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  Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Year 2000 Computer Problem: Congressional Issues

The Year 2000 Computer Problem: Congressional Issues

Date: April 22, 2009
Creator: Nunno, Richard M
Description: Many computers were designed to store a two-digit number for the year, which makes the year 2000 indistinguishable from 1900. Unless they are corrected, many computers will not be able to process dates beyond the year 2000, and may cause many costly problems in commerce and government. In the 106th Congress, hearings are being held and will continue to provide the public with the most accurate information available on the status of Y2K remediations at federal agencies, state and local agencies, private sector entities, and international organizations. Congress may also consider additional legislation to ensure that private sector systems are compliant, to establish emergency preparedness measures to address problems that might occur, and to limit liability associated with Y2K failures for manufacturers and industry groups.
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America COMPETES Act and the FY2010 Budget

America COMPETES Act and the FY2010 Budget

Date: June 15, 2009
Creator: Stine, Deborah D.
Description: This report discusses in detail the America COMPETES Act, which is intended to increase the nation's investment in research and development (R&D), and in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This report discusses the funding increases authorized by the act for various relevant institutions, e.g., the National Science Foundation (NSF); the act's education activities intended to enhance the skills of STEM educators; and if Congress will continue to similarly fund the America COMPETES Act in the FY2010 budget.
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America COMPETES Act: Programs, Funding, and Selected Issues

America COMPETES Act: Programs, Funding, and Selected Issues

Date: April 17, 2009
Creator: Stine, Deborah D.
Description: This report explores and describes in detail the America COMPETES Act (P.K. 110-69), which became law on August 9, 2007. The act responds to concerns that the United States may not be able to compete economically with other nations in the future due to insufficient investment today in science and technology research and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce development. This report explains the aims and design of the America COMPETES Act, what funding developments the act authorizes, what education activities the act involves, and related legislation and government programs.
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America COMPETES Act and the FY2010 Budget

America COMPETES Act and the FY2010 Budget

Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Stine, Deborah D.
Description: This report discusses in detail the America COMPETES Act, which is intended to increase the nation's investment in research and development (R&D), and in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This report discusses the funding increases authorized by the act for various relevant institutions, e.g., the National Science Foundation (NSF); the act's education activities intended to enhance the skills of STEM educators; and if Congress will continue to similarly fund the America COMPETES Act in the FY2010 budget.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding

Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding

Date: June 18, 2009
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, also known as fire grants or the FIRE Act grant program, was established by the FY2001 National Defense Authorization Act. The fire grant program is now in its ninth year. Over $4.8 billion has been appropriated to the fire grant program since FY2001. This report discusses the inception of this program, as well as current supplemental legislation and proposed funding, which is already projected to provoke negative criticism from the fire community for being inadequate.
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The Army's Future Combat System (FCS): Background and Issues for Congress

The Army's Future Combat System (FCS): Background and Issues for Congress

Date: May 29, 2009
Creator: Feickert, Andrew
Description: This report describes the Future Combat System (FCS) program, which was to be the Army's major research, development, and acquisition program consisting of 14 manned and unmanned systems linked by an extensive communications and information network. This report describes the proposed restructuring of the FCS program, announced by Secretary of Defense Gates in April 2009, which includes modernizing outdated equipment and re-evaluating vehicle design strategy. This report will be superseded by a report on the Army's BCT (Brigade Combat Team) Modernization Strategy when sufficient details are available.
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The Army's M-4 Carbine: Background and Issues for Congress

The Army's M-4 Carbine: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: June 24, 2009
Creator: Feickert, Andrew
Description: The M-4 carbine is the Army's primary individual combat weapon for infantry units. The M-4 uses a direct gas impingement system that blows carbon from the fired cartridge back into the weapon's receiver, which can lead to weapon malfunctions. The U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is replacing its M-4s with the Special Operations Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR), a modular weapon with a short-stroke piston system that eliminates carbon blow back, which theoretically improves reliability. Some have questioned why the Army has not adopted the SCAR or another similarly designed weapon. A series of studies and tests of the M-4 and potential competitors have added to this debate, and the Army has taken steps to begin evaluating other weapons to replace the M-4.
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Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy

Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy

Date: June 1, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: 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.
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Brazil-U.S. Relations

Brazil-U.S. Relations

Date: June 3, 2009
Creator: Seelke, Clare Ribando & Meyer, Peter J.
Description: This report analyzes Brazil's political, economic, and social conditions, and how those conditions affect its role in the region and its relationship with the United States.
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China-U.S. Trade Issues

China-U.S. Trade Issues

Date: June 23, 2009
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Description: U.S.-China economic ties have expanded substantially over the past three decades. With a huge population and a rapidly expanding economy, China is a potentially huge market for U.S. exporters. However, bilateral economic relations have become strained over a number of issues, which this report discusses at length. The current global economic crisis could further challenge China-U.S. economic ties. Several Members of Congress have urged the Obama Administration to take a more assertive approach in dealing with Chinese economic practices.
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China-U.S. Trade Issues

China-U.S. Trade Issues

Date: June 3, 2009
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Description: 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.
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Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress

Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress

Date: May 29, 2009
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: The term Deepwater refers to a collection of more than a dozen Coast Guard acquisition programs for replacing and modernizing the service's aging fleet of deepwater-capable ships and aircraft. Currently, there are plans to increase and enhance the Coast Guard's fleet through the Deepwater acquisition program. This report details the Coast Guard's budget requests and explains how the Coast Guard has improved its organization and management over the past several years.
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China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues

China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues

Date: June 17, 2009
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Labonte, Marc
Description: This report explores various aspects of the Chinese economy, including specific policies that some Members of Congress consider a form of currency manipulation, the U.S.-China economic relationship, and the state of the Chinese economy with respect to the current global economic crisis.
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Chemical Facility Security: Reauthorization, Policy Issues, and Options for Congress

Chemical Facility Security: Reauthorization, Policy Issues, and Options for Congress

Date: July 13, 2009
Creator: Shea, Dana A.
Description: The statutory authority to regulate chemical facilities for security purposes, granted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by the 109th Congress, expires in October 2009. The 111th Congress is taking action to reauthorize this program, but the manner of its reauthorization remains an issue of congressional deliberation and debate. Key policy issues debated in previous Congresses are likely to be considered during the reauthorization debate. These issues include what facilities should be considered as chemical facilities; the appropriateness and scope of federal preemption of state chemical facility security activities; the availability of information for public comment, potential litigation, and congressional oversight; and the role of inherently safer technologies.
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China-U.S. Relations: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy

China-U.S. Relations: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy

Date: July 10, 2009
Creator: Dumbaugh, Kerry
Description: The bilateral relationship between the U.S. and the People's Republic of China (PRC) is vitally important, touching on a wide range of areas including, among others, economic policy, security, foreign relations, and human rights. This report addresses relevant policy questions in current U.S.-China relations, discusses trends and key legislation in the current Congress, and provides a chronology of developments and high-level exchanges.
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Climate Change: The Role of the U.S. Agriculture Sector and Congressional Action

Climate Change: The Role of the U.S. Agriculture Sector and Congressional Action

Date: June 19, 2009
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Description: The debate in Congress over whether and how to address possible future climate change is intensifying. Often, the role of the U.S. agriculture sector is invoked in this debate. Agriculture is a source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which many scientists agree are contributing to observed climate change. Congress is considering a range of climate change policy options, including GHG emission reduction programs that would either mandate or authorize a cap-and-trade program to reduce GHG emissions. This report discusses this issue in detail, i.e., how the agricultural industry affects GHG emissions and efforts currently underway to combat these negative effects, but it does not address the potential effects of global climate change on U.S. agricultural production.
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F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: July 13, 2009
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), also called the Lighting II, is a new strike fighter being procured in different versions by the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy. The F-35 program is the Department of Defense's (DOD's) largest weapon procurement program in terms of total estimated acquisition cost. This report details the Obama Administration's proposed FY2010 defense budget requests for F-35 program funding and outlines the issues that Congress must consider when deciding whether to approve, reject, or modify the administration's funding requests.
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Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Federal Employees: Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969

Date: January 8, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Description: Under the terms of the Federal Employees' Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-509), pay for civilian federal employees is adjusted each year to keep the salaries of federal workers competitive with comparable occupations in the private sector. The annual increases in federal employee pay are based on changes in the cash compensation paid to workers in the private sector, as measured by the ECI. Under certain circumstances, the President may limit the annual increase in federal pay by executive order. Federal law also requires Social Security benefits and the pensions paid to retired federal employees to be adjusted each year. The COLAs for both Social Security and civil service pensions are based on the rate of inflation as measured by the CPI.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: June 18, 2009
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), also called the Lighting II, is a new strike fighter being procured in different versions by the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy. The F-35 program is the Department of Defense's (DOD's) largest weapon procurement program in terms of total estimated acquisition cost. The issues for Congress for FY2010 are whether to approve, reject, or modify the administration's funding request for the F-35 program, and whether to approve or reject the administration's proposal to terminate the alternate engine program. Congress' decisions on these matters will affect DOD capabilities and funding requirements and the tactical aircraft manufacturing industrial base.
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Employment-Based Health Coverage and Health Reform: Selected Legal Considerations

Employment-Based Health Coverage and Health Reform: Selected Legal Considerations

Date: June 12, 2009
Creator: Staman, Jennifer & Liu, Edward C.
Description: It is estimated that nearly 170 million individuals have employer-based health coverage. As part of a comprehensive health care reform effort, there has been support (including from the Obama Administration) in enacting comprehensive health insurance reform that retains the employer-based system. This report presents selected legal considerations inherent in amending two of the primary federal laws governing employer-sponsored health care: the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).
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Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Critical Barriers and Congressional Policy

Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Critical Barriers and Congressional Policy

Date: June 24, 2009
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.; Sissine, Fred & Fischer, Eric A.
Description: Federal policymakers are debating a range of potential initiatives for reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from U.S. energy sources. An overarching policy issue which arises from carbon control proposals is how the CO2 reduction targets could be achieved. One method that has garnered significant attention is increasing the electricity efficiency in buildings. Analysts have identified a number of critical socioeconomic and policy barriers which have historically limited the impact of federal and state building efficiency programs. This report describes those barriers, the degree to which federal law has addressed them, and their implications for meeting future U.S. carbon reduction targets.
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The Federal Protective Service and Contract Security Guards: A Statutory History and Current Status

The Federal Protective Service and Contract Security Guards: A Statutory History and Current Status

Date: June 4, 2009
Creator: Reese, Shawn
Description: The Federal Protective Service (FPS) - within U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) - is responsible for protecting federal government property, personnel, visitors, and customers, including property leased by the General Services Administration (GSA). This report describes the FPS in brief as well as legislative actions currently being discussed in the 111th Congress that could affect FPS in the future.
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Emergency Communications: The Future of 911

Emergency Communications: The Future of 911

Date: June 16, 2009
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: Today's 911 system is built on an infrastructure of analog technology that does not support many of the features that most Americans expect are part of an emergency response. Efforts to splice newer, digital technologies onto this aging infrastructure have created points of failure where a call can be dropped or misdirected, sometimes with tragic consequences. This report discusses efforts to modernize and update 911 emergency response technology, the funding for such efforts, and related pieces of legislation.
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Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2009

Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2009

Date: May 22, 2009
Creator: Sargent, Jr., John F.
Description: This report summarizes budgetary decisions relating to research and development funding for FY2009, as well as some projected information for FY2010.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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