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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Year: 2010
 Month: June
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) Vehicles: Background and Issues for Congress

Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) Vehicles: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: June 7, 2010
Creator: Feickert, Andrew
Description: This report covers the 2007 Department of Defense (DOD) major procurement initiative to replace most up-armored High Mobility, Multi-Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) with Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles. It looks at the cost and subsequent budgets of this initiative. Among potential issues for congressional consideration are the status of older, unused MRAPS in Afghanistan that are reportedly not being used because of their size and weight; possible redundancies with the MRAP, M-ATV, and the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) programs; and actual Marine M-ATV requirements.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: June 10, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: This report discusses the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program. Under current Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and Navy plans, the number of BMD-capable Navy Aegis ships is schedule to grow from 20 at the end of FY2010 to 38 at the end of FY2015. This report discusses the concerns some have over BMD expansion, as well as BMD funding issues.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Item Veto and Expanded Impoundment Proposals: History and Current Status

Item Veto and Expanded Impoundment Proposals: History and Current Status

Date: June 18, 2010
Creator: McMurtry, Virginia A.
Description: This report discusses various points of contention in regards to presidential budgeting authority, specifically that of impoundment and the line item veto. Presidential impoundment actions have sometimes been controversial. The subject of granting the President item veto authority, akin to that exercised by 43 governors, also has elicited considerable debate. With an item veto, the executive can delete specific provisions in a piece of legislation presented for signature, and then proceed to sign the measure into law.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Economic Effects of Capital Gains Taxation

The Economic Effects of Capital Gains Taxation

Date: June 18, 2010
Creator: Hungerford, Thomas L.
Description: One provision of the 1913 individual income tax that generated a great deal of confusion was the taxation of income from the sale of property (i.e., capital gains income). This initial confusion has led to almost 100 years of legislative debates over capital gains. Beginning in 1922 capital gains were first subject to lower tax rates than ordinary income. This preferential treatment has continued throughout most of the history of the income tax. Proposals dealing with the taxation of capital gains have ranged from the outright elimination of capital gains taxation to the reduction of capital gains tax rates for certain classes of taxpayers to the elimination of the preferential tax treatment. This report discusses the manner in which capital gains are taxed, including rates and revenue figures. It also examines various economic issues regarding such taxes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Date: June 16, 2010
Creator: Ahearn, Raymond J. & Fergusson, Ian F.
Description: Following World War II, the United States led efforts to establish an open and nondiscriminatory trading system with the expressed goal of raising the economic well-being of all countries and bolstering world peace. These efforts culminated in the creation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1948, a provisional agreement on tariffs and trade rules that governed world trade for 47 years. The World Trade Organization (WTO) succeeded the GATT in 1995 and today serves as a permanent body that administers the rules and agreements negotiated and signed by 153 participating parties, as well as a forum for dispute settlement and negotiations. The purpose of this report is to analyze some of the main issues in any debate on U.S. participation in the WTO and to address some of the criticisms leveled at the organization. Academic studies indicate that the United States benefits from broad reductions in trade barriers worldwide, but some workers and industries might not share in those gains. Decisions in the WTO are made by member governments, which determine their negotiating positions, file dispute challenges, and implement their decisions. However, some argue that smaller countries are left out of decision-making and that governments tend ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Jurisprudence of Justice John Paul Stevens: Selected Opinions on the Jury's Role in Criminal Sentencing

The Jurisprudence of Justice John Paul Stevens: Selected Opinions on the Jury's Role in Criminal Sentencing

Date: June 7, 2010
Creator: Henning, Anna C.
Description: This report discusses Justice John Paul Stevens' opinions on the Jury's role in criminal sentencing. Justice Stevens has played a critical role in the Supreme Court's interpretation of a jury's role in criminal sentencing. In 2000, he wrote the majority opinion for the Court in Apprendi v. New Jersey, a landmark case in which the Court held that a judge typically may not increase a sentence beyond the range prescribed by statute unless the increase is based on facts determined by a jury "beyond a reasonable doubt." In 2005, he wrote one of two majority opinions in United States v. Booker, in which the Court applied the Apprendi rule to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. In those two cases and in several other cases on this issue during the past few decades, Justice Stevens has been a leading voice, articulating a broad interpretation of the jury trial and due process rights at issue.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The 2010 Oil Spill: Criminal Liability Under Wildlife Laws

The 2010 Oil Spill: Criminal Liability Under Wildlife Laws

Date: June 28, 2010
Creator: Alexander, Kristina
Description: In April 2010 an explosion occurred on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, reportedly killing 11 people, and, according to federal experts, causing the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Millions of barrels of oil are believed to have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico. As the oil spreads, the implications for harm to wildlife grow. The United States has many laws that protect wildlife from harm. This report discusses three: the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Organized Retail Crime

Organized Retail Crime

Date: June 16, 2010
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.
Description: This report provides an overview of organized retail crime rings, their operations, and goods targeted. It then examines the domestic impact of organized retail crime (ORC) in the arenas of the economy, public health and safety, and domestic security. The report also outlines current efforts by retailers, resale markets, and the federal government to combat ORC. It then analyzes various policy issues that the 111th Congress may wish to consider, including whether current federal resources provided for the investigation of ORC are adequate, whether to amend the U.S. Code to criminalize ORC, and whether to regulate resale marketplaces that may be utilized as fences for criminals to sell stolen goods.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan: Defamation and the First Amendment

Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan: Defamation and the First Amendment

Date: June 10, 2010
Creator: Liu, Edward C.
Description: This report discusses prior writings by Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan on the interaction of defamation law and the First Amendment of the Constitution. It is based on two articles on defamation law written by Kagan during her academic career at the University of Chicago Law School and the Harvard Law School. The most recent of these articles is from 2000, and Kagan has not revisited this topic in any published writings since then. Thus, these two articles appear to represent her most extensive examination of the interaction between the First Amendment and defamation law.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Party Leaders in the United States Congress, 1789-2010

Party Leaders in the United States Congress, 1789-2010

Date: June 29, 2010
Creator: Heitshusen, Valerie
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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