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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
Privatizing the United States Enrichment Corporation
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Federal Land Management: Appeals and Litigation
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DOE Laboratory Restructuring Legislation in the 104th Congress
Interest in restructuring (including eliminating) the Department of Energy (DOE) and its laboratories has increased since the end of the Cold War, and especially since the beginning of the 104th Congress. A number of non-legislative proposals and activities to this end are reviewed, including DOE's own proposals for "alignment and downsizing" of the Department and its laboratories. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs480/
Transportation Fuel Taxes Early in the 105th Congress
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The Abandoned Mine Land Fund: Grants Distribution and Issues
The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA, P.L. 95-87), enacted in 1977, established reclamation standards for all coal surface mining operations, and for the surface effects of underground mining. It also established the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program to promote the reclamation of sites mined and abandoned prior to the enactment of SMCRA. To finance reclamation of abandoned mine sites, the legislation established fees on coal production. These collections are divided into federal and state shares; subject to annual appropriation, AML funds are distributed annually to states with approved reclamation programs. This report describes the distribution of these funds and the various issues that arise from said distribution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs398/
English as the Official Language of the United States: An Overview
This report provides background on contemporary efforts to declare English the official language, a review of selected issues raised by official English proposals in Congress, and a summary of arguments that have been advanced in favor of and in opposition to such proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs403/
Tobacco Advertising: Whether the FDA's Restrictions Violate Freedom of Speech
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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Reauthorization Legislation: An Overview
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Safe Drinking Water Act: State Revolving Fund Program
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NATO: Congress Addresses Expansion of the Alliance
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Social Security Financing Reform: Lessons from the 1983 Amendments
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Generalized System of Preferences
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Clean Water Issues in the 105th Congress
For the 105th Congress, reauthorization of the Clean Water Act may be a priority in the second session. The Act was last amended in 1987 and authorizations expired on Sept. 30, 1990. Clean water was a priority for the last two Congresses, but no legislation was enacted. In the 104th Congress, the House passed a comprehensive reauthorization bill, but during House debate and subsequently, controversies arose over whether and how the Act should be made more flexible and less burdensome on regulated entities. Issues likely to be of interest again in the 105th Congress include funding, overall flexibility and regulatory reform of water quality programs, and measures to address polluted runoff from farms and city streets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs498/
Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund (LUST)
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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/
Environmental Protection Legislation in the 105th Congress
The 105th Congress enacted tax provisions relating to Superfund brownfields sites, transportation- and defense-related environmental provisions, a border smog bill, EPA funding as well as reinstating the tax that supports the Leaking Underground Storage Trust Fund. There were various actions on regulatory reform, the budget resolution, appropriations, highway- and defense-related environmental provisions, Superfund reform bills and underground storage tanks. It is too early to tell if these will be issues for the 106th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs437/
Attorneys' Fees in the State Tobacco Litigation Cases
In the past few years, many states have filed complaints against the tobacco industry in state court to recover Medicaid costs paid by the states to treat their citizens for tobacco related illnesses. The states are also attempting to recover other damages, such as punitive damages, against the tobacco industry. For various reasons, the states have hired private attorneys to assist the state Attorneys General in prosecuting these cases. In most cases, the retention of private counsel has included a fee agreement specifying the amount of compensation that these attorneys will receive for their services. These agreements are not uniform among the states, but most tend to provide some form of contingency fee arrangement. Some of these states have developed a sliding scale contingency fee schedule which varies with the amount of time spent on the litigation and whether a trial has begun. This report briefly summarizes the different fee agreements that the states have with private counsel. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs377/
Tax Benefits for Education in the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997
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China: U.S. Economic Sanctions
This report presents a history of U.S. economic sanctions imposed against the People's Republic of China for foreign policy reasons since 1949. It highlights sanctions that are currently active and details occasions on which those restrictions have been modified, waived or permanently lifted. The report provides citations for Presidential authority in current law and the Administration's issuance of regulations and administrative orders. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs450/
Environment in Fast Track Trade Authority: Summary of the Clinton Administration Proposal
President Clinton has asked Congress for "fast track" authority for implementing future trade agreements; this authority would limit congressional debate and prevent amendments to implementing legislation. Delays in completing this proposal were attributed to difficulties in reconciling conflicting pressures over environment and labor concerns. The President's proposal contains references to environmental concerns, but various interests are likely to seek clarification on these points. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs408/
Fast-Track Trade Authority: Which Environmental Issues are "Directly Related to Trade"?
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The Budget Enforcement Act of 1997
President Clinton signed two reconciliation acts into law in August 1997 as part of a plan to balance the budget by FY2002. To ensure compliance with this goal, enforcement procedures were included in one of the acts in a title referred to separately as the Budget Enforcement Act (BEA) of 1997. The BEA of 1997 extends procedures under the Budget Enforcement Act (BEA) of 1990 through FY2002 digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs395/
Managed Health Care: Federal and State Regulation
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Fast-Track Trade Authority Proposals: Which Environmental Issues are Included in the Principal Negotiating Objectives?
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The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997: An Overview
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Economic Sanctions to Achieve U.S. Foreign Policy Goals: Discussion and Guide to Current Law
This report provides background on the range of actions that might be termed foreign policy sanctions and the events that might necessitate their use. Criteria are offered that legislators might consider to judge when sanctions might be appropriate, approaches that might be effective, aspects of the use of sanctions that are sometimes overlooked or not considered fully. The report provides an uncomplicated "map" of where sanctions policies and options currently lay in U. S. law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs465/
Highway Fund Sanctions for Clean Air Act Violations
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ISTEA Reauthorization: Highway Related Legislative Proposals in the 105th Congress
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Older Americans Act: 105th Congress Issues
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Abortion Procedures
The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1997, H.R. 1122 was vetoed by President Clinton on October 10, 1997. This legislation would have made it a federal crime, punishable by fine and/or incarceration, for a physician to perform a partial birth abortion unless it was necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury. The partial-birth abortion legislation has stimulated a great deal of controversy. This report provides a brief overview of the abortion methods currently in use for which data have been published and some positions on the partial birth abortion legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs370/
Central American Asylum Seekers: Impact of 1996 Immigration Law
This report discuses issues related to the significant portion of the Central Americans affected by the IIRIRA revisions still have asylum cases pending and may obtain legal permanent residence by that avenue if they demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution. The Attorney General also has the discretionary authority to grant blanket relief from deportation, but the discretionary forms of relief do not entail legal permanent residence. There is considerable interest in this issue in the 105th Congress, and the Senate passed by a vote of 99 to 1 an amendment to provide relief for certain Central Americans to the D.C. appropriations bill (S.1156). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs463/
Adoption Promotion Legislation in the 105th Congress
President Clinton signed the Adoption and Safe Families Act into law on November 19, 1997, after the House and Senate approved final versions of the legislation on November 13. The new law (P.L. 105-89) is intended to promote adoption or other permanent arrangements for foster children who are unable to return home, and to make general improvements in the nation’s child welfare system. The House initially passed legislation (H.R. 867) on April 30 by a vote of 416-5, and the Senate passed an amended version on November 8. A compromise version was passed on November 13, by a vote of 406-7 in the House and by unanimous consent in the Senate. This report discusses the final version of the legislation, as enacted into law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs446/
Campaign Financing: Highlights and Chronology of Current Federal Law
Current law governing financial activity of campaigns for federal office is based on two principal statutes: the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971, as amended in 1974, 1976, and 1979, and the Revenue Act of 1971. These laws were enacted to remedy widely perceived shortcomings of existing law, the Corrupt Practices Act of 1925, and in response to reports of campaign finance abuses over the years, culminating in the 1972-1974 Watergate scandal. This report provides a summary of major provisions of federal law and a chronology of key legislative and judicial actions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs425/
Runaway and Homeless Youth: Legislative Issues
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Endangered Species List Revisions: A Summary of Delisting and Downlisting
This report outlines the process and reasons for delisting or downlisting, and summarizes the 27 species delisted due to extinction, recovery, or data revision, and the 22 species that have been downlisted from endangered to threatened status due to stabilized or improving populations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs531/
Sex Discrimination in Education: Overview of Title IX
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Agricultural Research, Education, and Extension Issues in the 105th Congress
The public agricultural research, education, and extension system is comprised of a nationwide network of federal and state agricultural research laboratories and departments, land grant Colleges of Agriculture, colleges of forestry and veterinary medicine, and the nationwide Cooperative Extension System. Although the basic authority to conduct agricultural research and extension programs is permanent, Congress since 1977 has provided funding authority and policy guidance for USDA's in-house research programs, and for federal support for cooperative research, higher education, and extension programs in the states, through a title contained in omnibus farm legislation. This report discusses specific pieces of such legislation and details certain agricultural and food-related appropriations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10006/
Immigration: Adjustment to Permanent Residence Status under Section 245(i)
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Juvenile Justice Act Reauthorization: The Current Debate
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Federal Advertising Law: An Overview
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Environmental Reauthorizations and Regulatory Reform: From the 104th Congress to the 105th
The 104th Congress pursued efforts to reform environmental regulations on several fronts: (1) revising regulatory decision making processes; (2) attaching specific reforms to funding bills; (3) establishing a House corrections day calendar of bills addressing specific regulatory problems; and (4) incorporating regulatory reforms into individual program reauthorization bills. The 105th Congress has pursued regulatory reform in four primary directions: (1) proposals to establish a comprehensive cost-benefit/risk analysis framework for regulatory programs, (2) private property “takings” initiatives, (3) amendments and reforms directed at individual environmental statutes, and (4) oversight of environmental programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs645/
Goals 2000: Educate America Act Implementation Status and Issues
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Endangered Species Act Amendments: An Analysis of S. 1180 and H.R. 2351
Because of wide-spread interest in possible amendments to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), CRS has received numerous requests for an analysis and critique of S.1180 and H.R. 2351. This report analyzes those bills. HR. 2351 was introduced on July 31, 1997 and S. 1180 on September 16, 1997. Each bill is discussed under various topic headings. The Senate bill will be described first, since it has been reported. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs530/
Medical Savings Accounts: Legislation in the 105th Congress
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Mexico's Counter-Narcotics Efforts Under Zedillo, December 1994 to March 1998
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Tobacco Advertising: The Constitutionality of Limiting its Tax Deductibility
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Government Performance and Results Act: Implementation During 1997 and Issues of Possible Concern, 105th Congress, Second Session
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ISTEA Reauthorization: Highway and Transit Legislative Proposals in the 105th Congress, 2nd Session
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Lobbying Disclosure Technical Amendments Act of 1997, S. 758
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