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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2000
 Month: December
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Agricultural Marketing Assistance Loans and Loan Deficiency Payments

Agricultural Marketing Assistance Loans and Loan Deficiency Payments

Date: December 13, 2000
Creator: Womach, Jasper
Description: Marketing assistance loans for the major crops were designed to facilitate orderly marketing by providing short-term financing so that farmers could pay their bills right after harvest and spread their sales over the entire marketing year. However, the persistence of very low commodity prices transformed the loan program into a major vehicle of farm income support. Marketing loan program benefits (primarily loan deficiency payments, LDPs) to farmers amounted to about $5.9 billion in 1999, and will exceed $6.5 billion in 2000. Such levels of use and high costs have revealed several administrative problems and given rise to several policy issues. Some policy makers have favored broadening the scope and enhancing the benefits of the program to achieve greater farm income support. Anticipated adverse market impacts have discouraged adoption of these proposals to date. A persistent policy issue is the payment limitation on marketing loan gains.
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Agricultural Trade in the 106th Congress: A Review of Issues

Agricultural Trade in the 106th Congress: A Review of Issues

Date: December 29, 2000
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.; Hanrahan, Charles E. & Jurenas, Remy
Description: The 106th Congress considered a number of trade policy developments against a backdrop of weak foreign demand and large world supplies of agricultural commodities. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that the value of U.S. agricultural exports fell between FY1996 (a record year) and FY1999 by almost $11 billion, to $49.2 billion. Agricultural exports did climb back to $50.9 billion in FY2000, and are now projected at $53 billion in FY2001. However, the pace of recovery concerned many agricultural groups and their supporters in Congress. Although they recognize that many world economic, farm production, political, and weather factors influence exports, many of these groups believe that the agricultural sector's future prosperity also depends upon such U.S. trade policies as: 1) encouraging China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), with its binding rules and responsibilities; 2) exempting agricultural exports from U.S. unilateral economic sanctions; 3) fully using export and food aid programs; and 4) aggressively battling foreign-imposed barriers to the movement of U.S. farm products. A few U.S. farm groups are wary of such approaches.
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Agriculture and the 106th Congress: A Summary of Major Issues

Agriculture and the 106th Congress: A Summary of Major Issues

Date: December 15, 2000
Creator: Jones, Jean Yavis
Description: Most congressional interest in agriculture in the 106th Congress was focused on persistent low prices for major commodities and proposals to redress declining farm income. Six emergency farm aid bills were approved, increasing agricultural spending by nearly $27 billion for fiscal years 1999-2001. These bills provided disaster relief along with short term “market loss payments”to farmers to shore up farm income. Some longer term changes also were enacted as part of emergency farm legislation, which this report discusses in brief.
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Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR): The U-2 Aircraft and Global Hawk UAV Programs

Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR): The U-2 Aircraft and Global Hawk UAV Programs

Date: December 1, 2000
Creator: Best Jr., Richard A & Bolkcom, Christopher
Description: Among airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconaissance (ISR) platforms, the U-2 Dragon Lady and the RQ-4A Global Hawk are especially valuable. This report discusses how best to use existing and planned manned and unmanned ISR aircraft to most effectively satisfy the Department of Defense's (Dod) requirements for timely and accurate information on enemy forces.
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Alternative Transportation Fuels and Vehicles: Energy, Environment, and Development Issues

Alternative Transportation Fuels and Vehicles: Energy, Environment, and Development Issues

Date: December 5, 2000
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D
Description: This report reviews several issues relating to alternative fuels and vehicles, mainly to combat dependence on petroleum imports and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The report discusses the advantages and drawbacks of various alternative fuels and vehicles, as well as related legislation.
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Asset Distribution of Taxable Estates: An Analysis

Asset Distribution of Taxable Estates: An Analysis

Date: December 7, 2000
Creator: Maguire, Steven
Description: This report provides data on the distribution of assets in taxable estates that filed returns in 1998. The report also offers a brief overview of the estate and gift tax and "The Death Tax Elimination Act of 2000," which was passed in the 106th Congress and vetoed. This report finds that farm and business assets represent a small share of the total value of taxable estate tax returns filed in 1998. For an overview of estate tax, see CRS Report RL30600, Estate and Gift Taxes: Economic Issues, by Jane G. Gravelle and Steven Maguire. This report will be updated as new data becomes available.
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Budget FY2001: A Chronology with Internet Access

Budget FY2001: A Chronology with Internet Access

Date: December 27, 2000
Creator: Thomas, Pearl
Description: This is a select chronology of, and a finding guide for information on, congressional and presidential actions and documents related to major budget events in calendar year 2000, covering the FY2001 budget. Brief information is provided for the President’s budget, congressional budget resolutions, appropriations measures (regular, continuing, supplementals, and rescissions), budget reconciliation, House and Senate votes, line-item vetoes, publications, testimony, charts, and tables.
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Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Date: December 11, 2000
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: As in the 105th Congress, many of the 106th Congress bills focus on political party soft money--subjecting contributions, expenditures, or transfers of national political parties to the limitations, prohibitions and reporting requirements of the FECA. Other bills would restrict corporate and labor union soft money. Another major reform proposal would subject certain types of advocacy communications to FECA regulation, either fully or just insofar as disclosure requirements.
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China: Suspected Acquisition of U.S. Nuclear Weapon Secrets

China: Suspected Acquisition of U.S. Nuclear Weapon Secrets

Date: December 20, 2000
Creator: Kan, Shirley A
Description: This CRS Report discusses China’s suspected acquisition of U.S. nuclear weapon secrets, including that on the W88, the newest U.S. nuclear warhead, since the late 1970s. This current controversy, began in early 1999, raises policy issues about whether U.S. security is further threatened by the PRC’s suspected use of U.S. nuclear weapon secrets in its development of nuclear forces, as well as whether the Administration’s response to the security problems is effective or mishandled and whether it fairly used or abused its investigative and prosecuting authority.
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Clean Air Standards: The Supreme Court Agrees to Review

Clean Air Standards: The Supreme Court Agrees to Review

Date: December 5, 2000
Creator: Meltz, Robert & McCarthy, James E
Description: In May, 2000, the Supreme Court agreed to review this decision, raising the prospect of a major pronouncement on the non-delegation doctrine, the enforceability of the revised ozone standard, and the role of compliance costs in setting nationwide air quality standards.
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