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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Year: 2012
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Small Business Size Standards: A Historical Analysis of Contemporary Issues
This report provides a historical examination of the SBA's size standards, assesses competing views concerning how to define a small business, and discusses how the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 might affect program eligibility. It also discusses H.R. 585, the Small Business Size Standard Flexibility Act of 2011, which would authorize the SBA's Office of Chief Counsel for Advocacy to approve or disapprove a size standard proposed by a federal agency if it deviates from the SBA's size standards. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462695/
Smart Meter Data: Privacy and Cybersecurity
Fueled by stimulus funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), electric utilities have accelerated their deployment of smart meters to millions of homes across the United States with help from the Department of Energy's Smart Grid Investment Grant program. As the meters multiply, so do issues concerning the privacy and security of the data collected by the new technology. Smart meters must record near-real time data on consumer electricity usage and transmit the data to utilities over great distances via communications networks that serve the smart grid. Detailed electricity usage data offers a window into the lives of people inside of a home by revealing what individual appliances they are using, and the transmission of the data potentially subjects this information to interception or theft by unauthorized third parties or hackers. Unforeseen consequences under federal law may result from the installation of smart meters and the communications technologies that accompany them. This report examines federal privacy and cybersecurity laws that may apply to consumer data collected by residential smart meters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87204/
Social Security Administration (SSA): Budget Issues
This report provides an overview of the SSA's mandatory spending but largely focuses on discretionary appropriations for the agency's administrative expenses. The size of the annual appropriations for administrative expenses affects the agency's ability to effectively administer the SSA's benefit programs as well as conduct program integrity activities designed to ensure that only eligible persons receive federal benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461936/
Social Security Reform: Current Issues and Legislation
Report that looks at the Social Security debate, Social Security future projections, and public opinion on Social Security reform. It also looks at past reform measures, from the 109th-112th Congress, none of which received congressional action. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228041/
Social Services Block Grant: Background and Funding
This report discusses the background and funding information of the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG). Topics include the use of the funds provided by the grant, its funding history, and its proposed repeal. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227606/
Sourcing Policy: Selected Developments and Issues
Dating back to the 1950s, federal sourcing policy generally has focused on the premise that the government should rely on the private sector for the provision of certain goods and services. Additionally, it has centered around guidance for conducting public-private competitions to determine whether federal employees, or contractor employees, should be selected to perform certain agency functions.This report provides an overview of the evolution of federal sourcing policy to date and identifies the major policy issues before Congress. It is not a legislation tracking report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87206/
Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress
Sovereign debt, also called public debt or government debt, refers to debt incurred by governments. Since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, public debt in advanced economies has increased substantially. A number of factors related to the financial crisis have fueled the increase, including fiscal stimulus packages, the nationalization of private-sector debt, and lower tax revenue. Even if economic growth reverses some of these trends, such as by boosting tax receipts and reducing spending on government programs, aging populations in advanced economies are expected to strain government debt levels in coming years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86582/
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
Report that discusses some of the commercial and federal radio frequency spectrum policy changes required by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. It also summarizes new policy directions for spectrum management under consideration in the 112th Congress, such as the encouragement of new technologies that use spectrum more efficiently. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227646/
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
This report discusses key spectrum policy provisions in the bills, as well as other spectrum policy issues that are being considered in the 112th Congress, such as the role of wholesale networks like that being deployed by LightSquared. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93820/
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
This report discusses key spectrum policy provisions in the bills, as well as other spectrum policy issues that are being considered in the 112th Congress, such as the role of wholesale networks like that being deployed by LightSquared. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83927/
Spending for Federal Benefits and Services for People with Low Income, FY2008-FY2011: An Update of Table B-1 from CRS Report R41625, Modified to Remove Programs for Veterans
This memorandum provides information on federal spending for programs explicitly intended for people with low or limited income. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227630/
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program
In response to concerns over the adequacy of firefighter staffing, the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Act—popularly called the “SAFER Act”—was enacted by the 108th Congress as Section 1057 of the FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-136). The SAFER Act authorizes grants to career, volunteer, and combination local fire departments for the purpose of increasing the number of firefighters to help communities meet industry-minimum standards and attain 24-hour staffing to provide adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. Also authorized are grants to volunteer fire departments for recruitment and retention of volunteers. With the economic turndown adversely affecting budgets of local governments, concerns have arisen that modifications to the SAFER statute may be necessary to enable fire departments to more effectively participate in the program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87307/
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program
In response to concerns over the adequacy of firefighter staffing, the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Act—popularly called the “SAFER Act”—was enacted by the 108th Congress as Section 1057 of the FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-136). The SAFER Act authorizes grants to career, volunteer, and combination local fire departments for the purpose of increasing the number of firefighters to help communities meet industry-minimum standards and attain 24-hour staffing to provide adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. Concern over local fire departments' budgetary problems has framed debate over the SAFER reauthorization, which is included in S. 550/H.R. 2269, the Fire Grants Authorization Act of 2011. Previously in the 111th Congress, reauthorization legislation for SAFER was passed by the House, but was not passed by the Senate. As part of the reauthorization debate, Congress may consider whether some SAFER rules and restrictions governing the hiring grants should be eliminated or altered in order to make it economically feasible for more fire departments to participate in the program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87308/
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program
In response to concerns over the adequacy of firefighter staffing, the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Act—popularly called the “SAFER Act”—was enacted by the 108th Congress as Section 1057 of the FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-136). The SAFER Act authorizes grants to career, volunteer, and combination local fire departments for the purpose of increasing the number of firefighters to help communities meet industry-minimum standards and attain 24-hour staffing to provide adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. Also authorized are grants to volunteer fire departments for recruitment and retention of volunteers. With the economic turndown adversely affecting budgets of local governments, concerns have arisen that modifications to the SAFER statute may be necessary to enable fire departments to more effectively participate in the program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87309/
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program
This report discusses the adequate staffing for Fire and Emergency Response. It describes the SAFER Act, which was enacted by the 108th Congress as Section 1057 of the FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-136). The Department of Defense and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (P.L. 112-10) funded SAFER at $405 million. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86651/
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program
This report discusses Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Act, which was enacted by the 108th Congress as Section 1057 of the FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-136). It includes background of the SAFER Act, appropriations from FY2011-FY2013, reauthorization of the program in the House and Senate, and information about program implementation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122299/
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program
The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Act (the "SAFER Act") was enacted by the 108th Congress as part of the FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act. This report describes the SAFER Act in brief, discusses possible budgetary modifications to the SAFER Act that are being considered due to the recent economic downturn, and explores related issues for the 112th Congress as they consider reauthorization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94029/
Stafford Act Declarations 1953-2011: Trends and Analyses, and Implications for Congress
Report that describes the declaration process of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and the types of declarations that can be made under the Stafford Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227800/
State and Local Economic Sanctions: Constitutional Issues
This report discusses the Constitutionality and ongoing legal concerns of sanctions enacted by states and localities restricting their agencies from conducting economic transactions with firms that do business with or in foreign countries whose conduct the jurisdictions find objectionable. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98090/
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2012 Budget and Appropriations
This report analyzes the FY2012 request and congressional action related to FY2012 State-Foreign Operations legislation. The Summary, “Introduction” and “Recent Developments” sections, and appendix tables in this version of the report have been updated to reflect enactment of P.L. 112-74, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, FY2012. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87185/
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2012 Budget and Appropriations
This report analyzes the FY2012 request and congressional action related to FY2012 State- Foreign Operations legislation. This report focuses on only the accounts funded through the State-Foreign Operations appropriations bill, but provides appropriations figures for the entire international affairs (Function 150) budget in Appendix E. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83976/
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2013 Budget and Appropriations
This report analyzes the FY2013 request and congressional action related to FY2013 State-Foreign Operations legislation. The 112th Congress is considering FY2013 international affairs funding within the context of the Budget Control Act that established discretionary spending limits for FY2012-FY2021 and contains automatic budget reductions (sequestration) on discretionary spending to begin on January 2, 2013. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99068/
State Government Fiscal Stress and Federal Assistance
Report that examines the current status of state fiscal conditions and the role of federal assistance in state budgets. It begins with a brief overview of state budgeting procedures and then provides budgetary data comparing state fiscal conditions in FY2008 to FY2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227718/
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?
The deadly attacks on Afghan civilians allegedly by a U.S. service member have raised questions regarding the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) in place between the United States and Afghanistan that would govern whether Afghan law would apply in this circumstance. In the case of Afghanistan, the SOFA, in force since 2003, provides that U.S. Department of Defense military and civilian personnel are to be accorded status equivalent to that of U.S. Embassy administrative and technical staff under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic relations of 1961. Accordingly, U.S. personnel are immune from criminal prosecution by Afghan authorities and are immune from civil and administrative jurisdiction except with respect to acts performed outside the course of their duties. Under the existing SOFA, the United States would have jurisdiction over the prosecution of the service member who allegedly attacked the Afghan civilians. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86663/
Statutes of Limitation in Federal Criminal Cases: An Overview
This report discusses federal statutes of limitations on crimes with a list of circumstances that can suspend those limits. A list of federal statutes of limitation in criminal cases and a rough chart of comparable state provisions are provided in this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122281/
Stealing Trade Secrets and Economic Espionage: An Overview of 18 U.S.C. 1831 and 1832
Report that gives an overview of 18 U.S.C. 1832 (theft of trade secrets) and 18 U.S.C. 1831 (economic espionage). It also describes what constitutes as a stolen trade secret, and how such crimes are prosecuted. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227785/
The STOCK Act, Insider Trading, and Public Financial Reporting by Federal Officials
An overview of the STOCK Act (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012), which was signed into law on April 4, 2012, affirms and makes explicit the fact that there is no exemption from the "insider trading" laws and regulations for Members of Congress, congressional employees, or any federal officials. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85408/
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve: Authorization, Operation, and Drawdown Policy
This report looks at the history, purpose, and current status of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96717/
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve: Authorization, Operation, and Drawdown Policy
This report looks at the history, purpose, and current status of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96718/
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve: Authorization, Operation, and Drawdown Policy
This report looks at the history, purpose, and current status of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86621/
Submission of the President's Budget in Transition Years
This report discusses the President's budget at the time of a presidential transition. The transition from one presidential administration to another raises special issues regarding the annual budget submission. Which President—the outgoing President or the incoming one—is required to submit the budget, and how will the transition affect the timing and form of the submission? The purpose of this report is to provide background information that addresses these questions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86665/
Subsidy Cost of Federal Credit: Cost to the Government or Fair Value Cost?
Since the mid-1980s, budget experts have debated whether the best method of measuring the subsidy cost of federal credit (direct loans and loan guarantees) is the cost to the government or the fair value cost. This report presents a chronology of this still unresolved debate, which dates from the mid-1980s. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85413/
Sudan and South Sudan: Current Issues for Congress and U.S. Policy
This report examines the shared interests and outstanding disputes between Sudan and South Sudan after separating into two countries. It gives an overview of political, economic, and humanitarian conditions in the two countries, with a focus on possible implications for U.S. policy and congressional engagement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122267/
Sugar Program: The Basics
This report discusses the sugar program that provides a price guarantee to the processors of sugarcane and sugar beets, and in turn, to the producers of both crops. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463504/
Suicide Prevention Efforts of the Veterans Health Administration
Responsibility for prevention of veteran suicide lies primarily with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VHA Strategic Plan for Suicide Prevention is based on a public health framework, which has three major components: (1) surveillance, (2) risk and protective factors, and (3) prevention interventions. This report identifies challenges the VHA faces in each component of suicide prevention and discusses potential issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87205/
Super PACs in Federal Elections: Overview and Issues for Congress
Report exploring super Political Action Committees, what they are, how they developed, how much they raised and spent during the 2010 election cycle, and a preliminary analysis of the 2012 cycle. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227731/
Supervision of U.S. Payment, Clearing, and Settlement Systems: Designation of Financial Market Utilities (FMUs)
This report outlines the changes to the supervision of key market infrastructure that are embodied in the Dodd-Frank Act. It is intended to be used as a reference for those interested in the financial system's "plumbing," and how the associated systems are currently overseen and regulated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122203/
"Surge Recovery" and Next Steps in the War in Afghanistan: In Brief
This report draws in part on the author's recent three-week visit to Afghanistan, in November 2011, based on an invitation from the Commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), General John Allen. It provides initial observations about surge recovery in broader operational and strategic context, and links those observations to current debates that may be of interest to Congress as it considers the strength and duration of further U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84014/
Syria: Unrest and U.S. Policy
Syria remains mired in political confrontation and violence, and is perched on the edge of civil war. U.S. officials and many analysts believe that President Bashar al Asad, his family members, and his supporters will ultimately be forced from power. President Obama and his Administration have been calling for Asad's resignation since August 2011, and have been vocal advocates for United Nations Security Council action to condemn the Syrian government and end the bloodshed. The United States has closed its embassy in Damascus, and Ambassador Robert Ford has left Syria. In the face of intense domestic and international pressure calling for political change and for an end to violence against civilians, the Asad government has offered limited reforms while also meeting protests and armed attacks with overwhelming force. After a year of unrest and violence, Syria's political crisis is characterized by dilemmas and contradictions, which are discussed in this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87312/
Syria's Chemical Weapons: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the history and current state of Syria's chemical and biological weapon programs and possible U.S. government programs that could be used to dismantle stockpiles if the Assad regime were to collapse. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463113/
Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990
Report that discusses U.S. security assistance to Taiwan, or Republic of China (ROC), including policy issues for Congress and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227965/
Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990
This report, updated as warranted, discusses U.S. security assistance to Taiwan, or Republic of China (ROC), including policy issues for Congress and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86641/
Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990
This report discusses U.S. security assistance to Taiwan, or Republic of China (ROC), including policy issues for Congress and legislation. Congress has oversight of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), P.L. 96-8, which has governed arms sales to Taiwan since 1979, when the United States recognized the People's Republic of China (PRC) instead of the ROC. Two other relevant parts of the "one China" policy are the August 17, 1982, U.S.-PRC Joint Communique and the "Six Assurances" to Taiwan. U.S. arms sales to Taiwan have been significant. The United States also expanded military ties with Taiwan after the PRC's missile firings in 1995-1996. However, the U.S.-ROC Mutual Defense Treaty terminated in 1979. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86640/
TARP Assistance for Chrysler: Restructuring and Repayment Issues
This report describes the progress that New Chrysler has made since it was created from the sale of the Old Chrysler assets in July 2009 and the path of the divestment of the federal government's stake in Chrysler. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122212/
TARP Assistance for the U.S. Motor Vehicle Industry: Unwinding the Government Stake in GMAC
This report discusses government support given to Ally Financial, formerly known as General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC), which provides auto financing, insurance, online banking, and mortgage and commercial financing. This report looks at how or even it GMAC will be able to pay back the government for Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122209/
Tax Provisions to Assist with Disaster Recovery
Report that provides a basic overview of existing, permanent provisions that benefit victims of disasters, as well as past, targeted legislative responses to particular disasters. The relief is discussed without examining either the qualifications for or the limitation on claiming the provisions' benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227830/
Tax Reform: An Overview of Proposals in the 112th Congress
This report gives an overview of tax reform issues. The President and leading members of Congress have stated that fundamental tax reform is a major policy objective for the 112th Congress. Some Members have said that fundamental tax reform is needed in order to raise a large amount of additional revenue, which is necessary to reduce high forecast budget deficits and the sharply rising national debt. Congressional interest has been expressed in both a major overhaul of the U.S. tax system and the feasibility of levying a consumption tax. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87163/
Tax Reform: An Overview of Proposals in the 112th Congress
This report gives an overview of tax reform issues. The President and leading members of Congress have stated that fundamental tax reform is a major policy objective for the 112th Congress. Some Members have said that fundamental tax reform is needed in order to raise a large amount of additional revenue, which is necessary to reduce high forecast budget deficits and the sharply rising national debt. Congressional interest has been expressed in both a major overhaul of the U.S. tax system and the feasibility of levying a consumption tax. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122206/
Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945
This report attempts to clarify whether or not there is an association between the tax rates of the highest income taxpayers and economic growth. Data is analyzed to illustrate the association between the tax rates of the highest income taxpayers and measures of economic growth. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122256/
Technology Transfer: Use of Federally Funded Research and Development
Report that looks at the workings, and pros and cons, of a system established by Congress to facilitate the transfer of technology research and development (R&D) funding to the private sector and state and local governments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228031/