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Great Lakes Water Withdrawals: Legal and Policy Issues
This report describes the characteristics of the Great Lakes, the interests they support, and possible threats to lake levels. It analyzes the federal laws and policies that regulate the diversion, withdrawal, and consumptive use of water from the Great Lakes. Also included is a discussion of the final Compact and Agreement and some of the issues raised by various interest groups. This report concludes with a general discussion on the relationship between compacts, federal law, and the Congress.
Greenhouse Gas Legislation: Summary and Analysis of H.R. 2454 as Passed by the House of Representatives
This report offers an introduction and overview of legislation regarding greenhouse gases. It also discusses combined efficiency and renewable electricity standard, geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide, vehicles and fuels, smart grid, energy efficiency, and major cap-and-trade provisions.
Hydraulic Fracturing and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): Selected Issues
This report provides an overview of two situations in which agencies are arguing that they do not need to conduct a comprehensive environmental review of hydraulic fracturing under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Funeral Protests: Selected Federal Laws and Constitutional Issues
This report discusses the Supreme Court's decision in Snyder vs. Phelps, which deals with the question of Westboro Baptist Church's tort liability, a church that has protested military funerals for a number of years. It analyzes the constitutional issues facing federal laws that create funeral protest buffer zones and examines legislative options for amending the federal laws restricting funeral protests, including H.R. 961.
Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendments
This report is divided into two parts. The first gives a brief history of the flag protection issue, from the enactment of the Flag Protection Act in 1968 through current consideration of a constitutional amendment. The second part briefly summarizes the two decisions of the United States Supreme Court, Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman, that struck down the state and federal flag protection statutes as applied in the context punishing expressive conduct.
Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures
This report discusses the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) responsibilities in regard to immigration-related worksite enforcement, or enforcement of the prohibitions on unauthorized employment in Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The INA §274A provisions, sometimes referred to as employer sanctions, make it unlawful for an employer to knowingly hire, recruit or refer for a fee, or continue to employ an alien who is not authorized to be so employed. This report looks at enforcement measures of this act.
Mayo v. Prometheus: Implications for Patents, Biotechnology, and Personalized Medicine
Report that reviews the Supreme Court's 2012 Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories decision (wherein the court held that a patent claiming a method of optimizing therapies for autoimmune disease was invalid) and briefly consider its implications for innovation and public health.
Lobbying Registration and Disclosure: The Role of the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate
Report that describes the role of clerk of the house and secretary of the senate. It discusses lobbying disclosure guidance document and semi-annual report of certain contributions
National Flood Insurance Program: Background, Challenges, and Financial Status
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.
National Flood Insurance Program: Background, Challenges, and Financial Status
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.
National Flood Insurance Program: Background, Challenges, and Financial Status
In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to address the increasing costs of taxpayer-funded disaster relif 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.
National Flood Insurance Program: Background, Challenges, and Financial Status
In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to address the increasing costs of taxpayer-funded disaster relif 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.
National Flood Insurance Program: Background, Challenges, and Financial Status
This report provides an analysis of the National Flood Insurance Program (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.
National Infrastructure Bank: Overview and Current Legislation
Several bills to establish a national infrastructure bank have been introduced in the 112th Congress. This report examines three such bills, the Building and Upgrading Infrastructure for Long-Term Development Act (S. 652), the American Infrastructure Investment Fund Act of 2011 (S. 936), and the National Infrastructure Development Bank Act of 2011 (H.R. 402).
Leaking Underground Storage Tanks: Prevention and Cleanup
This report addresses a nationwide water pollution problem caused by leaking underground storage tanks (USTs). The report discusses key issue that state resources have not met the demands of administering the underground storage tanks (UST) leak prevention program.
Controversies over Redefining "Fill Material" Under the Clean Water Act
This report discusses the 2002 rule (the Clean Water Act), focusing on how it changes which material and types of activities are regulated under Section 404 and the significance of these issues, especially for the mining industry.
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSR): 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. The program was intended to help public water systems finance infrastructure projects that were needed to comply with federal drinking water regulations and to meet the Act's health objectives. It includes an overview of funding, allotments and set-asides, drinking water infrastructure needs, program issues, and legislative activity.
The Crime Victims Fund: Federal Support for Victims of Crime
Report that provides background and funding information for Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) programs and the Crime Victims Fund (CVF). It describes the process through which CVF funds are allocated and explains how the CVF impacts the annual budget for Department of Justice (DOJ).
Department of Defense Facilities Energy Conservation Policies and Spending
This report reviews energy conservation legislation and Executive Orders that apply to the Department of Defense, directives and instructions to the military departments and agencies on implementing the legislation and orders, Defense spending on facility energy over the last decade, annual Defense appropriations that fund energy-conservation improvements, and Defense energy conservation investments.
Brief Summaries of Federal Animal Protection Statutes
This report contains summaries of federal animal protection statutes, listed alphabetically. It does not include treaties, although it does include statutes enacted to implement treaties. It includes statutes concerning animals that are not entirely, or not at all, animal protection statutes. For example, it includes a statute authorizing the eradication of predators, because one of the statute's purposes is to protect domestic and "game" animals; and it includes statutes to conserve fish, although their ultimate purpose may not be for the fishes' benefit. It also includes statutes that allow the disabled to use service animals, and even includes statutes aimed at acts of animal rights advocates (the Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992, and the Recreational Hunting Safety and Preservation Act of 1994).
Clean Water Act: A Summary of the Law
This report presents a summary of the law, describing the essence of the statute without discussing its implementation. Other CRS products do discuss implementation, including CRS Report RL33800, Water Quality Issues in the 110th Congress: Oversight and Implementation, and numerous products cited in that report.
Clean Water Act: Legislation Concerning Discharges from Recreational Boats
This report discusses background of the Clean Water Act; bills introduced in response, two of which were passed by Congress on July 22 (S. 2766 and S. 3298); and draft permits proposed by EPA on June 17.
Clean Water Act Section 401: Background and Issues
Report discussing specifics of the U.S. Clean Water Act. Section 401 of the Clean Water Act requires that an applicant for a federal license or permit provide a certification that any discharges from the facility will comply with the act, including water quality standard requirements. Disputes have arisen over the states' exercise of authority under Section 401. For the most part, the debate over the Section 401 certification issue has been between states and hydropower interests.
Energy Projects on Federal Lands: Leasing and Authorization
The report reviews laws and regulations affecting leasing of federal lands for exploration and production of oil and natural gas, which have evolved under a complex leasing system over the last century. The report also addresses existing laws and regulations that affect the use of federal lands for renewable energy projects, including geothermal, wind, and solar energy.
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations
This report provides an overview of actions taken by Congress to provide FY2011 appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS). It also provides an overview of FY2010 appropriations for agencies and bureaus funded under the CJS bill.
Agriculture and Forestry Provisions in Climate Change Legislation (S. 3036)
This report summarizes some of the domestic agriculture and forestry provisions in the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008 (S. 3036, formerly S. 2191), as ordered reported out of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in December 2007.
The 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Natural Resource Damage Assessment Under the Oil Pollution Act
Report that examines the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) process under the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) in the context of the Deepwater Horizon spill.
Abortion Services and Military Medical Facilities
The purpose of this report is to describe and discuss the provisions for providing abortion services to military personnel, their dependents and other military health care beneficiaries at military medical facilities. The report describes the history of these provisions, with particular emphasis on legislative actions. Finally, this report discusses a number of proposals to modify the law as well as other related legislative and administrative actions.
Abortion Services and Military Medical Facilities
The purpose of this report is to describe and discuss the provisions for providing abortion services to military personnel, their dependents, and other military health care beneficiaries at military medical facilities. The report describes the history of these provisions, with particular emphasis on legislative actions. Finally, this report discusses a number of proposals to modify the law, as well as other related legislative and administrative actions.
Abortion Services and Military Medical Facilities
The purpose of this report is to describe and discuss the provisions for providing abortion services to military personnel, their dependents, and other military health care beneficiaries at military medical facilities. The report describes the history of these provisions, with particular emphasis on legislative actions. Finally, this report discusses a number of proposals to modify the law, as well as other related legislative and administrative actions.
Abortion Services and Military Medical Facilities
The purpose of this report is to describe and discuss the provisions for providing abortion services to military personnel, their dependents, and other military health care beneficiaries at military medical facilities. The report describes the history of these provisions, with particular emphasis on legislative actions. Finally, this report discusses a number of proposals to modify the law, as well as other related legislative and administrative actions.
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2010 Appropriations
This report provides an overview of actions taken by Congress to provide FY2011 appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS). It also provides an overview of FY2010 appropriations for agencies and bureaus funded under the CJS bill.
Passports: Current Regulations
This report discusses current U.S. passport requirements and costs, as well as related policy concerns.
Legal Ethics in Immigration Matters: Legal Representation and Unauthorized Practice of Law
Report regarding recent issues in which the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and various state attorneys general have taken action to address the problems posed by unethical conduct by immigration attorneys and by persons posing as immigration attorneys, such as so-called "notarios" and other immigration consultants.
Piracy off the Horn of Africa
This report discusses recent (2008-2009) pirate attacks on vessels, including United States vessels, in the waters off the Horn of Africa. The Horn of Africa is sometimes called the Somali Peninsula and includes the nations of Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somalia. This report explores reasons behind the increased number of pirate attacks in recent years, as well as what efforts are being taken to combat said attacks, including those by the 111th Congress and President Obama and his Administration.
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)
Private Health Insurance Provisions of H.R. 3200
This report provides a short background describing key aspects of the private insurance market as it exists currently. This information is useful in setting the stage for understanding how and where H.R. 3200 would reform health insurance. Primarily, however, the report summarizes provisions affecting private health insurance in Division A (or Division 1) H.R. 3200, as ordered reported by the House Committees on Education and Labor and on Ways and Means.
Water Infrastructure Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
This report identifies funding for water infrastructure programs and projects contained in the legislation, including amounts in the House- and Senate-passed versions that preceded the conference agreement. Among the purposes identified in the legislation are preservation and creation of jobs and promotion of U.S. economic recovery, and investment in transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits.
Telecommunications and Media Convergence: Selected Issues for Consideration
This report provides an overview of selected topics that provide a broad overview of issues that are central to the telecommunications/media convergence debate.
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Implementation and New Challenges
This report provides an overview of basic Toxic Supstances Control Act (TSCA) provisions, briefly examines the history of TSCA implementation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and describes the legal, scientific, and technological developments that are being used to provide support to calls for TSCA reform.
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers
This report provides background on the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers (TAA) program. After a brief introduction, it discusses TAA eligibility and benefits as set by TAAEA. It then describes how the program is funded and administered. The report concludes by presenting data on recent application activity and benefit usage.
The Supreme Court Accepts Five Environmental Cases During Its 2008-2009 Term
In the Supreme Court's 2008-2009 term, which likely will conclude in late June, 2009, the Court has accepted for argument five environmental cases—an unusually large number out of the roughly 85 cases accepted for argument. The reason for this interest in environmental cases at this particular time is speculative; the Court generally does not explain why it accepts cases. This report reviews the cases, decided and undecided, and then briefly comments.
Supreme Court Appellate Jurisdiction Over Military Court Cases
This report discusses events in which the U.S. Supreme Court would have jurisdiction over military court cases.
Stormwater Permits: Status of EPA's Regulatory Program
This report discusses the regulation of stormwater drainage. Stormwater discharge systems are the pipes and sewer lines that carry rainwater or snow melt, but not domestic sanitary wastes, away from urban areas and commercial and industrial facilities. For many years the focus of the nation's water quality programs was on controlling pollutants associated with industrial process wastewaters and municipal sewage discharges.
Speed of Presidential and Senate Actions on Supreme Court Nominations, 1900 - 2009
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).
Safeguarding the Nation's Drinking Water: EPA and Congressional Actions
This paper discusses the EPAs efforts to increase drinking water security, Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, and EPA and DHS water infrastructure security roles.
Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues
When civil unrest, violence, or natural disasters erupt in spots around the world, concerns arise over the safety of foreign nationals residing in the United States who are from these troubled places. Provisions exist in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to offer temporary protected status (TPS) or relief from removal under specified circumstances. A foreign national who is granted TPS receives a registration document and an employment authorization for the duration of TPS. The United States currently provides TPS or deferred enforced departure (DED) to over 300,000 foreign nationals from a total of eight countries: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, and most recently Southern Sudan and Syria.
Terrorism Information Sharing and the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Report Initiative: Background and Issues for Congress
This report describes the NSI, the rationale for the sharing of terrorism-related SARs, and how the NSI seeks to achieve this objective. It examines the privacy and civil liberties concerns raised by the initiative and identifies other oversight issues for Congress.
Legislative Options for Financing Water Infrastructure
Report that addresses several options considered by Congress to address the financing needs of local communities for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects and to decrease or close the gap between available funds and projected needs.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): Policies, Programs, and Funding
Report on the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is an agency of the Department of Commerce set up to advise on domestic and international telecommunications and information policies.