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Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations
This report discusses the President's Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 budget request for the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, which provides funding for the planning, design, construction, alteration, and improvement of facilities used by active and reserve military components worldwide.
Mandatory Spending Since 1962
Mandatory spending includes federal government spending on entitlement programs as well as other budget outlays controlled by laws other than appropriation acts. Entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare make up the bulk of mandatory spending. This report looks at mandatory spending and how it has grown over time relative to total federal spending and the size of the U.S. economy. It also analyzes future mandatory spending levels and how they are projected to impact the federal budget.
Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills: FY1970-FY2010
The passage of the Department of Defense (DOD) authorization and appropriations bills through Congress often does not follow the course laid out in textbooks on legislative procedure. Tracking DOD authorization or appropriations bills can often be confusing and time-consuming. This report is a research aid, which lists the DOD authorization bills (Table 1) and appropriations bills (Table 2) for FY1970-FY2010. This report includes all the pertinent information on the passage of these bills through the legislative process: bill numbers, report numbers, dates reported and passed, recorded vote numbers and vote tallies, dates of passage of the conference reports with their numbers and votes, vetoes, substitutions, dates of final passage, and public law numbers. Key definitions are also included.
U.S. National Science Foundation: Major Research Equipment and Facility Construction
The Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) account of the National Science Foundation (NSF) supports the acquisition and construction of major research facilities and equipment that are to extend the boundaries of science, engineering, and technology. The FY2011 request for the NSF is $7,424.4 million, approximately $551.9 million above the FY2010 estimate. This report discusses the research endeavors overseen by the NSF, as well as what NSF projects will be funded by FY2011 appropriations.
Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2011
This report summarizes the FY2011 budget request for research & development (R&D) funding, including comparisons to R&D funding requests in the FY2010 budget. Congress will play a central role in defining the nation's R&D priorities, especially with respect to two overarching issues: the extent to which the Federal R&D investment can grow in the context of increased pressure on discretionary spending and how available funding will be prioritized and allocated. This report breaks down in detail the various aspects of the President's FY2011 R&D funding request.
Guantanamo Detention Center: Legislative Activity in the 111th Congress
This report analyzes relevant provisions in enacted legislation and selected pending bills relating to teh U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a facility in which alleged enemy belligerents are detained.
The Federal Debt: An Analysis of Movements from World War II to the Present
This report will define the measures of debt, discuss the reasons why debt levels change, and use historical examples to illustrate the factors causing debt movements over the last seven decades. Recent policies that have affected the budgetary outlook and the debt will also be discussed. Finally, this report will examine the long-term U.S. debt outlook and implications of rising federal debt levels.
Improper Payments Information Act of 2002: Background, Implementation, and Assessment
This report discusses the Improper Payments Information Act (IPIA), which was signed into law in 2002 with the intention of increasing financial accountability in the federal government, thereby reducing wasteful spending.
Homeland Security Department: FY2011 Appropriations
This report describes the FY2011 appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Administration requested a net appropriation of $45.0 billion in budget authority for FY2011. This amounts to a $1.1 billion, or a 2.4% increase from the $43.9 billion enacted for FY2010. Total budget authority requested by the Administration for DHS for FY2011 amounts to $52.6 billion as compared to $51.7 billion enacted for FY2010.
History of the Joint Committee on Reduction of Non-Essential Federal Expenditures (1941- 1974), with Observations on Oversight Today
This report traces the history of the joint committee and describes the subject matter of some of its principal work products. The report concludes with some considerations involved with the creation of a committee - the purpose of which is to assist Congress in reducing federal spending - and with a brief examination of committee oversight authority extant in House and Senate committees and of alternative mechanisms for cutting spending.
Financial Services and General Government (FSGG): FY2011 Appropriations
This report discusses the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) FY2011 appropriations bill, which includes funding for the Department of the Treasury, the Executive Office of the President (EOP), the judiciary, the District of Columbia, and 26 independent agencies, including the Small Business Administration and the United States Postal Service.
Location-Based Preferences in Federal and Federally Funded Contracting: An Overview of the Law
This report discusses constitutional and other legal issues related to the creation and implementation of location-based preferences in federal contracting, as well as summarizes key authorities requiring or allowing federal agencies to "favor" contractors located in specific places. The report does not address federal preferences for domestic products or provisions of federal law that could, depending upon their implementation, effectively prefer local contractors, such as project labor agreements.
Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program. Under current Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and Navy plans, the number of BMD-capable Navy Aegis ships is schedule to grow from 20 at the end of FY2010 to 38 at the end of FY2015. This report discusses the concerns some have over BMD expansion, as well as BMD funding issues.
Continuing Resolutions: Latest Action and Brief Overview of Recent Practices
This report is divided into two segments. The first section provides the most recent information on the FY2011 continuing resolution. The second segment focuses on the (1) history and recent trends, including the nature, scope, and duration of CRs during the past 35 years; (2) CR types by duration; (3) major substantive legislative provisions included in some CRs; and (4) funding gaps.
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase, an historical overview of debt limits, and how the current economic slowdown has led to higher deficits and thereby a series of debt limit increases, as well as legislation related to these increases.
Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
The term Deepwater refers to a collection of more than a dozen Coast Guard acquisition programs for replacing and modernizing the service's aging fleet of deepwater-capable ships and aircraft. Currently, there are plans to increase and enhance the Coast Guard's fleet through the Deepwater acquisition program. This report details the Coast Guard's budget requests and explains how the Coast Guard has improved its organization and management over the past several years.
Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
The term Deepwater refers to a collection of more than a dozen Coast Guard acquisition programs for replacing and modernizing the service's aging fleet of deepwater-capable ships and aircraft. Currently, there are plans to increase and enhance the Coast Guard's fleet through the Deepwater acquisition program. This report details the Coast Guard's budget requests and explains how the Coast Guard has improved its organization and management over the past several years.
Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs
Some policymakers, believing that disparities in broadband access across American society could have adverse economic and social consequences on those left behind, assert that the federal government should play a more active role to avoid a "digital divide" in broadband access. One approach is for the federal government to provide financial assistance to support broadband deployment in underserved areas. Others, however, believe that federal assistance for broadband deployment is not appropriate. Some opponents question the reality of the "digital divide," and argue that federal intervention in the broadband marketplace would be premature and, in some cases, counterproductive.
Defense Logistical Support Contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan: Issues for Congress
This report will examine logistical support contracts for troop support services (also known as service contracts) in Iraq and Afghanistan, primarily administered through a smaller program, the United States Air Force Contract Augmentation Program (AFCAP) and a larger program, the United States Army's Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP). This report will focus primarily on contracts involving Department of Defense (DOD) appropriated funds, although some projects involve a blending of funds from other agencies.
Small Business Administration HUBZone Program
The Small Business Administration (SBA) administers several programs to support small businesses, including the Historically Underutilized Business Zone Empowerment Contracting (HUBZone) program. The HUBZone program is a small business federal contracting assistance program "whose primary objective is job creation and increasing capital investment in distressed communities." This report examines the arguments presented both for and against targeting assistance to geographic areas with specified characteristics, such as low income, high poverty, or high unemployment, as opposed to providing assistance to people or businesses with specified characteristics. It then assesses the arguments presented both for and against the creation and continuation of the HUBZone program.
Surface Transportation Funding and Finance
This report discusses changes in funding to the national surface transportation infrastructure, especially in light of the recession that began in 2007, which led to decreases in driving and fuel use. This report focuses on possible revenue sources for surface transportation infrastructure. It begins with a brief discussion of the problems associated with the trust fund financing system and then explores possible immediate and longer-term solutions to the financing problem.
Navy Nuclear-Powered Surface Ships: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report discusses the possibility of increasing the number of Navy surface ships powered by nuclear energy, including the Navy's planned CG(X) cruiser. The report explores a 2006 Navy study that discusses budget considerations, the cost of a nuclear-powered ship compared to a ship powered by crude oil, and other suggestions relating to this proposed expansion. The overall report has a specific emphasis on the planned CG(X) cruiser, and how the implementation of this cruiser may be delayed by current budget proposals.
Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Processes, and Effects
This report discusses the causes of funding gaps and shutdowns of the federal government, processes that are associated with shutdowns, and how agency operations may be affected by shutdowns. The report concludes with a discussion of potential issues for Congress.
The TANF Emergency Contingency Fund
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 created an Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF) within the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. The fund expired on September 30, 2010. It helped states, Indian tribes, and territories pay for additional costs of providing economic aid to families during the current economic downturn for FY2009 and FY2010. This report describes the TANF ECF as well as proposals offered in 2010 to extend and modify TANF emergency funding.
U.S. National Science Foundation: Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)
The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) was authorized by Congress in 1978, partly in response to concerns in Congress and the concerns of some in academia and the scientific community about the geographic distribution of federal research and development (R&D) funds. Some have questioned the length of time states should receive EPSCoR support. It continues to be called an experimental program after 28 years, and observers have noted that no state has yet to graduate, or leave the program. This report discusses current policy involving EPSCoR, as well as budget requests.
Water Infrastructure Projects Designated in EPA Appropriations: Trends and Policy Implications
This report discusses appropriations for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water infrastructure programs, focusing on congressional special project designations in the account that funds these programs. While some Members of Congress, interest groups, and Administration officials are critical of these types of congressional actions, there is little indication that the practice will cease. Information on the programmatic history of EPA involvement in assisting wastewater treatment and drinking water projects also is provided in two appendixes.
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2011 Budget and Appropriations
This report analyzes the FY2011 request, recent-year funding trends, and congressional action related to FY2011 State-Foreign Operations legislation.
United States Fire Administration: An Overview
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) - which includes the National Fire Academy (NFA) - is currently an entity within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The objective of the USFA is to significantly reduce the nation's loss of life from fire, while also achieving a reduction in property loss and non-fatal injury due to fire. In the 111th Congress, debate over the USFA budget focuses on whether the USFA is receiving sufficient funding to accomplish its mission, given that appropriations for USFA have consistently been well below the agency's authorized level. An ongoing issue is the viability and status of the USFA and National Fire Academy within the Department of Homeland Security.
Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress
The planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy's shipbuilding plans have been matters of concern for the congressional defense committees for the past several years. The issue for Congress that is discussed in this report is how to respond to the Navy's proposed force structure and shipbuilding plans. Decisions that Congress makes on this issue could significantly affect future U.S. military capabilities, Navy funding requirements, and the Navy shipbuilding industrial base.
Navy CG(X) Cruiser Program: Background for Congress
The Navy's FY2011 budget proposes canceling the CG(X) program as unaffordable and instead building an improved version of the Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class Aegis destroyer called the Flight III version. This report provides background information on the CG(X) program as it existed prior to its proposed cancellation. For further discussion of the proposal to build Flight III DDG-51s in lieu of CG(X)s, see the CRS report on destroyer procurement.
Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses issues Congress faces regarding the Navy's proposed FY2011 budget, particularly as relating to destroyer procurement plans and programs.
Navy LPD-17 Amphibious Ship Procurement: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
The Navy's FY2011-FY2015 shipbuilding plan calls for procuring an 11th and final San Antonio (LPD-17) class amphibious ship in FY2012. This report discusses the procurement cost estimates of this ship, as well as related issues for Congress.
Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
The Navy has been procuring Virginia (SSN-774) class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) at a rate of one per year for the past several years, and a total of 12 boats have been procured through FY2010. The Navy's proposed FY2011 budget increases the procurement rate to two boats per year. This report discusses the Navy's proposed FY2011 budget, which requests $3,441.5 million in procurement funding to complete the procurement cost of the 13th and 14th Virginia-class boats.
Baselines and Scorekeeping in the Federal Budget Process
Baselines and scorekeeping are an integral part of the federal budget process, providing lawmakers with a framework for making and enforcing budgetary decisions. The baseline serves as a benchmark for federal budget decisions. Scorekeeping is the process by which the budgetary impact of proposed and enacted budget policies is measured; it assists Congress in making and enforcing budgetary decisions. This report provides a brief explanation of baselines and scorekeeping and their uses in the federal budget process.
Basic Federal Budgeting Terminology
In its most elemental form, the federal budget is a comprehensive accounting of the government's spending, revenues, and borrowing. This report provides a brief overview of the basic terminology and concepts used in the federal budget process.
Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding
This report discusses the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, also known as fire grants of the FIRE Act grant program, which was established by Title XVII of the FY2001 National Defense Authorization Act. The program provides federal grants directly to local fire departments and unaffiliated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organizations to help address a variety of equipment, training, and other firefighter-related and EMS needs. This report also discusses the possible reauthorization of AFG and the related Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Firefighters (SAFER) program. Current debates on the issue revolve around a competition for funding between career/urban/suburban departments and volunteer/rural departments. Complicating the issue is the recent economic downturn, which has left many local communities increasingly hard pressed to allocate funding for their local fire departments.
F-35 Alternate Engine Program: Background and Issues for Congress
The administration's proposal to terminate the alternate engine program for the F-35 Lightning II fighter is a significant issue for Congress in FY2012, with implications for the defense budget, military capability in the future, and the division of power between Congress and the executive branch. This report discusses these issues.
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), also called the Lighting II, is a new strike fighter being procured in different versions by the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy. The F-35 program is the Department of Defense's (DOD's) largest weapon procurement program in terms of total estimated acquisition cost. This report details the Obama Administration's proposed FY2010 defense budget requests for F-35 program funding and outlines the issues that Congress must consider when deciding whether to approve, reject, or modify the administration's funding requests.
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the largest procurement program in the Department of Defense (DOD), the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), also called the Lightning II. This is a new aircraft being procured in different versions for the United States Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy. Current DOD plans call for acquiring a total of 2,456 JSFs. This report also discusses issues related to the F-35 procurement program within the FY2011 defense budget.
Entitlements and Appropriated Entitlements in the Federal Budget Process
Entitlements are programs that require payments to persons, state or local governments, or other entities if specific eligibility criteria established in the authorizing law are met. Entitlement payments are legal obligations of the federal government, and eligible beneficiaries may have legal recourse if full payment under the law is not provided. This report briefly discusses entitlements and entitlement procedures in the federal budget process.
Introduction to the Federal Budget Process
This report provides a detailed introduction to the federal budget process, which is an enormously complex process.
House Offset Amendments to Appropriations Bills: Procedural Considerations
This report is an introduction to selected House rules and practices governing the consideration of offset amendments to appropriations measures considered in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union (or Committee of the Whole).
Interim Continuing Resolutions (CRs): Potential Impacts on Agency Operations
Continuing appropriations acts, commonly known as continuing resolutions (CRs), have been an integral component of the annual appropriations process for decades. When Congress and the President do not reach final decisions about one or more regular appropriations acts, they often negotiate and enact a CR. One type of CR used is an "interim" CR, which provides agencies with stopgap funding for a period of time until final appropriations decisions are made, or until enactment of another interm CR. This report analyzes three major potential impacts that interim CRs might have on agency operations.
Military Uniform Procurement: Questions and Answers
Military uniforms are procured through the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), an agency of the Department of Defense (DOD). DLA is DOD's largest combat support agency, providing worldwide logistics support for the United States (U.S.) military services, civilian agencies, and foreign countries. With headquarters in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, DLA operates three supply centers, one of which is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), in Philadelphia, PA. DSCP is responsible for procuring nearly all of the food, clothing, and medical supplies used by the military; about 90% of the construction material used by troops in the field, as well as repair parts for aircraft, combat vehicles, and other weapons system platforms. According to DLA Troop Support's website, sales of goods exceeded $14.5 billion during 2009.
Budget Reconciliation Legislation: Development and Consideration
This report briefly discusses the budget reconciliation process, which is an optional two-step process Congress may use to assure compliance with the direct spending, revenue, and debt-limit levels set forth in budget resolutions.
The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction
This report discusses the following aspects of the congressional appropriations process: the annual appropriations cycle; types of appropriations measures; spending ceilings for appropriations associated with the annual budget resolution; and the relationship between authorization and appropriation measures.
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase, an historical overview of debt limits, and how the current economic slowdown has led to higher deficits and thereby a series of debt limit increases, as well as legislation related to these increases.
Defense: FY2011 Authorization and Appropriations
The President's FY2011 budget request, released February 1, 2010, included $733.3 billion in new budget authority for national defense. This report discusses and break downs these defense appropriations.
Allocations and Subdivisions in the Congressional Budget Process
This report very briefly discusses the allocations and subdivisions portions of the congressional budget process.
Adopting A Long-Term Budget Focus: Challenges and Proposals
This report focuses on the current federal budget process, including criticisms of that process. This report will provide information on (1) the current horizons used in the budget process, including already existing long-term components; (2) the rationale for increased focus on longterm budgeting; (3) general challenges to long-term budgeting; and (4) an analysis of general proposals that have been made to increase the focus of long-term budgeting in the budget process.