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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
This report considers the possibility of modifying spectrum policy: (1) to support national goals for broadband deployment by placing more emphasis on attracting new providers of wireless broadband services; and (2) to accommodate the wireless broadband needs of industries that are considered by many to be the economic drivers of the future, not only communications, but also areas such as energy, health care, transportation, and education. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491240/
Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ruled by the Al Saud family since its founding in 1932, wields significant political and economic influence as the birthplace of the Islamic faith and by virtue of its large energy reserves. This report provides background information about Saudi Arabia and analyzes current issues in U.S.-Saudi relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491384/
The Department of Defense's Use of Private Security Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Background, Analysis, and Options for Congress
This report examines current private security contractor (PSC) trends in Iraq and Afghanistan, steps Department of Defense (DOD) has taken to improve oversight and management, and the extent to which DOD has incorporated the role of security contractors into its doctrine and strategy. It also reviews steps Congress has taken to exercise oversight over the use of PSCs and includes options for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491201/
Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ruled by the Al Saud family since its founding in 1932, wields significant political and economic influence as the birthplace of the Islamic faith and by virtue of its large energy reserves. This report provides background information about Saudi Arabia and analyzes current issues in U.S.-Saudi relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491053/
Afghanistan: U.S. Foreign Assistance
The U.S. program of assistance to Afghanistan is intended to stabilize and strengthen the Afghan economic, social, political, and security environment so as to blunt popular support for extremist forces in the region. Since 2001, nearly $38 billion has been appropriated toward this effort. This report provides a "big picture" overview of the U.S. aid program and congressional action. It describes what various aid agencies report they are doing in Afghanistan. It does not address the effectiveness of their programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491024/
Navy Aegis Cruiser and Destroyer Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
The Navy has begun a multi-billion dollar program to modernize its 84 existing Aegis cruisers and destroyers over a period of more than 20 years. This report explores this program in detail, including the reasons for the program and the oversight issues it poses for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490941/
Landsat and the Data Continuity Mission
This report discusses the U.S. Landsat Mission, which has collected remotely sensed imagery of the Earth's surface for more than 35 years. The two satellites currently in orbit are operating beyond their designed life and may fail at any time. Most Landsat data is used by federal agencies. Efforts to commercialize Landsat operations have not been successful. This report discusses issues facing Congress regarding funding for new Landsat satellites. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491269/
Estonia: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
This report provides background information on the political and economical situation in Estonia. The report discusses the U.S. - Estonia relations, and Estonia's foreign policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491019/
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
This report considers the possibility of modifying spectrum policy: (1) to support national goals for broadband deployment by placing more emphasis on attracting new providers of wireless broadband services; and (2) to accommodate the wireless broadband needs of industries that are considered by many to be the economic drivers of the future, not only communications, but also areas such as energy, health care, transportation, and education. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491445/
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis
In 1993, after many months of study, debate, and political controversy, Congress passed and President Clinton signed legislation establishing a revised "[p]olicy concerning homosexuality in the armed forces." The new legislation reflected a compromise regarding the U.S. military's policy toward members of the armed forces who engage in homosexual conduct. This compromise, colloquially referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT)," holds that "[t]he presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability." Service members are not to be asked about, nor allowed to discuss, their sexual orientation. This compromise notwithstanding, the issue has remained both politically and legally contentious. This report provides a legal analysis of the various constitutional challenges that have been brought against DADT. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491159/
Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ruled by the Al Saud family since its founding in 1932, wields significant political and economic influence as the birthplace of the Islamic faith and by virtue of its large energy reserves. This report provides background information about Saudi Arabia and analyzes current issues in U.S.-Saudi relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491434/
Navy Aegis Cruiser and Destroyer Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
The Navy has begun a multi-billion dollar program to modernize its 84 existing Aegis cruisers and destroyers over a period of more than 20 years. This report explores this program in detail, including the reasons for the program and the oversight issues it poses for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491450/
Department of Defense Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Background and Analysis
The Department of Defense (DOD) increasingly relies upon contractors to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has resulted in a DOD workforce in those countries comprising approximately a comparable number of contractors (218,000) as uniformed personnel (195,000). This report discusses the issues raised by this fact including (1) what role contractors should play in contingency operations, (2) whether DOD is gathering and analyzing the right data on the use of contractors, (3) what steps DOD is taking to improve contract management and oversight, and (4) the extent to which contractors are being effectively included into military doctrine and strategy. The report examines current contractor trends in Iraq and Afghanistan, the steps DOD has taken to improve contractor oversight and management, and the extent to which DOD has incorporated the role of contractors into its doctrine and strategy. The report also reviews steps Congress has taken to exercise oversight over DOD contracting, including contracting issues that have been the focus of hearings and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491424/
Department of Defense Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Background and Analysis
The Department of Defense (DOD) increasingly relies upon contractors to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has resulted in a DOD workforce in those countries comprising approximately a comparable number of contractors (218,000) as uniformed personnel (195,000). This report discusses the issues raised by this fact including (1) what role contractors should play in contingency operations, (2) whether DOD is gathering and analyzing the right data on the use of contractors, (3) what steps DOD is taking to improve contract management and oversight, and (4) the extent to which contractors are being effectively included into military doctrine and strategy. The report examines current contractor trends in Iraq and Afghanistan, the steps DOD has taken to improve contractor oversight and management, and the extent to which DOD has incorporated the role of contractors into its doctrine and strategy. The report also reviews steps Congress has taken to exercise oversight over DOD contracting, including contracting issues that have been the focus of hearings and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491482/
Navy Aegis Cruiser and Destroyer Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
The Navy has begun a multi-billion dollar program to modernize its 84 existing Aegis cruisers and destroyers over a period of more than 20 years. This report explores this program in detail, including the reasons for the program and the oversight issues it poses for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491580/
Department of Defense Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Background and Analysis
The Department of Defense (DOD) increasingly relies upon contractors to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has resulted in a DOD workforce in those countries comprising approximately a comparable number of contractors (218,000) as uniformed personnel (195,000). This report discusses the issues raised by this fact including (1) what role contractors should play in contingency operations, (2) whether DOD is gathering and analyzing the right data on the use of contractors, (3) what steps DOD is taking to improve contract management and oversight, and (4) the extent to which contractors are being effectively included into military doctrine and strategy. The report examines current contractor trends in Iraq and Afghanistan, the steps DOD has taken to improve contractor oversight and management, and the extent to which DOD has incorporated the role of contractors into its doctrine and strategy. The report also reviews steps Congress has taken to exercise oversight over DOD contracting, including contracting issues that have been the focus of hearings and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491561/
Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ruled by the Al Saud family since its founding in 1932, wields significant political and economic influence as the birthplace of the Islamic faith and by virtue of its large energy reserves. This report provides background information about Saudi Arabia and analyzes current issues in U.S.-Saudi relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491554/
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/
Maritime Security: Potential Terrorist Attacks and Protection Priorities
This report outlines the key dimensions of maritime terrorism and how these dimensions may characterize specific attacks in the global maritime domain. The report illustrates credible maritime attack scenarios based on actual past attacks or potential attacks developed for maritime security exercises or other U.S. counter terrorism activities. It discusses the challenge to maritime security planners of facing a virtually unlimited number of potential attack scenarios and how certain federal programs address this challenge. It also reviews various perspectives on the overall likelihood of maritime terror attacks on the United States. Finally the report discusses implications for homeland security policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462262/
Veterans Affairs: Health Care and Benefits for Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange
This report provides an overview of health care services and disability compensation benefits available to Vietnam veterans, Children of Vietnam Era veterans, and non-Vietnam veterans exposed to herbicides. This is followed by a discussion of litigation pertaining to Navy veterans of the Vietnam Era who served offshore and were never physically present on Vietnamese soil. The report concludes with a discussion of epidemiologic research conducted to study the health effects of Agent Orange and dioxin exposure on Vietnam veterans. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462214/
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/
United Nations System Efforts to Address Violence Against Women
This report provides an overview of recent U.N. efforts to address violence against women (VAW) and highlights key U.N. interagency efforts. It also discusses selected U.N. funds, programs, and agencies that address international violence against women. It does not assess the extent to which VAW is directly addressed or is part of a larger initiative or program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462241/
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/
The UNESCO World Heritage Convention: Congressional Issues
This report provides background information on the World Heritage Convention, outlines U.S. participation and funding, and highlights criteria for adding and removing sites from the World Heritage Lists. It discusses possible issues for the 111th Congress, including the Convention's possible impact on U.S. sovereignty, the role of the legislative branch in designating sites, and the potential implications for a site's inclusion on the Lists. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462264/
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/
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/
Chile: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations
This report provides a brief historical background of Chile, examines recent political and economic developments, and addresses issues in U.S.-Chilean relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462223/
Arab League Boycott of Israel
This report briefly discusses the Arab League's boycott of Israeli companies and Israeli-made goods since Israel's founding in 1948, as well as U.S. efforts to end the boycott and prevent U.S. firms in participating in the boycott. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462269/
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/
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/
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/
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/
Jordan: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Jordanian politics and current issues in U.S.-Jordanian relations. It provides a brief discussion of Jordan's government and economy and of its cooperation in promoting Arab-Israeli peace and other U.S. policy objectives in the Middle East. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462280/
Chile: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations
This report provides a brief historical background of Chile, examines recent political and economic developments, and addresses issues in U.S.-Chilean relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462271/
Honduran-U.S. Relations
This report examines current political and economic conditions in Honduras as well as issues in Honduran-U.S. relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462225/
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/
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/
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/
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/
Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990
This report discusses U.S. security assistance to Taiwan (calling itself Republic of China (ROC)), including policy issues for Congress and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463468/
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/
Economic Stimulus: Issues and Policy
This report discusses the passing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which included tax cut and spending provisions totaling at a cost of $787 billion in an attempt to mitigate the economic fallout of the housing and financial crises on the general economy. The report examines issues surrounding fiscal stimulus such as timeliness, the magnitude of stimulus, long-term effects and previously adopted policies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463421/
U.S. Trade and Investment Relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa: The African Growth and Opportunity Act and Beyond
This report presents perspectives on African economic trends and provides an overview of U.S. trade and investment flows with sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It discusses the provisions of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the changes that have occurred since its enactment. It concludes with a brief discussion of issues of congressional interest. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463418/
The Size and Role of Government: Economic Issues
This report discusses some of the arguments surrounding the proper size of government that are economic in nature, including the questions of what role the state plays in economic activity and how the economy is affected by government intervention. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463004/
Nominations to Article III Lower Courts by President George W. Bush During the 110th Congress
This report tracks nominations made by President George W. Bush to judgeships on the U.S. courts of appeals, the U.S. district courts, and the U.S. Court of International Trade — the lower courts on which, pursuant to Article III of the Constitution, judges serve "during good Behaviour." It lists and keeps count of all nominations made to these courts during the 110th Congress, including pertinent actions taken by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate. It also tracks the number of judicial vacancies on the courts (including vacancies classified by the federal judiciary as "judicial emergencies"), the number of nominations pending to fill the vacancies, and the names of the pending nominees. It presents the number of persons nominated by President Bush to each category of lower Article III court during his entire presidency (breaking down each total to show the number confirmed, pending, returned and not re-nominated, and withdrawn). Last, it provides tabular and graphical comparisons of President Bush's lower court nominee statistics with those of the four Presidents who immediately preceded him. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463022/
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments
This report provides a brief history and recent developments regarding the comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty (CTBT). The U.N. General Assembly adopted the CTBT in 1996. The report discusses the national positions on testing and the CTBT, The North Korean nuclear test, stockpile stewardship, and CTBT pros and cons. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463023/
Follow-On Biologics: Intellectual Property and Innovation Issues
This report reviews doctrinal and policy issues pertaining to follow-on biologics. The report first introduces the application of federal food and drug legislation to follow-on biologics. It next turns to the patent implications of marketing follow-on biologics. Following this review of substantive law, the remainder of the report introduces innovation policy issues pertaining to follow-on biologics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462669/
Presidential Appointee Positions Requiring Senate Confirmation and Committees Handling Nominations
This report identifies, by Senate committee, presidentially appointed positions requiring Senate confirmation based on referrals as of October 31, 2007. For each committee list, positions are categorized as full- or part-time and then grouped by department or agency. Where nominations have been referred to more than one committee, the organizations and titles are noted under each of the committees to which the nominations were referred. The lists also include the lengths of fixed terms, where applicable. Some commissions, councils, and other multi-member entities are required, by their enabling statutes, to maintain political balance in some way. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462644/
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