Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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House Transportation Bill Would Hold Spending Below Senate Bill
This report discusses the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 (STRRA), which provides only those spending increases the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has determined are needed to cover projected inflation in the cost of the existing surface transportation program.
Cargo Preferences for U.S.-Flag Shipping
This report explains the motivation behind cargo preference law, discusses issues concerning the cost-effectiveness of the program, and reviews attempts to apply cargo preference to the nation's oil trade. The report also identifies several disparate bills reflecting wide disagreement on the future direction of cargo preference policy.
Unemployment Related to Terrorist Attacks: Proposals to Assist Affected Workers in the Airlines and Related Industries
This report discusses the proposal to assist affected workers in the airlines and related industries in the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that shut down the nation’s air transport system temporarily.
Amtrak: Budget and Reauthorizaton
This issue brief discusses reform proposals from both the Administration and Amtrak in the 109th Congress. It addresses the appropriations requested by Amtrak, the reluctance of the Administration to provide aid, and its willingness to let Amtrak enter bankruptcy, resulting in restructuring and reform of inefficient operations.
Aviation Safety: FAA Near Midair Collision Reports
This report discusses the minimum separation distance in a near midair collision report which the event must meet in order to be classified a "near miss." If a pilot of flight crew member subjectively believes that the near miss occurred, the report of that event is accepted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and counts as a near miss in the FAA data base regardless of the actual separation distance. While no proximity limits are placed on near midair collision reports, the agency does attempt to categorize each reported encounter by degree of hazard represented from an aviation safety perspective.
Dallas Love Field: The Wright and Shelby Amendments
The history of the Wright Amendment dates back to the 1960s when the now defunct Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) proposed the creation of a single regional airport in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area. This report discusses legislation affecting the Wright/Shelby restrictions that have been introduced in the 109th Congress.
Fatal Balloon Accident Highlights Disagreement Between Safety Agencies
This report briefly discusses the the safety of hot-air balloons and examines the current regulatory climate. On July 30, 2016, a hot-air balloon tour flight crashed about 30 miles south of Austin, Texas, killing the pilot and all 15 passengers on board.
Aviation Congestion: Proposed Non-Air Traffic Control Remedies
The debate amongst airlines, airports, and government as to who should be blamed for the record flight delays is long-standing. A concomitant debate continues to occur as to solutions to this problem. The two apparent points of agreement are that ultimately there is no single cause of the delays and there is no single solution to the problem. Congress and the Bush Administration are examining a number of non-air traffic control strategies that might be useful in reducing delay both in the short and long term. Most of these efforts focus on expanding airport capacity or using existing capacity better. These include: new runway construction; environmental streamlining to speed up construction; allocation of airport space by use of economic incentives, i.e. peak period pricing; or administrative means, i.e. antitrust immunity to allow airline schedule coordination. All of the potential remedies engender some element of controversy, but the level of controversy varies significantly by suggested remedy. This report provides a brief overview and analysis of remedies currently under consideration by Congress and the Administration.
Aviation Delays
Flight delays and cancellation in the U.S. air transportation system rose to record levels in 2000. The problem costs the airlines an estimated $3 billion annually and causes great inconvenience for shippers and passengers. Billions of federal dollars are being spent to modernize the air traffic control (ATC) system, purchase new equipment and expand airport capacity. But the airlines express little confidence that these efforts will provide near-term relief or be enough in the long-term to accommodate the forecasted growth in air traffic ­ up from about 670 million passengers this year to 1.0 billion forecast by 2010 and 1.5 billion by 2025.
Agriculture as a Source of Barge Demand on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers: Background and Issues
This report provides background on the linkage between U.S. agriculture and the UMR-IWW navigation system. In addition, it explores several of the key issues and uncertainties behind evolving trade patterns and projections for future agricultural freight traffic on the UMR-IWW navigation system.
Amtrak: Budget and Reauthorization
Amtrak was created by Congress in 1970 to provide intercity passenger railroad service. Without a yearly federal grant to cover operating losses, Amtrak would not survive as presently configured. This issue brief discusses reform proposals from both the Administration and Amtrak in the 109th Congress. It addresses the appropriations requested by Amtrak, the reluctance of the Administration to provide aid, and its willingness to let Amtrak enter bankruptcy, resulting in restructuring and reform of inefficient operations.
Amtrak: Overview and Options
This report discusses Amtrak, an intercity railway transit system that being operatios in 1971. Amtrak receives considerable criticism for its inability to make a profit. The central policy issue, which this report addresses, is the following: Given that a national system of passenger rail service appears to be inherently unprofitable, as is the case for other public services, do we as a Nation wish to preserve our system or to liquidate it?
Passenger Rail Security: Overview of Issues
No Description Available.
Passenger Rail Security: Overview of Issues
No Description Available.
Passenger Rail Security: Overview of Issues
No Description Available.
International Air Service Controversies: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses some of the most frequently asked questions related to on-going controversies related to international "open skies" agreements.
The Federal Role in Rail Transit Safety
On June 22, 2009, two transit trains in Washington, DC, collided, resulting in nine deaths and dozens of injuries. It was the worst crash in the history of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's rail transit system. This crash has raised questions about the safety of rail transit and the government's role in ensuring that safety. Nationwide, rail transit is considered one of the safest modes of transportation. This report discusses the State Safety Oversight Program, which went into effect in 1997 and mandates that states are responsible for the safety of the rail transit systems within their borders. This report also explores several issues that Federal Transit Administration (FTA) representatives have discussed in regards to improving the Safety Oversight Program.
Changes in Airport Passenger Screening Technologies and Procedures: Frequently Asked Questions
This report contains answers to numerous questions regarding airport passenger screening.
Hazardous Materials Transportation: Vulnerability to Terrorists, Federal Activities, and Options to Reduce Risks
This report discusses the scope and nature of the vulnerability of hazardous materials (hazmats) transportation and its potential relations to terrorists attacks.
Grain Transport: Modal Trends and Infrastructure Implications
This report examines the grain-handling system and the infrastructure that supports it. The first part of the report briefly identifies transportation funding issues before Congress that are particularly relevant to grain shippers. The report then describes how grain is delivered to market, including long-term trends taking place and the underlying reasons for those trends. The final part identifies some of the implications these trends have for targeting future investment in the grain-handling system.
ISTEA Reauthorization: Highway and Transit Legislative Proposals in the 105th Congress, 2nd Session
This report discusses the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), programs which are continuing to operate on the basis of limited interim financing enacted in the closing moments of the 1st Session.
Surface Transportation: Reauthorization of TEA-21
This report briefly examines the debate regarding spending levels to reauthorize federal highway, highway safety, and transit programs.
Surface Transportation: Reauthorization of TEA-21
This report briefly examines the debate regarding spending levels to reauthorize federal highway, highway safety, and transit programs.
Upper Mississippi River System: Proposals to Restore an Inland Waterway’s Ecosystem
No Description Available.
The Maritime Security Program (MSP) in an International Commercial Context: A Discussion
No Description Available.
Harbors and Inland Waterways: An Overview of Federal Financing
No Description Available.
Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety - Federal Program and Legislative Issues
No Description Available.
Japan's Sea Shipment of Plutonium
No Description Available.
Border and Transportation Security: Possible New Directions and Policy Options
There is consensus that Border and Transportation Security (BTS) is a pivotal function in protecting the American people from terrorists and their instruments of destruction. The issue for Congress is how to achieve desired levels of security, while not compromising other important values in the process. This report addresses possible new approaches and policy options that might be explored by Congress to attain these goals. It is one of three CRS reports in a series that make use of analytical frameworks to better understand complex problems in BTS and to facilitate consideration of alternative policies and practices.
Security Threat Assessments for Hazmat Drivers
No Description Available.
U.S. Rail Transportation of Crude Oil: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the challenges in the transportation of oil, as refineries that once received crude oil principally from oceangoing tankers are now seeing increasing deliveries by domestic transport. It also outlines possible issues for Congress including rail transport of oil versus pipelines, and the possible increase of oil spills from rail transport.
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs).
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs).
Highway and Public Transportation Infrastructure Provision Using Public-Private Partnerships (P3s)
This report discusses two broad policy options for Congress as it considers reauthorizing federal surface transportation programs.
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs).
U.S. Rail Transportation of Crude Oil: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the challenges in the transportation of oil, as refineries that once received crude oil principally from oceangoing tankers are now seeing increasing deliveries by domestic transport. It also outlines possible issues for Congress including rail transport of oil versus pipelines, and the possible increase of oil spills from rail transport.
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs).
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs).
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs).
U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Trade Facilitation, Enforcement, and Security
This report describes and analyzes U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) role in the U.S. import process. (The report does not cover CBP's role in the U.S. export control system.)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Trade Facilitation, Enforcement, and Security
This report describes and analyzes U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) role in the U.S. import process. (The report does not cover CBP's role in the U.S. export control system.)
Keystone XL Pipeline: Overview and Recent Developments
This report describes the Keystone XL Pipeline Project and the process that the State Department must complete to decide whether it will approve or deny TransCanada's permit application. The report also discusses key energy security, economic, and environmental issues relevant to the State Department's national interest determination. Some of these issues include perspectives among various stakeholders both in favor of and opposed to the construction of the pipeline. Finally, the report discusses the constitutional basis for the State Department's authority to issue a Presidential Permit, and opponents' possible challenges to this authority.
Piracy: A Legal Definition
This report first examines the historical development of the offense of piracy, as defined by Congress and codified in the United States Code. The focus then turns to how contemporary international agreements define piracy. Finally, the report highlights developments in two trials involving charges of piracy in the federal district court in Norfolk, VA, United States v. Said and United States v. Hasan, specifically focusing on how the courts interpreted the definition of piracy under 18 U.S.C. § 1651.
F-35 Alternate Engine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the past four years of administration proposals to terminate the program to develop the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 engine as an alternative to the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine that currently powers the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). These proposals have been continually rejected by Congress. The Obama Administration's FY2011 budget submission against proposes to terminate the program. This report explores both sides of the termination argument.
U.S. Rail Transportation of Crude Oil: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the challenges in the transportation of oil, as refineries that once received crude oil principally from oceangoing tankers are now seeing increasing deliveries by domestic transport. It also outlines possible issues for Congress including rail transport of oil versus pipelines, and the possible increase of oil spills from rail transport.
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs).
Public-Private Partnerships in Highway and Transit Infrastructure Provision
This report begins with a brief discussion of the surface transportation system and its financing needs as background to the debate on public-private partnerships (PPPs). That is followed by sections describing the different types of PPPs, with details of a few prominent examples, and the development of federal legislation with respect to PPPs. The report then discusses the main issues of contention with the construction and longterm leasing of highways by the private sector, particularly as they relate to the funding, planning, and operation of the surface transportation system, before providing some policy options Congress may wish to consider.
Keystone XL Pipeline: Overview and Recent Developments
This report describes the Keystone XL Pipeline Project and the process that the State Department must complete to decide whether it will approve or deny TransCanada's permit application. The report also discusses key energy security, economic, and environmental issues relevant to the State Department's national interest determination. Some of these issues include perspectives among various stakeholders both in favor of and opposed to the construction of the pipeline. Finally, the report discusses the constitutional basis for the State Department's authority to issue a Presidential Permit, and opponents' possible challenges to this authority.
F-35 Alternate Engine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the past four years of administration proposals to terminate the program to develop the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 engine as an alternative to the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine that currently powers the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). These proposals have been continually rejected by Congress. The Obama Administration's FY2011 budget submission against proposes to terminate the program. This report explores both sides of the termination argument.
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). These 91 planned cutters are intended as replacements for 90 aging Coast Guard cutters and patrol craft. The Coast Guard began procuring NSCs and FRCs a few years ago, and the first few NSCs and FRCs are now in service.