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The Jackson-Vanik Amendment and Candidate Countries for WTO Accession: Issues for Congress

Description: Russia, Kazakhstan, and a number of other former communist states are still subject to the provisions of Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, including section 402 (the Jackson-Vanik amendment). The Jackson-Vanik Amendment denies country eligibility for normal trade relations (NTR) status as long as the country denies its citizens the right of freedom of emigration. The 112th Congress could face the question of whether to enact legislation to repeal the application of Title IV to all of these countries, thereby authorizing permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status to fulfill the unconditional most-favored-nation (MFN) obligation under the World Trade Organization (WTO), or to exercise other options.
Date: January 5, 2011
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers

Description: This report provides background on the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers (TAA) program, which provides federal assistance to workers who have been adversely affected by foreign trade. The report discusses TAA eligibility and benefits as set by the Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act of 2011; describes how the program is funded and administered; and presents data on recent application activity and benefit usage.
Date: March 5, 2014
Creator: Collins, Benjamin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Block Grants: Perspectives and Controversies

Description: This report provides an overview of the six grant types with criteria for defining a block grant and a list of current block grants. It also examines competing perspectives concerning the use of block grants versus other grant mechanisms to achieve national goals, provides an historical overview of the role of block grants in American federalism, and discusses recent changes to existing block grants and proposals to create new ones.
Date: July 5, 2014
Creator: Dilger, Robert Jay & Boyd, Eugene
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Guide to Describing the Income Distribution

Description: This report provides descriptive analysis of the U.S. income distribution to illustrate various concepts. First, it examines the complexities of income measurement and important definitional and data considerations to bear in mind when using and interpreting income statistics. Next, it describes two popular data sources used to study the U.S. income distribution, followed by sections on statistics commonly used to provide point-in-time analysis and to compare U.S. income across groups, time, and location. The report concludes with an explanation of the Gini index.
Date: February 5, 2015
Creator: Donovan, Sarah A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court

Description: This report provides an overview of the early judicial developments and the establishment of Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) procedures; summarizes selected court cases related to the detentions and the use of military commissions; and discusses the Detainee Treatment Act, as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and the Military Commissions Act of 2009, analyzing its effects on detainee-related litigation in federal court. The report summarizes the Supreme Court's decision in Boumediene invalidating Congress's efforts to revoke the courts' habeas jurisdiction, and discusses some remaining issues and subsequent developments.
Date: April 5, 2010
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K. & Garcia, Michael J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Managing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Policy Implications of Expanding Global Access to Nuclear Power

Description: This report discusses motivating factors underlying the resurgent interest in nuclear power, the nuclear power industry's current state of affairs, and the interdependence of the various stages of the nuclear fuel cycle. A number of proposals have been offered that are aimed at limiting direct participation in the global nuclear fuel industry by assuring access to nuclear fuel supplies.
Date: March 5, 2010
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth; Andrews, Anthony & Holt, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Panama: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations

Description: This report discusses the current political and economic conditions in the country of Panama, which has made notable political and economic progress since the 1989 U.S. military intervention that ousted the regime of General Manuel Noriega from power. It also describes the U.S.-Panama relationship at length, including trade relations.
Date: May 5, 2010
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Authoritative Resources on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)

Description: List containing authoritative resources to assist in responding to a broad range of questions and concerns about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), P.L. 111-5. It includes links to the full text of the act, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates, White House fact sheets, and federal, state, and municipal government websites are included, along with other useful information.
Date: April 5, 2010
Creator: Klarman, Kim W. & Jennings, Julie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues

Description: This report examines debates over what constitutes an unfunded federal mandate and the implementation of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA). It includes an overview of UMRA, its origins, and provisions; definitions for unfunded federal mandates; how UMRA relates to Congressional procedure (Title I) and to federal rulemaking (Title II); and concluding observations on the issues.
Date: January 5, 2015
Creator: Dilger, Robert J. & Beth, Richard S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The U.S. Secret Service: An Examination and Analysis of Its Evolving Missions

Description: This report frames potential policy questions concerning the U.S. Secret Service's (USSS's) mission and organization through an examination of the USSS history and its statutory authorities, mission, and present activities within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Date: August 5, 2009
Creator: Reese, Shawn
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate

Description: This report discusses the current debate over "net neutrality." While there is no single accepted definition of "net neutrality," most agree that any such definition should include the general principles that owners of the networks that compose and provide access to the Internet should not control how consumers lawfully use that network, and they should not be able to discriminate against content provider access to that network.
Date: February 5, 2015
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cybersecurity: Data, Statistics, and Glossaries

Description: This report describes data and statistics from government, industry, and information technology (IT) security firms regarding the current state of cybersecurity threats in the United States and internationally. These include incident estimates, costs, and annual reports on data security breaches, identity thefts, cybercrimes, malwares, and network securities.
Date: February 5, 2015
Creator: Tehan, Rita
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Roll Call Votes on the Keystone XL Pipeline

Description: This report provides roll call vote data related to the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline that would transport oil sands crude from Canada and shale oil produced in North Dakota and Montana to a market hub in Nebraska for further delivery to Gulf Coast refineries. Voting information is listed chronologically and broken down by chamber, Congress, and type of legislation.
Date: February 5, 2015
Creator: Cunningham, Lynn J. & Cook, Beth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Overview of Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas: Resources and Federal Actions

Description: This report focuses on the growth in U.S. oil and natural gas production driven primarily by tight oil formations and shale gas formations. It also reviews selected federal environmental regulatory and research initiatives related to unconventional oil and gas extraction, including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposed hydraulic fracturing rule and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions.
Date: January 5, 2015
Creator: Ratner, Michael & Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cyber Operations in DOD Policy and Plans: Issues for Congress

Description: This report presents an overview of the threat landscape in cyberspace, including the types of offensive weapons available, the targets they are designed to attack, and the types of actors carrying out the attacks. It presents a picture of what kinds of offensive and defensive tools exist and a brief overview of recent attacks. The report then describes the current status of U.S. capabilities, and the national and international authorities under which the U.S. Department of Defense carries out cyber operations.
Date: January 5, 2014
Creator: Theohary, Catherine A. & Harrington, Anne I.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology

Description: This report provides information regarding the role of U.S. and other foreign companies in facilitating Internet censorship by repressive regimes overseas. The report is divided into several sections: Examination of repressive policies in China and Iran, Relevant U.S. laws, U.S. policies to promote Internet freedom, Private sector initiatives, and Congressional action.
Date: April 5, 2010
Creator: Moloney Figliola, Patricia; Nakamura, Kennon H.; Addis, Casey L. & Lum, Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Israel's Blockade of Gaza and the Mavi Marmara Incident

Description: This report discusses the blockade that has severely affected the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, although Israel and its critics differ about the effects. It provides information on the number of trucks allowed to enter Gaza and lists their cargos of food, medicine, and other supplies.
Date: June 5, 2010
Creator: Migdalovitz, Carol
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Keystone XL Pipeline: Overview and Recent Developments

Description: 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.
Date: January 5, 2015
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.; Luther, Linda; Lattanzio, Richard K.; Ramseur, Jonathan L.; Vann, Adam; Pirog, Robert et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Discretionary Budget Authority by Subfunction: An Overview

Description: This report presents figures showing trends in discretionary budget authority as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) by subfunction within each of 17 budget function categories, using data from President Obama's FY2016 budget submission. This report provides a graphical overview of historical trends in discretionary budget authority from FY1977 through FY2014, estimates for FY2015 spending, and the levels consistent with the President's proposals for FY2016 through FY2020.
Date: February 5, 2015
Creator: Austin, D. Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Emergency Assistance for Agricultural Land Rehabilitation

Description: This report describes emergency agricultural land assistance programs designed to repair agricultural and forest land following a natural disaster and potentially mitigate future risk. It presents background on the programs--purpose, activities, authority, eligibility requirements, and authorized program funding levels, as well as current congressional issues.
Date: January 5, 2015
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department