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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs
The "digital divide" is a term used to describe a perceived gap between "information haves and have-nots," or in other words, between those Americans who use or have access to telecommunications and information technologies and those who do not. Whether or not individuals or communities fall into the "information haves" category depends on a number of factors, ranging from the presence of computers in the home, to training and education, to the availability of affordable Internet access. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40179/
Department of Defense Energy Initiatives: Background and Issues for Congress
This report gives an overview of fuel use by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and its pursuit of numerous initiatives for reducing its fuel needs and changing the mix of energy sources that it uses. The report includes an extensive background on DOD fuel use including how the DOD uses and buys fuel, challenges and risks associated with the DOD's fuel use, DOD energy initiatives, and past legislation that addressed DOD energy use; it also presents issues for Congress and legislative action to be addressed during FY2013. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96725/
Reducing the Budget Deficit: Tax Policy Options
This report analyzes various revenue options for deficit reduction, highlighting proposals made by the President's Fiscal Commission and the Debt Reduction Task Force. Others, such as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and the Obama Administration, have noted the importance of tax reform as part of a deficit reduction plans. These plans, however, do not provide the same level of detail as the Fiscal Commission and Debt Reduction Task Force, and are therefore not reviewed in detail as part of this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96684/
Defense Logistical Support Contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan: Issues for Congress
This report will examine logistical support contracts for troop support services (also known as service contracts) in Iraq and Afghanistan, primarily administered through a smaller program, the United States Air Force Contract Augmentation Program (AFCAP) and a larger program, the United States Army's Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP). This report will focus primarily on contracts involving Department of Defense (DOD) appropriated funds, although some projects involve a blending of funds from other agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29689/
U.S. National Science Foundation: Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)
The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) was authorized by Congress in 1978, partly in response to concerns in Congress and the concerns of some in academia and the scientific community about the geographic distribution of federal research and development (R&D) funds. Some have questioned the length of time states should receive EPSCoR support. It continues to be called an experimental program after 28 years, and observers have noted that no state has yet to graduate, or leave the program. This report discusses current policy involving EPSCoR, as well as budget requests. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29643/
Overview of the Federal Debt
The size of current and projected federal deficits and the accumulation of federal debt are central to current congressional deliberations regarding fiscal reforms. This report provides a broad overview of the federal debt, annual budget deficits, and debt service costs. Federal debt is the accumulated sum of unrepaid borrowing by the federal government over time. The total federal debt consists of debt held by the public and intragovernmental debt. Debt owed to the public represents borrowing from entities other than the federal government, and includes borrowing from state and local governments, foreign governments and investors, the Federal Reserve System, and foreign central banks, as well as private investors in the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40158/
The Workforce Investment Act and the One-Stop Delivery System
This report focuses on Titles I and II of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), both of which authorize programs to provide job search, education, and training activities for individuals seeking to gain or improve their employment prospects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462079/
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): Issues for the 113th Congress
This report examines the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is is the executive branch's principal advisory office on domestic and international telecommunications and information policies. The report specifically focuses on the new responsibilities granted to the NTIA under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462818/
Omnibus Appropriations Acts: Overview of Recent Practices
This report discusses Omnibus appropriations acts, which have become a significant feature of the legislative process in recent years as Congress and the President have used them more frequently to bring action on the regular appropriations cycle to a close. Following a discussion of pertinent background information, the report reviews the recent enactment of such measures and briefly addresses several issues raised by their use. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462299/
Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program. Under current Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and Navy plans, the number of BMD-capable Navy Aegis ships is schedule to grow from 20 at the end of FY2010 to 38 at the end of FY2015. This report discusses the concerns some have over BMD expansion, as well as BMD funding issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491619/
Navy Shipboard Lasers for Surface, Air, and Missile Defense: Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on potential Navy shipboard lasers for countering surface, air, and ballistic missile threats. It does not discuss the use of lasers on Navy aircraft or submarines, or the use of lasers by other military services. This report is based on unclassified information from Navy, RAND, and industry briefings on shipboard lasers provided to CRS and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in the summer of 2010, as well as unclassified open-domain information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491361/
The FY2011 Federal Budget
This report provides an historical overview of the budget trends through the most recently completed fiscal year (2009). It discusses major budgetary challenges over the past several fiscal years given the current economic conditions and provides an in-depth discussion of the FY2011 budget process. Finally, it provides context for the issues facing the country's federal budget over the long term. This report will be updated as events warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491208/
FY2010 Supplemental for Wars, Disaster Assistance, Haiti Relief, and Other Programs
This report discusses the $64 billion in requested supplemental appropriations for FY2010, which includes $2.8 billion for Haiti earthquake-related reconstruction and foreign aid and $243 million for activities related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and more. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491084/
FY2010 Supplemental for Wars, Disaster Assistance, Haiti Relief, and Other Programs
This report discusses the $64 billion in requested supplemental appropriations for FY2010, which includes $2.8 billion for Haiti earthquake-related reconstruction and foreign aid and $243 million for activities related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and more. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491064/
FY2010 Supplemental for Wars, Disaster Assistance, Haiti Relief, and Other Programs
This report discusses the $64 billion in requested supplemental appropriations for FY2010, which includes $2.8 billion for Haiti earthquake-related reconstruction and foreign aid and $243 million for activities related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and more. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490860/
U.S. National Science Foundation: Major Research Equipment and Facility Construction
The Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) account of the National Science Foundation (NSF) supports the acquisition and construction of major research facilities and equipment that are to extend the boundaries of science, engineering, and technology. The FY2011 request for the NSF is $7,424.4 million, approximately $551.9 million above the FY2010 estimate. This report discusses the research endeavors overseen by the NSF, as well as what NSF projects will be funded by FY2011 appropriations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491438/
The Defense Base Act (DBA): The Federally Mandated Workers' Compensation System for Overseas Government Contractors
This report provides an overview of the Defense Base Act (DBA) and the systems used to provide DBA insurance at the Department of State (DOS), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Also included are criticisms of the current DOD DBA policy raised by GAO and Army auditors as well as responses to those criticisms by DOD and USACE. The report concludes with a discussion of several DBA reform options suggested by the House of Representatives in recent legislation and analyzed by DOD. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491499/
Navy Shipboard Lasers for Surface, Air, and Missile Defense: Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on potential Navy shipboard lasers for countering surface, air, and ballistic missile threats. Department of Defense (DOD) development work on high-energy military lasers, which has been underway for decades, has reached the point where lasers capable of countering certain surface and air targets at ranges of about a mile could be made ready for installation on Navy surface ships over the next few years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491522/
Guantanamo Detention Center: Legislative Activity in the 111th Congress
The detention of alleged enemy combatants at the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, together with proposals to transfer some such individuals to the United States for prosecution or continued detention, has been a subject of considerable interest for Congress. Several authorization and appropriations measures enacted during the 111th Congress, and various pending bills, address the disposition and treatment of Guantanamo detainees. This report analyzes relevant provisions in enacted legislation and selected pending bills. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491401/
Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2015 Appropriations
This report discusses various policy aspects of the Agriculture appropriations bill for FY2015, which funds the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), except for the Forest Service. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491638/
Guantanamo Detention Center: Legislative Activity in the 111th Congress
This report analyzes relevant provisions in enacted legislation and selected pending bills relating to the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a facility in which alleged enemy belligerents are detained. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491645/
FY2010 Supplemental for Wars, Disaster Assistance, Haiti Relief, and Other Programs
This report discusses the $64 billion in requested supplemental appropriations for FY2010, which includes $2.8 billion for Haiti earthquake-related reconstruction and foreign aid and $243 million for activities related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and more. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491634/
Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Navy's irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) operations. The Navy's IW and CT activities pose a number of potential oversight issues for Congress, including the definition of Navy IW activities and how much emphasis to place on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491663/
Navy LX(R) Amphibious Ship Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the LX(R) amphibious ship program, a Navy program to build a new class of 11 amphibious ships. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491649/
The Budget Reconciliation Process: The Senate's "Byrd Rule"
Reconciliation is a procedure under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 by which Congress implements budget resolution policies affecting mainly permanent spending and revenue programs. The principal focus in the reconciliation process has been deficit reduction, but in recent years reconciliation has encompassed revenue reduction generally and spending increases in selected program areas. This report discusses the Byrd rule, which provides six definitions of what constitutes extraneous matter for purposes of the rule (and several exceptions thereto), but the term is generally described as covering provisions unrelated to achieving the goals of the reconciliation instructions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491526/
Technology Transfer: Use of Federally Funded Research and Development
This report 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. The federal government spends approximately one third of its annual research and development (R&D) budget for intramural work to meet mission requirements in over 700 government laboratories (including Federally Funded Research and Development Centers). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491575/
The TANF Emergency Contingency Fund
This report discusses the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which created an Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF) within the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. The fund expired on September 30, 2010. It helped states, Indian tribes, and territories pay for additional costs of providing economic aid to families during the current economic downturn for FY2009 and FY2010. This report describes the TANF ECF as well as proposals offered in 2010 to extend and modify TANF emergency funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490991/
Location-Based Preferences in Federal and Federally Funded Contracting: An Overview of the Law
This report discusses constitutional and other legal issues related to the creation and implementation of location-based preferences in federal contracting, as well as summarizes key authorities requiring or allowing federal agencies to "favor" contractors located in specific places. The report does not address federal preferences for domestic products or provisions of federal law that could, depending upon their implementation, effectively prefer local contractors, such as project labor agreements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490923/
The Defense Base Act (DBA): The Federally Mandated Workers' Compensation System for Overseas Government Contractors
This report provides an overview of the Defense Base Act (DBA) and the systems used to provide DBA insurance at the Department of State (DOS), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Also included are criticisms of the current DOD DBA policy raised by GAO and Army auditors as well as responses to those criticisms by DOD and USACE. The report concludes with a discussion of several DBA reform options suggested by the House of Representatives in recent legislation and analyzed by DOD. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490988/
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and presents potential issues for Congress concerning the Navy's ship force-structure goals and shipbuilding plans, particularly the planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy's shipbuilding plans. Decisions that Congress makes on Navy shipbuilding programs can substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490967/
OMB Controls on Agency Mandatory Spending Programs: "Administrative PAYGO" and Related Issues for Congress
This CRS report focuses first on the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) May 2005 memorandum and the process it outlines. The report then discusses one case where the process appears to have been implemented. It then discusses other potential implications, if the OMB process were widely utilized in practice. Next, the report discusses potential options for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490946/
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria: U.S. Contributions and Issues for Congress
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (Global Fund, or the Fund) was established in 2002 as a public-private partnership that could provide significant financial support for global responses to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria. This report provides background information on the Global Fund, summarizes key findings on the Global Fund's progress through 2009, outlines U.S. funding for the Fund, and analyzes issues Congress might consider as it debates the appropriate level of support to provide the Fund. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490925/
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses how Congress should respond to the Navy's proposed force structure and shipbuilding plans. Decisions that Congress makes on this issue could significantly affect future U.S. military capabilities, Navy funding requirements, and the Navy shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462285/
Navy Shipboard Lasers for Surface, Air, and Missile Defense: Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on potential Navy shipboard lasers for countering surface, air, and ballistic missile threats. It does not discuss the use of lasers on Navy aircraft or submarines, or the use of lasers by other military services. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462651/
Navy Shipboard Lasers for Surface, Air, and Missile Defense: Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on potential Navy shipboard lasers for countering surface, air, and ballistic missile threats. It does not discuss the use of lasers on Navy aircraft or submarines, or the use of lasers by other military services. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463085/
Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Navy's irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) operations. The Navy's IW and CT activities pose a number of potential oversight issues for Congress, including the definition of Navy IW activities and how much emphasis to place on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463035/
Ebbs and Flows of Federal Debt
This report will define the measures of debt, discuss the mechanisms of how debt levels change, and use historical examples to illustrate the factors causing debt movements over the last seven decades. In addition, some policies which may affect the future budgetary outlook and the debt will be discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462087/
Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Navy's irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) operations. The Navy's IW and CT activities pose a number of potential oversight issues for Congress, including the definition of Navy IW activities and how much emphasis to place on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462249/
Palestinian Authority: U.S. Payments to Creditors as Alternative to Direct Budgetary Assistance?
A September 24, 2014, congressional notification (CN) from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) may reflect a new executive branch approach in assisting the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pay off some of the debts it incurs in providing various benefits and services to West Bank and Gaza residents. The CN indicates that USAID plans to obligate a total of $100 million in FY2014 bilateral economic assistance for the Palestinians toward direct U.S. payments to PA creditors. This report briefly discusses the details and implications of this new alternative method. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462260/
Navy LX(R) Amphibious Ship Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the LX(R) amphibious ship program, a Navy program to build a new class of 11 amphibious ships. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463490/
Circular A-76 and the Moratorium on DOD Competitions: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the current moratorium on the conduct of Department of Defense (DOD) public-private competitions under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76 and issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463485/
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and presents potential issues for Congress concerning the Navy's ship force-structure goals and shipbuilding plans. The planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy's shipbuilding plans have been matters of concern for the congressional defense committees for the past several years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462563/
Tactical Aircraft Modernization: Issues for Congress
This report examines the Department of Defense's (DOD's) three largest tactical aircraft modernization programs. The "Background" section provides a brief description of each program and a discussion of how tactical aircraft fit into military air operations: the missions they typically perform and how they contrast to longer range combat aircraft. The "Analysis" section examines a number of policy issues, including affordability, capability required, force structure, and defense industrial base. The paper concludes with a synopsis of congressional action on these programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462571/
Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy, and gives Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers a capability for conducting BMD operations. Congress's decisions on the Aegis BMD program could significantly affect U.S. BMD capabilities and funding requirements, and the BMD-related industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462501/
Electronic Rulemaking in the Federal Government
This report explores the Bush Administration's initiative of implementing electronic rulemaking (e-rulemaking) in the federal government, the questions regarding how this initiative is being funded, its overall structure, its costs and expected financial benefits, the functionality of some of the applications being used, and its effect on public participation in the rulemaking process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462578/
Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress
This report presents background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Navy's Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) and Zumwalt (DDG-1000) class destroyer programs. The Navy's proposed FY2015 budget requests funding for the procurement of two DDG-51s. Decisions that Congress makes concerning these programs could substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463290/
Navy Shipboard Lasers for Surface, Air, and Missile Defense: Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on potential Navy shipboard lasers for countering surface, air, and ballistic missile threats. It does not discuss the use of lasers on Navy aircraft or submarines, or the use of lasers by other military services. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462635/
The Defense Base Act (DBA): The Federally Mandated Workers' Compensation System for Overseas Government Contractors
This report provides an overview of the Defense Base Act (DBA) and the systems used to provide DBA insurance at the Department of State (DOS), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Also included are criticisms of the current DOD DBA policy raised by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Army auditors as well as responses to those criticisms by DOD and USACE. The report concludes with a discussion of several DBA reform options suggested by the House of Representatives in recent legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461901/
Iraq: Reconstruction Assistance
This report describes recent developments in the large-scale assistance program, the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund (IRRF), undertaken by the United States and the international community in an effort to rehabilitate economic infrastructure and introduce representative government to post-war Iraq, and examines key issues of potential interest to Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461915/
Financing Issues and Economic Effects of American Wars
This report examines financing and economic issues in World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam Conflict, the Reagan Military Buildup, and the 1991 and 2003 wars in Iraq. It examines tax policy, non-military outlays, the budget balance, economic growth, inflation, and interest rates during these periods. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461913/