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The Federal Budget: Current and Upcoming Issues

Description: This report examines changes to the Federal Budget for Fiscal Years 2008-2010. The report considers the factors that have an effect on various budgetary functions and decisions. The report specifically focuses on the effect of the 2007-2008 financial recession on the budget, but also considers more long-term fiscal issues such as health care for retiring Baby-Boomers.
Date: December 31, 2009
Creator: Austin, D. Andrew & Levit, Mindy R.

Security Classification Policy and Procedure: E.O. 12958, as Amended

Description: This report describes security classification policy and procedure, largely prescribed in a series of successive presidential executive orders issued over the past 50 years. This policy provides the rationale and arrangements for designating information officially secret for reasons of national security, and for its declassification as well.
Date: December 31, 2009
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.

Desalination: Status and Federal Issues

Description: This report discusses desalination in the context of federal policy. Interest in desalination of seawater, brackish water, and contaminated freshwater has increased in the United States as the technology's costs have fallen and pressure to develop new water supplies has grown. Adoption of desalination, however, remains constrained by financial, environmental, and regulatory and social factors.
Date: December 30, 2009
Creator: Carter, Nicole T.

Terrorist Watchlist Checks and Air Passenger Prescreening

Description: This report discusses the controversy continues to surround U.S. air passenger prescreening and terrorist watchlist checks. In the past, such controversy centered around diverted international flights and misidentified passengers. Recent incidents raise new policy issues regarding the interaction between these broader terrorist databases and systems and the "No-Fly" and selectee lists, as well as the relationship between passenger prescreening processes.
Date: December 30, 2009
Creator: Krouse, William J. & Elias, Bart

Congressional Review Act: Rules Not Submitted to GAO and Congress

Description: This report discusses the Congressional Review Act (CRA; 5 U.S.C. ยง801-808), which was enacted to improve congressional authority over agency rulemaking, and requires federal agencies to submit all of their final rules to both houses of Congress and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) before they can take effect.
Date: December 29, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Curtis W.

Amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Set to Expire February 28, 2010

Description: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) provides a statutory framework by which government agencies may, when gathering foreign intelligence investigation, obtain authorization to conduct electronic surveillance or physical searches, utilize pen registers and trap and trace devices, or access specified business records and other tangible things. This report discusses three sunsetting amendments of FISA which include the "Lone Wolf" provision, "roving" wiretaps, and access to business records.
Date: December 23, 2009
Creator: Henning, Anna C. & Liu, Edward C.

Government Collection of Private Information: Background and Issues Related to the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization

Description: This report discusses the history of constitutional interpretations and legislative responses relevant to the collection of private information for criminal investigation, foreign intelligence gathering, and national security purposes.
Date: December 23, 2009
Creator: Henning, Anna C.; Bazan, Elizabeth B.; Doyle, Charles & Liu, Edward C.

Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: The Department of Defense (DOD) is placing an increased planning and budgeting emphasis on irregular warfare (IW) operations, such as counterinsurgency operations. In addition, counterterrorism (CT) operations have been a DOD area of emphasis since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Navy for several years has carried out a variety of IW and CT activities, and has taken some steps in recent years to strengthen its ability to conduct such activities. This report discusses these activities and potential oversight issues raised by them.
Date: December 23, 2009
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald

Navy Nuclear Aircraft Carrier (CVN) Homeporting at Mayport: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Navy's proposal to homeport a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN) at Mayport, Florida. Transferring a CVN from Norfolk, Virginia, to Mayport would also shift the local economic activity associated with homeporting a CVN, which some sources estimate as being worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year.
Date: December 23, 2009
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald

Navy Nuclear-Powered Surface Ships: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Description: This report discusses the possibility of increasing the number of Navy surface ships powered by nuclear energy, including the Navy's planned CG(X) cruiser. The overall report has a specific emphasis on the planned CG(X) cruiser, and how the implementation of this cruiser may be delayed by current budget proposals.
Date: December 23, 2009
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald

Navy Ship Names: Background for Congress

Description: This report discusses the process of naming Navy ships, which have traditionally been chosen and announced by the Secretary of the Navy. Congress in recent years has proposed, and sometimes passed, legislation regarding the naming of specific ships.
Date: December 23, 2009
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald

Air Force C-17 Aircraft Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information on the C-17 Aircraft program, including previous appropriations, related programs, and issues for Congress. The primary issue for Congress in FY2010 is whether to procure additional C-17s. An additional issue is whether to pass legislation relating to the airlift aircraft force structure. Congress's decisions on these issues could affect DOD capabilities and funding requirements and the U.S. military aircraft industrial base.
Date: December 22, 2009
Creator: Gertler, Jeremiah