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Climate Change: The Role of the U.S. Agriculture Sector and Congressional Action

Description: This report is organized in three parts. First, it discusses the extent of GHG emissions associated with the U.S. agriculture sector, and cites current and potential estimates for U.S. agricultural soils to sequester carbon and partly offset national GHG emissions. Second, the report describes the types of land management and farm conservation practices that can reduce GHG emissions and/or sequester carbon in agricultural soils, highlighting those practices that are currently promoted under existing voluntary federal agricultural programs. Finally, the report describes legislative action within the ongoing climate change debate as well as enacted changes in the 2008 farm bill (Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, P.L. 110-246) that could expand the scope of existing farm and forestry conservation programs in ways that could more broadly encompass certain aspects of these climate change initiatives. The report concludes with a discussion of some of the types of questions that may be raised regarding the role of the U.S. agriculture sector in the broader climate change debate.
Date: July 31, 2009
Creator: Johnson, Renée

Nonproliferation and Threat Reduction Assistance: U.S. Programs in the Former Soviet Union

Description: This report focuses on funding for threat reduction and nonproliferation programs in the states of the former Soviet Union. Although the United States has expanded its efforts to programs that seek to assist other nations in securing nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons materials, the overwhelming majority of U.S. funds still support programs in the former Soviet states.
Date: July 31, 2009
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.

The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009

Description: This report reviews and briefly describes the proposals contained in H.R. 3221 to amend programs authorized under HEA and to establish and fund additional new education programs. It will be updated as warranted to track legislative developments.
Date: July 31, 2009
Creator: Smole, David P.; Mahan, Shannon M.; McCallion, Gail; Skinner, Rebecca R.; Bradley, David H. & Dortch, Cassandria

Air Force KC-X Tanker Aircraft Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses proposed FY2010 defense budget requests $439.6 million in Air Force research and development funding to begin a new program for acquiring new 179 KC-X aerial refueling tankers. The issue for Congress in FY2010 is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Administration's request for FY2010 research and development funding for the new KC-X program, and whether to take any action to define the acquisition strategy for the new KC-X program.
Date: July 30, 2009
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald

China's Holdings of U.S. Securities: Implications for the U.S. Economy

Description: This report examines the importance to the U.S. economy of China's investment in U.S. securities, as well as U.S. concerns over the possibility that China might unload a large share of those holdings, the likelihood that this would occur, and the potential implications such action could have for the U.S. economy. The report concludes that a large sell-off of Chinese Treasury securities holdings could negatively affect the U.S. economy, at least in the short-run.
Date: July 30, 2009
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Labonte, Marc

National Flood Insurance Program: Background, Challenges, and Financial Status

Description: This report provides an analysis of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and its financial status, summarizes the major challenges facing the program, including issues affecting its long-term financial solvency, presents some alternative approaches for managing and financing the flood losses and describes pending legislation on this issue.
Date: July 30, 2009
Creator: King, Rawle O.

Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation and Security Issues

Description: This report discusses Pakistan's efforts to produce fissile material and other issues related to nuclear proliferation and improving its nuclear arsenal. It also discusses the steps Pakistan has taken to increase international confidence in its nuclear security. However, continued instability in Pakistan has caused some to question the effectiveness of its nuclear security reforms.
Date: July 30, 2009
Creator: Kerr, Paul K. & Nikitin, Mary Beth

Gun Trafficking and the Southwest Border

Description: This report includes legal analyses of three ATF-investigated, Southwest border gun trafficking cases to illustrate the federal statutes that are typically violated as part of wider gun trafficking schemes. The report also examines anti-gun trafficking proposals introduced in the 110th Congress.
Date: July 29, 2009
Creator: Chu, Vivian S. & Krouse, William J.

Health Care Reform: An Introduction

Description: This report provides an introduction to health care reform. It focuses on the three predominant concerns just mentioned--coverage, cost and spending, and quality--and some of the legislative issues within which they likely will be debated, including the scope of reform (particularly whether Medicare and Medicaid should be included); the choice between public and private coverage; whether employment-based insurance should be strengthened, weakened, or left alone; and what role states might play.
Date: July 29, 2009
Creator: Bob Lyke

Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies: FY2010 Appropriations

Description: This report discusses the President's Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 budget request for the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, which provides funding for the planning, design, construction, alteration, and improvement of facilities used by active and reserve military components worldwide.
Date: July 29, 2009
Creator: Else, Daniel H.; Scott, Christine & Panangala, Sidath V.

Tajikistan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests

Description: This report outlines the severe challenges faced by Tajikistan since its five-year civil war ended in 1997, including such problems as deep poverty and poor governance. The report discusses U.S. policy and assistance. Basic facts and biographical information are provided. This report may be updated. Related products include CRS Report RL33458, Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, updated regularly.
Date: July 29, 2009
Creator: Nichol, Jim