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Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs: FY2019 Budget and Appropriations

Description: This report outlines the 2019 fiscal year budget request for the U.S. State Department, foreign operations, and related programs such as foreign aid. It discusses information about funding levels requested, major projects for the year, and Congressional actions.
Date: August 9, 2018
Creator: Susan B. Epstein; Gill, Cory R. & Lawson, Marian L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. A total of 32 LCSs have been procured through FY2018. For FY2019, the Navy is requesting the procurement of the 33rd LCS. The LCS program presents several oversight issues for Congress. Congress's decisions on the program will affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the shipbuilding industrial base.
Date: August 16, 2018
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense--Issues for Congress

Description: This report focuses on defense-related issues and does not discuss potential implications of a shift in the international security environment for other policy areas, such as foreign policy and diplomacy, trade and finance, energy, and foreign assistance.
Date: August 3, 2018
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

North Korea's Nuclear and Ballistic Missile Programs

Description: This report discusses the rapid advancements North Korea has made in its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs since 2012. Despite the absence of any missile launch activity or nuclear tests in 2018 to date, previous tests and official North Korean statements suggest that North Korea is striving to build a credible regional nuclear warfighting capability that might evade regional ballistic missile defenses. Such an approach likely reinforces their deterrent and coercive diplomacy strategy--lending more credibility as it demonstrates capability--but it also raises serious questions about crisis stability and escalation control. Congress may further examine these advances' possible effects on U.S. policy.
Date: August 2, 2018
Creator: Hildreth, Steven A. & Nikitin, Mary Beth D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities--Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on China's naval modernization effort and its implications for U.S. Navy capabilities. The question of how the United States should respond to China's military modernization effort, including its naval modernization effort, is a key issue in U.S. defense planning and budgeting. Many U.S. military programs for countering improving Chinese military forces (particularly its naval forces) fall within the U.S. Navy's budget.
Date: August 1, 2018
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S.-EU Trade and Economic Issues

Description: This report discusses U.S.-EU trade and economic relations, which currently face heightened tension, particularly due to the Trump Administration's trade policy, which is focusing on unilateral tariff measures under U.S. trade law and taking a critical view of the U.S. role in international economic cooperation. Given U.S.-EU historical joint leadership on global trade and economic issues, these developments could have implications for the rules-based international trading system, a foundation of the global economic order that has contributed to global economic growth and stability in the post-World War II era.
Date: August 1, 2018
Creator: Akhtar, Shayerah Ilias
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Abortion, Justice Kennedy, and Judge Kavanaugh

Description: This report addresses the questions that have arisen about the future of the Supreme Court's abortion jurisprudence, after the recent retirement of Justice Kennedy, the last remaining justice from the Casey plurality. The report first reviews the undue burden standard set from the Casey decision and discusses Justice Kennedy's views on the standard in the case law that has developed since Casey. Then, in light of President Trump's July 9, 2018 nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Kennedy, it examines Judge Kavanaugh's only substantive abortion opinion: a dissent in the 2017 case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit), Garza v. Hargan. Finally, as lower courts continue to apply the undue burden standard to new abortion regulations, the report concludes by noting some of the abortion cases that the Supreme Court could possibly review in the near future.
Date: August 8, 2018
Creator: Shimabukuro, Jon O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Sanctions

Description: This report discusses U.S. sanctions against Iran and the 2016 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement which led to the lifting of sanctions based on nuclear proliferation in Iran. The bulk of the report outlines the various sanctions against Iran and their current implementation status, international efforts to bring about compliance, and their effects. Recent discussions regarding President's Trump announcement that the U.S. was decertifying the nuclear agreement and the possibility of reinstating certain sanctions are also discussed.
Date: August 7, 2018
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congress's Power over Courts: Jurisdiction Stripping and the Rule of Klein

Description: This report highlights a series of Supreme Court rulings that have examined separation-of-powers-based limitations on the Exceptions Clause, congressional jurisdiction stripping, and the ability of Congress to amend laws with the purpose of directly impacting litigation. The Court's jurisprudence largely begins with the Reconstruction-era case, United States v. Klein, and leads to Patchak v. Zinke, from the October 2017 term.
Date: August 9, 2018
Creator: Herman Peck, Sarah
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Columbia (SSBN-826) Class Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Columbia-class program, a program to design and build a new class of 12 ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) to replace the Navy's current force of 14 Ohio-class SSBNs. The program was previously known as the Ohio replacement program (ORP) or SSBN(X) program. The Navy has identified the Columbia-class program as the Navy's top priority program. The Navy wants to procure the first Columbia-class boat in FY2021. The Navy's proposed FY2019 budget requests $3,005.3 million in advance procurement (AP) funding and $704.9 million in research and development funding for the program
Date: August 7, 2018
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S.-China Trade Issues

Description: This report provides background and analysis of U.S.-China commercial ties, including history, trends, issues, and outlook.
Date: August 2, 2018
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). The Coast Guard's proposed FY2019 budget requests a total of $705 million in acquisition funding for the NSC, OPC, and FRC programs.
Date: August 3, 2018
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Protecting Consumers and Businesses from Fraudulent Robocalls

Description: This report discusses efforts by Congress and the Federal Communications Commision (FCC) to combat robocall scams and prevent them from reaching consumers. It includes an overview of what robocallls are, their legitimate uses, regulation, and complaint procedures for consumers.
Date: August 1, 2018
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Military Service Records, Awards, and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources

Description: This report provides information on locating military unit histories and individual service records of discharged, retired, and deceased military personnel. It also provides information on locating and replacing military awards and medals as well as contact information for military history centers, websites for additional sources of research, and a bibliography of other publications, including related CRS reports.
Date: August 7, 2018
Creator: DeBruyne, Nese F. & Torreon, Barbara Salazar
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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: August 9, 2018
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Yemen: Civil War and Regional Intervention

Description: This report provides information on the ongoing crisis in Yemen. Now in its fourth year, the war in Yemen shows no signs of abating. On June 12, 2018, the Saudi-led coalition, a multinational grouping of armed forces led primarily by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), launched Operation Golden Victory, with the aim of retaking the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah. The coalition also has continued to conduct air strikes inside Yemen. The war has killed thousands of Yemenis, including combatants as well as civilians, and has significantly damaged the country's infrastructure. According to the United Nations (U.N.) High Commissioner for Human Rights, from the start of the conflict in March 2015 through August 9, 2018, the United Nations documented "a total of 17,062 civilian casualties -- 6,592 dead and 10,470 injured." This figure may vastly underestimate the war's death toll.
Date: August 24, 2018
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Infrastructure Financing: History of EPA Appropriations

Description: The first section of this report includes a table that summarizes the history of appropriations for both wastewater and drinking water infrastructure programs. The next section discusses several historical developments in water infrastructure funding. The last section contains a detailed chronology of congressional activity regarding wastewater and drinking water infrastructure funding for each fiscal year since the 1987 CWA amendments.
Date: August 1, 2018
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L. & Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China's Actions in South and East China Seas: Implications for U.S. Interests--Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress regarding China's actions in the South China Sea (SCS) and East China Sea (ECS), with a focus on implications for U.S. strategic and policy interests. Other CRS reports focus on other aspects of maritime territorial disputes involving China.
Date: August 1, 2018
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proposals to Impose Sanctions on Russian Sovereign Debt

Description: This report discusses sanctions the U.S. imposes against Russia. The United States imposes sanctions on hundreds of Russian individuals and entities for aggression against Ukraine, election interference, malicious cyber activity, human rights violations, weapons proliferation, and other activities. Some Members of Congress are proposing additional sanctions in response to continuing objectionable behavior by the Russian government. One proposal is to sanction new debt issued by the Russian government. If enacted, U.S. investors would be prohibited from buying or trading new Russian sovereign debt.
Date: August 6, 2018
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department