Facial Recognition Technology and Law Enforcement: Select Constitutional Considerations (CRS R46541)

Facial recognition technology (FRT) is a biometric technology that compares two or more images of faces to determine whether they represent the same individual. Automated FRT is increasingly used by law enforcement to help identify criminal suspects and other persons of interest. Law enforcement may use FRT and associated image databases to compare and match … Read more

The Future of Space Tourism (CRS R46500)

Several private companies are developing plans to take paying customers to space on a regular basis. Federal oversight of space tourism has been deliberately light, consistent with the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-492), in which Congress mandated a “learning period” for companies to develop business models, establish safety standards, and design … Read more

COVID-19 and China: A Chronology of Events (December 2019-January 2020) (CRS R46354)

In Congress, multiple bills and resolutions have been introduced related to China’s handling of a novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, that expanded to become the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic. This report provides a timeline of key developments in the early weeks of the pandemic, based on available public reporting. It also considers … Read more

Effects of COVID-19 on the Federal Research and Development Enterprise

Summary The federal research and development (R&D) enterprise is a large and complex system that includes government facilities and employees as well as federally funded work in industry, academia, and the non-profit sector. The nation’s response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting the federal R&D enterprise, and the federal government and others … 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

House Is a ‘Hacker’s Dream’

An enterprising computer hacker or foreign intelligence agent would have little problem hacking into the House of Representatives’ information technology systems, an unauthorized review of the chamber’s cybersecurity found. Vulnerabilities on the House side of the Capitol complex include exposed, unattended cables and network equipment as well as a lack of policing at security checkpoints, … Read more

Recent CRS Reports


Executive Session / Executive Business / Secret Session (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Executive Session / Executive Business / Secret Session photo credit: glasseyes view Executive Session (1) A meeting of a Senate or House committee (or occasionally of either chamber) that only its members may attend. Witnesses regularly appear at committee meetings in executive session – for … Read more

The Militia Clauses – Article I Section 8, Clauses 15 and 16 of the Constitution

The United States Constitution The Militia Clauses are among Congress’ enumerated powers found in the Constitution of the United States, Article. I. Section. 8., clauses 15 and 16: (Clause 15 – The Militia) [The Congress shall have Power] To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and … Read more