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The U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate

Description: This report discusses issues surrounding the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on an individual's actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity by public and private employers in hiring, discharge, compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment.
Date: January 6, 2011
Creator: Feder, Jody & Brougher, Cynthia

Immigration Policies and Issues on Health-Related Grounds for Exclusion

Description: This report discusses the criteria that foreign nationals must meet before admission to the United States, including the reasons why a foreign national might be denied admission, most particularly on health-related grounds. This report discusses such issues in relation to the recent outbreak of the 2009 H1N1 ("swine flu") virus, and how the outbreak has affected various government agencies, such as the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This report also discusses efforts to confront and address such issues on a legislative front.
Date: January 6, 2011
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen

Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses some of the commercial and federal radio frequency spectrum policy changes required by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. It also summarizes new policy directions for spectrum management under consideration in the 112th Congress, such as the encouragement of new technologies that use spectrum more efficiently.
Date: January 7, 2011
Creator: Moore, Linda K.

Organized Retail Crime

Description: This report provides an overview of organized retail crime (ORC) rings, their operations, and goods targeted. It then examines the domestic impact of ORC in the arenas of the economy, public health and safety, and domestic security. The report also outlines current efforts by retailers, resale markets, and the federal government to combat ORC. It then analyzes various policy issues that Congress may wish to consider, including whether current federal resources provided for the investigation of ORC are adequate, whether to amend the U.S. Code to criminalize ORC, and whether to regulate resale marketplaces that may be utilized as fences for criminals to sell stolen goods.
Date: January 6, 2011
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.

Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages. The Navy's proposed FY2012 budget requests funding for the procurement of four LCSs. Current issues for Congress concerning the LCS program include changes or potential changes to the composition of LCS mission modules announced by the Navy in January 2011, the combat survivability of the LCS, and hull cracking on LCS-1. Congress's decisions on the LCS program could affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the shipbuilding industrial base.
Date: January 20, 2011
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald

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.

Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and oversight issues for Congress on the Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program. The Navy's proposed FY2012 budget requests procurement funding for the 15th and 16th Virginia-class boats, and advance procurement (AP) funding for Virginia-class boats to be procured in future years. Decisions that Congress makes on procurement of Virginia-class boats could substantially affect U.S. Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.
Date: January 11, 2011
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald

The U.S. Foreign-Born Population: Trends and Selected Characteristics

Description: This report offers context for consideration of immigration policy options by presenting data on key geographic, demographic, social, and economic characteristics of the foreign-born population residing in the United States. Interest in the U.S. foreign-born population stems in part from the changing demographic profile of the United States as well as the rapidity of such change, and how both of these trends correspond to U.S. immigration policy.
Date: January 18, 2011
Creator: Kandel, William A.

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.

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.

U.S. Trade Policy and the Caribbean: From Trade Preferences to Free Trade Agreements

Description: This report reviews unilateral preference programs for the Caribbean, discusses how they have been affected by Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in the region, and considers trade policy options for dealing with countries still relying on trade preferences and that may be considering whether to negotiate an FTA with the United States.
Date: January 6, 2011
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.

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.

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.