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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 and Beyond: Detainee Matters
This report offers a brief background of the salient issues raised by the detainee provisions of the FY2012 NDAA, provides a section-by-section analysis, and discusses executive interpretation and implementation of the act's mandatory military detention provision. It also addresses detainee provisions in the 2013 NDAA and 2014 NDAA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276884/
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/
Chemical Facility Security: Issues and Options for the 113th Congress
This report provides a brief overview of the existing statutory authority and implementing regulation. It describes several policy issues raised in previous debates regarding chemical facility security and identifies policy options for congressional consideration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276879/
Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments
This report discusses the noncontributory military retirement system which includes monthly compensation and benefits after an active or reserve military career, disability retirement for those physically unfit to continue to serve, and survivor benefits for the eligible survivors of deceased retirees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276867/
"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/
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/
Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, focusing particularly on the influence of the Taliban and other militant groups, and on the leadership of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. This report also discusses the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship, in both the short and long term, and U.S. efforts under the Obama Administration to provide military, reconstructive, and stabilization aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276871/
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/metadc276899/
America COMPETES Acts: FY2008-FY2013 Funding Tables
This report has been updated to reflect FY2013 funding levels contained in P.L. 113-6 (Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013) and the explanatory statement published in the March 11, 2013. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276885/
The Role of TARP Assistance in the Restructuring of General Motors
This report provides background information on General Motors' capital crisis in 2008-2009 and discusses the U.S. government assistance to the motor vehicle industry. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276856/
Trends in Discretionary Spending
This report provides a graphical overview of historical trends in discretionary budget authority (BA) from FY1976 through FY2011, enacted levels for FY2012 spending, and the levels consistent with President Obama's proposals for FY2013 through FY2017. It also includes a background on functional categories and a section discussing historical spending trends. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276895/
Emergency Relief for Disaster Damaged Roads and Transit Systems: In Brief
This report describes Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) assistance for the repair and reconstruction of highways and bridges damaged by disasters (such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012) or catastrophic failures (such as the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge in 2013). It begins with a brief discussion of the legislative origins of federal assistance and then addresses eligibility issues and program operation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276855/
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/
State Government Fiscal Stress and Federal Assistance
This report examines the current status of state fiscal conditions and the role of federal assistance in state budgets. It begins with an overview of state budgeting procedures and then provides budgetary data comparing state fiscal conditions in FY2008 to FY2013. This report concludes with an assessment of the consequences current levels of state fiscal stress may have for the 113th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276854/
EPA's Vessel General Permit: Background and Issues
This report is an overview of the revised Vessel General Permit (VGP) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and two key issues: inclusion of numeric performance standards to limit ballast water discharges from vessels, and controversies about the role of states in regulating vessel discharges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276891/
United States Fire Administration: An Overview
This report describes and analyzes the United States Fire Administration's (USFA's) FY2013 budget proposal, as well as related information and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276898/
Clean Water Act and Pollutant Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
This report discusses the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program which regulates pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained; section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. The report focuses on new challenges facing the TMDL program, including more complex TMDLs, larger scale impairments, and nonpoint sources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276865/
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/
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/
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276890/
Tax Reform in the 113th Congress: An Overview of Proposals
This report provides background information regarding tax reform and discusses ways to make the U.S. tax system simpler, fairer, and more efficient. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276863/
United Nations Reform: Background and Issues for Congress
This report examines reform priorities from the perspective of several key actors, including Members of Congress, the Obama Administration, selected member states, the U.N. Secretary-General, and a cross-section of groups tasked with addressing U.N. reform. It also discusses congressional actions related to U.N. reform and mechanisms for implementing reform, as well as possible challenges facing U.S. policy makers as they consider existing and future U.N. reform efforts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276889/
Commercial Filming and Photography on Federal Lands
This report discusses the requirements of commercial filming and photography in federal lands, such as national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, ranges, and other landscapes are popular locations for motion pictures and commercial photography digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276896/
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/
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/
Nonimmigrant Overstays: Brief Synthesis of the Issue
This report discusses a fundamental problem of immigration control in which foreign nationals enter legally on a temporary basis and continue to stay after their visas expire. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276859/
The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act: Innovation Issues
This report provides an overview of the the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). It begins by offering a brief overview of the patent system, then identifies and reviews the specific components of this legislation in greater detail. The report closes with further considerations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276868/
Executive Order 13438: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq
This report provides a brief history of the development of presidential powers in peacetime. It discusses some of the issues that might be raised in light of the contrast between the executive order's broad language and its narrow aim (supplementation of sanctions applicable to Al Qaeda and former Iraqi regime officials to cover terrorists operating in Iraq). It also examines the reach of the executive order and provides legal analyses of some of the constitutional questions raised in the courts by similar sanctions programs, noting that the broad language of the executive order is not unprecedented. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276870/
Domestic Content Restrictions: The Buy American Act and Complementary Provisions of Federal Law
This report provides an overview of the Buy American Act, Trade Agreements Act, Berry Amendment (including its former specialty metals provision), and Buy America Act, specifically highlighting the commonalities and differences among them. The report also lists other federal domestic content restrictions codified in the U.S. Code. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276876/
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/
Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods and the WTO Trade Dispute on Meat Labeling
This report covers the dispute between the U.S with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, who say that the recent country-of-origin labeling (COOL) system implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is unfair and does not meet its original objectives. This dispute was brought before the WTO dispute panel and found to be valid. The report ends with a discussion of options for the U.S. in regards to modifying COOL to follow WTO rulings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276878/
Financial Services and General Government (FSGG): FY2014 Appropriations
This report discusses the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) appropriations bill that provides funding for the Department of the Treasury, the Executive Office of the President (EOP), the judiciary, the District of Columbia, and more than two dozen independent agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276893/
Federal Health Centers
This report provides an overview of the federal health center program including its statutory authority, program requirements, and appropriation levels. The report then describes health centers in general, where they are located, their patient population, and some outcomes associated with health center use. It also describes some federal programs available to assist health center operations including the FQHC designation for Medicare and Medicaid payments. The report concludes with a brief discussion of issues for Congress such as the potential effect of the ACA on health centers, the health center workforce, and financial considerations for health centers in the context of changing federal and state budgets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276862/
Generalized System of Preferences: Agricultural Imports
This report discusses the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which provides duty-free tariff treatment for certain products from designated developing countries. Opinion within the U.S. agriculture industry is mixed, reflecting both support for and opposition to the current program. The 111th Congress did not extend the GSP in 2010, and it was set to expire December 31, 2010, which will likely become a legislative issue in the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276892/
The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer
This report discusses concerns about food safety, the resources required to ensure food safety, and whether federal food safety laws themselves, 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/metadc276872/
The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of the history of science and technology (S&T) advice to the President. It also discusses selected issues and options for Congress regarding OSTP's Director, OSTP management and operations, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276860/
Next Steps in Nuclear Arms Control with Russia: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the role of nuclear arms control in the U.S.-Soviet relationship, bilateral treaties and unilateral steps the United States took to alter its nuclear posture, and the role of arms control in the U.S.- Russian relationship. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276874/
Jordan: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Jordanian politics and current issues in U.S.-Jordanian relations. It provides a brief discussion of the nation's government and economy, as well as Jordan's cooperation in promoting Arab-Israeli peace and other U.S. policy objectives in the Middle East. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276881/
The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: Security and Human Rights Issues
This report discusses the security and human rights issues at 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276887/
How Measures Are Brought to the Senate Floor: A Brief Introduction
This report discusses two basic methods that are used by the Senate to bring legislation to the floor for consideration. The Senate, at the majority leader's request, grants unanimous consent to take up a matter or agrees to his motion to proceed to consider it. Because the motion to proceed is subject to debate in most circumstances, it is less frequently used. Both methods are derived from the basic premise that the Senate as a body may decide what matters it considers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272118/
Israel: Background and U.S. Relations
This report describes issues related to U.S. aid provided to Palestine to support prevention/combating against terrorism, creating coexistence with Israel and self-governance, and meeting humanitarian needs. In includes introductory and historical background as well as in-depth analysis of the types of U.S. bilateral aid to Palestine, U.S. contributions to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the near East (UNRWA), and the issues involved in determining future aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272102/
Wildfire Damages to Homes and Resources: Understanding Causes and Reducing Losses
This report focuses on options for protecting structures and for protecting wildlands and natural resources from wildfires. It begins with a brief overview of the nature of wildfires, followed by a discussion of protecting structures. Then, it discusses wildfire damages to wildlands and natural resources, fuel treatment options and their benefits and limitations, and public involvement in federal decisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272116/
The National Nanotechnology Initiative: Overview, Reauthorization, and Appropriations Issues
This report provides an overview of nanotechnology, the National Nanotechnology Initiative, possible reauthorization of the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-153), and appropriations issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272113/
Iran Sanctions
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/metadc272119/
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices
This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the changing oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade balance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272127/
Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer
This report provides an overview of these topics: nanomanufacturing and public understanding of and attitudes toward nanotechnology. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272115/
U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues
This report provides a brief overview of how foreign investments can affect the U.S. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272121/
Preserving Homeownership: Foreclosure Prevention Initiatives
This report describes the consequences of foreclosure on homeowners, outlines recent foreclosure prevention plans implemented by the government and private organizations, and discusses the challenges associated with foreclosure prevention. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271994/
Invoking Cloture in the Senate
This report discusses cloture, the only procedure by which the Senate can vote to set an end to a debate without also rejecting the bill, amendment, conference report, motion, or other matter it has been debating. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271990/
House Committee on Ethics: A Brief History of Its Evolution and Jurisdiction
This report examines the history and evolution of the House Committee on Ethics, including the committee's jurisdiction and investigative procedure. It does not deal with changes to federal or state criminal law or with criminal prosecutions of Members of Congress or with the specifics of disciplinary cases in the House. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271989/