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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Import Terminals: Siting, Safety, and Regulation
This report provides an overview of recent industry proposals for new LNG import terminals. The report summarizes LNG hazards and the industry's safety record. It discusses federal laws and regulations related to LNG terminal siting with a focus on the authorities of key federal agencies and safety provisions in the permitting of onshore facilities. The report reviews controversial safety issues in recent LNG siting proceedings, such as safety zones, marine hazards, hazard modeling, and remote siting. The report outlines policy issues related to LNG terminal safety, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC's) LNG siting authority, regional LNG siting, "remote" siting requirements in federal regulations, state permitting requirements, terrorism, and other issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463054/
Transatlantic Regulatory Cooperation: Background and Analysis
This report is intended to serve as an introduction and primer on a complicated, broad, and often highly technical set of issues. It is presented in seven parts: the first section describes the nature and scope of U.S.-EU regulatory barriers; the second section explains the rationale for regulatory cooperation; the third section highlights the differences in U.S.-EU regulatory approaches; the fourth section examines the various forms of regulatory cooperation; the fifth section evaluates the results of past initiatives at regulatory cooperation; the sixth section analyses the creation and operation of the Transatlantic Economic Council; and the last section highlights the role of Congress in transatlantic regulatory cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463011/
Canadian Oil Sands: Life-Cycle Assessments of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
This report discusses the basic methodology of life-cycle assessments and compares several of the publicly available studies of GHG emissions data for Canadian oil sands crudes against each other and against those of other global reference crudes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463091/
U.S. Immigration Policy on Temporary Admissions
This report begins 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 describes the circumstances under which nonimmigrants may work in the United States and follows with an analysis of nonimmigrant admissions. The report concludes with a discussion of issues, followed by two detailed tables analyzing key admissions requirements across all nonimmigrant visa types. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463098/
Revising Insurance Regulation: Policy Considerations
This report discusses federal regulation of insurers — whether optional or mandatory — in the broader context of national interests. To assist that discussion, it traces the evolving rationale for regulation generally, explains insurers' roles as risk managers and financial intermediaries, and reviews briefly important aspects of the major lines of insurance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463068/
Tolling of Interstate Highways: Issues in Brief
In recent years, the revenues flowing into the highway trust fund have been insufficient to maintain even current levels of federal funding for highways. Political resistance to raising the federal fuels tax is high. This report discusses arguments for and against expanding tolling of the Interstate highways as a means of generating needed funds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463040/
Climate Change: Current Issues and Policy Tools
This report introduces the reader to fundamentals of the climate change issue. Part one summarizes current understandings and controversies concerning the science, economics, international cooperation, and other aspects of the climate change policy problem. Part two is a brief update on the status of domestic and international policies. Part three outlines the policy toolbox seen as being available to policymakers to address the challenge as they define the emerging legislative agenda. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463070/
Job Loss and Infrastructure Job Creation Spending During the Recession
This report takes an in-depth look at job creation estimates, including the limitations of the methodology often used to derive them and the difficulties associated with developing job estimates for green infrastructure in particular. The report views these topics in the context of the 2007-2008 recession and its aftermath. The report closes with a review of what is known to date about the number of jobs supported by infrastructure spending and other provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, P.L. 111-5). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463015/
Iran's Activities and Influence in Iraq
This report discusses the relationship between Iraq and Iran in the post-Saddam Hussein era, with particular focus on what Iran's intentions and/or long-term goals may be for increasing its influence in Iraq. The report explores the various strategies that Iran has used to spread its influence throughout Iraq's military and political spheres. The report also addresses the United States' concern over the Iran-Iraq relationship, especially as it concerns armed Shiite factions and U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463076/
Climate Change and Existing Law: A Survey of Legal Issues Past, Present, and Future
This report surveys existing law for legal issues that have arisen, or may arise in the future, on account of climate change and government responses thereto. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463021/
U.S.-Japan Economic Relations: Significance, Prospects, and Policy Options
This report discusses issues regarding U.S.-Japan economic relations, since the economic condition of each nation can affect the world economy and a U.S.-Japan bilateral economic relationship could influence economic conditions in other countries. U.S. and Japanese leaders have several options on how to manage their relationship, including stronger reliance on the World Trade Organization; special bilateral negotiating frameworks and agreements; or a free trade agreement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463031/
U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production in Federal and Non-Federal Areas
This report examines U.S. oil and natural gas production data for federal and non-federal areas with an emphasis on the past six years of production. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463032/
International Climate Change Financing: The Green Climate Fund (GCF)
This report discusses the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which aims to assist developing countries in their efforts to combat climate change through the provision of grants and other concessional financing for mitigation and adaptation projects, programs, policies, and activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463060/
Reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act
This report describes the changes that were made by the Foreign Intelligence Suveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act within the context of the government's authority to conduct surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463018/
Gun Control Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report looks at past gun control legislation and also how recent events (such as the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, Aurora, Colorado, and Tucson, Arizona) have influenced current congressional discourse and legislation. The report also specifically examines certain contentious, gun related topics including universal background checks, gun trafficking, and military style firearms. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463002/
International Parental Child Abductions
This report discusses the applicability of the Hague Convention and current U.S. laws, both civil and criminal, which seek to address the quandary of children abducted by parents to foreign nations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463074/
The United States and Europe: Responding to Change in the Middle East and North Africa
This report assesses some of the policy implications of recent and ongoing events in the Middle East region, provides an overview of U.S. responses to date, and explores select case studies to illustrate some key questions and dilemmas that Congress and the executive branch may face with regard to these issues and others in the future. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463016/
Small Business Size Standards: A Historical Analysis of Contemporary Issues
This report provides a historical examination of the Small Business Administration's SBA size standards, and assesses competing views concerning how to define a small business. It also discusses H.R. 585, the Small Business Size Standard Flexibility Act of 2011, which would have authorized the SBA's Office of Chief Counsel for Advocacy to approve or disapprove a size standard proposed by a federal agency if it deviates from the SBA's size standards. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463081/
U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians
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/metadc463013/
Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests
This report discusses the current political and economic conditions in Russia, focusing on the impact of Vladimir Putin's leadership and the leadership of his successor/protégé, Dmitriy Medvedev, both of which have steered Russia away from democratization. The report also discusses the state of the economy since the Soviet collapse in 1999, how the recent global economic downturn has affected Russia, the state of Russia's military, and the current relationship between Russia and the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463019/
U.S. Air Force Bomber Sustainment and Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
This report addresses potential congressional oversight and appropriations concerns for the sustainment and modernization of the U.S. Air Force's bomber force. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463087/
Guatemala: Political, Security, and Socio- Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Guatemala's current political and economic conditions, relations with the United States, and several issues likely to figure in future decisions by Congress and the Administration regarding Guatemala. With respect to continued cooperation and foreign assistance, these issues include security and governance, protection of human rights and human rights conditions on some U.S. military aid to Guatemala, support for the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, combating narcotics trafficking and organized crime, trade relations, and inter-country adoption. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463027/
The Independent Payment Advisory Board
This report, which provides an overview of the Payment Advisory Board, begins with a discussion of the rationale behind the creation of an independent Medicare board and briefly reviews prior proposals for similar boards and commissions. The report then describes the structure of the Board, the calculations and determinations required to be made by the Office of the Chief Actuary (the Chief Actuary) in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that trigger a Board proposal, and the content of and constraints on Board proposals--including the Medicare productivity exemptions under Section 3401 of the The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463057/
U.S. Citizens Kidnapped by the Islamic State
This report briefly discusses the Islamic State's (IS, or alternatively, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, ISIL, or Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS) kidnapping of American citizens and the implications for congressional response. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462606/
Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the current state of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its current relationship with the United States, and future initiatives to further develop U.S.-Saudi relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462604/
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues. This report includes information on Legislation, Executive Orders and Presidential Directives, Data and Statistics, Cybersecurity Glossaries", Reports by Topic, Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports, White House/Office of Management and Budget reports, Military/DOD, Cloud Computing, Critical Infrastructure, National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), Cybercrime/Cyberwar, International, Education/Training/Workforce, and Research and Development (R&D) digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462636/
Wind Energy: Offshore Permitting
This report will discuss the disputes over the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) jurisdiction prior to enactment of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 as well as the current law applicable to siting offshore wind facilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462622/
Codes of Conduct for Multinational Corporations: An Overview
This report examines corporate social responsibility (CSR) on the part of multinational corporations in the globalized economy. The report discusses the U.S. government's role through regulation, as well as industry-specific codes of conduct. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462686/
Gangs in Central America
This report describes the gang problem in Central America, discusses country approaches to deal with the gangs, and analyzes U.S. policy with respect to gangs in Central America. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462620/
Ozone Air Quality Standards: EPA's 2015 Revision
This report discusses the standard-setting process, the specifics of the current and most recent reviews, and issues that may be raised as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brings the current review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone to completion. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462623/
Iran's Nuclear Program: Tehran's Compliance with International Obligations
This report provides a brief overview of Iran's nuclear program and describes the legal basis for the actions taken by the IAEA board and the Security Council. It will be updated as events warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462677/
Whales and Sonar: Environmental Exemptions for the Navy's Mid-Frequency Active Sonar Training
This report discusses laws related to the protection of marine mammals when using mid-frequency active sonar including the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). The report discusses each of the laws generally, and then reviews the litigation surrounding the Navy's compliance with these laws in the context of using the sonar for training purposes off California's coast. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462658/
Drug Offenses: Maximum Fines and Terms of Imprisonment for Violation of the Federal Controlled Substances Act and Related Laws
This report is a chart of the maximum fines and terms of imprisonment that may be imposed as a consequence of conviction for violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and other drug supply and drug demand related laws. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462603/
H.R. 2: The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009
This report summarizes changes to current law across the major provisions of H.R. 2 that would occur if The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) were enacted. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463003/
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings
This report gives an overview of issues and legislation relating to the Emergency Alert System (EAS). It includes a discussion of the EAS administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios, all-hazard warning technology, proposals and programs, the executive order regarding the public alert and warning system and legislation from the 109th and 110th Congresses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463007/
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
This report discusses some of the commercial and federal radio frequency spectrum policy changes required by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. It also summarizes new policy directions for spectrum management under consideration in the 112th Congress, such as the encouragement of new technologies that use spectrum more efficiently. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463069/
Aviation War Risk Insurance: Background and Options for Congress
This report discusses aviation war risk insurance that provides coverage for hostile acts of violence against airlines, such as terrorism, hijackings, and sabotage. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463044/
Kosovo: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political state of Kosovo, which, on February 7, 2008, declared its independence from Serbia. Since then, Serbia has contested Kosovo's declaration of independence, leading to parallel governing institutions and ongoing talks between the two nations. This report discusses challenges Kosovo faces regarding international recognition and the status of its ethnic minorities. This report also discusses Kosovo's relationship with the United States, and U.S. foreign aid efforts to Kosovo. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463073/
Medal of Honor Recipients: 1979-2008
This report covers additions and changes to the list of recipients of the medal since the release of the committee print. The Medal of Honor (MOH) is the nation's highest award for military valor. It is presented by the President in the name of Congress and thus is often called the Congressional Medal of Honor. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463088/
Cuba: Issues for the 110th 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 how to best support political and economic change in one of the world's remaining communist nations, in the context of Fidel Castro's departure from heading the government because of poor health. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463000/
Restrictions on Itemized Tax Deductions: Policy Options and Analysis
This report analyzes various proposals to restrict itemized deductions--both across-the-board and individually tailored--using standard economic criteria of economic efficiency, distribution, simplicity, and estimated revenue effects. In particular, this report estimates each proposal's potential to contribute to revenue-neutral reductions in income tax rates and the consequences for economic behavior. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463075/
Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding
This report discusses the firefighting activities that are traditionally the responsibility of states and local communities. The report also talks about the funding for firefighters, which is provided mostly by state and local governments. However, during the 106th Congress, many in the fire community asserted that local fire departments require and deserve greater support from the federal government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463038/
The Federal Budget: Issues for FY2014 and Beyond
This report provides an overview of federal budget issues, focusing on recent fiscal policy changes. It also discusses the major policy proposals contained in the President's FY2014 budget and the House and Senate budget resolutions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463037/
Compulsory DNA Collection: A Fourth Amendment Analysis
This report examines compulsory DNA collection by law enforcement and its implications in regards to 4th amendment protections by examining legal precedents and considering the contemporary scientific understanding of DNA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463009/
Job Loss and Infrastructure Job Creation Spending During the Recession
This report takes an in-depth look at job creation estimates, including the limitations of the methodology often used to derive them and the difficulties associated with developing job estimates for green infrastructure in particular. The report views these topics in the context of the 2007-2008 recession and its aftermath. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463084/
The Increase in Unemployment Since 2007: Is It Cyclical or Structural?
This report assesses the relative magnitudes of cyclical and structural unemployment as they respond to different policy measures. An analysis of changes since 2007 in a variety of labor market indicators across industries and areas finds patterns that strongly suggest most of the increase in the U.S. unemployment rate is cyclical (i.e., due to depressed aggregate demand). Empirical studies suggest that, although structural unemployment has temporarily increased, it accounted for a minority of the rise in the unemployment rate in recent years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463079/
Marine Corps Drawdown, Force Structure Initiatives, and Roles and Missions: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information regarding the Marine Corps that characterizes itself as a crisis response expeditionary force, which is task organized and able to conduct operations across the entire spectrum of military operations. The report discusses the force reduction and shaping programs, force structure initiatives, marine corps roles, missions, and force structure. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463067/
Severe Thunderstorms and Tornadoes in the United States
This report discusses the natural basis of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes and the risk associated with them. The report also examines several options Congress could consider to potentially reduce the costs these destructive natural events. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463080/
Argentina's Defaulted Sovereign Debt: Dealing with the "Holdouts"
This report reviews Argentina's financial crisis, the bond exchanges of 2005 and 2010, ongoing litigation, prospects for a final solution, related U.S. legislation, and broader policy issues. These include lessons on the effectiveness and cost of Argentina's default strategy, the ability to force sovereigns to meet their debt obligations, and ways to avoid future defaults like Argentina's. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463061/
The United Kingdom and U.S.-UK Relations
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/metadc463071/