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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities--Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on the potential implications of China's naval modernization for future required U.S. Navy capabilities. This report is based on unclassified open-source information, such as the annual Department of Defense (DOD) report to Congress on China's military power, and published reference sources such as Jane's Fighting Ships. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501693/
Democratic Reforms in Taiwan: Issues for Congress
Taiwan, which its government formally calls the Republic of China (ROC), is a success story for U.S. interests in the promotion of universal freedoms and democracy. Taiwan's people and their leaders transformed politics from rule imposed from the outside with authoritarian abuses to the relatively peaceful achievement of self-government, human rights, and democracy. This report succinctly discusses Taiwan's transformation and current concerns, paying particular attention to the role of Congress and implications and options for U.S. policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501626/
China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities--Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on the implications that certain elements of China's military modernization may have for future required U.S. Navy capabilities. This report is based on unclassified open-source information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501692/
Air Force C-17 Aircraft Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information on the C-17 Aircraft program, including previous appropriations, related programs, and issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501614/
Health Care for Veterans: Suicide Prevention
This report focuses on suicide prevention activities of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VHA's approach to suicide prevention is based on a public health framework, which has three major components: (1) surveillance, (2) risk and protective factors, and (3) interventions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501672/
China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities--Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on the potential implications of China's naval modernization for future required U.S. Navy capabilities. This report is based on unclassified open-source information, such as the annual Department of Defense (DOD) report to Congress on China's military power, an August 2009 report from the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), and published reference sources such as Jane's Fighting Ships. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501628/
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Overview and Issues
This report discusses the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) of 1986, which was enacted to improve absentee registration and voting for this group of voters and to consolidate existing laws. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501650/
North Korea: Back on the Terrorism List?
This report describes the rationales for including North Korea on the terrorism list from 1987- 2008, for North Korea's delisting in 2008, and the debate in 2010 over whether to re-list North Korea. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501654/
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS), East China Sea (ECS), and an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501611/
Financial Regulatory Reform: Systemic Risk and the Federal Reserve
The recent financial crisis contained a number of systemic risk episodes, or episodes that caused instability for large parts of the financial system. The lesson some policymakers have taken from this crisis is that a systemic risk or "macroprudential" regulator is needed to prevent similar episodes in the future. This report defines the potential duties and responsibilities of a systemic risk regulator, relating those duties to events that potentially contributed to the recent crisis. It then identifies the powers that would need to be given to a regulator to perform those duties, and compares those powers and responsibilities to the Fed's existing powers and responsibilities. It discusses advantages and disadvantages of giving those responsibilities to the Fed or the executive branch. The report also includes a brief overview of major elements of the Administration's proposal, H.R. 4173, which passed the House on December 11, 2009, and the Restoring American Financial Stability Act, which was ordered to be reported out of the Senate Banking Committee on March 22, 2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501691/
Secret Sessions of the House and Senate: Authority, Confidentiality, and Frequency
This report discusses secret, or closed, sessions of the House and Senate, which exclude the press and the public. They may be held for matters deemed to require confidentiality and secrecy--such as national security, sensitive communications received from the President, and Senate deliberations during impeachment trials. Although Members usually seek advance agreement for going into secret session, any Member of Congress may request a secret session without notice. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501698/
Veterans Affairs: The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims--Judicial Review of VA Decision Making
This report discusses legislation enacted by the 111th Congress to address funding, operations, and benefit appeal procedures within the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims (CAVC). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501624/
U.S. Offshore Oil and Gas Resources: Prospects and Processes
This report examines questions around lifting the moratoria on Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) exploration and production and the significance of the change on U.S. oil and natural gas supplies and markets. The report presents the current U.S. oil and gas supply-and-demand picture and provides a discussion of legislative issues, resource assessments, the leasing system, and environmental and social issues associated with offshore oil and gas development. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501652/
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations
This report provides an overview of actions taken by Congress to provide FY2011 appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS). It also provides an overview of FY2010 appropriations for agencies and bureaus funded under the CJS bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501633/
Nigeria's 2015 Elections and the Boko Haram Crisis
This report provides an overview of the social and political situation in Nigeria. The report discusses the 2015 election in Nigeria, the rising threat of Boko Haram, and the U.S. policy and assistance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501641/
Navy Nuclear Aircraft Carrier (CVN) Homeporting at Mayport: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's proposal to homeport a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN) at Mayport, Florida. Transferring a CVN from Norfolk, Virginia, to Mayport would also shift the local economic activity associated with homeporting a CVN, which some sources estimate as being worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501639/
The Effectiveness of the Community Reinvestment Act
The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) addresses how banking institutions meet credit needs in low- and moderate-income (LMI) neighborhoods. This report informs the congressional debate concerning the CRA's effectiveness in incentivizing bank lending and investment activity to LMI borrowers. After a discussion of the CRA's origins, it presents the CRA's examination process and bank activities that are eligible for consideration of CRA credits. Next, it discusses the difficulty of determining the CRA's influence on bank behavior. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501665/
Worker Participation in Employer-Sponsored Pensions: A Fact Sheet
This fact sheet provides data on the percentage of American workers who have access to and who participate in employer-sponsored pension plans. The information is from the National Compensation Survey (NCS), which is conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The NCS provides data on occupational earnings and the availability of employee benefits among U.S. workers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501635/
The United Kingdom: Issues for the United States
This report discusses the relations between United Kingdom (UK) and the United States, including a sense of shared history, values, and culture, as well as extensive and long-established cooperation on a wide range of foreign policy and security issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501664/
Premium Tax Credits and Federal Health Insurance Exchanges: Questions and Answers
Legal challenges that may have a substantial impact on the implementation and operation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) concern whether premium tax credits are available for millions of individuals participating in federally administered health insurance exchanges. The Supreme Court has decided to weigh in on this issue in King v. Burwell. This report provides background on provisions of ACA relevant to this issue. It then answers questions concerning the legal challenges and potential implications of the Court's decision in King. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501694/
Cybersecurity Issues and Challenges: In Brief
The information and communications technology (ICT) industry has evolved greatly over the last half century. The technology is ubiquitous and increasingly integral to almost every facet of modern society. ICT devices and components are generally interdependent, and disruption of one may affect many others. Over the past several years, experts and policy makers have expressed increasing concerns about protecting ICT systems from cyberattacks, which many experts expect to increase in frequency and severity over the next several years. This report discusses the concept of cybersecurity, the management of cybersecurity risks, and the federal government's role in managing such risks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501605/
Navy Nuclear Aircraft Carrier (CVN) Homeporting at Mayport: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's proposal to homeport a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN) at Mayport, Florida. Transferring a CVN from Norfolk, Virginia, to Mayport would also shift the local economic activity associated with homeporting a CVN, which some sources estimate as being worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501617/
Haiti Earthquake: Crisis and Response
The largest earthquake ever recorded in Haiti devastated parts of the country, including the capital, on January 12, 2010. This report discusses the disaster and various responses, ranging from the Haitian government's initial response to foreign humanitarian and financial aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501690/
Africa Command: U.S. Strategic Interests and the Role of the U.S. Military in Africa
This report provides information on U.S. Africa Command or (AFRICOM), including AFRICOM's mission, structure, interagency coordination, and its basing and manpower requirements. The report also gives a broad overview of U.S. strategic interests in Africa and the role of U.S. military efforts on the continent as they pertain to the creation of Africa Command. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501663/
Navy CG(X) Cruiser Program: Background for Congress
The Navy's FY2011 budget proposes canceling the CG(X) program as unaffordable and instead building an improved version of the Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class Aegis destroyer called the Flight III version. This report provides background information on the CG(X) program as it existed prior to its proposed cancellation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501629/
Congressional Action on FY2015 Appropriations Measures
This report provides background and analysis on congressional action related to the FY2015 appropriations process. The first section discusses the status of discretionary budget enforcement for FY2015, including the statutory spending limits and allocations normally associated with the congressional budget resolution. The second section provides information on the consideration and enactment of regular appropriations and an overview of aggregate discretionary spending. The third section discusses the legislative action on FY2015 CRs and associated budget enforcement considerations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501666/
Kuwait: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report looks at Kuwait's relationships with its neighbors in the Persian Gulf, and its own political system which has been in turmoil since 2006. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501689/
United States-Canada Trade and Economic Relationship: Prospects and Challenges
The United States and Canada conduct the world's largest bilateral trade relationship, with total merchandise trade (exports and imports) exceeding $561.5 billion in 2007. This report examines the various aspects of this trade partnership and presents several policy options for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501832/
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
The Navy has been procuring Virginia (SSN-774) class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) at a rate of one per year for the past several years, and a total of 12 boats have been procured through FY2010. The Navy's proposed FY2011 budget increases the procurement rate to two boats per year. This report discusses the Navy's proposed FY2011 budget, which requests $3,441.5 million in procurement funding to complete the procurement cost of the 13th and 14th Virginia-class boats. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501860/
The Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and Its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape
The report discusses the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-Related Congressional Actions in the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501818/
China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities--Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on the potential implications of China's naval modernization for future required U.S. Navy capabilities. Other CRS reports address separate issues relating to China. This report is based on unclassified open-source information, such as the annual Department of Defense report to Congress on military and security developments involving China, an August 2009 report on China's navy from the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), published reference sources such as Jane's Fighting Ships, and press reports. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501802/
Water Quality Issues in the 113th Congress: An Overview
This report discusses the legislative and oversight issues regarding water quality, as well as wastewater treatment funding issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501874/
The Impact of Major Legislation on Budget Deficits: 2001 to 2009
This report examines to what extent major legislative changes from 2001 to 2009 caused the budget to move from surplus to deficit. Legislative actions taken in 2009 increased the FY2009 deficit by $509 billion, whereas legislative actions taken between 2001 and 2008 increased the FY2009 deficit by $903 billion. Furthermore, legislative changes have cumulatively increased federal budget deficits over FY2001 to FY2009 by $5.4 trillion. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501816/
Navy Shipboard Lasers for Surface, Air, and Missile Defense: Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on potential Navy shipboard lasers for countering surface, air, and ballistic missile threats. It does not discuss the use of lasers on Navy aircraft or submarines, or the use of lasers by other military services. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501881/
State Sponsors of Acts of International Terrorism--Legislative Parameters: In Brief
This brief report provides information on legislation that authorizes the designation of any foreign government as a state sponsor of acts of international terrorism. It addresses the statutes and how they each define acts of international terrorism; establish a list to limit or prohibit aid or trade; provide for systematic removal of a foreign government from a list, including timeline and reporting requirements; authorize the President to waive restrictions on a listed foreign government; and provide (or do not provide) Congress with a means to block a delisting. It closes with a summary of delisting in the past. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501813/
War in Afghanistan: Strategy, Military Operations, and Issues for Congress
The character of the war in Afghanistan evolved from a violent struggle against al Qaeda and its Taliban supporters to a multi-faceted counterinsurgency (COIN) effort. This report provides an examination of the war's background, context, and early execution; an analytical discussion of the COIN war to date, including strategy, organization, participation, and key facets of the effort including population security, advising the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), counter-narcotics, reconciliation, community outreach, and civil-military coordination; and an analysis of major strategic and operational issues and options that the 111th Congress may opt to consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501819/
Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (USTs): Prevention and Cleanup
This report addresses a nationwide water pollution problem caused by leaking underground storage tanks (USTs). The report discusses key issue that state resources have not met the demands of administering the underground storage tanks (UST) leak prevention program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501887/
Argentina: Background and U.S. Relations
Argentina, a South American country with a population of around 41 million, has had a vibrant democratic tradition since its military relinquished power in 1983. Argentina has Latin America's third-largest economy and is endowed with vast natural resources. Agriculture has traditionally been a main economic driver, but the country also has a diversified industrial base and a highly educated population. U.S.-Argentine relations, as described by the Department of State, are based on such shared interests as regional peace and stability, nuclear nonproliferation, human rights, education, and cooperation on science and technology. Commercial relations are robust, with the United States running a $5.7 billion trade surplus and U.S. companies investing approximately $15 billion in the country. This report provides background on the political and economic situation in Argentina and U.S.- Argentine relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501827/
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
The Navy has been procuring Virginia (SSN-774) class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) at a rate of one per year for the past several years, and a total of 12 boats have been procured through FY2010. The Navy's proposed FY2011 budget increases the procurement rate to two boats per year. This report discusses the Navy's proposed FY2011 budget, which requests $3,441.5 million in procurement funding to complete the procurement cost of the 13th and 14th Virginia-class boats. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501857/
Navy Nuclear Aircraft Carrier (CVN) Homeporting at Mayport: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's proposal to homeport a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN) at Mayport, Florida. Transferring a CVN from Norfolk, Virginia, to Mayport would also shift the local economic activity associated with homeporting a CVN, which some sources estimate as being worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501606/
Defense Acquisitions: How DOD Acquires Weapon Systems and Recent Efforts to Reform the Process
This report outlines the Department of Defense's (DOD) defense acquisition structure, discusses recent major reports addressing defense acquisition, and considers recent DOD efforts to improve the acquisition of weapon systems. It also includes a description of recent congressional efforts to reform the DOD's acquisition process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501604/
United States Fire Administration: An Overview
This report discusses the United States Fire Administration (USFA), which aims 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501636/
DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress
This report briefly discusses the Department of Defense leases of foreign-built ships, the opponents of this practice, and related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501622/
The Islamic State in Egypt: Implications for U.S.-Egyptian Relations
This report discusses Islamist militancy in Egypt; specifically the presence the Islamic State organization (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL/ISIS). The report also briefly discusses what the propagation of militants means for relations between the United States and Egypt. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501686/
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages for countering mines, small boats, and diesel-electric submarines, particularly in littoral (i.e., near-shore) waters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501620/
Cuba Sanctions: Legislative Restrictions Limiting the Normalization of Relations
This report provides information on legislative provisions restricting relations with Cuba. It lists the various provisions of law comprising economic sanctions on Cuba, including key laws that are the statutory basis of the embargo, and provides information on the authority to lift or waive these restrictions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501623/
Telework for Executive Agency Employees: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Legislation Pending in the 111th Congress
The 111th Congress is considering legislation (S. 707 and H.R. 1722) to foster the development of telework in executive agencies of the federal government. Legislation to augment telework in executive agencies of the federal government is currently pending in the 111th Congress. S. 707, the Telework Enhancement Act of 2009, and H.R. 1722, the Telework Improvements Act of 2010, were introduced on March 25, 2009, by Senator Daniel Akaka and Representative John Sarbanes, respectively. This report presents a side-by-side comparison of the provisions of S. 707, as reported, and H.R. 1722, as ordered to be reported. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501677/
The U.S. Secret Service: An Examination and Analysis of Its Evolving Missions
This report frames potential policy questions concerning the U.S. Secret Service's (USSS's) mission and organization through an examination of the USSS history and its statutory authorities, mission, and present activities within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501658/
U.S.-Vietnam Economic and Trade Relations: Issues for the 111th Congress
This report will examine each of these trade issues, discussing their main elements and exploring their implications for the 111th Congress. This will be followed by an analysis of key trends in bilateral trade to discern any potential sources of trade friction in the future. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501603/
The National Nanotechnology Initiative: Overview, Reauthorization, and Appropriations Issues
This report provides an overview of nanotechnology, the National Nanotechnology Initiative, possible reauthorization of the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-153), and appropriations issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501607/