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Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) Status for Russia and U.S.-Russian Economic Ties

Description: This report discusses the issues surrounding whether or not the U.S. should grant Russia permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) following its accession into the World Trade Organization (WTO). The change in Russia's trade status will require legislation to lift the restrictions of Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974 as they apply to Russia, which includes the "freedom-of-emigration" requirements of the Jackson-Vanik amendment.
Date: June 13, 2012
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion

Description: The federal government loses both individual and corporate income tax revenue from the shifting of profits and income into low-tax countries, often referred to as tax havens. The revenue losses from this tax avoidance and evasion are difficult to estimate, but some have suggested that the annual cost of offshore tax abuses may be around $100 billion per year. Recent actions by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the G-20 industrialized nations have targeted tax haven countries, focusing primarily on evasion issues. There are also a number of legislative proposals that address these issues including the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act (S. 506, H.R. 1265); draft proposals by the Senate Finance Committee; two other related bills, S. 386 and S. 569; and a proposal by President Obama. This report discusses this issue in detail.
Date: July 9, 2009
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tax Credit Bonds: Overview and Analysis

Description: Tax Credit Bonds (TCBs) are a type of bond that offers the holder a federal tax credit instead of interest. This report explains the tax credit mechanism and describes the market for the bonds. It also discusses related pieces of legislation and what the most common uses of the proceeds from TCBs are.
Date: April 16, 2009
Creator: Maguire, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The U.S. Postal Service's Financial Condition: Overview and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS's) financial condition, legislation enacted to alleviate the USPS's financial challenges, and possible issues for the 112th Congress. It also includes a side-by-side comparison of two of the postal reform bills, H.R. 2309 and S. 1789.
Date: January 27, 2012
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The U.S. Postal Service's Use of Contractors to Deliver Mail: Background and Recent Developments

Description: 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.
Date: May 29, 2012
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN)

Description: Congress has passed legislation to facilitate the reemployment of workers who through no fault of their own are let go by their employers. Among these laws is the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, P.L. 100-379, enacted in 1988. This report discusses the WARN Act in brief, especially as related to Congress's renewed interest in the Act due to the current financial crises and recession.
Date: July 9, 2009
Creator: Levine, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

War Powers Litigation Initiated by Members of Congress Since the Enactment of the War Powers Resolution

Description: This report summarizes the eight cases initiated by Members of Congress in which final rulings were reached, which concerned U.S. military activities in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Grenada; military action taken during the Persian Gulf conflict between Iraq and Iran; U.S. activities in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait (prior to the congressional authorization); U.S. participation in NATO's action in Kosovo and Yugoslavia; and U.S. military action in Libya.
Date: February 17, 2012
Creator: Garcia, Michael John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Infrastructure Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Description: 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.
Date: March 12, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia & Carter, Nicole T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

Description: On March 15, 2006, the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution replacing the Commission on Human Rights with a new Human Rights Council (the Council). The Council was designed to be an improvement over the Commission, which was widely criticized for the composition of its membership when perceived human rights abusers were elected as members. This report discusses the history of the Council, the previous participation of the Bush Administration, the current participation of the Obama Administration, and ongoing international and Congressional concerns of the credibility and effectiveness of the Council.
Date: June 1, 2009
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions

Description: This report describes provisions of the LOS Convention relating to living marine resources and discusses how these provisions comport with current U.S. marine policy. As presently understood and interpreted, these provisions generally appear to reflect current U.S. policy with respect to living marine resource management, conservation, and exploitation.
Date: June 22, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Numerical Limits on Employment-Based Immigration: Analysis of the Per-Country Ceilings

Description: The report opens with brief explanations of the employment-based preference categories and the per-country ceilings governing annual admissions of LPRs. The focus is on the major employment-based preference categories. The report continues with a statistical analysis of the pending caseload of approved employment-based LPR petitions.
Date: December 6, 2011
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Outer Continental Shelf Moratoria on Oil and Gas Development

Description: This report discusses moratoria measures for the outer continental shelf (OCS) which establish bans or restrictions on oil and gas exploration and development in federal ocean areas. It includes a background of offshore oil and gas development, the sources of U.S. moratorium policy, the background of ocean governance, U.S. moratoria in international areas, and related issues for congress.
Date: March 23, 2011
Creator: Hagerty, Curry L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Outer Continental Shelf Moratoria on Oil and Gas Development

Description: Moratoria measures for the outer continental shelf (OCS) establish bans or restrictions on oil and gas exploration and development in federal ocean areas. With some exceptions for marine sanctuaries and monuments, no portion of the federal OCS has a permanent moratorium on oil and gas leasing and development. While some areas are under temporary development bans, such as suspensions or moratoria directed by either legislative or executive powers, most of the OCS is free of such restrictions and is considered permissible for offshore leasing activity.
Date: May 6, 2011
Creator: Hagerty, Curry L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Protecting Classified Information and the Rights of Criminal Defendants: The Classified Information Procedures Act

Description: A criminal prosecution involving classified information may cause tension between the government's interest in protecting classified information and the criminal defendant's right to a constitutionally valid trial. In some cases, a defendant may threaten to disclose classified information in an effort to gain leverage. Concerns about this practice, referred to as "graymail," led the 96th Congress to enact the Classified Information Procedures Act to provide uniform procedures for prosecutions involving classified information.
Date: April 2, 2012
Creator: Liu, Edward C. & Garvey, Todd
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Protecting Classified Information and the Rights of Criminal Defendants: The Classified Information Procedures Act

Description: This report gives an overview of the Classified Information Procedures Act, enacted by the 96th Congress, which provides uniform procedures for prosecutions involving classified information. It provides a background of the act and discusses its various sections.
Date: March 31, 2011
Creator: Liu, Edward, C. & Garvey, Todd
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Passports: Current Regulations

Description: This report details changes made to travel between the United States and other countries in the Western Hemisphere, including Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean island nations. Such changes include the expansion of time necessary to get a passport, as well as additional passport and proof-of-identity documentation requirements.
Date: April 30, 2009
Creator: Epstein, Susan B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework

Description: This report explains the nature of U.S. authority over offshore areas pursuant to international and domestic law. It also describes the laws, at both the state and federal levels, governing the development of offshore oil and gas and the litigation that has flowed from development under the current legal regimes. Also included is an outline of the recent changes to the authorities regulating offshore development wrought by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and subsequent legislation enacted by the 109th Congress prior to adjournment. Finally, this report discusses legislation under consideration by the 110th Congress that might also amend existing law in this area.
Date: January 30, 2008
Creator: Vann, Adam
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department