Congressional Research Service Reports - 65 Matching Results

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Latin America and the Caribbean: U.S. Policy and Key Issues for Congress in 2012

Description: This report provides an overview of U.S. policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean, including the Obama Administration's priorities for U.S. policy and a brief comparison of policies under the Obama and Bush Administrations. It then examines congressional interest in Latin America, first providing an overview, and then looking at selected countries and regional issues and identifying key policy issues facing Congress in 2012. The final section of the report analyzes several upcoming events in the region in 2012 that could have an impact on developments in several countries or on U.S. relations with the region.
Date: February 14, 2012
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.; Beittel, June S.; Leland, Anne; Seelke, Clare Ribando & Taft-Morales, Maureen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act: A Summary of Superfund Cleanup Authorities and Related Provisions of the Act

Description: This report discusses the background and current status of CERCLA (the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980), which was a response to a growing desire for the federal government to ensure the cleanup of the nation's most contaminated sites to protect the public from potential harm. Concerns for Congress include funding for this act; most funding comes from potentially responsible parties (PRPs), but some also comes from the CERCLA established Hazardous Substance Superfund Trust Fund.
Date: June 14, 2012
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions

Description: The United States and Russia signed a new strategic arms reduction treaty - known as New START - on April 8, 2010. This treaty is designed to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (START), which expired, after 15 years of implementation, on December 5, 2009. This report provides an overview of New START, including a comparison to the original START Treaty, the belief of the Obama Administration and outside analysts that New START will enhance U.S. national security, and the criticisms of those who say that New START (and, indeed, the entire issue of U.S.-Russian arms control) is a distraction from more important items on the nonproliferation agenda.
Date: February 14, 2012
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Military Justice: Courts-Martial, An Overview

Description: Recent high profile military-related cases involving U.S. armed forces in Afghanistan, including the deadly attack on Afghan civilians allegedly by a service member, the accidental burning of the Quran, and service members allegedly urinating on Afghan corpses, have resulted in increased public and congressional interest in military discipline and the military justice system. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) authorizes three types of courts-martial: (1) summary court-martial; (2) special court martial; and (3) general court-martial. Depending on the severity of the alleged offense, the accused's commanding officer enjoys great discretion with respect to the type of court-martial to convene. This report discusses the court martial procedure in further detail.
Date: March 14, 2012
Creator: Mason, Chuck R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Latin America and the Caribbean: U.S. Policy and Key Issues for Congress in 2012

Description: This report provides an overview of U.S. policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean, including the Obama Administration's priorities for U.S. policy and a brief comparison of policies under the Obama and Bush Administrations. It then examines congressional interest in Latin America, first providing an overview, and then looking at selected countries and regional issues and identifying key policy issues facing Congress in 2012. The final section of the report analyzes several upcoming events in the region in 2012 that could have an impact on developments in several countries or on U.S. relations with the region.
Date: February 14, 2012
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.; Beittel, June S.; Leland, Anne; Meyer, Peter J.; Ribando Seelke, Clare & Taft-Morales, Maureen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Oversight of Intelligence: Current Structure and Alternatives

Description: This report, to be updated as events dictate, describes the current select committees on intelligence; characteristics and a model for a possible joint committee; recent actions by Congress; and obstacles affecting legislative oversight in the field.
Date: March 14, 2012
Creator: Halchin, L. Elaine & Kaiser, Frederick M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S.-Japan Economic Relations: Significance, Prospects, and Policy Options

Description: Japan and the United States are the two largest economic powers. Together they account for over 30% of world domestic product, for a significant portion of international trade in goods and services, and for a major portion of international investment. This economic clout makes the United States and Japan potentially powerful actors in the world economy. Economic conditions in the United States and Japan have a significant impact on the rest of the world. Furthermore, the U.S.-Japan bilateral economic relationship can influence economic conditions in other countries. More generally, other issues regarding U.S.-Japan economic relations may emerge on the agenda of the 112th Congress. U.S. and Japanese leaders have several options on how to manage their relationship, including stronger reliance on the World Trade Organization; special bilateral negotiating frameworks and agreements; or a free trade agreement.
Date: February 14, 2012
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Russia's March 2012 Presidential Election: Outcome and Implications

Description: Challenges to Russia's democratic development have long been of concern to Congress as it has considered the course of U.S.-Russia cooperation. Some in Congress have criticized the conduct of the election, but have endorsed continued engagement, while others have called for stepping back and reevaluating the Obama Administration's engagement policy which assists in solving mutual strategic concerns. Congress may consider the implications of another Putin presidency, lagging democratization, and human rights abuses in Russia as it debates possible future foreign assistance and trade legislation and other aspects of U.S.-Russia relations.
Date: March 14, 2012
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cybersecurity: Selected Legal Issues

Description: This report discusses selected legal issues that frequently arise in the context of recent legislation to address vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure to cyber threats, efforts to protect government networks from cyber threats, and proposals to facilitate and encourage sharing of cyber threat information amongst private sector and government entities. This report also discusses the degree to which federal law may preempt state law.
Date: March 14, 2012
Creator: Liu, Edward, C.; Stevens, Gina; Ruane, Kathleen Ann; Dolan, Alissa M. & Thompson, Richard M., II
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

NATO's Chicago Summit

Description: NATO's 2012 summit of alliance heads of state and government is scheduled to take place in Chicago on May 20-21. U.S. and NATO officials have outlined what they expect to be the Summit's three main agenda items: Defining the next phase of formal transition in Afghanistan and shaping a longer term NATO commitment to the country after the planned end of combat operations by the end of 2014; Securing commitments to maintain and develop the military capabilities necessary to meet NATO's defense and security goals, including through a new "Smart Defense" initiative; and Enhancing NATO's partnerships with non-NATO member states.
Date: May 14, 2012
Creator: Belkin, Paul
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS): A Primer

Description: This report is a brief summary of what CCS is, how it is supposed to work, why it has gained the interest and support of some members of Congress, and what some of the challenges are to its implementation and deployment across the United States.
Date: May 14, 2012
Creator: Folger, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Presidential Nominating Process and the National Party Conventions, 2012: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report provides answers to frequently asked questions about the presidential nominating process, including how the delegates to the national conventions are chosen, the differences between a caucus and a primary, national party rules changes for 2012, and the national conventions themselves.
Date: May 14, 2012
Creator: Coleman, Kevin J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy

Description: The uprising that began in Bahrain on February 14, 2011, following the revolt that overthrew Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak three days earlier, began a political crisis that defies resolution. The ongoing unrest demonstrates that the grievances of the Shiite majority over the distribution of power and economic opportunities were not satisfied by prior efforts. The bulk of the Shiite majority in Bahrain says it demands a constitutional monarchy in which an elected parliament produces the government, but the Sunni minority believes the Shiites want nothing less than outright rule. This report looks at Bahrain's recent and current relationship with the U.S. and reasons for the unrest relating to socioeconomic issues.
Date: May 14, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program

Description: In response to concerns over the adequacy of firefighter staffing, the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Act—popularly called the “SAFER Act”—was enacted by the 108th Congress as Section 1057 of the FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-136). The SAFER Act authorizes grants to career, volunteer, and combination local fire departments for the purpose of increasing the number of firefighters to help communities meet industry-minimum standards and attain 24-hour staffing to provide adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. Also authorized are grants to volunteer fire departments for recruitment and retention of volunteers. With the economic turndown adversely affecting budgets of local governments, concerns have arisen that modifications to the SAFER statute may be necessary to enable fire departments to more effectively participate in the program.
Date: February 14, 2012
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proliferation of Precision Strike: Issues for Congress

Description: The United States took the early lead in the development of precision strike and has enjoyed a monopoly on these systems for over 20 years. However, many experts agree that the U.S. advantage is eroding as these systems spread. Many experts believe the proliferation of precision strike has already begun and will continue to accelerate as more and more countries continue to develop and purchase precision strike weaponry. The proliferation of precision strike creates potential issues for Congress. These issues include whether the Department of Defense (DOD) is properly taking adversary precision strike weapons into account in its own plans and programs, and whether Congress should approve, reject, or modify proposed DOD programs for responding to those weapons.
Date: May 14, 2012
Creator: Huiss, Randy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding

Description: This report discusses the firefighting activities that are traditionally the responsibility of states and local communities. The report also talks about the funding for firefighters, which is provided mostly by state and local governments. However, during the 106th Congress, many in the fire community asserted that local fire departments require and deserve greater support from the federal government.
Date: February 14, 2012
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons

Description: During the Senate debate on the new U.S.-Russian Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) in 2010, many Senators raised questions about Russian nonstrategic nuclear weapons and noted their absence from the treaty limits. The United States and Russia have not included limits on these weapons in past arms control agreements. Nevertheless, Congress may press the Administration to seek solutions to the potential risks presented by these weapons in the future. This report looks at issues for Congress to consider regarding US weapons policy in light of the START agreement.
Date: February 14, 2012
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions

Description: The United States and Russia signed a new strategic arms reduction treaty - known as New START - on April 8, 2010. This treaty is designed to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty (START), which expired, after 15 years of implementation, on December 5, 2009. This report provides an overview of New START, including a comparison to the original START Treaty, the belief of the Obama Administration and outside analysts that New START will enhance U.S. national security, and the criticisms of those who say that New START (and, indeed, the entire issue of U.S.-Russian arms control) is a distraction from more important items on the nonproliferation agenda.
Date: February 14, 2012
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response: The SAFER Grant Program

Description: In response to concerns over the adequacy of firefighter staffing, the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Act—popularly called the “SAFER Act”—was enacted by the 108th Congress as Section 1057 of the FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-136). The SAFER Act authorizes grants to career, volunteer, and combination local fire departments for the purpose of increasing the number of firefighters to help communities meet industry-minimum standards and attain 24-hour staffing to provide adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. Also authorized are grants to volunteer fire departments for recruitment and retention of volunteers. With the economic turndown adversely affecting budgets of local governments, concerns have arisen that modifications to the SAFER statute may be necessary to enable fire departments to more effectively participate in the program.
Date: February 14, 2012
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department