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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Congressional Roll Call Votes on the Keystone XL Pipeline
This report provides roll call vote data related to the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline that would transport oil sands crude from Canada and shale oil produced in North Dakota and Montana to a market hub in Nebraska for further delivery to Gulf Coast refineries. Voting information is listed chronologically and broken down by chamber, Congress, and type of legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501552/
China and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missiles: Policy Issues
This report, updated through the 113th Congress, discusses the security problem of China's role in weapons proliferation and issues related to the U.S. policy response since the mid-1990s. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501533/
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/metadc501541/
Environmental Considerations in Federal Procurement: An Overview of the Legal Authorities and Their Implementation
This report discusses issues about the role of environmental considerations in federal procurement. These include: to what extent do agencies consider environmental factors when procuring goods or services? What legal authorities presently require or allow agencies to take environmental factors into account when acquiring goods or services? digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501539/
Navy TAO(X) Oiler Shipbuilding Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the TAO(X) oiler shipbuilding program, a program to build a new class of fleet oilers for the Navy. The Navy wants to procure the first TAO(X) in FY2016. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's funding requests and acquisition strategy for the TAO(X) program. Decisions that Congress makes regarding the program could affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501565/
Economic Development Administration: Reauthorization and Funding Issues in the 111th Congress
This report discusses the economic development program re-authorization issues and appropriations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501535/
Kuwait: Security, Reform, and U.S. Policy
This report provides a brief overview on the current political state of Kuwait, which has been pivotal to nearly two decades of U.S. involvement in Iraq and the Middle East. This report also discusses relations between Kuwait and the U.S., and the continuing domestic unrest in Kuwait, an issue separate from the unrest currently sweeping the rest of the Middle East. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501564/
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/metadc501594/
International Agreements on Climate Change: Selected Legal Questions
This report provides background information on global climate change negotiations. The report discuses the United Nations framework for convention for climate change, the Kyoto protocol, and the Copenhagen accord. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501505/
Cuba: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress
This report is divided into three major sections analyzing Cuba's political and economic situation, U.S. policy toward Cuba, and selected issues in U.S.-Cuban relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501517/
Africa: U.S. Foreign Assistance Issues
The United States provides assistance to 47 African countries, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has 23 missions in Africa. In recent years, U.S. assistance to Africa saw a major increase, especially in health-related programs. This report provides an overview of U.S. aid to Africa, including the strategic objectives that shape U.S. aid to Africa, information about specific aid programs and initiatives, and the Obama Administration's FY2011 foreign aid budget request. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501590/
Federal Financial Services Regulatory Consolidation: Structural Response to the 2007-2009 Financial Crisis
This report provides a brief history and overview of the U.S. federal financial services regulatory structure and examines the regulatory structural changes the three major federal government proposals would make to remedy the causes of the financial crisis. It concludes with a discussion of some possible implications of reform. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501563/
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options 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. The Navy's proposed FY2012 budget requests funding for the procurement of four LCSs. Current issues for Congress concerning the LCS program include changes or potential changes to the composition of LCS mission modules announced by the Navy in January 2011, the combat survivability of the LCS, and hull cracking on LCS-1. Congress's decisions on the LCS program could affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501529/
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/metadc501566/
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/metadc501589/
Deferred Examination of Patent Applications: Implications for Innovation Policy
This report provides an overview of deferred patent examination. It begins by offering a brief review of patent acquisition proceedings as well as challenges faced by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The report then introduces the concept of deferred examination. The potential positive and negative consequences of deferred examination upon the environment for innovation within the United States are then explored. The report closes by identifying salient design parameters for deferred examination systems and reviewing congressional options. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501596/
Foreign Aid Reform, National Strategy, and the Quadrennial Review
This report addresses foreign aid reform through early 2010. Several development proponents, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and policymakers have pressed Congress to reform U.S. foreign aid capabilities to better address 21st century development needs and national security challenges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501597/
Political Status of Puerto Rico: Options for Congress
This report discusses the current U.S.-Puerto Rico relationship, the history of said relationship, and the current political state of Puerto Rico, as well as relevant pieces of U.S. Congressional legislation concerning Puerto Rico. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501549/
Federalism Issues in Surface Transportation Policy: Past and Present
This report provides a historical perspective on contemporary federalism issues in surface transportation policy that are likely to be addressed by Congress during the 111th Congress, including possible devolution of programmatic responsibility to states and proposals to change state maintenance-of-effort requirements and state cost matching requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501543/
The U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement: Effects After Five Years
This report provides an overview of the major trade and economic effects of the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA) (P.L. 108-78), from the time that it went into effect (January 1, 2004) over the three years ending in 2006. It also includes detailed information on key provisions of the agreement and legislative action. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501582/
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is 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. This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's LCS program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501559/
Navy SSBN(X) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the U.S. Navy's plan to develop and design a class of 12 next-generation ballistic missile submarines, or SSBN(X)s, as replacements for the 14 Ohio class SSBNs currently in operation. The report explores certain related issues for Congress, including the affordability of the project and its potential impact on other Navy shipbuilding programs, alternatives to the program, and which shipyard or shipyards will build the proposed ships. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501568/
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report discusses current issues for Congress concerning the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program including the program's mission modules, the combat survivability of the LCS, hull cracking and engine problems on LCS-1, and corrosion on LCS-2. The LCS is a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501540/
Poverty in the United States: 2013
This report discusses poverty in United States that varies widely across the population according to age, education, labor force attachment, family living arrangements, and area of residence, among other factors. The report elaborates on the poverty among selected groups, the geography of poverty, and the research supplemental poverty measure. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501570/
Constitutional Points of Order in the Senate
In general, the Senate's presiding officer does not take the initiative in enforcing Senate rules and precedents. Instead, a Senator may raise a point of order if he or she believes the Senate is taking (or is about to take) an action that violates the rules. In most circumstances, the presiding officer rules on the point of order on advice of the Parliamentarian; that ruling is typically subject to an appeal on which the Senate votes (unless the appeal is tabled or withdrawn). Pursuant to Rule XX, however, in certain circumstances a point of order is not ruled on by the presiding officer but is instead submitted to the Senate for its decision. A point of order that a pending matter (a bill or amendment, for example) violates the U.S. Constitution presents one such circumstance. This report explains Senate rules, precedents, and practices in regard to these constitutional points of order, including an analysis of recent cases in which such a point of order has been raised, and will be updated as events warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501515/
Iraq Casualties: U.S. Military Forces and Iraqi Civilians, Police, and Security Forces
This report presents U.S. military casualties as well as governmental and nongovernmental estimates of Iraqi civilian, police, and security forces casualties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501576/
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)
The Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program provides income support to individuals who become unemployed as a direct result of a major disaster and who are not eligible for regular Unemployment Compensation (UC) benefits. DUA is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is administered by the Department of Labor (DOL) through each state's UC agency. This report contains information on how to ascertain if an individual is eligible for DUA benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501521/
Intelligence Issues for Congress
This report gives an overview of current intelligence issues of interest to the 112th Congress. It includes background and analysis including most recent development, ongoing Congressional concerns, specific issues for the 112th Congress, and a summary of related legislation from the 109th through the 112th Congresses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501531/
Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Agency Travel Card Programs
This report begins by discussing the structure of agency travel card programs, and then discusses weaknesses in agency controls that have contributed to waste, fraud, and abuse. It concludes with observations on the information available to Congress for oversight of agency travel card programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501532/
The U.S.-EU Beef Hormone Dispute
This report discusses the long-standing and acrimonious trade dispute between the United States and the European Union (EU) over the EU's decision to ban hormone-treated meat. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501560/
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/metadc501518/
U.S. Immigration Policy: Chart Book of Key Trends
This report is a chart book of selected immigration trends that touch on the main elements of comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). Most policymakers agree that the main issues in CIR include increased border security and immigration enforcement, improved employment eligibility verification, revision of legal immigration, and options to address the millions of unauthorized aliens residing in the country. The report offers snapshots of time series data, using the most complete and consistent time series currently available for each statistic. The key findings and elements germane to the data depicted are summarized with the figures. The summary offers the highlights of key immigration trends. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501502/
North Korea: Legislative Basis for U.S. Economic Sanctions
This report discusses the economic sanctions the United States imposes on North Korea for activities related to weapons proliferation, destabilizing the region, anti-terrorism, and undemocratic governance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501574/
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/metadc501516/
Federal Building and Facility Security
This report discusses the security of federal government buildings and facilities that affect not only the daily operations of the federal government but also the health, well-being, and safety of federal employees and the public. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501581/
Addressing the Long-Run Budget Deficit: A Comparison of Approaches
The growth of the national debt, which is considered unsustainable under current policies, continues to be one of the central issues of domestic federal policy making. On August 2, 2011, Congress adopted, and the President signed, the Budget Control Act (BCA; P.L. 112-25), which might be viewed as an initial step in addressing long-run debt issues. This report examines alternative approaches to reducing the deficit, relating to the immediate issues arising from the BCA and the extended tax cuts as well as to ongoing, longer-term decisions about how to bring the debt under control. It focuses on the trade-offs between limiting the provision of defense and domestic public goods, reducing transfers to persons including entitlements for the elderly and those with low income, reducing support for state and local governments, and raising taxes. Using projections of the debt and deficit, it also addresses how limiting reliance on one source of deficit reduction creates pressure on other sources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501513/
Federalism Issues in Surface Transportation Policy: Past and Present
This report provides a historical perspective on contemporary federalism issues in surface transportation policy that are likely to be addressed by Congress during the 111th Congress, including possible devolution of programmatic responsibility to states and proposals to change state maintenance-of-effort requirements and state cost matching requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501610/
Border Security: Immigration Inspections at Ports of Entry
This report reviews the legislative history of immigration inspections requirements and the entry-exit system. The report then describes the implementation of these provisions, including pre-travel screening, primary and secondary inspections, trusted traveler programs, outbound enforcement, and the entry-exit system. The final section of the report identifies a number of issues for Congress related to immigration admissions and enforcement at ports of entry (POEs). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501645/
Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks
This report provides an overview of Iraq's political transition from the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein to a plural polity that encompasses varying sects and ideological and political factions. This report also addresses ongoing governmental instabilities and their causes, as well as U.S. concerns about possible Iranian influence in Iraq as U.S. forces depart the country. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501647/
Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC): Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses issues surrounding the funding for development of Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501651/
Dynamic Scoring
This report explains dynamic scoring, including the types of effects incorporated and the types of models used, as well as what groups conduct or have conducted macroeconomic analysis of tax changes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501612/
Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY2000-FY2015
This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration requested and how much Congress appropriated for U.S. payments to the multilateral development banks (MDBs) since 2000. It also provides a brief description of the MDBs and the ways they fund their operations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501634/
International Drug Control Policy
This report provides an overview of U.S. international drug control policy. It describes major international counternarcotics initiatives and evaluates the broad array of U.S. drug control policy tools currently in use. The report also considers alternative counterdrug policy approaches to current initiatives and raises several counterdrug policy issues and considerations for policy makers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501655/
Implementation of Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS): Issues for Congress
This report analyzes data from a variety of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) presentations, testimony, and other sources to present a historical overview of program performance to date. It identifies an ongoing gap between the number of facilities that have received final risk tier assignments and the total number of regulated facilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501648/
U.S.-China Counterterrorism Cooperation: Issues for U.S. Policy
This report discusses the United States counterterrorism cooperation with China after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. This effort raised short-term policy issues about how to elicit cooperation and how to address China's concerns about military action (Operation Enduring Freedom). Longer-term questions have concerned whether counterterrorism has strategically transformed bilateral relations and whether China's support has been valuable and not obtained at the expense of other U.S. interests. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501601/
The SSCI Study of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program: Issues to Consider
This report briefly discusses issues pertaining to the 500-page Executive Summary of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA's) Detention and Interrogation Program, which released to the public on December 9, 2014 describes the history of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program from late 2001 to January 2009, including a review of each of the 119 individuals known to have been held in CIA custody. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501642/
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/metadc501608/
Military Pay and Benefits: Key Questions and Answers
This report discusses military pay and benefits. Debate continues over what kinds of pay and benefit increases are best for improving recruiting and retention. Of particular interest is the balance between across-the-board pay raises on the one hand, and ones targeted by grade, years of service, and occupational skill, on the other; and between cash compensation on the one hand and improvements in benefits such as housing, health care, and installation services on the other. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501683/
Iran: Interim Nuclear Agreement and Talks on a Comprehensive Accord
This report discusses the nuclear agreement talks between Iran and the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany -- collectively known as the "P5+1 -- which finalized an interim agreement ("Joint Plan of Action," JPA) requiring Iran to freeze many aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for relief from some international sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501630/
United Nations System Funding: Congressional Issues
This report tracks the process by which Congress provides the funding for U.S. assessed contributions to the regular budgets of the United Nations, its agencies, and U.N. peacekeeping operation accounts, as well as for U.S. voluntary contributions to U.N. system programs and funds. It includes information on the President's request and the congressional response, as well as congressional initiatives during this legislative process. Basic information is provided to help the reader understand this process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501678/