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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Cuba: U.S. Policy and Issues for the 113th Congress
This report discusses the current political conditions of Cuba as well as its relationship with the United States. In particular, the report focuses on U.S. policy regarding Cuba including various economic sanctions, human rights issues, and foreign aid appropriations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276937/
Overview and Issues for Implementation of the Federal Cloud Computing Initiative: Implications for Federal Information Technology Reform Management
This report explains what cloud computing is -- including cloud deployment models and service models -- discusses issues that should be considered when adopting cloud services, and presents the federal government's planning for IT reform. It also provides information on assessments that have been conducted on agency cloud adoption and discusses both the challenges and drivers of cloud adoption. Finally, the report provides possible mechanisms for Congress to monitor agencies as they implement cloud computing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276909/
Federal Assistance for Wildfire Response and Recovery
This report briefly discusses the options for federal support and assistance for areas affected by wildfire disasters, including the period during wildfires, in the aftermath, and subsequently for preventing a recurrence. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276925/
Northern Ireland: The Peace Process
This report provides background information regarding political violence and the peace process in Northern Ireland. It includes further information about the devolved government and recurrent crises (1999-2002, 2003-2007 and 2008-2010), implementation of police reforms, recent events and ongoing challenges, relevant U.S. policy, and recent legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276910/
Iran Sanctions
This report discusses the recent development regarding the negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program. It provides background information on Iranian nuclear program and debates the November 24 Joint Plan of Action Elements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276912/
Tax Deductions for Individuals: A Summary
This report first describes what tax deductions are, how they vary in their effects on reducing taxable income, and how they differ from other provisions (e.g., exclusions or credits). Next, it discusses the rationale for deductions as part of the tax code. The final section of this report includes tables that summarize each individual tax deduction, under current law. Many of these deductions are part of the permanent income tax code. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276934/
Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP): Implementation and Status
This report provides a brief outline of the programs created under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), changes made by Congress, and a summary of the current status and estimated costs of the program. It also provides an Appendix that contains detailed discussions of the individual TARP programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276901/
Offender Reentry: Correctional Statistics, Reintegration into the Community, and Recidivism
This report provides background information regarding the prison population in the United States that has been growing steadily for more than 30 years. The report presents correctional system statistics and discusses the federal government's involvement in offender reentry programs and the Second Chance Act (P.L. 110-199) that was enacted on April 9, 2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276908/
China's Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States
This report provides background on China's economic rise, describes its current economic structure, identifies the challenges China faces to maintain economic growth, and discusses the challenges, opportunities, and implications for the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276930/
Follow-On Biologics: The Law and Intellectual Property Issues
This report reviews the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCIA), within the context of intellectual property and innovation issues. It provides an introduction to the biologics industry, introduces the regulatory and intellectual property provisions of the BPCIA, considers the potential market for biosimilars and possible industry responses that may arise in the wake of this legislation, and closes with concluding observations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276926/
The Palestinians: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of current issues in U.S.-Palestinian relations. It also contains an overview of Palestinian society and politics and descriptions of key Palestinian individuals and groups--chiefly the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Palestinian Authority (PA), Fatah, Hamas, and the Palestinian refugee population. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276914/
Iran Sanctions
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides examples, based on a wide range of open source reporting, of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276928/
U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations During President Obama's First Five Years: Comparative Analysis With Recent Presidents
This report concerns nominations made by President Obama and other recent Presidents to the U.S. circuit courts of appeals and the U.S. district courts. It discusses the selection and confirmation process for U.S. circuit and district court judges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276911/
The European Union: Questions and Answers
This report provides a brief overview of the European Union (EU), an economic and political partnership between 27 sovereign member states. The report describes the formation of the EU, the three main institutions of the EU, and the EU's relationship with the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276924/
Controversies over Redefining "Fill Material" Under the Clean Water Act
This report discusses the 2002 rule (the Clean Water Act), focusing on how it changes which material and types of activities are regulated under Section 404 and the significance of these issues, especially for the mining industry. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276933/
Waiver Authority Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
This report provides a brief overview of the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program and discusses the process and criteria for EPA to approve a waiver petition. Transportation fuels are required by federal law to contain a minimum amount of renewable fuel each year. The RFS, established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct, P.L. 109-58) and amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA, P.L. 110-140), requires that 15.2 billion gallons of renewable fuels be blended into gasoline and other transportation fuels in 2012. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276939/
The International Whaling Convention (IWC) and Legal Issues Related to Aboriginal Rights
This report discusses the recent legislation regarding whaling in general, and aboriginal whaling in particular. Legislative measures, primarily in the form of concurrent resolutions, have been proposed in four categories: protesting commercial, scientific, or community (nonaboriginal) whaling; ensuring aboriginal whaling rights; providing a tax break for aboriginal whaling captains; and addressing the United States' policy at the annual meetings of the IWC. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276935/
Vulnerable Youth: Background and Policies
This report first provides an overview of the youth population and the increasing complexity of the transition to adulthood for all adolescents with a discussion of the concept of "disconnectedness," as well as the protective factors youth can develop during childhood and adolescence that can mitigate poor outcomes. Further, the report describes the evolution of federal youth policy and provides a brief overview of current federal programs targeted at vulnerable youth, and discusses the challenges of coordinating federal programs for youth, as well as federal legislation and initiatives that promote coordination among federal agencies and support programs with a positive youth development focus. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276905/
The Federal Minimum Wage: In Brief
This report discusses the minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)that have been amended numerous times since 1938, typically for the purpose of expanding coverage or raising the wage rate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276917/
Social Security: Major Decisions in the House and Senate Since 1935
This report is a reference document on the major statutory decisions made by Congress on the Social Security program, including a summary table of all of the legislation discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276929/
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Categorical Eligibility
This report discusses categorical eligibility and some of the issues raised by it. It first describes the three different types of categorical eligibility: traditional categorical eligibility conveyed through receipt of need-based cash assistance, and the newer "narrow" and "broad-based" categorical eligibilities conveyed via TANF "noncash" benefits. It also provides recent information on current state practices with regard to categorical eligibility. Finally, the report discusses proposals to restrict categorical eligibility. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276915/
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting: Federal Funding and Issues
This report discusses the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) that receives virtually all of its funding through federal appropriations; overall, about 15% of public television and 10% of radio broadcasting funding comes from the federal appropriations that CPB distributes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276921/
Federal Traffic Safety Programs: In Brief
This report provides an introduction to measures of traffic safety discusses the federal efforts to improve traffic safety programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276931/
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This report provides a list of roughly 200 congressional liaison offices, and is intended to help congressional offices in placing telephone calls and addressing correspondence to government agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276932/
The Role of Trade Secrets in Innovation Policy
This report provides an overview of the law and policy of trade secrets. It discusses the role of trade secrets in six sections: Trade Secrets and Innovation Policy, An Overview of Trade Secret Law (Basic Principles, and Sources of Law), The Economic Espionage Act, Trade Secrets and Patents (Introduction to the Patent System, Trade Secrets and Patents Compared, and The Prior Commercial User Defense), Congressional Issues and Options, and Concluding Observations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276918/
The U.S. Trade Situation for Fruit and Vegetable Products
This report presents recent trends in U.S. fruit and vegetable trade and highlights some of the factors contributing to these trends. This summary excludes trade data for tree nuts and processed tree nut products. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276902/
Crisis in the Central African Republic
This report provides background on the evolving political, security, and humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), which began when a fractious rebel coalition seized control of the central government in March 2013. The report also describes U.S. policy responses and analyzes possible issues for Congress, including oversight of U.S. humanitarian assistance and support for international stabilization efforts in CAR. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276913/
Discretionary Budget Authority by Subfunction: An Overview
This report provides a graphical overview of historical trends in discretionary budget authority (BA) from FY1976 through FY2012, preliminary estimates for FY2013 spending, and the levels consistent with the President's proposals for FY2014 through FY2018 using data from President Obama's FY2014 budget submission that was released on April 10, 2013. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276919/
Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program
This report discusses the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Act, which was enacted by the 108th Congress as Section 1057 of the FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-136). It includes background of the SAFER Act, appropriations from FY2011-FY2013, reauthorization of the program in the House and Senate, and information about program implementation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276927/
Emergency Relief for Disaster Damaged Roads and Transit Systems: In Brief
This report describes Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) assistance for the repair and reconstruction of highways and bridges damaged by disasters (such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012) or catastrophic failures (such as the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge in 2013). It begins with a brief discussion of the legislative origins of federal assistance and then addresses eligibility issues and program operation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276855/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
This report covers the contentious travel restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba from the 1960s to the present time. Congress, under the Obama Administration, is easing restrictions on family, marketing, agricultural, and medical sales travel. The report also covers legislative action that has taken place in the 112th Congress to harshen travel restrictions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276883/
Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods and the WTO Trade Dispute on Meat Labeling
This report covers the dispute between the U.S with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, who say that the recent country-of-origin labeling (COOL) system implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is unfair and does not meet its original objectives. This dispute was brought before the WTO dispute panel and found to be valid. The report ends with a discussion of options for the U.S. in regards to modifying COOL to follow WTO rulings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276878/
Financial Services and General Government (FSGG): FY2014 Appropriations
This report discusses the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) appropriations bill that provides funding for the Department of the Treasury, the Executive Office of the President (EOP), the judiciary, the District of Columbia, and more than two dozen independent agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276893/
Federal Health Centers
This report provides an overview of the federal health center program including its statutory authority, program requirements, and appropriation levels. The report then describes health centers in general, where they are located, their patient population, and some outcomes associated with health center use. It also describes some federal programs available to assist health center operations including the FQHC designation for Medicare and Medicaid payments. The report concludes with a brief discussion of issues for Congress such as the potential effect of the ACA on health centers, the health center workforce, and financial considerations for health centers in the context of changing federal and state budgets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276862/
Generalized System of Preferences: Agricultural Imports
This report discusses the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which provides duty-free tariff treatment for certain products from designated developing countries. Opinion within the U.S. agriculture industry is mixed, reflecting both support for and opposition to the current program. The 111th Congress did not extend the GSP in 2010, and it was set to expire December 31, 2010, which will likely become a legislative issue in the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276892/
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
This report discusses concerns about food safety, the resources required to ensure food safety, and whether federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276872/
State Government Fiscal Stress and Federal Assistance
This report examines the current status of state fiscal conditions and the role of federal assistance in state budgets. It begins with an overview of state budgeting procedures and then provides budgetary data comparing state fiscal conditions in FY2008 to FY2013. This report concludes with an assessment of the consequences current levels of state fiscal stress may have for the 113th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276854/
EPA's Vessel General Permit: Background and Issues
This report is an overview of the revised Vessel General Permit (VGP) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and two key issues: inclusion of numeric performance standards to limit ballast water discharges from vessels, and controversies about the role of states in regulating vessel discharges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276891/
United States Fire Administration: An Overview
This report describes and analyzes the United States Fire Administration's (USFA's) FY2013 budget proposal, as well as related information and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276898/
Clean Water Act and Pollutant Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
This report discusses the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program which regulates pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained; section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. The report focuses on new challenges facing the TMDL program, including more complex TMDLs, larger scale impairments, and nonpoint sources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276865/
Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview and analysis of U.S.-Yemeni relations and issues, including evolving political change in Yemeni leadership, ongoing U.S. counterterrorism operations against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives at large in Yemen's hinterlands, and international efforts to bolster the country's stability despite an array of daunting socio-economic problems. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276864/
Federal Reserve: Unconventional Monetary Policy Options
This report discusses the Federal Reserve (Fed) unconventional policies in an attempt to reduced the federal funds rate and revive the economy. The Fed has also changed its communication policies since rates reached the zero bound. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276894/
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276890/
Tax Reform in the 113th Congress: An Overview of Proposals
This report provides background information regarding tax reform and discusses ways to make the U.S. tax system simpler, fairer, and more efficient. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276863/
United Nations Reform: Background and Issues for Congress
This report examines reform priorities from the perspective of several key actors, including Members of Congress, the Obama Administration, selected member states, the U.N. Secretary-General, and a cross-section of groups tasked with addressing U.N. reform. It also discusses congressional actions related to U.N. reform and mechanisms for implementing reform, as well as possible challenges facing U.S. policy makers as they consider existing and future U.N. reform efforts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276889/
Commercial Filming and Photography on Federal Lands
This report discusses the requirements of commercial filming and photography in federal lands, such as national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, ranges, and other landscapes are popular locations for motion pictures and commercial photography digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276896/
Constitutional Analysis of Suspicionless Drug Testing Requirements for the Receipt of Governmental Benefits
This report gives an overview of the issues related to federal or state laws that condition the initial or ongoing receipt of governmental benefits on passing drug tests. These regulations are vulnerable to constitutional challenge, most often due to issues of personal privacy and Fourth Amendment protections against "unreasonable searches." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276897/
Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions
This report identifies the legislative bases for sanctions imposed on Iran, and the nature of the authority to waive or lift those restrictions. It comprises two tables that present legislation and executive orders that are specific to Iran and its objectionable activities in the areas of terrorism, human rights, and weapons proliferation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276882/
Nonimmigrant Overstays: Brief Synthesis of the Issue
This report discusses a fundamental problem of immigration control in which foreign nationals enter legally on a temporary basis and continue to stay after their visas expire. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276859/
The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act: Innovation Issues
This report provides an overview of the the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). It begins by offering a brief overview of the patent system, then identifies and reviews the specific components of this legislation in greater detail. The report closes with further considerations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276868/