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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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Navy SSBN(X) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the 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/metadc31351/
The U.S. Oil Refining Industry: Background in Changing Markets and Fuel Policies
This report begins by looking at the current production capacity of the oil refineries operating in the United States, and the sources and changes in crude oil supply. It then examines the changing characteristics of petroleum and petroleum product markets and identifies the effects of these changes on the refining industry. The report concludes with discussion of the policy and regulatory factors that are likely to affect the structure and performance of the industry during the next decade. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31385/
Defense: FY2011 Authorization and Appropriations
The President's FY2011 budget request, released February 1, 2010, included $733.3 billion in new budget authority for national defense. This report discusses and break downs these defense appropriations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31360/
Dispute Settlement Under the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement: An Overview
This report discusses the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) and the two types of formal dispute settlement it contains: 1) State-State and 2) investor-State. The report also discusses how the PTPA differs from earlier U.S. Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491312/
Military Uniform Procurement: Questions and Answers
Military uniforms are procured through the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), an agency of the Department of Defense (DOD). DLA is DOD's largest combat support agency, providing worldwide logistics support for the United States (U.S.) military services, civilian agencies, and foreign countries. With headquarters in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, DLA operates three supply centers, one of which is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), in Philadelphia, PA. DSCP is responsible for procuring nearly all of the food, clothing, and medical supplies used by the military; about 90% of the construction material used by troops in the field, as well as repair parts for aircraft, combat vehicles, and other weapons system platforms. According to DLA Troop Support's website, sales of goods exceeded $14.5 billion during 2009. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31437/
Senate Committee Party Ratios: 94th - 111th Congresses
This report provides an overview of Senate standing committee sizes and ratios for the 94th Congress through the 111th Congress. Also included are data on permanent select committees with legislative jurisdiction. A table for each Congress shows the party division in the Senate, total number of seats on each committee, number of seats assigned to the majority and minority parties, and, where present, number of seats assigned to independents. The tables also provide the number of majority-minority caucus seat margins in the chamber and for each committees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31432/
Energy's Water Demand: Trends, Vulnerabilities, and Management
The nation's energy choices embody many tradeoffs. Water use is one of those tradeoffs. The energy choices before Congress represent vastly different demands on domestic freshwater. The energy sector's water consumption is projected to rise 50% from 2005 to 2030. This rising water demand derives from both an increase in the amount of energy demanded and shifts to more water-intense energy sources and technologies. This report discusses this issue as well as related issues that may arise for the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31387/
Guinea: Background and Relations with the United States
This report discusses the current political conditions in Guinea, as well as the considerable changes to Guinea's political landscape that have taken place over the past two years. The report also discusses U.S. interests and associated policy challenges in Guinea, centering around democratization, counternarcotics issues, regional stability, and socioeconomic development, among other issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31342/
Intelligence Estimates: How Useful to Congress?
National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) are often of considerable interest to many Members of Congress. NIEs address issues of major national security importance which may require congressional action. However, NIEs have occasionally proved unreliable because they were based on insufficient evidence or contained faulty analysis. This report explores this issue and discusses the NIE process and its relevance to congressional policymaking. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31416/
Introducing a House Bill or Resolution
This report briefly discusses the procedure for introducing a bill or resolution in the House of Representatives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31319/
The New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions
The United States and Russia signed a new strategic arms reduction treaty - known as New START - on April 8, 2010. This treaty is designed to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (START), which expired, after 15 years of implementation, on December 5, 2009. This report provides an overview of New 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 (and, indeed, the entire issue of U.S.-Russian arms control) is a distraction from more important items on the nonproliferation agenda. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31358/
North Korea's 2009 Nuclear Test: Containment, Monitoring, Implications
This report discusses the implications of North Korea's May 25, 2009, underground nuclear test, related issues such as the the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), containment of radioactive materials, and other concerns for Congress, such as improving nuclear monitoring capability. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31355/
Special Order Speeches and Other Forms of Non-Legislative Debate in the House
This report briefly discusses non-legislative debate in the House of Representatives, specifically special order speeches, one-minute speeches, and morning hour debate. The purpose of these practices is to permit Members to address the House for specified durations and at specified times of their own choosing, outside the consideration of legislative business. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31442/
Sponsorship and Cosponsorship of House Bills
This report briefly discusses the processes of sponsoring, cosponsoring, and gaining cosponsors for bills in the House of Representatives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31454/
Venezuela: Issues in the 111th Congress
This report discusses U.S.-Venezuela relations, including an historical overview. It also discusses the current political conditions in Venezuela, and certain Venezuela-related concerns the 111th Congress faces, such as Venezuela's human rights situation and its deepening relations with Iran. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31347/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31456/
Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR-TB): Emerging Public Health Threats and Quarantine and Isolation
This report the international saga of Andrew Speaker, a traveler thought to have XDR-TB, a drug-resistant form of tuberculosis, placed a spotlight on existing mechanisms to contain contagious disease threats and raised numerous legal and public health issues. It also discusses the application of various public health measures available to contain an emerging public health threat posed by an individual who ignores medical advice and attempts to board an airplane or take other forms of public transportation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491389/
Turkey: Selected Foreign Policy Issues and U.S. Views
This report focuses on the foreign policy of Turkey, a long-time valued U.S. NATO ally, and examines the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) recalculation of the country's approach to foreign affairs and its possible effects on relations with the United States. This report surveys Turkish foreign policy issues that are of critical interest to U.S. officials and Members of Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491570/
Allocations and Subdivisions in the Congressional Budget Process
This report very briefly discusses the allocations and subdivisions portions of the congressional budget process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31434/
Animal Identification and Traceability: Overview and Issues
This report provides a summary of current developments in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) effort to establish a national animal traceability capacity with the intended goal of being able to rapidly identify and respond to an animal disease outbreak. National animal identification and traceability appear to have substantial economic value, yet federal proposals have proven controversial among certain segments of the U.S. cattle industry. This report provides background on animal ID and traceability in general, and the development of the current U.S. system of animal ID and traceability in particular. In addition, it reviews the claims and counter-claims of proponents and opponents of a national animal ID system, and describes many of the unresolved issues related to program development. Finally, two appendixes offer a brief chronology of the development of the U.S. National Animal Identification System (NAIS) and its successor program, and a brief description of the major international organizations involved in setting standards and rules for animal health and trade in animal products, along with summary descriptions of animal ID and traceability programs found in other major livestock producer and consumer countries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491014/
Basic Federal Budgeting Terminology
In its most elemental form, the federal budget is a comprehensive accounting of the government's spending, revenues, and borrowing. This report provides a brief overview of the basic terminology and concepts used in the federal budget process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31315/
Budget Reconciliation Legislation: Development and Consideration
This report briefly discusses the budget reconciliation process, which is an optional two-step process Congress may use to assure compliance with the direct spending, revenue, and debt-limit levels set forth in budget resolutions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31324/
Casework in a Congressional Office: Background, Rules, Laws, and Resources
This report, which will be updated as warranted, discusses House and Senate rules and guidelines, laws, and regulations affecting congressional casework, as well as the role of caseworkers. It also provides sample outlines and document templates for implementing and managing congressional casework. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491118/
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 150 congressional liaison offices is intended to help congressional offices in placing telephone calls and addressing correspondence to government agencies. In each case, the information was supplied by the agency itself and is current as of the date of publication. Entries are arranged alphabetically in four sections: legislative branch; judicial branch; executive branch; and agencies, boards, and commissions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31317/
Cuba's Offshore Oil Development: Background and U.S. Policy Considerations
This report first examines Cuba's oil sector, including current production and consumption levels. It then looks at Cuba's offshore development, including the Repsol project, other offshore projects involving state-owed foreign oil companies, and the outlook for Cuba's offshore oil production. The report then analyzes considerations for the United States raised by Cuba's offshore oil development, examining oil spill risks and environmental dangers if spilled oil reaches U.S. waters, the status of disaster coordination between the United States and Cuba, and potential approaches on the issue. The report then examines the debate over broader U.S. involvement in Cuba's offshore oil development, and touches on two outstanding boundary issues related to Cuba's offshore oil development. Finally, the report examines legislative initiatives that reflect two contrasting policy approaches toward Cuba's offshore oil development - one would authorize U.S. investment in the sector, and the other would not affect current prohibitions on U.S. firms' economic dealings with Cuba and would impose sanctions on foreign companies and individuals who support the development of Cuba's petroleum resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490948/
Cyprus: Reunification Proving Elusive
This report provides a brief overview of the early history of the negotiations to reunify Cyprus, a more detailed review of the negotiations since 2008, and a description of some of the issues involved in the talks. A side issue involving trade between the European Union and Turkish Cyprus is also addressed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491164/
Hate Crime Legislation
This report provides an overview of the hate crime debate, with background on current law and hate crime statistics, and a legislative history of hate crime prevention bills in recent Congresses. This report does not analyze the constitutional or other legal issues that often arise as part of the hate crime debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491507/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463480/
The Law of Church and State: Public Aid to Sectarian Schools
This report gives a brief overview of the evolution of the Court's interpretation of the Establishment Clause in this area and analyzes the categories of aid that have been addressed by the Court. The report explains which categories have been held to be constitutionally permissible or impermissible, both at the elementary and secondary school level and at the postsecondary level. The report also briefly addresses a set of cases (Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn; Garriott v. Winn) currently before the Court regarding the constitutionality of an Arizona statute that permits individuals to claim a tax credit for certain donations to school tuition organizations that use the funds for scholarships to private and, in some instances, religious schools. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491043/
The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA): Overview of Workers' Compensation for Certain Private- Sector Maritime Workers
This report discusses the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), a federal workers' compensation program that covers certain private-sector maritime workers. More than $980 million in LHWCA benefits are paid each year. The LHWCA is administered by the Department of Labor (DOL) and all benefit costs are paid by employers and their insurance carriers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31386/
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
The Navy is procuring a new type of surface combatant called the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The Navy wants to procure a total of 55 LCSs. This report details the 2007 restructuring of the LCS program, as well as various financial information relating to the program. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's plans for the LCS program. The LCS program raises potential oversight issues for Congress relating to various aspects of the program, all of which are explored within this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31419/
Overview of the Authorization-Appropriations Process
A primary avenue for exercising Congress's power of the purse is the authorization and appropriation of federal spending to carry out government activities. This report discusses the formal authorization-appropriation process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31435/
Asian Carp and the Great Lakes Region
This report discusses four species of non-indigenous Asian carp that are expanding their range in U.S. waterways, resulting in a variety of concerns and problems. Three species--bighead, silver, and black carp--are of particular note, based on the perceived degree of environmental concern. Current controversy relates to what measures might be necessary and sufficient to prevent movement of Asian carp from the Mississippi River drainage into the Great Lakes through the Chicago Area Waterway System. Bills have been introduced in the 111th Congress to direct actions to avoid the possibility of carp becoming established in the Great Lakes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491471/
Honduran-U.S. Relations
This report examines current political and economic conditions in Honduras as well as issues in Honduran-U.S. relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491332/
International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues
This report provides background on current International Criminal Court (ICC) cases and examines issues raised by the ICC's actions in Africa, including the potential deterrence of future abuses and the potential impact on African peace processes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491437/
Islamic Finance: Overview and Policy Concerns
This report discusses Islamic finance, which is based on principles of shariah, or "Islamic law." Major financial principles of shariah are a ban on interest, a ban on contractual uncertainty, adherence to risk-sharing and profit-sharing, promotion of ethical investments that enhance society, and asset-backing. While the Islamic finance industry represents a fraction of the global finance market, it has grown at double-digit rates in recent years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491402/
Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, and Missile Proliferation Sanctions: Selected Current Law
This report offers a listing and brief description of legal provisions that require or authorize the imposition of some form of economic sanction against countries, companies, persons, or entities that violate U.S. nonproliferation norms. For each provision, information is included on what triggers the imposition of sanctions, their duration, what authority the President has to delay or abstain from imposing sanctions, and what authority the President has to waive the imposition of sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491357/
Sexual Violence in African Conflicts
This report covers the issue of sexual violence in the midst of civil conflict in African nations. Civilians in Africa's conflict zones are often vulnerable to sexual violence, including rape, mutilation, and sexual slavery. This violence is carried out by government security forces and non-state actors, including, rebel groups, militias, and criminal organizations. Some abuses appear to be opportunistic, or the product of a larger breakdown in the rule of law and social order that may occur amid conflict. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491381/
Speaking on the House Floor: Gaining Time and Parliamentary Phraseology
This report discusses general clarification guidelines regarding House rules and precedents structure Members' opportunities to speak on the floor about pending legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491383/
U.S. Fossil Fuel Resources: Terminology, Reporting, and Summary
This report describes the characteristics of fossil fuels that make it necessary to use precise terminology, summarizes the major terms and their meanings, and provides a brief summary of the United States' endowment of fossil fuels and the relationship between the U.S. fossil fuel energy endowment and those of other nations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490893/
Abortion and Family Planning-Related Provisions in U.S. Foreign Assistance Legislation and Policy
This report details legislation and policies that restrict or place requirements on U.S. funding of abortion or family planning activities abroad. The level and extent of federal funding for these activities is an ongoing and controversial issue in U.S. foreign assistance and will likely continue to be a point of contention during the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491350/
Baselines and Scorekeeping in the Federal Budget Process
Baselines and scorekeeping are an integral part of the federal budget process, providing lawmakers with a framework for making and enforcing budgetary decisions. The baseline serves as a benchmark for federal budget decisions. Scorekeeping is the process by which the budgetary impact of proposed and enacted budget policies is measured; it assists Congress in making and enforcing budgetary decisions. This report provides a brief explanation of baselines and scorekeeping and their uses in the federal budget process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31320/
China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities-Background and Issues for Congress
Concern has grown in Congress and elsewhere about China's military modernization. The topic is an increasing factor in discussions over future required U.S. Navy capabilities. The issue for Congress addressed in this report is: How should China's military modernization be factored into decisions about U.S. Navy programs? digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31408/
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. The report discusses the question of how the United States should respond to China's military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, has emerged as a key issue in U.S. defense planning. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491292/
Entitlements and Appropriated Entitlements in the Federal Budget Process
Entitlements are programs that require payments to persons, state or local governments, or other entities if specific eligibility criteria established in the authorizing law are met. Entitlement payments are legal obligations of the federal government, and eligible beneficiaries may have legal recourse if full payment under the law is not provided. This report briefly discusses entitlements and entitlement procedures in the federal budget process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31433/
The First Day of a New Congress: A Guide to Proceedings on the Senate Floor
This report briefly discusses procedures on the first day of a new Congress, specifically focusing on Senate proceedings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31438/
Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31332/
The Legislative Process on the House Floor: An Introduction
This report provides an introduction to the legislative process on the House floor, including limitations on debate, calendars and the order of business, modes of floor consideration, senate amendments and conference reports, voting and quorum procedures, and information about a typical day on the House floor. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31304/
The Legislative Process on the Senate Floor: An Introduction
This report provides a brief introduction to the legislative process on the Senate floor, including filibusters and cloture, restraint and delay, scheduling legislative business, unanimous consent agreements, the daily order of business, the amending process, and quorum calls and rollcall votes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31305/
Points of Order in the Congressional Budget Process
This report summarizes points of order under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as amended, and related points of order established in the budget resolutions adopted by Congress in 2007, 2008, and 2009, as well as the Rules of the House for the 111th Congress, the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990, and the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010. In addition, it describes how points of order are applied and the processes used for their waiver in the House and Senate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31310/