: Science, Policy, and Selected Federal Authorities (CRS R46911)

Drought―a deficiency of moisture that results in adverse effects―occurs to some extent almost every year in areas of the United States. Droughts can simultaneously reduce available water supplies and increase demands for water. Drought has the potential to affect economic and environmental conditions on local, regional, and national scales, as well as to cause disruptions … Read more

Overview of Public and Private School Choice Options (CRS IF10713)

School choice generally refers to the opportunity for parents to select an elementary or secondary school for their child that differs from the assigned school that the child would otherwise attend based on where the family lives. School choice is often divided into two major categories—public school choice and private school choice. Both types of … Read more

Addressing Lead in Drinking Water: The Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) (CRS R46794)

Lead’s adverse health effects—especially for children, even at low levels of exposure—have driven continuing efforts to reduce lead exposure through drinking water. Primarily, lead enters drinking water after leaving the treatment plant, when lead may leach into water from plumbing materials or pipes. Accordingly, controlling corrosion of plumbing and pipes has been the principal method … Read more

Federal Regional Commissions and Authorities: Structural Features and Function (CRS R45997)

This report describes the structure, activities, legislative history, and funding history of seven federal regional commissions and authorities: the Appalachian Regional Commission; the Delta Regional Authority; the Denali Commission; the Northern Border Regional Commission; the Northern Great Plains Regional Authority; the Southeast Crescent Regional Commission; and the Southwest Border Regional Commission. All seven regional commissions … Read more

Consumer Credit Reporting, Credit Bureaus, Credit Scoring, and Related Policy Issues (CRS R44125)

The consumer data industry—generally referred to as credit reporting agencies or credit bureaus—collects and subsequently provides information to firms about the behavior of consumers when they participate in various financial transactions. Firms use consumer information to screen for consumer risks. For example, lenders rely upon credit reports and scores to determine the likelihood that prospective … Read more

The Coronavirus Relief Fund (CARES Act, Title V): Background and State and Local Allocations (CRS R46298)

Summary: The sudden decline in economic output following the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has significantly altered the fiscal outlook for state and local governments. A sizable share of economic output derives from state and local government activity. These governments are generally required to balance their operating budgets every one or two years. Early evidence … Read more

It’s Not Just Flint – Water and Sewer Infrastructure is Deteriorating Across The USA

  Shocking: America’s Crumbling Water Infrastructure   As prospects fade for bipartisan infrastructure legislation, a new report highlights the dire consequences to public health and safety that will result from continued deterioration of the nation’s underground water networks. Beset by over 300,000 water main breaks each year, America’s underground water pipes are showing the effects … Read more

Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?

  Should I Defer My Social Security Payout?   Social Security’s income and outlays are accounted for through two federal trust funds: the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund. Under their intermediate assumptions and under current law, the Social Security trustees project that the DI … Read more

“The Complacent Class”

The Complacent Class (Episode 1/5) Compare today to the 1950s. At that time, a typical apartment in New York City rented for about $60 per month, or, adjusting for inflation, about $530 a month. … Or to put that 1950s rent in perspective, the U.S. median wage at that time was about $5,000 a year, … Read more