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 Country: United States
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Privacy: An Overview of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping
Report that provides an overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Topics include the prohibition and penalties of wiretapping and eavesdropping, legal instances of both, and penalties for violations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227619/
Votes on Measures to Adjust the Statutory Debt Limit, 1978 to Present
This report provides roll call vote data identified by the Congressional Research Service for measures to adjust the statutory debt limit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc267830/
Impeachment: An Overview of Constitutional Provisions, Procedure, and Practice
This report focuses on the American impeachment process, which places in the legislative branch the authority to remove the President, Vice President, and other federal civil officers in the executive and judicial branches upon a determination that such officers have engaged in treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. This report summarizes impeachment proceedings in the 111th Congress, examines relevant constitutional provisions, and provides a brief historical overview. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31311/
Votes on Measures to Adjust the Statutory Debt Limit, 1978 to Present
This report provides roll call vote data identified by the Congressional Research Service for measures to adjust the statutory debt limit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40157/
Insourcing Functions Performed by Federal Contractors: An Overview of the Legal Issues
Recent Congresses and the Obama Administration have taken numerous actions to promote "insourcing," or the use of government personnel to perform functions that contractors previously performed on behalf of federal agencies. Among other things, the 109th through the 111th Congresses enacted several statutes requiring the development of policies and guidelines to ensure that agencies "consider" using government employees to perform functions previously performed by contractors, as well as any new function. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40153/
State and Local Government Debt: An Analysis
This report first provides a broad overview of state and local government finances and how these governments incorporate borrowing into their budgets. The second section reports data on state and local government debt and how that debt has changed over time. This section includes a comparative analysis of these debt parameters for each state. The third section discusses different economic perspectives on the use of debt by governments and if governments are intrinsically biased toward borrowing more than is considered economically optimal. The discussion provides background for Congress as it deliberates potential changes in the oversight of the primary and secondary markets for state and local government debt. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40128/
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding
Report that looks at the purpose and background of Community Services Block Grants (CSBG), which provide federal funds to states, territories, and tribes for distribution to local agencies to support a wide range of community-based activities to reduce poverty. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228012/
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding
This report looks at the purpose and background of Community Services Block Grants (CSBG), which provide federal funds to states, territories, and tribes for distribution to local agencies to support a wide range of community-based activities to reduce poverty. CSBG was last reauthorized in 1998, although and related programs have been funded by Congressional approval since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272092/
National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: A Glimpse at the Legal Background
This report reprints the text of the five National Security Letter (NSL) statutes as they now appear and as they appeared prior to amendment by the USA PATRIOT Act (to which form they would be returned under S.1125 and H.R. 1805). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272096/
Community Services Block Grants (CSBG): Background and Funding
This report looks at the purpose and background of Community Services Block Grants (CSBG), which provide federal funds to states, territories, and tribes for distribution to local agencies to support a wide range of community-based activities to reduce poverty. It includes program data, funding activity for fiscal years 2013 and 2014, and proposals for FY2015. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306551/
No-Fly Zones: Strategic, Operational, and Legal Considerations for Congress
The ongoing uprising in Libya against the government of Muammar al Qadhafi has been the subject of ongoing domestic and international debate about potential international military intervention, including the proposed establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya. This report discusses several related issues for Congress surrounding the strategy, international authorization, congressional authorization, operations, and costs of establishing and maintaining no-fly zones. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33028/
No-Fly Zones: Strategic, Operational, and Legal Considerations for Congress
This report discusses the establishment of no-fly zones and several related issues for Congress surrounding the strategy, including international authorization, congressional authorization, operations, and costs of establishing and maintaining no-fly zones. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97997/
Impeachment: An Overview of Constitutional Provisions, Procedure, and Practice
On June 19, 2009, the House voted to impeach U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The impeachment process provides a mechanism for removal of the President, Vice President, and other federal civil officers found to have engaged in "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." This report explains the impeachment process, including its history and the process itself. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29531/
Impeachment: An Overview of Constitutional Provisions, Procedure, and Practice
On June 19, 2009, the House voted to impeach U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The impeachment process provides a mechanism for removal of the President, Vice President, and other federal civil officers found to have engaged in "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." This report explains the impeachment process, including its history and the process itself. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29530/
Lobbying Registration and Disclosure: The Role of the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate
Report that describes the role of clerk of the house and secretary of the senate. It discusses lobbying disclosure guidance document and semi-annual report of certain contributions digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228069/
Kuwait: Security, Reform, and U.S. Policy
This report looks at Kuwait's relationships with its neighbors in the Persian Gulf, and its own political system which has been in turmoil since 2006. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc267795/
Nepal: Political Developments and Bilateral Relations with the United States
This report discusses the socio-economic and political situation in Nepal. The report talks about the government, politics, and regional tensions in Nepal, human rights concerns as well the Nepal's relations with the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40239/
Rwanda: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses the current political conditions of Rwanda, including a brief historical overview. The report also includes information about the poor human rights conditions in Rwanda and U.S. Rwanda relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40067/
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
The issue of Iran and its nuclear program has emerged as a top priority for the Obama Administration. The United States also sees a threat to U.S. interests posed by Iran's support for militant groups in the Middle East and in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tensions have been particularly elevated since Iran's late-December 2011 threat to try to choke off much of the world's oil supplies -a reaction to the imposition of significant sanctions against Iran's vital exports of oil. The heightened tensions follow three years in which the Obama Administration has assembled a broad international coalition to pressure Iran through economic sanctions while also offering sustained engagement with Iran if it verifiably assures the international community that its nuclear program is peaceful. The Administration uses indicators such as Iran's economic deterioration and its willingness to engage in new talks as evidence that policy is starting to work and should be given more time before any consideration of U.S. or other country military options. The Administration also perceives that the legitimacy and popularity of Iran's regime is in decline, although not to the point where the regime's grip on power is threatened. Over the past two years, the United States has increased public criticism of Iran's human rights record, an effort broadly supported in the international community. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84038/
The European Union: Questions and Answers
This report provides a brief overview of the European Union (EU), an economic and political partnership between 27 sovereign member states. The report describes the formation of the EU, the three main institutions of the EU, and the EU's relationship with the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40251/
Turkey: Situation Update
This report briefly discusses recent political, economic, and security issues in Turkey, especially relating to Turkey's relationship with Greece, the European Union, and the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29522/
Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
Report that covers concerns and issues relating to governance, elections, election fraud/nepotism, human rights, and Afghan culture in Afghanistan. It discusses the pros and cons of U.S.A. intervention in the shaping of these endeavors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227959/
Political Transition in Tunisia
Report that discusses Tunisia's pro-democracy movement; concerns over potential instability in a previously secure, pro-Western area; and U.S.-Tunisian relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228118/
Oman: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy
Report that describes the relationship between the United States and the Sultanate of Oman, especially with respect to Oman's support of U.S. efforts toward peace in the Middle East, the U.S. free trade agreement with Oman, and Oman's relatively close relations with Iran, the last of which seems incongruous with the other positive aspects of Oman's relationship with the U.S. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228113/
Thailand: Background and U.S. Relations
This report looks at the relationship between the U.S. and Thailand, in particular, recent rivalries between populist political forces, nepotism in government, and Thai relationships with neighboring countries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272091/
Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the current state of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its relationship with the United States, and future initiatives to further develop U.S.-Saudi relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282287/
Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests
This report discusses the current political and economic conditions in Russia, focusing on the impact of Vladimir Putin's leadership and the leadership of his successor/protégé, Dmitriy Medvedev, both of which have steered Russia away from progress toward democratization. The report also discusses the state of the economy since the Soviet collapse in 1999, how the recent global economic downturn has affected Russia, the state of Russia's military, and the current relationship between Russia and the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284457/
The European Union: Questions and Answers
This report provides a brief overview of the European Union (EU), an economic and political partnership between 27 sovereign member states. The report describes the formation of the EU, the three main institutions of the EU, and the EU's relationship with the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276924/
Panama: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the current political and economic conditions in the country of Panama, which has made notable political and economic progress since the 1989 U.S. military intervention that ousted the regime of General Manuel Noriega from power. The United States has close relations with Panama, stemming in large part from the extensive linkages developed when the canal was under U.S. control. This report describes the U.S.-Panama relationship at length, including trade relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40180/
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
Report that discusses the effects of economic sanctions against Iran, support to the Iranian democracy movement, opposition against Iranian human rights violations, and Iranian support for Syrian human rights violations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227982/
Moldova: Background and U.S. Policy
Report that provides information and analysis on Moldova, including its political and economic situation, foreign policy, and on U.S. policy toward Moldova. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228132/
The Jackson-Vanik Amendment and Candidate Countries for WTO Accession: Issues for Congress
Russia, Kazakhstan, and a number of other former communist states are still subject to the provisions of Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, including section 402 (the Jackson-Vanik amendment). The Jackson-Vanik Amendment denies country eligibility for normal trade relations (NTR) status as long as the country denies its citizens the right of freedom of emigration. The 112th Congress could face the question of whether to enact legislation to repeal the application of Title IV to all of these countries, thereby authorizing permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status to fulfill the unconditional most-favored-nation (MFN) obligation under the World Trade Organization (WTO), or to exercise other options. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31492/
Congressional Oversight of Intelligence: Current Structure and Alternatives
This report, to be updated as events dictate, describes the current select committees on intelligence; characteristics and a model for a possible joint committee; recent actions by Congress; and obstacles affecting legislative oversight in the field. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84042/
Expedited Rescission Bills in the 111th and 112th Congresses: Comparisons and Issues
Expedited rescission bills focus on procedural changes in Congress and typically contain a detailed schedule to ensure immediate introduction of a measure to approve the President's rescission request, prompt reporting by committee or automatic discharge, special limits on floor amendments and debate, and so on. Under expedited rescission, congressional approval is still necessary to rescind the funding, but the fast-track procedures may help to encourage an up-or down vote on the President's proposal. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40104/
Drones in Domestic Surveillance Operations: Fourth Amendment Implications and Legislative Responses
This report first explores the potential uses of drones in the domestic sphere by federal, state, and local governments. It then surveys current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, including cases surrounding privacy in the home, privacy in public spaces, location tracking, manned aerial surveillance, and those involving the national border. Next, it considers how existing jurisprudence may inform current and proposed drone uses. It then describes the various legislative measures introduced in the 112th Congress to address the legal and policy issues surrounding drones and, finally, briefly identifies several alternative approaches that may constrain the potential scope of drone surveillance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122251/
U.S.-Vietnam Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the U.S.-Vietnamese cooperation on nuclear energy and nonproliferation that has grown in recent years along with closer bilateral economic, military, and diplomatic ties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306494/
Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan and the Afghan government. It also discusses Afghanistan's relationship with the United States, particularly U.S. efforts to urge President Hamid Karzai to address corruption within the Afghan government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287918/
U.S.-Vietnam Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the U.S.-Vietnamese cooperation on nuclear energy and nonproliferation that has grown in recent years along with closer bilateral economic, military, and diplomatic ties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284505/
Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress
This report looks at Japan-U.S. relations since WWII. The report focuses on some problems which can be addressed by Congress, including the earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan in March 2011, the Futenma Marine Air Station in Okinawa, bilateral trade, and economic issues resulting from the recent credit crisis and related economic recession. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99095/
Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress
Report that looks at Japan-U.S. relations since WWII. The report focuses on some problems which can be addressed by Congress, including the earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan in March, 2011, the Futenma Marine Air Station in Okinawa, bilateral trade, and economic issues resulting from the recent credit crisis and related economic recession. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228025/
Syria's Chemical Weapons: Issues for Congress
Report that provides a brief history of the chemical and biological weapons program in Syria and current chemical weapons program. It discusses the Syrian policy issues, and the security of chemical weapons in Syria. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227840/
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation and Security Issues
Report that discusses Pakistan's efforts to produce fissile material and other issues related to nuclear proliferation and improving its nuclear arsenal. It also discusses the steps Pakistan has taken to increase international confidence in its nuclear security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228065/
Latin America and the Caribbean: Key Issues for the 113th Congress
This report provides an overview of U.S. policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean, including the Obama Administration's priorities; examines changes in the region's economic and political environment that affect U.S. relations with the region; and analyzes U.S. policy toward the region and various recommendations made by policy analysts and think tanks. The report then examines the role of Congress and congressional interests in Latin America, looking at selected regional and country issues, including key issues that the 113th Congress is facing. Appendices provide U.S.-Latin America trade statistics and a listing of hearings focused on Latin America. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282313/
Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights
This report discusses the state of Iraqi politics, governance, and human rights. Topics include the worsening relations between local Sunni and Shiite populations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc267882/
Israel: Possible Military Strike Against Iran's Nuclear Facilities
Several published reports indicate that top Israeli decision makers now are seriously considering whether to order a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, and if so, when. This report analyzes key factors that may influence current Israeli political decisions relating to a possible strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. For Congress, the potential impact-short- and long-term-of an Israeli decision regarding Iran and its implementation is a critical issue of concern. By all accounts, such an attack could have considerable regional and global security, political, and economic repercussions, not least for the United States, Israel, and their bilateral relationship. This report has many aspects that are the subject of vigorous debate and remain fully or partially outside public knowledge. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84024/
Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, focusing particularly on the influence of the Taliban and other militant groups and on the leadership of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. This report also discusses the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship, in both the short and long term, and U.S. efforts under the Obama Administration to provide military, reconstructive, and stabilization aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272080/
Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, focusing particularly on the influence of the Taliban and other militant groups, and on the leadership of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. This report also discusses the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship, in both the short and long term, and U.S. efforts under the Obama Administration to provide military, reconstructive, and stabilization aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276871/
Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report discusses the history and political background of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia since their breakaway from the former Soviet Union at the end of 1991. It looks at key issues for the 112th Congress including economies, energy, regional politics, local crime, and terrorism. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc267885/