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Statutory Canon Aimed at International Organization Immunity

Description: This report discusses the upcoming Supreme Court case Jam v. International Finance Corp. The petitioners--a group of Indian nationals from Gujarat--seek to hold International Finance Corp. (IFC) liable for extensive environmental damage throughout their community caused by the construction of a power plant financed and overseen by IFC. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (D.C. Circuit) dismissed their lawsuit, holding, in accordance with the circuit's precedent, that the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA) grants absolute immunity to IFC in this case.
Date: October 5, 2018
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Posse Comitatus Act and Related Matters: The Use of the Military to Execute Civilian Law

Description: This report provides an historical analysis of the use of the Armed Forces to execute domestic law and of the Posse Comitatus Act, including their apparent theoretical and constitutional underpinnings. The report then outlines the current application of the act as well as its statutory exceptions, and reviews the consequences of its violation.
Date: November 6, 2018
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

21st Century U.S. Energy Sources: A Primer

Description: This report provides an overview of U.S. energy issues, and suggests related information, data, and CRS contacts. It is mainly organized around the major fuels and energy sources: resources on federal lands, oil, natural gas, electric, coal, nuclear power, and renewable energy.
Date: November 5, 2018
Creator: Ratner, Michael; Bracmort, Kelsi; Brown, Phillip; Campbell, Richard J.; Holt, Mark; Humphries, Marc et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Sanctions

Description: This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran. The report tracks "implementation" of the various U.S. laws and Executive Orders as designations and imposition of sanctions. Some sanctions require the blocking of U.S.-based property of sanctioned entities.
Date: November 6, 2018
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proposed U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Trade Agreement

Description: This report discusses the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which is to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Topics include market access, dispute settlement, intellectual property rights (IPR), energy, and labor and environment.
Date: October 5, 2018
Creator: Fergusson, Ian F. & Villarreal, M. Angeles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy, and gives Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers a capability for conducting BMD operations. The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify Department of Defense (DOD) acquisition strategies and proposed funding levels for the Aegis BMD program.
Date: October 26, 2018
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energy and Water Development Appropriations: Nuclear Weapons Activities

Description: This report discusses the Weapons Activities section of the annual Energy and Water Development appropriations bill which funds the maintenance of U.S. nuclear warheads and related infrastructure. The report provides an overview of the programs funded through the bill and the FY2019 budget request.
Date: November 9, 2018
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA Proposes New Permitting Test for Power Plant Modifications

Description: This report discusses the EPA's proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. As part of the ACE Rule, EPA proposed a new test for determining whether New Source Review (NSR) would apply to a modification of an existing power plant.
Date: September 25, 2018
Creator: Tsang, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Social Security: Raising or Eliminating the Taxable Earnings Base

Description: This report discusses the Social Security taxes that are levied on covered earnings up to a maximum level (base) set each year. It includes information about how the base has been determined demographically and how it has changed over time, as well as possible future implications and impacts of either raising or eliminating the base, with arguments for and against.
Date: October 26, 2018
Creator: Li, Zhe
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Methane and Other Air Pollution Issues in Natural Gas Systems

Description: This report provides information on the natural gas industry and the types of air pollutants in the sector, as well as the role of the federal government in regulating these emissions, such as provisions in the Clean Air Act and other statutes. It concludes with a brief discussion of a number of issues under debate, including 1) defining the roles of industry and local, state, and federal governments; 2) establishing comprehensive emissions data; 3) determining the proper control of pollutants and sources; 4) understanding the human health and environmental impacts of emissions; and 5) estimating the costs of pollution abatement.
Date: November 5, 2018
Creator: Lattanzio, Richard K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018 (VA MISSION Act; P.L.115-182)

Description: This report summarizes the major provisions of the John S. McCain III, Daniel K. Akaka, and Samuel R. Johnson VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018 (VA MISSION Act; P.L. 115-182, H.Rept. 115-671), including amendments made by the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2018 (S. 3479; P.L. 115-251).
Date: November 1, 2018
Creator: Panangala, Sidath Viranga; Colello, Kirsten J.; Elliott, Victoria L.; Hatch, Garrett & Heisler, Elayne J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Effects of U.S. Tariff Action on U.S. Aluminum Manufacturing

Description: This report discusses the aluminum tariffs put in effect by the U.S. in March 2018. The United States has assessed duties of 10% or more on certain imports of aluminum on national security grounds. The duties are controversial, with some Members of Congress questioning whether the duties will encourage domestic aluminum production and whether they could adversely affect U.S. industries that use aluminum.
Date: October 9, 2018
Creator: Platzer, Michaela D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S.-Japan Relations

Description: This report discusses issues regarding U.S.-Japan economic relations. Japan is a significant partner of the United States in a number of foreign policy areas, particularly in U.S. security priorities, which range from hedging against Chinese military modernization to countering threats from North Korea.
Date: October 23, 2018
Creator: Chanlett-Avery, Emma; Manyin, Mark E. & Williams, Brock R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iraq: Issues in the 115th Congress

Description: This report discusses issues in Iraq, including remaining Islamic State fighters, the May 2018 election, economic challenges, humanitarian issues and stabilization.
Date: October 4, 2018
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Frigate (FFG[X]) Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and discusses potential issues for Congress regarding the Navy's FFG(X) program to procure a new class of 20 guided-missile frigates (FFGs). The Navy wants to procure the first FFG(X) in FY2020 and the proposed FY2019 budget requests $134.8 million in research and development funding for the program.
Date: October 22, 2018
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background on issues affecting the Arctic region on a large number of topics including research, policy, and governance of the region. It also outlines specific issues for Congressional consideration such as transportation, pollution, affects on people and animals, and geopolitical concerns.
Date: October 25, 2018
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald; Comay, Laura B.; Folger, Peter; Frittelli, John; Humphries, Marc; Leggett, Jane A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians

Description: This report discusses a number of issues regarding U.S. aid to the Palestinians that have relevance for Congress. Since the establishment of limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the mid-1990s, the U.S. government has committed more than $5 billion in bilateral economic and non-lethal security assistance to the Palestinians.
Date: November 2, 2018
Creator: Zanotti, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report describes the current status of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between Russia and the United States and highlights issues that Congress may address regarding compliance concerns with Russia. It provides a historical overview; outlines the provisions of the INF Treaty (highlighting those central to the discussion about Russia's current activities); reviews the publicly-available information about the potential Russian violation and Russia's possible motivations; and summarizes Russia's concerns with U.S. compliance. The report concludes with a discussion of options that the United States might pursue and options if Russia deploys new INF-range missiles.
Date: October 29, 2018
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy John Lewis (TAO-205) Class Oiler Shipbuilding Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and issues for Congress on the John Lewis (TAO205) class oiler shipbuilding program, a program to build a new class of 20 fleet oilers for the Navy. The TAO-205 program was previously known as the TAO(X) program. The Navy's proposed FY2019 budget requests the procurement of the third and fourth ships in the program.
Date: October 22, 2018
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department