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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Development of High Speed Rail in the United States: Issues and Recent Events
This report looks at the different ways to construct a high speed rail (HSR) in the U.S., including estimates of construction costs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93945/
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD): FY2013 Appropriations
This report looks at Congress's FY2013 budget allocations for the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) appropriations subcommittee. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93942/
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and oversight issues for Congress on the Virginia class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program. The two Virginia-class boats requested for procurement in FY2013 are the final two in a group of eight covered by a multiyear procurement (MYP) arrangement for the period FY2009-FY2013. Issues for Congress include whether or not to approve the MYP arrangement request, whether to restore procurement of a second Virginia-class boat in FY2014, and the Virginia-class procurement rate in general. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93982/
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and oversight issues for Congress on the Virginia class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program. The two Virginia-class boats requested for procurement in FY2013 are the final two in a group of eight covered by a multiyear procurement (MYP) arrangement for the period FY2009-FY2013. Issues for Congress include whether or not to approve the MYP arrangement request, whether to restore procurement of a second Virginia-class boat in FY2014, and the Virginia-class procurement rate in general. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93981/
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and oversight issues for Congress on the Virginia class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program. The two Virginia-class boats requested for procurement in FY2013 are the final two in a group of eight covered by a multiyear procurement (MYP) arrangement for the period FY2009-FY2013. Issues for Congress include whether or not to approve the MYP arrangement request, whether to restore procurement of a second Virginia-class boat in FY2014, and the Virginia-class procurement rate in general. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93983/
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report looks at the cost of funding the Coast Guard's program of record's (POR) call for procuring eight National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard cutters and patrol craft. It also addresses issues for maintenance, future acquisition, and definitions of the types of cutters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93935/
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report looks at the cost of funding the Coast Guard's program of record's (POR) call for procuring eight National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard cutters and patrol craft. It also addresses issues for maintenance, future acquisition, and definitions of the types of cutters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93936/
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization: An Overview of Legislative Action in the 112th Congress
This report looks at issues faced by the 112th Congress in regards to reauthorization of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs. The House has passed a bill which would authorize programs through FY2014, while the Senate's bill would only last until FY2011. The Senate's bill also proposes an increase in jet fuel tax for general aviation and a new jet fuel surcharge for fractionally owned air crafts. The report covers key issues that need to be addressed for reconciliation between the two bills. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93870/
Cars, Trucks, and Climate: EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases from Mobile Sources
As Congress and the Administration considered new legislation to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change over the last year and a half (a process that has now stalled), the Environmental Protection Agency simultaneously began to exercise its existing authority under the Clean Air Act to set standards for GHG emissions. The Administration has made clear that its preference would be for Congress to address the climate issue through new legislation. Nevertheless, it is moving forward on several fronts to define how the Clean Air Act will be used and to promulgate regulations. This report covers the steps that the Administration is taking on this topic. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93816/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
This report is written in response to the Coast Guard's budget request for a new polar ice breaker, of which the Coast Guard currently has none in operation. Polar icebreakers perform a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. Issues for Congress include what to do with decommissioned ice breakers, the impact of having no ice breakers, how to budget for new ice breakers, and how future ice breakers should be obtained. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94137/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94136/
Repairing and Reconstructing Disaster-Damaged Roads and Bridges: The Role of Federal-Aid Highway Assistance
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94215/
Navy LPD-17 Amphibious Ship Procurement: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
The Navy's FY2011-FY2015 shipbuilding plan calls for procuring an 11th and final San Antonio (LPD-17) class amphibious ship in FY2012. This report discusses the procurement cost estimates of this ship, as well as related issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94145/
F-35 Alternate Engine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
On December 2, 2011, General Electric and Rolls-Royce announced that they were ending development of the F136 alternate engine for the F-35, ending what had been a contentious and long-running battle of funding versus research and development. This report discusses issues of having only one engine supplier for the F-35, as well as funding issues for the program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87152/
Iran's Threat to the Strait of Hormuz
Some officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran have recently renewed threats to close or exercise control over the Strait of Hormuz. This report explains Iranian threats to the Strait of Hormuz, and analyzes the implications of some scenarios for potential U.S. or international conflict with Iran, which include: outright closure of the Strait, harassment and/or infrastructure damage, and continued threat. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87201/
Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress
Alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles are seen by proponents as integral to improving urban air quality, decreasing dependence on foreign oil, and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. However, major barriers—especially economics—currently prevent the widespread use of these fuels and technologies. The 112th Congress has debated alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles directly and as it has addressed other key topics. On June 16, 2011 the Senate approved S.Amdt. 476 which would have eliminated the excise tax credit for blending ethanol in gasoline before its December 31, 2011 expiration date. Although the underlying legislation failed a cloture vote in the Senate, the amendment was approved 73-27. The prospects for further action increasing or extending biofuels and alternative fuels tax incentives may be limited in light of that vote. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87129/
Keeping America's Pipelines Safe and Secure: Key Issues for Congress
Nearly half a million miles of pipeline transporting natural gas, oil, and other hazardous liquids crisscross the United States. While an efficient and fundamentally safe means of transport, many pipelines carry materials with the potential to cause public injury and environmental damage. The nation's pipeline networks are also widespread and vulnerable to accidents and terrorist attack. As it oversees the federal pipeline safety program and the federal role in pipeline security, Congress may wish to assess how the various elements of U.S. pipeline safety and security fit together in the nation's overall strategy to protect transportation infrastructure. Pipeline safety and security necessarily involve many groups: federal agencies, oil and gas pipeline associations, large and small pipeline operators, and local communities. Reviewing how these groups work together to achieve common goals could be an oversight challenge for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87161/
Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Technology Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs
This report gives an overview of the federal incentives support the development and deployment of alternatives to conventional fuels and engines in transportation including tax deductions and credits for vehicle purchases and the installation of refueling systems; federal grants for conversion of older vehicles to newer technologies; mandates for the use of biofuels; and incentives for manufacturers to produce alternative fuel vehicles. It also addresses how these incentives relate to goals of reducing petroleum consumption and import dependence, improving environmental quality, expanding domestic manufacturing, and promoting agriculture and rural development. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87244/
Keeping America's Pipelines Safe and Secure: Key Issues for Congress
Nearly half a million miles of pipeline transporting natural gas, oil, and other hazardous liquids crisscross the United States. While an efficient and fundamentally safe means of transport, many pipelines carry materials with the potential to cause public injury and environmental damage. The nation's pipeline networks are also widespread and vulnerable to accidents and terrorist attack. As it oversees the federal pipeline safety program and the federal role in pipeline security, Congress may wish to assess how the various elements of U.S. pipeline safety and security fit together in the nation's overall strategy to protect transportation infrastructure. Pipeline safety and security necessarily involve many groups: federal agencies, oil and gas pipeline associations, large and small pipeline operators, and local communities. Reviewing how these groups work together to achieve common goals could be an oversight challenge for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86570/
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
The planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy's shipbuilding plans have been matters of concern for the congressional defense committees for the past several years. This report looks at the cost of the Navy's 30-year shipbuilding plan in relation to FY2013. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85451/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
The Coast Guard's proposed FY2013 budget includes $8 million in acquisition funding to initiate survey and design activities for a new polar icebreaker. The Coast Guard's Five Year Capital Investment Plan includes an additional $852 million in FY2014-FY2017 for acquiring the ship. The Coast Guard anticipates awarding a construction contract for the ship "within the next five years" and taking delivery on the ship "within a decade." The project to design and build a polar icebreaker is a new acquisition project initiated in the FY2013 budget. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85474/
Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and Issues For Congress
This brief discusses the major issues for Congress which include whether to increase inland waterway funding in the future (and by what amount); the appropriate type of revenue stream (e.g., fuel taxes or lockage fees) for the user-required portion of these projects; division of the cost-share responsibilities between the federal government and commercial users (e.g., 50/50 or some other division); and whether to initiate process-based recommendations that some argue will improve the delivery and efficiency of Corps-led IWTF projects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85386/
Recreation on Federal Lands
The growing and diverse nature of recreation on federal lands has increased the challenge of balancing recreation with other land uses, and balancing different types of recreation. Motorized recreation has been particularly controversial, with issues centering on access and environmental impacts. The 109th Congress may consider legislation and conduct oversight on issues involving recreation on federal lands, including traditional recreational pursuits and newer forms of motorized recreation. Other federal land recreation issues of possible interest include recreational uses within the National Wildlife Refuge System, recreation at federal water, recreation fees, and Grand Canyon Colorado River management. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85370/
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
The planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy's shipbuilding plans have been matters of concern for the congressional defense committees for the past several years. The Navy's proposed FY2012 budget requested funding for the procurement of 10 new battle force ships. Issues for Congress include the appropriate future size and structure of the Navy in light of changes in strategic and budget circumstances, the sufficiency of the Navy's FY2012 30-year shipbuilding plan for achieving and maintaining the Navy's 313-ship goal, and the affordability of the FY2012 30-year shipbuilding plan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84045/
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and oversight issues for Congress on the Virginia class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program. The two Virginia-class boats requested for procurement in FY2013 are the final two in a group of eight covered by a multiyear procurement (MYP) arrangement for the period FY2009-FY2013. Issues for Congress include whether or not to approve the MYP arrangement request, whether to restore procurement of a second Virginia-class boat in FY2014, and the Virginia-class procurement rate in general. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84041/
Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline: Legal Issues
This report reviews those legal issues. First, it suggests that legislation related to cross-border facility permitting is unlikely to raise significant constitutional questions, despite the fact that such permits have traditionally been handled by the executive branch alone pursuant to its constitutional "foreign affairs" authority. Next, it observes generally that state oversight of pipeline siting decisions does not appear to violate existing federal law or the Constitution. Finally, the report suggests that State Department's implementation of the existing authority to issue presidential permits appears to allow for judicial review of its National Environmental Policy Act determinations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84012/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84085/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84084/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84083/
F-35 Alternate Engine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the past four years of administration proposals to terminate the program to develop the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 engine as an alternative to the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine that currently powers the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). These proposals have been continually rejected by Congress. The Obama Administration's FY2011 budget submission against proposes to terminate the program. This report explores both sides of the termination argument. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83940/
Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law
Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried, and punished according to the laws of the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under certain limited circumstances. A surprising number of federal criminal statutes have extraterritorial application, but prosecutions have been few. This may be because when extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction does exist, practical and legal complications, and sometimes diplomatic considerations, may counsel against its exercise. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83803/
U.S. Motor Vehicle Industry: Federal Financial Assistance and Restructuring
This report looks at TARP and federal government assistance to General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford Motors. In particular, the history of these transactions and how they were affecte by Congress, Senate, President Bush, and President Obama. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83892/
Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Navy's plan to develop and design a class of 12 next-generation ballistic missile submarines, or SSBN(X)s, as replacements for the 14 Ohio class SSBNs currently in operation. The report explores certain related issues for Congress, including the affordability of the project and its potential impact on other Navy shipbuilding programs, alternatives to the program, and which shipyard or shipyards will build the proposed ships. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83939/
Recreation on Federal Lands
The growing and diverse nature of recreation on federal lands has increased the challenge of balancing recreation with other land uses, and balancing different types of recreation. Motorized recreation has been particularly controversial, with issues centering on access and environmental impacts. The 109th Congress may consider legislation and conduct oversight on issues involving recreation on federal lands, including traditional recreational pursuits and newer forms of motorized recreation. Other federal land recreation issues of possible interest include recreational uses within the National Wildlife Refuge System, recreation at federal water, recreation fees, and Grand Canyon Colorado River management. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83877/
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and oversight issues for Congress on the Virginiaclass nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program. The Navy's proposed FY2012 budget requests procurement funding for the 15th and 16th Virginia-class boats, and advance procurement (AP) funding for Virginia-class boats to be procured in future years. Decisions that Congress makes on procurement of Virginia-class boats could substantially affect U.S. Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40192/
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and presents potential issues for Congress concerning the Navy's ship force-structure goals and shipbuilding plans. The planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy's shipbuilding plans have been matters of concern for the congressional defense committees for the past several years. Decisions that Congress makes on Navy shipbuilding programs can substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40198/
Status of Mexican Trucks in the United States: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers frequently asked questions regarding the current plan to permit Mexican trucks into the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40163/
Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and Issues For Congress
This brief discusses the major issues for Congress which include whether to increase inland waterway funding in the future (and by what amount); the appropriate type of revenue stream (e.g., fuel taxes or lockage fees) for the user-required portion of these projects; division of the cost-share responsibilities between the federal government and commercial users (e.g., 50/50 or some other division); and whether to initiate process-based recommendations that some argue will improve the delivery and efficiency of Corps-led IWTF projects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40107/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40231/
Navy LPD-17 Amphibious Ship Procurement: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
The Navy's FY2011-FY2015 shipbuilding plan calls for procuring an 11th and final San Antonio (LPD-17) class amphibious ship in FY2012. This report discusses the procurement cost estimates of this ship, as well as related issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40234/
F-35 Alternate Engine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the past four years of administration proposals to terminate the program to develop the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 engine as an alternative to the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine that currently powers the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). These proposals have been continually rejected by Congress. The Obama Administration's FY2011 budget submission against proposes to terminate the program. This report explores both sides of the termination argument. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40091/
Navy SSBN(X) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Navy's plan to develop and design a class of 12 next-generation ballistic missile submarines, or SSBN(X)s, as replacements for the 14 Ohio class SSBNs currently in operation. The report explores certain related issues for Congress, including the affordability of the project and its potential impact on other Navy shipbuilding programs, alternatives to the program, and which shipyard or shipyards will build the proposed ships. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40090/
Piracy off the Horn of Africa
This report discusses recent (2010) pirate attacks on vessels, including United States vessels, in the waters off the Horn of Africa. The Horn of Africa is sometimes called the Somali Peninsula and includes the nations of Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somalia. This report explores reasons behind the increased number of pirate attacks in recent years, as well as what efforts are being taken to combat said attacks, including those by the 111th Congress and President Obama and his Administration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40075/
Federalism Issues in Surface Transportation Policy: Past and Present
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40072/
Navy LPD-17 Amphibious Ship Procurement: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
The Navy's FY2011-FY2015 shipbuilding plan calls for procuring an 11th and final San Antonio (LPD-17) class amphibious ship in FY2012. This report discusses the procurement cost estimates of this ship, as well as related issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33070/
Navy SSBN(X) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Navy's plan to develop and design a class of 12 next-generation ballistic missile submarines, or SSBN(X)s, as replacements for the 14 Ohio class SSBNs currently in operation. The report explores certain related issues for Congress, including the affordability of the project and its potential impact on other Navy shipbuilding programs, alternatives to the program, and which shipyard or shipyards will build the proposed ships. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33014/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33068/
Screening and Securing Air Cargo: Background and Issues for Congress
The October 2010 discovery of two explosive devices being prepared for loading on U.S.-bound all-cargo aircraft overseas has heightened concerns over the potential use of air cargo shipments to bomb passenger and all-cargo aircraft. This incident renewed congressional interest in air cargo security. This report discusses a number of policy issues that may arise regarding air cargo security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31389/
The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA): Overview of Workers' Compensation for Certain Private- Sector Maritime Workers
This report discusses the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), a federal workers' compensation program that covers certain private-sector maritime workers. More than $980 million in LHWCA benefits are paid each year. The LHWCA is administered by the Department of Labor (DOL) and all benefit costs are paid by employers and their insurance carriers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31386/
F-35 Alternate Engine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the past four years of administration proposals to terminate the program to develop the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 engine as an alternative to the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine that currently powers the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). These proposals have been continually rejected by Congress. The Obama Administration's FY2011 budget submission against proposes to terminate the program. This report explores both sides of the termination argument. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31353/