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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Results 14101 - 14150 of 20,931
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2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference: Key Issues and Implications
The report includes a short summary of the provisions and goals of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a brief history of past review conferences. It also discusses the key issues that the participants are likely to address during the 2010 conference.
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.
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and presents potential issues for Congress concerning the Navy's ship force-structure goals and shipbuilding plans. The planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy's shipbuilding plans have been matters of concern for the congressional defense committees for the past several years. Decisions that Congress makes on Navy shipbuilding programs can substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
The New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions
This report provides an overview of the New Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (START), including a comparison to the original START Treaty, the belief of the Obama Administration and outside analysts that New START will enhance U.S. national security, and the criticisms of those who say that New START is a distraction from more important items on the nonproliferation agenda.
State Efforts to Deter Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Analysis of Arizona's S.B. 1070
This report discusses the major provisions of S.B.1070, as modified by H.B. 2162, and the legal and constitutional considerations possibly implicated by their implementation. The report focuses primarily on those provisions that require state enforcement of federal immigration law and impose criminal penalties for immigration-related conduct, and discusses preemption issues that might be raised by these measures.
U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues
This report reviews the ongoing programs that will affect the expected size and shape of the U.S. strategic nuclear force structure. It begins with an overview of this force structure during the Cold War, and summarizes the reductions and changes that have occurred since 1991. It then offers details about each category of delivery vehicle--land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and heavy bombers--focusing on their current deployments and ongoing and planned modernization programs. The report concludes with a discussion of issues related to decisions about the future size and shape of the U.S. strategic nuclear force.
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.
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 $429.7 billion in 2009. This report examines the various aspects of this trade partnership and presents several policy options for Congress.
Canada-U.S. Relations
This report provides a short overview of Canada's political scene, its economic conditions, and its recent security and foreign policy, focusing particularly on issues that may be relevant to U.S. policymakers. This brief country survey is followed by several summaries of current bilateral issues in the political, trade, and environmental arenas. The report is updated annually.
Iran Sanctions
This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administrations' economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue.
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.
Structure and Functions of the Federal Reserve System
This report examines the structure and operations of the major components of the Federal Reserve System and provides an overview of congressional oversight activities. In addition, the report discusses the provisions of one of the pending pieces of legislation (S. 3217, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010) that would affect the structure and operations of the System.
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.
The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress
This report provides historical background of the Council, including the role of the previous Commission. It discusses the Council's current mandate and structure, as well as U.S. policy and congressional actions.
United States Military Casualty Statistics: Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom
This report presents statistics regarding U.S. military casualties in the active Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF, Afghanistan), as well as operations that have ended: Operation New Dawn (OND, Iraq) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF, Iraq). It includes statistics on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), amputations, evacuations, and the demographics of casualties. Some of these statistics are publicly available at the Department of Defense's (DOD's) website; others have been obtained through contact with experts at the DOD.
The Google Library Project: Is Digitization for Purposes of Online Indexing Fair Use Under Copyright Law?
In December 2004, Google announced its Library Project, which was to entail digitizing, indexing, and displaying "snippets" of print books in the collections of five major libraries, among other things. The Library Project was not limited to books in the public domain (e.g., books whose terms of copyright protection had expired), and Google did not seek the permission of copyright holders, in part, because it asserted that its proposed uses were fair uses. Many authors, publishers, and other rights holders disagreed. This report provides background on the Library Project, legal issues raised by digitization and indexing projects, and the status of the litigation over the Library Project.
Panama: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the current political and economic conditions in the country of Panama, which has made notable political and economic progress since the 1989 U.S. military intervention that ousted the regime of General Manuel Noriega from power. It also describes the U.S.-Panama relationship at length, including trade relations.
Qatar: Background and U.S. Relations
This report presents an overview of Qatar's history and recent economic and political developments. The report discusses U.S. relations with Qatar, U.S. military cooperation and foreign assistance, political reform and elections, as well as human rights and social issues.
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2011 Budget and Appropriations
On February 1, 2010, President Obama submitted a budget proposal for FY2011 that requests $58.49 billion for the international affairs budget, a 16% increase over the enacted FY2010 funding level. This report analyzes the FY2011 request, recent-year funding trends, and congressional action related to FY2011 State-Foreign Operations legislation.
The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate
This report provides an overview of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and describes its background, objectives, and structure, including the role of the Convention's monitoring body, the CEDAW Committee. It examines U.S. policy and issues in the U.S. ratification debate, including the Convention's possible impact on U.S. sovereignty, its effectiveness in combating discrimination, and its role as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy.
Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate
This report discusses the current debate over "net neutrality." While there is no single accepted definition of "net neutrality," most agree that any such definition should include the general principles that owners of the networks that compose and provide access to the Internet should not control how consumers lawfully use that network, and they should not be able to discriminate against content provider access to that network.
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.
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.
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.
Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 111th Congress
The 111th Congress has considered various immigration issues and has enacted a number of targeted immigration provisions. It has passed legislation to extend the life of several immigration programs--the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system, the Immigrant Investor Regional Center Program, the Conrad State J-1 Waiver Program, and the special immigrant visa for religious workers--all of which are currently authorized until September 30, 2012. Among the other subjects of legislation enacted by this Congress are refugees and border security. This report discusses these and other immigration-related issues that have seen legislative action or are of significant congressional interest.
Loss Exposure and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was established as an independent government corporation under the authority of the Banking Act of 1933, also known as the Glass- Steagall Act (P.L. 73-66, 48 Stat. 162, 12 U.S.C.), to insure bank deposits. The FDIC is funded through insurance assessments collected from its member depository institutions and held in what is now known as the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF). This report begins with an overview of the FDIC, followed by an explanation of the loss exposure and total risk to the DIF. Next, the report discusses issues regarding the setting of deposit insurance premiums and presents changes to the assessment system proposed by the FDIC to address some of the issues. Finally, recent efforts proposed by Congress to support the DIF are discussed.
Strategic Arms Control After START: Issues and Options
The United States and Soviet Union signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in 1991; it entered into force in December 1994 and expired in December 2009. This report provides background information about the START Treaty and reviews the discussions about a possible successor to START. It also presents a range of alternatives that the United States and Russia might consider if they choose to follow START with a new framework for the arms control process.
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.
The April 2010 Coup in Kyrgyzstan: Context and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report discusses the most recent developments in Kyrgyzstan, the coup and its aftermath and the implications for Russia, China and other Euroasian states.
Energy Tax Policy: Historical Perspectives on and Current Status of Energy Tax Expenditures
This report examines how current revenue losses resulting from energy tax provisions compare to historical losses and provides a foundation for understanding how current energy tax policy evolved by providing a longitudinal perspective on energy tax policy and expenditures.
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.
Improper Payments Information Act of 2002: Background, Implementation, and Assessment
This report discusses the Improper Payments Information Act (IPIA), which signed into law in 2002 requires agencies to identify each year programs and activities vulnerable to significant improper payments, to estimate the amount of overpayments or underpayments, and to report to Congress on steps being taken to reduce such payments.
The Jurisprudence of Justice John Paul Stevens: Leading Opinions on the Death Penalty
This report briefly surveys decisions of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens in death penalty cases. Justice Stevens's position on the death penalty has undergone a thorough transformation during his tenure on the Court.
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.
Foreign Ownership of U.S. Financial Assets: Implications of a Withdrawal
This report provides an overview of the role foreign investment plays in the U.S. economy and an assessment of possible actions a foreign investor or a group of foreign investors might choose to take to liquidate their investments in the United States.
Burma's 2010 Elections: Implications of the New Constitution and Election Laws
This report discusses Burma first parliamentary elections in 20 years. The elections are to be held under a new constitution, supposedly approved in a national referendum held in 2008 in the immediate aftermath of the widespread destruction caused by Cyclone Nargis.
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Background and Policy Issues
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is an international treaty that addresses the rights of children worldwide. It calls on States Parties to take all appropriate measures to ensure that children receive special rights, including the right to a name and nationality; access to healthcare, education, and parental care; and protection from exploitation, abuse, and neglect. This report provides a brief history of the Convention and outlines its objectives and structure, including the role and responsibilities of the treaty's monitoring body, the Committee on the Rights of the Child. It examines U.S. policy toward CRC, including the positions of past and current Administrations and congressional perspectives. The report also addresses selected policy issues that the 111th Congress may wish to take into account if considering ratification of CRC-- including the treaty's possible impact on U.S. sovereignty, federal and state laws, and parental rights. Other issues for possible consideration include the effectiveness of the Convention in protecting children's rights, and its role as a U.S. foreign policy instrument.
Zimbabwe: The Transitional Government and Implications for U.S. Policy
This report provides background information on 2008 elections in Zimbabwe. The report discusses the power sharing agreement, transitional government, cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, as well as the international reactions and U.S. policy on Zimbabwe.
Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, focusing particularly on the influence of the Taliban and other militant groups and on the leadership of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. This report also discusses the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship and U.S. efforts under the Obama Administration to provide military, reconstructive, and stabilization aid.
Supreme Court Nominations Not Confirmed, 1789-2009
From 1789 through 2009, Presidents submitted 159 nominations to Supreme Court positions. Of these, 36 were not confirmed by the Senate. This report provides a summary of these unsuccessful nominations and the factors that lead to them.
FY2010 Supplemental for Wars, Disaster Assistance, Haiti Relief, and Other Programs
This report discusses the $64 billion in requested supplemental appropriations for FY2010, which includes $2.8 billion for Haiti earthquake-related reconstruction and foreign aid and $243 million for activities related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and more.
Post-Employment, "Revolving Door," Laws for Federal Personnel
This report provides a brief discussion of the post-employment restrictions, often called "revolving door" laws, that are applicable to members, officers, and employees of Congress after they leave congressional service or employment.
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.
Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years
This report provides information on congressional practices with respect to the duration of continuing resolutions, including the use of full-year measures, and focuses particularly on the period covering FY1998-FY2010.
The Jurisprudence of Justice John Paul Stevens: Leading Opinions on Wartime Detentions
This report discusses the justice John Paul Stevens that played a pivotal role in determining the scope of executive-branch power in a post-9/11 world. After 9/11, Congress quickly authorized the Executive to respond to the terrorist attacks using military force
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.
People Crossing Borders: An Analysis of U.S. Border Protection Policies
This report provides an overview of the current border protection framework and its operationally oriented strategic elements and measures their effectiveness. The report draws on documents from Congress and the Administration, as well as other publications, to pull together an overarching picture of protection at the border. This overview includes a historical background and a definition of what "border protection" means in a contemporary context. Building on this definition, the report provides two theoretical models for border protection approaches based on unilateral and cooperative approaches, followed by an extended analysis of the major elements within the current border protection framework. This analysis also includes discussions of how and why, certain strategic elements notwithstanding, many of the current border-related security policies focus on the physical border rather than conceptualizing the border in broader terms. Lastly, this report offers some policy options--both short-term and long-term--for addressing the effectiveness of current border protection policies.
Potential Stafford Act Declarations for the Gulf Coast Oil Spill: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, P.L. 93-288, which presents several options, and could provide a number of programs, to address the Gulf Coast oil spill. The Stafford Act authorizes the President to issue "major disaster" or "emergency" declarations before or after catastrophes occur. Emergency declarations trigger aid that protects property, public health, and safety and lessens or averts the threat of an incident becoming a catastrophic event.
U.S.-EU Cooperation Against Terrorism
This report examines the evolution of counterterrorism cooperation between the United States and the European Union (EU), particularly since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It includes a discussion of U.S.-EU cooperation progress and ongoing challenges, as well as perspectives and issues for Congress.