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Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of current issues surrounding alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles - issues discussed in further detail in other CRS reports referred to in each section.
Date: September 22, 2010
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Nuclear Aircraft Carrier (CVN) Homeporting at Mayport: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: On January 14, 2009, the Navy announced that it wants to transfer one of its nuclear-powered aircraft carriers (CVNs) to the Navy home port at Mayport, FL, known formally as Naval Station (NAVSTA) Mayport. The Navy's proposed FY2010 budget requests $46.3 million in Military Construction (MilCon) funding for channel dredging at Mayport. The Navy states that a key reason it wants to transfer a CVN to Mayport is to hedge against the risk of a catastrophic event that could damage the Navy's CVN homeporting facilities at Norfolk, VA, and nearby Newport News, VA. This report discusses potential questions for Congress to consider related to budget appropriations for such a transfer, the potential negative economic effects that a CVN transfer would have on the local homeport, and the other general questions regarding the Navy.
Date: September 29, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Food Safety in the 111th Congress

Description: This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then.
Date: September 23, 2010
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Security Assistance to Lebanon

Description: This report discusses key issues facing U.S. policy makers and Members of Congress when considering U.S. security assistance in the context of U.S. policy toward Lebanon. These key issues include assessing the effectiveness of U.S. assistance programs, assessing overall U.S. policy toward Lebanon, and managing relations with other external actors.
Date: September 20, 2010
Creator: Addis, Casey L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legal Issues Relating to the Disposal of Dispensed Controlled Substances

Description: This report describes an issue that is the fastest-growing drug problem in the country -- the intentional use of prescription drugs for non-medical purposes. It is the second-most common form of illicit drug abuse among teenagers in the United States behind marijuana use. Several bills have been introduced in the 111th Congress that would create a legal framework governing disposal of controlled substances that have been dispensed to patients.
Date: September 24, 2010
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Concurrent Receipt: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: "Concurrent Receipt" refers to the simultaneous receipt of two types of monetary benefits: military retired pay and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation. This report addresses the two primary components of the concurrent receipt program: Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) and Concurrent Retirement and Disability Payments (CRDP). It reviews the possible legislative expansion of the program to additional populations and provide several potential options for Congress to consider.
Date: September 24, 2010
Creator: Henning, Charles A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": A Legal Analysis

Description: In recent years, several Members of Congress have expressed interest in amending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," (DADT) a legislation that requires those of homosexual orientation in the military to keep quiet about their orientation in order to maintain "morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion." At least two bills that would repeal the law and replace it with a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation - H.R. 1283 and S. 3065 - have been introduced in the 111th Congress. This report provides a legal analysis of the various constitutional challenges that have been brought against DADT; for a policy analysis, see CRS Report R40782, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell": Military Policy and the Law on
Date: September 30, 2010
Creator: Feder, Jody
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Managing Electronic Waste: Issues with Exporting E-Waste

Description: Electronic waste (e-waste) is a term that is used loosely to refer to obsolete, broken, or irreparable electronic devices like televisions, computer central processing units (CPUs), and computer monitors. There are various issues of concern with regard to e-waste disposal and recycling. This report looks at issues specifically related to its export for recycling. Particularly, it discusses documented impacts to human health and the environment that have been tied to unsafe recycling practices in developing countries, as well as issues that have motivated certain stakeholders to divert e-waste from landfill disposal and, hence, increase recycling. It also provides an overview of various factors necessary to understand why e-waste disposal has become a concern in the United States, and it also discusses waste management requirements in the United States.
Date: September 27, 2010
Creator: Luther, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy SSBN(X) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the Navy's plan to develop and design a class of 12 next-generation ballistic missile submarines, or SSBN(X)s, as replacements for the 14 Ohio class SSBNs currently in operation. The report explores certain related issues for Congress, including the affordability of the project and its potential impact on other Navy shipbuilding programs, alternatives to the program, and which shipyard or shipyards will build the proposed ships.
Date: September 24, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
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: September 30, 2010
Creator: Panangala, Sidath Viranga
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Army Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects: Authorization and Appropriations

Description: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers attracts congressional attention because its projects can have significant local and regional economic benefits and environmental effects, in addition to their water resource development purposes. This report provides an overview of the Corps civil works program. It covers the congressional authorization and appropriation process, the standard project development process, and other Corps activities and authorities. It also includes an Appendix on the evolution of Corps civil works missions and authorities and a description of the limits on the Corps' role in levee accreditation and improvements for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Date: September 29, 2010
Creator: Carter, Nicole T. & Stern, Charles V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Argentina's Defaulted Sovereign Debt: Dealing with the "Holdouts"

Description: In December 2001, following an extended period of economic and political instability, Argentina suffered a severe financial crisis, leading to the largest default on sovereign debt in history. This report discusses efforts Argentina has made over the past decade, since that financial crisis, to restructure its debt. The report also includes discussion of the Argentine 2010 Bond Exchange and an outlook of Argentina's economic future.
Date: September 24, 2010
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.
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

Landsat and the Data Continuity Mission

Description: This report discusses the U.S. Landsat Mission, which has collected remotely sensed imagery of the Earth's surface for more than 35 years. The two satellites currently in orbit are operating beyond their designed life and may fail at any time. Most Landsat data is used by federal agencies. Efforts to commercialize Landsat operations have not been successful. This report discusses issues facing Congress regarding funding for new Landsat satellites.
Date: September 17, 2010
Creator: Behrens, Carl E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Periods of War

Description: Many wars or conflicts in U.S. history have federally designated "periods of war," dates marking their beginning and ending. This report lists the beginning and ending dates for "periods of war" found in Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It also lists and differentiates other beginning dates given in declarations of war, as well as termination of hostilities dates and armistice and ending dates given in proclamations, laws, or treaties.
Date: September 14, 2010
Creator: Torreon, Barbara Salazar
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Saving Rates in the United States: Calculation and Comparison

Description: The amount of money saved has important economic consequences. Nationally, the amount of saving affects how much can be invested and ultimately the size of the capital stock. This report explains how national saving is measured, presents recent estimates of saving rates in the United States, and, for comparison, provides those of other major industrial countries.
Date: September 14, 2010
Creator: Elwell, Craig K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices

Description: This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the changing oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit.
Date: September 14, 2010
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cluster Munitions: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: Cluster munitions are air-dropped or ground-launched weapons that release a number of smaller submunitions intended to kill enemy personnel or destroy vehicles. This report discusses the two major international initiatives that address cluster munitions: the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) and negotiations under the UN Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). Currently, the Obama Administration has reiterated U.S. opposition to the CCM, which entered into force August 1, 2010, but is participating in negotiations regarding cluster munitions under the CCW. This report also provides a brief historical overview of cluster munitions.
Date: September 16, 2010
Creator: Feickert, Andrew & Kerr, Paul K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Marines' Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV): Background and Issues for Congress

Description: The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) is an armored amphibious vehicle program that originated two decades ago to replace the 1970s-era Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV). The EFV has experienced a variety of developmental difficulties, resulting in significant program delays and cost growth. While the Marine Corps and Department of Defense remain optimistic about the future of the EFC program, there continue to be major concerns about the EFV's reliability and escalating costs.
Date: September 17, 2010
Creator: Feickert, Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses the current political state of Iran, focusing particularly on the influence of the Taliban and other militant groups and on the leadership of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. This report also discusses the U.S.-Iran relationship and U.S. efforts under the Obama Administration to provide military, reconstructive, and stabilization aid.
Date: September 17, 2010
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department