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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) Status for Russia and U.S.-Russian Economic Ties

Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) Status for Russia and U.S.-Russian Economic Ties

Date: December 22, 2010
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Description: This report discusses the issues surrounding whether or not the U.S. should grant Russia permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) following its accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO). The change in Russia's trade status will require legislation to lift the restrictions of Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974 as they apply to Russia, which includes the "freedom-of-emigration" requirements of the Jackson-Vanik amendment.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Issues in the 111th Congress

Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Issues in the 111th Congress

Date: December 24, 2010
Creator: Buck, Eugene H. & Upton, Harold F.
Description: This report discusses federal laws and regulations regarding fish and marine mammals that are important resources in open ocean and nearshore coastal areas. These lows and regulations guide their management as well as the management of their habitat.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cybercrime: An Overview of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute and Related Federal Criminal Laws

Cybercrime: An Overview of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute and Related Federal Criminal Laws

Date: December 27, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: The federal computer fraud and abuse statute, 18 U.S.C. 1030, outlaws conduct that victimizes computer systems. It is a cyber security law. It protects federal computers, bank computers, and computers connected to the Internet. It shields them from trespassing, threats, damage, espionage, and from being corruptly used as instruments of fraud. It is not a comprehensive provision, but instead it fills cracks and gaps in the protection afforded by other federal criminal laws. This is a brief sketch of Section 1030 and some of its federal statutory companions, including the amendments found in the Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act.
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The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments

The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments

Date: December 28, 2010
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: 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.
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Legislative Approaches to Defining "Waters of the United States"

Legislative Approaches to Defining "Waters of the United States"

Date: December 29, 2010
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: 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.
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Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Background, Legislation, and Funding

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Background, Legislation, and Funding

Date: January 4, 2011
Creator: James, Nathan
Description: This report discusses the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, which 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Employees' Retirement System: Benefits and Financing

Federal Employees' Retirement System: Benefits and Financing

Date: January 5, 2011
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: Most civilian federal employees who were hired before 1984 are covered by the Civil Service Retirement System, and contribute 7.0% of their pay to a retirement fund. Federal employees hired in 1984 or later are covered by the Federal Employees' Retirement System and contribute 0.8% of their pay to a retirement fund. Both require participants to contribute toward the cost of their pensions through a payroll tax. The taxable wage base is $106,800 in 2011. This report discusses both retirement funds.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federalism Issues in Surface Transportation Policy: Past and Present

Federalism Issues in Surface Transportation Policy: Past and Present

Date: January 5, 2011
Creator: Dilger, Robert Jay
Description: This report provides an historical perspective on contemporary federalism issues in surface transportation policy that are likely to be addressed by Congress during the 112th Congress, including possible devolution of programmatic responsibility to states and proposals to change state maintenance-of-effort requirements and state cost matching requirements.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress

Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress

Date: January 6, 2011
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi & Gorte, Ross W.
Description: This report discusses the use of biomass as an energy feedstock, which is emerging as a potentially viable alternative to address U.S. energy security concerns, foreign oil dependence, rural economic development, and diminishing sources of conventional energy. Biomass (organic matter that can be converted into energy) may include food crops, crops for energy (e.g., switchgrass or prairie perennials), crop residues, wood waste and byproducts, and animal manure. This report discusses legislation regarding biomass, the evolving definition of biomass, and the positions of supporters and detractors of biomass as an alternative energy source.
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Federal Employees' Retirement System: Summary of Recent Trends

Federal Employees' Retirement System: Summary of Recent Trends

Date: January 11, 2011
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Description: This report describes recent trends in the number of civil service annuitants and the financial status of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department