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China's Space Program: An Overview

Description: The People’s Republic of China successfully completed its second human spaceflight mission on October 17, 2005. China is only the third country, after Russia and the United States, able to launch people into space. Its first human spaceflight was in 2003 when a single astronaut, or “taikonaut,” made a flight lasting slightly less than a day. The 2005 flight lasted five days, and involved two taikonauts. As the United States embarks upon President Bush’s “Vision for Space Exploration” to return astronauts to the Moon by 2020 and someday send them to Mars, some may view China’s entrance into the human exploration of space as a competitive threat, while others may view China as a potential partner.
Date: October 18, 2005
Creator: Smith, Marcia S.

Congressional Budget Office: Appointment and Tenure of the Director and Deputy Director

Description: Section 20 1 (a) requires that the selection be made "without regard to political affiliation and solely on the basis of his fitness to perform his duties." Media reports over the years indicate that the CBO director is selected under informal practices in which the House and Senate Budget Committees alternate in recommending a nominee to the Speaker and President pro tempore of the Senate. These reports also indicate that the Speaker and President pro tempore have adhered to the Budget Committees' recommendations in making past selections. To the extent that these practices are informal, there may be disagreement with regard to their operation in the future selection of a CBO director.
Date: October 18, 2005
Creator: Keith, Robert & Bley, Mary Frances

Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Description: Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) are based on the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). COLAs for both CSRS and FERS are determined by the average monthly CPI-W during the third quarter (July to September) of the current calendar year and the third quarter of the previous year.
Date: October 18, 2005
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.