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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Water Quality: Implementing the Clean Water Act
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Water Quality: Implementing the Clean Water Act
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Water Quality: Implementing the Clean Water Act
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Water Quality: Implementing the Clean Water Act
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Water Quality: Implementing the Clean Water Act
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Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996: A Summary
The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 is the product of legislative efforts stretching back well over a decade and stimulated to passage in part by the tragedies in Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center. This report summarizes the six titles of the Act, its sources, and related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs309/
First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
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First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
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First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
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First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
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Afghanistan: Connections to Islamic Movements In Central and South Asia and Southern Russia
After several years of relative peace in Central Asia and southern Russia, Islamic extremist movements have become more active in Russia and in Central and South Asia, threatening stability in the region. Although numerous factors might account for the upsurge in activity, several of these movements appear to have connections to the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These linkages raise questions about whether the United States, as part of a broader effort to promote peace and stability in the region, should continue to engage the Taliban regime, or strongly confront it. This report will be updated as events warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7705/
Islamist Extremism in Europe
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Improvised Explosive Devices in Iraq: Effects and Countermeasures
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Defense Cleanup and Environmental Programs: Authorization and Appropriations for FY2005
This report provides background information on each defense-related environmental program, discusses key funding issues, and examines relevant provisions in authorization legislation and appropriations for FY2005. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7849/
Homeland Security: 9/11 Victim Relief Funds
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Security and Freedom Ensured Act (SAFE Act)(H.R. 1526) and Security and Freedom Enhancement Act (SAFE Act)(S. 737): Section by Section Analysis
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Amber Alert Program Technology
This report discusses provisions in the National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 to test Amber Alert network technology for use in expanding the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The Amber Alert network utilizes a combination of technologies, such as highway messages boards, the Internet, and text messaging, to ensure the swift recovery of abducted children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7629/
The Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2003: “Separate Offense” Provisions and Penalties
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The Posse Comitatus Act and Related Matters: A Sketch
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Detention of American Citizens as Enemy Combatants
This report provides background information regarding the cases of two U.S. citizens deemed “enemy combatants,” Yaser Esam Hamdi, who has been returned to Saudi Arabia, and Jose Padilla, who remains in military custody. The report addresses the constitutional and statutory sources that arguably provide authority for the detention of enemy combatants, as well as those that may prevent the exercise of that power with respect to U.S. citizens. The report concludes that historically, even during declared wars, additional statutory authority has been seen as necessary to validate the detention of citizens not members of any armed forces, casting in some doubt the argument that the power to detain is necessarily implied by an authorization to use force. Finally, the report briefly analyzes the Detention of Enemy Combatants Act, H.R. 1029, which would authorize the President to detain U.S. citizens and residents who are determined to be “enemy combatants” in certain circumstances. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3919/
The SAFE Acts of 2005: H.R. 1526 and S. 737--A Sketch
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Bioterrorism: Legislation to Improve Public Health Preparedness and Response Capacity
This report shows that while lawmakers work towards final passage of new authorizing legislation, Congress has appropriated more than $3 billion to the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) to increase bioterrorism preparedness at the federal, state, and local levels. HHS anti-bioterrorism funding was included in the FY2002 Labor-HHSEducation appropriations bill and in the $20 billion emergency spending package that was attached to the FY2002 Defense appropriations bill. Until the new authorizing legislation is enacted, HHS is dispersing the funds according to existing authorities and the broad parameters set out in the appropriations bills. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7017/
Bioterrorism: Legislation to Improve Public Health Preparedness and Response Capacity
While lawmakers work towards final passage of new authorizing legislation, Congress has appropriated $3 billion to the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) for FY2002 to increase bio-terrorism preparedness at the federal, state, and local levels. HHS anti bio-terrorism funding was included in theFY2002Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (P.L. 107-116, H.R. 3061) and in the $20 billion emergency spending package (P.L. 107- 117, H.R. 3338). HHS is dispersing the funds according to existing authorities and the broad spending parameters set out in the appropriations bills. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7018/
Protecting Our Perimeter: “Border Searches” under the Fourth Amendment
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Overview and Analysis of Senate Amendment Concerning Interrogation of Detainees
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Child Pornography Produced Without an Actual Child: Constitutionality of 108th Congress Legislation
This report analyzes the First Amendment issues raised by S. 151, 108th Congress, in the versions passed by the Senate and the House. The Senate passed the version reported by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary (S.Rept. 108-2). The House version began as H.R. 1161, which, except for its section 10, was adopted as an amendment (Title V) to H.R. 1104, which the House passed as S. 151, the Child Abduction Prevention Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3902/
Child Pornography Produced Without an Actual Child: Constitutionality of 108th Congress Legislation
This report analyzes S. 151, 108th Congress, as reported by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary (S.Rept. 108-2) and passed by the Senate, and considers whether it would violate freedom of speech. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3901/
Juvenile Justice Legislation: Overview and the Legislative Debate
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First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options
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Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents
The detainee provisions passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 affirm that the Authorization for Use of Military Force in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, authorizes the detention of persons captured in connection with hostilities. This report provides a background to the legal issues presented, followed by a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals. An overview of U.S. practice during wartime to detain persons deemed dangerous to the national security is presented. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84022/
The Posse Comitatus Act and Related Matters: A Sketch
This report examines instances, as approved by Congress, where circumstances warrant a departure from the general rule of the Posse Comitatus Act, wherein the military is typically prevented from direct involvement in civilian affairs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122237/
Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress
This report explores current foreign policy issues confronting U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing polices, and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts. The 112th Congress has introduced and taken action on several bills related to human trafficking. Given recent challenges in balancing budget priorities, the 112th Congress may choose to consider certain aspects of this issue further, including the effectiveness of international anti-trafficking projects, interagency coordination mechanisms, and the monitoring and enforcement of anti-trafficking regulations, particularly as they relate to the activities of U.S. government contractors and subcontractors operating overseas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122225/
Drones in Domestic Surveillance Operations: Fourth Amendment Implications and Legislative Responses
This report first explores the potential uses of drones in the domestic sphere by federal, state, and local governments. It then surveys current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, including cases surrounding privacy in the home, privacy in public spaces, location tracking, manned aerial surveillance, and those involving the national border. Next, it considers how existing jurisprudence may inform current and proposed drone uses. It then describes the various legislative measures introduced in the 112th Congress to address the legal and policy issues surrounding drones and, finally, briefly identifies several alternative approaches that may constrain the potential scope of drone surveillance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122251/
Sex Trafficking of Children in the United States: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report discusses human trafficking that involves the exploitation of individuals for forced labor or commercial sex. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287889/
Judicial Activity Concerning Enemy Combatant Detainees: Major Court Rulings
This report discusses major judicial opinions concerning suspected enemy belligerents detained in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The report addresses all Supreme Court decisions concerning enemy combatants and also discusses notable circuit court opinions addressing issues of ongoing relevance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287956/
Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law
Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried and punished according to the laws on the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under some limited circumstances. The federal exceptions to the general rule usually involve crimes like drug trafficking, terrorism, or crimes committed aboard a ship or airplane. State prosecution for overseas misconduct is limited almost exclusively to multijurisdictional crimes, i.e., crimes where some elements of the offense are committed within the state and others are committed abroad. The Constitution, Congress, and state law define the circumstances under which American criminal law may be used against crimes occurring, in whole or in part, outside the United States digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26037/
Organized Crime in the United States: Trends and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the threat of organized crime against the United States, most notably organized crime from criminal organizations in Russia, Asia, Italy, the Balkans, the Middle East, and Africa. The report explores the issue of organized crime in relation to the economic downturn and national security, namely terrorism. The report also discusses how Congress is currently working to address these issues and includes information on relevant pieces of legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26146/
Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress
Trafficking in persons (TIP) for the purposes of exploitation is believed to be one of the most prolific areas of international criminal activity and is of significant concern to the United States and the international community. This report discusses the global and ongoing problem of TIP in detail, as well as anti-TIP programs and U.S. and international efforts to combat TIP. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26268/
Child Pornography: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes
This report discusses the constitutional status of child pornography and summarizes federal statutes banning and regulating child pornography as well as selected court cases that have ruled on their constitutionality or interpreted them. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26087/
Department of Homeland Security Assistance to States and Localities: A Summary and Issues for the 111th Congress
This report summarizes several emergency management and homeland security programs, and identifies and analyzes potential issues for the 111th Congress. These issues include (1) the purpose and number of assistance programs; (2) the evaluation of the use of grant funding; (3) the determination of eligible grant recipients; (4) the programs' funding amounts; and (5) the programs; funding distribution methodologies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26137/
Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress
This report explores current foreign policy issues confronting U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing polices, and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts. Given recent challenges in balancing budget priorities, the 112th Congress may choose to consider certain aspects of this issue further, including the effectiveness of international anti-trafficking projects, interagency coordination mechanisms, and the monitoring and enforcement of anti-trafficking regulations, particularly as they relate to the activities of U.S. government contractors and subcontractors operating overseas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98017/
American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat
This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. For this report, "homegrown" and "domestic" are terms that describe terrorist activity or plots perpetrated within the United States or abroad by American citizens, legal permanent residents, or visitors radicalized largely within the United States. The report also discusses the radicalization process and the forces driving violent extremist activity. It analyzes post-9/11 domestic jihadist terrorism and describes law enforcement and intelligence efforts to combat terrorism and the challenges associated with those efforts. It also outlines actions underway to build trust and partnership between community groups and government agencies and the tensions that may occur between law enforcement and engagement activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83950/
Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law
Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried, and punished according to the laws of the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under certain limited circumstances. A surprising number of federal criminal statutes have extraterritorial application, but prosecutions have been few. This may be because when extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction does exist, practical and legal complications, and sometimes diplomatic considerations, may counsel against its exercise. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83803/
Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents
This report provides a background to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012, the Authorization to use Military Force act, and the President's power to detain "enemy combatants." It then gives a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals and an overview of U.S. practice during wartime to detain persons deemed dangerous to national security. It concludes by discussion Congress's role in prescribing rules for wartime detention as well as legislative proposals in the 112th Congress to address the detention of U.S. persons. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93921/
DNA Databanking: Selected Fourth Amendment Issues and Analysis
This report looks at how the practice of DNA database programs, which have been looked at favorably by Congress, are in possible violation of the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. It looks at how the databases' legality has currently been holding up in court, as well as how new advances and revelations in the science of forensic analysis and databanking may have potentially significant legal implications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93877/
Islamist Militancy in the Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Region and U.S. Policy
Increasing militant activity in western Pakistan poses three key national security threats: an increased potential for major attacks against the United States itself; a growing threat to Pakistani stability; and a hindrance of U.S. efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. This report addresses this issue at length. It also describes the recent upsurge of militant activity on the Pakistani side of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, as well as the general political climates of Pakistan and Afghanistan and their relationships with the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26300/
Gun Control: Statutory Disclosure Limitations on ATF Firearms Trace Data and Multiple Handgun Sales Reports
This report briefly describes a provision known as the "Tiahrt" amendment, a rider on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) appropriations that prohibits ATF from disclosing firearm trace data and multiple handgun sales reports data for any purpose other than supporting a criminal investigatoin or agency licensing proceeding. The Tiahrt amendment is so called because its sponsor is Representative Todd Tiahrt. A coalition of 210 city mayors favors the repeal of this rider, but there is much opposition to that motion. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26332/
The Brady Handgun Control Act: Constitutional Issues
The Brady Handgun Control Act established a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases, during which local law enforcement can make reasonable efforts to conduct background checks in available records and block and sales to convicted felons and other disqualified persons. This report reviews the background of federal gun control legislation, analyzes the conflict in the courts over the constitutionality under the Tenth Amendment of the duties placed on local law enforcement, and considers the implications of the decisions for Brady Act enforcement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26060/
Protecting the U.S. Perimeter: Border Searches Under the Fourth Amendment
This report first outlines the statutes authorizing certain federal officers to conduct warrantless searches. It then addresses the scope of the government's constitutional authority to search and seize persons and property at the border. It also describes the varying levels of suspicion generally required for each type of border search as interpreted by the courts. Finally, this report lists several bills before the 111th Congress that address border searches. This report does not address interior searches and seizures performed by immigration personnel since they are not traditional "border searches." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26206/
Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Current Legislative Issues
The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program was created by Title I of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-322). The mission of the COPS program is to advance community policing in all jurisdictions across the United States. Legislation introduced in the 111th Congress would reauthorize the COPS program through FY2014 and reestablish COPS as a multi-grant program. This report provides an overview and analysis of issues Congress might choose to consider when taking up legislation to reauthorize the COPS program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26191/