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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The FCC's Authority to Regulate Net Neutrality After Comcast v. FCC
This report discusses the major debate over the government's role in the Internet that is currently occurring. Legally, the question appears to be whether the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) currently has the authority to regulate the ways in which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) manage Internet traffic over their networks. The FCC adopted an Internet Policy Statement in 2005 that expressed the agency's support for a policy of non-discrimination toward Internet traffic, subject to reasonable network management. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83920/
Circular A-76 and the Moratorium on DOD Competitions: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the current moratorium on the conduct of Department of Defense (DOD) public-private competitions under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76 and issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83928/
The National Intelligence Council (NIC): Issues and Options for Congress
It is the purpose of this report to describe the statutory provisions that authorize the NIC, provide a brief history of its work, and review its role within the federal government. The report will focus on congressional interaction with the NIC and describe various options for modifying congressional oversight. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83924/
Circular A-76 and the Moratorium on DOD Competitions: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the current moratorium on the conduct of Department of Defense (DOD) public-private competitions under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76 and issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83929/
The U.S. Postal Service and Six-Day Delivery: Issues for Congress
This report will examine the history of six-day mail delivery and analyze potential effects of reducing USPS delivery from six to five days. It will then examine legislative options for the 111th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83926/
Navy Nuclear Aircraft Carrier (CVN) Homeporting at Mayport: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's proposal to homeport a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN) at Mayport, FL. Transferring a CVN from Norfolk, VA, to Mayport would shift from Norfolk to Mayport the local economic activity associated with homeporting a CVN, which some sources estimate as being worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83923/
Advertising by the Federal Government: An Overview
A look at government agencies spending on advertising. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83955/
Chemical Facility Security: Issues and Options for the 112th Congress
This report provides a brief overview of the existing statutory authority and the regulation implementing this authority. It describes several policy issues raised in previous debates regarding chemical facility security and identifies policy options for congressional consideration. Finally, legislation in the 112th Congress is discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83952/
The EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement and Its Implications for the United States
This report is designed to shed some light on the KOREU FTA for Congress.4 It briefly reviews EU-South Korean economic ties and the respective EU and South Korean objectives regarding the KOREU FTA. It then discusses the KOREU FTA in general and examines some of its major provisions in more detail, with special focus on autos and some other manufacturing sectors, agriculture, services, and labor-areas of particular interest to U.S. policymakers and the U.S. business community. The report does not attempt to determine if one FTA is better than the other. Finally, the report analyzes the prospects for the KOREU FTA and the agreement's potential implications for the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83951/
Protecting Classified Information and the Rights of Criminal Defendants: The Classified Information Procedures Act
A criminal prosecution involving classified information may cause tension between the government's interest in protecting classified information and the criminal defendant's right to a constitutionally valid trial. In some cases, a defendant may threaten to disclose classified information in an effort to gain leverage. Concerns about this practice, referred to as "graymail," led the 96th Congress to enact the Classified Information Procedures Act to provide uniform procedures for prosecutions involving classified information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83957/
American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat
This report describes homegrown violent jihadists and the plots and attacks that have occurred since 9/11. For this report, "homegrown" and "domestic" are terms that describe terrorist activity or plots perpetrated within the United States or abroad by American citizens, legal permanent residents, or visitors radicalized largely within the United States. The report also discusses the radicalization process and the forces driving violent extremist activity. It analyzes post-9/11 domestic jihadist terrorism and describes law enforcement and intelligence efforts to combat terrorism and the challenges associated with those efforts. It also outlines actions underway to build trust and partnership between community groups and government agencies and the tensions that may occur between law enforcement and engagement activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83950/
Rare Earth Elements in National Defense: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
Some Members of Congress have expressed concern over U.S. acquisition of rare earth materials composed of rare earth elements used in various components of defense weapon systems. On March 13, 2012, President Obama announced that the United States had joined with Japan and the European Union to bring a World Trade Organization joint dispute resolution case against China because of China's restrictive policies on rare earths and other minerals. Congress may encourage DOD to develop a collaborative, long-term, well-thought-out strategy designed to identify any material weaknesses and vulnerabilities associated with rare earths and to protect long-term U.S. national security interests. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83958/
U.S.-EU Trade and Economic Relations: Key Policy Issues for the 112th Congress
U.S. and European private stakeholders, concerned about slow growth, job creation, and increased competition from emerging economies, have urged Brussels and Washington to strengthen transatlantic trade and economic ties by reducing or eliminating remaining trade barriers and by cooperating more closely in addressing global economic challenges. A select group of these issues are examined in this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83954/
Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues
This report reviews past and proposed treatment of hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Water Drinking Ace, the principal federal statute for regulating the underground injection of fluids to protect groundwater sources of drinking water. It reviews current provisions for regulating underground injection activities, and discusses some possible implications of, and issues associated with, enactment of legislation authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate hydraulic fracturing under this statute. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83959/
"Hollowing Out" in U.S. Manufacturing: Analysis and Issues for Congress
The health of the U.S. manufacturing sector has been a long-standing concern of Congress. Only a small proportion of U.S. workers are now employed in factories. U.S. factories have stepped up production of goods that require high technological sophistication but relatively little direct labor. In the context of national security, the fact that U.S. manufacturers of vital products are critically dependent upon inputs from abroad is frequently a subject of concern. International comparisons indicate that the United States is in no way unique in its dependence on foreign inputs to manufacturing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83956/
U.S. Response to the Global Threat of Tuberculosis: Basic Facts
Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most widespread infectious diseases in the world, infecting an average of 9 million people annually. Although TB is curable, more than 1 million TB-related deaths occur each year. Due in part to a growing global response to TB, progress has been made in combating the disease. Globally, new TB infection rates have begun to slowly decline and TB mortality rates have decreased significantly since 1990. At the same time, absolute numbers of people infected with TB, particularly in Asia and Africa, continue to rise. Congress has recognized TB as an important humanitarian issue and increasingly as a potential threat to global security. In its second session, the 112th Congress will likely debate the appropriate funding levels and optimum strategy for addressing the continued challenge of global TB. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83953/
Synthetic Drugs: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the federal scheduling of controlled substances, including the temporary scheduling of substances. It also provides an overview of current trends in selected synthetic cannabinoids and stimulants. It concludes with a review of selected relevant legislation in the 112th Congress as well as issues for policymakers to consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83995/
The Intelligence Appropriations Process: Issues for Congress
The intelligence appropriations process remains complicated and not well understood, but intelligence is an important and sizable part of the federal budget and will undoubtedly be addressed as Congress considers various alternatives for spending. This report reviews the intelligence appropriations process, describes various changes that have been proposed, and analyzes the issues associated with the proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83992/
Interior Immigration Enforcement: Programs Targeting Criminal Aliens
This report begins by defining and quantifying the criminal alien population, to the extent possible. The following sections describe current and historical programs designed in whole or in part to target this population, including CAP, Secure Communities, the ยง 287(g) program, and NFOP. After describing how these programs function and key differences among them, the report reviews their recent appropriations history and enforcement statistics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83991/
Women in Combat: Issues for Congress
This report looks at the history of women in US military roles and combat since the 1990's. It also discusses critic's views of exclusionary policy as a civil rights issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83997/
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): Policies, Programs, and Funding
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an agency of the Department of Commerce, is the executive branch's principal advisory office on domestic and international telecommunications and information policies. Its mandate is to provide greater access for all Americans to telecommunications services, support U.S. attempts to open foreign markets, advise on international telecommunications negotiations, and fund research for new technologies and their applications. NTIA also manages the distribution of funds for several key grant programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83990/
The Unified Command Plan and Combatant Commands: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides information on the history, mission, and operational considerations for each of the Unified Command Plan (UCP) and associated Combatant Commands (COCOMs) organizations as well as a brief discussion of current issues associated with the UCP and these commands. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83998/
The Arsenal Act: Context and Legislative History
This report describes the roles of the federal manufacturing arsenals during the years surrounding the enactment of the two sections of the Arsenal Act, one as part of the Army Appropriations Act for 1854, and the other within the Defense Act of 1920, also known as the Army Reorganization Act of 1920, and provides historical context. The report also shows the change in language between the sections' original enactment and today, and it provides details on the Army's policy in implementing the manufacturing sourcing portion of the statute. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83994/
Finance and the Economy: Occupy Wall Street in Historical Perspective
This report presents examples of political statements about the fundamental costs and benefits of finance and recent economic research that points to aspects of financial activity that may not be advantageous to the real economy. The report does not attempt a comprehensive survey of either literature, but provides a reminder of the breadth of the historical debates that have shaped congressional oversight of financial institutions and markets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83999/
Regulatory Incentives for Electricity Transmissions-Issues and Cost Concerns
This report will focus on issues related to the need for transmission incentives, and consumer cost concerns related to these incentives. Given the changes that FERC cites in the electric industry, the question arises as to whether the need for transmission incentives continues. FERC is bound by EPACT to make incentives available, and is not proposing to end the incentives. However, with concerns raised over the effects of transmission incentives on consumer rates, implications of related federal policies on the electric power sector, additional FERC regulatory policies for transmission, and the aging of electricity infrastructure among key issues, the need for continuing transmission incentives may be a matter for Congress to consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83996/
The Intelligence Appropriations Process: Issues for Congress
The intelligence appropriations process remains complicated and not well understood, but intelligence is an important and sizable part of the federal budget and will undoubtedly be addressed as Congress considers various alternatives for spending. This report reviews the intelligence appropriations process, describes various changes that have been proposed, and analyzes the issues associated with the proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83993/
Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections
This fact sheet tracks the current heads of government in Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. It provides the dates of the last and next elections for the head of government and the national independence date for each country. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83855/
Tajikistan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests
Tajikistan is a significant country in Central Asia by virtue of its geographic location bordering China and Afghanistan and its ample water and other resources, but it faces ethnic and clan schisms, deep poverty, poor governance, and other severe challenges. The country continues to face problems of political integration, perhaps evidenced in part by recent violence in eastern Tajikistan. The country also faces substantial threats from terrorism and narcotics trafficking from Afghanistan. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, Tajikistan, a supporter of the Afghan Northern Alliance's combat against the Taliban, soon offered use of Tajik airspace to U.S. forces, and some coalition forces began to transit through Tajik airspace and airfields. While most land transport along this Northern Distribution Network traverses Uzbekistan to final destinations in Afghanistan, Tajikistan serves as an alternative route for a small percentage of supplies. The Administration requested $47.1 million in foreign assistance for Tajikistan in FY2011. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83852/
Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), an independent federal government agency, is the official export credit agency of the United States. It helps finance American exports of manufactured goods and services, with the objective of contributing to the employment of U.S. workers, primarily in circumstances when alternative financing is not available. Ex-Im Bank also may assist U.S. exporters to meet foreign, officially sponsored, export credit competition. Ex-Im Bank's main programs are direct loans, loan guarantees, working capital guarantees, and export credit insurance. Ex-Im Bank transactions are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. The Bank operates under a renewable charter, the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945, which requires that all of the Bank's financing have a reasonable assurance of repayment and directs the Bank to supplement, and to not compete with, private capital. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83851/
Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections
This fact sheet tracks the current heads of government in Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. It provides the dates of the last and next elections for the head of government and the national independence date for each country. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83857/
Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills: FY1970-FY2011
This report is a research aid, which lists the Department Of Defense authorization bills and appropriations bills for FY1970-FY2011. It includes all the pertinent information on the passage of these bills through the legislative process: bill numbers, report numbers, dates reported and passed, recorded vote numbers and vote tallies, dates of passage of the conference reports with their numbers and votes, vetoes, substitutions, dates of final passage, and public law numbers. Key definitions are also included. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83858/
Internships, Fellowships, and Other Work Experience Opportunities in the Federal Government
This report describes Internet resources on major internship, fellowship, and work experience programs within the federal government. It is intended as a selective guide for students of all levels: high school, undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83854/
Pages of the United States Congress: History, Background Information, and Program Administration
For more than 180 years, messengers known as pages have served the United States Congress. Several incumbent and former Members of Congress as well as other prominent Americans have served as congressional pages. This report takes a look at the history and current status of Congressional pages. It also details how a student can apply to be a page, and what factors lead to a successful application. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83859/
Latin America and the Caribbean: Fact Sheet on Leaders and Elections
This fact sheet tracks the current heads of government in Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. It provides the dates of the last and next elections for the head of government and the national independence date for each country. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83856/
Internships, Fellowships, and Other Work Experience Opportunities in the Federal Government
This report describes Internet resources on internships, fellowships, and work experience programs within the federal government. It is intended as a selective guide for students of all levels: high school, undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate. This report will be updated annually. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83853/
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/metadc83850/
Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues
The Domain Name System (DNS) is the distributed set of databases residing in computers around the world that contain address numbers mapped to corresponding domain names, making it possible to send and receive messages and to access information from computers anywhere on the Internet. Many of the technical, operational, and management decisions regarding the DNS can have significant impacts on Internet-related policy issues such as intellectual property, privacy, ecommerce, and cybersecurity. The expiration of the JPA (Joint Project Agreement), the implementation of the Affirmation of Commitments, and the continuing U.S. authority over the DNS root zone remain issues of interest to the 112th Congress, the Administration, foreign governments, and other Internet stakeholders worldwide. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83843/
House Committee on Ethics: A Brief History of Its Evolution and Jurisdiction
This report briefly outlines the background of ethics enforcement in the House of Representatives, including the creation of both the Select Committee on Ethics and the Committee on Ethics. The report also focuses on various jurisdictional and procedural changes that the committee has experienced since 1967 and discusses the committee's current jurisdiction and procedures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83845/
Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues
The Domain Name System (DNS) is the distributed set of databases residing in computers around the world that contain address numbers mapped to corresponding domain names, making it possible to send and receive messages and to access information from computers anywhere on the Internet. Many of the technical, operational, and management decisions regarding the DNS can have significant impacts on Internet-related policy issues such as intellectual property, privacy, ecommerce, and cybersecurity. The expiration of the JPA (Joint Project Agreement), the implementation of the Affirmation of Commitments, and the continuing U.S. authority over the DNS root zone remain issues of interest to the 112th Congress, the Administration, foreign governments, and other Internet stakeholders worldwide. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83842/
Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues
The Domain Name System (DNS) is the distributed set of databases residing in computers around the world that contain address numbers mapped to corresponding domain names, making it possible to send and receive messages and to access information from computers anywhere on the Internet. Many of the technical, operational, and management decisions regarding the DNS can have significant impacts on Internet-related policy issues such as intellectual property, privacy, ecommerce, and cybersecurity. The expiration of the JPA (Joint Project Agreement), the implementation of the Affirmation of Commitments, and the continuing U.S. authority over the DNS root zone remain issues of interest to the 112th Congress, the Administration, foreign governments, and other Internet stakeholders worldwide. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83841/
Committee Types and Roles
This report briefly describes the structure of the congressional committee system and the types of congressional committees, as well as congressional subcommittees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83847/
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 112th 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/metadc83840/
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/metadc83848/
Why Certain Trade Agreements Are Approved as Congressional-Executive Agreements Rather Than as Treaties
U.S. trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), World Trade Organization agreements, and bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) have been approved by majority vote of each house rather than by two-thirds vote of the Senate - that is, they have been treated as congressional-executive agreements rather than as treaties. The congressional-executive agreement has been the vehicle for implementing Congress's long-standing policy of seeking trade benefits for the United States through reciprocal trade negotiations. This report discusses this topic in brief. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83844/
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/metadc83849/
House Committee Reports: Required Contents
House rules and statutes detail several substantive requirements for items to be included in reports accompanying bills reported from committees, as noted in this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83846/
Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current state of Bahrain, which has undergone substantial political reforms since the late 1990s, but which still suffers from tension between the Shiite majority and the Sunni-led government. This report focuses particularly on Bahrain's relationship with the United States and with regional issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83805/
MEMORANDUM: Preliminary assessment of efficiency initiatives announced by Secretary of Defense Gates on August 9, 2010
On August 9, 2010, Secretary of Defense Gates announced a number of efficiency initiatives intended to contribute to a Defense Department effort to achieve about $100 billion of savings over the next five years. The Defense Department's intent is not to reduce the defense "top line" budget, but, rather, to apply any savings to finance currently planned programs. This report contains an order-of-magnitude analysis of amounts of money currently spent in each of the major areas Secretary Gates identified for savings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83802/
Major U.S. Arms Sales and Grants to Pakistan Since 2001
A brief listing of major arms sales and grants made to Pakistan since 2001. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83801/
Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current state of Bahrain, which has undergone substantial political reforms since the late 1990s, but which still suffers from tension between the Shiite majority and the Sunni-led government. This report focuses particularly on Bahrain's relationship with Iran and Bahrain's relationship with the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83807/