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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Unemployment Insurance: Programs and Benefits
This report describes three kinds of unemployment benefit programs: regular Unemployment Compensation (UC), Extended Benefits (EB), and Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08). The report explains their basic eligibility requirements, benefits, and financing structure. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282324/
Visa Waiver Program
This report discusses the visa waiver program (VWP), which allows for a bypass of the first step by which foreign visitors are screened for admissibility to enter the United States. Some policymakers are concerned that this waiver allows terrorists to more easily enter the country. The report provides waiver-related statistics and related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282320/
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet, which performs a variety of missions supporting U.S. interests in polar regions. The report is written in response to the Coast Guard's budget request for a new polar ice breaker (none are currently in operation). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282309/
Reducing Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Military Retirees and the Bipartisan Budget Act: In Brief
This report discusses the reduction of cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for military retirees through the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA). It includes an overview of the changes, demographics of military retirees, and potential effects of the changes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282295/
Carbon Capture and Sequestration: Research, Development, and Demonstration at the U.S. Department of Energy
This report aims to provide a snapshot of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) program, including its current funding levels and the budget request for FY2014, together with some discussion of the program's achievements and prospects for success in meeting its stated goals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282346/
Career and Technical Education (CTE): A Primer
This report discusses Career and Technical Education (CTE), often referred to as vocational education, that provides occupational and non-occupational preparation at the secondary, post-secondary, and adult education levels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282297/
China-U.S. Trade Issues
This report discusses the U.S.-China economic relationship and China's rapid expansion as a global economic market, both with respect to the current global economic crisis. It also examines major U.S.-China trade issues and related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282266/
The FutureGen Carbon Capture and Sequestration Project: A Brief History and Issues for Congress
This report briefly summarizes the history of FutureGen, discusses why it has gained interest and support from some members of Congress and the Administration while remaining in initial stages of development, and offers some policy considerations on barriers that challenge its further development as a model for a carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) program. A timeline history of FutureGen is included at the end of this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282312/
Government Assistance for GMAC/Ally Financial: Unwinding the Government Stake
This report discusses the auto financing industry, particularly Ally Financial, formerly known as General Motors Acceptance Corporation or GMAC. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282332/
The Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy: In Brief
This report briefly analyzes the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy (HSRS), which is the key strategic document released by the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force established by executive order. It also discusses overarching issues for Congress that may arise in oversight of the Hurricane Sandy recovery process and how lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy can be applied to future disasters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282299/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282267/
Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda): U.S. and International Response to Philippines Disaster
This report examines the impact of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), which struck the central Philippines on November 8, 2013, and the U.S. and international response. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282292/
Multiyear Procurement (MYP) and Block Buy Contracting in Defense Acquisition: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on multiyear procurement (MYP) and block buy contracting (BBC), which are special contracting mechanisms that Congress permits the Department of Defense (DOD) to use for a limited number of defense acquisition programs. Compared to the standard or default approach of annual contracting, MYP and BBC have the potential for reducing weapon procurement costs by several percent. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282300/
Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Navy's irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) operations. The Navy's IW and CT activities pose a number of potential oversight issues for Congress, including the definition of Navy IW activities and how much emphasis to place on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282337/
Community Development Block Grants: Recent Funding History
This report is a review of the Community Development Fund (CDF) account's funding history from FY2000 to FY2013, as well as current funding in FY2014. It includes a discussion of the three primary components of the CDF account: (1) CDBG formula grants; (2) CDBG-related set-asides and earmarks; and (3) CDBGlinked supplemental and special appropriations. It is intended to provide recent historical background as the 113th Congress considers CDF funding levels and composition. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282304/
Federal Reserve: Unconventional Monetary Policy Options
This report discusses the Federal Reserve (Fed) unconventional policies in an attempt to reduced the federal funds rate and revive the economy. The Fed has also changed its communication policies since rates reached the zero bound. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276894/
The Specialty Metal Clause: Oversight Issues and Options for Congress
This report examines the specialty metal clause, potential oversight issues, and options for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276877/
U.S. Rail Transportation of Crude Oil: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the challenges in the transportation of oil, as refineries that once received crude oil principally from oceangoing tankers are now seeing increasing deliveries by domestic transport. It also outlines possible issues for Congress including rail transport of oil versus pipelines, and the possible increase of oil spills from rail transport. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276861/
Unemployment Compensation (Insurance) and Military Service
This report discusses unemployment compensation for Ex-Service members (UCX), which provides income support while former active duty military personnel or reservists released from active duty search for work. The report addresses funding for this service, who is entitled to UCX benefits, and Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) and the Extended Benefits (EB) payments, which a servicemember receives when regular unemployment benefits are exhausted. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282343/
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
This report provides an overview of the United Nations (U.N.) Convention on the Rights of the Child's (CRC's) background and structure and examines evolving U.S. policy toward the CRC, including past and current Administration positions and congressional perspectives. It also highlights issues for the 112th Congress, including the CRC's possible impact on federal and state laws, U.S. sovereignty, parental rights, and U.S. family planning and abortion policy. In addition, the report addresses the effectiveness of CRC in protecting the rights of children internationally and its potential use as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282276/
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/metadc276864/
Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights
This report discusses the state of Iraqi politics, governance, and human rights, including the worsening relations between local Sunni and Shiite populations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276923/
Legislative Actions to Repeal, Defund, or Delay the Affordable Care Act
This report summarizes legislative and other actions taken to repeal, defund, or delay the Affordable Care Act (ACA) since the law's enactment. It includes some background on the ACA and four appendixes organizing relevant information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282315/
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background and Issues 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 for countering mines, small boats, and diesel-electric submarines, particularly in littoral (i.e., near-shore) waters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276886/
Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA): A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements
This report summarizes the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and its major programs and regulatory requirements. This report includes the drinking water security provisions added to the SDWA by the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-188), and lead reduction provisions as amended by P.L. 111-380. It also outlines amendments made in December 2013 by P.L. 113-64 (H.R. 3588) to explicitly exempt fire hydrants from coverage under the act's lead plumbing restrictions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282322/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
This report covers the contentious travel restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba from the 1960s to the present time. Congress, under the Obama Administration, is easing restrictions on family, marketing, agricultural, and medical sales travel. The report also covers legislative action that has taken place in the 112th Congress to harshen travel restrictions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276883/
The European Parliament
This report provides background on the Congress-European Parliament (EP) relationship and the role of the Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue (TLD). It also explores potential future options that coukd strengthen ties between the two bodies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282285/
Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions
This report identifies the legislative bases for sanctions imposed on Iran, and the nature of the authority to waive or lift those restrictions. It comprises two tables that present legislation and executive orders that are specific to Iran and its objectionable activities in the areas of terrorism, human rights, and weapons proliferation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276882/
Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress
This report presents background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Navy's Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) and Zumwalt (DDG-1000) class destroyer programs. Decisions that Congress makes concerning these programs could substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276907/
The Social Security Number: Legal Developments Affecting Its Collection, Disclosure, and Confidentiality
This report provides a comprehensive list of federal developments affecting use of the social security number, from 1935 to the present. This list includes federal statutes regulating the collection and disclosure of SSNs, as well as specific authorizations for the use of SSNs, confidentiality provisions, and criminal provisions relating to SSN misuse. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282348/
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Negotiations
This report provides: (1) context for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations; (2) analysis of possible trade and investment issues in the negotiations; and (3) discussion of issues for Congress. The U.S.-EU negotiations on TTIP are not public, however, the information and analysis in this report on issues in the negotiations are based on publicly-available information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282290/
Transportation Spending and "Buy America" Requirements
This report discusses the Buy America Act, the popular name for a group of domestic content restrictions that have been attached to funds administered by the Department of Transportation (DOT). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282269/
The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress
This report provides historical background of the United Nations Human Rights 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. Finally, it highlights possible policy issues for the 112th Congress, including the overall effectiveness of the Council in addressing human rights, implications for U.S. membership, and U.S. financial contributions to the Council. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282353/
China's Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States
This report provides background on China's economic rise, describes its current economic structure, identifies the challenges China faces to maintain economic growth, and discusses the challenges, opportunities, and implications for the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276930/
Early Release for Federal Inmates: Fact Sheet
This report discusses ways to reduce the size of the federal prison population by reducing the amount of time inmates serve, though such measures as allowing inmates to earn credit toward their sentences for participating in rehabilitative programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282335/
Essential Air Service (EAS): Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides an overview of the Essential Air Service (EAS) program and discusses the changes introduced by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282327/
Homelessness: Targeted Federal Programs and Recent Legislation
This report describes existing federal programs that provide targeted assistance to homeless individuals and families, and discusses federal efforts to end homelessness. It also contains tables that outline funding levels for various related programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282282/
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program. The Navy's proposed FY2014 budget requests $5,285.3 million in procurement and advance procurement (AP) funding for the program. Decisions that Congress makes on procurement of Virginia-class boats could substantially affect U.S. Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276857/
Overview and Issues for Implementation of the Federal Cloud Computing Initiative: Implications for Federal Information Technology Reform Management
This report explains what cloud computing is -- including cloud deployment models and service models -- discusses issues that should be considered when adopting cloud services, and presents the federal government's planning for IT reform. It also provides information on assessments that have been conducted on agency cloud adoption and discusses both the challenges and drivers of cloud adoption. Finally, the report provides possible mechanisms for Congress to monitor agencies as they implement cloud computing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276909/
Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990-2013
The report contains information on the pay procedure for members of Congress and recent adjustments. It provides information on previous actions and votes by year, from 1990-2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282341/
Securing U.S. Diplomatic Facilities and Personnel Abroad: Legislative and Executive Branch Initiatives
This report briefly summarizes and tracks congressional and State Department actions in response to the attack on U. S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, and will be updated as necessary to reflect further developments and actions on ongoing policy proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276906/
An Analysis of STEM Education Funding at the NSF: Trends and Policy Discussion
This report analyzes National Science Foundation funding trends and selected closely-related STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education policy issues to provide fiscal and policy context. It concludes with an analysis of potential policy options. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282339/
Iran Sanctions
This report discusses the recent development regarding the negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program. It provides background information on Iranian nuclear program and debates the November 24 Joint Plan of Action Elements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276912/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276914/
Kuwait: Security, Reform, and U.S. Policy
This report looks at Kuwait's relationships with its neighbors in the Persian Gulf and its own political system which has been in turmoil since 2006. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276853/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276888/
Army Corps of Engineers: Water Resource Authorizations, Appropriations, and Activities
This report summarizes congressional authorization and appropriations processes for the Army Corps of Engineers. It also discusses agency activities under general authorities. Congress directs the Corps through authorizations, appropriations, and oversight of its studies, construction projects, and other activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276936/
Constitutional Analysis of Suspicionless Drug Testing Requirements for the Receipt of Governmental Benefits
This report gives an overview of the issues related to federal or state laws that condition the initial or ongoing receipt of governmental benefits on passing drug tests. These regulations are vulnerable to constitutional challenge, most often due to issues of personal privacy and Fourth Amendment protections against "unreasonable searches." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276897/
Cuba: U.S. Policy and Issues for the 113th Congress
This report discusses the current political conditions of Cuba as well as its relationship with the United States. In particular, the report focuses on U.S. policy regarding Cuba including various economic sanctions, human rights issues, and foreign aid appropriations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276937/
"Leahy Law" Human Rights Provisions and Security Assistance: Issue Overview
This report provides background on the Leahy laws, including a brief history of their legislative development; an overview guide to the standards and processes used to "vet"--that is, review and clear--foreign military and other security forces for gross violations of human rights; and a brief review of salient issues regarding the provisions of the laws and their implementation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276880/