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NATO Enlargement: Albania, Croatia, and Possible Future Candidates

Description: This report discusses the current status of NATO membership following the April 2-4, 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania. A principal issue was consideration of the candidacies for membership of Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia. The allies agreed to extend invitations to Albania and Croatia. Although the alliance determined that Macedonia met the qualifications for NATO membership, Greece blocked the invitation due to an enduring dispute over Macedonia's name.
Date: April 14, 2009
Creator: Morelli, Vincent; Ek, Carl; Belkin, Paul; Woehrel, Steven & Nichol, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Piracy off the Horn of Africa

Description: This report discusses recent attacks -- including those on U.S.-flagged vessels -- in the waters off the Horn of Africa, which have brought new U.S. and international attention to the long-standing problem of piracy in the region.
Date: April 21, 2009
Creator: Ploch, Lauren; Blanchard, Christopher M.; O'Rourke, Ronald; Mason, R. C. & King, Rawle O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Aegis Cruiser and Destroyer Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: The Navy has begun a multi-billion dollar program to modernize its 84 existing Aegis cruisers and destroyers over a period of more than 20 years. This report explores this program in detail, including the reasons for the program and the oversight issues it poses for Congress. This report will be updated as events warrant.
Date: April 29, 2009
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: The Navy is procuring a new type of surface combatant called the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The Navy wants to procure a total of 55 LCSs. This report details the 2007 restructuring of the LCS program, as well as various financial information relating to the program. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's plans for the LCS program. The LCS program raises potential oversight issues for Congress relating to various aspects of the program, all of which are explored within this report.
Date: May 5, 2009
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Membership and Appointment Authority to Advisory Commissions, Boards, and Groups

Description: This report contains a compilation of commissions and boards that demonstrates the range of alternative membership-appointment structures. It includes any statutorily created advisory entity (boards, advisory panels, etc.) whose membership scheme mandates the participation of Members of Congress either as potential members or as participants in the process of appointing the membership.
Date: May 11, 2009
Creator: Glassman, Matthew E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Agency Travel Card Programs

Description: This report begins by discussing the structure of agency travel card programs, and then discusses weaknesses in agency controls that have contributed to waste, fraud, and abuse. It concludes with observations on the information available to Congress for oversight of agency travel card programs.
Date: May 13, 2009
Creator: Hatch, Garrett
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: This report details the 2007 restructuring of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program, as well as various financial information relating to the program. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's plans for the LCS program. The LCS program raises potential oversight issues for Congress relating to various aspects of the program.
Date: May 19, 2009
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gun Control: Statutory Disclosure Limitations on ATF Firearms Trace Data and Multiple Handgun Sales Reports

Description: This report briefly describes a provision known as the "Tiahrt" amendment, a rider on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) appropriations that prohibits ATF from disclosing firearm trace data and multiple handgun sales reports data for any purpose other than supporting a criminal investigatoin or agency licensing proceeding. The Tiahrt amendment is so called because its sponsor is Representative Todd Tiahrt. A coalition of 210 city mayors favors the repeal of this rider, but there is much opposition to that motion.
Date: May 27, 2009
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Speed of Presidential and Senate Actions on Supreme Court Nominations, 1900 - 2009

Description: This report provides information on the amount of time taken to act on all Supreme Court nominations occurring between 1900 and the present. It focuses on the actual amounts of time that Presidents and the Senate have taken to act (as opposed to the elapsed time between official points in the process). This report focuses on when the Senate became aware of the President's selection (e.g., via a public announcement by the President).
Date: May 29, 2009
Creator: Garrett, R. Sam & Rutkus, Denis Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Oversight and Related Issues Concerning International Security Agreements Concluded by the United States

Description: This report begins by providing a general background on the types of international agreements that are binding upon the United States, as well as considerations affecting whether they take the form of a treaty or an executive agreement. Next, the report discusses historical precedents as to the role that security agreements have taken. The report discusses the oversight role that Congress exercises with respect to entering and implementing international agreements involving the United States.
Date: June 2, 2009
Creator: Garcia, Michael J. & Mason, R. C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Department of Defense "Section 1207" Security and Stabilization Assistance: Background and Congressional Concerns

Description: Section 1207 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2006 provides authority for the Department of Defense (DOD) to transfer to the State Department up to $100 million per fiscal year in defense articles, services, training or other support for reconstruction, stabilization, and security activities in foreign countries. The 111th Congress must decide whether to extend Section 1207, which expires on September 30, 2009. This report discusses what issues Congress must take into consideration when making this decision.
Date: June 3, 2009
Creator: Serafino, Nina M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Service by a Member of Congress in the U.S. Armed Forces Reserves

Description: This report will analyze the legal issues related to Members of Congress serving in the Armed Forces Reserves during their congressional tenure. It will discuss previous congressional action regarding Members' simultaneous service as well as federal legislation addressing the status of Reservists. It will also analyze court decisions related to challenges to simultaneous service.
Date: June 10, 2009
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Grants-In-Aid: An Historical Perspective on Contemporary Issues

Description: This report provides an historical synopsis of the evolving nature of federal grant-in-aid programs, focusing on the role Congress has played in defining the scope and nature of those programs. It begins with an overview of contemporary federal grant-in-aid programs and then examines their evolution over time, focusing on the internal and external factors that have influenced congressional decisions concerning federal grant-in-aid programs. It concludes with an assessment of the scope and nature of the contemporary federal grants-in-aid system and raises several issues for congressional consideration, including possible ways to augment congressional capacity to provide effective oversight of this system.
Date: June 15, 2009
Creator: Dilger, Robert Jay
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

House Resolutions of Inquiry

Description: The resolution of inquiry is a simple House resolution that seeks factual information from the executive branch. This report explains the history, procedure, specific uses of resolutions of inquiry, and notes recent increases in their usage. The examples in this report demonstrate that, historically, even when a resolution of inquiry is reported adversely from a committee and tabled on the floor, it has frequently led to the release of a substantial amount of information from the Administration.
Date: June 17, 2009
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Member Organizations: Their Purpose and Activities, History, and Formation

Description: There are 645 informal (Congressional) Member organizations listed in the Congressional Yellow Book or registered with the Committee on House Administration. Of these 645 informal organizations, 256 are registered with the Committee on House Administration as a congressional Member organization (CMO). This report examines the purpose and activities of CMOs and the reasons Members form them. It also identifies and describes seven CMO types, and it provides an overview of the historical development of informal Member organizations since the first Congress. It concludes with a step-by-step guide for House Members and staff who might be interested in forming a CMO.
Date: July 1, 2009
Creator: Dilger, Robert Jay
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Agency Travel Card Programs

Description: This report begins by discussing the structure of agency travel card programs, and then discusses weaknesses in agency controls that have contributed to waste, fraud, and abuse. It then examines travel card legislation introduced or enacted in the 111th Congress, and concludes with observations on the information available to Congress for oversight of agency travel card programs.
Date: July 20, 2009
Creator: Hatch, Garrett
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Foreign Aid Reform: Studies and Recommendations

Description: This report gives a brief history of modern U.S. foreign aid and modern legislative efforts to reform foreign aid practices. The report also examines various recommendations from recent studies relating to foreign aid reform.
Date: July 28, 2009
Creator: Epstein, Susan B. & Weed, Matthew C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies: FY2010 Appropriations

Description: This report discusses the President's Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 budget request for the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, which provides funding for the planning, design, construction, alteration, and improvement of facilities used by active and reserve military components worldwide.
Date: July 29, 2009
Creator: Else, Daniel H.; Scott, Christine & Panangala, Sidath V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Aviation and Climate Change

Description: This report provides background on aviation emissions and the factors affecting them; it discusses the tools available to control emissions, including existing authority under the Clean Air Act and proposed economy-wide cap-and-trade legislation; and it examines international regulatory developments that may affect U.S. commercial airlines.
Date: August 4, 2009
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department