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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.

Iran's Nuclear Program: Status

Description: This report looks at the background of Iran's nuclear policy. It covers the current status of Iran's nuclear facilities, and current controversy surrounding them, as well as the effects of international sanctions on Iran, recent sabotages on the Iran Enrichment Program, an estimated timeline of Iran's nuclear weapon capabilities, and whether or not Iran even has a nuclear weapons program.
Date: December 29, 2009
Creator: Kerr, Paul K.

Iran Sanctions

Description: This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue.
Date: December 24, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

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.

China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities--Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report focuses on the potential implications of China's naval modernization for future required U.S. Navy capabilities. This report is based on unclassified open-source information, such as the annual Department of Defense (DOD) report to Congress on China's military power, an August 2009 report from the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), and published reference sources such as Jane's Fighting Ships.
Date: December 23, 2009
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald

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