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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Keystone XL Pipeline Project: Key Issues

Keystone XL Pipeline Project: Key Issues

Date: January 26, 2012
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Description: This report describes the Keystone XL pipeline proposal and the process required for federal approval. It summarizes key arguments for and against the pipeline put forth by the pipeline's developers, federal agencies, environmental groups, and other stakeholders. The report discusses potential consistency challenges faced by the State Department in reviewing the pipeline application given its recent prior approvals of similar pipeline projects. Finally, the report reviews the constitutional basis for the State Department's authority to issue a Presidential Permit, and opponents' possible challenges to this authority.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Long-Range Ballistic Missiles: Background and Issues

Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Long-Range Ballistic Missiles: Background and Issues

Date: February 13, 2012
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Description: Prompt global strike (PGS) would allow the United States to strike targets anywhere on Earth with conventional weapons in as little as an hour. This capability may bolster U.S. efforts to deter and defeat adversaries by allowing the United States to attack high-value targets or “fleeting targets” at the start of or during a conflict. Congress has generally supported the PGS mission, but it has restricted funding and suggested some changes in funding for specific programs. Some concerns that Congress has shown are the Department of Defenses' rationale for the mission, the Air Force's ability to set up the system in a timely manner, and how the new START Treaty between the US and Russia will affect the system.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Multilateral Development Banks: General Capital Increases

Multilateral Development Banks: General Capital Increases

Date: January 27, 2012
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Description: This report discusses issues related to each of the major Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) simultaneously seeking increases in their capital bases to fund the continued expansion of their development lending programs. U.S. authorization to participate in the GCIs was provided in the FY2011 and FY2012 budget measures. Key issues regarding U.S. participation in the GCIs include: comparative effectiveness of bilateral and multilateral aid, scope of MDB activity, role of emerging economic powers, U.S. bidding for MDB-funded projects, and anti-corruption policies.
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Water Quality Issues in the 112th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Water Quality Issues in the 112th Congress: Oversight and Implementation

Date: April 9, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Description: This report discusses water quality legislation. A number of Clean Water Act issues have been the subject of congressional oversight and legislation, including the environmental and economic impacts of Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts, federal promulgation of water quality standards in Florida, regulation of surface coal mining activities in Appalachia, and other CWA regulatory actions. Congressional interest in several of these issues has been reflected in debate over policy provisions of legislation providing FY2012 appropriations for EPA (P.L. 112-74).
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Closing Yucca Mountain: Litigation Associated with Attempts to Abandon the Planned Nuclear Waste Repository

Closing Yucca Mountain: Litigation Associated with Attempts to Abandon the Planned Nuclear Waste Repository

Date: February 2, 2012
Creator: Garvey, Todd
Description: Passed in 1982, the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) was an effort to establish an explicit statutory basis for the Department of Energy (DOE) to dispose of the nation's most highly radioactive nuclear waste. The Obama Administration, in conjunction with DOE, has taken three important steps directed toward terminating the Yucca Mountain project. While the result of the ongoing dispute over the legality of the attempted termination of the Yucca Mountain program remains uncertain, congressional action could have a significant impact on the fate of the Yucca Mountain facility. A number of leading House Republicans have voiced strong opposition to shutting down the Yucca Mountain facility. Consequently, the Yucca Mountain dispute will not only be contested before the NRC and the D.C. Circuit, but also in Congress.
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U.S.-EU Trade and Economic Relations: Key Policy Issues for the 112th Congress

U.S.-EU Trade and Economic Relations: Key Policy Issues for the 112th Congress

Date: January 18, 2012
Creator: Ahearn, Raymond J.
Description: U.S. and European private stakeholders, concerned about slow growth, job creation, and increased competition from emerging economies, have urged Brussels and Washington to strengthen transatlantic trade and economic ties by reducing or eliminating remaining trade barriers and by cooperating more closely in addressing global economic challenges. A select group of these issues are examined in this report.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Tax Reform: An Overview of Proposals in the 112th Congress

Tax Reform: An Overview of Proposals in the 112th Congress

Date: May 31, 2012
Creator: Bickley, James M.
Description: This report gives an overview of tax reform issues. The President and leading members of Congress have stated that fundamental tax reform is a major policy objective for the 112th Congress. Some Members have said that fundamental tax reform is needed in order to raise a large amount of additional revenue, which is necessary to reduce high forecast budget deficits and the sharply rising national debt. Congressional interest has been expressed in both a major overhaul of the U.S. tax system and the feasibility of levying a consumption tax.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Intelligence Authorization Legislation: Status and Challenges

Intelligence Authorization Legislation: Status and Challenges

Date: February 13, 2012
Creator: Grimmett, Richard F.
Description: Since President Bush signed the FY2005 Intelligence Authorization bill in December 2004, no subsequent intelligence authorization legislation was enacted until the FY2010 bill was signed by President Obama in October 2010 (after the end of FY2010), becoming P.L. 111-259. Although the National Security Act requires intelligence activities to be specifically authorized, this requirement has been satisfied in recent years by one-sentence catchall provisions in defense appropriations acts authorizing intelligence activities. This procedure meets the statutory requirement but has, according to some observers, weakened the ability of Congress to oversee intelligence activities.
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Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV): Background and Issues for Congress

Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV): Background and Issues for Congress

Date: January 3, 2012
Creator: Feickert, Andrew
Description: The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) is currently being developed by the Army and the Marine Corps as a successor to the 11 different versions of the High Mobility, Multi-Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) that have been in service since 1985. There are concerns about the affordability of JLTVs and its redundancy with other tactical wheeled vehicles.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Security Assistance Reform: "Section 1206" Background and Issues for Congress

Security Assistance Reform: "Section 1206" Background and Issues for Congress

Date: January 13, 2012
Creator: Serafino, Nina M.
Description: Section 1206 is the first major DOD authority to be used expressly for the purpose of training and equipping the national military forces of foreign countries. This report provides background on the pre-Section 1206 status of security assistance authorities and the factors contributing to the enactment of Section 1206. It then sets out the purposes of the legislation and scope of its activities, restrictions on its use, the DOD-State Department planning process, and funding. It concludes with a discussion of issues for Congress. An appendix provides a descriptive legislative history of the bill and evolving congressional committee attitudes towards the appropriate division of labor between the Department of Defense and the State Department regarding Section 1206 authority.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department