We at Nota Bene have written before about Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports and where to find them online. The CRS prepares these reports to provide legislators with background information on issues that are being considered in the U.S. Congress. When researching an unfamiliar topic, a CRS report can be a very useful resource because it provides a brief but informative introduction. Here are links to a few recent CRS reports on matters of current interest.
· Iran Sanctions – In the recent negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, one of the key issues has been the question of how and when to ease sanctions on the country. This study looks at the history and effectiveness of various sanctions against Iran by the U.S. and other countries, and considers the possible effects of easing sanctions.
· Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate – This is a useful introduction to the current debate over regulation of the internet, including a summary of legislative actions taken so far, and a discussion of the role of the FCC.
· An Introduction to Health Insurance: What Should a Consumer Know? – This report provides a brief overview of the private market for health insurance and is written in a jargon-free style that will be accessible to the ordinary consumer.
· Mexico’s Oil and Gas Sector: Background, Reform Efforts, and Implications for the United States – Recent energy reforms in Mexico could have profound implications for trade and energy cooperation with the U.S. This report examines the effects of those reforms and suggests possible oversight roles for Congress.
· Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress – This report looks at the effects of declining levels of Arctic sea ice and the implications for U.S. interests in the region.