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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
High Performance Computers and Export Control Policy: Issues for Congress
Congress has a strong interest in export control policy with regard to technologies that may have both commercial and military applications outside of the United States. Through its constitutionally delegated authority to regulate foreign commerce, Congress has the authority to control exports for national security or foreign policy purposes. This report examines congressional interest in the exportation of High Performance Computers, which are either single computing machines (usually called supercomputers) or a cluster of easily available, high-end workstations or personal computers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8353/
United States v. Santos: "Proceeds" in Federal Criminal Money Laundering Statute, 18 U.S.C. Section 1956, Means "Profits," Not "Gross Receipts"
On June 2, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court, in United States v. Santos (No. 96-1005), vacated convictions of the operator of an illegal lottery and one of his runners who had been charged with conducting financial transactions involving the "proceeds" of an illegal lottery and one of his runners who had been charged with conducting financial transactions involving the "proceeds" of an illegal gaming business. The ruling is that "proceeds," as used in this money laundering statute, means "profits" rather than "gross receipts" of the underlying unlawful activity. This report analyzes this decision, the factors contributing to the decision, the principles upon which the decision was based, and the possible future effects of the ruling. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10756/
WTO Decisions and Their Effect in U.S. Law
Congress has comprehensively dealt with the legal effect of World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements and dispute settlement results in the United States in the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), P.L. 103-465, which provides that domestic law prevails over conflicting provisions of WTO agreements and prohibits private remedies based on alleged violations of these agreements. This report analyzes the URAA in detail and outlines various WTO decisions and their effect on U.S. trade law and policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10641/
The Alternative Minimum Tax for Individuals: Legislative Activity in the 110th Congress
The alternative minimum tax (AMT) for individuals was originally enacted to ensure that all taxpayers, especially high-income taxpayers, pay at least a minimum amount of federal taxes. However, the AMT is not indexed for inflation, and this factor, combined with recent reductions in the regular income tax, has greatly expanded the potential impact of the AMT. This report explains legislation for the FY2009 budget compromise, which includes an offset AMT patch. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10764/
Iraq: Oil-for-Food Program
This report discusses the “oil-for-food” program which represents a longstanding U.N. Security Council effort to alleviate human suffering in Iraq while maintaining pressure on the Iraqi government to comply with all relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8299/
Iraq: Oil-for-Food Program, Illicit Trade, and Investigations
This report discusses issues with the “oil-for-food” program (OFFP), which was the centerpiece of a long-standing U.N. Security Council effort to alleviate human suffering in Iraq while maintaining key elements of the 1991 Gulf war-related sanctions regime. The program terminated following the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the assumption of sovereignty by an interim Iraqi government on June 28, 2004, and the lifting of Saddam-era U.N. sanctions. However, since the fall of the regime, there have been new allegations of mismanagement and abuse of the program, including allegations that Saddam Hussein’s regime manipulated the program to influence U.N. officials, contractors, and politicians and businessmen in numerous countries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8313/
Clean Water Act: Legislation Concerning Discharges from Recreational Boats
The Environmental Protection Agency is attempting to develop a regulatory response to a 2006 federal court ruling that vacated a long-standing rule that exempts discharges associated with the normal operation of vessels from permit requirements of the Clean Water Act. Concern that this ruling could require millions of recreational boaters to obtain permits has led to the introduction of legislation to exempt these and other types of vessels from water quality regulation. This report discusses background to the issue; bills introduced in response, two of which were passed by Congress on July 22; and draft permits proposed by EPA on June 17. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10738/
Clean Water Act: Legislation Concerning Discharges from Recreational Boats
The Environmental Protection Agency is attempting to develop a regulatory response to a 2006 federal court ruling that vacated a long-standing rule that exempts discharges associated with the normal operation of vessels from permit requirements of the Clean Water Act. Concern that this ruling could require millions of recreational boaters to obtain permits has led to the introduction of legislation to exempt these and other types of vessels from water quality regulation. This report discusses background to the issue; bills introduced in response, two of which were passed by Congress on July 22; and draft permits proposed by EPA on June 17. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10739/
Burma: Economic Sanctions
On October 19, 2007, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13449. This followed a September 25, 2007 statement by President Bush that sanctions against Burma, which have been in place since 1997, would be tightened to specifically target leading Burmese officials and impose additional financial and travel sanctions. This report provides background information on existing economic sanctions against Burma and possible options to expand sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10716/
Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues
When civil unrest, violence, or natural disasters erupt in spots around the world, concerns arise over the safety of nationals from these troubled places who are in the United States. Provisions exist in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to offer temporary protected status (TPS) or relief from removal under specified circumstances. The United States currently provides TPS to nationals from seven countries: Burundi, El Salvador, Honduras, Liberia, Nicaragua, Somalia, and Sudan. Under the INA, the executive branch grants TPS. Congress, however, has also granted TPS legislatively, and legislation pertaining to TPS has received action in the 110th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10563/
The Higher Education Act: Reauthorization Status and Issues
This report provides an overview of postsecondary education (institutions and students), an overview of the Higher Education Act (HEA) with a focus on its most significant programs and provisions, and a discussion of major issues that have been, or may be, of interest to the Congress during the HEA reauthorization process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5738/
The Higher Education Act: Reauthorization Status and Issues
This report provides an overview of postsecondary education (institutions and students), an overview of the Higher Education Act (HEA) with a focus on its most significant programs and provisions, and a discussion of major issues that have been, or may be, of interest to the Congress during the HEA reauthorization process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2165/
Journalists' Privilege: Overview of the Law and Legislation in the 109th and 110th Congresses
This report discusses the journalists' privilege, provides and overview of the law, describes the Grand Jury Subpoena related to the Judith Miller case, and gives an overview of the congressional response in the 109th and 110th Congresses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770524/
The Social Security Number: Legal Developments Affecting Its Collection, Disclosure, and Confidentiality
This report provides a comprehensive list of federal developments affecting use of social security numbers (SSNs), from 1935 to the present. This list includes federal statutes regulating the collection and disclosure of SSNs, as well as specific authorizations for the use of SSNs, confidentiality provisions, and criminal provisions relating to SSN misuse. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770568/
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: An Overview of the Statutory Framework and U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review Decisions
This report discusses the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, and other related amendments that were included in the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770540/
The Controlled Substances Act: Regulatory Requirements
This report highlights certain non-criminal regulatory requirements of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The CSA and its implementing regulations establish a framework through which the federal government regulates the use of controlled substances for legitimate medical, scientific, research, and industrial purposes, and prevents these substances from being diverted for illegal purposes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770587/
Public-Private Partnership for a Public Safety Network: Governance and Policy
This report summarizes salient points of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) actions regarding the creation of a public-private partnership to build and manage a national communications network for public safety use. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743576/
Water Infrastructure Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
This report identifies funding for water infrastructure programs and projects contained in the legislation, including amounts in the House- and Senate-passed versions that preceded the conference agreement. Among the purposes identified in the legislation are preservation and creation of jobs and promotion of U.S. economic recovery, and investment in transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743532/
Energy Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5)
This report discusses the energy appropriations in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, P.L. 111-5). It includes background information, a summary of provisions, and detailed explanations of the relevant appropriations and tax provisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743508/
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: Comparison of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3773 and the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3773
This report provides an overview and review of legislative activity related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). It also includes a detailed side-by-side comparison of the proposals to address FISA concerns: Senate Amendment to H.R. 3773 and the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3773. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743350/
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Issues in the 111th Congress
This report discusses many federal laws and regulations regarding fish and marine mammals that are important resources in open ocean and nearshore coastal areas. These laws and regulations guide their management as well as the management of their habitat. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743584/
Phantom Traffic" -- Problems Billing for the Termination of Telephone Calls: Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of "phantom traffic" -- i.e., telephone calls for which a carrier is unable to obtain appropriate compensation. The report discusses the causes of phantom traffic, phantom traffic and rural companies, issues, and related proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743361/
The FY2007 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Policy Issues
This report examines a number of issues being considered by Congress as the FY2007 National Defense Authorization Act evolves. In each case, a brief synopsis is provided that includes background information, a comparison of the House and Senate provisions, if any, and a brief discussion of the issue. Where appropriate, other CRS products are identified to provide more detailed background information and analysis of the issue. For each issue, a CRS analyst is identified and contact information is provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9491/
The FY2007 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Policy Issues
This report examines a number of issues being considered by Congress as the FY2007 National Defense Authorization Act evolves. In each case, a brief synopsis is provided that includes background information, a comparison of the House and Senate provisions, if any, and a brief discussion of the issue. Where appropriate, other CRS products are identified to provide more detailed background information and analysis of the issue. For each issue, a CRS analyst is identified and contact information is provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9490/
Foreign Students in the United States: Policies and Legislation
This report examines various issues pertaining to foreign students in the United States. Since the Immigration Act of 1924, the United States has expressly permitted foreign students to study in U.S. institutions. Most foreign students are at least 18 years old and are enrolled in higher education programs. Foreign students are generally considered to enrich cultural diversity of the educational experience for U.S. residents as well as enhance the reputation of U.S. universities as world-class institutions. Concerns have arisen in recent years that have caused Congress to take a new look at the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provisions that govern their admission. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9954/
Foreign Students in the United States: Policies and Legislation
This report examines various issues pertaining to foreign students in the United States. Since the Immigration Act of 1924, the United States has expressly permitted foreign students to study in U.S. institutions. Most foreign students are at least 18 years old and are enrolled in higher education programs. Foreign students are generally considered to enrich cultural diversity of the educational experience for U.S. residents as well as enhance the reputation of U.S. universities as world-class institutions. Concerns have arisen in recent years that have caused Congress to take a new look at the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provisions that govern their admission. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9926/
The Higher Education Act: Reauthorization Status and Issues
This report provides the following: an overview of postsecondary education (institutions and students), an overview of the Higher Education Act (HEA) with a focus on its most significant programs and provisions, and a discussion of major issues likely to be of interest to the Congress during the HEA reauthorization process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2166/
The Higher Education Act: Reauthorization Status and Issues
This report provides the following: an overview of postsecondary education (institutions and students), an overview of the Higher Education Act (HEA) with a focus on its most significant programs and provisions, and a discussion of major issues likely to be of interest to the Congress during the HEA reauthorization process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2164/
The Higher Education Act: Reauthorization Status and Issues
This report provides the following: an overview of postsecondary education (institutions and students), an overview of the Higher Education Act (HEA) with a focus on its most significant programs and provisions, and a discussion of major issues likely to be of interest to the Congress during the HEA reauthorization process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2167/
Guantanamo Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court
This report provides an overview of the Combatant Status Review Tribunal procedures, summarizes court cases related to the detentions and the use of military commissions, and summarizes the Graham Amendment and analyzes how it might affect detainee-related litigation in federal court. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8224/
H.R. 853, The Comprehensive Budget Process Reform Act: Summary of Provisions
This report discusses the Comprehensive Budget Process Reform Act of 1999, was introduced by Representative Jim Nussle on February 25, 1999, and referred to the Committee on the Budget. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs874/
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions
This report describes provisions of the LOS Convention relating to living marine resources and discusses how these provisions comport with current U.S. marine policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795561/
Reauthorization of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC): Opportunity to Reexamine the Congressionally Mandated Antitrust Exemption for Ocean Liner Carriers?
The focus of this report is on the commercial aspects of the U.S. liner trade. The report discusses the historical rationale for shipping conferences and legislative history of U.S. shipping law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795525/
Campaign Financing: Highlights and Chronology of Current Federal Law
This report summarizes major provisions of federal law and offers a chronology of key legislative and judicial actions which govern financial activity of federal election campaigns. The laws are based on two principal statutes: the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971, as amended in 1974, 1976, 1979, and 2002, and the Revenue Act of 1971. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795510/
FY2016 Agriculture and Related Agencies Appropriations: In Brief
This report discusses the Agriculture appropriations bill, which funds the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), except for the Forest Service, as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and, in even-numbered fiscal years, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795673/
Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendment
This report gives a brief history of the flag protection issue, from the enactment of the Flag Protection Act in 1968 through current consideration of a constitutional amendment. A second part briefly summarizes the two decisions of the United States Supreme Court -- Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman -- that struck down the state and federal flag protection statutes as applied in the context punishing expressive conduct. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795684/
The Vessel Incidental Discharge Act: Background and Issues
This report discusses the combination of regulations and standards for controlling vessel discharges, which is at issue today and is addressed in legislation in the 114th Congress, the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795810/
The International Labor Organization (ILO): Background in Brief
This report discusses the International Labor Organization (ILO), and describes the ILO's mission, structure, and functions; presents case studies on how the ILO offers assistance to countries in promoting worker rights; and identifies issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795394/
Public-Private Partnership for a Public Safety Network: Governance and Policy
This report summarizes salient points of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) actions regarding the creation of a public-private partnership to build and manage a national communications network for public safety use. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795381/
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Rural Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009
This report analyzes the agriculture, nutrition, and rural provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, P.L. 111-5). The ARRA boosts government spending on various infrastructure programs and government benefits programs, and offers individual and business tax benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795420/
Campaign Financing: Highlights and Chronology of Current Federal Law
This report summarizes major provisions of federal law and offers a chronology of key legislative and judicial actions which govern financial activity of federal election campaigns. The laws are based on two principal statutes: the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971, as amended in 1974, 1976, 1979, and 2002, and the Revenue Act of 1971. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795451/
Obama Administration Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline Permit Request: Could Congress Nevertheless Approve It?
This legal sidebar discusses the rejection by Obama administration of TransCanada's application for the Keystone XL pipeline. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795448/
Energy Tax Policy: Issues in the 114th Congress
This report begins by providing background on the economic rationale for energy market interventions, highlighting various market failures. After identifying possible market failures in the production and consumption of energy, possible interventions are discussed. The report concludes with an analysis of the current status of energy tax policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795491/
Clean Water Act: A Summary of the Law
This report presents a summary of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, or Clean Water Act, describing the essence of the statute without discussing its implementation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795915/
Climate Change: Federal Laws and Policies Related to Greenhouse Gas Reductions
This report provides background on the evolution of U.S. climate change policy, from ratification of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to the George W. Bush Administration's 2001 rejection of the Kyoto Protocol to the present. The report focuses on major regulatory programs that monitor or reduce greenhouse gas emissions, along with their estimated effect on emissions levels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795746/
Pharmaceutical Patent Litigation Settlements: Implications for Competition and Innovation
This report introduces and analyzes innovation policy issues concerning pharmaceutical patent litigation settlements, including pharmaceutical patent litigation procedures under the Hatch-Waxman Act, the concept of reverse payment settlements, the status of reverse payment settlements under the antitrust laws, and congressional issues and alternatives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795761/
The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program: An Overview
This report provides an overview of the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, administered by the Department of Justice (DOJ), which provides financial assistance to eligible police departments to help improve community policing efforts. It includes a brief discussion of the establishment of the program, guidelines and requirements for grantees, and a summary of various Department of Justice initiatives under the COPS program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795785/
EPA Policies Concerning Integrated Planning and Affordability of Water Infrastructure
This report examines recent initiatives by EPA, an integrated planning policy and a framework policy for assessing a community's financial capability to meet objectives and requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795712/
The Obama Administration's Announced Immigration Initiative: A Primer
This report discusses the immigration initiative announced by Obama administration that could enable a substantial portion of the unlawfully-present alien population to obtain temporary relief from removal and work authorization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795778/
Climate Change and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS): Kyoto and Beyond
This report discusses the development in global warming as a global issue. Topics include issues that have arisen regarding the ETS and considerations for cap-and-trade. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795714/