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Zimbabwe's Political Transition: Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the resignation of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe after a military intervention and the installation of one of his former vice-presidents, Emmanuel Mnangagwa as interim President. Various possible outcomes of the change and possible actions by Congress to advance U.S. interests in the region are discussed.
Date: November 22, 2017
Creator: Cook, Nicolas & Terrell, Katherine Z.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Distribution of the Tax Policy Changes in H.R 1 and the Senate's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Description: This report discusses the Joint Committee on Taxation's (JCT) November 14, 2017 distributional analysis report of the House and Senate's proposed tax reform legislation which outlines how the changes made by the bill would effect the economic well-being of American taxpayers.
Date: November 21, 2017
Creator: Sherlock, Molly F. & Hughes, Joseph S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Keystone XL Pipeline: Recent Developments

Description: This report discusses the Keystone XL Pipeline and the recent route modification and its effects on permits and permissions needed. A brief overview of the controversy regarding the pipeline and areas of land that require various permits to cross are included.
Date: November 21, 2017
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W. & Carter, Nicole T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Volcano and Landslide Provisions in Title X of S. 1460, the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017

Description: This report discusses a proposed volcano early warning system and a landslide hazards reduction program that would both be administered by the USGS. Provisions of the law that would create the system and volcanoes on the high priority watch-list are described.
Date: November 21, 2017
Creator: Folger, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

TPP Countries Near Agreement without U.S. Participation

Description: This report discuses the negotiations between the signatory countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after the U.S. withdrawal in January 2017 and possible effects of the implementation of an agreement without the U.S. on the U.S. economy and their image in Asia.
Date: November 20, 2017
Creator: Fergusson, Ian F. & Williams, Brock R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contracting the Adversary

Description: This report discusses the training of Navy and Air Force pilots through the use of "adversary" squadrons which fly planes that are either similar or actual versions of those used by enemy countries. The Air Force is considering contracting out this service due to the pilot shortage in the Air Force. Various options and precedent for such contracting services are discussed.
Date: November 16, 2017
Creator: Gertler, Jeremiah
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

OPEC and Non-OPEC Crude Oil Production Agreement: Compliance Status

Description: This report discusses OPEC's policy and agreement with 11 non-OPEC countries to reduce oil production to stabilize the price of oil which began January 1, 2017 and is in effect until March 31, 2018. Brief descriptions of the results of the agreement on global oil stocks are provided.
Date: November 16, 2017
Creator: Brown, Phillip
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Zimbabwe: A Military-Compelled Transition?

Description: This report discusses the military intervention in Zimbabwe which occurred on November 14 and 15th, 2017, and provides a discussion of the main events leading up to the action and possible outcomes.
Date: November 16, 2017
Creator: Cook, Nicolas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Impact of the Budget Control Act Discretionary Spending Caps on a Continuing Resolution

Description: This report answers common questions regarding the government's discretionary spending limits under the Budget Control Act which if they are exceeded trigger sequestration. The result of continuing budget resolutions and possibilities for fiscal year 2018 are addressed.
Date: November 14, 2017
Creator: Lynch, Megan S. & Saturno, James V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tax Reform: The Child Credit and the Child Care Credit

Description: This report discusses the child credit and the child care credit and what changes are being made to them in the new tax reform plan currently being debated. This report provides background to help assess who would be assisted by potential changes to either credit. It shows what types of families with children receive both credits and how the credits are distributed across the income distribution.
Date: November 13, 2017
Creator: Crandall-Hollick, Margot L. & Falk, Gene
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

Description: This report discuses the Diversity Immigrant Visa program (DV) which is a lottery system that makes 50,000 visas available annually to immigrants from countries who had sent less than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. over the last five years. Eligibility, the application and admission process, statistics on places of origin, and legislative proposals are discussed.
Date: November 9, 2017
Creator: Wilson, Jill H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energy Tax Provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts (H.R.1)

Description: This report discusses energy-related tax provisions in the The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R.1). These changes are summarized in Table 1. H.R. 1 includes a broad restructuring of the federal income tax system. A full analysis of the consequences of this proposal for the energy sector, or various subsets of the energy sector, is beyond the scope of this insight.
Date: November 8, 2017
Creator: Sherlock, Molly F. & Hughes, Joseph S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Why is Violence Rebounding in Mexico?

Description: This report discusses violence in Mexico fueled by organized crime cartels and the rising homicide rate which for 2017 based on preliminary reports will be above 18 per 100,000 persons. The rate in 2016 was 16.2 per 100,000. Various possible causes of the increase in violence discussed are the fragmentation of the Sinaloa Cartel, the increase in heroin trafficking and sales in the U.S., and the removal of major cartel bosses by the Mexican military leading to a power struggle in the organizations.
Date: November 8, 2017
Creator: Beittel, June S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Comprehensive Energy Planning for Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

Description: This report discusses the electric power grid of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands which were mainly destroyed by Hurricanes Irma and Maria with Puerto Rico being the hardest hit power grid. The report mainly concerns previous and current efforts to create long-term comprehensive energy plans for insular areas such as Puerto Rico and some of the challenges encountered in doing so.
Date: November 6, 2017
Creator: Clark, Corrie E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Natural Disasters of 2017: Congressional Considerations Related to FEMA Assistance

Description: This report provides a short overview of issues Congress may consider in its oversight of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) federal assistance during the 2017 hurricane season (e.g., Harvey, Irma, and Maria) and other disasters (e.g., fires in California).
Date: November 2, 2017
Creator: Brown, Jared T.; Horn, Diane P.; Painter, William L. & Reese, Shawn
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Doing Business with Iran: EU-Iran Trade and Investment Relations

Description: This report discusses the European Union's (EU's) resumption of business with Iran after the signing of the 2015 nuclear disarmament agreement which led to the lifting of nuclear related sanctions. It outlines rates of business and major investments in Iran by European companies and the effect possible U.S. re-imposition of sanctions against Iran may have on the market and U.S.-EU relations.
Date: October 25, 2017
Creator: Cimino-Isaacs, Cathleen D. & Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

GAO Issues Opinions on Applicability of Congressional Review Act to Two Guidance Documents

Description: This report discusses the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) issued opinions regarding whether a 2013 interagency guidance document and a 2016 amendment to the Tongass Land and Resource Management Plan by the Department of Agriculture were considered "rules" and as such be subject to the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The GAO determined neither document was a rule and thus they were not subject to CRA.
Date: October 25, 2017
Creator: Carey, Maeve P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Second Treasury Report on Regulatory Relief: Capital Markets

Description: This report describes highlights of the October 6, 2017, Treasury Department report "A Financial System that Creates Economic Opportunities: Capital Markets" that primarily examines the regulation of debt, equity, commodities, and derivatives markets. The report is the second of a series written in accordance with Executive Order (E.O.) 13772, which was issued by the President on February 3, 2017. The capital markets report provides 91 policy recommendations, the majority of which could be implemented by the primary regulators of U.S. capital markets: the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), state securities regulators, and Self-Regulatory Organizations (SROs). Nine of the 91 Treasury recommendations would require congressional action.
Date: October 19, 2017
Creator: Su, Eva
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congress Faces Calls to Address Expired Funds for Primary Care

Description: This report discusses funding for the Health Centers Program and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) which provide medical care to underserved populations through health centers and provide scholarships and loan repayment to physicians in exchange for working in underserved areas for at least two years through the NHSC.
Date: October 18, 2017
Creator: Heisler, Elayne J. & Redhead, C. Stephen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Human Trafficking: New Global Estimates of Forced Labor and Modern Slavery

Description: This report discusses a new report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Walk Free Foundation that estimates that 40.3 million people worldwide were victims of modern slavery (including forced labor run by individuals and governments, forced marriages, and sex trafficking) which used a new methodology that combined multiple data sources and statistical probability calculations. A brief overview of the findings, past reports and variance between State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP reports and other reports such as this one, and varying definitions of the terms modern slavery, human trafficking, and forced labor are discussed. Current bills to reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) in Congress are also discussed.
Date: October 18, 2017
Creator: Rosen, Liana W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Policy and the European Union

Description: This report discusses the European Union's reaction to President Trump's announcement of a new strategy for Iran and that the U.S. would not re-certify Iran under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA) which is separate from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) made in 2015. The European Union has expressed dismay with the announcement and urged support for the continued implementation of the JCPOA.
Date: October 18, 2017
Creator: Mix, Derek E. & Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department