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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Supplemental Security Income (SSI): A Fact Sheet
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, Title XVI of the Social Security Act, was enacted in 1972 and implemented in 1974 to assure a minimum cash income to all aged, blind, or disabled persons. SSI is provided to eligible aged or disabled individuals or couples who have limited income and resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26046/
Social Services Block Grant: (Title XX of the Social Security Act)
The FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 110-161) maintains SSBG funding at $1.7 billion and maintains states' authority to transfer up to 10% of their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grants to the SSBG. The $1.7 billion in regular funds mirrors funding included in both the FY2007 and FY2006 laws, but exceeds the $1.2 billion that the President proposed for FY2008, and most recently, for FY2009. The FY2009 budget also includes a proposal to eliminate the SSBG in FY2010. This report provides SSBG background information and tracks relevant legislation and appropriations measures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26062/
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/
Cooperative Research and Development Agreements
A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) is a mechanism established by P.L. 99-602, the Federal Technology Transfer Act, to allow the transfer of technology, knowledge, and expertise from government laboratories to the private sector for further development and commercialization. The government provides support in the way of overhead for research and development performed in the federal laboratory and is prohibited from providing funding directly to the partner in the collaborative effort. Currently, more than 5,000 CRADAs have been signed. As the 105th Congress determines its approach to science and technology policies, the role of CRADAs continues to be debated within the context of federal support for R&D digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26071/
President Bush's Judicial Nominations During the 101st and 102nd Congresses
There are ten categories of courts (including the local courts of the District of Columbia) to which the President nominates judges. The report provides background and statistics concerning President Bush's judicial nominations in each court category as well as actions taken on those nominations by the United States Senate. Each of the report's ten sections discusses the composition and jurisdiction of the court in question and notes the committee to which nominations to this court were referred when received by the Senate. Also, statistics on judicial nominations received by the Senate during the four years of the Bush Presidency are presented. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26030/
Supreme Court Nominations: Senate Floor Procedure and Practice, 1789-2009
This report discusses Senate procedure relating to Supreme Court nominations from 1789 to the present, but excluding the June 1, 2009 nomination of Sonia Sotomayor. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26232/
Supreme Court Nominations, 1789 - 2009: Actions by the Senate, the Judiciary Committee, and the President
This report explains in detail the process of appointing Supreme Court Justices, both as it stands currently and how it has changed over the last two centuries. The report includes a table that lists and describes actions taken by the Senate, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the President on all Supreme Court nominations, from 1789 to the present. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26231/
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26234/
Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2009
This report summarizes budgetary decisions relating to research and development funding for FY2009, as well as some projected information for FY2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26273/
Emergency Communications: The Future of 911
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26293/
Emergency Communications: The Future of 911
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. Recognizing the importance of providing effective 911 service, Congress has passed three major bills supporting improvements in the handling of 911 emergency calls. This report includes a detailed overview of the 911 system, as well as related legislation and policies currently in consideration by Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26292/
Alert Systems for Missing Adults in Eleven States: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the emerging development of nationwide alert systems to recover missing adults, such as those with mental impairment (such as Alzheimer's disease), developmental disabilities, or suicidal tendencies. This report provides an overview of such alert systems in 11 states: Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, and Virginia. This report also provides a discussion of issues for Congress to consider with respect to the federal role, if any, in developing state alert programs for missing adults. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26150/
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26312/
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/
Employment-Based Health Coverage and Health Reform: Selected Legal Considerations
It is estimated that nearly 170 million individuals have employer-based health coverage. As part of a comprehensive health care reform effort, there has been support (including from the Obama Administration) in enacting comprehensive health insurance reform that retains the employer-based system. This report presents selected legal considerations inherent in amending two of the primary federal laws governing employer-sponsored health care: the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26164/
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 relevant topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332908/
Pesticide Use and Water Quality: Are the Laws Complementary or in Conflict?
This report provides background on the conflict over interpretation and implementation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA). A brief discussion of the two laws is followed by a review of the major litigation of interest. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332950/
Supreme Court Nominations: Senate Floor Procedure and Practice, 1789-2011
This report examines the ways in which the Senate has handled the 160 Supreme Court nominations the President has sent to the Senate. As the purpose of this report is to examine the forms taken by Senate proceedings on these 160 nominations, it treats each nomination as a separate case. It is not couched in terms of the smaller number of different individuals nominated or the ultimate outcome the confirmation process may have had for each individual. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33052/
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 relevant topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc333007/
Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and “DREAM Act” Legislation
This report looks at the background and history of recent "DREAM Act"s, which address the status of unauthorized alien students. It pays special attention to the June 15, 2012 announcement that come individuals who were brought into the U.S. as children and meet other requirements would be eligible for deferred action for two years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94097/
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Legislation in the 110th Congress
This report reviews the status of energy efficiency and renewable energy legislation introduced during the 110th Congress. Most action in the second session is focused on the FY2009 budget request and legislation that would extend or modify selected renewable energy and energy efficiency tax incentives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94090/
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/metadc94247/
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/metadc94248/
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program
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, discusses possible budgetary modifications to the SAFER Act that are being considered due to the recent economic downturn, and explores related issues for the 112th Congress as they consider reauthorization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40203/
Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues
This report reviews past and proposed treatment of hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Water Drinking Act, the principal federal statute for regulating the underground injection of fluids to protect groundwater sources of drinking water. It reviews current provisions for regulating underground injection activities, and discusses some possible implications of, and issues associated with, enactment of legislation authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate hydraulic fracturing under this statute. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97999/
State and Local Economic Sanctions: Constitutional Issues
This report considers the Constitutionality of states and localities enacting their own sanctions on foreign countries, particularly Iran and Sudan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96771/
Pesticide Use and Water Quality: Are the Laws Complementary or in Conflict?
This report provides background on the conflict over interpretation and implementation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act. A brief discussion of the two laws is followed by a review of the major litigation of interest. EPA's efforts to clarify its policy in this area and the November 2006 rule and the 2009 federal court ruling are discussed, as well as possible options for EPA and Congress to further address the FIFRA-CWA issues. In June, EPA proposed a draft general CWA permit that it intends to finalize by April 2011 in response to the court ruling. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29658/
Role of Home State Senators in the Selection of Lower Federal Court Judges
This report examines the role played by Senators in the selection of nominees to two kinds of lower federal court judgeships. Specifically, the judgeships in question, over which Senators have historically played a role in nominee selection, are those (1) in the U.S. district courts lying geographically within the Senators' states and (2) in the U.S. court of appeals circuits of which the Senators' states are a geographic part. This report also discusses several historical and ethical aspects related to Senators recommending judicial candidates. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29707/
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/metadc40276/
The Technology Innovation Program
The Technology Innovation Program (TIP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was established in 2007 to replace the Advanced Technology Program (ATP). This effort is designed "to support, promote, and accelerate innovation in the United States through highrisk, 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/metadc40275/
Maritime Security: Potential Terrorist Attacks and Protection Priorities
This report outlines the key dimensions of maritime terrorism and how these dimensions may characterize specific attacks in the global maritime domain. The report illustrates credible maritime attack scenarios based on actual past attacks or potential attacks developed for maritime security exercises or other U.S. counter terrorism activities. It discusses the challenge to maritime security planners of facing a virtually unlimited number of potential attack scenarios and how certain federal programs address this challenge. It also reviews various perspectives on the overall likelihood of maritime terror attacks on the United States. Finally the report discusses implications for homeland security policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462262/
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/metadc462256/
Proposed Funding for Education in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
This report provides a brief overview of the key provisions related to education programs that are or would be administered by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) that were included in the act under Title IX (Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education) and Title XII (State Fiscal Stabilization Fund). It also provides estimates of state grants for programs for which these estimates are relevant and for which data needed to produce the estimates are available. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462251/
The Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and Its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape
The report discusses the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and related congressional actions in the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463416/
Follow-On Biologics: Intellectual Property and Innovation Issues
This report reviews doctrinal and policy issues pertaining to follow-on biologics. The report first introduces the application of federal food and drug legislation to follow-on biologics. It next turns to the patent implications of marketing follow-on biologics. Following this review of substantive law, the remainder of the report introduces innovation policy issues pertaining to follow-on biologics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462669/
Energy Policy: 113th Congress Issues
This report discusses various aspects and considerations regarding energy policy in the United States. The report covers topics including energy conservation, efficiency, supply, prices and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462673/
Governmental Drug Testing Programs: Legal and Constitutional Developments
This report examines the current state of constitutional law on the subject of governmentally mandated drug testing in employment and of students in the public schools, which is followed by a brief review of federal drug-free workplace programs presently in effect. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462600/
Suits Against Terrorist States by Victims of Terrorism
This report provides background on the doctrine of State immunity and the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA); details the evolution of the terrorist State exception and some of the resulting judicial decisions; describes legislative efforts to help claimants satisfy their judgments; summarizes the decision in the hostages' suit against Iran and Congress's efforts to intervene; summarizes what has happened with Iraq's assets, and provides an overview of proposed legislation digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462018/
The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment
This report covers the recent background of the Exon-Florio provision with special regards to issues faced in the 112th Congress. The Exon-Florio provision grants the President the authority to block proposed or pending foreign acquisitions of "persons engaged in interstate commerce in the United States" that threaten to impair the national security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462289/
Water Infrastructure Projects Designated in EPA Appropriations: Trends and Policy Implications
This report discusses appropriations for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water infrastructure programs, focusing on congressional special project designations in the account that funds these programs. While some Members of Congress, interest groups, and Administration officials are critical of these types of congressional actions, there is little indication that the practice will cease. Information on the programmatic history of EPA involvement in assisting wastewater treatment and drinking water projects also is provided in two appendixes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462257/
U.S. Sanctions on Burma: Issues for the 113th Congress
This report provides a brief history of U.S. policy towards Burma and the development of U.S. sanctions, a topical summary of those sanctions, and an overview of actions taken to waive or ease those sanctions by the Obama Administration. The report concludes with a discussion of actions taken by the 112th Congress and options for the 113th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463486/
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 relevant topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463291/
International Drug Control Policy
This report provides an overview of U.S. international drug control policy. It describes major international counternarcotics initiatives and evaluates the broad array of U.S. drug control policy tools currently in use. The report also considers alternative counterdrug policy approaches to international drug control initiatives and raises several counterdrug policy issues and considerations for policy makers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462668/
The Constitutionality of Campaign Finance Regulation: Buckley v. Valeo and Its Supreme Court Progeny
This report first discusses the key holdings enunciated by the Supreme Court in Buckley, including those upholding reasonable contribution limits, striking down expenditure limits, upholding disclosure reporting requirements, and upholding the system of voluntary presidential election expenditure limitations linked with public financing. It then examines the Court's extension of Buckley in several subsequent cases, evaluating them in various regulatory contexts: contribution limits, expenditure limits, disclosure requirements, and political party soft money and electioneering communication restrictions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461924/
Comparison of Rights in Military Commission Trials and Trials in Federal Criminal Court
This report provides a brief summary of legal issues raised by the choice of forum for trying accused terrorists and a chart comparing selected military commissions rules under the Military Commissions Act, as amended, to the corresponding rules that apply in federal court. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462797/
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Legislation in the 110th Congress
This report summarizes action on more than 360 energy efficiency and renewable energy bills introduced during the 110th Congress.1 These bills cover a wide range of policy and issue areas that include appropriations, authorizations, budget, research and development (R&D), grants, loans, financing, regulation (including a renewable fuel standard), tax incentives, goals, plans, impacts, and the environment/climate change.2 Most of these bills have focused on grants and tax incentives. The bills also cover a range of sectors and topics that include buildings, defense, education, federal lands and energy management, farms, American Indians, and international activities. Thus far, the sector of international activities has generated the greatest number of bills. For each bill listed in this report, a brief description and a summary of action are given, including references to committee hearings and reports. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462721/
Federal Liability for Flood Damage Related to Army Corps of Engineers Projects
This report examines selected issues of the federal government's liability depending on the theory of the levee failures, and analyzes legal defenses available to the federal government. The report uses flood damage related to Hurricane Katrina as an illustration of these legal issues regarding federal liability, but the general principles in the analysis would apply to flood damage resulting from any such flood control project. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463127/
Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP): Status and Issues
This report presents an overview of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), a voluntary program that provides technical and financial assistance to eligible agricultural producers who wish to implement soil and water conservation practices. The purpose of EQIP is to promote agriculture production, forestry management, and environmental quality as compatible goals, and to optimize environmental benefits. The report also discusses select issues for Congress regarding tighter budget constraints that could potentially reduce funding levels for EQIP and a continuing backlog of unfunded applications. A change in income limitations along with a new waiver created in the 2008 farm bill could also raise issues for the program. EQIP will also continue to face challenges in measuring environmental and program accomplishments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463216/
The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program
This report discusses the Special Inspector General provisions in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, H.R. 1424, which was enacted as P.L. 110-343 on October 3, 2008. This Act created a Special Inspector General (SIG) for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). This report will compare the duties and authorities of the SIG TARP to those of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), as well as statutory IGs under the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended (IG Act). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463346/
Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2014
This report provides government-wide, multi-agency, and individual agency analyses of the President's FY2014 request as it relates to R&D and related activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463348/