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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2008
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Federal Railroad Safety Programs: Selected Issues in Proposed Reauthorization Legislation

Federal Railroad Safety Programs: Selected Issues in Proposed Reauthorization Legislation

Date: September 25, 2008
Creator: Peterman, David Randall
Description: This report describes the major issues in the debate over reauthorization of Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in the 110th Congress. It also describes the major provisions of H.R. 2095 as passed by the House and as passed by the Senate.
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Amtrak: Budget and Reauthorization

Amtrak: Budget and Reauthorization

Date: March 14, 2008
Creator: Frittelli, John & Peterman, David Randall
Description: This report discuses Amtrak, which was created by Congress in 1970 to provide intercity passenger railroad service. Without a yearly federal grant to cover operating losses, Amtrak would not survive as presently configured. This issue brief discusses reform proposals from both the Administration and Amtrak in the 109th Congress.
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Public-Private Partnerships in Highway and Transit Infrastructure Provision

Public-Private Partnerships in Highway and Transit Infrastructure Provision

Date: July 9, 2008
Creator: Mallett, William J.
Description: This report begins with a brief discussion of the surface transportation system and its financing needs as background to the debate on public-private partnerships (PPPs). That is followed by sections describing the different types of PPPs, with details of a few prominent examples, and the development of federal legislation with respect to PPPs. The report then discusses the main issues of contention with the construction and longterm leasing of highways by the private sector, particularly as they relate to the funding, planning, and operation of the surface transportation system, before providing some policy options Congress may wish to consider.
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Ocean Piracy and Its Impact on Insurance

Ocean Piracy and Its Impact on Insurance

Date: December 3, 2008
Creator: King, Rawle O.
Description: This report examines the issue of piracy off the coast of East Africa in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. The report looks into the impact of such piracy on the insurance industry and explains the available options for Congress to mitigate piracy's negative effects on the industry.
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Transportation Fuel Taxes: Impacts of a Repeal or Moratorium

Transportation Fuel Taxes: Impacts of a Repeal or Moratorium

Date: May 7, 2008
Creator: Pirog, Robert & Fischer, John W.
Description: The report includes an introduction regarding the increase in crude oil and refined product prices and discusses the proposals to offset effects of higher crude oil prices and the impact on markets and prices.
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The Department of Housing and Urban Development: FY2009 Appropriations

The Department of Housing and Urban Development: FY2009 Appropriations

Date: May 22, 2008
Creator: McCarty, Maggie; Perl, Libby; Foote, Bruce E.; Boyd, Eugene & Gonzales, Oscar R.
Description: This report is a guide to one of the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the Subcommittees on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations. It summarizes the current legislative status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related legislative activity. The report lists the key CRS staff relevant to the issues covered and related CRS products.
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Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD): FY2008 Appropriations

Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD): FY2008 Appropriations

Date: February 14, 2008
Creator: Peterman, David Randall & Frittelli, John
Description: This report discusses the current legislative status of the appropriations bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related legislative activity.
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The Department of Housing and Urban Development: FY2008 Appropriations

The Department of Housing and Urban Development: FY2008 Appropriations

Date: January 16, 2008
Creator: McCarty, Maggie; Perl, Libby; Foote, Bruce E.; Boyd, Eugene & Peterson, Meredith
Description: This report tracks the FY2008 congressional appropriations process and provides a detailed discussion of the funding and issues related to the majority of accounts in HUD’s budget.
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Highway Bridges: Conditions and the Federal/State Role

Highway Bridges: Conditions and the Federal/State Role

Date: July 15, 2008
Creator: Kirk, Robert S. & Mallett, William J.
Description: This report examines the federal and state roles in the maintenance, inspection, reconstruction, and replacement of the nation's highway bridge infrastructure, as well as the emergency response and reconstruction role of the Department of Transportation (DOT). The report first describes what is known about the condition of the nation's bridges and whether the problem of structural deficiency is improving or worsening. It then briefly describes the programmatic and budgetary context, including federal efforts to reduce the number of deficient bridges, and examines highway bridge spending. The report discusses issues Congress is facing face in light of the I-35W bridge collapse and the emergence of questions about the appropriateness and effectiveness of related federal infrastructure policies, programs, and spending. Finally, the report describes a number of legislative initiatives that have been proposed.
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Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress

Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: October 2, 2008
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report discusses how Congress should respond to the Navy's proposed force structure and shipbuilding plans. Decisions that Congress makes on this issue could significantly affect future U.S. military capabilities, Navy funding requirements, and the Navy shipbuilding industrial base.
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Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD): FY2009 Appropriations

Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD): FY2009 Appropriations

Date: June 19, 2008
Creator: Peterman, David Randall & Frittelli, John
Description: This report is a guide to one of the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the Subcommittees on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations. It summarizes the current legislative status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related legislative activity. The report lists the key CRS staff relevant to the issues covered and related CRS products.
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Repairing and Reconstructing Disaster-Damaged Roads and Bridges: The Role of Federal-Aid Highway Assistance

Repairing and Reconstructing Disaster-Damaged Roads and Bridges: The Role of Federal-Aid Highway Assistance

Date: March 31, 2008
Creator: Kirk, Robert S.
Description: This report describes Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) assistance for the repair and reconstruction of disaster damaged highways and bridges or catastrophic failures (such as a bridge collapse). It begins with a brief discussion of the legislative origins of federal assistance and describes the ER program in its current form. The report then discusses eligibility issues and program operation. Finally, the report briefly describes the major findings of a recent Government Accountability Office report on ER.
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Military Airlift: C-17 Program Background

Military Airlift: C-17 Program Background

Date: October 22, 2008
Creator: Bolkcom, Christopher & Knight, William
Description: The C-17 Globemaster III is a long-range cargo aircraft operated by the U.S. Air Force since 1993. To date, Congress has funded 190 C-17s for the Air Force. The C-17 program remains a key issue as Congress evaluates the needs of DOD's strategic airlift force. This paper provides program background for the C-17. For more detailed analysis of current issues regarding the C-17 acquisition, see CRS Report RL34264, Strategic Airlift Modernization: Analysis of C-5 Modernization and C-17 Acquisition Issues.
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Federal Loans to the Auto Industry Under the Energy Independence and Security Act

Federal Loans to the Auto Industry Under the Energy Independence and Security Act

Date: November 13, 2008
Creator: Cooney, Stephen & Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: This report examines various programs considered by Congress, including grants and loans, to help automakers with the increased cost of compliance with higher fuel economy standards.
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Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD): FY2009 Appropriations

Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD): FY2009 Appropriations

Date: September 9, 2008
Creator: Peterman, David R. & Frittelli, John
Description: This report is a guide to one of the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the Subcommittees on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations. It summarizes the current legislative status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related legislative activity. The report lists the key CRS staff relevant to the issues covered and related CRS products.
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Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization: An Overview of Selected Provisions in Proposed Legislation

Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization: An Overview of Selected Provisions in Proposed Legislation

Date: May 9, 2008
Creator: Elias, Bart; Fischer, John W.; Kirk, Robert S.; Luther, Linda; Vincent, Carol Hardy; McCarthy, James E. et al.
Description: This report is intended to provide a brief summary and analysis of major legislative provisions under consideration in the ongoing Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization process. The report is organized into six major program areas: aviation system finance; airport finance; FAA management and organizational issues; system capacity and safety; environmental issues; and miscellaneous programs and provisions. In several cases, provisions that appear in various unrelated sections of proposed legislation have been rearranged in this report in an effort to group and discuss related items in an issue-driven or programmatic context. Since this report is primarily written as a means of communicating key legislative provisions under consideration in the ongoing FAA reauthorization process, it does not go into detail regarding the specific policy issues behind these legislative proposals.
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Navy Nuclear-Powered Surface Ships: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Navy Nuclear-Powered Surface Ships: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Date: May 22, 2008
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report discusses the possibility of increasing the number of Navy surface ships powered by nuclear energy, including the Navy's planned CG(X) cruiser. The overall report has a specific emphasis on the planned CG(X) cruiser, and how the implementation of this cruiser may be delayed by current budget proposals.
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Navy Nuclear-Powered Surface Ships: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Navy Nuclear-Powered Surface Ships: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Date: October 3, 2008
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report discusses the possibility of increasing the number of Navy surface ships powered by nuclear energy, including the Navy's planned CG(X) cruiser. The overall report has a specific emphasis on the planned CG(X) cruiser, and how the implementation of this cruiser may be delayed by current budget proposals.
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Labor-Management Relations and the Federal Aviation Administration: Background and Current Legislative Issues

Labor-Management Relations and the Federal Aviation Administration: Background and Current Legislative Issues

Date: January 8, 2008
Creator: Shimabukuro, Jon O.
Description: This report discusses labor-management relations at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the 2006 implementation of a new labor contract on air traffic controllers. The FAA's ability to implement the new contract with its controllers was arguably supported by a mediation procedure prescribed by federal law. This report provides background information on the mediation procedure, discusses litigation involving the FAA and two labor organizations, and examines legislative attempts to amend the existing system.
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Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress

Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: June 10, 2008
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides background information and presents potential issues for Congress concerning the Navy's ship force-structure goals and shipbuilding plans. Decisions that Congress makes on Navy shipbuilding programs can substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
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DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress

DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress

Date: October 3, 2008
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: The Department of Defense (DOD) in recent years has leased some foreign-built cargo ships for total periods, including options and renewals, of almost 10 years - a length of time that some observers argue effectively circumvents a legal requirement that U.S. military ships be built in U.S. shipyards. These observers, particularly the American Shipbuilding Association (ASA), have proposed reducing the current five-year legal limit on ship leases to two years for foreign-built ships. DOD has opposed the idea, arguing that its ship leases are the most cost-effective way to meet its needs for the ships in question.
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DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress

DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress

Date: October 31, 2008
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: The Department of Defense (DOD) in recent years has leased some foreign-built cargo ships for total periods, including options and renewals, of almost 10 years - a length of time that some observers argue effectively circumvents a legal requirement that U.S. military ships be built in U.S. shipyards. These observers, particularly the American Shipbuilding Association (ASA), have proposed reducing the current five-year legal limit on ship leases to two years for foreign-built ships. DOD has opposed the idea, arguing that its ship leases are the most cost-effective way to meet its needs for the ships in question.
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DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress

DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress

Date: May 22, 2008
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: The Department of Defense (DOD) in recent years has leased some foreign-built cargo ships for total periods, including options and renewals, of almost 10 years - a length of time that some observers argue effectively circumvents a legal requirement that U.S. military ships be built in U.S. shipyards. These observers, particularly the American Shipbuilding Association (ASA), have proposed reducing the current five-year legal limit on ship leases to two years for foreign-built ships. DOD has opposed the idea, arguing that its ship leases are the most cost-effective way to meet its needs for the ships in question.
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Natural Gas Passenger Vehicles: Availability, Cost, and Performance

Natural Gas Passenger Vehicles: Availability, Cost, and Performance

Date: October 20, 2008
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: Higher gasoline prices and concerns over U.S. oil dependence have raised interest in natural gas vehicles (NGVs). Use of NGVs for personal transportation has focused on compressed natural gas (CNG) as an alternative to gasoline. Consumer interest has grown, both for new NGVs as well as for conversions of existing personal vehicles to run on CNG. This report finds that the market for natural gas vehicles will likely remain limited unless the differential between natural gas and gasoline prices remains high in order to offset the higher purchase price for an NGV. Conversions of existing vehicles will also continue to be restricted unless the Clean Air Act (CAA) is amended or if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) makes changes to its enforcement of the CAA.
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