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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: Selected Legal Issues

The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: Selected Legal Issues

Date: May 4, 2009
Creator: Swendiman, Kathleen S. & Jones, Nancy L.
Description: Recent human cases of infection with a novel influenza A(H1N1) virus have been identified both internationally and in the United States. Since there has been human to human transmission and the new virus has the potential to become pandemic, it is timely to examine legal issues surrounding this emerging public health threat. This report will provide a brief overview of selected legal issues.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Project BioShield: Purposes and Authorities

Project BioShield: Purposes and Authorities

Date: May 4, 2009
Creator: Gottron, Frank
Description: This report discusses the three main provisions of Project BioShield, funding for Project BioShield, and additional measures that Congress has considered since Project BioShield's implementation to further encourage CBRN countermeasure development.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
FY2009 Spring Supplemental Appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations

FY2009 Spring Supplemental Appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations

Date: May 5, 2009
Creator: Daggett, Stephen; Epstein, Susan B.; Margesson, Rhoda; Nakamura, Kennon H.; Tarnoff, Curt; Kronstadt, K. Alan et al.
Description: This report discusses the White House's request for supplemental appropriations that include funding for defense, foreign affairs, and domestic fire fighting. The report details the different programs and areas that the appropriations would fund, including operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, preparedness and emergency management measures relating to the swine flu outbreak, border security between the United States and Mexico, benchmark assessment in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and other general defense operations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: Selected Legal Issues

The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: Selected Legal Issues

Date: May 6, 2009
Creator: Swendiman, Kathleen S. & Jones, Nancy L.
Description: Recent human cases of infection with a novel influenza A(H1N1) virus have been identified both internationally and in the United States. Since there has been human to human transmission and the new virus has the potential to become pandemic, it is timely to examine legal issues surrounding this emerging public health threat. This report will provide a brief overview of selected legal issues.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding

Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding

Date: May 8, 2009
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: This report discusses the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, also known as fire grants of the FIRE Act grant program, which provides federal grants directly to local fire departments and unaffiliated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organizations to help address a variety of equipment, training, and other firefighter-related and EMS needs. This report also discusses the possible reauthorization of AFG and the related Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Firefighters (SAFER) program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program

Date: May 8, 2009
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: 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 FY2005-FY2010, reauthorization of the program in the House and Senate, and information about program implementation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
United States Fire Administration: An Overview

United States Fire Administration: An Overview

Date: May 12, 2009
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: This report describes and analyzes the Administration's FY2010 budget proposal, as well as related information and legislation. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) is currently an entity within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The objective of the USFA is to significantly reduce the nation's loss of life from fire, while also achieving a reduction in property loss and non-fatal injury due to fire.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Immigration Policies and Issues on Health-Related Grounds for Exclusion

Immigration Policies and Issues on Health-Related Grounds for Exclusion

Date: May 18, 2009
Creator: Haddal, Chad C. & Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report discusses the criteria that foreign nationals must meet before admission to the United States, including the reasons why a foreign national might be denied admission, most particularly on health-related grounds. This report discusses such issues in relation to the recent outbreak of the 2009 H1N1 ("swine flu") virus, and how the outbreak has affected various government agencies, such as the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This report also discusses efforts to confront and address such issues on a legislative front.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives After 15 Years: Issues for Congress

USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives After 15 Years: Issues for Congress

Date: May 27, 2009
Creator: Lawson, Marian L.
Description: This report discusses USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives' (OTI's) origin, its past and present activities, and issues about the program's impact, structure, and role within USAID that may be of interest to Congress. OTI's activities are overtly political, based on the idea that in the midst of political crisis and instability abroad there are local agents of change whose efforts, when supported by timely and creative U.S. assistance, can tip the balance toward peaceful and democratic outcomes that advance U.S. foreign policy objectives.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Department of Homeland Security Assistance to States and Localities: A Summary and Issues for the 111th Congress

Department of Homeland Security Assistance to States and Localities: A Summary and Issues for the 111th Congress

Date: June 8, 2009
Creator: Reese, Shawn
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: An Overview

The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: An Overview

Date: June 12, 2009
Creator: Lister, Sarah A. & Redhead, C. Stephen
Description: This report first provides a synopsis of key events, actions taken, and authorities invoked by WHO, the U.S. federal government, and state and local governments. It then discusses the WHO process to determine the phase of a flu pandemic, and selected actions taken by the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, and by state and local authorities. Next, it lists congressional hearings held to date, and provides information about appropriations and funding for pandemic flu activities. Finally, it summarizes U.S. government pandemic flu planning documents and lists sources for additional information about the situation as it unfolds.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: Selected Legal Issues

The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: Selected Legal Issues

Date: June 15, 2009
Creator: Swendiman, Kathleen S. & Jones, Nancy Lee
Description: In late April 2009, human cases of infection with a novel influenza A(H1N1) virus, commonly known as "swine flu," were identified. Since then, the virus has become widespread. It is timely to examine the legal issues surrounding this public health threat. This report provides a brief overview of selected legal issues including emergency measures, civil rights, liability issues, and employment issues.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
FY2009 Spring Supplemental Appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations

FY2009 Spring Supplemental Appropriations for Overseas Contingency Operations

Date: June 15, 2009
Creator: Daggett, Stephen; Epstein, Susan B.; Tarnoff, Curt; Margesson, Rhoda; Nakamura, Kennon H.; Kronstadt, K. Alan et al.
Description: This report discusses the White House's request for supplemental appropriations that include funding for defense, foreign affairs, and domestic fire fighting. The report details the different programs and areas that the appropriations would fund, including operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, preparedness and emergency management measures relating to the swine flu outbreak, border security between the United States and Mexico, benchmark assessment in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and other general defense operations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Emergency Communications: The Future of 911

Emergency Communications: The Future of 911

Date: June 16, 2009
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: Today's 911 system is built on an infrastructure of analog technology that does not support many of the features that most Americans expect are part of an emergency response. Efforts to splice newer, digital technologies onto this aging infrastructure have created points of failure where a call can be dropped or misdirected, sometimes with tragic consequences. This report discusses efforts to modernize and update 911 emergency response technology, the funding for such efforts, and related pieces of legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Peacekeeping/Stabilization and Conflict Transitions: Background and Congressional Action on the Civilian Response/Reserve Corps and other Civilian Stabilization and Reconstruction Capabilities

Peacekeeping/Stabilization and Conflict Transitions: Background and Congressional Action on the Civilian Response/Reserve Corps and other Civilian Stabilization and Reconstruction Capabilities

Date: June 16, 2009
Creator: Serafino, Nina M.
Description: This report provides background information relating to the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS) in the Office of the Secretary of State. This office was created in mid-2004 as part of the Bush Administration's efforts to develop adequate civilian organizational structures, procedures, and personnel to respond effectively to post-conflict, "stabilization and reconstruction" situations, most especially in Afghanistan and Iran. This report also discusses proposals and tracks related legislative action.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding

Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding

Date: June 18, 2009
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, also known as fire grants or the FIRE Act grant program, was established by the FY2001 National Defense Authorization Act. The fire grant program is now in its ninth year. Over $4.8 billion has been appropriated to the fire grant program since FY2001. This report discusses the inception of this program, as well as current supplemental legislation and proposed funding, which is already projected to provoke negative criticism from the fire community for being inadequate.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
National Flood Insurance Program: Background, Challenges, and Financial Status

National Flood Insurance Program: Background, Challenges, and Financial Status

Date: June 22, 2009
Creator: King, Rawle O.
Description: This report provides an analysis of the NFIP and its financial status, summarizes the major challenges facing the program, including issues affecting its long-term financial solvency, presents some alternative approaches for managing and financing the flood losses and describes pending legislation on this issue.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: U.S. Responses to Global Human Cases

The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: U.S. Responses to Global Human Cases

Date: June 23, 2009
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji
Description: This report discusses the April 2009 outbreak of the influenza strain known as H1N1, or commonly, swine influenza. This report describes the distribution of the virus and the statistics of affected areas, as well as international and U.S. efforts to treat infected persons, respond to outbreaks in various countries (such as Mexico and other Latin American nations), and prepare for a possible influenza pandemic.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program

Date: June 23, 2009
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: 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 and discusses possible budgetary modifications to the SAFER Act that are being considered due to the recent economic downturn.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
United States Fire Administration: An Overview

United States Fire Administration: An Overview

Date: June 23, 2009
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) - which includes the National Fire Academy (NFA) - is currently an entity within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The objective of the USFA is to significantly reduce the nation's loss of life from fire, while also achieving a reduction in property loss and non-fatal injury due to fire. In the 111th Congress, debate over the USFA budget focuses on whether the USFA is receiving sufficient funding to accomplish its mission, given that appropriations for USFA have consistently been well below the agency's authorized level. An ongoing issue is the viability and status of the USFA and National Fire Academy within the Department of Homeland Security.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

Date: June 26, 2009
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is built on a structure conceived in the 1950's when over-the-air broadcasting was the best-available technology for widely disseminating emergency alerts. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), working with the Association of Public Television Stations, is implementing a program that will disseminate national alert messages over digital broadcast airwaves, using satellite and public TV broadcast towers. This program is referred to as the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). Legislation was passed at the end of the 109th Congress to assure funding to public television stations to install digital equipment to handle national alerts. The 111th Congress may pursue additional oversight to related programs that would continue to improve the nation's capability to provide alerts and information before, during, and after an emergency.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Chite, Ralph M. & Shields, Dennis A.
Description: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the noninsured assistance program (NAP), and emergency disaster loans. The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (otherwise known as the 2008 farm bill) includes authorization and funding for crop disaster programs, livestock assistance programs, and a tree assistance program. The new programs are designed to address the ad hoc nature of disaster assistance provided to producers during the last two decades.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Financing Catastrophic Risk: Summary of the Homeowners' Defense Act of 2009 (S. 505 and H.R. 2555)

Financing Catastrophic Risk: Summary of the Homeowners' Defense Act of 2009 (S. 505 and H.R. 2555)

Date: July 1, 2009
Creator: King, Rawle O.
Description: This report discusses the drastic increase in demand for homeowners' insurance in Atlantic and Gulf Coast states following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This report also discusses various measures and efforts underway to enhance insurer capacity, pursue alternative forms of risk transfer, and create a national catastrophe financing facility, the last of which is an issue under considerable debate.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Project BioShield: Purposes and Authorities

Project BioShield: Purposes and Authorities

Date: July 6, 2009
Creator: Gottron, Frank
Description: Many potential chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism agents lack available countermeasures. In 2003, President Bush proposed Project BioShield to address this need. The Project BioShield Act became law in July 2004. This report discusses the three main provisions of Project BioShield, funding for Project BioShield, and additional measures that Congress has considered since Project BioShield's implementation to further encourage CBRN countermeasure development.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department