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Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Agency Travel Card Programs

Description: The Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998 required federal employees to use travel charge cards to pay for the expenses of official government travel. The dollar volume of travel card transaction has nearly doubled from FY1999 to FY2009. This report discusses card misuse committed by federal employees, and Congress's response, which has included hearings and legislation intended to enhance travel card management and oversight.
Date: September 28, 2010
Creator: Hatch, Garrett
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Beginning and End of the Terms of United States Senators Chosen to Fill Senate Vacancies

Description: This report discusses the procedures for when a Senator is chosen to fill a Senate vacancy during a session of Congress, i.e., when the appointed Senator can begin his or her term of office, and how long the Senator remains in office (until the new "Senator-elect" is sworn in and seated by the Senate).
Date: September 28, 2010
Creator: Maskell, Jack
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress

Description: This report reviews the objectives delineated in President Obama's Open Government Initiative (OGI) and examines the expectations placed on agencies to meet these objectives. This report reviews department and agency attempts to implement Obama Administration initiatives that seek to make the federal government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative. The report then analyzes options for congressional action in this area.
Date: January 28, 2011
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cuba: Issues for the 112th Congress

Description: This report discusses the current political conditions of Cuba, as well as its relationship with the United States. In particular, the report focuses on U.S. policy regarding Cuba, including various economic sanctions, human rights issues, and foreign aid appropriations.
Date: January 28, 2011
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990

Description: This CRS Report discusses U.S. security assistance for Taiwan, formally called the Republic of China (ROC), particularly policy issues for Congress. It also lists sales of major defense articles and services to Taiwan, as approved by the President and notified to Congress since 1990. This report uses a variety of unclassified consultations and citations in the United States and Taiwan.
Date: September 28, 2010
Creator: Kan, Shirley A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Funding of Presidential Nominating Conventions: Overview and Policy Options

Description: This report provides an overview and analysis of two recurring questions surrounding the federal government's role in financing presidential nominating conventions. First, how much public funding supports presidential nominating conventions? Second, what options exist for changing that amount if Congress chooses to do so? Both issues have generated controversy in the past and continue to be the subject of debate.
Date: January 28, 2011
Creator: Garrett, R. Sam & Reese, Shawn
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Currency Manipulation: The IMF and WTO

Description: This report describes how the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organization (WTO) deal with the issue of currency manipulation. It also discusses apparent discrepancies in their charters and ways those differences might be addressed.
Date: January 28, 2011
Creator: Sanford, Jonathan E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

NAFTA at 20: Overview and Trade Effects

Description: This report provides andoverview of North American Free Trade Agreement provisions and discusses trade trends and economic effects, as well other issues for Congress.
Date: April 28, 2014
Creator: Villarreal, M. A. & Fergusson, Ian F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Latin America and the Caribbean: Key Issues for the 114th Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of U.S. policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean. It begins with an overview of the political and economic environment that affects U.S. relations, and then examines the Obama Administration's policy priorities in the region. The report then examines congressional interests in Latin America, looking at selected regional and country issues.
Date: January 28, 2015
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

TRICARE and VA Health Care: Impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)

Description: The 111th Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and hereafter referred to as PPACA. This report addresses key questions concerning how PPACA affects the Department of Defense (DOD) TRICARE program and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care.
Date: April 28, 2010
Creator: Panangala, Sidath Viranga & Jansen, Don J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Logistical Support Contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan: Issues for Congress

Description: This report examines logistical support contracts for troop support services (also known as service contracts) in Iraq and Afghanistan, primarily administered through a smaller program, the United States Air Force Contract Augmentation Program (AFCAP) and a larger program, the United States Army's Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP). It focuses on contracts involving Department of Defense (DOD) appropriated funds, although some projects involve a blending of funds from other agencies.
Date: April 28, 2010
Creator: Grasso, Valerie Bailey
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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: May 28, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer

Description: This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation.
Date: May 28, 2010
Creator: Kerr, Paul K. & Nikitin, Mary Beth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Description: This report has two sections. The first provides an overview of the current USDA disaster assistance programs: federal crop insurance, NAP payments, emergency disaster loans, the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), and four other smaller disaster programs authorized in the 2008 farm bill. The second section reviews the recent history of emergency supplemental farm disaster assistance.
Date: April 28, 2010
Creator: Shields, Dennis A. & Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Assistance to Firefighters Program: Distribution of Fire Grant Funding

Description: This report discusses the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, also known as fire grants of the FIRE Act grant program, which provides federal grants directly to local fire departments and unaffiliated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) organizations to help address a variety of equipment, training, and other firefighter-related and EMS needs. This report also discusses the possible reauthorization of AFG and the related Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Firefighters (SAFER) program.
Date: August 28, 2009
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Sanctions

Description: This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran. U.S. sanctions have been a major feature of U.S. Iran policy since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, but U.N. and worldwide bilateral sanctions on Iran are a relatively recent (post-2006) development.
Date: January 28, 2015
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bitcoin: Questions, Answers, and Analysis of Legal Issues

Description: This report has three major sections. The first section answers some basic questions about Bitcoin and the operation of the Bitcoin network and its interaction with the current dollar-based monetary system. The second section summarizes likely reasons for and against widespread Bitcoin adoption. The third section discusses legal and regulatory matters that have been raised by Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
Date: January 28, 2015
Creator: Elwell, Craig K.; Murphy, M. M. & Seitzinger, Michael V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sex Trafficking of Children in the United States: Overview and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of sex trafficking of children in the United States. It first conceptualizes the issue, discussing the victims and perpetrators involved. It then outlines the federal response to investigating and prosecuting perpetrators as well as providing services to victims. The report concludes with a discussion of select issues concerning the federal response to sex trafficking of minors in the United States.
Date: January 28, 2015
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.; Fernandes-Alcantara, Adrienne L. & Siskin, Alison
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Natural Gas Exports: New Opportunities, Uncertain Outcomes

Description: This report examines what has changed in the U.S. natural gas market and the prospects and implications of the United States becoming a larger net exporter of natural gas. Bills to expedite and expand liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports have been introduced in the 114th Congress, including the LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act (H.R. 351 and S. 33), the American Job Creation and Strategic Alliances LNG Act (H.R. 287), the Crude Oil Export Act (H.R. 156), the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act (H.R. 89), and the Export American Natural Gas Act of 2015 (H.R. 428).
Date: January 28, 2015
Creator: Ratner, Michael; Parfomak, Paul W.; Luther, Linda & Fergusson, Ian F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense: FY2015 Authorization and Appropriations

Description: This report discusses the Department of Defense (DOD) budget plan for FY2015. It includes an overview of the budget, historic context, and highlights in the base budget, as well as budget items that fall under the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the FY2015 DOD Appropriations Bill (H.R. 4870; H.R. 83, Division C).
Date: January 28, 2015
Creator: Towell, Pat
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Economic Downturns and Crime

Description: This report examines the relationships between selected variables of economic strength and crime. It begins with an overview of crime rates during times of economic recession in the United States. It then reviews the existing literature in the field analyzing various data sets that examine whether the unemployment rate and foreclosures can be related to increases in the national crime rate.
Date: July 28, 2009
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Northern Ireland: The Peace Process

Description: This report provides background information regarding political violence and the peace process in Northern Ireland. It includes further information about the devolved government and recurrent crises (1999-2002, 2003-2007 and 2008-2010), implementation of police reforms, recent events and ongoing challenges, relevant U.S. policy, and recent legislation.
Date: May 28, 2010
Creator: Archick, Kristin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Financial Regulatory Reform: Systemic Risk and the Federal Reserve

Description: The recent financial crisis contained a number of systemic risk episodes, or episodes that caused instability for large parts of the financial system. The lesson some policymakers have taken from this crisis is that a systemic risk or "macroprudential" regulator is needed to prevent similar episodes in the future. This report defines the potential duties and responsibilities of a systemic risk regulator, relating those duties to events that potentially contributed to the recent crisis. It then identifies the powers that would need to be given to a regulator to perform those duties, and compares those powers and responsibilities to the Fed's existing powers and responsibilities. It discusses advantages and disadvantages of giving those responsibilities to the Fed or the executive branch. The report also includes a brief overview of major elements of the Administration's proposal, H.R. 4173, which passed the House on December 11, 2009, and the Restoring American Financial Stability Act, which was ordered to be reported out of the Senate Banking Committee on March 22, 2010.
Date: October 28, 2009
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress

Description: This report briefly discusses the Department of Defense leases of foreign-built ships, the opponents of this practice, and related legislation.
Date: May 28, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department