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The Manhattan Project, the Apollo Program, and Federal Energy Technology R&D Programs: A Comparative Analysis

Description: Some policymakers have concluded that the energy challenges facing the United States are so critical that a concentrated investment in energy research and development (R&D) should be undertaken. The Manhattan project, which produced the atomic bomb, and the Apollo program, which landed American men on the moon, have been cited as examples of the success such R&D investments can yield. Investment in federal energy technology R&D programs of the 1970s, in response to two energy crises, have generally been viewed as less successful than the earlier two efforts. This report compares and contrasts the goals of, and the investments in, the three initiatives, which may provide useful insights for Congress as it assesses and debates the nation's energy policy.
Date: June 30, 2009
Creator: Stine, Deborah D.

The U.S. Science and Technology Workforce

Description: In the 21st century, global competition and rapid advances in science and technology will challenge the scientific and technical proficiency of the U.S. workforce. This report provides an overview of the status of the U.S. science and technology (S&T) workforce, and identifies some of the issues and options that are currently being discussed in Congress.
Date: June 30, 2009
Creator: Stine, Deborah D. & Matthews, Christine M.

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Description: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the noninsured assistance program (NAP), and emergency disaster loans. The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (otherwise known as the 2008 farm bill) includes authorization and funding for crop disaster programs, livestock assistance programs, and a tree assistance program. The new programs are designed to address the ad hoc nature of disaster assistance provided to producers during the last two decades.
Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Chite, Ralph M. & Shields, Dennis A.

America COMPETES Act and the FY2010 Budget

Description: This report discusses in detail the America COMPETES Act, which is intended to increase the nation's investment in research and development (R&D), and in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This report discusses the funding increases authorized by the act for various relevant institutions, e.g., the National Science Foundation (NSF); the act's education activities intended to enhance the skills of STEM educators; and if Congress will continue to similarly fund the America COMPETES Act in the FY2010 budget.
Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Stine, Deborah D.

Federally-Funded Innovation Inducement Prizes

Description: This report discusses the status of current federally-funded innovation inducement prizes, addresses the different types of prizes, analyzes when prizes may be appropriate and effective, and summarizes assessments that have been made of their effectiveness. The report also provides the lessons that may be learned from completed competitions, and policy options for those Members of Congress interested in taking action regarding federally-funded innovation inducement prizes. The report concludes with an overview of 111th congressional activities regarding prizes.
Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Stine, Deborah D.

Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit: Role of Foreign Governments

Description: The nation's trade deficit is equal to the imbalance between national investment and national saving. The financial turmoil and economic contraction during 2008 reduced the gap between national saving and investment. The result was a decline in the trade deficit and the net inflow of capital. If total net capital inflows decline, mainstream economics suggests, all else held constant, that the dollar and trade deficit would decline, U.S. interest rates would rise, and U.S. spending on capital goods and consumer durables would fall, all else equal.
Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Labonte, Marc

Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks

Description: Iraq's political system, the result of a U.S.-supported election process, is increasingly characterized by peaceful competition rather than violence, but sectarianism and ethnic and factional infighting continue to simmer. This report discusses the current state of Iraq, concentrating primarily on the actions of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, efforts underway to combat sectarian violence, and the projected U.S. troop withdrawal by August 2010.
Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program: An Overview

Description: This report provides a brief overview of The Hollings Manufacturing Partnership (MEP), which is a program of regional centers set up to assist small and medium-sized manufacturing companies use knowledge and technologies developed under the auspices of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.

Morocco: Current Issues

Description: This report discusses the current political and foreign policy status of Morocco, especially with regard to its relationship with the United States and its struggles combating terrorism.
Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Migdalovitz, Carol

Oman: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report describes the relationship between the United States and the Sultanate of Oman, especially with respect to Oman's support of U.S. efforts toward peace in the Middle East, the U.S. free trade agreement with Oman, and Oman's relatively close relations with Iran, the last of which seems incongruous with the other positive aspects of Oman's relationship with the U.S.
Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Protecting the U.S. Perimeter: Border Searches Under the Fourth Amendment

Description: This report first outlines the statutes authorizing certain federal officers to conduct warrantless searches. It then addresses the scope of the government's constitutional authority to search and seize persons and property at the border. It also describes the varying levels of suspicion generally required for each type of border search as interpreted by the courts. Finally, this report lists several bills before the 111th Congress that address border searches. This report does not address interior searches and seizures performed by immigration personnel since they are not traditional "border searches."
Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Kim, Yule

Russia's Economic Performance and Policies and Their Implications for the United States

Description: As has been the case with most of the world's economies, the Russian economy has been hit hard by the current global financial crisis. Even before the financial crisis, however, Russia was showing signs of economic problems. Russian economic policies and performance raise important policy questions for the United States and the U.S.-Russian relationship which this report addresses. Might Russia's robust economic growth return? Is an economically strong Russia a threat or benefit to the United States? Is Russia following economic strategies that promote a market economy that underlies the international trade system manifested in the World Trade Organization?
Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Cooper, William H.

Science, Technology, and American Diplomacy: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of current U.S. international S&T policy; describes the role of the Department of State (DOS), the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other federal agencies; and discusses possible policy options for Congress. It focuses on international science and technology diplomacy, where American leadership in science and technology is used as a diplomatic tool to enhance another country's development and to improve understanding by other nations of U.S. values and ways of doing business.
Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Stine, Deborah D.

Science, Technology, and American Diplomacy: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of current U.S. international science and technology (S&T) policy; describes the role of the Department of State (DOS), the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other federal agencies; and discusses possible policy options for Congress. It focuses on international science and technology diplomacy, where American leadership in science and technology is used as a diplomatic tool to enhance other country's development and to improve understanding by other nations of U.S. values and ways of doing business.
Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Stine, Deborah D.

The Technology Innovation Program

Description: The Technology Innovation Program (TIP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was established in 2007 to replace the Advanced Technology Program (ATP). This effort is designed " ... to support, promote, and accelerate innovation in the United States through highrisk, high-reward research in areas of critical national need," according to the authorizing legislation. Grants are provided to small and medium-sized firms for individual projects or joint ventures with other research organizations. The elimination of ATP and the creation of TIP have renewed the debate over the role of the federal government in promoting commercial technology development. This report discusses the opposing sides of this ongoing debate.
Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.

Tunisia: Current Issues

Description: This report discusses the governmental structure and current political state of Tunisia, as well as additional general information regarding Tunisia's economy and dealings with terrorist groups. This report also describes the U.S.-Tunisian relationship in brief.
Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Migdalovitz, Carol

Afghanistan: Politics, Government Formation and Performance

Description: The Afghan central government's limited writ and widespread official corruption are helping sustain a Taliban insurgency, and have fed pessimism about the Afghanistan stabilization effort. This report discusses the current tumultuous political state of Afghanistan, focusing particularly on Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his struggle with the Taliban terrorist group. This report also discusses Afghanistan's relationship with the U.S. with regard to these struggles, and describes various U.S. efforts currently underway to help Afghanistan build a stable government and economy.
Date: June 26, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Canada's Financial System: An Overview

Description: This report discusses the relative stability of Canada's financial system in comparison to the financial systems of other nations around the globe that are suffering from the current financial crisis. This report presents an overview of Canada's financial system and its supervisory framework and draws some distinctions between that system and the current U.S. framework.
Date: June 26, 2009
Creator: Jackson, James K.