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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: U.S. Responses to Global Human Cases

The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: U.S. Responses to Global Human Cases

Date: June 23, 2009
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji
Description: This report discusses the April 2009 outbreak of the influenza strain known as H1N1, or commonly, swine influenza. This report describes the distribution of the virus and the statistics of affected areas, as well as international and U.S. efforts to treat infected persons, respond to outbreaks in various countries (such as Mexico and other Latin American nations), and prepare for a possible influenza pandemic.
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Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Chite, Ralph M. & Shields, Dennis A.
Description: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the noninsured assistance program (NAP), and emergency disaster loans. The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (otherwise known as the 2008 farm bill) includes authorization and funding for crop disaster programs, livestock assistance programs, and a tree assistance program. The new programs are designed to address the ad hoc nature of disaster assistance provided to producers during the last two decades.
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The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: An Overview

The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: An Overview

Date: June 12, 2009
Creator: Lister, Sarah A. & Redhead, C. Stephen
Description: This report first provides a synopsis of key events, actions taken, and authorities invoked by WHO, the U.S. federal government, and state and local governments. It then discusses the WHO process to determine the phase of a flu pandemic, and selected actions taken by the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, and by state and local authorities. Next, it lists congressional hearings held to date, and provides information about appropriations and funding for pandemic flu activities. Finally, it summarizes U.S. government pandemic flu planning documents and lists sources for additional information about the situation as it unfolds.
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The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: Selected Legal Issues

The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: Selected Legal Issues

Date: June 15, 2009
Creator: Swendiman, Kathleen S. & Jones, Nancy Lee
Description: In late April 2009, human cases of infection with a novel influenza A(H1N1) virus, commonly known as "swine flu," were identified. Since then, the virus has become widespread. It is timely to examine the legal issues surrounding this public health threat. This report provides a brief overview of selected legal issues including emergency measures, civil rights, liability issues, and employment issues.
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Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program

Date: June 23, 2009
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Act (the "SAFER Act") was enacted by the 108th Congress as part of the FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act. This report describes the SAFER Act in brief and discusses possible budgetary modifications to the SAFER Act that are being considered due to the recent economic downturn.
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The National Response Framework: Overview and Possible Issues for Congress

The National Response Framework: Overview and Possible Issues for Congress

Date: November 20, 2008
Creator: Lindsay, Bruce R.
Description: In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress and the President consolidated numerous federal emergency plans into the National Response Plan (NRP). This report discusses how national response planning documents have evolved over time and describes the authorities that shape the National Response Framework (NRF). Several issue areas that might be examined for potential lawmaking and oversight concerning the NRF are also highlighted.
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United States Fire Administration: An Overview

United States Fire Administration: An Overview

Date: June 23, 2009
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) - which includes the National Fire Academy (NFA) - is currently an entity within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The objective of the USFA is to significantly reduce the nation's loss of life from fire, while also achieving a reduction in property loss and non-fatal injury due to fire. In the 111th Congress, debate over the USFA budget focuses on whether the USFA is receiving sufficient funding to accomplish its mission, given that appropriations for USFA have consistently been well below the agency's authorized level. An ongoing issue is the viability and status of the USFA and National Fire Academy within the Department of Homeland Security.
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Project BioShield: Purposes and Authorities

Project BioShield: Purposes and Authorities

Date: July 6, 2009
Creator: Gottron, Frank
Description: Many potential chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism agents lack available countermeasures. In 2003, President Bush proposed Project BioShield to address this need. The Project BioShield Act became law in July 2004. This report discusses the three main provisions of Project BioShield, funding for Project BioShield, and additional measures that Congress has considered since Project BioShield's implementation to further encourage CBRN countermeasure development.
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Peacekeeping/Stabilization and Conflict Transitions: Background and Congressional Action on the Civilian Response/Reserve Corps and other Civilian Stabilization and Reconstruction Capabilities

Peacekeeping/Stabilization and Conflict Transitions: Background and Congressional Action on the Civilian Response/Reserve Corps and other Civilian Stabilization and Reconstruction Capabilities

Date: June 16, 2009
Creator: Serafino, Nina M.
Description: This report provides background information relating to the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS) in the Office of the Secretary of State. This office was created in mid-2004 as part of the Bush Administration's efforts to develop adequate civilian organizational structures, procedures, and personnel to respond effectively to post-conflict, "stabilization and reconstruction" situations, most especially in Afghanistan and Iran. This report also discusses proposals and tracks related legislative action.
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Haiti: Post-Hurricane Conditions and Assistance

Haiti: Post-Hurricane Conditions and Assistance

Date: October 27, 2008
Creator: Taft-Morales, Maureen & Sullivan, Mark P.
Description: In August and September 2008, four major storms directly hit or passed close to Haiti, causing widespread devastation. As of early October, 2008, the U.S. government has either provided or pledged just over $30 million in humanitarian assistance to affected Haitian populations in response to the hurricanes in Haiti. Congress provided not less than $100 million for hurricane relief and reconstruction assistance for Haiti and other Caribbean countries in the FY2009 continuing appropriations resolution signed into law September 30, 2008. The Haitian government says it needs $400 million over the next 18 months for hurricane recovery and reconstruction, and that so far the international community has committed $145 million.
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Flood Insurance Requirements for Stafford Act Assistance

Flood Insurance Requirements for Stafford Act Assistance

Date: September 5, 2008
Creator: Liu, Edward C.
Description: The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the Stafford Act) imposes flood insurance requirements upon eligibility for disaster assistance in two general cases: (1) if the entity seeking disaster assistance has received disaster assistance in the past, or (2) if the entity seeking disaster assistance is a state or local government or private nonprofit located in a federally designated special flood hazard area (SFHA) as determined under the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968. The requirements imposed by the Stafford Act operate independently of each other, and a potential applicant for disaster assistance may fall into both categories. This report will discuss the specific requirements imposed in each situation after briefly discussing the history of flood insurance and the relevant types of disaster assistance.
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Disaster Tax Relief for the Midwest

Disaster Tax Relief for the Midwest

Date: August 20, 2008
Creator: Lunder, Erika
Description: The Midwestern Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2008 is intended to assist with the recovery from the severe weather that affected the Midwest during the summer of 2008. The Jobs, Energy, Families, and Disaster Relief Act of 2008 includes some similar provisions, but these are not limited to the Midwest disaster. The disaster relief in the three bills is similar to that provided to assist with the recovery from the 2005 hurricanes and the 2007 Kansas tornadoes. This report broadly discusses the disaster relief provisions in other relevant legislation.
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Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 110th Congress

Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 110th Congress

Date: August 1, 2008
Creator: Lister, Sarah A.
Description: The 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and concerns about an influenza ("flu") pandemic have sharpened congressional interest in the nation's systems to track and respond to public health threats. The 109th Congress passed laws that reauthorized public health and medical preparedness and response programs in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and reorganized parts of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including the establishment of an Office of Health Affairs (OHA). This report discusses key issues in public health and medical preparedness and response, citing additional CRS reports and other resources.
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Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 110th Congress

Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 110th Congress

Date: June 16, 2008
Creator: Lister, Sarah A.
Description: The 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and concerns about an influenza ("flu") pandemic have sharpened congressional interest in the nation's systems to track and respond to public health threats. The 109th Congress passed laws that reauthorized public health and medical preparedness and response programs in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and reorganized parts of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including the establishment of an Office of Health Affairs (OHA). This report discusses key issues in public health and medical preparedness and response, citing additional CRS reports and other resources.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Avian Flu Pandemic: Potential Impact of Trade Disruptions

Avian Flu Pandemic: Potential Impact of Trade Disruptions

Date: May 8, 2008
Creator: Langton, Danielle
Description: Concerns about potential disruptions in U.S. trade flows due to a global health or security crisis are not new. The possibility of an avian flu pandemic with consequences for global trade is a concern that has received attention recently, although some experts believe there is little cause for alarm. This report considers possible trade disruptions, including possible impacts on trade between the United States and countries and regions that have reported avian influenza infections.
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National Flood Insurance Program: Treasury Borrowing in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

National Flood Insurance Program: Treasury Borrowing in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Date: September 19, 2008
Creator: King, Rawle O.
Description: In 2008, Hurricanes Ike, Gustav, and Dolly made landfall in the United States, causing widespread flood damage. Exactly three years earlier, claims and expenses related to the massive flooding caused by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma had financially overwhelmed the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates that the NFIP will need about $3 billion in additional borrowing authority to cover the claims currently outstanding and a yet to be determined amount for the 2008 Hurricanes. Congress is currently working to reform the NFIP while retaining its original intent to keep rates affordable for people to buy the insurance.
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Federal Employees: Human Resources Management Flexibilities in Emergency Situations

Federal Employees: Human Resources Management Flexibilities in Emergency Situations

Date: July 31, 2008
Creator: Schwemle, Barbara L.
Description: Federal executive branch departments and agencies have available to them various human resources management flexibilities which can be utilized in emergency situations, such as those which resulted from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and which could occur during a pandemic influenza outbreak. The Office of Personnel Management has issued guidance on these flexibilities, which supplements the basic policies governing staffing, compensation, leave sharing, and telework in Title 5 of the United States Code. Legislation (S. 1000, H.R. 4106, and proposed amendments to S. 3268) to enhance telework in the federal government is pending in the 110th Congress.
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Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: July 3, 2008
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Description: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the noninsured assistance program (NAP), and emergency disaster loans. This report outlines the various agricultural disaster assistance appropriations included in the FY2007 Iraq war supplemental appropriations act; the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; the 2008 farm bill; and the FY2008 Supplemental Appropriations Act.
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United States Fire Administration: An Overview

United States Fire Administration: An Overview

Date: October 10, 2008
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) - which includes the National Fire Academy (NFA) - is currently an entity within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The objective of the USFA is to significantly reduce the nation's loss of life from fire, while also achieving a reduction in property loss and non-fatal injury due to fire. This report describes and analyzes the Administration's FY2009 budget proposal, as well as related information and legislation.
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United States Fire Administration: An Overview

United States Fire Administration: An Overview

Date: June 26, 2008
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) - which includes the National Fire Academy (NFA) - is currently an entity within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The objective of the USFA is to significantly reduce the nation's loss of life from fire, while also achieving a reduction in property loss and non-fatal injury due to fire. This report describes and analyzes the Administration's FY2009 budget proposal, as well as related information and legislation.
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Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Iraq and Afghanistan: Effects and Countermeasures

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Iraq and Afghanistan: Effects and Countermeasures

Date: September 25, 2006
Creator: Wilson, Clay
Description: Since October 2001, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs, or roadside bombs) have been responsible for many of the more than 2,000 combat deaths in Iraq, and 178 combat deaths in Afghanistan. IEDs are hidden behind signs and guardrails, under roadside debris, or inside animal carcasses, and encounters with these bombs are becoming more numerous and deadly in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Department of Defense (DOD) efforts to counter IEDs have proven only marginally effective, and U.S. forces continue to be exposed to the threat at military checkpoints, or whenever on patrol. IEDs are increasingly being used in Afghanistan, and DOD reportedly is concerned that they might eventually be more widely used by other insurgents and terrorists worldwide.
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Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Hurricane Katrina Relief

Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Hurricane Katrina Relief

Date: August 22, 2006
Creator: Bea, Keith
Description: In response to the widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, the 109th Congress enacted two FY2005 emergency supplemental appropriations bills, which together provided $62.3 billion for emergency response and recovery needs. This CRS report summarizes federal disaster assistance funding legislation in the 109th Congress and presents some information on federal expenditures and obligations for disaster recovery activities.
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Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Hurricane Katrina Relief

Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Hurricane Katrina Relief

Date: May 16, 2006
Creator: Bea, Keith
Description: In response to the widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, the 109th Congress enacted two FY2005 emergency supplemental appropriations bills, which together provide $62.3 billion for emergency response and recovery needs. However, the funding streams of these appropriated funds and amounts for disaster recovery have changed and appear likely to undergo further changes, largely at the request of the Administration. This report summarizes federal disaster assistance funding legislation in the 109th Congress and presents some information on federal expenditures and obligations for disaster recovery activities.
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The Use of Federal Troops for Disaster Assistance: Legal Issues

The Use of Federal Troops for Disaster Assistance: Legal Issues

Date: August 14, 2006
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: Hurricane Katrina raised questions concerning the President's legal authority to send active duty military forces into a disaster area and the permissible functions the military can perform to protect life and property and maintain order. This report summarizes the possible constitutional and statutory authorities and constraints relevant to the use of armed forces, including National Guard units in federal service, to provide assistance to states when a natural disaster impedes the operation of state and local police. This report also addresses proposed legislation, including H.R. 5122 (S. 2766).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department