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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2004
 Month: February
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress

Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress

Date: February 17, 2004
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D
Description: This issue brief discusses the increasing attention being paid to alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles, the proponents of which point to their potential to improve urban air quality, decrease dependence on foreign oil, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The brief also discusses the major barriers currently preventing widespread use of such technologies, and discusses these technologies in the particular contexts of the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes and the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Aviation Security: Issues Before Congress Since September 11, 2001

Aviation Security: Issues Before Congress Since September 11, 2001

Date: February 6, 2004
Creator: Elias, Bartholomew
Description: The events of September 11, 2001 heightened concerns regarding aviation security in the United States. The ensuing debate in Congress focused on the degree of federal involvement needed to improve aviation security and restore public confidence in air travel. The Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA, P.L. 107-71, 115 Stat. 597) established the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and contained provisions establishing a federal screener workforce and requiring screening of checked baggage using explosive detection systems. In November 2004, airports will be eligible to opt out of the federal security screening program and a provision of P.L. 107-296 preserving TSA in its present form will expire allowing DHS to restructure the TSA if it so chooses, although no such plan has been revealed to date. During the second session of the 108th Congress, oversight of TSA’s plans for implementing the security screening opt-out program will likely be of considerable interest as will any plans to restructure the TSA.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Balancing Scientific Publication and National Security Concerns: Issues for Congress

Balancing Scientific Publication and National Security Concerns: Issues for Congress

Date: February 2, 2004
Creator: Shea, Dana A
Description: There is a lack of consensus regarding the best method of balancing scientific publishing and national security. The current federal policy, as described in National Security Decision Directive 189, is that fundamental research should remain unrestricted and that in the rare case where it is necessary to restrict such information, classification is the appropriate vehicle to do so. Other mechanisms restrict international information flow, where Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) control export of items and technical information on specific lists. Both EAR and ITAR contain a fundamental research exclusion, but this exclusion is lost if prepublication review of research results for sensitive information occurs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Budget Reconciliation Process: The Senate's "Byrd" Rule

The Budget Reconciliation Process: The Senate's "Byrd" Rule

Date: February 19, 2004
Creator: Keith, Robert
Description: Reconciliation is a procedure under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 by which Congress implements budget resolution policies affecting mainly permanent spending and revenue programs. The principal focus in the reconciliation process has been deficit reduction, but in recent years reconciliation has encompassed revenue reduction generally and spending increases in selected program areas. The Byrd rule provides six definitions of what constitutes extraneous matter for purposes of the rule (and several exceptions thereto), but the term is generally described as covering provisions unrelated to achieving the goals of the reconciliation instructions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Bundling Residential Telephone, Internet, and Video Services: Issues for Congress

Bundling Residential Telephone, Internet, and Video Services: Issues for Congress

Date: February 17, 2004
Creator: Goldfarb, Charles B
Description: This report discusses bundling and public policy issues for Congress. The federal Universal Service Fund - the federal subsidy program that assures affordable telephone rates for high-cost (rural) and low-income telephone customers as well as for schools, libraries, and rural health facilities - is supported by an assessment on interstate telecommunications revenues only. But it is difficult to identify the portion of revenues generated by a bundled service offering attributable to the interstate telecommunications portion of that bundle.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Date: February 4, 2004
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Prior to enactment of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), P.L. 107-155, the term “soft money” generally referred to unregulated funds, perceived as resulting from loopholes in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), 2 U.S.C. §§ 431 et seq. Generally, the intent of BCRA, (effective Nov. 6, 2002), which amends FECA, is to restrict the raising and spending of soft money. This Issue Brief discusses constitutional and legal issues surrounding two major types of soft money that BCRA regulates: political party soft money and soft money used for issue advocacy communications. Corporate and labor union soft money, which FECA exempts from regulation and is not addressed by BCRA, is also discussed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congressional Budget Resolutions: Selected Statistics and Information Guide

Congressional Budget Resolutions: Selected Statistics and Information Guide

Date: February 9, 2004
Creator: Heniff, Bill, Jr
Description: This report provides current and historical information on the budget resolution. It provides a list of the budget resolutions adopted and rejected by Congress since implementation of the CBA, including the U.S. Statutes-at-Large citations and committee report numbers, and describes their formulation and content. The report provides a table of selected optional components, a list of reconciliation measures, and information on the number of years covered by budget resolutions. It also provides information on the consideration and adoption of budget resolutions, including an identification of the House special rules that provided for consideration of budget resolutions; the amendments in the nature of a substitute to the budget resolution considered in the House; the number and disposition of House and Senate amendments to budget resolutions; and dates of House and Senate action on budget resolutions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Conservation Security Program in the 2002 Farm Bill

The Conservation Security Program in the 2002 Farm Bill

Date: February 17, 2004
Creator: Johnson, Barbara
Description: The Conservation Security Program (CSP), a new program enacted in section 2001 of the 2002 farm bill (P.L. 107-171) and administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, creates a three-tiered system rewarding increased levels of conservation on agricultural operations with increased payments. Payments include a base payment for acreage enrolled, a payment for new or existing conservation practices, and an “enhancement” payment for conservation exceeding minimum program standards.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Country Applicability of the U.S. Normal Trade Relations (Most-Favored-Nation) Status

Country Applicability of the U.S. Normal Trade Relations (Most-Favored-Nation) Status

Date: February 23, 2004
Creator: Pregelj, Vladimir N
Description: The United States accords permanent normal-trade-relations (NTR) (formerly called most-favored-nation (MFN)) treatment to all its trading partners except six countries to which it is denied by law and 11 countries whose NTR status is temporary and subject to the conditions of Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Current Economic Conditions and Selected Forecasts

Current Economic Conditions and Selected Forecasts

Date: February 17, 2004
Creator: Makinen, Gail
Description: This report begins with a comprehensive presentation of current economic conditions focusing on income growth, unemployment, and inflation. The posture of monetary and fiscal policy is surveyed as are the forecasts of economic activity. It concludes with data on the factors important for economic growth.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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