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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Community Development Block Grant Funds in Disaster Relief and Recovery
This report discusses how Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs are funded by Congress and what they have been used for in recent years: recovery efforts following terrorist attacks, riots, and natural disasters. The 111th Congress has approved $100 million in CDBG funds to help states and communities undertake disaster recovery activities in presidentially declared disaster areas affected by severe storms and flooding during the period from March 2010 through May 2010. The act limited distribution of these funds to states where the entire state was declared a disaster area (Rhode Island) and to states where at least 20 counties within the state were declared disaster areas (Tennessee, Kentucky, and Nebraska). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94022/
Army Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects: Authorization and Appropriations
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers attracts congressional attention because its projects can have significant local and regional economic benefits and environmental effects, in addition to their water resource development purposes. This report provides an overview of the Corps civil works program. It covers the congressional authorization and appropriation process, the standard project development process, and other Corps activities and authorities. It also includes an Appendix on the evolution of Corps civil works missions and authorities and a description of the limits on the Corps' role in levee accreditation and improvements for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93839/
The Role of Public Works Infrastructure in Economic Stimulus
Interest in using federal government spending to stimulate U.S. economic recovery has intensified recently in response to indicators showing significant deterioration of the economy. Some policymakers favor using traditional monetary and fiscal policies. Others, however, favor making accelerated investments in the nation's public infrastructure in order to create jobs while also meeting infrastructure needs. This report is an overview of policy issues associated with the approach of using infrastructure as a mechanism for economic stimulus. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83914/
Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations
The principal federal program to aid municipal wastewater treatment plant construction is authorized in the Clean Water Act (CWA). In appropriations legislation, funding for EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) wastewater assistance is contained in the measure providing funds for the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. This report summarizes, in chronological order, congressional activity to fund items in the State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) account since 1987. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83826/
The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments
Permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorize various types of development projects in wetlands and other waters of the United States. The Corps' regulatory process involves two types of permits: general permits for actions by private landowners that are similar in nature and will likely have a minor effect on wetlands, and individual permits for more significant actions. The Corps uses general permits to minimize the burden of its regulatory program: they authorize landowners to proceed with a project without the time-consuming need to obtain standard individual permits in advance. About 90% of the Corps' regulatory workload is processed in the form of general permits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83832/
The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments
Congressional interest in wetlands permit regulatory programs has been evident in the past in oversight hearings and in connection with bills to fund the Corps' regulatory programs. For some time, there has been a stalemate over legislation that would revise wetlands regulatory law and that could, if enacted, modify the nationwide permit program. During this time, no consensus has emerged on whether or how to reform overall wetlands policy legislatively. Recently, Obama Administration initiatives and actions intended to restrict harmful effects of surface coal mining activities in Appalachia have drawn congressional attention and criticism that is likely to continue in the 112th Congress and that could include oversight of the Corps' regulatory program generally. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83831/
Safeguarding the Nation's Drinking Water: EPA and Congressional Actions
The events of September 11, 2001, focused heightened attention on the security status of the nation's drinking water supplies and the vulnerability of this critical infrastructure sector to attack. This report reviews governmental and water utility efforts to improve drinking water security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31400/
Army Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects: Authorization and Appropriations
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers attracts congressional attention because its projects can have significant local and regional economic benefits and environmental effects, in addition to their water resource development purposes. This report provides an overview of the Corps civil works program. It covers the congressional authorization and appropriation process, the standard project development process, and other Corps activities and authorities. It also includes an Appendix on the evolution of Corps civil works missions and authorities and a description of the limits on the Corps' role in levee accreditation and improvements for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31359/
Presidential Libraries: The Federal System and Related Legislation
Through the National Archives and Records Administration, the federal government currently manages and maintains 12 presidential libraries. Inaugurated with the Presidential Libraries Act of 1955, these entities are privately constructed on behalf of former Presidents and, upon completion, are deeded to the federal government. This report provides a brief overview of the federal presidential libraries system and tracks the progress of related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26307/
The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments
Permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorize various types of development projects in wetlands and other waters of the United States. The Corps' regulatory process involves two types of permits: general permits for actions for private landowners that will likely have a minor effect on wetlands, and individual permits for more significant actions. Interest groups have a number of specific criticisms of the permits. For some time, there has been a stalemate in Congress over legislation related to this issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26114/
The Davis-Bacon Act: Institutional Evolution and Public Policy
This report examines policy issues the Davis-Bacon Act has sparked through the years and which remain a part of the Davis-Bacon debate of the 1990s. These include such questions as: wage rate determination procedures, reporting requirements under the Copeland Act, an appropriate threshold for activation of the statute, interagency relationships with respect to Davis-Bacon enforcement and compliance activity, administrative or judicial appeals procedures, the use of "helpers" and other low-skilled workers on covered projects, and the right of a President to suspend the statute as well as the conditions under which such a suspension may occur. That the fundamental premise of the Act remains in contention after 60 years may be, itself, part of the public policy debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26044/
Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations
The principal federal program to aid municipal wastewater treatment plant construction is authorized in the Clean Water Act (CWA). In appropriations legislation, funding for EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) wastewater assistance is contained in the measure providing funds for the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. This report summarizes, in chronological order, congressional activity to fund items in the State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) account since 1987. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26111/
Community Development Block Grants: Legislative Proposals to Assist Communities Affected by Home Foreclosures
In response to the rising number of home mortgage foreclosures, several bills have been introduced during the 110th Congress that would provide additional federal assistance to state and local governments with high concentrations of foreclosed homes, subprime mortgage loans, and delinquent home mortgages. At least one of these proposals, H.R. 3221, as passed by the Senate, includes provisions that would use the framework of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to channel an additional $4 billion in assistance to state and local governments. This provision faces an uncertain future; objections to it have been raised by the Bush Administration and others, contending that the assistance will result in the rescue of lenders and speculators. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10773/
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF): Program Overview and Issues
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996 authorized a drinking water state revolving loan fund (DWSRF) program to help public water systems finance infrastructure projects needed to comply with federal drinking water regulations and to protect public health. The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) latest (2003) survey of capital improvement needs for public water systems found that water systems need to invest $276.8 billion on infrastructure improvements over 20 years to ensure the provision of safe water. Key issues include the gap between estimated needs and funding, SDWA compliance costs, and the need for cities to update and maintain water infrastructure, apart from SDWA compliance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10626/
Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
The possibility of damage to or destruction of the nation's water supply and water quality infrastructure by terrorist attack has gained substantial attention since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Policymakers are considering a number of initiatives, including enhanced physical security, better communication and coordination, and research. A key issue is how such security measures will be funded. Committees in the 109th Congress have approved legislation to support vulnerability assessments in federal and non-federal wastewater treatment plants and utility systems. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10426/
Electric Reliability: Options for Electric Transmission Infrastructure Improvements
The electric utility industry is inherently capital intensive. At the same time, the industry must operate under a changing and sometimes unpredictable regulatory system at both the federal and state level. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 has set in place government activities intended to relieve congestion on the transmission system. Several factors have contributed to the lack of new transmission capacity; these are outlined within this report. This report also discusses earlier pieces of energy legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10432/
Western Water Resource Issues
For more than a century, the federal government has constructed water resource projects for a variety of purposes, including flood control, navigation, power generation, and irrigation. Growing population and changing values have increased demands on water supplies and river systems, resulting in water use and management conflicts throughout the country, particularly in the West, where the population is expected to increase 30% in the next 20-25 years. Debate over western water resources revolves around the issue of how best to plan for and manage the use of this renewable, yet sometimes scarce and increasingly sought after, resource. The 109th Congress is considering a number of bills on western water issues, including title transfer, water recycling, and rural water supply legislation, as well as Indian water rights settlement legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10517/
Electric Reliability: Options for Electric Transmission Infrastructure Improvements
The electric utility industry is inherently capital intensive. At the same time, the industry must operate under a changing and sometimes unpredictable regulatory system at both the federal and state level. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 has set in place government activities intended to relieve congestion on the transmission system. Several factors have contributed to the lack of new transmission capacity; these are outlined within this report. This report also discusses earlier pieces of energy legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10200/
Vulnerability of Concentrated Critical Infrastructure: Background and Policy Options
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10187/
Western Water Resource Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10063/
Western Water Resource Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10114/
Western Water Resource Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10113/
Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): Army Corps of Engineers Authorization Issues in the 109th Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10003/
War Infrastructure Needs and Investment: Review and Analysis of Key Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9686/
Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): Army Corps of Engineers Authorization Issues in the 109th Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9979/
War Infrastructure Needs and Investment: Review and Analysis of Key Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9677/
Western Water Resource Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9945/
Electric Reliability: Options for Electric Transmission Infrastructure Improvements
The electric utility industry is inherently capital intensive. At the same time, the industry must operate under a changing and sometimes unpredictable regulatory system at both the federal and state level. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 has set in place government activities intended to relieve congestion on the transmission system. Several factors have contributed to the lack of new transmission capacity; these are outlined within this report. This report also discusses earlier pieces of energy legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9649/
Electric Reliability: Options for Electric Transmission Infrastructure Improvements
The electric utility industry is inherently capital intensive. At the same time, the industry must operate under a changing and sometimes unpredictable regulatory system at both the federal and state level. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 has set in place government activities intended to relieve congestion on the transmission system. Several factors have contributed to the lack of new transmission capacity; these are outlined within this report. This report also discusses earlier pieces of energy legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9880/
Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9687/
Critical Infrastructure: The National Asset Database
The purpose of this report is to discuss the National Asset Database: what is in it, how it is populated, what the Database apparently is, what it is not, and how it is intended to be used. The report also discusses some of the issues on which Congress could focus its oversight, including appropriation bill language. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9556/
Electric Reliability: Options for Electric Transmission Infrastructure Improvements
The electric utility industry is inherently capital intensive. At the same time, the industry must operate under a changing and sometimes unpredictable regulatory system at both the federal and state level. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 has set in place government activities intended to relieve congestion on the transmission system. Several factors have contributed to the lack of new transmission capacity; these are outlined within this report. This report also discusses earlier pieces of energy legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9547/
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Issues and Legislative Options
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9433/
Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9545/
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Issues and Legislative Options
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9432/
The Capitol Visitor Center: An Overview
This report presents the cost of the center, the most extensive addition to the Capitol since the Civil War, and the largest in the structure’s more than 200-year history, is now estimated to be at least $555 million. The project is being financed with appropriated funds, and a total of $65 million from private donations and revenue generated by the sale of commemorative coins. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9322/
21st Century Community Learning Centers: Evaluation and Implementation Issues
The 21st CCLC program was originally authorized as Part I of Title X, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended. This program was reauthorized as part of the reauthorization of the ESEA by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, P.L. 107-110, and was signed into law on January 8, 2002. This report discusses implementation of the reauthorized 21st CCLC program, and the recent evaluation of the program and its implications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9290/
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is an interagency committee that serves the President in overseeing the national security implications of foreign investment in the economy. Since it was established by an Executive Order of President Ford in 1975, the committee has operated in relative obscurity.1 According to a Treasury Department memorandum, the Committee originally was established in order to placate Congress, which had grown concerned over the rapid increase in Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) investments in American portfolio assets (Treasury securities, corporate stocks and bonds), and to respond to concerns of some that much of the OPEC investments were being driven by political, rather than by economic, motives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9278/
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is an interagency committee that serves the President in overseeing the national security implications of foreign investment in the economy. Since it was established by an Executive Order of President Ford in 1975, the committee has operated in relative obscurity.1 According to a Treasury Department memorandum, the Committee originally was established in order to placate Congress, which had grown concerned over the rapid increase in Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) investments in American portfolio assets (Treasury securities, corporate stocks and bonds), and to respond to concerns of some that much of the OPEC investments were being driven by political, rather than by economic, motives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9277/
Terminal Operators and Their Role in U.S. Port and Maritime Security
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9273/
Surface Transportation Reauthorization: Environmental Issues and Legislative Provisions in SAFETEA-LU (H.R. 3)
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9256/
Outdoor Recreation: Is a New Commission Needed?
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9173/
Federally Supported Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment Programs
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9117/
An Overview of the Administration's Strengthening America's Communities Initiative
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8669/
An Overview of the Administration's Strengthening America's Communities Initiative
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8670/
Western Water Resource Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8535/
Protecting New Orleans: From Hurricane Barriers to Floodwalls
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8479/
Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8461/
Protecting New Orleans: From Hurricane Barriers to Floodwalls
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8255/
Vulnerability of Concentrated Critical Infrastructure: Background and Policy Options
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8248/