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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2004
 Month: November
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
9/11 Commission Recommendations: The Senate Confirmation Process for Presidential Nominees

9/11 Commission Recommendations: The Senate Confirmation Process for Presidential Nominees

Date: November 22, 2004
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Description: On July 22, 2004, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, known as the 9/11 Commission, issued its final report, detailing the events up to and including the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks upon the United States. The 9/11 Commission recommended that the Senate adopt rules requiring hearings and votes to confirm or reject national security nominees within 30 days of their submission at the start of each new presidential administration. Implementing the commission's proposal would involve imposing new restrictions on both the power of committee chairs to control the agenda of their committees and the rights of Senators to delay or block nominations through holds and extended debate. This report discusses in detail this proposal, how it could be implemented, and the potential effects of its implementation.
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Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: November 2, 2004
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Description: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the non-insured assistance program and emergency disaster loans. In recent years, Congress frequently has made supplemental financial assistance available to farmers and ranchers on an ad-hoc basis, most notably in the form of direct crop disaster payments and emergency livestock assistance. Congress provided an estimated $3.1 billion of such assistance in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-7) for 2001 and 2002 crop and livestock losses. Some farm groups would like to see similar assistance provided for 2003 losses, particularly in regions of the Midwest and West that have experienced prolonged drought conditions. To date, no ad-hoc assistance has been made available for 2003 losses.
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Authorization and Appropriations for FY2005: Defense

Authorization and Appropriations for FY2005: Defense

Date: November 9, 2004
Creator: Daggett, Stephen & Belasco, Amy
Description: This report is a guide to one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress passes each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Energy and Water. It summarizes the current legislative status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related legislative activity. The report lists the key CRS staff relevant to the issues covered and related CRS products.
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Border and Transportation Security: Appropriations for FY2005

Border and Transportation Security: Appropriations for FY2005

Date: November 5, 2004
Creator: Lake, Jennifer E & Nuñez-Neto, Blas
Description: This report is a guide to a subset of one of the 13 regular appropriation bills that Congress passes each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Homeland Security; and to supplement the information provided in the CRS Department of Homeland Security Appropriations report. This report summarizes the current legislative status of the bill, major issues, funding levels, and legislative activity related to border and transportation security and will be updated as events warrant.
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The Bush Administration's Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART)

The Bush Administration's Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART)

Date: November 5, 2004
Creator: Brass, Clinton T
Description: This report discusses how the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) is structured, how it has been used, and how various commentators have assessed its design and implementation. The report concludes with a discussion of potential criteria for assessing the PART or other program evaluations, which Congress might consider during the budget process, in oversight of federal agencies and programs, and in consideration of legislation that relates to the PART or program evaluation generally.
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Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Date: November 3, 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.
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Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests

Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests

Date: November 12, 2004
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Description: This report provides an overview of U.S. policy concerns and relations with countries in central Asia. The report discusses issues such as Fostering Pro-Western Orientations, Obstacles to Peace and Independence, Democratization and Human Rights, Security and Arms Control, Trade and Investment, and provides an Aid Overview.
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China-U.S. Trade Issues

China-U.S. Trade Issues

Date: November 3, 2004
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M
Description: U.S.-China economic ties have expanded substantially over the past several years. China is now the third largest U.S. trading partner, its second largest source of imports, and its fourth largest export market. However, U.S.-China commercial ties have been strained by a number of issues, including a surging U.S. trade deficit with China, China's refusal to float its currency, and failure to fully comply with its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments, especially its failure to provide protection for U.S. intellectual property rights (IPR). This report explores these issues in detail, especially concerning the lack of protection for U.S. IPR.
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China's Trade with the United States and the World

China's Trade with the United States and the World

Date: November 19, 2004
Creator: Lum, Thomas & Nanto, Dick K
Description: This report provides a quantitative framework for policy considerations dealing with U.S. trade with China. It provides basic data and analysis of China’s international trade with the United States and other countries. Since Chinese data differ considerably from those of its trading partners (because of how entrepot trade through Hong Kong is counted), data from both PRC sources and those of its trading partners are presented. Charts showing import trends by sector for the United States highlight China’s growing market shares in many industries and also show import shares for Japan, Canada, Mexico, the European Union, and the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN ).
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Commemorative Observances: A Chronological List

Commemorative Observances: A Chronological List

Date: November 17, 2004
Creator: Fischer, Hannah
Description: Historically, national commemorative observances were recommended by Congress through the legislative process. This practice was discontinued by the House of Representatives in January 1995, although the Senate continues to issue sense of the Senate resolutions recommending the establishment of commemoratives. It has now become standard practice for special observances to be designated by a proclamation issued by the President. This report is a chronological list of these proclamations for 1997 and 1998, indicating the proclamation number and its Federal Register citation
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