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Spectrum Policy: Provisions in the 2012 Spectrum Act

Description: This report discusses the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. The act established a process for television broadcasters to release spectrum licensed to them for auction as commercial licenses. The act also included provisions to apply future spectrum license auction revenues toward deficit reduction; to establish a planning and governance structure to deploy public safety broadband networks, using some auction proceeds for that purpose; and to assign additional spectrum resources for public safety communications.
Date: December 23, 2013
Creator: Moore, Linda K.

The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of the history of science and technology (S&T) advice to the President. It also discusses selected issues and options for Congress regarding OSTP's Director, OSTP management and operations, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).
Date: January 13, 2014
Creator: Sargent, John F., Jr. & Shea, Dana A.

Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background and Issues 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 for countering mines, small boats, and diesel-electric submarines, particularly in littoral (i.e., near-shore) waters.
Date: February 5, 2014
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald

Qatar: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report presents an overview of Qatar's history and recent economic and political developments. The report discusses U.S. relations with Qatar, U.S. military cooperation and foreign assistance, political reform and elections, as well as human rights and social issues.
Date: January 30, 2014
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M.

The National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 and Beyond: Detainee Matters

Description: This report offers a brief background of the salient issues raised by the detainee provisions of the FY2012 NDAA, provides a section-by-section analysis, and discusses executive interpretation and implementation of the act's mandatory military detention provision. It also addresses detainee provisions in the 2013 NDAA and 2014 NDAA.
Date: January 27, 2014
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K. & Garcia, Michael J.

Military Retirement: Background and Recent Developments

Description: This report discusses the noncontributory military retirement system which includes monthly compensation and benefits after an active or reserve military career, disability retirement for those physically unfit to continue to serve, and survivor benefits for the eligible survivors of deceased retirees.
Date: January 27, 2014
Creator: Burrelli, David F. & Salazar Torreon, Barbara

"Leahy Law" Human Rights Provisions and Security Assistance: Issue Overview

Description: This report provides background on the Leahy laws, including a brief history of their legislative development; an overview guide to the standards and processes used to "vet"--that is, review and clear--foreign military and other security forces for gross violations of human rights; and a brief review of salient issues regarding the provisions of the laws and their implementation.
Date: January 29, 2014
Creator: Serafino, Nina M.; Beittel, June S.; Ploch Blanchard, Lauren & Rosen, Liana

U.S. Rail Transportation of Crude Oil: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the challenges in the transportation of oil, as refineries that once received crude oil principally from oceangoing tankers are now seeing increasing deliveries by domestic transport. It also outlines possible issues for Congress including rail transport of oil versus pipelines, and the possible increase of oil spills from rail transport.
Date: February 6, 2014
Creator: Frittelli, John; Parfomak, Paul W.; Ramseur, Jonathan L.; Andrews, Anthony; Pirog, Robert & Ratner, Michael

Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses the current political state of Afghanistan, focusing particularly on the influence of the Taliban and other militant groups, and on the leadership of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. This report also discusses the U.S.-Afghanistan relationship, in both the short and long term, and U.S. efforts under the Obama Administration to provide military, reconstructive, and stabilization aid.
Date: January 17, 2014
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues

Description: This report is a brief overview of current policies regarding temporatry protected status (TPS), which is relief from removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). It includes information about humanitarian migrants, temporary protected status, other blanket forms of relief, nationalities receiving protections, and issues with TPS, as well as recent legislation.
Date: January 14, 2014
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen & Ester, Karma