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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Emergency Relief for Disaster-Damaged Roads and Transit Systems: In Brief

Emergency Relief for Disaster-Damaged Roads and Transit Systems: In Brief

Date: June 27, 2016
Creator: Kirk, Robert S.
Description: This report describes Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) assistance for the repair and reconstruction of highways and bridges damaged by disasters (such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012) or catastrophic failures (such as the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge in Washington State in 2013). It begins with a brief discussion of the legislative origins of federal assistance, and then addresses eligibility issues and program operation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Mileage-Based Road User Charges

Mileage-Based Road User Charges

Date: June 22, 2016
Creator: Kirk, Robert S. & Levinson, Marc
Description: This report examines mileage-based user charges as an possible source of highway funding. Federal highway and public transportation programs are funded mainly by taxes on motor fuel that flow into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). The tax rates, set on a per-gallon basis, have not been raised since 1993, and motor fuel tax receipts have been insufficient to support the transportation programs authorized by Congress since FY2008.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: May 27, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). These 91 planned cutters are intended as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard cutters and patrol craft. The Coast Guard's proposed FY2017 budget requests a total of $467 million in acquisition funding for the three programs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: May 27, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet. The Coast Guard's proposed FY2017 budget requests $150 million in acquisition funding for a new polar icebreaker that the Coast Guard wants to begin building in FY2020. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Administration's FY2017 acquisition funding request for a new polar icebreaker, and, more generally, whether to approve, reject, or modify the Coast Guard's overall plan for sustaining and modernizing the polar icebreaking fleet.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: May 27, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Ohio replacement program (ORP), a program to design and build a new class of 12 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to replace the Navy's current force of 14 Ohio-class SSBNs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
DOT's Federal Pipeline Safety Program: Background and Key Issues for Congress

DOT's Federal Pipeline Safety Program: Background and Key Issues for Congress

Date: May 20, 2016
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Description: This report reviews the history of federal programs for pipeline safety, significant safety issues, and recent developments focusing on key issues for Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Earthquake Risk and U.S. Highway Infrastructure: Frequently Asked Questions

Earthquake Risk and U.S. Highway Infrastructure: Frequently Asked Questions

Date: May 19, 2016
Creator: Mallett, William J.; Carter, Nicole T. & Folger, Peter
Description: This report addresses a number of frequently asked questions about earthquake risk and highway system components, especially bridges. Earthquakes and related events, such as soil liquefaction, landslides, tsunamis, flooding, and fires, pose risks to highway infrastructure. Concerns about the U.S. highway system's seismic vulnerability stem from interest in protecting public safety, facilitating response and recovery efforts, and minimizing economic loss and social disruption.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Transportation Security: Issues for the 114th Congress

Transportation Security: Issues for the 114th Congress

Date: May 9, 2016
Creator: Elias, Bart; Peterman, David R. & Frittelli, John
Description: This report examines aviation, transit and passenger rail security, as well as port and maritime security. The difficulty and cost of protecting the transportation sector from attack raises a core question for policymakers, i.e., how much effort and resources to put toward protecting potential targets versus pursuing and fighting terrorists.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: April 15, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). Congress's decisions on these three programs could substantially affect Coast Guard capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: April 15, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: April 5, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Ohio replacement program (ORP), a program to design and build a new class of 12 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to replace the Navy's current force of 14 Ohio-class SSBNs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas and Crude Oil: Federal and State Regulatory Authority

Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas and Crude Oil: Federal and State Regulatory Authority

Date: March 28, 2016
Creator: Murrill, Brandon J.
Description: This report discusses the relationship between federal and state authority over siting and safety of crude oil and natural gas transmission and gathering pipelines and related facilities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: March 21, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet. Congress's decisions on this issue could affect Coast Guard funding requirements, the Coast Guard's ability to perform its polar missions, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Transportation Spending Under an Earmark Ban

Transportation Spending Under an Earmark Ban

Date: March 17, 2016
Creator: Kirk, Robert S.; Mallett, William J. & Peterman, David R.
Description: This report explains what earmarks are and discusses their use in surface transportation finance. It then discusses how federal transportation funding is distributed with a ban in place and how Members of Congress might influence the distribution.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cars, Trucks, and Climate: EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases from Mobile Sources

Cars, Trucks, and Climate: EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases from Mobile Sources

Date: March 16, 2016
Creator: McCarthy, James E. & Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: This report focuses on EPA's completed and potential actions to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from mobile sources, relying on the authorities in Title II of the Clean Air Act (CAA). We begin with a brief discussion of the petitions and court action that led to EPA's regulatory decisions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: March 8, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Ohio replacement program (ORP), a program to design and build a new class of 12 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to replace the Navy's current force of 14 Ohio-class SSBNs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Army's Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV): Background and Issues for Congress

The Army's Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV): Background and Issues for Congress

Date: February 24, 2016
Creator: Feickert, Andrew
Description: This report provides background information on the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV), which is the Army's proposed replacement to the Vietnam-era M-113 personnel carriers.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Volkswagen, Defeat Devices, and the Clean Air Act: Frequently Asked Questions

Volkswagen, Defeat Devices, and the Clean Air Act: Frequently Asked Questions

Date: February 10, 2016
Creator: Canis, Bill; Lattanzio, Richard K.; Vann, Adam & Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: This report provides answers to a series of frequently asked questions focusing on a description of modern diesel technologies, their market and emissions profiles, and some potential reasons that could underlie the use of defeat devices. It summarizes the specific allegations filed against VW under the Clean Air Act, the current status of federal and state investigations, and the potential civil and criminal penalties. Further, the report introduces several outstanding issues currently under debate regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) resources and activities, and issues surrounding VW's defeat device.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Freight Policy: In Brief

Federal Freight Policy: In Brief

Date: February 5, 2016
Creator: Frittelli, John
Description: This report discusses the federal role in freight system planning. The U.S. freight system is a complex network including four principal modes of transportation: The National Truck Network, railroads, barge and ship lines, and air carriers.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: January 27, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Coast Guard's funding requests and acquisition strategies for the NSC, OPC, and FRC programs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Unmanned Aircraft Operations in Domestic Airspace: U.S. Policy Perspectives and the Regulatory Landscape

Unmanned Aircraft Operations in Domestic Airspace: U.S. Policy Perspectives and the Regulatory Landscape

Date: January 27, 2016
Creator: Elias, Bart
Description: This report discusses the uses and potential risks of Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), which are often referred to as "drones." In the future, it is anticipated that some UAS will share airspace, and potentially share facilities like airports and helipads, with manned aircraft. Technological innovations, as well as standardized procedures operators must follow, will be needed for full integration.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iran-U.S. Air Service Not Imminent

Iran-U.S. Air Service Not Imminent

Date: January 21, 2016
Creator: Tang, Rachel Y.
Description: This report discusses the prospect of air travel between Iran and the U.S., which last operated during 1979, when the U.S. government imposed an embargo on flights following the Iran hostage crisis. Since then, travel and air cargo shipments between the two countries have been routed through third countries, and their extent has been limited by U.S. sanctions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: January 15, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet. Coast Guard polar icebreakers perform a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Administration's plans for sustaining and modernizing the polar icebreaking fleet.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Public Transportation Program: In Brief

Federal Public Transportation Program: In Brief

Date: December 28, 2015
Creator: Mallett, William J.
Description: This report provides an introduction to the public transportation program administered by the Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA). This program was authorized in FY2016 through FY2020 by the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (P.L. 114-94). The focus of the federal program is still on the capital side, but the program has evolved to support operational expenses in some circumstances, as well as safety oversight, planning, and research.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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