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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2004
 Month: January
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Advanced Vehicle Technologies: Energy, Environment, and Development Issues

Advanced Vehicle Technologies: Energy, Environment, and Development Issues

Date: January 28, 2004
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Description: This report discusses three major vehicle technologies — electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles — as well as advanced component technologies. Each technology is discussed in terms of cost, fueling and maintenance infrastructure, and performance. The report also discusses key legislation in the 108th Congress, as well as federal, state, and local activity relevant to these technologies. This report will be updated as events warrant.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Affirmative Action Revisited: A Legal History and Prospectus

Affirmative Action Revisited: A Legal History and Prospectus

Date: January 30, 2004
Creator: Dale, Charles V.
Description: Affirmative action remains a focal point of public debate as the result of legal and political developments at the federal, state, and local levels. This report discusses legislation related to affirmative action, as well as legal rulings on the topic and the federal government's role in first establishing and, later, attempting to curb affirmative action policies.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The African Cotton Initiative and WTO Agriculture Negotiations

The African Cotton Initiative and WTO Agriculture Negotiations

Date: January 16, 2004
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.
Description: This report discusses the African cotton initiative, over which disagreement has blocked progress on an agreement on agriculture in the current round of multilateral trade negotiations known as the Doha Development Agenda (DDA). In World Trade Organization (WTO) Negotiations on agriculture, a group of African countries have proposed that all subsidies for cotton be eliminated by the end of four years. The proposal also advocates compensating African cotton producing countries for revenues estimated to be lost due to cotton subsidies.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Arming Pilots Against Terrorism: Implementation Issues for the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program

Arming Pilots Against Terrorism: Implementation Issues for the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program

Date: January 9, 2004
Creator: Elias, Bartholomew
Description: The report discusses the issues regarding the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135), which contains provisions to arm pilots of passenger aircraft and gives deputized pilots the authority to use force, including lethal force, to defend the flight deck against criminal and terrorist threats. The report includes the legislative Background, implementation issues, equipment, training, operational procedures and costs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Bankruptcy Reform in the 108th Congress

Bankruptcy Reform in the 108th Congress

Date: January 29, 2004
Creator: Welborn, Angie A
Description: On March 19, 2003, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 975, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2003. H.R. 975, as introduced, was substantially similar to the legislation (H.R. 333) approved by both the House and the Senate during the 107th Congress, but omitted the Schumer Amendment which would have prevented the discharge of liability for willful violation of protective orders and violent protests against providers of “lawful services,” including reproductive health services. As passed by the House, H.R. 975 was amended to add sections to, among other things, increase the cap on wage and employee benefit claims. The Senate did not consider H.R. 975 during the first session of the 108th Congress. This report provides an overview of selected major provisions of the legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002: Summary and Comparison with Previous Law

Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002: Summary and Comparison with Previous Law

Date: January 9, 2004
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E & Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 was enacted on March 27, 2002 as P.L. 107-155. It passed the House on February 14, 2002, as H.R. 2356 (Shays- Meehan), by a 240-189 vote. Its companion measure, on which it was largely based, had initially been passed by the Senate in 2001 as S. 27 (McCain-Feingold). On March 20, 2002, however, the Senate approved the House-passed H.R. 2356 by a 60- 40 vote, thus avoiding a conference to reconcile differences between S. 27 and H.R. 2356. The two primary features of P.L. 107-155 are restrictions on party soft money and issue advocacy.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Border Security and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Border Security and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Date: January 2, 2004
Creator: Blazakis, Jason
Description: The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to improve border security is a technique that has garnered congressional attention. This report examines the strengths and limitations of deploying UAVs along the borders and related issues for Congress. This report is not intended to provide in-depth information regarding technical or military capabilities of UAVs, but to discuss their application at the border.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Brief Facts About Congressional Pensions

Brief Facts About Congressional Pensions

Date: January 13, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Description: This report contains a table that lists the number of retired Members of Congress and the average amount of congressional pension they receive in retirement.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Broadband Internet Access: Background and Issues

Broadband Internet Access: Background and Issues

Date: January 21, 2004
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A & Kruger, Lennard G
Description: From a public policy perspective, the goals are to ensure that broadband deployment is timely, that industry competes fairly, and that service is provided to all sectors and geographical locations of American society. The federal government -- through Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) -- is seeking to ensure fair competition among the players so that broadband will be available and affordable in a timely manner to all Americans who want it. While the FCC's position is not to intervene at this time, some assert that legislation is necessary to ensure fair competition and timely broadband deployment. One proposal would ease certain legal restrictions and requirements, imposed by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, on incumbent telephone companies who provide high speed data (broadband) access. Another proposal would compel cable companies to provide "open access" to competing Internet service providers.
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: January 22, 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
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