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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: the Mérida Initiative and Beyond
This report looks at the funding and Congressional oversight for the U.S.-Mexican governments joint effort to curb drug trafficking and violence via the Initiative. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103104/
Food Safety Issues for the 112th Congress
This report looks at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. It particularly looks at ways in which the 112th Congress may want to provide oversight for the Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103120/
The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment
This report covers the recent background of the Exon-Florio provision with special regards to issues faced in the 112th Congress. The Exon-Florio provision grants the President the authority to block proposed or pending foreign acquisitions of “persons engaged in interstate commerce in the United States” that threaten to impair the national security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99092/
Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and “DREAM Act” Legislation
This report discusses the "DREAM Act", a measure to enable certain unauthorized alien students to legalize their status, as well as related issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99101/
Iran Sanctions
This report looks at the purposes and results of U.S. sanctions in Iran, which were initiated as a result of Iran's nuclear program and human rights issues. It ends by discussing future issues that Congress can consider regarding the sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99120/
Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court’s Climate Change Decision: A Chronology
This report presents a chronology of major federal agency actions related to environmental concerns following the decision of Massachusetts v. EPA; it particularly looks at actions of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In Massachusetts v. EPA, the Supreme Court held that greenhouse gases (GHGs), widely viewed as contributing to climate change, constitute “air pollutants” as that phrase is used in the Clean Air Act (CAA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99015/
Supreme Court Appellate Jurisdiction Over Military Court Cases
This report discusses events in which the U.S. Supreme Court would have jurisdiction over military court cases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99117/
Funeral Protests: Selected Federal Laws and Constitutional Issues
This report discusses the Supreme Court's decision in Snyder vs. Phelps, which deals with the question of Westboro Baptist Church's tort liability, a church that has protested military funerals for a number of years. It analyzes the constitutional issues facing federal laws that create funeral protest buffer zones and examines legislative options for amending the federal laws restricting funeral protests, including H.R. 961. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99031/
U.S. Immigration Policy on Temporary Admissions
This report begins with a discussion of the policy tensions surrounding temporary admissions. It follows with a synthesis of the nonimmigrant categories according to the purpose of the visa. It discusses the periods of admission and length of stay and then summarizes grounds for inadmissibility and removal as well as reasons for termination of status. It also describes the circumstances under which nonimmigrants may work in the United States. The second portion of the report analyzes trends in temporary migration. It describes changes over time in nonimmigrant visas issued and nonimmigrant admissions. Various data on nonimmigrants who establish residence in the United States are also discussed. The report concludes with two detailed tables analyzing key admissions requirements across all nonimmigrant visa types. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99079/
The Technology Innovation Program
This report discusses the elimination of the Technology Innovation Program (TIP) - specifically a renewal of the debate over the role of the federal government in promoting commercial technology development. TIP was established in 2007 at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to replace the Advanced Technology Program (ATP). This effort was designed "to support, promote, and accelerate innovation in the United States through high-risk, high-reward research in areas of critical national need," according to the authorizing legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99131/
The National Directory of New Hires
This report details the National Directory of New Hires - including its background, how data is managed in the directory, and concerns regarding the directory. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99133/
Judicial Discipline Process: An Overview
The first part of this report covers the process for handling complaints against federal judges and judicial discipline, which was enacted on November 2, 2002 as the Judicial Improvements Act of 2002. The second part of this report covers two impeachments during the 111th Congress, those of Judge Samuel B. Kent and Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99060/
Military Justice: Courts-Martial, An Overview
This report gives a detailed overview of the military court-martial system, including a discussion of the three types of court-martials: summary, special, and general. It includes a chart showing procedural safeguards in federal and military courts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99044/
Protecting Classified Information and the Rights of Criminal Defendants: The Classified Information Procedures Act
This report gives an overview of the Classified Information Procedures Act, enacted by the 96th Congress, which provides uniform procedures for prosecutions involving classified information. It provides a background of the act and discusses its various sections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99046/
Tort Suits Against Federal Contractors: An Overview of the Legal Issues
This report provides an overview of key legal issues that have been raised to date in recent tort suits against government contractors. Most of these issues pertain to jurisdiction, or the court’s power over the parties or subject matter of the case. A number of cases are pending that could affect courts’ treatment of the issues discussed here. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99058/
EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?
This report provides background information on recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rulemaking to help address dissenting concerns from critics and the EPA. It examines 43 major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at EPA since January 2009. The report also discusses factors that affect the timeframe in which regulations take effect. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98962/
Outer Continental Shelf Moratoria on Oil and Gas Development
This report discusses moratoria measures for the outer continental shelf (OCS) which establish bans or restrictions on oil and gas exploration and development in federal ocean areas. It includes a background of offshore oil and gas development, the sources of U.S. moratorium policy, the background of ocean governance, U.S. moratoria in international areas, and related issues for congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98955/
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve: History, Perspectives, and Issues
This report discusses the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA, P.L. 94-163), which is intended to help prevent a repetition of the economic dislocation caused by the 1973-1974 Arab oil embargo. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98062/
Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Review of Fluoridation and Regulation Issues
This report discusses the potential benefits and adverse effects associated with the fluoridation of drinking water supplies. It also discusses the regulation of fluoride in drinking water to protect against adverse health effects from exposure to higher levels of fluoride, and it reviews the status of federal efforts to update the health risk assessment for fluoride and the drinking water standard for fluoride. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98061/
The National Environmental Policy Act: Background and Implementation
This report discusses the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) including its history, its provisions, and the evolution of its implementation; it also provides an overview of how agencies implement NEPA's requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98060/
Confirmation of U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations in Presidential Election Years
This report seeks to help inform the debate regarding how many U.S. circuit and district court nominations should be confirmed by year's end, and how late in the year the Senate should continue to confirm them. It includes analysis of the number and timing of circuit court and district court nominations confirmed by the Senate in presidential election years from 1980 to 2008, as well as a comparison of the processing of judicial nominations during these years, using various quantitative measures. It also relates the findings to the Senate's processing of judicial nominations in 2012, as of June 30. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98025/
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress
This report discusses the federal laws and regulations that guide the management resources in open ocean and near-shore coastal areas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98088/
Wildfire Funding
This report briefly describes the three categories of federal programs for wildfire protection: [1] protection of the federal lands managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (FS), and by the U.S. Department of the Interior, whose wildfire programs are coordinated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM); [2] assistance for state and local governments and communities in protecting nonfederal lands; [3] support for fire research, fire facilities, and improvements in forest health. The last section of this report discusses the impact of high and rising wildfire costs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98093/
Iran Sanctions
This report looks at the purposes and results of U.S. sanctions on Iran, which were initiated as a result of Iran's nuclear program and human rights issues. It ends by discussing future issues that Congress can consider regarding the sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98114/
Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions
This report discusses the current issues in Burma (Myanmar) in regards to political prisoners and the resulting U.S. sanctions against the nation. It includes an introduction and definitions; information about current estimates of prisoners and prisoner releases; the relation of political prisoners, parliamentary elections and national reconciliation; and U.S. sanctions and U.S. efforts regarding political prisoners, as well as relevant issues for Congress to consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98016/
Horse Slaughter Prevention Bills and Issues
This report discusses the bills and issues regarding horses that are slaughtered for human food. Debate revolves around the acceptability of horse slaughter, and how to care for and/or humanely dispose of horses if they no longer become human food. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98119/
Nuclear Energy Cooperation with Foreign Countries: Issues for Congress
This report discusses broad themes related to U.S. nuclear cooperation with other countries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98008/
Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions
This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and developments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98121/
Climate Change: Comparison of S. 2191 as Reported (now S. 3036) with Proposed Boxer Amendment
This report discusses S. 2191 (the Lieberman-Warner CLimate Security Act of 2008), which was reintroduced as S. 3036 with a deficit reduction amendment. In particular, it provides a comparison of five key differences between the bill and the proposed Boxer Amendment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98109/
Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues
This report reviews past and proposed treatment of hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Water Drinking Act, the principal federal statute for regulating the underground injection of fluids to protect groundwater sources of drinking water. It reviews current provisions for regulating underground injection activities, and discusses some possible implications of, and issues associated with, enactment of legislation authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate hydraulic fracturing under this statute. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97999/
Global Climate Change: Three Policy Perspectives
This paper discusses the three different perspectives used to consider issues related to the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 1997 Kyoto Agreement. The perspectives are: the technological lens (that environmental problems are the result of misused or inappropriate technologies that can be improved); the economic lens (that environmental problems are the result of inappropriate pricing that can be fixed by representing environmental measures in market costs); and the ecological lens (that environmental problems are the result of disregard for the ecosystem and can be improved with education and "green" initiatives). The report discusses each approach and how it relates to policy creation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97968/
National Flood Insurance Program: Background, Challenges, and Financial Status
This report provides an analysis of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and its financial status; summarizes the major challenges facing the program, including issues affecting its long-term financial solvency; presents some alternative approaches for managing and financing the flood losses; and describes pending legislation on this issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97975/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, including sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered species; and increased military operations in the region. It includes background information on the region and on a variety of issues for which Congress may want to consider legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97986/
The Article V Convention for Proposing Constitutional Amendments: Historical Perspectives for Congress
This report identifies and examines historical issues related to the Article V Convention, which allows amendments to be added to the Constitution via Congressional vote or votes by the people. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96730/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 110th Congress that would ease U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96738/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 111th Congress that would ease U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96739/
U.S. Postal Service: Background and Analysis of H.R. 2309 and S. 1789 in the 112th Congress
This report looks at how the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has taken steps to save money. It also covers how bills H.R. 2309 and S. 1789 include major reforms, such as reductions in service, expansion of the USPS's authority to provide products and services, and alterations to the postal employees pension and healthcare plans. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96729/
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
This report discusses the effects of economic sanctions against Iran; support to the Iranian democracy movement; and opposition against Iranian human rights violations and Iranian support for Syrian human rights violations. The Obama Administration identifies Iran as a major threat to U.S. national security interests. The sense of imminent crisis with Iran which greeted the beginning of 2012 follows three years in which the Obama Administration first offered Iran's leaders consistent and sustained engagement in exchange for limits to its nuclear program but, since 2010, has emphasized pressuring Iran through economic sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96749/
Greenhouse Gas Reduction: Cap-and-Trade Bills in the 110th Congress
This report discusses different amendments (i.e., S.2191, S. 3036) that would create market-based greenhouse gas reduction. This report presents a side-by-side comparison of the major provisions of those bills and includes a glossary of common terms (Appendix C). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96762/
Forestry in the 2007 Farm Bill
This report briefly describes the Agriculture Committees' jurisdiction over forestry, with examples of legislation addressed by the committees. It discusses forestry issues likely to be debated in the upcoming farm bill. It then presents information on the forestry provisions in the Administration's proposal for the 2007 farm bill, followed by the forestry provisions in the House-passed 2007 farm bill (the Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007, H.R. 2419) and in the Senate Committee draft bill (the Food and Energy Security Act of 2007). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96766/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 111th Congress that would have eased U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba, but were not completed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96742/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 111th Congress that would ease U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96741/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 111th Congress that would ease U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96740/
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
This report discusses the effects of economic sanctions against Iran; support to the Iranian democracy movement; and opposition against Iranian human rights violations and Iranian support for Syrian human rights violations. The Obama Administration identifies Iran as a major threat to U.S. national security interests. The sense of imminent crisis with Iran which greeted the beginning of 2012 follows three years in which the Obama Administration first offered Iran's leaders consistent and sustained engagement in exchange for limits to its nuclear program but, since 2010, has emphasized pressuring Iran through economic sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96748/
Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2013
This report summarizes budgetary decisions relating to research and development funding for FY2013. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96716/
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers
This report provides background on the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers (TAA) program. After a brief introduction, it discusses TAA eligibility and benefits as set by TAAEA. It then describes how the program is funded and administered. The report concludes by presenting data on recent application activity and benefit usage. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96713/
State and Local Economic Sanctions: Constitutional Issues
This report considers the Constitutionality of states and localities enacting their own sanctions on foreign countries, particularly Iran and Sudan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96771/
Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) Drought: Federal Water Management Issues
This report provides an introductory analysis of federal water management issues in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF), particularly during drought. The report underscores that decision makers are faced with the tradeoff of the current harm that reduced flows may cause aquatic species against the benefits of maintaining water in storage for future multipurpose use later. The first section briefly introduces the basin's water resources and related federal issues. The second section summarizes current federal reservoir operations. The third section discusses how the municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses of ACF waters affect federal reservoir management. The fourth section covers how species protections affect Corps operations and how Corps operations may affect protected species. The fifth section briefly discusses legislation in the 110th Congress related to the ACF and water supply and management issues in the Southeast. The report concludes with comments about the ACF in the broader context of federal CRS-2 water policies and projects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96798/
Iran Sanctions
This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administrations' economic sanctions against Iran. However, with subsequent negotiations yielding no firm Iranian agreement to compromise regarding their nuclear program, the Administration has focused on achieving the imposition of additional U.N., U.S., and allied country sanctions whose cumulative effect would be to compel it to accept a nuclear bargain. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96807/
Iran Sanctions
This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administrations' economic sanctions against Iran. However, with subsequent negotiations yielding no firm Iranian agreement to compromise regarding their nuclear program, the Administration has focused on achieving the imposition of additional U.N., U.S., and allied country sanctions whose cumulative effect would be to compel it to accept a nuclear bargain digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96808/