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Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act: A Summary of Superfund Cleanup Authorities and Related Provisions of the Act

Description: This report discusses the background and current status of CERCLA (the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980), which was a response to a growing desire for the federal government to ensure the cleanup of the nation's most contaminated sites to protect the public from potential harm. Concerns for Congress include funding for this act; most funding comes from potentially responsible parties (PRPs), but some also comes from the CERCLA established Hazardous Substance Superfund Trust Fund.
Date: June 14, 2012
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Membership of the 112th Congress: A Profile

Description: This report presents a profile of the membership of the 112th Congress (2011-2012). Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service.
Date: June 14, 2012
Creator: Manning, Jennifer E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests

Description: 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.
Date: June 15, 2012
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report gives an overview of the situation in the Arctic region. The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region's future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. The Arctic has increasingly become a subject of discussion among political leaders of the nations in the region. In varying degrees, the Arctic coastal states have indicated a willingness to establish and maintain a military presence in the high north. U.S. military forces, particularly the Navy and Coast Guard, have begun to pay more attention to the region.
Date: June 15, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Jackson-Vanik Amendment and Candidate Countries for WTO Accession: Issues for Congress

Description: This report gives an analysis of the unconditional most-favored-nation (MFN) status, or in U.S. statutory parlance, normal trade relations (NTR) status, which is a fundamental principle of the World Trade Organization (WTO). This conflicts with the U.S. laws under Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974 that limits trade status with several nations undergoing accession into the WTO. On June 12, 2012, Sen. Max Baucus introduced a bill with bipartisan co-sponsorship to authorize PNTR for Russia. The report includes information about MFN status and the WTO, the Jackson-Vanik Amendment restricting trade, the case of China, and prospective WTO accessions.
Date: June 15, 2012
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy, and gives Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers a capability for conducting BMD operations Issues for Congress concerning the Aegis BMD program include demands for BMD capable Aegis ships, demands for Aegis ships in general, the U.S. economic impact of shifting four Aegis ships to Rota, Spain, U.S. vs. European naval contributions to European BMD, the capability of the SM-3 Block IIB Aegis BMD interceptor, and technical risk in the Aegis program.
Date: June 15, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Ship Names: Background for Congress

Description: This report discusses the process of naming Navy ships, which have traditionally been chosen and announced by the Secretary of the Navy. Congress in recent years has proposed, and sometimes passed, legislation regarding the naming of specific ships.
Date: June 15, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Project BioShield Act: Issues for the 112th Congress

Description: This report discusses the Project BioShield Act, In 2004, passed by Congress to encourage the private sector to develop medical countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism agents and to provide a novel mechanism for federal acquisition of those newly developed countermeasures. This law provides three main authorities: (1) relaxing regulatory requirements for some CBRN terrorism-related spending, including hiring personnel and awarding research grants; (2) guaranteeing a federal market for new CBRN medical countermeasures; and (3) permitting emergency use of unapproved countermeasures.
Date: June 15, 2012
Creator: Gottron, Frank
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)

Description: This report looks at the background and current status of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), which was formed to increase international cooperation in interdicting shipments of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Date: June 15, 2012
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians

Description: 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.
Date: June 15, 2012
Creator: Zanotti, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Response to the Global Threat of HIV/AIDS: Basic Facts

Description: This report highlights some of the current challenges posed by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria, as well as several crosscutting policy issues that the 112th Congress may consider as it determines U.S. global health funding for these three diseases, including: Health Systems Strengthening, Country Ownership, Research and Development, Monitoring and Evaluation; and Bilateral vs. Multilateral Support.
Date: June 15, 2012
Creator: Kendall, Alexandra E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department