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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSR): Program Overview and Issues
This report discusses the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996, which authorized a drinking water state revolving loan fund (DWSRF) program. The program was intended to help public water systems finance infrastructure projects that were needed to comply with federal drinking water regulations and to meet the Act's health objectives. It includes an overview of funding, allotments and set-asides, drinking water infrastructure needs, program issues, and legislative activity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94206/
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. The report also includes discussion of election fraud and corruption in Afghanistan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94203/
Clean Water Act: Legislation Concerning Discharges from Recreational Boats
This report discusses background of the Clean Water Act; bills introduced in response, two of which were passed by Congress on July 22 (S. 2766 and S. 3298); and draft permits proposed by EPA on June 17. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94235/
Agriculture and Forestry Provisions in Climate Change Legislation (S. 3036)
This report summarizes some of the domestic agriculture and forestry provisions in the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008 (S. 3036, formerly S. 2191), as ordered reported out of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in December 2007. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94232/
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): President's Budget Request for FY2009
The report discusses the FY2009 budget, for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the Department of Commerce. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94231/
Veterans Affairs: Historical Budget Authority, FY1940-FY2012
This report provides information on the historical budget authority of the Department of Veterans Affairs (formerly the Veterans Administration) for FY1940 through FY2012. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94237/
Veterans' Benefits: Pension Benefit Programs
This report describes pension benefit programs offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including the eligibility criteria and current benefit levels, and provides data on the number of pension beneficiaries in FY2010. The most current pension programs available (for those meeting the eligibility criteria on or after January 1, 1979) are the Improved Disability Pension for certain low-income veterans, the Improved Death Pension for certain low-income surviving spouses or children of veterans, as well as a special pension for Medal of Honor recipients. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94230/
Global Climate Change: Status of Negotiations
This report discusses a broad array of issues surrounding the global climate change, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Kyoto Protocol, and “conference of the parties” (COP-13) in 2007. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94238/
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
This report discusses the effects of Bisphenol A (BPA) on fetal and infant development, which is used to produce certain types of plastic. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94234/
International Food Aid Provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill
The report discusses the international food aid provision (2008 Farm Bill) of U.S. agricultural commodities for emergency relief and economic development. This provision addresses the United States' major response to food security problems in developing countries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94239/
Food Safety Provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill
The report discusses the food safety provision in the 2008 Farm Bill. Food safety re-emerged as an issue in the 110th Congress following a series of widely publicized incidents — including adulterated Chinese seafood and pet food ingredient imports, findings of bacteria-tainted spinach, meat, and poultry produced domestically, and several large food recalls. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94236/
Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests
This report discusses the current political and economic conditions in Russia, focusing on the impact of Vladimir Putin's leadership and the leadership of his successor/protégé, Dmitriy Medvedev, both of which have steered Russia away from progress toward democratization. The report also discusses the state of the economy since the Soviet collapse in 1999, how the recent global economic downturn has affected Russia, the state of Russia's military, and the current relationship between Russia and the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94032/
Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework
This report explains the nature of U.S. authority over offshore areas pursuant to international and domestic law. It also describes the laws, at both the state and federal levels, governing the development of offshore oil and gas and the litigation that has flowed from development under the current legal regimes. Also included is an outline of the recent changes to the authorities regulating offshore development wrought by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and subsequent legislation enacted by the 109th Congress prior to adjournment. Finally, this report discusses legislation under consideration by the 110th Congress that might also amend existing law in this area. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94031/
Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report discusses the history and political background of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia since their breakaway from the former Soviet Union at the end of 1991. It looks at key issues for the 112th Congress including economies, energy, regional politics, local crime, and terrorism. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94037/
Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework
This report explains the nature of U.S. authority over offshore areas pursuant to international and domestic law. It also describes the laws, at both the state and federal levels, governing the development of offshore oil and gas and the litigation that has flowed from development under these legal regimes. Also included is an outline of the changes to the authorities regulating offshore development wrought by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and subsequent legislation and executive action as well as a discussion of recent executive action and legislative proposals to encourage further offshore exploration and production. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94030/
Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report discusses the current status of Central Asian states and U.S. policy, which has been aimed at facilitating their cooperation with U.S. and NATO stabilization efforts in Afghanistan and their efforts to combat terrorism, proliferation, and trafficking in arms, drugs, and persons. Congress will be considering an increase in support for the programs in Central Asia. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94038/
Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal
This report looks at the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA), Yucca Mountain, and the Obama Administration's de-funding of Yucca Mountain. Federal policy is based on the premise that nuclear waste can be disposed of safely, but proposed storage and disposal facilities have frequently been challenged on safety, health, and environmental grounds. Most of the current debate surrounding civilian radioactive waste focuses on highly radioactive spent fuel from nuclear power plants. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94039/
Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress
This report looks at Japan-U.S. relations since WWII. The report focuses on some problems which can be addressed by Congress, including the earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan in March, 2011, the Futenma Marine Air Station in Okinawa, bilateral trade, and economic issues resulting from the recent credit crisis and related economic recession. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94036/
Ecosystem Restoration in the Great Lakes: The Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy
This report summarizes The Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy, analyzes issues related to the Strategy and its implementation, and discusses federal legislation related to restoration in the Great Lakes. The Strategy is a series of recommendations for actions and activities aimed at starting the restoration of the Great Lakes ecosystem. The Strategy encompasses eight issue areas: aquatic invasive species, fish and wildlife habitat (habitat/species), coastal health, contaminated sediments, nonpoint source pollution, toxic pollutants, indicators and information, and sustainable development. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94033/
Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses funding issues for Congress regarding the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). It looks at the background of the program and why it is necessary. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94075/
The European Union's Energy Security Challenges
This report examines some of Europe's critical energy security challenges and EU efforts to coordinate a common European energy strategy. It also includes an overview of broader transatlantic energy security cooperation and will be updated as needed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94072/
Clean Air Permitting: Status of Implementation and Issues
This report describes the statutory background of the Title V program and the status of implementation, in terms of federal approval of state and local permitting authorities and permit issuance. It also discusses broad policy issues identified by various stakeholders, including program complexity and costs, and inconsistencies due to a lack of sufficient federal guidance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94071/
Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses funding issues for Congress regarding the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). It looks at the background of the program and why it is necessary. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94077/
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 structures, 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/metadc94070/
Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's Deepwater acquisition programs for replacing and modernizing the service's aging fleet of deepwater-capable ships and aircraft. The Coast Guard's FY2012 budget appears to request $957.2 million in acquisition funding for Deepwater programs, including $271.6 million for aircraft, $512.0 million for surface ships and boats, and $173.6 million for other items. Congress's decisions on Deepwater acquisition programs could substantially affect Coast Guard capabilities and funding requirements, as well as contractors involved in these programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94078/
Animal Waste and Hazardous Substances: Current Laws and Legislative Issues
This report describes the provisions of Superfund and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), and enforcement actions under these laws that have increasingly been receiving attention. Congressional scrutiny in the form of legislative proposals and a House hearing in the 109th Congress are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94074/
Clean Air Issues in the 110th Congress: Climate Change, Air Quality Standards, and Oversight
This report provides a brief overview of the climate change issue as well as other Clean Air Act issues of interest in the 110th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94079/
Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the funding for the growth of the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program. The Aegis BMD program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy, gives Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers a capability for conducting BMD operations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94076/
Lame Duck Sessions of Congress, 1935-2010 (74th-111th Congresses)
This report discusses how lame duck sessions occur, and the background of the lame duck sessions between 1940 and 2010. A “lame duck” session of Congress occurs whenever one Congress meets after its successor is elected, but before the term of the current Congress ends. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94073/
Intelligence Issues for Congress
This report gives an overview of current intelligence issues of interest to the 112th Congress. It includes background and analysis including most recent development, ongoing Congressional concerns, specific issues for the 112th Congress, and a summary of related legislation from the 109th through the 112th Congresses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94055/
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/metadc94052/
China's Economic Conditions
This report looks at how economic reforms and trade liberalization that began in 1979 has lead to China blossoming into one of the world's fastest growing economies. The report surveys the rise of China's economy; describes major economic challenges facing China; and discusses the challenges, opportunities, and implications of China's economic rise for the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94051/
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments
This report provides a brief history and recent developments regarding the comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty (CTBT). The U.N. General Assembly adopted the CTBT in 1996. The report discusses the national positions on testing and the CTBT, The North Korean nuclear test, stockpile stewardship, and CTBT pros and cons. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94057/
Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the current state of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its current relationship with the United States, and future initiatives to further develop U.S.-Saudi relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94050/
Agricultural Export and Food Aid Programs
This report discusses the recent development in different programs administered by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with the goal to promote agricultural exports and to provide food aid. These programs include direct export subsidies, export market development, export credit guarantees, and foreign food aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94058/
Intelligence Issues for Congress
This report gives an overview of current intelligence issues of interest to the 112th Congress. It includes background and analysis including most recent development, ongoing Congressional concerns, specific issues for the 112th Congress, and a summary of related legislation from the 109th through the 112th Congresses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94054/
Soil and Water Conservation: An Overview
The report offers the most recent development regarding the soil and water conservation topics and current major conservation activities. The report discusses the farm bill, which the 110th Congress is considering. The House passed its version of the farm bill on July 27, 2007 (H.R. 2419) by a vote of 231 to 191. Numerous options for conservation provisions were offered as the legislation moved through the House, but the conservation title was passed largely as reported by the Agriculture Committee and modified by a chairman's mark. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94059/
Intelligence Issues for Congress
This report gives an overview of current intelligence issues of interest to the 112th Congress. It includes background and analysis including most recent development, ongoing Congressional concerns, specific issues for the 112th Congress, and a summary of related legislation from the 109th through the 112th Congresses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94056/
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/metadc94053/
Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues
This report is a brief overview of current policies regarding temporatry protected status (TPS), which is relief from removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). It includes information about humanitarian migrants, temporary protected status, other blanket forms of relief, nationalities receiving protections, and issues with TPS, as well as recent legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94175/
Navy Ford (CVN-78) Class Aircraft Carrier Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the CVN-78 program. CVN-78, CVN-79, and CVN-80 are the first three ships in the Navy's new Gerald R. Ford (CVN- 78) class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers (CVNs). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94172/
Navy Ford (CVN-78) Class Aircraft Carrier Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the CVN-78 program. CVN-78, CVN-79, and CVN-80 are the first three ships in the Navy's new Gerald R. Ford (CVN- 78) class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers (CVNs). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94171/
Iran Sanctions
This report looks at the purposes and results of U.S. sanctions on Iran, which were initiated as a result of Iran's nuclear program and human rights issues. It ends by discussing future issues that Congress can consider regarding the sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94177/
National Park System: Establishing New Units
This report discusses the National Park System that includes 391 diverse units administered by the National Park Service (NPS) of the Department of the Interior. Units of the system generally are managed to preserve resources in their natural or historical conditions for the benefit of future generations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94170/
Iran Sanctions
This report looks at the purposes and results of U.S. sanctions on Iran, which were initiated as a result of Iran's nuclear program and human rights issues. It ends by discussing future issues that Congress can consider regarding the sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94178/
Protection of Classified Information by Congress: Practices and Proposals
This report discusses safeguards in place to protect conterolled information and proposals for change of some of the mechanisms in place. Congress uses classified national security and other controlled information to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities, particularly overseeing the executive, appropriating funds, and legislating public policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94174/
Leaking Underground Storage Tanks: Prevention and Cleanup
This report addresses a nationwide water pollution problem caused by leaking underground storage tanks (USTs). The report discusses key issue that state resources have not met the demands of administering the underground storage tanks (UST) leak prevention program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94179/
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. That approach was not initially altered because of the Iranian dispute over its June 12, 2009, elections. However, with subsequent negotiations yielding no firm Iranian agreement to compromise, since early 2010 the Administration has focused on achieving the imposition of additional U.N., U.S., and allied country sanctions whose cumulative effect would be to compel it to accept a nuclear bargain. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94176/
Arsenic in Drinking Water: Regulatory Developments and Issues
This report discusses the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996. These amendments directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to update the standard for arsenic in drinking water. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94173/
China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on the implications that certain elements of China's military modernization may have for 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? Congress's decisions on this issue could significantly affect future U.S. Navy capabilities, U.S. Navy funding requirements, and the U.S. defense industrial base, including the shipbuilding industry. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94015/