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 Country: United States
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Role of Offsets in a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cap-and-Trade Program: Potential Benefits and Concerns
This report discusses offsets in relation to a greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade program. The first section of this report provides an overview of offsets by discussing different types of offset projects and describing how the offsets would likely be used in an emission reduction program. The next section discusses the supply of offsets that might be available in an emission trading program. The subsequent sections examine the potential offset benefits and the potential concerns associated with offsets. The final section offers considerations for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462242/
An Overview of the Tax Provisions in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012
This report provides an overview of the tax provisions (Titles I-IV and Title X of P.L. 112-240) included in the "fiscal cliff deal," including the permanent extension and modification of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, often referred to collectively as the "Bush-era tax cuts"; the temporary extension of certain tax provisions originally included as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA; P.L. 111-5), often referred to as the "2009 tax cuts"; the permanent extension of the alternative minimum tax (AMT) patch; the temporary extension of a variety of other temporary expiring provisions for individuals, businesses, and energy often referred to as "tax extenders" and the expansion of in-plan conversions of traditional employer-sponsored retirement accounts (like 401(k) plans) to employer-sponsored Roth accounts (like Roth 401(k) plans). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462208/
Peacekeeping and Stabilization Missions Abroad: The Development of Civilian Capabilities, 2004-2011
This report provides background on the origins and development of Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS) and related capabilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462283/
U.S.-Funded Assistance Programs in China
This report provides legislative and policy background concerning U.S. assistance programs in the People's Republic of China (PRC). The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) does not have an official presence in China. The majority of congressional foreign operations appropriations for the PRC promotes the rule of law, civil society, and political development in the country. These programs constitute a key component of U.S. efforts to promote democratic change in the PRC. Other related U.S. activities include participation in official bilateral dialogues on human rights, public diplomacy programs, and open criticism of PRC policies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462278/
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report presents the means through which the total debt of the federal government can increase, gives a historical overview of debt limits, and discusses how the current economic slowdown has led to higher deficits and thereby a series of debt limit increases, as well as legislation related to these increases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462226/
The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate
This report discusses issues surrounding the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on an individual's actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity by public and private employers in hiring, discharge, compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462292/
Department of Defense Food Procurement: Background and Status
This report describes the origin, authority, and policy in the procurement of food for the military. Military food items, also known as subsistence items, are generally procured under the auspices of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), an agency of the Department of Defense (DOD) which provides worldwide logistics support for the U.S. military services. Under DLA, DLA Troop Services (formerly the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia) is the inventory control point for food, clothing, textiles, medicines, medical equipment, general and industrial supplies, and services for the military, their eligible dependents, and other non-DOD customers worldwide. DLA Troop Services buys and manages about $13.4 billion worth of food, clothing, textiles, and other products. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462272/
Restrictions on Itemized Tax Deductions: Policy Options and Analysis
This report analyzes various proposals to restrict itemized deductions--both across-the-board and individually tailored--using standard economic criteria of economic efficiency, distribution, simplicity, and estimated revenue effects. In particular, this report estimates each proposal's potential to contribute to revenue-neutral reductions in income tax rates and the consequences for economic behavior. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462228/
Party Leaders in the United States Congress, 1789-2009
This report briefly describes current responsibilities and selection mechanisms for 15 House and Senate party leadership posts and provides tables with historical data, including service dates, party affiliation, and other information for each. Tables have been updated as of the report's issuance date to reflect leadership changes. The report will be updated as changes in House and Senate party leadership positions occur. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462291/
Polygraph Use by the Department of Energy: Issues for Congress
This report examines how the Department of Energy's (DOE) polygraph testing program has evolved and reviews certain scientific findings with regard to the polygraph's scientific validity. Several issues include whether: DOE's new screening program is focused on an appropriate number of individuals occupying only the most sensitive positions; the program should be expanded in order to adequately safeguard certain classified information; further research into the polygraph's scientific validity is needed; there are possible alternatives to the polygraph; and whether DOE should continue polygraph screening. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462298/
Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act
This report summarizes legislative actions taken to repeal, defund, delay, or otherwise amend the ACA since the law's enactment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462224/
Terrorist Watch List Screening and Background Checks for Firearms
This report examines potential policy issues that could arise under the Terror Gap proposal. For context, a basic overview of the U.S. government's post-9/11 terrorist watchlist procedures is provided, as well as an analysis of the Terror Gap proposal, which has been reintroduced in the 113th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462233/
The National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Particulate Matter (PM): EPA's 2006 Revisions and Associated Issues
This report provides an analysis of the EPA's final 2006 revisions to the particulates National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), and an overview of the estimated costs and benefits of the revised standards and of more stringent alternatives analyzed. The report highlights concerns and issues raised regarding the 2006 revisions to the particulates standards, including those of the science advisory committee (CASAC), and actions in Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462239/
The United States and Europe: Current Issues
This report examines a number of issues that illustrate the cooperation of U.S.-European cooperation based on shared interests and present challenges. These issues include specifics topics in economics, foreign policy and international security, terrorism, cybersecurity, and energy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462265/
Trends in U.S. Global AIDS Spending: FY2000-FY2008
This report describes how HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria are interlinked and exacerbate efforts to control each disease, but primarily addresses funding issues related to U.S. global HIV/AIDS initiatives. It provides background information on the key U.S. agencies that implement global HIV/AIDS programs, analyzes U.S. spending on HIV/AIDS by U.S. agency and department, and presents some issues Congress might consider, particularly as debate on the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) reauthorization ensues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462235/
Intelligence Reform at the Department of Energy: Policy Issues and Organizational Alternatives
This report analyzes the temporary consolidations of the separate counterintelligence (CI) offices at the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Security Administration (NSA) into a single CI office under DOE control — the first authorized by Congress at Department of Energy request; the second initiated by DOE — and examines the impact of each on the effectiveness of the Department's CI program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462205/
States and Proposed Economic Recovery Plans
This report examines arguments presented by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the National Governors Association (NGA) to include state fiscal assistance in an economic recovery plan, several arguments to exclude state assistance from such a plan, and the implications the proposals presented by NCSL and NGA might have for the economy. It also examines issues related to the targeting of state fiscal assistance and arguments for and against including infrastructure construction projects in an economic recovery plan, and presents key provisions in proposed economic recovery plans that directly affect state and local governments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462217/
Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers
This report answers several frequently asked questions about military health care, including: how the system is structured, a TRICARE summary, TRICARE eligibility and plan options, cost of military health care to beneficiaries, relationship of TRICARE to MEDICARE, how the Affordable Care Act affects TRICARE, long-term trends of defense health care costs, and a summary of the fund which funds TRICARE. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462290/
Possible Federal Revenue from Oil Development of ANWR and Nearby Areas
"This report estimates the potential revenues to the United States Treasury from Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) oil development should Congress approve such development. [The report] has been prepared according to key oil price assumptions. More specifically, estimates of potential federal revenues are based on market oil prices -- the price at which the ANWR output would be sold -- of $60, $80, $90, $100, and $125 per barrel" (p. CRS-1-2). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462206/
Safe Drinking Water Act: Selected Regulatory and Legislative Issues
This report provides an overview of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), and examines recent issues such as infrastructure funding needs, regulatory compliance issues, and concerns caused by the detection of unregulated contaminants in drinking water. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462204/
Afro-Latinos in Latin America and Considerations for U.S. Policy
This report reviews and analyzes the situation, concerns, and activities of Afro-descendants in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking nations of Latin America. It then discusses current U.S. foreign aid programs, as well as multilateral initiatives, that have directly or indirectly assisted Afro-Latinos. The report concludes with a discussion of potential policy options that have been proposed should the United States elect to provide further support for Afro-Latinos. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462286/
Cars, Trucks, and Climate: EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gases from Mobile Sources
This report discusses the full range of EPA's authority under Title II and provides information regarding other mobile sources that might be regulated under this authority, in addition to describing the car and truck regulations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462220/
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which bans all nuclear explosion and was in 1996 adopted by the U.N. General Assembly but rejected by the U.S. Senate in 1997. This report discusses the Obama Administration's stated goal of pursuing U.S. ratification of the CTBT, although the Administration has mainly focused on securing Senate consent to ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). This report also discusses other nuclear weapons-related issues as well as the long history of nuclear testing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462277/
Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC): Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information regarding Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle(ACV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC). The report discusses the marines' justification for the ACV and MPC and desired operational capabilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462258/
Securing U.S. Diplomatic Facilities and Personnel Abroad: Legislative and Executive Branch Initiatives
This report briefly summarizes and tracks congressional and State Department actions in response to the attack on U. S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, and will be updated as necessary to reflect further developments and actions on ongoing policy proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462203/
Strategic Arms Control After START: Issues and Options
The United States and Soviet Union signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in 1991; it entered into force in December 1994 and expired in December 2009. This report provides background information about the START Treaty and reviews the discussions about a possible successor to START. It also presents a range of alternatives that the United States and Russia might consider if they choose to follow START with a new framework for the arms control process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462273/
Title X (Public Health Service Act) Family Planning Program
This report discusses the Family Planning Program, Title X of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. §§300 to 300a-6), which is the only domestic federal program devoted solely to family planning and related preventive health services. The report discusses various services related to Title X and also considers current legislation related to the program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462238/
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: A Sketch of Selected Issues
This report briefly outlines three issues relating to electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and touches upon some of the perspectives reflected in the ongoing debate. These issues include the inherent and often dynamic tension between national security and civil liberties, particularly rights of privacy and free speech; the need for the intelligence community to be able to efficiently and effectively collect foreign intelligence information from the communications of foreign persons located outside the United States in a changing, fast-paced, and technologically sophisticated international environment or from United States persons abroad, and the differing approaches suggested to meet this need; and limitations of liability for those electronic communication service providers who furnish aid to the federal government in its foreign intelligence collection. Two constitutional provisions, in particular, are implicated in this debate — the Fourth and First Amendments. This report briefly examines these issues and sets them in context. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462237/
United Nations Regular Budget Contributions: Members Compared, 1990-2010
This report provides the assessment level, actual payment, and total outstanding contributions for the United States and other selected U.N. member states from 1990 to 2010 — the last year for which data are publicly available. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462209/
FEMA Disaster Housing and Hurricane Katrina: Overview, Analysis, and Congressional Issues
This report discusses the issues with the housing policies of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), particularly as they relate to the Post-Katrina Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-295) and the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Plan (P.L. 93-288). It includes an overview of the Stafford Act sections 403 and 408 as well as a breakdown of issues for Congress and possible Congressional approaches to address the policies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462284/
Biofuels Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs
This report outlines federal programs that provide direct or indirect incentives for biofuels. For each program described, the report provides details including the administering agency, authorizing statute(s), annual funding, and expiration date. The Appendix provides summary information in a table format. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462253/
Environmental Exemptions for the Navy's Mid-Frequency Active Sonar Training Program
This report discusses laws related to the protection of marine mammals when using mid-frequency active sonar including the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). The report discusses each of the laws generally, and then reviews the litigation surrounding the Navy's compliance with these laws in the context of using the sonar for training purposes off California's coast. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462279/
Mobile Technology and Spectrum Policy: Innovation and Competition
This report traces the current and possible future evolution of mobile communications networks and some of the changes in spectrum policy that might better accommodate innovation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462267/
Commonly Used Motions and Requests in the House of Representatives
This report identifies the most commonly used motions and requests available to Members during proceedings in the House of Representatives. It does not identify motions and requests used when the House is in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462261/
Omnibus Appropriations Acts: Overview of Recent Practices
This report discusses Omnibus appropriations acts, which have become a significant feature of the legislative process in recent years as Congress and the President have used them more frequently to bring action on the regular appropriations cycle to a close. Following a discussion of pertinent background information, the report reviews the recent enactment of such measures and briefly addresses several issues raised by their use. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462299/
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462285/
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462256/
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program
This report discusses Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Act, which was enacted by the 108th Congress as Section 1057 of the FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-136). It includes background of the SAFER Act, appropriations from FY2009-FY2010, reauthorization of the program in the House and Senate, and information about program implementation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462295/
Drilling in the Great Lakes: Background and Issues
This report provides background information on historical and current drilling practices in the Great Lakes, and statistics on oil and natural gas production, where data are available. It describes state laws regarding drilling in the Great Lakes and analyzes the environmental, socioeconomic, and legal aspects of drilling in or under the Great Lakes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462210/
The Federal Prison Population Buildup: Overview, Policy Changes, Issues, and Options
Since the early 1980s, there has been a historically unprecedented increase in the federal prison population. Some of the growth is attributable to changes in federal criminal justice policy during the previous three decades. An issue before Congress is whether policymakers consider the rate of growth in the federal prison population sustainable, and if not, what changes could be made to federal criminal justice policy to reduce the prison population while maintaining public safety. This report explores the issues related to the growing federal prison population. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462245/
An Overview of the HOME Investment Partnerships Program
This report provides an introduction to the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, including a brief history, an overview of allowable uses of HOME funds, and a description of certain program requirements. It also provides information on funding for the program and how that funding has been used. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462247/
Proposed Funding for Education in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
This report provides a brief overview of the key provisions related to education programs that are or would be administered by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) that were included in the act under Title IX (Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education) and Title XII (State Fiscal Stabilization Fund). It also provides estimates of state grants for programs for which these estimates are relevant and for which data needed to produce the estimates are available. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462251/
Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
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. The Ohio replacement program is also known as the SSBN(X) program. The Navy's proposed FY2013 budget requests $564.9 million for continued research and development work on the Ohio replacement program. Decisions that Congress makes on the Ohio replacement program could substantially affect U.S. military capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462212/
Implementation of Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS): Issues for Congress
This report analyzes data from a variety of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) presentations, testimony, and other sources to present a historical overview of program performance to date. It identifies an ongoing gap between the number of facilities that have received final risk tier assignments and the total number of regulated facilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462234/
Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Programs
This report analyzes the special immigrant visa (SIV) classifications for Iraqis and Afghans within the context of both the larger Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) special immigrant category and selected other permanent admissions categories. It discusses the legislative changes to the individual Iraqi and Afghan special immigrant programs since their initial authorization, provides statistics on visa issuance, and considers challenges facing the programs today. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462255/
Protection of Trade Secrets: Overview of Current Law and Legislation
This report starts out with background information regarding trade secrets and an overview of current legal landscape for trade secret protection. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462248/
Federal Permitting and Oversight of Export of Fossil Fuels
This report reviews federal laws and the regulatory regime governing the export of natural gas, crude oil, and coal. This report provides an overview of federal laws and regulations and agency roles in authorizing and regulating the export of these fossil fuels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463449/
NAFTA at 20: Overview and Trade Effects
This report provides an overview of North American trade liberalization before the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), an overview of NAFTA provisions, the economic effects of NAFTA, and policy considerations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463443/
Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
This report offers background information on Ukraine's current political and economic situation. The report covers the country's "intensified dialogue" with NATO regarding membership and also discusses U.S. policy, U.S. aid to Ukraine, the congressional response, and related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463482/
Marine Protected Areas: An Overview
This report identifies a number of issues related to establishing marine protected areas (MPAs) in the United States. It begins by defining the concept and administrative actions taken to provide spatial protection in marine areas. It then considers some of the key issues and potential benefits and costs of designating additional MPAs. It concludes by summarizing current congressional interest in the topic and legislation proposed during the 110th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463440/
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