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Running Deficits: Positives and Pitfalls

Description: The FY2009 federal deficit swelled to $1.414 trillion, or nearly 10% of gross domestic product (GDP), due to the economic recession. The size of recent deficits has added to longstanding concerns regarding the federal government's long-term fiscal condition. However, deficit finance can serve as an important policy tool. This report discusses how deficit finance can help governments manage their economies and how large and persistent deficits can lead to severe economic problems.
Date: September 14, 2010
Creator: Austin, D. Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intelligence Estimates: How Useful to Congress?

Description: National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) are often of considerable interest to many Members of Congress. NIEs address issues of major national security importance which may require congressional action. However, NIEs have occasionally proved unreliable because they were based on insufficient evidence or contained faulty analysis. This report explores this issue and discusses the NIE process and its relevance to congressional policymaking.
Date: November 24, 2010
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Description: The Navy is procuring a new type of surface combatant called the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The Navy wants to procure a total of 55 LCSs. This report details the 2007 restructuring of the LCS program, as well as various financial information relating to the program. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's plans for the LCS program. The LCS program raises potential oversight issues for Congress relating to various aspects of the program, all of which are explored within this report.
Date: December 9, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Description: The Navy is procuring a new type of surface combatant called the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The Navy wants to procure a total of 55 LCSs. This report details the 2007 restructuring of the LCS program, as well as various financial information relating to the program. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's plans for the LCS program. The LCS program raises potential oversight issues for Congress relating to various aspects of the program, all of which are explored within this report.
Date: December 22, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Description: The Navy is procuring a new type of surface combatant called the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The Navy wants to procure a total of 55 LCSs. This report details the 2007 restructuring of the LCS program, as well as various financial information relating to the program. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's plans for the LCS program. The LCS program raises potential oversight issues for Congress relating to various aspects of the program, all of which are explored within this report.
Date: November 29, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Description: The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages. FY2011 issues for Congress include whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's request for FY2011 procurement and advance procurement funding for the LCS program, and whether to provide any additional direction to the Navy regarding LCS acquisition strategy.
Date: October 14, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Description: The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages. The Navy's FY2011-FY2015 shipbuilding plan calls for procuring 17 more LCSs in annual quantities of 2, 3, 4, 4, and 4. This report details this shipbuilding plan, the Navy's budget proposals, and a new LCS acquisition strategy proposed by the Navy on September 16, 2009. FY2011 issues for Congress include whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's request for FY2011 procurement and advance procurement funding for the LCS program, and whether to provide any additional direction to the Navy regarding LCS acquisition strategy.
Date: September 27, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program. Under current Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and Navy plans, the number of BMD-capable Navy Aegis ships is schedule to grow from 20 at the end of FY2010 to 38 at the end of FY2015. This report discusses the concerns some have over BMD expansion, as well as BMD funding issues.
Date: November 19, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Description: The Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC) defines spyware as "technologies deployed without appropriate user consent and/or implemented in ways that impair user control over (1) material changes that affect their user experience, privacy, or system security; (2) use of their system resources, including what programs are installed on their computers; and/or (3) collection, use, and distribution of their personal or other sensitive information. The main issue for Congress over spyware is whether to enact new legislation specifically addressing spyware, or to rely on industry self-regulation and enforcement actions by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice under existing law. This report discusses this issue, as well as the opinions of both the opponents and the supporters of industry self-regulation.
Date: September 8, 2010
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Poverty in the United States: 2009

Description: This report discusses the state of poverty in the United States, including how poverty is measured, selected poverty-related demographics, and certain federal aid efforts to those who are impoverished.
Date: September 20, 2010
Creator: Gabe, Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: Concern has grown in Congress and elsewhere about China's military modernization. The topic is an increasing factor in discussions over future required U.S. Navy capabilities. The issue for Congress addressed in this report is: How should China's military modernization be factored into decisions about U.S. Navy programs?
Date: December 1, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel

Description: This report provides an overview of U.S. foreign assistance to Israel. It includes a review of past aid programs, data on annual assistance, and an analysis of current issues.
Date: September 16, 2010
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests

Description: The United States recognized the independence of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia when the former Soviet Union broke up at the end of 1991. The United States has fostered these states' ties with the West in part to end their dependence on Russia for trade, security, and other relations. This report discusses the relationships between the United States and each of these three nations, as well as these three nations' political and economic conditions. The report also discusses key related issues in the second session of the 111th Congress, including Armenia's independence and economic development, Azerbaijan's energy development, and Georgia's recovery from Russian's August 2008 military incursion.
Date: September 16, 2010
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests

Description: After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States recognized the independence of all the former Central Asian republics, supported their admission into Western organizations, and elicited Turkish support to counter Iranian influence in the region. The Administration's diverse goals in Central Asia reflect the different characteristics of these states. U.S. interests in Kazakhstan include securing and eliminating Soviet-era nuclear and biological weapons materials and facilities. In Tajikistan, U.S. aid focuses on economic reconstruction. U.S. energy firms have invested in oil and natural gas development in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. This report outlines the above, as well as several ongoing debates regarding general relations between the U.S. and Central Asia.
Date: November 22, 2010
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments

Description: This report discusses the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which bans all nuclear explosion and was in 1996 adopted by the U.N. General Assembly but rejected by the U.S. Senate in 1997. This report discusses the Obama Administration's stated goal of pursuing U.S. ratification of the CTBT, although the Administration has mainly focused on securing Senate consent to ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). This report also discusses other nuclear weapons-related issues as well as the long history of nuclear testing.
Date: November 16, 2010
Creator: Medalia, Jonathan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sudan: The Crisis in Darfur and Status of the North-South Peace Agreement

Description: Sudan, geographically the largest country in Africa, has been ravaged by civil war intermittently for four decades, resulting in catastrophic civilian casualties and displacements. This report discusses the history of Sudan's civil unrest and the subsequent crisis in Darfur, as well as United Nations and United States aid and peacekeeping efforts and current related policy under the Obama Administration.
Date: December 16, 2010
Creator: Dagne, Ted
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Unauthorized Alien Students: Issues and "DREAM Act" Legislation

Description: Supporters of comprehensive immigration reform have urged the President and Congress to pursue reform legislation. While legislative action on comprehensive reform does not appear likely during the remainder of the 111th Congress, there may be an effort to enact a measure, commonly referred to as the "DREAM Act," to enable certain unauthorized alien students to legalize their status. This report discusses the DREAM act and related issues.
Date: December 1, 2010
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Somalia: Current Conditions and Prospects for a Lasting Peace

Description: This report discusses the political climate of Somalia, which has undergone extreme unrest for years. The report focuses on events since October 2002, including the formation of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in 2007 and the TFG's cooperation with the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) in 2008. The report also discusses the U.S. relationship with Somalia under the Obama Administration, including U.S. economic assistance given to Somalia and U.S. efforts to contain Somalian terrorist groups.
Date: December 16, 2010
Creator: Dagne, Ted
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Overview of Recent U.S. Supreme Court Jurisprudence in Patent Law

Description: This report provides a brief summary of the Supreme Court's patent law jurisprudence in the following nine cases that have been decided since 2005: Merck KGaA v. Integra Lifesciences I, Unitherm Food Systems v. Swift-Eckrich, Illinois Tool Works v. Independent Ink, eBay v. MercExchange, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings v. Metabolite Labs., MedImmune v. Genentech, KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc., Microsoft v. AT&T, Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc., and Bilski v. Kappos.
Date: September 17, 2010
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Africa Command: U.S. Strategic Interests and the Role of the U.S. Military in Africa

Description: In recent years, analysts and U.S. policymakers have noted Africa's growing strategic importance to U.S. interests. On February 6, 2007, the Bush Administration announced the creation of a new unified combatant command, U.S. Africa Command or AFRICOM, to promote U.S. national security objectives in Africa and its surrounding waters. This report provides information on AFRICOM's mission, structure, interagency coordination, and its basing and manpower requirements. The report also gives a broad overview of U.S. strategic interests in Africa and the role of U.S. military efforts on the continent as they pertain to the creation of Africa Command.
Date: November 16, 2010
Creator: Ploch, Lauren
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reform of U.S. International Taxation: Alternatives

Description: This report describes and assesses the principal prescriptions that have been offered for broad reform of the current U.S. system for taxing international businesses. The report begins with an overview of current law and of possible revisions. It then sets the framework for considering economic efficiency as well as tax shelter activities. Finally, it reviews alternative approaches to revision in light of those issues.
Date: December 17, 2010
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trends in Discretionary Spending

Description: Discretionary spending is provided in, and controlled by, annual appropriations acts, which fund many of the routine activities commonly associated with such federal government functions as running executive branch agencies, congressional offices and agencies, and international operations of the government. Essentially all spending on federal wages and salaries is discretionary. This report discusses historical, current, and projected discretionary spending trends. It also describes how current discretionary spending trends reflect national priorities.
Date: September 10, 2010
Creator: Austin, D. Andrew & Levit, Mindy R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy LPD-17 Amphibious Ship Procurement: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Description: The Navy's FY2011-FY2015 shipbuilding plan calls for procuring an 11th and final San Antonio (LPD-17) class amphibious ship in FY2012. This report discusses the procurement cost estimates of this ship, as well as related issues for Congress.
Date: November 19, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Closing a Congressional Office: Overview and Guide to House and Senate Practices

Description: Turnover of membership in the House and Senate necessitates closing congressional offices. The closure of a congressional office requires an outgoing Member of Congress to evaluate pertinent information regarding his or her staff; the disposal of personal and official records; and final disposition of office accounts, facilities, and equipment. In the past several years, the House and Senate have developed extensive resources to assist Members in closing their offices. This report, which will be updated as warranted, is one of several CRS products focusing on various aspects of congressional operations and administration.
Date: September 8, 2010
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department