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FEMA's Flood Hazard Map Modernization Initiative

Description: This report discusses the the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which required the Flood Insurance Administration in the Department of Housing and Urban Development to produce countywide “Flood Insurance Rate Maps,” or FIRMs, to set federal flood insurance premiums based on flood risk.
Date: February 3, 2006
Creator: Morrissey, Wayne A

Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: FY2006 Appropriations

Description: The annual consideration of appropriations bills (regular, continuing, and supplemental) by Congress is part of a complex set of budget processes that also encompasses the consideration of budget resolutions, revenue and debt limit legislation, other spending measures, and reconciliation bills. This report is a guide to one of the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies. It summarizes the status of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity, and is updated as events warrant.
Date: February 3, 2006
Creator: Vincent, Carol H. & Boren, Susan

Jamaica: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations

Description: Although Jamaica has a stable parliamentary democracy and is a middle-income developing country, the government of Prime Minister P.J. Patterson faces several significant challenges. These include a violent crime wave fueled by gangs and drug trafficking; high external debt, estimated at 135% of gross domestic product, that could constrain the government’s social expenditures; and an adult HIV/AIDS infection rate of over 1%. This report discusses U.S. relations with Jamaica, which are close and characterized by significant economic linkages and cooperation on such bilateral issues as anti-drug trafficking measures, hurricane reconstruction support, and efforts to combat the AIDS epidemic.
Date: February 3, 2006
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.

Detection of Explosives on Airline Passengers: Recommendation of the 9/11 Commission and Related Issues

Description: The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, known as the 9/11 Commission, recommended that Congress and the Transportation Security Administration give priority attention to screening airline passengers for explosives. The key issue for Congress is balancing the costs of mandating passenger explosives trace detection against other aviation security needs. Passenger explosives screening technologies have been under development for several years and are now being deployed in selected airports.
Date: February 6, 2006
Creator: Shea, Dana A. & Morgan, Daniel

U.S. and International Responses to the Global Spread of Avian Flu: Issues for Congress

Description: This report will provide an account of global H5N1-related human infections and deaths, outline U.S. government and international responses to the global spread of H5N1, discuss situations in various countries affected by H5N1, and present some foreign policy issues for Congress.
Date: February 6, 2006
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji & Chanlett-Avery, Emma

USA PATRIOT Act Sunset: A Sketch

Description: This report discusses the sunset of a handful of communications-related sections of the USA PATRIOT Act and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act on March 10, 2006. The authority of the expiring sections remains in effect only as it relates to foreign intelligence investigations begun before sunset or to offenses or potential offenses begun or occurring before that date. Thereafter, the law reverts to its previous form unless it has been amended in the interim or subsequently renewed.
Date: February 6, 2006
Creator: Doyle, Charles

USA PATRIOT Act Sunset: Provisions That Were to Expire on December 31, 2005

Description: This report examines various provisions of the Patriot Act that were set to expire on December 31, 2005. Their expiration date has been postponed until March 10, 2006. The expiring sections deal with the power of federal authorities to conduct searches and seizures, generally searches and seizures relating to communications.
Date: February 6, 2006
Creator: Doyle, Charles