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The World Drug Problem: UNGA Convenes for a Special Session

Description: This report briefly discusses the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), which has convened in New York for a special session on "The World Drug Problem." It is the third time the UNGA will convene such a session on global drug issues. Previous special sessions on drugs were held in 1990 and 1998.
Date: April 20, 2016
Creator: Rosen, Liana W.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and Its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape

Description: This report discusses current issues regarding the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is an independent federal agency charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable.
Date: April 15, 2016
Creator: Moloney Figliola, Patricia
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Sugar Program Fundamentals

Description: This report discusses the U.S. sugar program, which is singular among major agricultural commodity programs in that it combines a floor price guarantee with a supply management structure that encompasses both domestic production for human use and sugar imports.
Date: April 6, 2016
Creator: McMinimy, Mark A.
Item Type: Report
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). Congress's decisions on these three programs could substantially affect Coast Guard capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Date: April 4, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on maritime territorial and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) disputes in the East China (ECS) and South China Sea (SCS) involving China, with a focus on how these disputes may affect U.S. strategic and policy interests.
Date: April 1, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region's future.
Date: March 25, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Sanctions

Description: This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides some examples, based on open sources, of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran.
Date: March 23, 2016
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Item Type: Report
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 FY2017 budget requests a total of $467 million in acquisition funding for the three programs.
Date: March 22, 2016
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Public Trust and Law Enforcement--A Brief Discussion for Policymakers

Description: This report provides a brief overview of police-community relations and how the federal government might be able to promote more accountability and better relationships between citizens and law enforcement.
Date: March 22, 2016
Creator: James, Nathan; Bjelopera, Jerome P.; Finklea, Kristin; Keegan, Natalie; Lister, Sarah A.; Sacco, Lisa N. et al.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Access to Government Information in the United States: A Primer

Description: This report offers an introduction to the four access laws and provides citations to additional resources related to these statutes. It includes statistics on the use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and on litigation related to FOIA. In addition, this report provides some examples of the methods Congress, the President, and the courts have employed to provide or require the provision of information to one another, as well as a list of resources related to transparency, secrecy, access, and nondisclosure.
Date: March 18, 2016
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy & Greene, Michael
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Justice Antonin Scalia: His Jurisprudence and His Impact on the Court

Description: This report discusses Justice Scalia's jurisprudence on key areas of law, as well as how that jurisprudence could be seen to have influenced the Court's approach to these subject matters.
Date: March 18, 2016
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.; Murrill, Brandon J. & Nolan, Andrew
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The House May Vote to File an Amicus Brief: Is this Unprecedented?

Description: This report discusses the historical precedence of the House authorizing the filing of an amicus brief. The case involves state challenges to the Obama Administration's expansion of its deferred action program for certain aliens brought to the U.S. as children and unauthorized aliens who are the parents of U.S. citizens or legal permanent resident aliens.
Date: March 16, 2016
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Justice Antonin Scalia's Last Opinion

Description: This report discusses Justice Antonin Scalia's last opinion for the court (Kansas v. Carr). There, the Court reversed two decisions of the Kansas Supreme Court and held that "the Eighth Amendment [does not] require... capital-sentencing courts to instruct the jury that mitigating circumstances need not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt." It also held that the Eighth Amendment did not require separate trials for two of the defendants in one of the Kansas cases.
Date: March 15, 2016
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA's Clean Power Plan for Existing Power Plants: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report summarizes the Clean Power Plan rule as it was finalized on August 3, 2015, before discussing how the ongoing litigation may potentially impact the rule and its deadlines. EPA faced a number of issues and questions while developing the regulations. This report describes how EPA answered these and other questions.
Date: March 9, 2016
Creator: McCarthy, James E.; Ramseur, Jonathan L.; Leggett, Jane A.; Wyatt, Alexandra M. & Dolan, Alissa M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Programs

Description: This report analyzes the special immigrant visas (SIVs) classifications for Iraqis and Afghans within the context of both the larger INA special immigrant category and selected other permanent admissions categories. It discusses the legislative changes to the individual Iraqi and Afghan special immigrant programs since their initial authorization, provides statistics on visa issuances, and considers challenges that have faced the programs.
Date: February 26, 2016
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and Its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape

Description: This report discusses current issues regarding the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is an independent federal agency charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. The mission of the FCC is to ensure that the American people have available--at reasonable cost and without discrimination--rapid, efficient, nation- and world-wide communication services, whether by radio, television, wire, satellite, or cable.
Date: February 22, 2016
Creator: Moloney Figliola, Patricia
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legislative Options for Financing Water Infrastructure

Description: This report addresses several options 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. Possible options include expanding or modifying current programs, establishing long-term revenue to support programs, or encouraging private participation in financing projects.
Date: February 18, 2016
Creator: Copeland, Claudia; Maguire, Steven & Mallett, William J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Role of Local and Regional Food Systems in U.S. Farm Policy

Description: This report provides background information on many of the type of operations engaged in the U.S. local and regional food system. A wide range of farm businesses are involved in local foods, such as direct-to-consumer marketing, farmers' markets, farm-to-school programs, community-supported agriculture,6 community gardens, school gardens, food hubs and market aggregators, kitchen incubators, and mobile slaughter units. This report also highlights some of the available resources within existing federal programs administered by USDA and other agencies.
Date: February 18, 2016
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Family-Based Immigration Policy

Description: This report provides an examination of family-based immigration policy. It outlines a brief history of U.S. policies, discusses current law governing admissions, and summarizes recommendations made by previous congressionally-mandated committees charged with evaluating immigration policy. It then presents descriptive figures on legal immigrants entering the United States during the past decade and discusses the sizable queue of approved immigrant petitioners waiting for an immigrant visa. It closes by discussing selected policy issues.
Date: February 17, 2016
Creator: Kandel, William A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FY2016 Changes to DOD's 1033 Program

Description: This report briefly discusses the current status of the Department of Defense's (DOD's) 1033 Program, under which excess DOD property -- such as personal computers, vehicles, and firearms -- are made available to qualified federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.
Date: February 16, 2016
Creator: Else, Daniel H.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

What Does Justice Scalia's Death Mean for Congress and the Nation?

Description: This legal sidebar briefly provides an overview of the major implications of Justice Scalia's death for Congress. Justice Scalia's absence may alter the outcome of several cases of interest to Congress pending before the Court and could mark a seismic shift in many legal doctrines, depending on who is confirmed to fill the newly vacant seat on the Court. The job of confirming the President's nomination to fill the vacancy resides with the Senate, making Justice Scalia's death likely to have a profound impact in both the short and long term on Congress.
Date: February 16, 2016
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Appointment of African American U.S. Circuit and District Court Judges: Historical Overview and Current Data

Description: This report briefly provides historical and statistical information related to the appointment of African Americans as U.S. circuit and district court judges. Such information addresses ongoing congressional interest in the demographic characteristics of lower federal court judges.
Date: February 12, 2016
Creator: McMillion, Barry J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department