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Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

Description: The detainee provisions passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 affirm that the Authorization for Use of Military Force in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, authorizes the detention of persons captured in connection with hostilities. This report provides a background to the legal issues presented, followed by a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals. An overview of U.S. practice du… more
Date: April 11, 2012
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Burma's April Parliamentary By-Elections

Description: The Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Burma) is scheduled to hold parliamentary by-elections on April 1, 2012. Depending on the conduct of the election and the official election results, the Obama Administration may seek to alter policy towards Burma, possibly including the waiver or removal of some current sanctions. Such a shift may require congressional action, or may be done using executive authority granted by existing laws. Under current law, President Barack Obama has the authority to … more
Date: March 28, 2012
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Israel: Possible Military Strike Against Iran's Nuclear Facilities

Description: Several published reports indicate that top Israeli decision makers now are seriously considering whether to order a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, and if so, when. This report analyzes key factors that may influence current Israeli political decisions relating to a possible strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. For Congress, the potential impact-short- and long-term-of an Israeli decision regarding Iran and its implementation is a critical issue of concern. By all accounts, such… more
Date: March 27, 2012
Creator: Zanotti, Jim; Katzman, Kenneth; Gertler, Jeremiah & Hildreth, Steven A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Legislative Options for Financing Water Infrastructure

Description: This report addresses several options being considered by Congress to address the financing needs of local communities for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects and to decrease or close the gap between available funds and projected needs. Six options that are reflected in current or recent legislative proposals, including budgetary implications, are discussed.
Date: April 3, 2012
Creator: Copeland, Claudia; Mallett, William J. & Maguire, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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The Dominican Republic-Central America- United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTADR): Developments in Trade and Investment

Description: On August 5, 2004, the United States entered into the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). This permanent, comprehensive, and reciprocal trade agreement eliminates tariff and non-tariff barriers to two-way trade, building on unilateral trade preferences begun under the 1983 Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI). CAFTA-DR reinforces the idea that growth in trade correlates closely with policies that promote economic stability, private investment in product… more
Date: April 9, 2012
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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The Berry Amendment: Requiring Defense Procurement to Come from Domestic Sources

Description: This report examines the original intent and purpose of the Berry Amendment and legislative proposals to amend the application of domestic source restrictions, as well as potential options for Congress.
Date: January 13, 2012
Creator: Grasso, Valerie Bailey
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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The Berry Amendment: Requiring Defense Procurement to Come from Domestic Sources

Description: This report examines the original intent and purpose of the Berry Amendment and legislative proposals to amend the application of domestic source restrictions, as well as potential options for Congress.
Date: March 22, 2012
Creator: Grasso, Valerie Bailey
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases

Description: This report discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase, an historical overview of debt limits, and how the current economic slowdown has led to higher deficits and thereby a series of debt limit increases, as well as legislation related to these increases.
Date: January 6, 2012
Creator: Austin, D. Andrew & Levit, Mindy R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses

Description: The issue of Iran and its nuclear program has emerged as a top priority for the Obama Administration. The United States also sees a threat to U.S. interests posed by Iran's support for militant groups in the Middle East and in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tensions have been particularly elevated since Iran's late-December 2011 threat to try to choke off much of the world's oil supplies -a reaction to the imposition of significant sanctions against Iran's vital exports of oil. The heightened tensions f… more
Date: March 23, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions

Description: Four major principles underlie current U.S. policy on permanent immigration: the reunification of families, the admission of immigrants with needed skills, the protection of refugees, and the diversity of admissions by country of origin. Against competing priorities for increased immigration are those who offer options to scale back immigration levels, with options ranging from limiting family-based legal permanent residents to the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to confining employment-… more
Date: March 13, 2012
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues

Description: As Congress considers addressing some of the problems in the nation's immigration system, the detention of noncitizens in the United States may be an issue as Congress may choose to reevaluate detention priorities (i.e., who should be detained) and resources. There are many policy issues surrounding detention of aliens. The Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) increased the number of aliens subject to mandatory detention, and raised concerns about the justn… more
Date: January 12, 2012
Creator: Siskin, Alison
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and oversight issues for Congress on the Virginia class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) program. The two Virginia-class boats requested for procurement in FY2013 are the final two in a group of eight covered by a multiyear procurement (MYP) arrangement for the period FY2009-FY2013. Issues for Congress include whether or not to approve the MYP arrangement request, whether to restore procurement of a second Virginia-class boat in FY2014, and the … more
Date: April 2, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Congressional Oversight of Intelligence: Current Structure and Alternatives

Description: This report, to be updated as events dictate, describes the current select committees on intelligence; characteristics and a model for a possible joint committee; recent actions by Congress; and obstacles affecting legislative oversight in the field.
Date: March 26, 2012
Creator: Halchin, L. Elaine & Kaiser, Frederick M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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The Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and Its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape

Description: The report discusses the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-Related Congressional Actions in the 112th Congress. The policymakers, including some in Congress, have long called for varying degrees and types of reform to the FCC. Most proposals fall into two categories: (1) procedural changes made within the FCC or through congressional action that would affect the agency's operations or (2) substantive policy changes requiring congressional action that would affect how the agency regulates … more
Date: January 12, 2012
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: The planned size of the Navy, the rate of Navy ship procurement, and the prospective affordability of the Navy's shipbuilding plans have been matters of concern for the congressional defense committees for the past several years. The Navy's proposed FY2012 budget requested funding for the procurement of 10 new battle force ships. Issues for Congress include the appropriate future size and structure of the Navy in light of changes in strategic and budget circumstances, the sufficiency of the Nav… more
Date: January 6, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Peacekeeping/Stabilization and Conflict Transitions: Background and Congressional Action on the Civilian Response/Reserve Corps and other Civilian Stabilization and Reconstruction Capabilities

Description: This report provides background on the establishment of S/CRS, its functions, and its operations, as well as on the CRC. The report tracks S/CRS budget requests and congressional actions. It discusses four issues raised during the S/CRS years that may still be relevant for the CSO Bureau: S/CRS's effectiveness, the appropriate size for the CRC, flexible funding for stabilization operations, and funding for a reserve component.
Date: January 12, 2012
Creator: Serafino, Nina M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests

Description: U.S. policy toward the Central Asian states has aimed at facilitating their cooperation with U.S. and NATO stabilization efforts in Afghanistan and their efforts to combat terrorism, proliferation, and trafficking in arms, drugs, and persons. Other U.S. objectives have included promoting free markets, democratization, human rights, energy development, and the forging of East-West and Central Asia-South Asia trade links. Such policies aim to help the states become what various U.S. administratio… more
Date: January 3, 2012
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses the current political and economic situation in Ukraine. It also discusses Ukraine's foreign policy, especially in respect to NATO, European Union, and Russia. The Ukraine's energy issues are also briefly deliberated in this report.
Date: January 4, 2012
Creator: Woehrel, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy

Description: There is ongoing interest in the pace of U.S. technological advancement due to its influence on U.S. economic growth, productivity, and international competitiveness. Because technology can contribute to economic growth and productivity increases, congressional attention has focused on how to augment private-sector technological development. This report covers legislative activity in the past and present on this topic. It also looks at the future of Congressional action towards mandated speci… more
Date: March 13, 2012
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities

Description: The federal government has long played a key role in the country's information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) activities. The government's support of IT R&D began because it had an important interest in creating computers and software that would be capable of addressing the problems and issues the government needed to solve and study.
Date: January 13, 2012
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities

Description: In the early 1990s, Congress recognized that several federal agencies had ongoing high performance computing programs, but no central coordinating body existed to ensure long-term coordination and planning. To provide such a framework, Congress passed the High-Performance Computing and Communications Program Act of 1991 to enhance the effectiveness of the various programs. In conjunction with the passage of the act, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released Grand Challeng… more
Date: March 27, 2012
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Oil Spills in U.S. Coastal Waters: Background and Governance

Description: This report provides background information regarding oil spills in U.S. coastal waters and identifies the legal authorities governing oil spill prevention, response, and cleanup. Based on data between 1973 and 2009, the annual number and volume of oil spills have shown declines- in some cases, dramatic declines.
Date: January 11, 2012
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Description: This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages. The Navy's proposed FY2013 budget requests funding for the procurement of four LCSs. Current issues for Congress concerning the LCS program include the program's mission modules, the combat survivability of the LCS, hull cracking and engine problems on LCS-1, and corrosion on LCS-… more
Date: April 6, 2012
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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U.S. Trade Remedy Laws and Nonmarket Economies: A Legal Overview

Description: Two major U.S. trade remedies are antidumping (AD) law, which combats the sale of imported products at less than their fair market value, and countervailing duty (CVD) law, which aims to offset foreign government subsidization of imported goods. This report discusses these two law's impact on U.S. foreign relations.
Date: March 9, 2012
Creator: Grimmett, Jeanne J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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