Congressional Research Service Reports - 160 Matching Results

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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

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

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

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

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

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

Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP): Status and Issues

Description: The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246, 2008 farm bill) created the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). This report discusses the two main purposes of BCAP, which are (1) to support the establishment and production of eligible crops for conversion to bioenergy in selected areas, and (2) to assist agricultural and forest land owners and operators with collection, harvest, storage, and transportation of eligible material for use in a biomass conversion facility.
Date: August 13, 2010
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tax Credit Bonds: Overview and Analysis

Description: Almost all state and local governments sell bonds to finance public projects and certain qualified private activities. Most of the bonds issued are tax-exempt bonds because the interest payments are not included in the bondholder's (purchaser's) federal taxable income. In contrast, Tax Credit Bonds (TCBs) are a type of bond that offers the holder a federal tax credit instead of interest. This report explains the tax credit mechanism and describes the market for the bonds.
Date: July 29, 2010
Creator: Maguire, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Issues in the 111th Congress

Description: This report discusses federal laws and regulations regarding fish and marine mammals that are important resources in open ocean and nearshore coastal areas. These lows and regulations guide their management as well as the management of their habitat.
Date: December 24, 2010
Creator: Buck, Eugene H. & Upton, Harold F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Civil and Criminal Penalties Possibly Applicable to Parties Responsible for the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Description: The Deepwater Horizon oil spill that began on April 20, 2010 lead Congress to give attention to the compensatory liability provisions of the Oil Pollution Act and, to a lesser extent, those of the Jones Act and the Death on the High Seas Act. However, federal laws possibly relevant to the oil spill also impose civil and criminal money penalties, which may reach dollar amounts in connection with the Gulf spill greater than those for compensatory liability. This report summarizes selected federal civil and criminal penalty provisions that may be found violated in connection with the Gulf spill and related worker fatalities.
Date: December 16, 2010
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, and Missile Proliferation Sanctions: Selected Current Law

Description: This report offers a listing and brief description of legal provisions that require or authorize the imposition of some form of economic sanction against countries, companies, persons, or entities that violate U.S. nonproliferation norms. For each provision, information is included on what triggers the imposition of sanctions, their duration, what authority the President has to delay or abstain from imposing sanctions, and what authority the President has to waive the imposition of sanctions.
Date: November 30, 2010
Creator: Rennack, Dianne E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA): Liability of Responsible Parties

Description: The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) establishes a framework that addresses the liability of responsible parties in connection with the discharge of oil into the navigable waters of the United States, adjoining shorelines, or the exclusive economic zone. Among other provisions, OPA limits certain liabilities of a responsible party in connection with discharges of oil into such areas. This report addresses liability under OPA for removal costs and damages, and the basic procedure for recovering removal costs and damages from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund in the event that the responsible party fails to settle such claims.
Date: June 2, 2010
Creator: Nichols, James E.
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

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. It also addresses current legislation that aims to improve the USPS's financial condition--H.R. 22, S. 1507, and H.R. 5746.
Date: July 29, 2010
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The "Volcker": Proposals to Limit "Speculative" Proprietary Trading by Banks

Description: This report briefly discusses the permissible proprietary trading activities of commercial banks and their subsidiaries under current law. It then analyzes the Volcker Rule proposals under the House- and Senate-passed financial reform bills and under the Conference Report, which would limit the ability of commercial banking institutions and their affiliated companies and subsidiaries to engage in trading unrelated to customer needs and investing in and sponsoring hedge funds or private equity funds.
Date: June 30, 2010
Creator: Carpenter, David H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Supreme Court Appointment Process: Roles of the President, Judiciary Committee, and Senate

Description: This report discusses the appointment of Supreme Court Justices, including the President's selection of a nominee and process to reach confirmation in the Senate. The appointment of a Supreme Court Justice is an event of major significance in American politics. Each appointment is of consequence because of the enormous judicial power the Supreme Court exercises as the highest appellate court in the federal judiciary. Appointments are usually infrequent, as a vacancy on the nine-member Court may occur only once or twice, or never at all, during a particular President's years in office. Under the Constitution, Justices on the Supreme Court receive lifetime appointments. Such job security in the government has been conferred solely on judges and, by constitutional design, helps insure the Court's independence from the President and Congress.
Date: September 3, 2010
Creator: Rutkus, Denis S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The 2010 Oil Spill: Natural Resource Damage Assessment Under the Oil Pollution Act

Description: The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill leaked an estimated 4.1 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, damaging the waters, shores, and marshes, and the fish and wildlife that live there. When resources in the public trust are harmed by contamination, federal, state, foreign, and tribal governments may seek compensation for damage to natural resources under certain laws. This is done in two steps: first, by assessing the harm; then, by determining how and what restoration will take place. Compensation for natural resource damage is intended to restore the natural resources to their condition before the damage and to compensate the public for the lost use of those resources. This report discusses legislation that provides a framework for assessing and mitigating the damage caused by such spills.
Date: September 8, 2010
Creator: Alexander, Kristina
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Outer Continental Shelf Moratoria on Oil and Gas Development

Description: This report discusses moratoria measures for the outer continental shelf (OCS) which establish bans or restrictions on oil and gas exploration and development in federal ocean areas. It includes a background of offshore oil and gas development, the sources of U.S. moratorium policy, the background of ocean governance, U.S. moratoria in international areas, and related issues for congress.
Date: June 15, 2010
Creator: Hagerty, Curry L.
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