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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The FHA Modernization Act of 2008

The FHA Modernization Act of 2008

Date: February 25, 2009
Creator: Foote, Bruce E.
Description: This report discusses the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Manufactured Housing Loan Modernization Act of 2008, which makes several amendments to the FHA program that insures loans on manufactured housing loan program under Title I of the National Housing.
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The Potential Role of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant in the Recession

The Potential Role of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Block Grant in the Recession

Date: February 24, 2009
Creator: Falk, Gene
Description: This report discusses the potential role that the block grant to states of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) may play in mitigating the effects of the recession for poor families with children. It discusses the recession and the economic insecurity of disadvantaged families, the TANF block grand and potential role in the recession, as well as legislative issues.
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Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program

Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program

Date: February 20, 2009
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: The 110th Congress in June 2008 passed a new omnibus farm bill (P.L. 110-246). Provisions in this new law now spell out more explicitly how the Secretary is to use the annual Section 32 appropriation. Section 32 of the act of August 24, 1935 (P.L. 74-320 as amended; 7 U.S.C. 612c) authorizes a permanent appropriation equal to 30% of annual U.S. customs receipts.
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U.S. Food and Agricultural Imports: Safeguards and Selected Issues

U.S. Food and Agricultural Imports: Safeguards and Selected Issues

Date: February 2, 2009
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: The issue was explored at numerous congressional hearings in 2007 and 2008, and Members of Congress introduced a variety of bills to modify or overhaul the current system. Some sought broad reforms in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) oversight of both food and drug safety, including of imports.
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Postage Subsidies for Periodicals: History and Recent Developments

Postage Subsidies for Periodicals: History and Recent Developments

Date: January 22, 2009
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Description: This report describes and assesses the major federal policies that have subsidized postage for periodicals. These policies have been contentious because they involve disputed principles and vexing implementation issues. Some persons believe that periodicals provide important information about politics and government to U.S. citizens, which helps members of the public to discharge their civic duties.
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Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods

Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods

Date: January 15, 2009
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: This report briefly discusses the USDA's FY2006 appropriation, which postpones rules requiring many retailers to provide country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for fresh produce, red meats, and peanuts until September 30, 2008. The report also discusses related legislation.
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The Impact of Food Insecurity and Hunger on Global Health: Issues for Congress

The Impact of Food Insecurity and Hunger on Global Health: Issues for Congress

Date: January 12, 2009
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji & Hanrahan, Charles E.
Description: This report offers background on the issue of global hunger and food insecurity, and discusses its direct and indirect consequences. The report also considers the U.S. and International responses to the global food crisis and discusses issues the 111th Congress might consider.
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Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Date: December 19, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: This report discusses bills introduced into the 110th Congress pertaining to food safety that could affect farmers and ranchers. Several of these bills would expressly have required enforceable on-farm safety standards. Others that focused primarily on post-harvest food safety measures nonetheless might have led to changes in on-farm practices if the regulated sectors (handlers and processors of agricultural products) placed new demands on their suppliers in order to comply. Similar proposals are re-emerging in the 111th Congress, where food safety reform is expected to be on the agenda.
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The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress

The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress

Date: November 25, 2008
Creator: Shea, Dana A.; Monke, Jim & Gottron, Frank
Description: This report outlines current progress towards establishment of the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), presents current and projected funding levels and timelines, and describes policy issues of potential interest to Congress, such as agency coordination, possession of viruses, construction timelines, disposition of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC), and community safety concerns.
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Recent Acquisitions of U.S. Meat Companies

Recent Acquisitions of U.S. Meat Companies

Date: October 30, 2008
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Description: This report examines issues regarding the recent acquisitions of U.S. meat companies. In July 2007, JBS — a Brazilian company regarded as the world’s largest meat processor — purchased the U.S. beef processor Swift & Co., then the third-largest U.S. beef processing company. In February and March 2008, JBS signed agreements to acquire the fourth- and fifth-largest U.S. beef packers, National Beef Packing Company and the Smithfield Beef Group, respectively. These planned acquisitions have undergone customary regulatory review by the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Antitrust Division.
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Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-off") Programs

Federal Farm Promotion ("Check-off") Programs

Date: October 20, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: The U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 affirmed the constitutionality of the so-called beef check-off program, one of the 18 generic promotion programs for agricultural products that are now active nationally. Supporters view check-offs as economically beneficial self-help activities that need minimal government involvement or taxpayer funding. Producers, handlers, and/or importers are required to pay an assessment, usually deducted from revenue at time of sale - thus the name check-off. However, some farmers contend they are being "taxed" for advertising and related activities they would not underwrite voluntarily. The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the beef check-off is considered significant for the future of the other programs, although the Court left open the possibility of additional challenges.
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Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Date: October 17, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Description: China is a major source of U.S. imports of consumer products (such as toys) and an increasingly important supplier of various food products. Reports of unsafe seafood, pet food, toys, tires, and other products imported from China over the past year or so have raised concern in the United States over the health, safety, and quality of imported Chinese products. This report provides an overview of this issue and implications for U.S.-China trade relations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Haiti: Legislative Responses to the Food Crisis and Related Development Challenges

Haiti: Legislative Responses to the Food Crisis and Related Development Challenges

Date: October 2, 2008
Creator: Seelke, Clare Ribando & Hornbeck, J. F.
Description: Haiti faces several interrelated challenges, the most immediate being a lingering food crisis that in April 2008 led to deadly protests and the ouster of Haiti's prime minister. Haiti also suffers from a legacy of poverty, unemployment, and under-development that is compounding security problems for its new and fragile democracy. This report describes in detail the amount and types of emergency food aid and other relief aid that the United States has sent and will continue to send to Haiti. This report also outlines relevant pieces of legislation.
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Food and Agricultural Imports from China

Food and Agricultural Imports from China

Date: September 26, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: This report first provides information on the most recent Chinese-related food safety concern, the use of melamine in dairy ingredients. Following this section, the report provides data on U.S.-China trends in agricultural trade, examines U.S. programs to monitor the safety of imports, and reports on other recent Chinese food safety developments. It concludes with a brief discussion of the congressional role.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress

The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress

Date: September 26, 2008
Creator: Shea, Dana A.; Monke, Jim & Gottron, Frank
Description: This report outlines current progress towards establishment of the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), presents current and projected funding levels and timelines, and describes policy issues of potential interest to Congress, such as agency coordination, possession of viruses, construction timelines, disposition of PIADC, and community safety concerns.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress

The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress

Date: September 26, 2008
Creator: Shea, Dana A.; Monke, Jim & Gottron, Frank
Description: This report outlines current progress towards establishment of the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), presents current and projected funding levels and timelines, and describes policy issues of potential interest to Congress, such as agency coordination, possession of viruses, construction timelines, disposition of PIADC, and community safety concerns.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
What Is the “Farm Bill”?

What Is the “Farm Bill”?

Date: September 23, 2008
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Description: This report describes the Farm Bill (P.L. 110-246, Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, which was enacted into law on June 18, 2008.
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Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Date: September 22, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Description: China is a major source of U.S. imports of consumer products (such as toys) and an increasingly important supplier of various food products. Reports of unsafe seafood, pet food, toys, tires, and other products imported from China over the past year or so have raised concern in the United States over the health, safety, and quality of imported Chinese products. This report provides an overview of this issue and implications for U.S.-China trade relations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods

Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods

Date: September 16, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: This report discusses the 2002 farm bill (P.L. 107-171) as amended by the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-246), which states that many U.S. retailers must begin providing country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for fresh produce, red meats, peanuts, chicken, ginseng, pecans, and macadamia nuts.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S.-Russia Meat and Poultry Trade Issues

U.S.-Russia Meat and Poultry Trade Issues

Date: September 11, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: Russia announced on August 29, 2008, that it was banning poultry imports from 19 U.S. establishments due to safety concerns, and that 29 others could lose approval if they do not improve their standards. Russian officials also signaled that they might reduce U.S. permits to import poultry and pork under that country's quota system. The economic stakes of Russian import actions are high for U.S. poultry producers - 29% of their exports went to that market in 2007 - and red meat producers, who also are experiencing strong growth in the Russian market. In Congress, any potential options likely would be reviewed within the context of the broader geopolitical situation.
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Department of Defense Food Procurement: Background and Status

Department of Defense Food Procurement: Background and Status

Date: August 28, 2008
Creator: Grasso, Valerie Bailey
Description: Military food items, also known as subsistence items, are generally procured under the auspices of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), an agency of the Department of Defense (DOD) which provides worldwide logistics support for the U.S. military services. Under DLA, the Defense Supply Center (DCSP) is the inventory control point for food, clothing, textiles, medicines, medical equipment, general and industrial supplies and services for the military, their eligible dependents, and other non-DOD customers worldwide. This report will describe the origin, authority, and policy in military food procurement.
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The FDA FY2009 Budget

The FDA FY2009 Budget

Date: August 25, 2008
Creator: Johnson, Judith A.; Lister, Sarah A. & Porter, Donna V.
Description: This report discusses the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) FY2009 budget request of $2.676 billion that would provide a 17.9% increase ($406 million) over FY2008. It includes an overview and breakdowns for specific programs: Foods Program, Human Drugs Program, Biologics program, Animal Drugs and Feed Program, and the Devices and Radiological Health Program.
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Domestic Food Assistance: The Farm Bill and Other Legislation in the 110th Congress

Domestic Food Assistance: The Farm Bill and Other Legislation in the 110th Congress

Date: August 22, 2008
Creator: Richardson, Joe
Description: This report covers issues and legislative changes addressed in the farm bill, legislative changes included in the FY2008 Agriculture appropriations measure (included in the FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act; P.L. 110-161), and proposed legislation that involves programs and activities that are normally not part of the farm bill (e.g., child nutrition program proposals).
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Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Date: August 8, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: This report discusses bills introduced into the 110th Congress pertaining to food safety that could affect farmers and ranchers. Several of these bills would expressly require enforceable on-farm safety standards.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department