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The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments

Description: Permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorize various types of development projects in wetlands and other waters of the United States. The Corps' regulatory process involves two types of permits: general permits for actions by private landowners that are similar in nature and will likely have a minor effect on wetlands, and individual permits for more significant actions. The Corps uses general permits to minimize the burden of its regulatory program: they authorize landowners to proceed with a project without the time-consuming need to obtain standard individual permits in advance. About 90% of the Corps' regulatory workload is processed in the form of general permits.
Date: January 30, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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 the United States and with regional issues.
Date: February 21, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biofuels Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs

Description: This report outlines federal programs that provide direct or indirect incentives for biofuels. For each program described, the report provides details including administering agency, authorizing statute(s), annual funding, and expiration date.
Date: January 11, 2012
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contemporary Developments in Presidential Elections

Description: This report considers contemporary developments in presidential elections. It emphasizes three topics chosen for their recurring importance and notable recent developments: (1) nominating procedures; (2) campaign finance; and (3) the electoral college. The report highlights significant developments in these areas, particularly for the 2008 and 2012 elections. It also provides background information about the presidential election process in general.
Date: January 9, 2012
Creator: Coleman, Kevin J.; Garrett, R. Sam & Neale, Thomas H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Description: Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried, and punished according to the laws of the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under certain limited circumstances. A surprising number of federal criminal statutes have extraterritorial application, but prosecutions have been few. This may be because when extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction does exist, practical and legal complications, and sometimes diplomatic considerations, may counsel against its exercise.
Date: February 15, 2012
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

F-35 Alternate Engine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the past four years of administration proposals to terminate the program to develop the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 engine as an alternative to the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine that currently powers the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). These proposals have been continually rejected by Congress. The Obama Administration's FY2011 budget submission against proposes to terminate the program. This report explores both sides of the termination argument.
Date: January 10, 2012
Creator: Gertler, Jeremiah
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Employees' Retirement System: Benefits and Financing

Description: Most civilian federal employees who were hired before 1984 are covered by the Civil Service Retirement System, and contribute 7.0% of their pay to a retirement fund. Federal employees hired in 1984 or later are covered by the Federal Employees' Retirement System and contribute 0.8% of their pay to a retirement fund. Both require participants to contribute toward the cost of their pensions through a payroll tax. The taxable wage base is $110,100 in 2012. This report discusses both retirement funds.
Date: February 14, 2012
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and Its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape

Description: The report discusses the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-Related Congressional Actions in the 112th Congress. The policymakers, including some in Congress, have long called for varying degrees and types of reform to the FCC. Most proposals fall into two categories: (1) procedural changes made within the FCC or through congressional action that would affect the agency's operations or (2) substantive policy changes requiring congressional action that would affect how the agency regulates different services and industry sectors.
Date: January 12, 2012
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Aid to Roads and Highways Since the 18th Century: A Legislative History

Description: The federal government has provided aid for roads and highways since the establishment of the United States in 1789. This report comprises a brief history of such aid, detailing some precedent setters and more recent funding through the Highway Trust Fund, which was created in 1956.
Date: January 6, 2012
Creator: Williamson, John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities

Description: In the early 1990s, Congress recognized that several federal agencies had ongoing high performance computing programs, but no central coordinating body existed to ensure long-term coordination and planning. To provide such a framework, Congress passed the High-Performance Computing and Communications Program Act of 1991 to enhance the effectiveness of the various programs. In conjunction with the passage of the act, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released Grand Challenges: High-Performance Computing and Communications. Current concerns are the role of the federal government in supporting IT R&D and the level of funding to allot to it. This report also looks at federal budgets for the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program.
Date: March 27, 2012
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities

Description: The federal government has long played a key role in the country's information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) activities. The government's support of IT R&D began because it had an important interest in creating computers and software that would be capable of addressing the problems and issues the government needed to solve and study.
Date: January 13, 2012
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

In Brief: Assessing DOD's New Strategic Guidance

Description: On January 5, 2012, President Obama announced new defense strategic guidance entitled "Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense." This report highlights and analyzes key strategic-level issues raised by the new guidance.
Date: January 12, 2012
Creator: Dale, Catherine & Towell, Pat
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

International Trade: Rules of Origin

Description: This report deals with Rules of origin (ROO) in three parts. First, we describe in more detail the reasons that country of origin rules are important and briefly describe U.S. laws and methods that provide direction in making these determinations. Second, we discuss briefly some of the more controversial issues involving rules of origin, including the apparently subjective nature of some CBP origin determinations, and the effects of the global manufacturing process on ROO. Third, we conclude with some alternatives and options that Congress could consider that might assist in simplifying the process.
Date: January 5, 2012
Creator: Jones, Vivian C. & Martin, Michael F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy

Description: There is ongoing interest in the pace of U.S. technological advancement due to its influence on U.S. economic growth, productivity, and international competitiveness. Because technology can contribute to economic growth and productivity increases, congressional attention has focused on how to augment private-sector technological development. This report covers legislative activity in the past and present on this topic. It also looks at the future of Congressional action towards mandated specific technology development. As the Congress develops its appropriation priorities, the manner by which the government encourages technological progress in the private sector again may be explored and/or redefined.
Date: March 13, 2012
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues

Description: 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.
Date: February 3, 2012
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Internships, Fellowships, and Other Work Experience Opportunities in the Federal Government

Description: 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.
Date: January 5, 2012
Creator: Manning, Jennifer E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Sanctions

Description: The objective of sanctions-to compel Iran to verifiably demonstrate that its nuclear program is for purely peaceful uses-has not been achieved to date. The international coalition that is imposing progressively strict economic sanctions on Iran is broadening and deepening, with increasingly significant effect on Iran's economy. U.S. officials believe that these sanctions might yet cause Iran to return to the nuclear bargaining table with greater seriousness and intent toward peaceful resolution. The report discusses the effect of these sanctions as well as the pros and cons of increasing sanction.
Date: March 28, 2012
Creator: Kenneth Katzman
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Sanctions

Description: This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's 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.
Date: January 6, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues

Description: 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.
Date: April 10, 2012
Creator: Tiemann, Mary & Vann, Adam
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department