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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Amendments Between the Houses: Procedural Options and Effects
This report explains the procedural options for resolving differences through amendments between the houses, and to discuss the procedural effects of resolving differences through this process as an alternative to conference committee.
Brazil's WTO Case Against the U.S. Cotton Program
This report provides a description and status report on Brazil's challenge to certain aspects of the U.S. cotton program under the rules of the World Trade Organization's (WTO's) dispute settlement process in case DS267. The "Brazil cotton case" had its WTO origins in 2002 and has since evolved into a sprawling legal enterprise that is still ongoing as of mid-2010.
The Economic Implications of the Long-Term Federal Budget Outlook
This report analyzes the long-run path of the federal budget. The United States is projected to undergo a demographic shift as the aging of the baby boomers causes an unprecedented increase in the fraction of the population that is retired. Coupled with rising life expectancy, this means, under current policy, a steady increase in the portion of the population that is both out of the workforce and receiving social insurance benefits from the government.
European Union Enlargement: A Status Report on Turkey's Accession Negotiations
This report provides a brief overview of the European Union's (EU) accession process, Turkey's path to EU membership, the impact of the Cyprus problem, and a review of the United States' interest in Turkey's future in the European Union.
Laos: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides and overview of the political and economical situation in Laos, and discusses the U.S. assistance programs and human rights and humanitarian issues.
Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer
This report provides an overview of nanotechnology, nanomanufacturing, and public understanding of and attitudes toward nanotechnology. Congress has demonstrated continuing support for nanotechnology and has directed its attention primarily to three topics that may affect the realization of this hoped for potential: federal research and development (R&D) in nanotechnology; U.S. competitiveness; and environmental, health, and safety (EHS) concerns.
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.
Transatlantic Regulatory Cooperation: A Possible Role for Congress
This report focuses on the creation of the Transatlantic Economic Council; the role of legislatures in the regulatory process; and the Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue and its new role as an advisor to transatlantic regulatory efforts.
Uruguay: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations
This report examines recent political and economic developments in Uruguay as well as issues in U.S.-Uruguayan relations.
Using Army Corps of Engineers Reservoirs for Municipal and Industrial Water Supply: Current Issues
This report discusses the limited use of federal reservoir storage for Municipal and Industrial (M&I) Water and the M&I water storage at corps facilities supply .
The Americans with Disabilities Act and Emergency Preparedness and Response
This report discusses the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which provides broad nondiscrimination protection for individuals with disabilities in employment, public services, and public accommodations and services operated by private entities. Although the ADA does not include provisions specifically discussing its application to disasters, its nondiscrimination provisions are applicable to emergency preparedness and responses to disasters.
Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Background, Legislation, and Funding
This report discusses the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, which was created by Title I of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-322). The mission of the COPS program is to advance community policing in all jurisdictions across the United States. Several bills introduced in the 111th Congress would either modify the COPS program, reauthorize appropriations for the program, or both.
Energy and Water Development: FY2010 Appropriations
This report discusses the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.
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.
Identity Theft: Trends and Issues
This report first provides a brief federal legislative history of identity theft laws. It analyzes the current trends in identity theft, including prevalent identity theft-related crimes, the federal agencies involved in combating identity theft, and the trends in identity theft complaints and prosecutions. The report also discusses the relationship between data breaches and identity theft as well as possible effects of the FTC's Identity Theft Red Flags Rule, effective June 1, 2010.
International Terrorism and Transnational Crime: Security Threats, U.S. Policy, and Considerations for Congress
This report provides a primer on the confluence of transnational terrorist and criminal groups and related activities abroad. It evaluates possible motivations and disincentives for cooperation between terrorist and criminal organizations, variations in the scope of crime-terrorism links, and the types of criminal activities--fundraising, material and logistics support, and exploitation of corruption and gaps in the rule of law--used by terrorist organizations to sustain operations.
North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Development and Diplomacy
This report provides background information on the nuclear negotiations over North Korea's nuclear weapons program that began in the early 1990s under the Clinton Administration. It also provides information on other concerns that the U.S. has with North Korea, and discusses U.S. engagement activities with North Korea.
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments
This report discusses the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which bans all nuclear explosion and was in 1996 adopted by the U.N. General Assembly but rejected by the U.S. Senate in 1997. This report discusses the Obama Administration's stated goal of pursuing U.S. ratification of the CTBT, although the Administration has mainly focused on securing Senate consent to ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). This report also discusses other nuclear weapons-related issues as well as the long history of nuclear testing.
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
This report discusses the reasons that Iran is considered a threat to U.S. security, including Iran's nuclear program, involvement with terrorist organizations, and involvement with neighboring countries' local governments. The report also discusses ways which the U.S. hopes to modify Iran's behavior with sanctions, and the effectiveness of these sanctions.
North Korea: Terrorism List Removal
This report discusses the issue of North Korea's inclusion on the U.S. list of terrorism-supporting countries that has been a major issue in U.S.-North Korean diplomacy since 2000, particularly in connection with negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program. North Korea demanded that the Clinton and Bush Administration remove North Korea from the terrorism support list. Secretary of State Clinton said on June 7, 2009, that the Obama Administration would consider reinstating North Korea on the list.
Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector
This report presents an overview of the large and diverse sector of water infrastructure systems, describes security-related actions by the government and private sector since September 11, 2001, and discusses additional policy issues and responses, including congressional interest.
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.
Critical Infrastructure Security: CRS Experts
This report contains a table which provides access to names and contact information for CRS experts on policy concerns relating to critical infrastructure security. Policy areas identified include: mission; security services; and specific sectors: assessing vulnerabilities, planning and implementation.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization: An Overview of Legislative Action in the 111th Congress
This report tracks the status of ongoing legislative action and debate related to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization. It is organized into six major program areas: aviation system finance; airport financing; FAA management and organizational issues; system capacity and safety; environmental issues; and airline industry issues. In several cases, provisions that appear in various unrelated sections of proposed legislation have been rearranged in this report in an effort to group and discuss related items in an issue-driven or programmatic context. Since this report is primarily written as a means of communicating key legislative provisions under consideration in the ongoing FAA reauthorization process, it does not go into detail regarding the specific policy issues behind these legislative proposals.
A Federal Chief Technology Officer in the Obama Administration: Options and Issues for Consideration
This report presents President Obama's vision for the chief technology officer (CTO) position. It also discusses the potential scope of the position's duties, articulates organizational precedents and challenges for the CTO, reviews some of the activities undertaken by Aneesh Chopra during his tenure as CTO, and identifies issues Congress may choose to consider if it opts to exert oversight or to develop legislation to create the position and/or office of the CTO.
Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments
This report discusses the strategic significance of Guam for defense buildup and the force relocation and deployments from the U.S. mainland. It also discusses the concerns and issues for Congress, such as allies and partners, relations with China, and legislation.
Honey Bee Colony Collapse Disorder
This report provides an overview of the importance of honey bee pollination to U.S. agricultural production, especially specialty crops. It describes the extent and symptoms of Colony Colapse Disorder (CCD) and how it differs from previous honey bee colony losses, describing some of the reasons why scientists believe honey bee colonies are being affected by CCD. Finally, the report discusses policy options and actions that Congress has taken to address this issue.
Israel: Background and Relations with the United States
This report provides a historical overview of Israel and it discusses most recent development, politics, economy and relations with United States.
Private Security Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan: Legal Issues
This report discusses the legal framework that applies to private security contractors (PSCs) in Iraq and Afghanistan. After presenting a general description of the types of law applicable, including international humanitarian law and relevant status of forces agreements, the report addresses some implications of international law and a multilateral proposal for the adoption of international "best practices" regarding the use of PSCs. The report follows up with a discussion of jurisdiction over PSC personnel in U.S. courts, whether federal or military courts, identifying possible means of prosecuting contractor personnel who are accused of violating the law overseas in the context of U.S. military operations, including a listing of known cases that have occurred or are pending. Finally, the report briefly discusses the possible implication of the roles of private security contractors with respect to inherently governmental functions.
A U.S.-centric Chronology of the International Climate Change Negotiations
The Copenhagen conference in December 2009 achieved only mandates to continue negotiating toward the next Conference of the Parties (COP) to be held in Mexico City in December 2010. As a background to these proceedings, this document provides a U.S.-centric chronology of the international policy deliberations to address climate change from 1979-2009. Negotiations underway since 2007 have run on two tracks, the Kyoto Protocol the Convention under the Bali Action Plan. Many in the U.S. Congress are concerned with the goals and obligations that a treaty or other form of agreement might embody. For U.S. legislators, additional issues include the compatibility of any international agreement with U.S. domestic policies and laws; the adequacy of appropriations, fiscal measures, and programs to achieve any commitments under the agreement; and the desirable form of the agreement and related requirements, with a view toward potential Senate ratification of the agreement and federal legislation to assure that U.S. commitments are met.
U.S. Periods of War
This report lists the beginning and ending dates for "periods of war" found in Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It also lists and differentiates other beginning dates given in declarations of war, as well as termination of hostilities dates and armistice and ending dates given in proclamations, laws, or treaties.
Arms Sales: Congressional Review Process
This report reviews the process and procedures that currently apply to congressional consideration of foreign arms sales proposed by the President. This includes consideration of proposals to sell major defense equipment, defense articles and services, or the re-transfer to third party nations of such military items.
Noncitizen Eligibility and Verification Issues in the Health Care Reform Legislation
This report focuses on this nexus of immigration law and health care reform in the major health care reform bills that are receiving action.
North Korea's Nuclear Weapons: Technical Issues
This report summarizes what is known from open sources about the North Korean nuclear weapons program -- including weapons-usable fissile material and warhead estimates -- and assesses current developments in achieving denuclearization.
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.
Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)
This report looks at the background and current status of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), which was formed to increase international cooperation in interdicting shipments of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians
This report describes issues related to U.S. aid provided to Palestine to support prevention/combating against terrorism, creating coexistence with Israel and self-governance, and meeting humanitarian needs. In includes introductory and historical background as well as in-depth analysis of the types of U.S. bilateral aid to Palestine, U.S. contributions to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the near East (UNRWA), and the issues involved in determining future aid.
Ghana, an Emergent Oil Producer: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides information on current developments in Ghana and Ghanaian-U.S. relations, which are close.
Afghanistan: Politics, Elections, and Government Performance
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, as well as the Afghan government. This report also discusses Afghanistan's relationship with the United States, particularly U.S. efforts to urge President Hamid Karzai to address corruption within the Afghan government.
Automatic Cost of Living Adjustments: Some Economic and Practical Considerations
This report looks at how automatic cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) influence the budget and identifies major programs that have indexing provisions. It also explains what price indexes attempt to measure and discusses some of their weaknesses. Finally, it points out some practical things to keep in mind when establishing an indexing provision.
Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report discusses the current status of Central Asian states and U.S. policy, which has been aimed at facilitating their cooperation with U.S. and NATO stabilization efforts in Afghanistan and their efforts to combat terrorism, proliferation, and trafficking in arms, drugs, and persons. Congress will be considering an increase in support for the programs in Central Asia.
Gangs in Central America
This report describes the gang problem in Central America, discusses country and regional approaches to deal with the gangs, and analyzes U.S. policy with respect to gangs in Central America.
Water Infrastructure Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
This report identifies funding for water infrastructure programs and projects included in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5). The legislation directs additional appropriations to a number of existing federal programs that either directly invest in water infrastructure projects or provide assistance to states and localities for such activities.
Budget Enforcement Procedures: Senate Pay- As-You-Go (PAYGO) Rule
This report discusses the Senate pay-as-you-go, or PAYGO, rule which generally requires that any legislation projected to increase direct spending or reduce revenues must also include equivalent amounts of direct spending cuts, revenue increases, or a combination of the two, so that the legislation does not increase the on-budget deficit over a six-year period and an 11-year period.
Cybersecurity: Current Legislation, Executive Branch Initiatives, and Options for Congress
This report identifies cybersecurity policy issues that have been proposed for priority consideration. The report lists and synopsizes current legislation that has been developed to address various aspects of the cybersecurity problem. It then lists the current status of the legislation and compares legislation with existing executive branch initiatives. Finally, analysis of information contained in executive branch initiatives and congressional legislation is used to further highlight related considerations for Congress.
Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2010
This report summarizes the FY2010 budget request for research & development (R&D) funding, including comparisons to R&D funding requests in the FY2009 budget. This report breaks down in detail the various aspects of the President's FY2010 R&D funding request.
Immigration: Terrorist Grounds for Exclusion and Removal of Aliens
This report focuses on the terrorism-related grounds for inadmissibility and deportation/removal. It opens with an overview of the terror-related grounds as they evolved through recent years. The section on current law explains several legal definitions, and describes the terror-related grounds for inadmissibility and removal. The report then discusses the screening process to determine admissibility and to identify possible terrorists.
Korea-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress
This report outlines the various elements of the bilateral relations between both the U.S. and North Korea and the U.S. and South Korea, especially nuclear nonproliferation agreements, nuclear dismantlement policies, and U.S. military troop withdrawals from South Korea.
Nuclear Arms Control: The Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty
This report provides a brief overview of the United States' and Russia's objectives when they began discussions on the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty and a summary of how they resolved these differences when concluding the negotiations. It then describes the key provisions in the Treaty, offers a brief assessment of how each nation fared in achieving its objectives when negotiating this agreement, and a summary of reaction from U.S. and Russian commentators.
Potential Farm Sector Effects of 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu": Questions and Answers
This report discusses how the outbreak of the strain of influenza A (H1N1), commonly referred to as "swine flu," affected the domestic and international pork markets.