Congressional Research Service Reports - 142 Matching Results

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Overview of the Federal Procurement Process and Resources

Description: This report discusses the the federal government's basic procurement or acquisition process: identifying the goods and services it needs, determining the most appropriate method for purchasing these items, and carrying out the acquisition. Although this process is simple in theory, any given procurement can be complex, involving a multitude of decisions and actions. This report also describes the most common elements of the federal procurement process and resources that may be used in that process.
Date: September 11, 2012
Creator: Halchin, L. Elaine
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Waiver Authority Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)

Description: This report provides a brief overview of the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program and discusses the process and criteria for EPA to approve a waiver petition. Transportation fuels are required by federal law to contain a minimum amount of renewable fuel each year. The RFS, established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct, P.L. 109-58) and amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA, P.L. 110-140), requires that 15.2 billion gallons of renewable fuels be blended into gasoline and other transportation fuels in 2012.
Date: September 25, 2012
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Quality: EPA's 2012 Proposed Changes to the Particulate Matter (PM) Standard

Description: This report summarizes the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) June 2012 proposed changes to the particulate matter (PM) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) and includes comparisons with previous (1997) and current (2006) promulgated and proposed standards. Key actions leading up to the June 2012 proposal, and potential issues and concerns associated with the proposal to strengthen the PM2.5 annual standard, are also highlighted.
Date: September 5, 2012
Creator: Esworthy, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The War Powers Resolution: After Thirty-Eight Years

Description: This report discusses and assesses the War Powers Resolution and its application since enactment in 1973, providing detailed background on various cases in which it was used, as well as cases in which issues of its applicability were raised. It will be revised biannually.
Date: September 24, 2012
Creator: Grimmett, Richard F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Drones in Domestic Surveillance Operations: Fourth Amendment Implications and Legislative Responses

Description: This report first explores the potential uses of drones in the domestic sphere by federal, state, and local governments. It then surveys current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, including cases surrounding privacy in the home, privacy in public spaces, location tracking, manned aerial surveillance, and those involving the national border. Next, it considers how existing jurisprudence may inform current and proposed drone uses. It then describes the various legislative measures introduced in the 112th Congress to address the legal and policy issues surrounding drones and, finally, briefly identifies several alternative approaches that may constrain the potential scope of drone surveillance.
Date: September 6, 2012
Creator: Thompson, Richard M., II
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Corporate Income Tax System: Overview and Options for Reform

Description: This report (1) briefly reviews the current U.S. corporate tax system; (2) discusses economic factors that may be considered in the corporate tax reform debate; and (3) presents corporate tax reform policy options, including a brief discussion of current corporate tax reform proposals.
Date: September 13, 2012
Creator: Keightley, Mark P. & Sherlock, Molly F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Whistleblower Protections Under Federal Law: An Overview

Description: This report provides an overview of key aspects of the 18 selected federal statutes applicable to individuals in certain private-sector industries. It focuses on the protections provided to employees who believe they have been subject to retaliation, rather than on how or where alleged misconduct should be disclosed. In addition, the report also includes an overview of the Whistleblower Protection Act. While state law may also provide whistleblower protections for employees, this report focuses only on the aforementioned federal statutory provisions.
Date: September 13, 2012
Creator: Shimabukuro, Jon O. & Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945

Description: This report attempts to clarify whether or not there is an association between the tax rates of the highest income taxpayers and economic growth. Data is analyzed to illustrate the association between the tax rates of the highest income taxpayers and measures of economic growth.
Date: September 14, 2012
Creator: Hungerford, Thomas L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Prospects for Democracy in Hong Kong: Results of the 2012 Elections

Description: This report looks at the state of Hong Kong politics after the 2012 elections. It covers three key reasons why Congress may consider appropriating funds to foster the development of civil society and democratic practices in Hong Kong: [1] it is U.S. policy to support democracy in Hong Kong, [2] the conduct of the 2012 elections may be indicators of support for democratic reforms, and [3] there is a possibility that democracy in Hong Kong could lead to democratic reforms in Mainland China.
Date: September 14, 2012
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Act and Pollutant Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)

Description: This report discusses the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program which regulates pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained; section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. The report focuses on new challenges facing the TMDL program, including more complex TMDLs, larger scale impairments, and nonpoint sources.
Date: September 21, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DHS Headquarters Consolidation Project: Issues for Congress

Description: This report outlines the policy considerations to be evaluated in deciding whether to continue funding the consolidated Department of Homeland Security (DHS) headquarters, and to explore some of the benefits and consequences of several possible ways forward.
Date: September 21, 2012
Creator: Painter, William L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Public Diplomacy: Legislative Proposals to Amend Prohibitions on Disseminating Materials to Domestic Audiences

Description: This report looks at amendments to the Smith-Mundt Act, proposed by the 112th Congress that would restate provisions to exclude any ban on domestic dissemination of international information materials prepared for foreign public available to a domestic audience. The original legislation was also amended in 1972, and a 1985 provision, popularly known as the Zorinsky Amendment, prohibited domestic dissemination of international information materials and products.
Date: September 21, 2012
Creator: Weed, Matthew C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (Post-9/11 GI Bill): Primer and Issues

Description: This report provides a description of the eligibility requirements, benefit availability, benefit payments, participation, and obligations of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The report also describes a few issues that may be addressed by Congress.
Date: September 21, 2012
Creator: Dortch, Cassandria
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, focusing particularly on the influence of the Taliban and other militant groups and on the leadership of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. This report also discusses the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship, in both the short and long term, and U.S. efforts under the Obama Administration to provide military, reconstructive, and stabilization aid.
Date: September 21, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation Expensing Allowances: Current Law, Legislative Proposals in the 112th Congress, and Economic Effects

Description: This report examines the current status, legislative history, and economic effects of the two expensing allowances (Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation Allowance) and also discusses initiatives in the 112th Congress to modify them. Expensing is the most accelerated form of depreciation for tax purposes. Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) allows a taxpayer to expense up to $125,000 of the total cost of new and used qualified depreciable assets it buys and places in service in 2012, within certain limits. In addition, Section 168(k) generally allows taxpayers to expense half the cost of qualified assets bought and placed in service in 2012.
Date: September 10, 2012
Creator: Guenther, Gary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses

Description: This report discusses the effects of economic sanctions against Iran; support to the Iranian democracy movement; and opposition against Iranian human rights violations and Iranian support for Syrian human rights violations. The Obama Administration identifies Iran as a major threat to U.S. national security interests. The sense of imminent crisis with Iran which greeted the beginning of 2012 follows three years in which the Obama Administration first offered Iran's leaders consistent and sustained engagement in exchange for limits to its nuclear program but, since 2010, has emphasized pressuring Iran through economic sanctions.
Date: September 5, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mexico: Issues for Congress

Description: This report looks at current U.S. policy towards Mexico and future legislation concerns for the 112th Congress. Although security issues have recently dominated the U.S. relationship with Mexico, analysts predict that bilateral relations may shift towards economic matters once President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto takes office.
Date: September 24, 2012
Creator: Ribando Seelke, Clare
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department