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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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The International Criminal Court (ICC): Jurisdiction, Extradition, and U.S. Policy
This report focuses on the process by which the Office of the Prosecutor investigates allegations of war crimes and second on U.S policy towards the International Criminal Court (ICC) and how the court might assert jurisdiction over U.S. nationals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503704/
The U.S. Postal Service's Financial Condition: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS's) financial condition, recent legislation to alleviate the USPS's financial challenges, and possible issues for the 111th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501850/
Federalism Issues in Surface Transportation Policy: Past and Present
This report provides a historical perspective on contemporary federalism issues in surface transportation policy that are likely to be addressed by Congress during the 111th Congress, including possible devolution of programmatic responsibility to states and proposals to change state maintenance-of-effort requirements and state cost matching requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501543/
Outer Continental Shelf Moratoria on Oil and Gas Development
This report discusses moratoria measures for the outer continental shelf (OCS) which establish bans or restrictions on oil and gas exploration and development in federal ocean areas. It includes a background of offshore oil and gas development, the sources of U.S. moratorium policy, the background of ocean governance, U.S. moratoria in international areas, and related issues for congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503476/
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/metadc29483/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463454/
Telework for Executive Agency Employees: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Legislation Pending in the 111th Congress
The 111th Congress is considering legislation (S. 707 and H.R. 1722) to foster the development of telework in executive agencies of the federal government. Legislation to augment telework in executive agencies of the federal government is currently pending in the 111th Congress. S. 707, the Telework Enhancement Act of 2009, and H.R. 1722, the Telework Improvements Act of 2010, were introduced on March 25, 2009, by Senator Daniel Akaka and Representative John Sarbanes, respectively. This report presents a side-by-side comparison of the provisions of S. 707, as reported, and H.R. 1722, as ordered to be reported. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501677/
U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions
This report discusses the four major principles underlie current U.S. policy on permanent immigration: the reunification of families, the admission of immigrants with needed skills, the protection of refugees, and the diversity of admissions by country of origin. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503299/
International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues
This report provides background on current International Criminal Court (ICC) cases and examines issues raised by the ICC's actions in Africa, including the potential deterrence of future abuses and the potential impact on African peace processes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501780/
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations
This report provides an overview of actions taken by Congress to provide FY2011 appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS). It also provides an overview of FY2010 appropriations for agencies and bureaus funded under the CJS bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501633/
The Military Commissions Act of 2009: Overview and Legal Issues
This report provides an analysis of the National Flood Insurance Program (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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501710/
Outer Continental Shelf Moratoria on Oil and Gas Development
This report discusses moratoria measures for the outer continental shelf (OCS) which establish bans or restrictions on oil and gas exploration and development in federal ocean areas. It includes a background of offshore oil and gas development, the sources of U.S. moratorium policy, the background of ocean governance, U.S. moratoria in international areas, and related issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501516/
Iran Sanctions
This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administrations' economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501854/
Permissible Securities Activities of Commercial Banks Under the Glass-Steagall Act (GSA) and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)
This report explains the extent to which commercial banks, their subsidiaries, and affiliates were able to engage in securities activities, including securities underwriting, dealing, and brokerage, under the authorities of the Glass-Steagall Act (GSA) and other pre-GLBA (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) banking laws, most notably the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (BHCA; 70 Stat. 133). It also discusses how the volume and scope of these securities activities expanded over time, and how the GLBA changed the GSA construct by facilitating affiliations among commercial banks and securities firms.. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503609/
North Korea's Second Nuclear Test: Implications of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874
This report discusses North Korea's second nuclear test and the implications of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874. The resolution puts in place a series of sanctions on North Korea's arms sales, luxury goods, and financial transactions related to its weapons programs, and calls upon states to inspect North Korean vessels suspected of carrying such shipments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501940/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 111th Congress that would ease U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96740/
Piracy off the Horn of Africa
This report discusses recent pirate attacks on vessels, including United States vessels, in the waters off the Horn of Africa. The Horn of Africa is sometimes called the Somali Peninsula and includes the nations of Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somalia. This report explores reasons behind the increased number of pirate attacks in recent years, as well as what efforts are being taken to combat said attacks, including those by the 111th Congress and President Obama and his Administration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501978/
Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (USTs): Prevention and Cleanup
This report addresses a nationwide water pollution problem caused by leaking underground storage tanks (USTs). The report discusses key issue that state resources have not met the demands of administering the underground storage tanks (UST) leak prevention program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501887/
Speed of Presidential and Senate Actions on Supreme Court Nominations, 1900-2010
This report provides information on the amount of time taken to act on all Supreme Court nominations occurring between 1900 and 2010. It focuses on the actual amounts of time that Presidents and the Senate have taken to act after learning about vacancies, selections, etc. (as opposed to the elapsed time between official points in the process). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503546/
Iran's Economic Conditions: U.S. Policy Issues
This report provides a general overview of Iran's economy, addresses related U.S. policy concerns, and discusses policy options for Congress. The purpose of this report is two-fold. First, it provides insight into important macroeconomic trends, policy reforms and objectives, key economic sectors, international trade patterns, and sources of foreign exchange. Second, in the context of U.S. economic sanctions imposed for national security and foreign policy reasons, it evaluates Iran's economic structure, strengths, and vulnerabilities and discusses issues and options for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503630/
Unauthorized Aliens in the United States
This report discusses the unauthorized immigrant (illegal alien) population in the United States, which is a key and controversial immigration issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501810/
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
This report has two sections. The first provides an overview of the current USDA disaster assistance programs: federal crop insurance, NAP payments, emergency disaster loans, the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), and four other smaller disaster programs authorized in the 2008 farm bill. The second section reviews the recent history of emergency supplemental farm disaster assistance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501569/
Legislative Approaches to Defining "Waters of the United States"
This report seeks to clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in the wake of Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 that interpreted the law's jurisdiction more narrowly than prior case law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501952/
Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background, Governance, and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on oil spills in U.S. coastal waters. The first section highlights background issues, including oil spill statistics and potential environmental impacts. The second section discusses the legal framework that governs oil spill prevention and response. The third section examines the threat of future oil spills in coastal waters and whether response personnel are prepared to respond to a major spill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501883/
State Efforts to Deter Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Analysis of Arizona's S.B. 1070
This report discusses the major provisions of S.B.1070, as modified by H.B. 2162, and the legal and constitutional considerations possibly implicated by their implementation. The report focuses primarily on those provisions that require state enforcement of federal immigration law and impose criminal penalties for immigration-related conduct, and discusses preemption issues that might be raised by these measures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501829/
Iran Sanctions
This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administrations' economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501494/
Telework for Executive Agency Employees: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Legislation Pending in the 111th Congress
The 111th Congress is considering legislation (S. 707 and H.R. 1722) to foster the development of telework in executive agencies of the federal government. Legislation to augment telework in executive agencies of the federal government is currently pending in the 111th Congress. S. 707, the Telework Enhancement Act of 2009, and H.R. 1722, the Telework Improvements Act of 2010, were introduced on March 25, 2009, by Senator Daniel Akaka and Representative John Sarbanes, respectively. This report presents a side-by-side comparison of the provisions of S. 707, as reported, and H.R. 1722, as ordered to be reported. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501699/
Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 111th Congress
The 111th Congress has considered various immigration issues and has enacted a number of targeted immigration provisions. It has passed legislation to extend the life of several immigration programs--the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system, the Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program, the Conrad State J-1 Waiver Program, and the special immigrant visa for religious workers--all of which are currently authorized until September 30, 2012. Among the other subjects of legislation enacted by this Congress are refugees and border security. This report discusses these and other immigration-related issues that have seen legislative action or are of significant congressional interest. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501863/
Energy Tax Policy: Historical Perspectives on and Current Status of Energy Tax Expenditures
This report examines how current revenue losses resulting from energy tax provisions compare to historical losses and provides a foundation for understanding how current energy tax policy evolved by providing a longitudinal perspective on energy tax policy and expenditures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462873/
The Jurisprudence of Justice John Paul Stevens: The Constitutionality of Congressional Term Limits and the Presidential Line Item Veto
While the Supreme Court seems unlikely to address the constitutionality of term limits or the line-item veto in the future, Justice Stevens's conclusion that the absence of constitutional provisions expressly authorizing the exercise of certain powers constitutes a denial of these powers seems likely to influence the Court in the future, particularly in cases involving what Justice Kennedy and others have characterized as "horizontal" or "vertical" separation of powers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501788/
The U.S. Postal Service's Financial Condition: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS's) financial condition, recent legislation to alleviate the USPS's financial challenges, and possible issues for the 111th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501657/
North Korea: Back on the Terrorism List?
This report describes the rationales for including North Korea on the terrorism list from 1987- 2008, for North Korea's delisting in 2008, and the debate in 2010 over whether to re-list North Korea. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501654/
Iran Sanctions
This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501602/
Deferred Examination of Patent Applications: Implications for Innovation Policy
This report provides an overview of deferred patent examination. It begins by offering a brief review of patent acquisition proceedings as well as challenges faced by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The report then introduces the concept of deferred examination. The potential positive and negative consequences of deferred examination upon the environment for innovation within the United States are then explored. The report closes by identifying salient design parameters for deferred examination systems and reviewing congressional options. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501596/
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501551/
Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA): Liability of Responsible Parties
The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) establishes a framework that addresses the liability of responsible parties in connection with the discharge of oil into the navigable waters of the United States, adjoining shorelines, or the exclusive economic zone. Among other provisions, OPA limits certain liabilities of a responsible party in connection with discharges of oil into such areas. This report addresses liability under OPA for removal costs and damages, and the basic procedure for recovering removal costs and damages from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund in the event that the responsible party fails to settle such claims. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491360/
The 2010 Oil Spill: The Minerals Management Service (MMS) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
This report will review environmental procedures after an exploratory oil well in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, killing 11 people and causing an oil spill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501823/
Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion
The first section of this report reviews what countries might be considered tax havens, including a discussion of the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) initiatives and lists. The next two sections discuss, in turn, the corporate profit-shifting mechanisms and evidence on the existence and magnitude of profit shifting activity. The following two sections provide the same analysis for individual tax evasion. The report concludes with overviews of alternative policy options and a summary of specific legislative proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491146/
The Jurisprudence of Justice John Paul Stevens: Selected Opinions on the Jury's Role in Criminal Sentencing
This report discusses Justice John Paul Stevens' opinions on the Jury's role in criminal sentencing. Justice Stevens has played a critical role in the Supreme Court's interpretation of a jury's role in criminal sentencing. In 2000, he wrote the majority opinion for the Court in Apprendi v. New Jersey, a landmark case in which the Court held that a judge typically may not increase a sentence beyond the range prescribed by statute unless the increase is based on facts determined by a jury "beyond a reasonable doubt." In 2005, he wrote one of two majority opinions in United States v. Booker, in which the Court applied the Apprendi rule to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. In those two cases and in several other cases on this issue during the past few decades, Justice Stevens has been a leading voice, articulating a broad interpretation of the jury trial and due process rights at issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490901/
The Technology Innovation Program
This report discusses the Technology Innovation Program (TIP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) which was established in 2007 to replace the Advanced Technology Program (ATP). TIP was designed "to support, promote, and accelerate innovation in the United States through high-risk, high-reward research in areas of critical national need," according to the authorizing legislation. Grants are provided to small and medium-sized firms for individual projects or joint ventures with other research organizations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491416/
Outer Continental Shelf Moratoria on Oil and Gas Development
This report discusses moratoria measures for the outer continental shelf (OCS) which establish bans or restrictions on oil and gas exploration and development in federal ocean areas. It includes a background of offshore oil and gas development, the sources of U.S. moratorium policy, the background of ocean governance, U.S. moratoria in international areas, and related issues for congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491180/
Environmental Considerations in Federal Procurement: An Overview of the Legal Authorities and Their Implementation
This report discusses issues about the role of environmental considerations in federal procurement. These include: to what extent do agencies consider environmental factors when procuring goods or services? What legal authorities presently require or allow agencies to take environmental factors into account when acquiring goods or services? digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501539/
The "Volcker": Proposals to Limit "Speculative" Proprietary Trading by Banks
This report briefly discusses the permissible proprietary trading activities of commercial banks and their subsidiaries under current law. It then analyzes the Volcker Rule proposals under both the House- and Senate-passed financial reform bills. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491207/
From Solicitor General to Supreme Court Nominee: Responsibilities, History, and the Nomination of Elena Kagan
This report examines both the office of the Solicitor General and the Justices who held that position before their elevation to the Court. After examining the office of the Solicitor General and its success before the Court, the report describes the professional careers of the four Justices who served as Solicitor General before joining the Court: William Howard Taft, Stanley Reed, Robert Jackson, and Thurgood Marshall. The final section of the report examines the career of Elena Kagan, noting in particular her service as Solicitor General. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491400/
Iran Sanctions
This report looks at the purposes and results of U.S. sanctions in Iran, which were initiated as a result of Iran's nuclear program and human rights issues. It ends by discussing future issues that Congress can consider regarding the sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501518/
The "Volcker": Proposals to Limit "Speculative" Proprietary Trading by Banks
This report briefly discusses the permissible proprietary trading activities of commercial banks and their subsidiaries under current law. It then analyzes the Volcker Rule proposals under the House- and Senate-passed financial reform bills and under the Conference Report, which would limit the ability of commercial banking institutions and their affiliated companies and subsidiaries to engage in trading unrelated to customer needs and investing in and sponsoring hedge funds or private equity funds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491215/
The U.S. Postal Service's Financial Condition: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS's) financial condition, recent legislation to alleviate the USPS's financial challenges, and possible issues for the 111th Congress. Since 1971, the USPS has been a self-supporting government agency that covers its operating costs with revenues generated through the sales of postage and related products and services. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491405/
Abortion Services and Military Medical Facilities
The purpose of this report is to describe and discuss the provisions for providing abortion services to military personnel, their dependents and other military health care beneficiaries at military medical facilities. The report describes the history of these provisions, with particular emphasis on legislative actions. Finally, this report discusses a number of proposals to modify the law as well as other related legislative and administrative actions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29489/
Iran Sanctions
This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administrations' economic sanctions against Iran. However, with subsequent negotiations yielding no firm Iranian agreement to compromise regarding their nuclear program, the Administration has focused on achieving the imposition of additional U.N., U.S., and allied country sanctions whose cumulative effect would be to compel it to accept a nuclear bargain. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501907/
International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues
This report provides background on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its investigations in Africa, with an overview of cases currently before the Court. The report also examines issues raised by the ICC's actions in Africa, including the potential deterrence of future abuses and the potential impact on African peace processes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491334/