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Cyprus: Reunification Proving Elusive

Description: This report provides a brief overview of the early history of the negotiations to reunify Cyprus, a more detailed review of the negotiations since 2008, and a description of some of the issues involved in the talks. A side issue involving trade between the European Union and Turkish Cyprus is also addressed.
Date: January 5, 2011
Creator: Morelli, Vincent
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: The Fate of the Oil

Description: This report discusses factors that impact an oil spill's fate, and the federal government's oil budget estimates. The report provides figures on flow rate estimates during response, fate of oil in a marine environment, federal government's oil budget, etc.
Date: January 5, 2011
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement and Its Implications for the United States

Description: This report discusses the free trade agreement (FTA) between South Korea and the European Union (EU). It looks at various aspects of the South Korea-EU FTA (KOREU FTA) including economic ties, trade strategies, and an overview of the key provisions of the agreement focusing on manufactured goods, agriculture, services, and various other provisions of particular interest to U.S. policymakers and the U.S. business community. The report also gives an analysis of the potential economic impact of the KOREU FTA and potential implications of the agreement for the United States.
Date: January 5, 2011
Creator: Cooper, William H.; Jurenas, Remy; Platzer, Michaela D. & Manyin, Mark E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Employees' Retirement System: Benefits and Financing

Description: Most civilian federal employees who were hired before 1984 are covered by the Civil Service Retirement System, and contribute 7.0% of their pay to a retirement fund. Federal employees hired in 1984 or later are covered by the Federal Employees' Retirement System and contribute 0.8% of their pay to a retirement fund. Both require participants to contribute toward the cost of their pensions through a payroll tax. The taxable wage base is $106,800 in 2011. This report discusses both retirement funds.
Date: January 5, 2011
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Programs Available to Unemployed Workers

Description: There are four groups of federal programs that target unemployed workers: unemployment insurance programs, health care assistance, job search assistance, and training. This report describes these programs, how they interact with each other, and their funding.
Date: January 5, 2011
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.; Bradley, David H.; Mulvey, Janemarie & Topoleski, John J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federalism Issues in Surface Transportation Policy: Past and Present

Description: This report provides an historical perspective on contemporary federalism issues in surface transportation policy that are likely to be addressed by Congress during the 112th Congress, including possible devolution of programmatic responsibility to states and proposals to change state maintenance-of-effort requirements and state cost matching requirements.
Date: January 5, 2011
Creator: Dilger, Robert Jay
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intellectual Property in Industrial Designs: Issues in Innovation and Competition

Description: Report that identifies several current issues relating to intellectual property in industrial designs. It describes the different sorts of intellectual property protection that apply to industrial designs, and identifies current issues at the interface between intellectual property and industrial designs.
Date: January 5, 2011
Creator: Thomas, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Jackson-Vanik Amendment and Candidate Countries for WTO Accession: Issues for Congress

Description: Russia, Kazakhstan, and a number of other former communist states are still subject to the provisions of Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, including section 402 (the Jackson-Vanik amendment). The Jackson-Vanik Amendment denies country eligibility for normal trade relations (NTR) status as long as the country denies its citizens the right of freedom of emigration. The 112th Congress could face the question of whether to enact legislation to repeal the application of Title IV to all of these countries, thereby authorizing permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status to fulfill the unconditional most-favored-nation (MFN) obligation under the World Trade Organization (WTO), or to exercise other options.
Date: January 5, 2011
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Members' Representational Allowance: History and Usage

Description: This report provides a history and overview of the MRA and examines spending patterns in the 109th Congress (2005 and 2006). The data exclude non-voting Members, including Delegates and the Resident Commissioner. Members who were not in Congress for all of 2005, whether the Member left Congress prior to the end of the year or entered any time after the beginning of the session, were also excluded.
Date: January 5, 2011
Creator: Brudnick, Ida A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Patent Reform: Judicial Developments in Areas of Legislative Interest

Description: This report reviews the relationship between Congress and the courts in patent reform. It begins by offering a summary of the patent system. The report then discusses a number of topics that have been the subject of both judicial and legislative consideration. The current state of the law is then contrasted with legislative reform proposals before previous Congresses. The report closes with observations concerning the subtle interaction between legislative, administrative, and judicial actors within the patent system and their impact upon the U.S. innovation environment.
Date: January 5, 2011
Creator: Thomas, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trade Primer: Qs and As on Trade Concepts, Performance, and Policy

Description: The 112th Congress has a full legislative and oversight agenda on international trade. The agenda may include considering legislation to implement pending free trade agreements with Panama, South Korea, and Colombia, enhanced enforcement of U.S. trade agreements, as well as oversight of the World Trade Organization's Doha Round and trade relations with China. This report provides information and context for many of these topics. The report is divided into four sections in a question-and-answer format: trade concepts, U.S. trade performance, formulation of U.S. trade policy, and trade and investment issues.
Date: January 5, 2011
Creator: Ahearn, Raymond J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biomass: Comparison of Definitions in Legislation Through the 111th Congress

Description: This report discusses the use of biomass as an energy feedstock, which is emerging as a potentially viable alternative to address U.S. energy security concerns, foreign oil dependence, rural economic development, and diminishing sources of conventional energy. Biomass (organic matter that can be converted into energy) may include food crops, crops for energy (e.g., switchgrass or prairie perennials), crop residues, wood waste and byproducts, and animal manure. This report discusses legislation regarding biomass, the evolving definition of biomass, and the positions of supporters and detractors of biomass as an alternative energy source.
Date: January 6, 2011
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi & Gorte, Ross W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations for FY2011

Description: This report provides an overview of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) budget and operations. This report chronicles congressional action on the FY2011 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS), and Related Agencies Appropriations bills, as well as any FY2010 supplemental appropriations bills, that provide funding for ATF.
Date: January 6, 2011
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Emergency Designation: Current Budget Rules and Procedures

Description: Budgetary legislation is constrained by certain enforcement rules that are generally intended to control spending, revenues, and the deficit. Since 1990, those rules have provided, in various forms, procedural mechanisms allowing Congress to effectively exempt certain budgetary amounts from such constraints by designating a provision in a measure as an emergency requirement. This report provides a brief description of the current rules and congressional procedures associated with the emergency designation.
Date: January 6, 2011
Creator: Heniff, Bill, Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department