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Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)

Description: This report looks at the background and current status of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), which was formed to increase international cooperation in interdicting shipments of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Date: January 18, 2011
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Project BioShield: Authorities, Appropriations, Acquisitions, and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the Project BioShield Act (P.L. 108-276). In 2004 Congress passed the law to encourage the private sector to develop medical countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism agents and to provide a novel mechanism for federal acquisition of those newly developed countermeasures. This law provides three main authorities: (1) relaxing regulatory requirements for some CBRN terrorism-related spending, including hiring personnel and awarding research grants; (2) guaranteeing a federal market for new CBRN medical countermeasures; and (3) permitting emergency use of unapproved countermeasures.
Date: March 3, 2011
Creator: Gottron, Frank
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Project BioShield: Authorities, Appropriations, Acquisitions, and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the Project BioShield Act (P.L. 108-276). In 2004 Congress passed the law to encourage the private sector to develop medical countermeasures against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism agents and to provide a novel mechanism for federal acquisition of those newly developed countermeasures. This law provides three main authorities: (1) relaxing regulatory requirements for some CBRN terrorism-related spending, including hiring personnel and awarding research grants; (2) guaranteeing a federal market for new CBRN medical countermeasures; and (3) permitting emergency use of unapproved countermeasures.
Date: February 7, 2011
Creator: Gottron, Frank
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions

Description: This report provides an overview of the new strategic arms reduction treaty (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 7, 2011
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Peacekeeping/Stabilization and Conflict Transitions: Background and Congressional Action on the Civilian Response/Reserve Corps and other Civilian Stabilization and Reconstruction Capabilities

Description: This report focuses on the establishment of the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS) in the Office of the Secretary of State, and on the Civilian Reserve Corps (CRC). This report provides background on this initiative, its progression from the Bush Administration through the Obama Administration, and items under consideration in the 112th Congress relating to continued funding of S/CRS and the CRC. It also discusses proposals and tracks related legislative action.
Date: February 2, 2011
Creator: Serafino, Nina M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pending U.S. and EU Free Trade Agreements with South Korea: Possible Implications for Automobile and Other Manufacturing Industries

Description: This report provides U.S. lawmakers with a comparison of the manufacturing components in the South Korea free trade agreement (KORUS) and the European Union and South Korea free trade agreement (KOREU FTA). Also included is a brief overview of the possible implications of the two pending FTAs on other selected industrial sectors affected by the FTAs: home appliances, consumer electronics, textiles and apparel, and pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
Date: January 14, 2011
Creator: Platzer, Michaela D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

North Korea's Nuclear Weapons: Technical Issues

Description: This report summarizes what is known from open sources about the North Korean nuclear weapons program - including weapons-usable fissile material and warhead estimates - and assesses current developments in achieving denuclearization.
Date: January 20, 2011
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and oversight issues for Congress on the Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program. The Navy's proposed FY2012 budget requests procurement funding for the 15th and 16th Virginia-class boats, and advance procurement (AP) funding for Virginia-class boats to be procured in future years. Decisions that Congress makes on procurement of Virginia-class boats could substantially affect U.S. Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Date: February 24, 2011
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

War Powers Resolution: Presidential Compliance

Description: This report gives a summary of the usage of the War Powers Resolution (WPR) and various issues related to proposals to modify or repeal the resolution. The report summarizes the most recent developments and background, and gives an overview of United Nations actions, and WPR activities in former Yugoslavia/Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq (post-1991), Haiti, and Somalia. It also includes commentary on the instances formally reported under the WPR, the requirement for consultation with Congress, and the current issues which Congress is considering.
Date: September 25, 2012
Creator: Grimmett, Richard F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

National Mortgage Servicing Standards: Legislation in the 112th Congress

Description: This report analyzes the potential misaligned incentives in the servicer-mortgage holder relationship and the servicing standards that attempt to address each concern, the servicer-borrower relationship and the relevant servicing provisions, as well as the possible implications of reforming the servicing industry.
Date: August 29, 2012
Creator: Hoskins, Sean M.
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: August 14, 2012
Creator: Guenther, Gary
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

Presidential Appointments, the Senate's Confirmation Process, and Changes Made in the 112th Congress

Description: This report provides information on presidential appointments in the executive and judicial branch including a brief background on advice and consent issues, an overview of the appointment process in both the executive and legislative branches, and a brief discussion of recent concerns about the system. Also, the report explores the events in the 112th Congress leading up to the introduction and passage of two measures purported to make the appointment process easier and quicker, and it concludes with an analysis of the two measures.
Date: October 9, 2012
Creator: Carey, Maeve P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Unemployment: Issues in the 112th Congress

Description: This report briefly reviews the situation in the 2012 labor market, expands on the policy steps taken to date, and analyzes policy issues that typically arise during consideration of stimulus legislation. Three policy issues are examined: whether to take additional measures to increase jobs, what measures might be most effective, and how job creation proposals should be financed.
Date: October 5, 2012
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.; Hungerford, Thomas L. & Levine, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tax Reform: An Overview of Proposals in the 112th Congress

Description: This report gives an overview of tax reform issues. The President and leading members of Congress have stated that fundamental tax reform is a major policy objective for the 112th Congress. Some Members have said that fundamental tax reform is needed in order to raise a large amount of additional revenue, which is necessary to reduce high forecast budget deficits and the sharply rising national debt. Congressional interest has been expressed in both a major overhaul of the U.S. tax system and the feasibility of levying a consumption tax.
Date: October 26, 2012
Creator: Bickley, James M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

America COMPETES 2010 and the FY2013 Budget

Description: This report discusses the 112th Congress' possible changes to the implementation of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010. Signed on January 4, 2011, this law seeks to improve U.S. competitiveness and innovation by authorizing, among other things, increased federal support for research in the physical sciences and engineering; and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The specific debate about FY2013 funding for America COMPETES 2010 provisions will occur within the broader context of the national conversation about U.S. competitiveness.
Date: October 9, 2012
Creator: Gonzalez, Heather B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

America COMPETES Acts: FY2008-FY2013 Funding Tables

Description: This report tracks historical federal funding associated with the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMEPETES) Reauthorization Act of 2010, which are set to expire in 2013.
Date: October 16, 2012
Creator: Gonzalez, Heather B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Armed Conflict in Syria: U.S. and International Response

Description: This report looks at the recent conflict in Syria, particularly casualty estimates and an assessment of possible future scenarios. A large part of the report looks at U.S. policy towards Syria, including how Congress will handle humanitarian dilemmas, security of Syrian Weapons of Mass Destruction, and how the country is open to opportunities for terrorism recruitment. It also looks at key developments that have occurred during the conflict, including support of the Asad government, political dynamics, and minority communities. The report ends with a look at the Syrian economy and current/possible sanctions.
Date: August 21, 2012
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M. & Blanchard, Christopher M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Meetings in Vladivostok, Russia: A Preview

Description: Russia will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's (APEC) week-long series of senior-level meetings in Vladivostok on September 2-9, 2012. The main event for the week will be the 20th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting to be held September 8-9, 2012. This report looks at the main points of this meeting as they relate to the U.S.
Date: August 16, 2012
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Authority of State and Local Police to Enforce Federal Immigration Law

Description: This report discusses the authority of state and local law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law through the investigation and arrest of persons believed to have violated such laws. It describes current provisions in federal law that permit state and local police to enforce immigration law directly; analyzes major cases concerning the ability of states and localities to assist in immigration enforcement, including the Supreme Court's ruling in Arizona v. United States; and briefly examines opinions on the issue by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) within the Department of Justice. This report does not discuss legal issues raised by state and local measures intended to supplement federal immigration laws through the imposition of additional criminal or civil penalties.
Date: September 10, 2012
Creator: Garcia, Michael John & Manuel, Kate M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Budget "Sequestration" and Selected Program Exemptions and Special Rules

Description: This report looks at the history and current status of sequestration at it relates to Congress, including how it is enacted and special rules that can apply. "Sequestration" is a process of automatic, largely across-the-board spending reductions under which budgetary resources are permanently canceled to enforce certain budget policy goals.
Date: August 9, 2012
Creator: Spar, Karen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department