Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
This report discusses in more detail the evolution of a national critical infrastructure policy and the institutional structures established to implement it. The report highlights five issues of Congressional concern: identifying critical assets; assessing vulnerabilities and risks; allocating resources; information sharing; and, regulation.
Highway Bridges: Conditions and the Federal/State Role
This report examines the federal and state roles in the maintenance, inspection, reconstruction, and replacement of the nation's highway bridge infrastructure, as well as the emergency response and reconstruction role of the Department of Transportation (DOT). The report first describes what is known about the condition of the nation's bridges and whether the problem of structural deficiency is improving or worsening. It then briefly describes the programmatic and budgetary context, including federal efforts to reduce the number of deficient bridges, and examines highway bridge spending. The report discusses issues Congress is facing face in light of the I-35W bridge collapse and the emergence of questions about the appropriateness and effectiveness of related federal infrastructure policies, programs, and spending. Finally, the report describes a number of legislative initiatives that have been proposed.
Community Development Block Grant Funds in Disaster Relief and Recovery
This report discusses how Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs are funded by Congress and what they have been used for in recent years: recovery efforts following terrorist attacks, riots, and natural disasters.
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund: Programs and Policy Issues
This report begins by describing the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund's (Fund's) history, current appropriations, and each of its programs. The next section of the report analyzes four policy considerations of congressional interest, regarding the Fund and the effective use of federal resources to promote economic development. Lastly, this report examines the Fund's programs and management to see if they represent an effective and efficient government effort to promote economic development in low-income and distressed communities.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
This report discusses in more detail the evolution of a national critical infrastructure policy and the institutional structures established to implement it. The report highlights five issues of Congressional concern: identifying critical assets; assessing vulnerabilities and risks; allocating resources; information sharing; and regulation.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
This report discusses the evolution of a national critical infrastructure policy and the institutional structures established to implement it. Critical infrastructure includes physical assets used to produce and distribute services such as electricity (including the power plants and electric grid), communications, and computers. The report highlights five issues of Congressional concern: identifying critical assets; assessing vulnerabilities and risks; allocating resources; information sharing; and regulation.
The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments
Permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorize various types of development projects in wetlands and other waters of the United States. The Corps' regulatory process involves two types of permits: general permits for actions by private landowners that are similar in nature and will likely have a minor effect on wetlands, and individual permits for more significant actions. The Corps uses general permits to minimize the burden of its regulatory program: they authorize landowners to proceed with a project without the time-consuming need to obtain standard individual permits in advance. About 90% of the Corps' regulatory workload is processed in the form of general permits.
The Army Corps of Engineers' Nationwide Permits Program: Issues and Regulatory Developments
Congressional interest in wetlands permit regulatory programs has been evident in the past in oversight hearings and in connection with bills to fund the Corps' regulatory programs. For some time, there has been a stalemate over legislation that would revise wetlands regulatory law and that could, if enacted, modify the nationwide permit program. During this time, no consensus has emerged on whether or how to reform overall wetlands policy legislatively. Recently, Obama Administration initiatives and actions intended to restrict harmful effects of surface coal mining activities in Appalachia have drawn congressional attention and criticism that is likely to continue in the 112th Congress and that could include oversight of the Corps' regulatory program generally.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
This report discusses the evolution of a national critical infrastructure policy and the institutional structures established to implement it. Critical infrastructure includes physical assets used to produce and distribute services such as electricity (including the power plants and electric grid), communications, and computers. The report highlights five issues of Congressional concern: identifying critical assets; assessing vulnerabilities and risks; allocating resources; information sharing; and regulation.
Community Development Block Grant Funds in Disaster Relief and Recovery
This report discusses how Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs are funded by Congress and what they have been used for in recent years: recovery efforts following terrorist attacks, riots, and natural disasters. The 111th Congress has approved $100 million in CDBG funds to help states and communities undertake disaster recovery activities in presidentially declared disaster areas affected by severe storms and flooding during the period from March 2010 through May 2010. The act limited distribution of these funds to states where the entire state was declared a disaster area (Rhode Island) and to states where at least 20 counties within the state were declared disaster areas (Tennessee, Kentucky, and Nebraska).
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund: Programs and Policy Issues
This report begins by describing the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund's (Fund's) history, current appropriations, and each of its programs. The next section of the report analyzes four policy considerations of congressional interest, regarding the Fund and the effective use of federal resources to promote economic development. Lastly, this report examines the Fund's programs and management to see if they represent an effective and efficient government effort to promote economic development in low-income and distressed communities.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
This report discusses in more detail the evolution of a national critical infrastructure policy and the institutional structures established to implement it. The report highlights two primary issues confronting Congress going forward, both in the context of cybersecurity: information sharing and regulation.
Community Development Block Grants: Neighborhood Stabilization Program; Assistance to Communities Affected by Foreclosures
Report regarding the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, P.L. 110-289, which allocates federal financial aid to all state and local governments with high amounts of foreclosed homes, subprime mortgage loans, and delinquent home mortgages. The report focuses on the assistance that aids in aquiring, rehabilitating, and reselling foreclosed and abandoned homes.
The Evolving Broadband Infrastructure: Expansion, Applications, and Regulation
This report discusses issues for policymakers regarding how to craft a comprehensive broadband strategy that not only addresses broadband availability and adoption problems, but also addresses the long term impacts of next-generation networks on consumer use of the Internet and a regulatory framework that must keep pace with evolving telecommunications technology.
Federalism Issues in Surface Transportation Policy: A Historical Perspective
This report provides a historical perspective on contemporary federalism issues in surface transportation policy, from the beginning of the nation through the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). It also discusses legislative activity during the 114th Congress to reauthorize highway and mass transit programs.
An Overview of the Administration's Strengthening America's Communities Initiative
This report discusses administration’s proposed base program called strengthening America’s communities initiative intended to award funds in support of job creation and economic development.
An Overview of the Administration's Strengthening America's Communities Initiative
This report discusses administration’s proposed base program called strengthening America’s communities initiative intended to award funds in support of job creation and economic development.
Hurricane-Damaged Drinking Water and Wastewater Facilities: Impacts, Needs, and Response
This report describes information that has been gathered about impacts of the August 29 hurricane (Hurricane Katrina) on drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities, and on ongoing efforts to assess damages and needs to repair and reconstruct damaged systems.
Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): Army Corps of Engineers Authorization Issues in the 109th Congress
The Corps is a federal agency in the Department of Defense with military and civilian responsibilities. At the direction of Congress, the Corps plans, builds, operates, and maintains a wide range of water resources facilities in U.S. states and territories.
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: Program Overview and Issues
This report discusses the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996, which authorized a drinking water state revolving loan fund (DWSRF) program to help public water systems finance infrastructure projects needed to comply with federal drinking water regulations and to protect public health.
Hurricane-Damaged Drinking Water and Wastewater Facilities: Impacts, Needs, and Response
This report describes information that has been gathered about impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities and on ongoing efforts to assess damages and needs to repair and reconstruct damaged systems.
Community Development Block Grant Funds in Disaster Relief and Recovery
This report discusses the CDBG program, which administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is the federal government’s largest and most widely available source of financial assistance to support state and local government-directed neighborhood revitalization, housing rehabilitation, and economic development activities.
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund: Programs and Policy Issues
As communities face a variety of economic challenges, some are looking to local banks and financial institutions for solutions that address the specific development needs of low-income and distressed communities. Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) provide financial products and services, such as mortgage financing for homebuyers and not-for-profit developers; underwriting and risk capital for community facilities; technical assistance; and commercial loans and investments to small, start-up, or expanding businesses. This report begins by describing the CDFI Fund’s history, current appropriations, and each of its programs. A description of the fund’s process of certifying certain financial institutions to be eligible for the fund’s program awards follows. The next section provides an overview of each program’s purpose, use of award proceeds, eligibility criteria, and relevant issues for Congress.
Hurricane Katrina: Shipping Disruptions
This report discusses hurricane Katrina, the extent of the damage, how soon normal port operations can resume, and which shippers in particular will have the hardest time adapting should the disruption continue for an extended period.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
The nation’s health, wealth, and security rely on the production and distribution of certain goods and services. The array of physical assets, processes and organizations across which these goods and services move are called critical infrastructures (e.g. electricity, the power plants that generate it, and the electric grid upon which it is distributed). Computers and communications, themselves critical infrastructures, are increasingly tying these infrastructures together. This report aims to address the concern that this reliance on computers and computer networks raises the vulnerability of the nation’s critical infrastructures to “cyber” attacks.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
The nation’s health, wealth, and security rely on the production and distribution of certain goods and services. The array of physical assets, processes and organizations across which these goods and services move are called critical infrastructures (e.g. electricity, the power plants that generate it, and the electric grid upon which it is distributed). Computers and communications, themselves critical infrastructures, are increasingly tying these infrastructures together. This report aims to address the concern that this reliance on computers and computer networks raises the vulnerability of the nation’s critical infrastructures to “cyber” attacks.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
The nation’s health, wealth, and security rely on the production and distribution of certain goods and services. The array of physical assets, processes and organizations across which these goods and services move are called critical infrastructures (e.g. electricity, the power plants that generate it, and the electric grid upon which it is distributed). Computers and communications, themselves critical infrastructures, are increasingly tying these infrastructures together. This report aims to address the concern that this reliance on computers and computer networks raises the vulnerability of the nation’s critical infrastructures to “cyber” attacks.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
The nation’s health, wealth, and security rely on the production and distribution of certain goods and services. The array of physical assets, processes and organizations across which these goods and services move are called critical infrastructures (e.g. electricity, the power plants that generate it, and the electric grid upon which it is distributed). Computers and communications, themselves critical infrastructures, are increasingly tying these infrastructures together. This report aims to address the concern that this reliance on computers and computer networks raises the vulnerability of the nation’s critical infrastructures to “cyber” attacks.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
The nation’s health, wealth, and security rely on the production and distribution of certain goods and services. The array of physical assets, processes and organizations across which these goods and services move are called critical infrastructures (e.g. electricity, the power plants that generate it, and the electric grid upon which it is distributed). Computers and communications, themselves critical infrastructures, are increasingly tying these infrastructures together. This report aims to address the concern that this reliance on computers and computer networks raises the vulnerability of the nation’s critical infrastructures to “cyber” attacks.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
The nation’s health, wealth, and security rely on the production and distribution of certain goods and services. The array of physical assets, processes and organizations across which these goods and services move are called critical infrastructures (e.g. electricity, the power plants that generate it, and the electric grid upon which it is distributed). Computers and communications, themselves critical infrastructures, are increasingly tying these infrastructures together. This report aims to address the concern that this reliance on computers and computer networks raises the vulnerability of the nation’s critical infrastructures to “cyber” attacks.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
The nation’s health, wealth, and security rely on the production and distribution of certain goods and services. The array of physical assets, processes and organizations across which these goods and services move are called critical infrastructures (e.g. electricity, the power plants that generate it, and the electric grid upon which it is distributed). Computers and communications, themselves critical infrastructures, are increasingly tying these infrastructures together. This report aims to address the concern that this reliance on computers and computer networks raises the vulnerability of the nation’s critical infrastructures to “cyber” attacks.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
The nation’s health, wealth, and security rely on the production and distribution of certain goods and services. The array of physical assets, processes and organizations across which these goods and services move are called critical infrastructures (e.g. electricity, the power plants that generate it, and the electric grid upon which it is distributed). Computers and communications, themselves critical infrastructures, are increasingly tying these infrastructures together. This report aims to address the concern that this reliance on computers and computer networks raises the vulnerability of the nation’s critical infrastructures to “cyber” attacks.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
The nation’s health, wealth, and security rely on the production and distribution of certain goods and services. The array of physical assets, processes and organizations across which these goods and services move are called critical infrastructures (e.g. electricity, the power plants that generate it, and the electric grid upon which it is distributed). Computers and communications, themselves critical infrastructures, are increasingly tying these infrastructures together. This report aims to address the concern that this reliance on computers and computer networks raises the vulnerability of the nation’s critical infrastructures to “cyber” attacks.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
The nation’s health, wealth, and security rely on the production and distribution of certain goods and services. The array of physical assets, processes and organizations across which these goods and services move are called critical infrastructures (e.g. electricity, the power plants that generate it, and the electric grid upon which it is distributed). Computers and communications, themselves critical infrastructures, are increasingly tying these infrastructures together. This report aims to address the concern that this reliance on computers and computer networks raises the vulnerability of the nation’s critical infrastructures to “cyber” attacks.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
The nation’s health, wealth, and security rely on the production and distribution of certain goods and services. The array of physical assets, processes and organizations across which these goods and services move are called critical infrastructures (e.g. electricity, the power plants that generate it, and the electric grid upon which it is distributed). Computers and communications, themselves critical infrastructures, are increasingly tying these infrastructures together. This report aims to address the concern that this reliance on computers and computer networks raises the vulnerability of the nation’s critical infrastructures to “cyber” attacks.
Critical Infrastructures: Background, Policy, and Implementation
The nation’s health, wealth, and security rely on the production and distribution of certain goods and services. The array of physical assets, processes and organizations across which these goods and services move are called critical infrastructures (e.g. electricity, the power plants that generate it, and the electric grid upon which it is distributed). Computers and communications, themselves critical infrastructures, are increasingly tying these infrastructures together. This report aims to address the concern that this reliance on computers and computer networks raises the vulnerability of the nation’s critical infrastructures to “cyber” attacks.
Critical Infrastructures: Background and Early Implementation of PDD-63
The nation's health, wealth, and security rely on the supply and distribution of certain goods and services. The array of physical assets, processes and organizations across which these goods and services move are called critical infrastructures (e.g. electricity, the power plants that generate it, and the electric grid upon which it is distributed or financial capital, the institutions that manage it, and the record- keeping and communications that move it from one institution to another).
Critical Infrastructures: Background and Early Implementation of PDD-63
The nation's health, wealth, and security rely on the supply and distribution of certain goods and services. The array of physical assets, processes and organizations across which these goods and services move are called critical infrastructures (e.g. electricity, the power plants that generate it, and the electric grid upon which it is distributed or financial capital, the institutions that manage it, and the record- keeping and communications that move it from one institution to another).
Surface Transportation Reauthorization: Environmental Issues and Legislative Provisions in SAFETEA-LU (H.R. 3)
No Description Available.
Terminal Operators and Their Role in U.S. Port and Maritime Security
No Description Available.
Marine Security of Hazardouse Chemical Cargo
No Description Available.
San Diego Wastewater Treatment: Current Issues
No Description Available.
An Overview of the U.S. Public Health System in the Context of Bioterrorism
No Description Available.
An Overview of the U.S. Public Health System in the Context of Emergency Preparedness
No Description Available.
The Davis-Bacon Act: Institutional Evolution and Public Policy
This report examines policy issues the Davis-Bacon Act has sparked through the years and which remain a part of the Davis-Bacon debate of the 1990s. These include such questions as: wage rate determination procedures, reporting requirements under the Copeland Act, an appropriate threshold for activation of the statute, interagency relationships with respect to Davis-Bacon enforcement and compliance activity, administrative or judicial appeals procedures, the use of "helpers" and other low-skilled workers on covered projects, and the right of a President to suspend the statute as well as the conditions under which such a suspension may occur. That the fundamental premise of the Act remains in contention after 60 years may be, itself, part of the public policy debate.
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF): Program Overview and Issues
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996 authorized a drinking water state revolving loan fund (DWSRF) program to help public water systems finance infrastructure projects needed to comply with federal drinking water regulations and to protect public health. The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) latest (2003) survey of capital improvement needs for public water systems found that water systems need to invest $276.8 billion on infrastructure improvements over 20 years to ensure the provision of safe water. Key issues include the gap between estimated needs and funding, SDWA compliance costs, and the need for cities to update and maintain water infrastructure, apart from SDWA compliance.
Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force
The increased presence of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs and in the scientific workforce has been and continues to be of concern to some in the scientific community. Enrollment of U.S. citizens in graduate science and engineering programs has not kept pace with that of foreign students in those programs. In addition to the number of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs, a significant number of university faculty in the scientific disciplines are foreign, and foreign doctorates are employed in large numbers by industry. This report examines these issues and discusses their policy implications.
Hurricane-Damaged Drinking Water and Wastewater Facilities: Impacts, Needs, and Response
No Description Available.
Computer Attack and Cyber Terrorism: Vulnerabilities and Policy Issues for Congress
This report presents a working definition for the term “cyber terrorism”, plus background information describing how current technology and management processes may leave computers exposed to cyber-attack, and a discussion of possible effects of a cyber-attack. Potential issues for Congress are presented in the second section, including: whether appropriate guidance exists for a DOD information warfare response to a cyber-attack; whether the need to detect possible cyber terrorist activity interferes with individual privacy; whether the roles and responsibilities for protecting against a possible cyber terrorist attack need more clarity for government, industry, and home users; and, whether information sharing on cyber threats and vulnerabilities must be further increased between private industry and the federal government. The final section describes possible policy options for improving protection against threats from possible cyber terrorism.
Computer Attack and Cyberterrorism: Vulnerabilities and Policy Issues for Congress
This report provides background information for three types of attacks against computers (cyber-attack, physical attack, and electromagnetic attack), and discusses related vulnerabilities for each type of attack. The report also describes the possible effects of a coordinated cyberattack, or computer network attack (CNA), against U.S. infrastructure computers, along with possible technical capabilities of international terrorists.