Congressional Research Service Reports - 160 Matching Results

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International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues

Description: This report provides background on current International Criminal Court (ICC) cases and examines issues raised by the ICC's actions in Africa, including the potential deterrence of future abuses and the potential impact on African peace processes.
Date: November 30, 2010
Creator: Arieff, Alexis; Margesson, Rhoda; Browne, Marjorie Ann & Weed, Matthew C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Technology Innovation Program

Description: This report discusses the Technology Innovation Program (TIP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that was established in 2007 to replace the Advanced Technology Program (ATP). This effort is designed "to support, promote, and accelerate innovation in the United States through high-risk, high-reward research in areas of critical national need," according to the authorizing legislation. Grants are provided to small and medium-sized firms for individual projects or joint ventures with other research organizations.
Date: December 3, 2010
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Spectrum Policy: Public Safety and Wireless Communications Interference

Description: This report discusses the rebanding plan announced by the Federal Communications Commission in 2004 to consolidate public safety frequencies and those used by some other operators, such as utilities. The plan was announce in an attempt to eliminate interference caused by the close proximity and interleaving of commercial and public safety channels.
Date: August 25, 2010
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Technology Innovation Program

Description: This report discusses the Technology Innovation Program (TIP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) which was established in 2007 to replace the Advanced Technology Program (ATP). TIP was designed "to support, promote, and accelerate innovation in the United States through high-risk, high-reward research in areas of critical national need," according to the authorizing legislation. Grants are provided to small and medium-sized firms for individual projects or joint ventures with other research organizations.
Date: June 14, 2010
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Piracy: A Legal Definition

Description: This report first examines the historical development of the offense of piracy, as defined by Congress and codified in the United States Code. The focus then turns to how contemporary international agreements define piracy. Finally, the report highlights developments in two trials involving charges of piracy in the federal district court in Norfolk, VA, United States v. Said and United States v. Hasan, specifically focusing on how the courts interpreted the definition of piracy under 18 U.S.C. § 1651.
Date: December 13, 2010
Creator: Mason, R. Chuck
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The U.S. Postal Service's Financial Condition: Overview and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS's) financial condition, recent legislation to alleviate the USPS's financial challenges, and possible issues for the 111th Congress. Since 1971, the USPS has been a self-supporting government agency that covers its operating costs with revenues generated through the sales of postage and related products and services.
Date: July 1, 2010
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion

Description: The first section of this report reviews what countries might be considered tax havens, including a discussion of the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) initiatives and lists. The next two sections discuss, in turn, the corporate profit-shifting mechanisms and evidence on the existence and magnitude of profit shifting activity. The following two sections provide the same analysis for individual tax evasion. The report concludes with overviews of alternative policy options and a summary of specific legislative proposals.
Date: September 3, 2010
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Regulating Coal Combustion Waste Disposal: Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of the current rulemaking for Coal combustion waste (CCW) and relevant background information that applies to that rulemaking. In particular, the report describes the nature of the waste itself and primary methods of managing it; discusses potential risks associated with its mismanagement, particularly as supported by new data EPA has gathered to support the proposed rulemaking; and provides an overview of EPA's current regulatory proposal.
Date: September 21, 2010
Creator: Luther, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Speed of Presidential and Senate Actions on Supreme Court Nominations, 1900-2010

Description: This report provides information on the amount of time taken to act on all Supreme Court nominations occurring between 1900 and the present. It focuses on the actual amounts of time that Presidents and the Senate have taken to act (as opposed to the elapsed time between official points in the process). This report focuses on when the Senate became aware of the President's selection (e.g., via a public announcement by the President).
Date: August 6, 2010
Creator: Garrett, R. S. & Rutkus, Denis S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' Immigration Fees and Adjudication Costs: Proposed Adjustments and Historical Context

Description: This report discusses the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service's (USCIS) newly proposed fee schedule for immigration services. Issues for Congress to consider might include how USCIS fees have been computed and justified; whether anticipated revenue from revised fees will cover agency costs; how fiscal shortfalls might be funded; and what impact higher fees might have on the applicant pool.
Date: July 16, 2010
Creator: Kandel, William A. & Haddal, Chad C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: This report provides background information on 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: August 12, 2010
Creator: Lee, Margaret Mikyung
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Litigation Seeking to Establish Climate Change Impacts as a Common Law Nuisance

Description: This report discusses recent legislative initiatives seeking to establish climate change impacts as a common law nuisance. The report explains what private and public nuisances are, the issues faced by policymakers when litigating a climate-change/nuisance suit, and also discusses five climate-chance/nuisance suits that are now or formerly active, as a basis of comparison. The report also explores arguments of those both for and against addressing the complex issue of climate change through common law suits.
Date: December 10, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The National Directory of New Hires

Description: This report details the National Directory of New Hires - including its background, how data is managed in the directory, and concerns regarding the directory.
Date: December 20, 2010
Creator: Solomon-Fears, Carmen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: the Mérida Initiative and Beyond

Description: This report provides a framework for examining the current status and future prospects for U.S.- Mexican security cooperation. It begins with a brief discussion of the threat that drug trafficking and related crime and violence pose to both nations, followed by an analysis of the evolution of the Mérida Initiative. The report then provides an overview of the Peña Nieto government's security strategy and how it is affecting the Mérida Initiative. The report then examines key aspects of the current U.S.-Mexican security strategy and concludes by raising policy issues that may affect bilateral efforts.
Date: July 29, 2010
Creator: Ribando Seelke, Clare & Finklea, Kristin M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Selected Issues for Congress

Description: This report summarizes provisions of selected legislation - enacted and proposed - that address oil spill policy issues raised after the April 20, 2010, explosion and resulting oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico. This report focuses primarily on oil spill policy matters that concern prevention, preparedness, response, and the liability and compensation framework.
Date: July 30, 2010
Creator: Hagerty, Curry L. & Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Jurisprudence of Justice John Paul Stevens: Selected Opinions on the Jury's Role in Criminal Sentencing

Description: This report discusses Justice John Paul Stevens' opinions on the Jury's role in criminal sentencing. Justice Stevens has played a critical role in the Supreme Court's interpretation of a jury's role in criminal sentencing. In 2000, he wrote the majority opinion for the Court in Apprendi v. New Jersey, a landmark case in which the Court held that a judge typically may not increase a sentence beyond the range prescribed by statute unless the increase is based on facts determined by a jury "beyond a reasonable doubt." In 2005, he wrote one of two majority opinions in United States v. Booker, in which the Court applied the Apprendi rule to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. In those two cases and in several other cases on this issue during the past few decades, Justice Stevens has been a leading voice, articulating a broad interpretation of the jury trial and due process rights at issue.
Date: June 7, 2010
Creator: Henning, Anna C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (H.R. 5116) and the America COMPETES Act (P.L. 110-69): Selected Policy Issues

Description: This report provides background information on P.L. 110-69 and H.R. 5116, includes information about related legislative activity in the 111th Congress, and analyzes four policy issues addressed by these measures: (1) STEM Education, (2) Federal Research Programs and Activities, (3) Broadening Participation, and (4) Funding. It also discusses selected policy concerns identified in the debate about U.S. competitiveness and describes how H.R. 5116 responds to those concerns.
Date: July 28, 2010
Creator: Gonzalez, Heather B.; Sargent, John F., Jr. & Moloney Figliola, Patricia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Agency Actions Following the Supreme Court's Climate Change Decision: A Chronology

Description: This report presents a chronology of major federal agency actions taken in the wake of Massachusetts v. EPA. In Massachusetts v. EPA, the Court held that greenhouse gases (GHGs), widely viewed as contributing to climate change, constitute "air pollutants" as that phrase is used in the Clean Air Act (CAA). As a result, said the Court, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had improperly denied a petition seeking CAA regulation of GHGs from new motor vehicles by saying the agency lacked authority over such emissions.
Date: December 3, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Lobbying the Executive Branch: Current Practices and Options for Change

Description: This report outlines the development of registration requirements for lobbyists engaging executive branch officials since 1995. It also summarizes steps taken by the Obama Administration to limit and monitor lobbying of the executive branch; discusses the development and implementation of restrictions placed on lobbying for Recovery Act and EESA funds; examines the Obama Administration's decision to stop appointing lobbyists to federal advisory bodies and committees; considers third-party criticism of current executive branch lobbying policies; and provides options for possible modifications in current lobbying laws and practices.
Date: December 6, 2010
Creator: Straus, Jacob R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

State and Local Restrictions on Employing, Renting Property to, or Providing Services for Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Issues and Recent Judicial Developments

Description: This report discusses the constitutional issues raised by state and local laws intended to deter the presence of unauthorized aliens by limiting their access to housing, employment, and public benefits, as well as the implications that federal civil rights statutes might have for the implementation and enforcement of these laws. It also discusses recent federal court cases addressing the constitutionality of such measures.
Date: December 20, 2010
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.; Feder, Jody & Smith, Alison M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA): A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements

Description: This report summarizes the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and its major programs and regulatory requirements. The SDWA, Title XIV of the Public Health Service Act, is the key federal law for protecting public water supplies from harmful contaminants. First enacted in 1974 and substantially amended in 1986 and 1996, the act is administered through programs that establish standards and treatment requirements for public water supplies, control underground injection of wastes, finance infrastructure projects, and protect sources of drinking water.
Date: December 10, 2010
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department