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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
General Motors' Initial Public Offering: Review of Issues and Implications for TARP

General Motors' Initial Public Offering: Review of Issues and Implications for TARP

Date: November 10, 2010
Creator: Canis, Bill; Webel, Baird & Shorter, Gary
Description: This report analyzes the progress General Motors Company has made since it was created from the sale of the bankrupt Old GM in July 2009 and the major issues related to its anticipated 2010 initial public offering (IPO).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress

DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress

Date: September 28, 2010
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. This report briefly discusses this issue, as well as related legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Date: September 29, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: Coast Guard polar icebreakers perform a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. The Coast Guard's two heavy polar icebreakers - Polar Star and Polar Sea - have exceeded their intended 30-year service lives. Following a decision to design and build one or more new polar icebreakers, the first replacement polar icebreaker might enter service in eight to 10 years, by which time Polar Star and Polar Sea could be more than 40 years old. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify Coast Guard plans for modernizing its polar icebreakers. Congressional decisions on this issue could affect the Coast Guard's ability to perform its polar missions, Coast Guard funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
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Accelerated Vehicle Retirement Programs in Japan and South Korea: Background for Congress

Accelerated Vehicle Retirement Programs in Japan and South Korea: Background for Congress

Date: October 26, 2010
Creator: Canis, Bill; Grimmett, Jeanne J.; Platzer, Michaela D. & Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: This report discusses the accelerated vehicle retirement (AVR) programs initiated in 2009 by the United States, Japan, South Korea, and other industrial nations (commonly known in the U.S. as the "cash for clunkers" program). The U.S. program began in June 2009, when President Obama signed the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) Act. The report discusses how these various AVR programs affected the automobile industries in the U.S., Japan, and South Korea, specifically. Neither Japan nor South Korea imports large numbers of foreign vehicles, a circumstance not much altered by AVR program implementation.
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Surface Transportation Funding and Finance

Surface Transportation Funding and Finance

Date: November 10, 2010
Creator: Fischer, John W; Kirk, Robert S. & Mallett, William J.
Description: This report discusses changes in funding to the national surface transportation infrastructure, especially in light of the recession that began in 2007, which led to decreases in driving and fuel use. This report focuses on possible revenue sources for surface transportation infrastructure. It begins with a brief discussion of the problems associated with the trust fund financing system and then explores possible immediate and longer-term solutions to the financing problem.
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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: September 29, 2010
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 report explores a 2006 Navy study that discusses budget considerations, the cost of a nuclear-powered ship compared to a ship powered by crude oil, and other suggestions relating to this proposed expansion. 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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Surface Transportation Funding and Finance

Surface Transportation Funding and Finance

Date: November 10, 2010
Creator: Fischer, John W.; Kirk, Robert S. & Mallett, William J.
Description: This report discusses changes in funding to the national surface transportation infrastructure, especially in light of the recession that began in 2007, which led to decreases in driving and fuel use. This report focuses on possible revenue sources for surface transportation infrastructure. It begins with a brief discussion of the problems associated with the trust fund financing system and then explores possible immediate and longer-term solutions to the financing problem.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Navy SSBN(X) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Navy SSBN(X) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: October 28, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: 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.
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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: September 28, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: 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 issue for Congress that is discussed in this report is how to 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Piracy: A Legal Definition

Piracy: A Legal Definition

Date: October 19, 2010
Creator: Mason, R. Chuck
Description: Pirate attacks in the waters off the Horn of Africa, including those on U.S.-flagged vessels, have brought continued U.S. and international attention to the long-standing problem of piracy in the region. A recent development in one of the piracy trials in Norfolk, VA, has highlighted a potential limitation in the definition of piracy under the United States Code. This report first examines the historical development of the offense of piracy, as defined by Congress and codified in the United States Code. The focus then turns to how contemporary international agreements define piracy. Finally, the report highlights a recent federal district court ruling that the offense of piracy under 18 U.S.C. ยง 1651 requires a robbery at sea.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Navy LPD-17 Amphibious Ship Procurement: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Navy LPD-17 Amphibious Ship Procurement: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Date: October 15, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: 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.
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Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: September 28, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: The Navy has been procuring Virginia (SSN-774) class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) at a rate of one per year for the past several years, and a total of 12 boats have been procured through FY2010. The Navy's proposed FY2011 budget increases the procurement rate to two boats per year. This report discusses the Navy's proposed FY2011 budget, which requests $3,441.5 million in procurement funding to complete the procurement cost of the 13th and 14th Virginia-class boats.
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Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Date: September 10, 2007
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried and punished according to the laws on the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under some limited circumstances. The federal exceptions to the general rule usually involve crimes like drug trafficking, terrorism, or crimes committed aboard a ship or airplane. State prosecution for overseas misconduct is limited almost exclusively to multijurisdictional crimes, i.e., crimes where some elements of the offense are committed within the state and others are committed abroad. The Constitution, Congress, and state law define the circumstances under which American criminal law may be used against crimes occurring, in whole or in part, outside the United States
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Federal Role in Rail Transit Safety

The Federal Role in Rail Transit Safety

Date: July 6, 2009
Creator: Peterman, David Randall & Mallett, William J.
Description: On June 22, 2009, two transit trains in Washington, DC, collided, resulting in nine deaths and dozens of injuries. It was the worst crash in the history of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's rail transit system. This crash has raised questions about the safety of rail transit and the government's role in ensuring that safety. Nationwide, rail transit is considered one of the safest modes of transportation. This report discusses the State Safety Oversight Program, which went into effect in 1997 and mandates that states are responsible for the safety of the rail transit systems within their borders. This report also explores several issues that Federal Transit Administration (FTA) representatives have discussed in regards to improving the Safety Oversight Program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Navy Nuclear-Powered Surface Ships: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

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

Date: May 29, 2009
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 report explores a 2006 Navy study that discusses budget considerations, the cost of a nuclear-powered ship compared to a ship powered by crude oil, and other suggestions relating to this proposed expansion. 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress

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

Date: July 15, 2009
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: Concerns about the Navy's prospective ability to afford its long-range shipbuilding plan, combined with year-to-year changes in Navy shipbuilding plans and significant cost growth and other problems in building certain new Navy ships, have led to strong concerns among some Members about the status of Navy shipbuilding and the potential future size and capabilities of the fleet. The issue for Congress that is discussed in this report is how to 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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Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress

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

Date: June 2, 2009
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: The issue for Congress that is discussed in this report is how to 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Piracy off the Horn of Africa

Piracy off the Horn of Africa

Date: April 24, 2009
Creator: Ploch, Lauren; Blanchard, Christopher M.; O'Rourke, Ronald; Mason, R. Chuck & King, Rawle O.
Description: This report discusses recent (2008-2009) 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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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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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department