State and Federal Authority to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccination (CRS R46745)

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines recently authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are a critical tool to address the pandemic. After determining that these vaccines meet the applicable statutory standards and the Agency’s specific safety and efficacy standards, FDA issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) under Section 564 of the Federal Food, … Read more

Overview of Health Insurance Exchanges (CRS R44065)

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L. 111-148, as amended) required health insurance exchanges to be established in every state. Exchanges are virtual marketplaces in which consumers and small business owners and employees can shop for and purchase private health insurance coverage and, where applicable, be connected to public health insurance programs (e.g., … Read more

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