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Congressional Action on FY2015 Appropriations Measures

Description: This report provides background and analysis on congressional action related to the FY2015 appropriations process. The first section discusses the status of discretionary budget enforcement for FY2015, including the statutory spending limits and allocations normally associated with the congressional budget resolution. The second section provides information on the consideration and enactment of regular appropriations and an overview of aggregate discretionary spending. The third section discusses the legislative action on FY2015 CRs and associated budget enforcement considerations.
Date: December 18, 2014
Creator: Tollestrup, Jessica
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2015

Description: The federal government has played an important role in supporting research and development (R&D) efforts that have led to scientific breakthroughs and new technologies, from jet aircraft and the Internet to communications satellites, shale gas extraction, and defenses against disease. However, widespread concerns about the federal debt and recent and projected federal budget deficits are driving difficult decisions about the prioritization of R&D, both in the context of the entire federal budget and among competing needs within the federal R&D portfolio. This report begins with a discussion of the overall level of R&D funding requested in the President's budget, followed by analyses of requested R&D funding from a variety of perspectives and for selected multiagency R&D initiatives. The report concludes with discussion and analysis of the R&D budget requests of selected federal departments and agencies that, collectively, account for about 98% of total federal R&D funding.
Date: December 17, 2014
Creator: Sargent, John F., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Issues

Description: The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has selected a number of the military personnel issues considered in deliberations on H.R. 4435, the initial House-passed version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015; S. 2410, the version of the NDAA reported by the Senate Committee on Armed Services (S.Rept. 113-176) but not considered by the full Senate; and H.R. 3979, the proposed final version. This report provides a brief synopsis of sections in each bill that pertain to selected military personnel policy. These include end strengths, compensation, health care, and sexual assault, as well as less prominent issues that nonetheless generate significant public interest. This report focuses exclusively on the annual defense authorization process.
Date: December 11, 2014
Creator: Torreon, Barbara Salazar; Kapp, Lawrence & Jansen, Don J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Addressing the Long-Run Budget Deficit: A Comparison of Approaches

Description: The growth of the national debt, which is considered unsustainable under current policies, continues to be one of the central issues of domestic federal policy making. On August 2, 2011, Congress adopted, and the President signed, the Budget Control Act (BCA; P.L. 112-25), which might be viewed as an initial step in addressing long-run debt issues. This report examines alternative approaches to reducing the deficit, relating to the immediate issues arising from the BCA and the extended tax cuts as well as to ongoing, longer-term decisions about how to bring the debt under control. It focuses on the trade-offs between limiting the provision of defense and domestic public goods, reducing transfers to persons including entitlements for the elderly and those with low income, reducing support for state and local governments, and raising taxes. Using projections of the debt and deficit, it also addresses how limiting reliance on one source of deficit reduction creates pressure on other sources.
Date: December 9, 2014
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11

Description: Congress has approved appropriations for the past 13 years of war that total $1.6 trillion for military operations, base support, weapons maintenance, training of Afghan and Iraq security forces, reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans' health care for the war operations initiated since the 9/11 attacks. This report discusses the Department of Defense's FY2015 war request and various issues for Congress regarding the funding of the war on terror.
Date: December 8, 2014
Creator: Belasco, Amy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2015 Budget and Appropriations

Description: This report tracks the FY2015 State Department, Foreign Operations and Related Programs appropriations process. It includes information about recent actions, current requests and past trends, state operations and related agencies, and foreign operations.
Date: December 8, 2014
Creator: Epstein, Susan B.; Tiersky, Alex & Lawson, Marian L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fact Sheet: Selected Highlights of H.R. 3979, the Carl Levin and Howard "Buck" McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for FY2015

Description: This report contains selected highlights of S. 1847, the version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2015, agreed to on December 2, 2014, by negotiators for the House and Senate Armed Services Committees.
Date: December 3, 2014
Creator: Towell, Pat
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Past Government Shutdowns: Key Resources

Description: This report provides an annotated list of historical documents and other resources related to several past government shutdowns. Sources for these documents and resources include the Congressional Research Service (CRS), Government Accountability Office (GAO), House and Senate Committees, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and Executive Office of the President.
Date: November 17, 2014
Creator: Nagel, Jared C. & Murray, Justin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction

Description: Congress annually considers several appropriations measures, which provide discretionary funding for numerous activities--such as national defense, education, and homeland security--as well as general government operations. Appropriations acts are characteristically annual and generally provide funding authority that expires at the end of the federal fiscal year, September 30. These measures are considered by Congress under certain rules and practices, referred to as the congressional appropriations process. This report discusses the various aspects of this process.
Date: November 14, 2014
Creator: Tollestrup, Jessica
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legislative Branch: FY2015 Appropriations

Description: This report provides an overview of the current status of FY2015 legislative branch appropriations. The report then addresses the FY2015 budget requests, hearings, and funding issues for individual legislative branch agencies and entities.
Date: November 13, 2014
Creator: Petersen, R. E. & Brudnick, Ida A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legislative Branch: FY2015 Appropriations

Description: This report provides an overview of the current status of FY2015 legislative branch appropriations. The report then addresses the FY2015 budget requests, hearings, and funding issues for individual legislative branch agencies and entities.
Date: November 13, 2014
Creator: Petersen, R. E. & Brudnick, Ida A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Action on FY2015 Appropriations Measures

Description: The congressional appropriations process, which provides discretionary spending for federal government agencies, assumes the annual enactment of 12 regular appropriations bills prior to the beginning of the fiscal year (October 1). One or more continuing resolutions (CRs) may be enacted if all regular appropriations bills are not completed by that time. This report provides information on the budget enforcement framework for the consideration of FY2015 appropriations measures, the status of the FY2015 regular appropriations bills as of the beginning of the fiscal year, and the enactment of FY2015 continuing appropriations.
Date: November 5, 2014
Creator: Tollestrup, Jessica
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Budget: Overview and Issues for FY2015 and Beyond

Description: This report will provide an overview of federal budget issues, focusing on recent fiscal policy changes. It will also discuss the major policy proposals contained in the President's FY2015 budget and the House and Senate budget resolutions. Finally, it also addresses major short- and long-term fiscal challenges. This report will track legislative events related to the federal budget and will be updated as budgetary legislation moves through Congress.
Date: November 4, 2014
Creator: Levit, Mindy R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Palestinian Authority: U.S. Payments to Creditors as Alternative to Direct Budgetary Assistance?

Description: A September 24, 2014, congressional notification (CN) from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) may reflect a new executive branch approach in assisting the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pay off some of the debts it incurs in providing various benefits and services to West Bank and Gaza residents. The CN indicates that USAID plans to obligate a total of $100 million in FY2014 bilateral economic assistance for the Palestinians toward direct U.S. payments to PA creditors. This report briefly discusses the details and implications of this new alternative method.
Date: October 20, 2014
Creator: Zanotti, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Palestinian Authority: U.S. Payments to Creditors as Alternative to Direct Budgetary Assistance?

Description: A September 24, 2014, congressional notification (CN) from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) may reflect a new executive branch approach in assisting the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pay off some of the debts it incurs in providing various benefits and services to West Bank and Gaza residents. The CN indicates that USAID plans to obligate a total of $100 million in FY2014 bilateral economic assistance for the Palestinians toward direct U.S. payments to PA creditors. This report briefly discusses the details and implications of this new alternative method.
Date: October 6, 2014
Creator: Zanotti, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Limitations in Appropriations Measures: An Overview of Procedural Issues

Description: This report discusses internal congressional rules and procedures regarding money and policy decisions. It begins by explaining the contrasting procedural contexts that influence the consideration of limitation provisions in appropriations measures on the House and Senate floor. Next, it defines the two forms of limitations that have been allowed under House and Senate precedents, with examples of previous purposes that have been allowed. This report then proceeds to identify the variety of substantive challenges that exist in structuring a limitation provision so that it does not constitute legislative language and thereby violate House and Senate rules. Finally, this report concludes by discussing the effect of points of order during floor consideration and the burden of proof that exists for proponents of limitation provisions to successfully overcome procedural objections.
Date: September 29, 2014
Creator: Tollestrup, Jessica
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Delayed Federal Grant Closeout: Issues and Impact

Description: This report is designed to assist Congress in its oversight of federal grants-in-aid programs by providing a summary of relevant laws, processes, and authorities. The report analyzes the causes of undisbursed grant funds in expired grant accounts and presents congressional options to reform federal grant administration to increase the timeliness, reliability, and comprehensiveness of grant management-related information.
Date: September 12, 2014
Creator: Keegan, Natalie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Diplomatic and Embassy Security Funding Before and After the Benghazi Attacks

Description: This report presents a history and analysis of the requested and actual funding for diplomatic/embassy security since FY2008--what actually became available for the Department of State to spend after rescissions, sequestration, and transfers. It also provides funding data that was requested by the Administration, passed by the House of Representatives, passed by the Senate, and enacted by Congress for the two accounts that provide the bulk of the funding: the Worldwide Security Protection (WSP) and Worldwide Security Upgrades (WSU).
Date: September 10, 2014
Creator: Epstein, Susan B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Authorization of Appropriations: Procedural and Legal Issues

Description: This report provides a brief explanation of the distinction between authorized and unauthorized appropriations, and its significance for understanding how appropriations and other legislation work in conjunction to determine how agencies may spend appropriated funds.
Date: September 9, 2014
Creator: Tollestrup, Jessica & Yeh, Brian T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Social Security Administration (SSA): Budget Issues

Description: This report provides an overview of the Social Security Administration (SSA) mandatory spending but largely focuses on discretionary appropriations for the agency’s administrative expenses. The size of the annual appropriations for administrative expenses affects the agency’s ability to effectively administer the SSA’s benefit programs as well as conduct program integrity activities designed to ensure that only eligible persons receive federal benefits.
Date: September 8, 2014
Creator: Szymendera, Scott D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department