Congressional Research Service Reports - 141 Matching Results

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The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act
President George W. Bush signed the Postal Enhancement and Accountability Act (P.L. 109-435) on December 20, 2006. This report briefly describes Congress’s pursuit of postal reform, summarizes the major provisions of the new postal reform law, and identifies possible P.L. 109-435 oversight issues for Congress.
The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), which is a federal agency that includes private sector and other non-federal representation on its board of directors. FirstNet was created by Congress with provisions in Title VI (Spectrum Act) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96) to ensure the deployment and operation of a nationwide, broadband network for public safety communications.
The U.S. Newspaper Industry in Transition
This report analyzes China's mixed record on human rights: major human rights problems, new human rights legislation, and the development of civil society, legal awareness, and social and political activism. This report discusses major areas of interest but does not provide an exhaustive account of all human rights abuses or related incidents.
Federal Services for Constituents Available in Spanish: Selected Sources
This report is a directory of sources on various federal constituent services available in Spanish to assist congressional offices in serving Spanish-speaking constituents. The topics covered are: access to jobs and workers’ issues, Americans with Disabilities Act, childcare, consumer protection, disaster relief, elder care, emergency management, emergency preparedness, environmental protection, Federal Bureau of Investigation, food safety, health, higher education, homeland security, housing, immigration, immunizations, Medicaid, Medicare, the Presidency, retirement, Small Business Administration, Social Security Administration, taxes, telephone service, travel and tourism, veterans affairs, and voting.
Federal Services for Constituents Available in Foreign Languages: Selected Sources
This report is a directory of sources on various federal constituent services available in foreign languages, to assist congressional offices in serving non-English speaking constituents. The topics covered are: access to jobs and workers’ issues, Americans with Disabilities Act, childcare, consumer protection, disaster relief, elder care, emergency preparedness, environmental protection, Federal Bureau of Investigation, food safety, health, higher education, homeland security, housing, immigration, immunizations, Medicaid, Medicare, the Presidency, retirement, Small Business Administration, Social Security Administration, taxes, telephone service, travel and tourism, veterans affairs, and voting.
The U.S. Postal Service and Six-Day Delivery: Issues for Congress
This report will examine the history of six-day mail delivery and analyze potential effects of reducing USPS delivery from six to five days. It will then examine legislative options for the 111th Congress.
The U.S. Postal Service and Six-Day Delivery: Issues for Congress
This report will examine the history of six-day mail delivery and analyze potential effects of reducing USPS delivery from six to five days. It will then examine legislative options for the 111th Congress.
The U.S. Newspaper Industry in Transition
This report analyzes the current crises that the U.S. newspaper industry is facing in light of the recent economic downturn and the increasing number of readers who turn to the Internet for their news instead of to traditional media. Congress has begun debating whether the financial problems in the newspaper industry pose a public policy issue that warrants federal action.
Updating the Statutory Framework for Communications for the Digital Age: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the statutory framework for the communications sector that largely was enacted prior to the commercial development and deployment of digital technology, Internet Protocol (IP), broadband networks, and online voice, data, and video services.
The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), which is a federal agency that includes private sector and other non-federal representation on its board of directors. FirstNet was created by Congress with provisions in Title VI (Spectrum Act) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96) to ensure the deployment and operation of a nationwide, broadband network for public safety communications.
Proposals for Revision of the Communications Act of 1934: Telecommunications Issues
No Description Available.
The Army's Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) Program
This report discusses the WIN-T communications program and network used by the Army for distributing information to the whole Army while in the field. There are two main stages of development and implementation the first being stationary command posts communication networks which is fully implemented and the second is equipping combat vehicles with mobile real-time communication devices to improve situational awareness and providing combat commanders with the same type of mobile communication abilities. The second stage is partially implemented and continues to be added to units each year. Related DOD reports and Congressional concerns are also addressed.
Public Safety Communications and Spectrum Resources: Policy Issues for Congress
The availability of radio frequency spectrum is considered essential to developing a modern, interoperable communications network for public safety. Equally critical is building the radio network to use this spectrum. Opinions diverge, however, on such issues as how much spectrum should be made available for the network, who should own it, who should build it, who should operate it, who should be allowed to use it, and how it might be paid for. This report discusses potential paths forward for Congress in regards to modernizing communications. To resolve the debate and move the planning process forward, Congress may decide to pursue oversight or change existing law. Actions proposed to Congress include (1) authorizing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reassign spectrum and (2) changing requirements for the use of spectrum auction proceeds. In particular, legislation in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-171) might be modified. This law mandated the termination of analog television broadcasting and the release of those channels for other uses, including public safety.
Monitoring Inmate-Attorney Communications: Sixth Amendment Implications
This report provides an overview of the provisions of the interim rule, as well as a brief synopsis of Sixth Amendment implications regarding intentional intrusion into the attorney-client relationship.
Postal Service for Katrina Survivors
This report discusses the affected areas served by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Journalists' Privilege to Withhold Information in Judicial and Other Proceedings: State Shield Statutes
This report briefly provides an overview of general trends among the states individual statutes.
Naming Post Offices Through Legislation
This report describes how the practice of naming post offices through public law originated and how it is commonly done today. House and Senate practices for approving legislation and procedures followed by the U.S. Postal Service in organizing a dedication ceremony, are also described. An increasingly common form of legislation is the naming of post offices for former Members of Congress or other figures of local or national renown. About one in six public laws passed by the 108th Congress was a post office naming bill approved under suspension of the rules. Unanimity of a state's congressional delegation is required for the movement of naming bills to the floor of the House or Senate. The costs of dedicating a post office in the name of an individual are modest, and this action results in no change in public identification of the facility by its geographic location.
Obscenity, Child Pornography, and Indecency: Brief Background and Recent Developments
The First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. ...” The First Amendment applies, with two exceptions, to pornography, with that term being used to refer to any words or pictures of a sexual nature. This report discusses the two exceptions, which are obscenity and child pornography; because these are not protected by the First Amendment, they may be, and have been, made illegal. Pornography and “indecent” material that are protected by the First Amendment may nevertheless be restricted in order to limit minors’ access to them.
Journalists' Privilege: Overview of the Law and Legislation in the 109th and 110th Congresses
This report discusses the journalists' privilege, provides and overview of the law, describes the Grand Jury Subpoena related to the Judith Miller case, and gives an overview of the congressional response in the 109th and 110th Congresses.
Open Access Publishing and Citatation Archives: Background and Controversy
This report begins with an inventory of basic information: definitions and guides to histories of the growth of open access publishing and citation archives and descriptions of selected major open access activities. It moves on to summarize major points of difference between proponents and opponents of nongovernmental open access publishing and databases, and then highlights federal, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), open access activities and contentious issues surrounding these developments. The report also briefly describes open access developments in the United Kingdom (where a number of governmental and nongovernmental initiatives have occurred) and in the international arena. Finally, controversial issues which could receive attention in the 109th Congress are summarized.
Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy
This report begins with an inventory of basic information: definitions and guides to histories of the growth of open access publishing and citation archives and descriptions of selected major open access activities. It moves on to summarize major points of difference between proponents and opponents of nongovernmental open access publishing and databases, and then highlights federal, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), open access activities and contentious issues surrounding these developments. The report also briefly describes open access developments in the United Kingdom (where a number of governmental and nongovernmental initiatives have occurred) and in the international arena. Finally, controversial issues which could receive attention in the 109th Congress are summarized.
Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy
This report begins with an inventory of basic information: definitions and guides to histories of the growth of open access publishing and citation archives and descriptions of selected major open access activities. It moves on to summarize major points of difference between proponents and opponents of nongovernmental open access publishing and databases, and then highlights federal, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), open access activities and contentious issues surrounding these developments. The report also briefly describes open access developments in the United Kingdom (where a number of governmental and nongovernmental initiatives have occurred) and in the international arena. Finally, controversial issues which could receive attention the 110th Congress are summarized.
Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy
This report begins with an inventory of basic information: definitions and guides to histories of the growth of open access publishing and citation archives and descriptions of selected major open access activities. It moves on to summarize major points of difference between proponents and opponents of nongovernmental open access publishing and databases, and then highlights federal, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), open access activities and contentious issues surrounding these developments. The report also briefly describes open access developments in the United Kingdom (where a number of governmental and nongovernmental initiatives have occurred) and in the international arena. Finally, controversial issues which could receive attention in the 109th Congress are summarized.
Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy
This report begins with an inventory of basic information: definitions and guides to histories of the growth of open access publishing and citation archives and descriptions of selected major open access activities. It moves on to summarize major points of difference between proponents and opponents of nongovernmental open access publishing and databases, and then highlights federal, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), open access activities and contentious issues surrounding these developments. The report also briefly describes open access developments in the United Kingdom (where a number of governmental and nongovernmental initiatives have occurred) and in the international arena. Finally, controversial issues which could receive attention in the 109th Congress are summarized.
Public Speaking and Speechwriting: Selected References
No Description Available.
Terrorism, the Media, and the Government: Perspectives, Trends, and Options for Policymakers
No Description Available.
Tobacco Issues: National Public Opinion
No Description Available.
Journalists’ Privilege: Overview of the Law and Legislation in the 109th and 110th Congresses
This report examines laws pertaining to journalists' privilege. Most states afford journalists some protection from compelled release of their confidential sources. The question remains, however, as to whether a concomitant federal privilege exists. The Supreme Court has addressed the issue of journalists’ privilege under the First Amendment only once; in Branzburg v. Hayes, it left open the question of whether the First Amendment provides journalists with any privilege.
The 2009 U.N. Durban Review Conference: Follow-Up to the 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism
This report provides information on the 2001 World Conference Against Racism and the circumstances of U.S. withdrawal. It discusses preparations for the Durban Review Conference, including U.S. policy and reaction from other governments. It highlights possible issues for the 111th Congress, including the Review Conference preparatory process, U.S. funding of the Conference, and the political and diplomatic impact of U.S. engagement.
Free Mail for Troops Overseas
Members of the armed forces on duty in designated combat areas can send personal correspondence, free of postage, to addresses in the United States. There has never been a comparable provision of free postage of letters or packages sent from family members in the United States to loved ones in wartime service overseas. Two bills (H.R. 923 and H.R. 2874) have been introduced that would allow family members and, in the case o H.R. 2874, certain charities to send letters and packages to service men and women in combat zones free of postage.
Free Mail for Troops Overseas
Members of the armed forces on duty in designated combat areas can send personal correspondence, free of postage, to addresses in the United States. There has never been a comparable provision of free postage for letters or packages sent from family members in the United States to loved ones in wartime service overseas. Two bills (H.R. 923 and H.R. 2874) have been introduced that would allow family members and, in the case of H.R. 2874, certain charities to send letters and packages to servicemen and women in combat zones free of postage. H.R. 923 in amended form as a bill that would allow service members overseas to send vouchers to family or loved ones that would be redeemable for the postage expenses of one letter of 15-pound package per month is included in the FY2007 Defense Authorization Act, which is now awaiting action in the Senate.
Journalists' Privilege: Overview of the Law and Legislation in Recent Congresses
This report gives an overview of the law regarding journalistic privilege. Included are the responses of the 110th and 111th Congresses regarding the law.
Reauthorizing the Satellite Home Viewing Provisions in the Communications Act and the Copyright Act: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the regulatory framework for the retransmission of broadcast television signals by satellite television operators,the Satellite Home Viewer Act of 1994, the 1999 Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act (SHVIA), and the 2004 Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act (SHVERA)
Secret Sessions of the House and Senate: Authority, Confidentiality, and Frequency
Secret, or closed, sessions of the House and Senate exclude the press and the public. They may be held for matters deemed to require confidentiality and secrecy-such as national security, sensitive communications received from the President, and Senate deliberations during impeachment trials. Although Members usually seek advance agreement for going into secret session, any Member of Congress may request a secret session without notice. When the House or Senate goes into secret session, its chamber and galleries are cleared of everyone except Members and officers and employees specified in the rules or designated by the presiding officer as essential to the session. After the chamber is cleared, its doors are closed.
FCC Media Ownership Rules: Issues for Congress
The Federal Communications Commission adopted an order on June 2, 2003 that modified five of its media ownership rules and retained two others.1 The new rules will go into effect on September 4, 2003 – thirty days after their appearance in the Federal Register. Because of the potential that changes in these rules – which set limits on national television ownership, newspaper-broadcast and radio-television cross-ownership in a market, and ownership of multiple television or radio stations in a market – could have far-reaching effects, a number of bills have been introduced in the 108th Congress that reflect a range of positions on these issues. This report analyzes each of the areas that have changed as a result of the FCC action or may change as a result of congressional action. The various positions in the debate also are summarized.
FCC Media Ownership Rules: Issues for Congress
The Federal Communications Commission adopted an order on June 2, 2003 that modified five of its media ownership rules and retained two others. The new rules were scheduled to go into effect on September 4, 2003, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit stayed implementation of the new rules pending adjudication of claims that the rules are unlawful. (Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC, 3rd Cir., No 03-3388, stay issued 9/3/03). Because of the potential that changes in these rules – which set limits on national television ownership, newspaper-broadcast and radio-television cross-ownership in a market, and ownership of multiple television or radio stations in a market – could have far-reaching effects, a number of bills have been introduced in the 108th Congress that reflect a range of positions on these issues. This report analyzes each of the areas that have changed as a result of the FCC action or may change as a result of congressional action. The various positions in the debate also are summarized.
The U.S. Postal Service's Use of Contractors to Deliver Mail: Background and Recent Developments
Currently, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is collectively bargaining with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA). One issue that may or may not be settled is the Postal Service's use of non-USPS employees (i.e., contractors) to deliver mail. If the parties cannot come to a satisfactory arrangement, Congress may be approached to consider the matter.
The Proposed AT&T/T-Mobile Merger: Would It Create a Virtuous Cycle or a Vicious Cycle?
This report discusses the pros and cons of a proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger. The largest con would be that the merged company would have over 70% of the cell phone market share. The largest pro would be that a merged company would be able to provide better service to its customers. The report also gives a brief overview of the mobile phone industry as a whole.
Free Mail for Troops Overseas
Members of the armed forces on duty in designated combat areas can send personal correspondence, free of postage, to addresses in the United States. There has never been a comparable provision of free postage for letters or packages sent from family members in the United States to loved ones in wartime service overseas. This report discusses two bills (H.R. 923 and H.R. 2874) that were introduced in the 109th Congress that would have allowed family members and, in the case of H.R. 2874, certain charities to send letters and packages to servicemen and women in combat zones free of postage.
U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology
This report provides information regarding the role of U.S. and other foreign companies in facilitating Internet censorship by repressive regimes overseas. The report is divided into several sections: Examination of repressive policies in China and Iran, Relevant U.S. laws, U.S. policies to promote Internet freedom, Private sector initiatives, and Congressional action.
U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology
This report provides information regarding the role of U.S. and other foreign companies in facilitating Internet censorship by repressive regimes overseas. The report is divided into several sections: Examination of repressive policies in China and Iraq, Relevant U.S. laws, U.S. policies to promote Internet freedom, Private sector initiatives, and Congressional action.
Information Sharing for Homeland Security: A Brief Overview
This report reviews some of the principal existing homeland security information sharing arrangements, as well as some projected arrangements in this regard, and discusses related policy, evaluations, and proposed legislation.
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . . .” This language restricts government both more and less than it would if it were applied literally. It restricts government more in that it applies not only to Congress, but to all branches of the federal government, and to all branches of state and local government. It restricts government less in that it provides no protection to some types of speech and only limited protection to others. This report provides an overview of the major exceptions to the First Amendment — of the ways that the Supreme Court has interpreted the guarantee of freedom of speech and press to provide no protection or only limited protection for some types of speech.
"Sensitive But Unclassified" and Other Federal Security Controls on Scientific and Technical Information: History and Current Controversy
This report (1) summarizes provisions of several laws and regulations, including the Patent Law, the Atomic Energy Act, International Traffic in Arms Control regulations, the USA PATRIOT Act (P.L. 107-56), the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-188), and the Homeland Security Act (P.L. 107-296), that permit the federal government to restrict disclosure of scientific and technical information that could harm national security; (2) describes the development of federal controls on “sensitive but unclassified” (SBU) scientific and technical information; (3) summarizes current controversies about White House policy on “Sensitive But Unclassified Information,” and “Sensitive Homeland Security Information” (SHSI) issued in March 2002; and (4) identifies controversial issues which might affect the development of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and agency guidelines for sensitive unclassified information, which are expected to be released during 2003.
"Sensitive But Unclassified" and Other Federal Security Controls on Scientific and Technical Information: History and Current Controversy
This report (1) summarizes provisions of several laws and regulations, including the Patent Law, the Atomic Energy Act, International Traffic in Arms Control regulations, the USA PATRIOT Act (P.L. 107-56), the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-188), and the Homeland SecurityAct (P.L. 107-296), that permit the federal government to restrict disclosure of scientific and technical information that could harm national security; (2) describes the development of federal controls on “sensitive but unclassified” (SBU) scientific and technical information; (3) summarizes current controversies about White House policy on “Sensitive But Unclassified Information,” and “Sensitive Homeland Security Information” (SHSI) issued in March 2002; and (4) identifies controversial issues which might affect the development of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and agency guidelines for sensitive unclassified information, which are expected to be released during 2003.
"Sensitive But Unclassified" and Other Federal Security Controls on Scientific and Technical Information: History and Current Controversy
This report (1) summarizes provisions of several laws and regulations, including the Patent Law, the Atomic Energy Act, International Traffic in Arms Control regulations, the USA PATRIOT Act (P.L. 107-56), the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-188), and the Homeland Security Act (P.L. 107-296), that permit the federal government to restrict disclosure of scientific and technical information that could harm national security; (2) describes the development of federal controls on “sensitive but unclassified” (SBU) scientific and technical information; (3) summarizes current controversies about White House policy on “Sensitive But Unclassified Information,” and “Sensitive Homeland Security Information” (SHSI) issued in March 2002; and (4) identifies controversial issues which might affect the development of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and agency guidelines for sensitive unclassified information, which are expected to be released during 2003.
"Sensitive but Unclassified" Information and Other Controls: Policy and Options for Scientific and Technical Information
This report traces the evolution of "sensitive but unclassified" or SBU-related controls; summarizes actions taken to protect certain types of scientific and technical information; describes critiques of some control policies; and summarizes proposals and actions, including congressional, executive and other initiatives, to clarify these issues and develop policies that serve various stakeholders. It also raises issues that may warrant further attention.
English as the Official Language of the United States: An Overview
This report provides background on contemporary efforts to declare English the official language, a review of selected issues raised by official English proposals in Congress, and a summary of arguments that have been advanced in favor of and in opposition to such proposals.
Speech Material -- Fourth of July
No Description Available.
Military Space Programs: Issues Concerning DOD's SBIRS and STSS Programs
This report discusses the Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS, formerly SBIRS-Low), managed by the Missile Defense Agency, which performs missile tracking and target discrimination for missile defense objectives.