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Medicare: Insolvency Projections

Description: This report focuses on the two separate trust funds that fund Medicare, the Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund and Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) trust fund. Almost from its inception, the HI trust fund has faced a projected shortfall and eventual insolvency. Because of the way it is financed, the SMI trust fund cannot become insolvent; however, the Medicare Trustees continue to express concerns about the rapid growth in SMI costs.
Date: August 16, 2017
Creator: Davis, Patricia A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the sustainment and modernization of the Coast Guard's polar icebreaker fleet. The Coast Guard's proposed FY2017 budget requests $150 million in acquisition funding for a new polar icebreaker that the Coast Guard wants to begin building in FY2020. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Administration's FY2017 acquisition funding request for a new polar icebreaker, and, more generally, whether to approve, reject, or modify the Coast Guard's overall plan for sustaining and modernizing the polar icebreaking fleet.
Date: August 15, 2017
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Ship Names: Background for Congress

Description: This report discusses the process of naming Navy ships, which have traditionally been chosen and announced by the Secretary of the Navy. Rules for giving certain types of names to certain types of Navy ships have evolved over time.
Date: August 15, 2017
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Research and Development Funding: Fiscal Year 2018

Description: This report begins with a discussion of the overall level of President Trump's FY2018 R&D request, followed by analyses of the R&D funding request from a variety of perspectives and for selected multiagency R&D initiatives. The report concludes with discussion and analysis of the R&D budget requests of selected federal departments and agencies that, collectively, account for nearly 99% of total federal R&D funding. Selected terms associated with federal R&D funding are defined in the text box on the next page. Appendix A provides a list of acronyms and abbreviations.
Date: August 14, 2017
Creator: Sargent, John F., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy, and gives Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers a capability for conducting BMD operations. Congress's decisions on the Aegis BMD program could significantly affect U.S. BMD capabilities and funding requirements, and the BMD-related industrial base.
Date: August 14, 2017
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Navy's irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) operations. The Navy's IW and CT activities pose a number of potential oversight issues for Congress, including how much emphasis to place on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets.
Date: August 14, 2017
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship/Frigate (LCS/FFG(X)) program, a program to procure a total of 40, and possibly as many as 52, small surface combatants (SSCs), meaning LCSs and frigates.
Date: August 11, 2017
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response

Description: This report discusses the ongoing conflict in Syria and provides an overview of U.S. policy responses. The rise of the insurgent terrorist group known as the Islamic State (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL/ISIS) and Russia's military intervention on behalf of the Syrian government have reshaped debates over U.S. policy toward the ongoing civil conflict in Syria, now in its fifth year.
Date: August 10, 2017
Creator: Humud, Carla E.; Blanchard, Christopher M. & Nikitin, Mary Beth D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Ford (CVN-78) Class Aircraft Carrier Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) class aircraft carrier program. The Navy's proposed FY2017 budget requests a total of $2,662.6 million in procurement and advance procurement (AP) funding for CVN-79 and CVN-80, the second and third ships in the program.
Date: August 9, 2017
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China's Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States

Description: This report provides background on China's economic rise; describes its current economic structure; identifies the challenges China faces to maintain economic growth; and discusses the challenges, opportunities, and implications of China's economic rise for the United States.
Date: August 6, 2017
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
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: August 4, 2017
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

North Korean Cyber Capabilities: In Brief

Description: This report discusses how as North Korea has accelerated its missile and nuclear programs in spite of international sanctions, Congress and the Trump Administration have elevated North Korea to a top U.S. foreign policy priority. Legislation such as the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 (P.L. 114-122) and international sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council have focused on North Korea's WMD and ballistic missile programs and human rights abuses. North Korea's cyberattacks have the potential not only to disrupt international commerce, but to direct resources to its clandestine weapons and delivery system programs, potentially enhancing its ability to evade international sanctions. This report will provide a brief summary of what unclassified open-source reporting has revealed about the secretive program, introduce four case studies in which North Korean operators are suspected of having perpetrated malicious operations, and provide an overview of the international finance messaging service that these hackers may be exploiting.
Date: August 3, 2017
Creator: Chanlett-Avery, Emma; Rosen, Liana W.; Rollins, John W. & Theohary, Catherine A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Honduras: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report analyzes political, economic, and security conditions in Honduras. It also examines issues in U.S.-Honduran relations that have been of particular interest to Congress, including foreign assistance, migration, security cooperation, human rights, and trade and investment.
Date: July 28, 2017
Creator: Meyer, Peter J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

NAFTA and Motor Vehicle Trade

Description: This report discusses the development of U.S. motor vehicle production under the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) and analyzes the North American motor vehicle market, including production, plant locations, and continental trade patterns. It summarizes the motor vehicle rules of origin in NAFTA and compares them with similar requirements in other trade agreements, and examines how the potential changes in NAFTA might affect the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts industries in the United States.
Date: July 28, 2017
Creator: Canis, Bill; Villarreal, M. Angeles & Jones, Vivian C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Methane and Other Air Pollution Issues in Natural Gas Systems

Description: This report discusses the natural gas supply chain that contributes to air pollution in several ways, including (1) the leaking, venting, and combustion of natural gas in the course of production operations; and (2) the combustion of other fossil fuel resources or other emissions during associated operations.
Date: July 27, 2017
Creator: Lattanzio, Richard K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Lebanon

Description: This report provides an overview of Lebanon and current issues of U.S. interest. It offers background information, analyzes recent developments and key legislative debates, and tracks legislation, U.S. assistance, and recent congressional action.
Date: July 25, 2017
Creator: Humud, Carla E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Oman: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report describes the relationship between the United States and the Sultanate of Oman, especially with respect to Oman's support of U.S. efforts toward peace in the Middle East, the U.S. free trade agreement with Oman, and Oman's relatively close relations with Iran.
Date: July 25, 2017
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS): OECD Tax Proposals

Description: This report first reviews the basics of international tax rules. It then discusses the various action items organized into Action Item 1, which relates to the digital economy and proposes standards only with respect to VATS; Action Items 2-5, 7, and 8-10, items related primarily to profit shifting; Action Item 5, which relates to harmful tax practices; Action Item 6, regarding tax treaties; and Action Items 11-15, which are primarily administrative in nature.
Date: July 24, 2017
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department