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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Alleged Fraud, Waste and, and Abuse: General Dynamics Corp.
Numerous Federal agencies -- including the Justice Department and Congressional committees -- are investigating allegations of fraud at the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation, the nation's third largest defense contractor. This issue brief provides a chronological summary, based on newspaper and magazine accounts, of each of these investigations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9051/
Polygraph Testing of Employees In Private Industry
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Obscenity: A Legal Primer
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Arms Shipments to Iran
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Terrorism: U.S. Policy Options
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Polygraph Testing: Employee and Employer Rights
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Federal Gun Control Laws: The Second Amendment and Other Constitutional Issues
This report examines the historical, legal, and constitutional arguments for and against an individual right to bear firearms under the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Those who favor federal gun control laws tend to assert that the Second Amendment has been correctly interpreted by the courts to confer only a collective right, which may be exercised through state militias. Those who oppose gun control laws tend to assert that the Second Amendment should be interpreted to grant an individual right to bear arms for lawful purposes, subject to appropriately minimal restrictions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26076/
The Brady Handgun Control Act: Constitutional Issues
The Brady Handgun Control Act established a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases, during which local law enforcement can make reasonable efforts to conduct background checks in available records and block and sales to convicted felons and other disqualified persons. This report reviews the background of federal gun control legislation, analyzes the conflict in the courts over the constitutionality under the Tenth Amendment of the duties placed on local law enforcement, and considers the implications of the decisions for Brady Act enforcement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26060/
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996: A Summary
The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 is the product of legislative efforts stretching back well over a decade and stimulated to passage in part by the tragedies in Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center. This report summarizes the six titles of the Act, its sources, and related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs309/
Drug Control: International Policy and Options
Over the past decade, worldwide production of illicit drugs has risen dramatically: opium and marijuana production has roughly doubled and coca production tripled. Street prices of cocaine and heroin have fallen significantly in the past 20 years, reflecting increased availability. Despite apparent national political resolve to deal with the drug problem, inherent contradictions regularly appear between U.S. anti-drug policy and other national policy goals and concerns. The mix of competing domestic and international pressures and priorities has produced an ongoing series of disputes within and between the legislative and executive branches concerning U.S. international drug policy. One contentious issue has been the Congressionally-mandated certification process, an instrument designed to induce specified drug-exporting countries to prioritize or pay more attention to the fight against narcotics businesses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs420/
Clean Water Act and TMDLs
Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. For those waters, states must establish a total maximum daily load (TMDL) of pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained. Implementation of this provision has been dormant until recently, when states and EPA were prodded by numerous lawsuits. The TMDL issue has become controversial, in part because of requirements and costs now facing states to implement a 25-year-old provision of the law. Congressional activity to reauthorize the Act, a possibility in the 2nd Session of the 105th Congress, could include TMDL issues, but the direction for any such action is unclear at this time. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs417/
Highway Fund Sanctions for Clean Air Act Violations
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Terrorism, the Media, and the Government: Perspectives, Trends, and Options for Policymakers
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Juvenile Justice Act Reauthorization: The Current Debate
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Mexico's Counter-Narcotics Efforts Under Zedillo, December 1994 to March 1998
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Independent Counsel Provisions: An Overview of the Operation of the Law
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Violent and Abusive Behavior in Youth: A Public Health Problem
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Juveniles in the Adult Criminal Justice System: An Overview
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Air Quality: EPA's Proposed Ozone Transport Rule, OTAG, and Section 216 Petitions - A Hazy Situation?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently engaged in a series of regulatory actions to address the transport of ozone pollution in the eastern United States. This report reviews this situation with respect to an EPA-proposed Ozone Transport Rule and other activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs601/
Crime Control Assistance Through the Byrne Programs
The statute provides that states receive and distribute block grant funds and that the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) of the U.S. Department of Justice awards discretionary grants for specified activities. Allocated largely on the basis of population, block grant funds are used for personnel, equipment, training, technical assistance, and information systems to improve criminal justice systems. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs534/
Environmental Protection: Defense-Related Programs
The Department of Defense (DOD) operates six environmental programs that address cleanup of past contamination at military facilities, compliance with environmental laws and regulations that apply to current activities, cleanup at military bases being closed, pollution prevention, natural resource conservation, and environmental technology. In addition, the Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for managing defense nuclear waste generated from the past production of atomic materials used to construct nuclear weapons and for remediating contaminated sites. For FY1999, the Administration has requested a total of $10. 14 billion for DOD and DOE's defense-related environmental activities, which represents about 3.7% of the total request of $271.6 billion for national defense and is roughly 1.6% below the FY1998 funding level of $l0.30 billion. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs615/
Terrorism: U.S. Response to Bombings in Kenya and Tanzania: A New Policy Direction?
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Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
This report gives an overview of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, which was intended to prohibit bribery of foreign officials by American corporations. It includes information about the original legislation, amendments in 1988, and amendments in 1998 that brought the legislation into conformance with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's agreement on bribery. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1001/
The D.C. Circuit Remands the Ozone and Particulate Matter Clean-Air Standards:
On May 14, 1999, in American Trucking Ass'ns v. EPA, a U.S. court of Appeals ruled that deficiencies in EPA's promulgation of new primary and secondary air quality standards required that they be remanded to the agency for further consideration. The decision is controversial, in part because the two-judge majority opinion relied principally on a long-moribund legal doctrine known as the nondelegation doctrine. The decision, if it survives appeal, will thus have implications for all delegations of congressional authority to agencies. In addition, its holding that the revised ozone ambient standard cannot be enforced has sparkled debate. By itself, however, the decision is unlikely to have major short-term effects on the ozone and particulate matter control programs digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs937/
Air Quality: EPA's Ozone Transport Rule, OTAG, and Section 216 Petitions - A Hazy Situation?
The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments provided the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the states with new tool to address the problem of interstate transport of air pollutants. This report discusses the actions undertaken as a direct result of this act, additional pollution reduction enforcement measures pursued by the EPA, and actions undertaken by states to reduce offending emissions not in compliance with these measures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs935/
Highway Fund Sanctions and Conformity Under the Clean Air Act
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Afghanistan: Connections to Islamic Movements In Central and South Asia and Southern Russia
After several years of relative peace in Central Asia and southern Russia, Islamic extremist movements have become more active in Russia and in Central and South Asia, threatening stability in the region. Although numerous factors might account for the upsurge in activity, several of these movements appear to have connections to the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These linkages raise questions about whether the United States, as part of a broader effort to promote peace and stability in the region, should continue to engage the Taliban regime, or strongly confront it. This report will be updated as events warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7705/
Weapons of Mass Destruction - the Terrorist Threat
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Defense Cleanup and Environmental Programs: Authorization and Appropriations for FY2000
Although Congress authorizes most federal programs for multiple years, it annually authorizes programs for national defense as well as appropriating funding for them each fiscal year. Of the activities traditionally authorized and funded, the Department of Defense (DOD) administers the following six environmental programs: environmental restoration, compliance, cleanup at base closure sites, pollution prevention, environmental technology, and natural resource conservation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs940/
EPA's Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program: Highlights of Proposed Changes and Impacts on Agriculture
In August 1999 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed regulations to clarify and strengthen the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program under section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act. Section 303(d) requires states to identify surface waters for which wastewater discharge limits are not stringent enough to achieve water quality standards and to allocate further required pollutant reductions among sources in order to attain those standards. This report discusses the major changes in EPA's proposals, compared with existing regulatory program requirements, and potential impacts on agriculture and forestry sources, which have been controversial. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1125/
Victims' Rights Amendment: Proposals to Amend the United States Constitution in the 106th Congress
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Sexual Harassment and Violence Against Women: Developments in Federal Law
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The Posse Comitatus Act and Related Matters: The Use of the Military to Execute Civilian Law
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EPA's Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program: Highlights of the Final Revised Rule
This report discusses the final rule and the key modifications of the August 1999 proposal. The final rule builds on the current TMDL regulatory program and adds details, specific requirements, and deadlines. It retains the basic elements of the 1999 proposal for more comprehensive identification of impaired waters, schedules and minimum elements for TMDLs, and new public participation requirements. At the same time, dropped from the final rule are several provisions that were most controversial in the proposal, including some potentially affecting agriculture and forestry, one that would have required pollutant discharge offsets in some circumstances, and one that would have required states to identify waters threatened but not yet impaired by pollution digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1126/
Defense Cleanup and Environmental Programs: Authorization and Appropriations for FY2001
The Department of Defense operates six environmental programs: cleanup of past contamination at military facilities, acceleration of cleanup at military bases designated for closure, compliance with environmental laws and regulations that apply to ongoing military operations, pollution prevention, natural resource conservation, and environmental technology. In addition to these activities, the Department of Energy is responsible for managing defense nuclear waste and remediating contaminated sites. This report discusses the federal laws that established these programs, describes their scope and purpose, provides a history of appropriations, indicates the President’s budget request for FY2001, examines authorization and appropriations legislation for FY2001, and discusses other relevant legislation considered in the 106th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1144/
Police and Law Enforcement: Selected Issues
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Prisons: Policy Options for Congress
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Clean Air Standards: The Supreme Court Agrees to Review
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1128/
The Current Palestinian Uprising: Al-Aqsa Intifadah
Facing a September 13, 2000 deadline for concluding a comprehensive Israeli- Palestinian agreement on all permanent status issues, President Bill Clinton convened a trilateral summit with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat at Camp David on July 11, 2000. The summit, which lasted until July 24, 2000, did not produce an agreement. Members of 106th Congress responded to the al-Aqsa Intifadah by introducing bills that supported Israel’s actions, encouraged the U.S. Administration to oppose any anti-Israel resolutions in the United Nations, called upon Palestinians to negotiate a resolution, and proposed cutting foreign assistance to the Palestinians if they did not stop the uprising. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1535/
Superfund and Natural Resource Damages
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Terrorism, the Future, and U.S. Foreign Policy
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Victims' Rights Amendment in the 106th Congress: Overview of Suggestions to Amend the Constitution
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Defense Cleanup and Environmental Programs: Authorization and Appropriations for FY2001
The Department of Defense operates six environmental programs: cleanup of past contamination at military facilities, acceleration of cleanup at military bases designated for closure, compliance with environmental laws and regulations that apply to ongoing military operations, pollution prevention, natural resource conservation, and environmental technology. In addition to these activities, the Department of Energy is responsible for managing defense nuclear waste and remediating contaminated sites. This report discusses the federal laws that established these programs, describes their scope and purpose, provides a history of appropriations, indicates the President’s budget request for FY2001, examines authorization and appropriations legislation for FY2001, and discusses other relevant legislation considered in the 106th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1584/
Drug Control: International Policy and Options
Over the past decade, worldwide production of illicit drugs has risen dramatically: opium and marijuana production has roughly doubled and coca production tripled. Street prices of cocaine and heroin have fallen significantly in the past 20 years, reflecting increased availability. Despite apparent national political resolve to deal with the drug problem, inherent contradictions regularly appear between U.S. anti-drug policy and other national policy goals and concerns. The mix of competing domestic and international pressures and priorities has produced an ongoing series of disputes within and between the legislative and executive branches concerning U.S. international drug policy. One contentious issue has been the Congressionally-mandated certification process, an instrument designed to induce specified drug-exporting countries to prioritize or pay more attention to the fight against narcotics businesses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1525/
Crime Control: The Federal Response
Under the federal system in the United States, the states and localities traditionally have held the major responsibility for prevention and control of crime and maintenance of order. For most of the Republic’s history, “police powers” in the broad sense were reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. Many still hold that view, but others see a string of court decisions in recent decades as providing the basis for a far more active federal role. Several bills are discussed in this report that address issues related to crime, juvenile justice, and school violence. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1529/
DNA Evidence: Legislative Initiatives in the 106th Congress
DNA evidence is a powerful forensic tool in criminal cases. Its use and capabilities have increased substantially since it was first introduced in the late 1980s. That growth has led to the emergence of the following issues that were considered by the 106th Congress in legislative initiatives: eliminating the nationwide backlog of unanalyzed DNA samples, expanding the kinds of offenders who are profiled, providing opportunities for post-conviction testing of DNA evidence, and continuing development of forensic science capabilities. This report discusses those and related issues and the legislation proposed and enacted to address them. It begins by describing provisions in prior federal law and then discusses issues and the legislation proposed, including the enacted DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act of 2000 (H.R. 4640, which became P.L. 106-546). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1871/
Terrorist Attack on USS Cole: Background and Issues for Congress
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Jonathan Pollard: Background and Considerations for Presidential Clemency
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Mexico's Counter-Narcotics Efforts under Zedillo and Fox, December 1994-March 2001
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Terrorism and the Military's Role in Domestic Crisis Management: Background and Issues for Congress
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