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Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights

Description: This report discusses the situation immediately following the completion of the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq on December 18, 2011, when relations among major political factions worsened substantially, threatening Iraq's stability and the legacy of the U.S. intervention in Iraq. It includes an overview of historical and current political, military, and governance issues as well as an analysis of Iraq in relation to the other nations in the region.
Date: June 13, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
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 13, 2012
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Multiyear Procurement (MYP) and Block Buy Contracting in Defense Acquisition: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on multiyear procurement (MYP) and block buy contracting (BBC),1 which are special contracting mechanisms that Congress permits the Department of Defense (DOD) to use for a limited number of defense acquisition programs. Compared to the standard or default approach of annual contracting, MYP and BBC have the potential for reducing weapon procurement costs by several percent.
Date: June 13, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald & Schwartz, Moshe
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Navy Biofuel Initiative Under the Defense Production Act

Description: This report looks at the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into by the secretaries of Energy, Agriculture, and the Navy in order to “assist the development and support of a sustainable commercial biofuels industry.” The report specifically discusses how and why this understanding should be funded and why it is important for the U.S.
Date: June 13, 2012
Creator: Andrews, Anthony; Bracmort, Kelsi; Brown, Jared T. & Else, Daniel H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Navy's irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) operations. News reports about the May 1, 2011, U.S. military operation in Pakistan that killed Osama Bin Laden state that the operation was carried out by a team of 20 to 25 Navy special operations forces, known as SEALs, specifically an elite unit known as Seal Team 6.
Date: June 13, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report looks at how the Navy carries out irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) activities. It looks at recent successes with these measures, such as the assassination of Osama bin Laden. It also looks at the ways in which these two programs can grow. The report ends with a discussion of how these programs can change the definition of Navy IW activities and how they will affect Navy budgeting.
Date: June 13, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Description: This report discusses current issues for Congress concerning the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program including the program's mission modules, the combat survivability of the LCS, hull cracking and engine problems on LCS-1, and corrosion on LCS-2. The LCS is a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages. The Navy wants to field a force of 55 LCSs. Twelve LCSs have been funded through FY2012, and the FY2013-FY2017 Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP) calls for procuring 16 more, in annual quantities of 4-4-4-2-2.
Date: June 13, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) Status for Russia and U.S.-Russian Economic Ties

Description: This report discusses the issues surrounding whether or not the U.S. should grant Russia permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) following its accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO). The change in Russia's trade status will require legislation to lift the restrictions of Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974 as they apply to Russia, which includes the "freedom-of-emigration" requirements of the Jackson-Vanik amendment.
Date: June 13, 2012
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Russia's Accession to the WTO and Its Implications for the United States

Description: Russia has been invited to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) by July 23, 2012. This report looks at policy issues for Congress, and concerns for the US regarding conditions ensuring that Russia fulfills its obligations and provides meaningful trade and investment opportunities for U.S. firms.
Date: June 13, 2012
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing: Industry Trends, Global Competition, Federal Support

Description: This report gives an overview of the most widely-used solar technology involving photovoltaic (PV) solar modules, which draw on semiconducting materials to convert sunlight into electricity. The competitiveness of solar PV as a source of electric generation in the United States will likely be adversely affected both by the expiration of tax provisions and by the rapid development of shale gas, which has the potential to lower the cost of gas-fired power generation and reduce the cost-competitiveness of solar power, particularly as an energy source for utilities.
Date: June 13, 2012
Creator: Platzer, Michaela D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Technology Incentives: A Summary of Federal Programs

Description: This report gives an overview of the federal incentives support the development and deployment of alternatives to conventional fuels and engines in transportation including tax deductions and credits for vehicle purchases and the installation of refueling systems; federal grants for conversion of older vehicles to newer technologies; mandates for the use of biofuels; and incentives for manufacturers to produce alternative fuel vehicles. It also addresses how these incentives relate to goals of reducing petroleum consumption and import dependence, improving environmental quality, expanding domestic manufacturing, and promoting agriculture and rural development.
Date: June 12, 2012
Creator: Cunningham, Lynn J.; Roberts, Beth A.; Canis, Bill & Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cooling Water Intake Structures: Summary of EPA's Proposed Rule

Description: This report looks at the environmental impact of using water to absorb the heat from thermoelectric generating plants and manufacturing facilities during their industrial processes. The issue for Congress has been whether a stringent and costly environmental mandate could jeopardize reliability of electricity supply in the United States.
Date: June 12, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Department of Homeland Security Appropriations: A Summary of the House- Passed and Senate-Reported Bills for FY2013

Description: This report gives an overview of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill, which includes funding for all components and functions of DHS, including Customs and Border Protection (CBP); Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); the Transportation Security Administration (TSA); Coast Guard (USCG); Secret Service (USSS); the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), which includes Infrastructure Protection and Information Security (IPIS) and the Federal Protective Service (FPS); the Office of Health Affairs (OHA); the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC); the Science and Technology directorate (S&T); the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO); departmental management, Analysis and Operations (A&O), and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
Date: June 12, 2012
Creator: Painter, William L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Drought in the United States: Causes and Issues for Congress

Description: This report defines drought and discusses its background and cause in the United States. It looks in detail at the 2007-2009 California drought as well as drought in the American West in general. Lastly, it discusses the future of U.S. drought and how congressional policy can affect drought.
Date: June 12, 2012
Creator: Folger, Peter; Cody, Betsy A. & Carter, Nicole T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

International Monetary Fund: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report evaluates the purpose, membership, financing, and focus of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) activities. It also discusses the role of Congress in shaping U.S. policy at the IMF and concludes by addressing key issues, both legislative and oversight-related, that Congress may wish to consider, including: the role of the IMF as a lender of last resort; the adequacy of IMF resources; and the effectiveness of IMF surveillance.
Date: June 12, 2012
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

National Flood Insurance Program: Background, Challenges, and Financial Status

Description: In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to address the increasing costs of taxpayer-funded disaster relief for flood victims and the increasing amount of damage caused by floods. This report provides an analysis of the NFIP and its financial status; summarizes the major challenges facing the program, including issues affecting its long-term financial solvency; presents some alternative approaches for managing and financing the flood losses; and describes pending legislation on this issue.
Date: June 12, 2012
Creator: King, Rawle O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report presents background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Navy's Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) and Zumwalt (DDG-1000) class destroyer programs. Decisions that Congress makes concerning these programs could substantially affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Date: June 12, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the Navy's plan to develop and design a class of 12 next-generation ballistic missile submarines, or SSBN(X)s, as replacements for the 14 Ohio class SSBNs currently in operation. The Navy's proposed FY2013 budget requests $564.9 million for continued research and development work on the Ohio replacement program (ORP), also known as the SSBN(X) program.
Date: June 12, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and oversight issues for Congress on the Virginia class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program. The two Virginia-class boats requested for procurement in FY2013 are the final two in a group of eight covered by a multiyear procurement (MYP) arrangement for the period FY2009-FY2013. Issues for Congress include whether or not to approve the MYP arrangement request, whether to restore procurement of a second Virginia-class boat in FY2014, and the Virginia-class procurement rate in general.
Date: June 12, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Presidential Nominating Process and the National Party Conventions, 2012: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report provides answers to frequently asked questions about the presidential nominating process, including how the delegates to the national conventions are chosen, the differences between a caucus and a primary, national party rules changes for 2012, and the national conventions themselves. It is not a comprehensive report on all aspects of the presidential nominating process.
Date: June 12, 2012
Creator: Coleman, Kevin J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department