Congressional Research Service Reports - 89 Matching Results

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Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues

Description: This report reviews past and proposed treatment of hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Water Drinking Ace, the principal federal statute for regulating the underground injection of fluids to protect groundwater sources of drinking water. It reviews current provisions for regulating underground injection activities, and discusses some possible implications of, and issues associated with, enactment of legislation authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate hydraulic fracturing under this statute.
Date: April 10, 2012
Creator: Tiemann, Mary & Vann, Adam
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pakistan: U.S. Foreign Assistance

Description: The 112th Congress has been focused measures to reduce the federal budget deficit. This backdrop may influence congressional debate over the third-ranking U.S. aid recipient, Pakistan-a country vital to U.S. national security interests but that some say lacks accountability and even credibility.
Date: April 10, 2012
Creator: Epstein, Susan B. & Kronstadt, K. Alan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

F-35 Alternate Engine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: 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.
Date: January 10, 2012
Creator: Gertler, Jeremiah
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FEMA's Community Disaster Loan Program: History, Analysis, and Issues for Congress

Description: This report compares and analyzes three different categories of loans issued in different time periods in the program's history: "traditional" loans issued between 1974 and 2005, in 2007, and between 2009 and 2011 (TCDLs); "special" (SCDLs) loans issued in 2005-2006 following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; and loans issued under unique provisions in 2008 (2008 CDLs).
Date: May 10, 2012
Creator: Brown, Jared T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Outsourcing and Insourcing Jobs in the U.S. Economy: Evidence Based on Foreign Investment Data

Description: The impact of foreign direct investment on U.S. employment is provoking a national debate regarding U.S. job creation versus outsourcing. Many economists argue that there is little evidence to support the notion that the overseas investment activities of U.S. multinational companies play a significant role in the rate at which jobs are created in the U.S. economy. They argue that the source of job creation in the economy is rooted in the combination of macroeconomic policies the nation has chosen, the rate of productivity growth, and the availability of resources. This report addresses these issues by analyzing the extent of direct investment into and out of the economy, the role such investment plays in U.S. trade, jobs, and production, and the relationship between direct investment and the broader economic changes that are occurring in the U.S. economy.
Date: May 10, 2012
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures

Description: The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is responsible for 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.
Date: May 10, 2012
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Understanding China's Political System

Description: This report is designed to provide Congress with a perspective on the contemporary political system of China, the only Communist Party-led authoritarian state in the G-20 grouping of major economies. China's Communist Party dominates state and society in China, is committed to maintaining a permanent monopoly on power, and is intolerant of those who question its right to rule. The report opens with a brief overview of China's leading political institutions, followed by an introduction to distinct features of China's formal political. The second half of the report is devoted to detailed discussion of China's formal political structures. Also discussed are other political actors who are playing a role in influencing policy debates. The report concludes with a discussion of prospects for political reform.
Date: May 10, 2012
Creator: Lawrence, Susan V. & Martin, Michael F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Violence Against Women Act: Overview, Legislation, and Federal Funding

Description: This report discusses the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA, P.L. 103-322) that congress passed in 1994. This legislation created new programs within the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services that aimed to both reduce domestic violence and improve response to and recovery from domestic violence incidents.
Date: May 10, 2012
Creator: Seghetti, Lisa M. & Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy

Description: This report offers background information on Ukraine's current political and economic situation, foreign policy towards NATO, European Union and Russia. It also discusses U.S. policy, U.S. aid to Ukraine, congressional response and other legislation.
Date: May 10, 2012
Creator: Woehrel, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report provides an overview and analysis of U.S.-Yemeni relations amidst evolving political change in Yemeni leadership, ongoing U.S. counterterrorism operations against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives at large in Yemen's hinterlands, and international efforts to bolster the country's stability despite an array of daunting socio-economic problems. Congress and U.S. policymakers may be concerned with prospects for stabilizing Yemen and establishing strong bilateral relations with future Yemeni leaders.
Date: April 10, 2012
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation and Security Issues

Description: This report discusses Pakistan's nuclear proliferation and security issues. It discusses the steps that could enable Pakistan to undertake both quantitative and qualitative improvements to its nuclear arsenal. Whether and to what extent Pakistan's current expansion of its nuclear weapons-related facilities is a response to the 2008 U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement is unclear.
Date: May 10, 2012
Creator: Kerr, Paul K. & Nikitin, Mary Beth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: An Economic Analysis

Description: This report discusses the foreign direct investment in the United States that declined sharply after 2000, when a record $300 billion was invested in U.S. businesses and real estate. While some in Congress encourage such investment to offset the perceived negative economic effects of U.S. firms investing abroad, others are concerned about foreign acquisitions of U.S. firms that are considered essential to U.S. national and economic security.
Date: May 10, 2012
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Immigration Provisions of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

Description: This report describes how the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provisions work in practice. It discusses improvements suggested by immigration attorneys and law enforcement observers to increase the utilization of VAWA provisions by abused foreign nationals as well as ways to reduce immigration fraud. The report closes with possible immigration-related issues that Congress may choose to consider should it reauthorize VAWA.
Date: April 10, 2012
Creator: Kandel, William A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Youth and the Labor Force: Background and Trends

Description: This report provides context for policymakers on the youth employment situation. It includes data on labor force participation, employment, and unemployment in the post-World War II period, with a focus on trends since 2000.
Date: May 10, 2012
Creator: Fernandes-Alcantara, Adrienne L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Employees' Retirement System: Benefits and Financing

Description: Report discussing the retirement systems in place for federal employees. Most civilian federal employees who were hired before 1984 are covered by the Civil Service Retirement System, and contribute 7.0% of their pay to a retirement fund. Federal employees hired in 1984 or later are covered by the Federal Employees' Retirement System and contribute 0.8% of their pay to a retirement fund. Both require participants to contribute toward the cost of their pensions through a payroll tax. The taxable wage base is $110,100 in 2012. This report discusses both retirement funds.
Date: May 10, 2012
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Afghanistan Casualties: Military Forces and Civilians

Description: This report collects statistics from a variety of sources on casualties sustained during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), which began on October 7, 2001, and is ongoing. OEF actions take place primarily in Afghanistan; however, OEF casualties also include American casualties in Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Yemen.
Date: May 10, 2012
Creator: Chesser, Susan G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): Issues for Congress

Description: Congress established the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) through the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976. The act states that “The primary function of the OSTP Director is to provide, within the Executive Office of the President [EOP], advice on the scientific, engineering, and technological aspects of issues that require attention at the highest level of Government.” Issues for Congress to consider regarding OSTP are the nomination of the OSTP director by the President; engagement of OSTP with China; the title, rank, and responsibilities of the OSTP director; OSTP policy foci; OSTP funding and staffing; roles and functions of the OSTP and NSTC; and the status and influence of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).
Date: February 10, 2012
Creator: Sargent, John F., Jr. & Shea, Dana A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Examination of Federal Disaster Relief Under the Budget Control Act

Description: This report addresses traditional funding for major disaster declarations, workings of the President's Disaster Relief Fund, a basic overview of how disaster assistance is appropriated, what factors affect how much the federal government spends on disasters, how disaster relief is impacted by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011, and what the policy implications are for disaster assistance under the constraints of the BCA, and the increasing number of disaster declarations and both the possible causes and likely cost implications of a greater number of declarations.
Date: February 10, 2012
Creator: Lindsay, Bruce R.; Painter, William L. & McCarthy, Francis X.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances

Description: Restrictions on travel to Cuba have been a key and often contentious component in U.S. efforts to isolate Cuba's communist government since the early 1960s. In January 2011, the Obama Administration announced policy changes further easing restrictions on travel and remittances. In the first session of the 112th Congress, there were several attempts aimed at rolling back the Obama Administration's actions easing restrictions on travel and remittances. Several initiatives were also introduced that would further ease or lift such restrictions altogether. This report discusses the details of these policy changes.
Date: January 10, 2012
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress

Description: This CRS report, updated as warranted, discusses policy issues regarding military-to-military (mil-to-mil) contacts with the People's Republic of China (PRC) and provides a record of major contacts and crises since 1993. Issues for Congress include whether the Obama Administration has complied with legislation overseeing dealings with the PLA and pursued contacts with the PLA that advance a prioritized set of U.S. security interests, especially the operational safety of U.S. military personnel. Oversight legislation includes the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for FY1990-FY1991 and National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2000.
Date: February 10, 2012
Creator: Kan, Shirley A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Birthright Citizenship Under the 14th Amendment of Persons Born in the United States to Alien Parents

Description: Background of birthright citizenship to alien parents in the U.S. The report ends with a detail of amendments in the 112th Congress that would amend the Constitution to exclude from citizenship at birth persons born in the United States whose parents are unlawfully present in the United States or are non-immigrant aliens.
Date: January 10, 2012
Creator: Lee, Margaret Mikyung
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Sanctions

Description: This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue. That approach was not initially altered because of the Iranian dispute over its June 12, 2009, elections. However, with subsequent negotiations yielding no firm Iranian agreement to compromise, since early 2010 the Administration has focused on achieving the imposition of additional U.N., U.S., and allied country sanctions whose cumulative effect would be to compel it to accept a nuclear bargain.
Date: February 10, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Presidential Authority to Impose Requirements on Federal Contractors

Description: Executive orders requiring agencies to impose certain conditions on federal contractors as terms of their contracts have raised questions about presidential authority to issue such orders. FPASA authorizes the President to prescribe any policies or directives that he considers necessary to promote “economy” or “efficiency” in federal procurement. There have been legal challenges to orders (1) encouraging agencies to require the use of project labor agreements; (2) requiring that contracts include provisions obligating contractors to post notices informing employees of their rights not to be required to join a union or pay dues; and (3) directing departments to require contractors to use E-Verify to check the work authorization of their employees. In the event that Congress seeks to enlarge or cabin presidential exercises of authority over federal contractors, Congress could amend FPASA to clarify its intent to grant the President broader authority over procurement, or limit presidential authority to more narrow “housekeeping” aspects of procurement. Congress also could pass legislation directed at particular requirements of executive orders on federal contractors. For example, the 112th Congress enacted legislation that seeks to forestall implementation of any executive order requiring disclosure of contractors' political contributions and expenditures. Details of these processes are described in this report.
Date: January 10, 2012
Creator: Burrows, Vanessa K. & Manuel, Kate M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department