Congressional Research Service Reports - 773 Matching Results

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Same-Sex Marriages: Legal Issues

Description: This report discusses the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and legal challenges to it. It reviews legal principles applied to determine the validity of a marriage contracted in another state and surveys the various approaches employed by states to address same-sex marriage. It also examines previous congressional resolutions proposing a constitutional amendment and limiting federal courts' jurisdiction to hear or determine any question pertaining to the interpretation of DOMA.
Date: June 9, 2009
Creator: Smith, Alison M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: The kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ruled by the Al Saud family since its founding in 1932, wields significant political and economic influence as the birthplace of the Islamic faith and by virtue of its large energy reserves. This report provides background information about Saudi Arabia and analyzes current issues in U.S.-Saudi relations.
Date: February 9, 2009
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Gold Medals, 1776-2008

Description: This report responds to congressional inquiries concerning the nature, history, and contemporary application of the process for awarding Gold Medals, and includes a historical examination and chronological list of these awards. It is intended to assist Members of Congress and staff in their consideration of future Gold Medal proposals, and will be updated as Gold Medals are approved.
Date: May 9, 2008
Creator: Stathis, Stephen W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Worker Safety in the Construction Industry: The Crane and Derrick Standard

Description: This report first examines the incidence of fatal and nonfatal on-the-job injuries in the private sector. It next analyzes the causes of fatalities in the construction industry and the involvement of cranes in those deaths. The report then addresses the status of a proposed rule to update the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) crane and derrick standard. It closes with an overview of jurisdictions having safety regulations for cranes more stringent, in whole or part, than the existing federal standard.
Date: September 9, 2008
Creator: Levine, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The DHS Directorate of Science and Technology: Key Issues for Congress

Description: This report describes the evolving mission, organization, and assets of the S&T Directorate and the activities it conducts. It outlines key policy issues, including the balance of the directorate's programs, its priorities and how they are set, its relationships with other R&D organizations, its mission, its budgeting and financial management, and other concerns.
Date: June 9, 2008
Creator: Shea, Dana A. & Morgan, Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Japan's Nuclear Future: Policy Debate, Prospects, and U.S. Interests

Description: This paper examines the prospects for Japan pursuing a nuclear weapons capability by assessing the existing technical infrastructure of its extensive civilian nuclear energy program. It explores the range of challenges that Japan would have to overcome to transform its current program into a military program. In addition, a range of legal and political restraints on Japan's development of nuclear weapons, including averse public and elite opinion, restrictive domestic laws and practices, and the negative diplomatic consequences of abandoning its traditional approach is analyzed.
Date: May 9, 2008
Creator: Chanlett-Avery, Emma & Nikitin, Mary Beth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses key policy issues related to the civilian nuclear cooperation agreement signed by the United States and Russia on May 6, 2008, including future nuclear energy cooperation with Russia, U.S.-Russian bilateral relations, nonproliferation cooperation, and Russia's policies toward Iran. These issues were relevant to the debate when the agreement was being considered in the 110th Congress.
Date: September 9, 2008
Creator: Nikitin, Mary Beth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Strategic Arms Control After START: Issues and Options

Description: The United States and Soviet Union signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in 1991; it entered into force in December 1994 and expired in December 2009. This report provides background information about the START Treaty and reviews the discussions about a possible successor to START. It also presents a range of alternatives that the United States and Russia might consider if they choose to follow START with a new framework for the arms control process.
Date: October 9, 2009
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Foreign Assistance to North Korea

Description: This report summarizes U.S. assistance to the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea (DPRK, also known as North Korea). It will be updated periodically to track changes in U.S. provision of aid to North Korea.
Date: September 9, 2009
Creator: Manyin, Mark E. & Nikitin, Mary Beth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Economic Stimulus: Issues and Policy

Description: This report discusses the passing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which included tax cut and spending provisions totaling at a cost of $787 billion in an attempt to mitigate the economic fallout of the housing and financial crises on the general economy. The report examines issues surrounding fiscal stimulus such as timeliness, the magnitude of stimulus, long-term effects and previously adopted policies.
Date: December 9, 2009
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.; Hungerford, Thomas L. & Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments

Description: This report discusses the history of implementing a nuclear test ban; the national positions on testing and the comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty (CTBT) and the treaty's negotiations and key provisions; and Congress's consideration of the Stockpile Stewardship Program, which seeks to maintain nuclear weapons without testing.
Date: July 9, 2008
Creator: Medalia, Jonathan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Oversight of Intelligence: Current Structure and Alternatives

Description: This report first describes the current select committees on intelligence and then the former Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, often cited as a model for a counterpart on intelligence. The study also sets forth proposed characteristics for a joint committee on intelligence, differences among these, and their pros and cons. The report, to be updated as events dictate, examines other actions and alternatives affecting congressional oversight in the field.
Date: May 9, 2008
Creator: Kaiser, Frederick M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization: An Overview of Selected Provisions in Proposed Legislation

Description: This report is intended to provide a brief summary and analysis of major legislative provisions under consideration in the ongoing Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization process. The report is organized into six major program areas: aviation system finance; airport finance; FAA management and organizational issues; system capacity and safety; environmental issues; and miscellaneous programs and provisions. In several cases, provisions that appear in various unrelated sections of proposed legislation have been rearranged in this report in an effort to group and discuss related items in an issue-driven or programmatic context. Since this report is primarily written as a means of communicating key legislative provisions under consideration in the ongoing FAA reauthorization process, it does not go into detail regarding the specific policy issues behind these legislative proposals.
Date: May 9, 2008
Creator: Elias, Bart; Fischer, John W.; Kirk, Robert S.; Luther, Linda; Vincent, Carol Hardy; McCarthy, James E. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Public-Private Partnerships in Highway and Transit Infrastructure Provision

Description: This report begins with a brief discussion of the surface transportation system and its financing needs as background to the debate on public-private partnerships (PPPs). That is followed by sections describing the different types of PPPs, with details of a few prominent examples, and the development of federal legislation with respect to PPPs. The report then discusses the main issues of contention with the construction and longterm leasing of highways by the private sector, particularly as they relate to the funding, planning, and operation of the surface transportation system, before providing some policy options Congress may wish to consider.
Date: July 9, 2008
Creator: Mallett, William J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Israeli-Arab Negotiations: Background, Conflicts, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses issues related to peace in the Middle East, including post-Gulf War negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon; U.S. interest in these and continuing negotiations and peacetalks between Middle Eastern countries; and the role of the U.S., the U.N., the European Union, and Russia in Middle Eastern relations.
Date: March 9, 2009
Creator: Migdalovitz, Carol
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DDG-1000 and DDG-51 Destroyer Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress

Description: This report provides background information on DDG-1000 (Zumwalt) program. The report discusses Navy's proposed FY2010 budget requests $1,084.2 million to complete the cost of a third Zumwalt (DDG-1000) class destroyer that was authorized but only partially funded in FY2009.
Date: October 9, 2008
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Department of Defense Role in Foreign Assistance: Background, Major Issues, and Options for Congress

Description: This report begins with a brief introduction to the three areas in which DOD plays a role in foreign assistance and to Congress's part in authorizing that role and briefly discusses the general evolution of DOD's role and the Department of State's current perception of that role based on current national security needs. The report then provides an overview of the evolution of the DOD role and current activities in the three areas cited above, with a snapshot of the varying perspectives on the DOD roles in these areas.
Date: December 9, 2008
Creator: Serafino, Nina M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Effects on U.S. Farm Workers of an Agricultural Guest Worker Program

Description: This report discusses the debate concerning an agricultural guest worker program and the impact an agricultural guest worker program might have on U.S. workers. Guest worker programs are meant to assure employers (e.g., fruit, vegetable, and horticultural specialty growers) of an adequate supply of labor when and where it is needed while not adding permanent residents to the U.S. population. They include mechanisms, such as the H-2A program's labor certification process, intended to avoid adversely affecting the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.
Date: March 9, 2006
Creator: Levine, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Social Security: The Windfall Benefit Provision

Description: This report discusses the windfall elimination provision, which reduces the Social Security benefits of workers who also have pension benefits from employment not covered by Social Security. Its purpose is to remove an advantage these workers would otherwise receive because of Social Security's benefit formula that favors workers with smaller amounts of Social Security-covered career earnings. Opponents contend that the provision is basically inaccurate and often unfair. In both the 107th and 108th Congresses, five bills have been introduced that would modify or repeal the provision.
Date: January 9, 2004
Creator: Haltzel, Laura
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department