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Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure

Description: This report examines the source of the contempt power, reviews the historical development of the early case law, outlines the statutory and common law basis for Congress's contempt power, and analyzes the procedures associated with inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas. It also includes a detailed discussion of two recent information access disputes that led to the approval of contempt citations in the House against then-White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder. Finally, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally-based limitations on the contempt power.
Date: April 10, 2014
Creator: Garvey, Todd & Dolan, Alissa M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF): Program Overview and Issues

Description: This report discusses the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996, which authorized a drinking water state revolving loan fund (DWSRF) program. The program was intended to help public water systems finance infrastructure projects that were needed to comply with federal drinking water regulations and to meet the Act's health objectives. It includes an overview of funding, allotments and set-asides, drinking water infrastructure needs, program issues, and legislative activity.
Date: April 10, 2014
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer

Description: This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation.
Date: April 9, 2014
Creator: Kerr, Paul K. & Nikitin, Mary Beth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation Expensing Allowances: Current Law, Legislative Proposals in the 113th Congress, and Economic Effects

Description: This report examines the current status, legislative history, and main economic effects (including their efficacy as an economic stimulus tool) of the Section 179 and bonus depreciation allowances. It also identifies legislative initiatives in the 113th Congress to modify either allowance.
Date: April 9, 2014
Creator: Guenther, Gary
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: April 8, 2014
Creator: Ribando Seelke, Clare & Finklea, Kristin M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sugar Program: The Basics

Description: This report discusses the sugar program that provides a price guarantee to the processors of sugarcane and sugar beets, and in turn, to the producers of both crops.
Date: April 1, 2014
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tort Suits Against Federal Contractors: Selected Legal Issues

Description: This report provides background on, and analysis of, key legal issues that such suits present. It provides a broad overview of tort claims generally, discusses the primary mechanisms through which contractors have attempted to defend against tort liability, and examines indemnification agreements between the government and contractors.
Date: March 31, 2014
Creator: Perry, Rodney M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

State and Local "Sanctuary" Policies Limiting Participation in Immigration Enforcement

Description: This report discusses legal issues related to state and local measures that limit law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities. It includes legal background and select limitations on immigration enforcement including traditional "sanctuary" policies, declining to honor immigration detainers, shielding juveniles from federal detection, and modifying criminal sentences to avoid immigration consequences.
Date: March 28, 2014
Creator: Garcia, Michael John & Manuel, Kate M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA and the Army Corps' Proposed Rule to Define "Waters of the United States"

Description: This report describes the March 25 proposed rule to define "waters of the United States," particularly focused on clarifying the regulatory status of waters located in isolated places in a landscape, the types of waters with ambiguous jurisdictional status following the Supreme Court's ruling. It includes a table comparing the proposal to existing regulatory language.
Date: March 27, 2014
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Volcker Rule: A Legal Analysis

Description: This report provides an introduction to the Volcker Rule, which is the regulatory regime imposed upon banking institutions and their affiliates under Section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-203).
Date: March 27, 2014
Creator: Carpenter, David H. & Murphy, M. Maureen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Financial Condition of Depository Banks

Description: This report discusses the congressional interest in the financial conditions of depository banks or the commercial banking industry that has increased in the wake of the financial crisis that unfolded in 2007-2009, which resulted in a large increase in the number of distressed institutions.
Date: March 26, 2014
Creator: Getter, Darryl E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Crude Oil Export Policy: Background and Considerations

Description: This report provides background and context about the crude oil legal and regulatory framework, discusses motivations that underlie the desire to export U.S. crude oil, and presents analysis of issues that Congress may choose to consider during debate about U.S. crude oil export policy.
Date: March 26, 2014
Creator: Brown, Phillip; Pirog, Robert; Vann, Adam; Fergusson, Ian F.; Ratner, Michael & Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energy-Water Nexus: The Water Sector's Energy Use

Description: This report provides background on energy for facilities that treat and deliver water to end users and also dispose of and discharge wastewater. This report first discusses water-related energy use broadly and then energy for facilities that treat and deliver water to end users and also dispose of and discharge wastewater.
Date: March 24, 2014
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energy Policy: 113th Congress Issues

Description: This report discusses the energy policy in the United States that is focused on three major goals: assuring a secure supply of energy, keeping energy costs low, and protecting the environment.
Date: March 21, 2014
Creator: Behrens, Carl E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?

Description: This report provides background information on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory activity during the Obama Administration to help address these issues. It examines major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at EPA since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of the rule (including identification of related court or statutory deadlines), and, in general, providing EPA's estimates of costs and benefits, where available. The report includes tables that show which rules remain under development, and an appendix that describes major or controversial rules that are now final.
Date: March 19, 2014
Creator: McCarthy, James E. & Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pesticide Use and Water Quality: Are the Laws Complementary or in Conflict?

Description: This report provides background on the conflict over interpretation and implementation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA). A brief discussion of the two laws is followed by a review of the major litigation of interest.
Date: March 19, 2014
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Visa Waiver Program

Description: This report discusses the visa waiver program (VWP), which allows foreign visitors to bypass the first, screening step for admissibility to enter the United States. Some policymakers are concerned that this waiver allows terrorists to more easily enter the country. The report provides waiver-related statistics and related legislation.
Date: March 19, 2014
Creator: Siskin, Alison
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legislative Options for Financing Water Infrastructure

Description: This report discusses several options being considered by Congress to address the financing needs of local communities for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects, and to decrease or close the gap between available funds and projected needs.
Date: March 17, 2014
Creator: Copeland, Claudia; Maguire, Steven & Mallett, William J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department