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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Drunk Driving and the National Driver Register
At the 0.08 BAC level of alcohol, braking, steering, lane changing, and judgment are degraded and the driving performance of virtually all drivers is substantially impaired. During the debate on reauthorization of the federal surface transportation programs, an amendment that would require each state either to enact a 0.08 BAC law or face the loss of a portion of its Federal Highway Trust Fund monies passed the Senate and will likely be considered in the House. This proposal raises questions about the effectiveness and impacts of a 0.08 BAC law, the rights of states versus the federal government, and alternative ways to encourage the states to adopt stronger impaired driving countermeasures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9058/
Obscenity: A Legal Primer
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Explanation of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 -- Public Law 99-177 (The Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act)
The report explains briefly the major features of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Public Law 99-177), commonly referred to as the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act. Following a short overview of the deficit reduction process, the report outlines the deficit control timetable for each of fiscal years 1987-1991, and the accelerated timetable for fiscal year 1986, describes the procedures for eliminating excess deficits, discusses how to compute the required spending reductions, and summarizes the sequestration of funds for fiscal year 1986. The report also identifies the programs exempted from emergency deficit reduction procedures and those that have special rules for making reductions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8715/
Campaign Financing in Federal Elections: A Guide to the Law and Its Operation
This report provides an introduction to the laws governing the financing of Federal election campaigns and presents data on campaign finance activity in the 1980’s. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8170/
Tax Reform Act of 1986: Public Law 99-514
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Campaign Finance Reform: A Summary and Analysis of Legislative Proposals In the 98th and 99th Congresses
This report summarizes and analyzes on a conceptual basis the 108 bills and major amendments offered in the 98th and 99th Congresses which proposed changes in the campaign finance laws governing Federal elections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8171/
Sanctions Against South Africa: Activities of the 99th Congress
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Sanctions against South Africa: Activities of the 99th Congress
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The Liability Insurance Controversy
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The Liability Insurance Controversy
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South Africa: U.S. Policy After Sanctions
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Tax Reform Effects
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The Liability Insurance Crisis
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The Liability Insurance Crisis
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Products Liability: A Legal Overview
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Terrorism: U.S. Policy Options
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Bank Failures: Recent Trends and Policy Options
During the 1980s the U.S. banking industry has experienced a rapidly growing number of failures. Many factors have contributed to this trend including deregulation, technology, individual bank management, and economic conditions. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) handles insured bank failures. Congress has been monitoring the recent trend and is concerned with the FDIC’s ability to continue to perform its supervisory and insurance operations. The present situation, information on key factors affecting the banking industry, and the FDIC’s role when a bank fails is discussed in this report. The reference section of this issue brief contains a list of CRS products providing background on the FDIC and legislative issues relevant to the agency. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9064/
Catastrophic Health Insurance: Comparison of the Major Provisions of the "Medicare Catastrophic Protection Act of 1987" (H.R. 2470, as passed by the House July 22, 1987) and the "Medicare Catastrophic Loss Prevention Act of 1987" (S. 1127, as passed by the Senate Finance Committee, July 27, 1987)
Catastrophic Health Insurance: Comparison of the Major Provisions of the “Medicare Catastrophic Protection Act of 1987” (H.R. 2470, as passed by t h e House July 22, 1987) and the "MEDICARE CATASTROPHIC LOSS PREVENTION ACT OF 1987" (S. 1127, as reported by the S e n a t e Finance Committee, July 27, 1987) digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8425/
Synopses of Reported Decisions of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in which Judge Robert Heron Bork Authorized a Signed Opinion or Other Statement: 1982-1987
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Catastrophic Health Insurance: Medicare
Catastrophic medical costs are broadly defined as large unpredictable health care expenses; these are usually associated with a major illness or serious injury. The absence of catastrophic health insurance protection for the elderly is the subject of concern in this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8717/
Abortion: Judicial Control
In 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Constitution protects a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, and that a State may not unduly burden the exercise of that fundamental right by regulations that prohibit or substantially limit access to the means of effectuating that decision, Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179. But rather than settling the issue, the Court's rulings have kindled heated debate and precipitated a variety of governmental actions at the national, State and local levels designed either to nullify the rulings or hinder their effectuation. This brief discusses this ongoing issue, highlighting judicial history and decisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8889/
Abortion: Legislative Control
In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Constitution protects a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy (Roe v. Wade), and that a State may not unduly burden the exercise of that fundamental right by regulations that prohibit or substantially limit access to the means of effectuating that decision (Doe v. Bolton). However, the issue of a woman's right to an abortion is far from settled. This report discusses the various legislative actions undertaken since 1973 to either nullify these rulings or hinder their effectuation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8888/
South Africa: U.S. Policy After Sanctions
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Education Funding Issues for FY89
Congress considers annually the funding level for all programs administered by U.S. Department of Education (ED). The debate in this process has focused on how much the Federal Government should spend on education , and what, if any, program changes might be necessary to achieve these levels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9071/
Drug Control
How to prevent the non-medical use of dependency-producing drugs has been a public policy concern for at least a century. A large part of the responsibility for controlling such substances has been assumed by the Federal Government. Historically based on decision to restrict availability through a system of close regulation, including selective prohibition, the current Federal anti-drugs strategy lives on activities and programs in five major areas: 1) regulation and other “enforcement” efforts; 2) support for international control and for control efforts of individual drug-producing and drug-transiting countries; 3) education and other prevention activities; 4 ) treatment and rehabilitation for drug-dependent persons; and ( 5 ) research on drugs , drug dependency, and prevention and treatment methods. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8518/
Fish and Wildlife Service: Compensation to Local Governments
The Refuge Revenue Sharing Fund (RRSF) was enacted in response to the concern of local governments regarding losses to their tax base due to the presence of federally owned land under the jurisdiction of the Fish and Wildlife Service. This report outlines recent history of RRSF payment levels. It examines the RRSF and describes how the fund differs in its treatment of reserved and acquired lands under the jurisdiction of FWS. The report also examines the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program in detail. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26021/
The Fair Labor Standards Act: Changes Made by the 101st Congress and Their Implications
Initially, in the 101st Congress, a measure to increase federal minimum wage (and to make numerous other changes in the FLSA) was passed by both the House and the Senate but, in June 1989, it was vetoed by President Bush. An effort by the House to override the President's veto was unsuccessful. Later, new legislation was introduced and approved both by the House and the Senate. On November 17, 1989, President Bush signed the bill (P.L. 101-107). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26025/
Congress and Trade Policy Toward Japan
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H.R. 5100: Major Trade Legislation of the 102d Congress
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The Listing of a Species: Legal Definition and Biological Realities
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The Endangered Species Act and Private Property
If the 103rd Congress embarks upon an effort to reauthorize the Endangered Species Act (ESA), it will run into an old acquaintance: the property rights issue. As now written, the ESA has at least the potential to curtail property rights (whatever its actual impact as implemented may be). This report explores the legal repercussions of those impacts, especially whether they constitute takings of property under the fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26028/
President Bush's Judicial Nominations During the 101st and 102nd Congresses
There are ten categories of courts (including the local courts of the District of Columbia) to which the President nominates judges. The report provides background and statistics concerning President Bush's judicial nominations in each court category as well as actions taken on those nominations by the United States Senate. Each of the report's ten sections discusses the composition and jurisdiction of the court in question and notes the committee to which nominations to this court were referred when received by the Senate. Also, statistics on judicial nominations received by the Senate during the four years of the Bush Presidency are presented. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26030/
Foreign Assistance and Commercial Interests: The Aid for Trade Debate
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Air Quality: Impacts of Trip Reduction Programs on States and Affected Employers
This report discusses employer trip reduction (ETR) programs, which would require large employers to implement certain transportation control measures as part of a national effort to combat air pollution, largely as a direct result of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs45/
Mixing Banking and Commerce Using Federal Deposit Insurance: Industrial Banks and Nonbank Banks
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Toxic Pollutants and the Clean Water Act: Current Issues
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China: Current U.S. Sanctions
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Market-Based Environmental Management: Issues in Implementation
Increasingly, efforts to protect integral features of the natural environment that are essential to human well being face a double challenge. First, the magnitude of some conventional and emerging threats to environmental quality is growing, despite solid progress in controlling some causes. This is particularly the concern on a global scale in terms of atmospheric changes and loss of biological diversity. Second, easily-implemented uniform control methods using feasible technologies or other direct regulatory approaches are already in place for many pollution and resource management problems in the United States. Additional progress with so-called command and control policies can be expensive and disruptive, and thus counter productive to overall economic well being. This type of dilemma is common where environmental deterioration results from diffuse and complex causes inherent in technically-advanced high-consumption industrial societies such as the U.S. Solutions to these types of environmental problems are complicated by the diffuse benefits which obscures the net gains of additional controls that have concentrated and highly visible costs. Given this double bind, many policy analysts and academics have for years advocated more cost-effective and flexible approaches relying on market forces to further some environmental management objectives. Although market-based theory and practical environmental policy are still far apart, the incremental approach to environmental policymaking since the late seventies has resulted in some market-type innovations within traditional regulatory frameworks at all levels of government. The most prominent examples are the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) air emissions trading program and the recently enacted sulfur dioxide allowance trading program under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26038/
Mining Law Reform: The Impact of a Royalty
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Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1994 Summary of S. 2019, as Passed
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Current U.S. Sanctions Against China
In the months following China's 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, both the President and the Congress took a number of initiatives protesting Beijing's actions. These initiatives centered around U.S. concerns related to trade, human rights, and non-proliferation. In intervening years, the United States has periodically imposed, lifted, or waived other sanctions and concluded several trade-related agreements with China relating to these concerns. Those measures that remain in place in 1994 are detailed in the accompanying tables. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs121/
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species: Its Past and Future
This report discusses the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). It is divided into six sections: Introduction, Background, CITES and the Endangered Species Act, Implementation, Upcoming Events, and Appendices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs96/
Marine Mammal Protection Act Amendments of 1994
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Legislative Prayer and School Prayer: The Constitutional Difference
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Legislative Prayer and School Prayer: The Constitutional Difference
The Supreme Court's decisions holding government-sponsored prayer in the public schools to violate the First Amendment's establishment clause but prayer in legislative assemblies to be constitutional are sometimes lifted up as contradictory. This report summarizes the relevant decisions and identifies the distinctions the Court has drawn between the two situations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26057/
Implementing Acid Rain Legislation
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Clean Water Issues in the 104th Congress
For the 104th Congress, reauthorization of the Clean Water Act would seem likely to be a priority, since the Act was last amended in 1987 and authorizations expired on September 30, 1990. But legislative prospects in the 104th Congress are uncertain. Clean water also was a priority for the 103rd Congress, but, in 1994, Congress ran out of time and did not act on comprehensive amendments. Many of the issues proved to be too complex and controversial to be resolved easily, while Congress also was considering a large agenda of environmental and other bills. Controversies arose in connection with issues specific to the Clean Water Act and a trio of regulatory relief issues that became barriers to a number of bills in the 103rd Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs168/
Conservation Reserve Program: Policy Issues for the 1995 Farm Bill
The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), enacted in 1985, enables producers to bid to retire highly erodible or environmentally sensitive crop land for 10 years (or longer under certain circumstances). Successful bidders receive annual rental payments, and cost-sharing and technical assistance to install approved plantings. The program was to enroll between 40 and 45 million acres before 1996. Program goals are to reduce erosion and excess production, and more recently, to provide other environmental benefits. To date, about 36.5 million acres have been enrolled. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs92/
Environmental Reauthorizations and Regulatory Reform: Recent Developments
If general regulatory reform bills were enacted, debates on statute-specific reauthorizations could shift from regulatory reforms to the substantive regulatory requirements of each Act. In this case, regulatory reform could consist of proposals to modify statutory requirements to reduce costs to the private sector and State and local governments, to increase flexibility, and to reduce or compensate regulatory impacts on the value of private property. At issue would be a series of potential tradeoffs, for example among efficiency of environmental regulations, national consistency versus local flexibility, protection of private property rights, and degrees of health and environmental protection. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs113/
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions
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