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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Lobbying Congress: An Overview of Legal Provisions and Congressional Ethics Rules
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Association Health Plans: Legislation in the 109th Congress
An estimated 41.2 million people were without health insurance in 2001. Legislation under consideration by the 108th and earlier Congresses is intended to assist small employers in offering health insurance as a benefit to their workers. A new bill, H.R. 4281, introduced on May 5, 2004, The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003 (H.R. 6601s. 545), and a number of bills from the earlier Congresses include provisions creating new groups for small firms to join or encouraging the growth of existing groups so that small employers can band together to offer coverage to their employees. Opponents of the AHP approach raise concerns that unintended negative consequences would arise, negating the benefits that the new groups would create. While the proposed AHPs are not likely to immediately undermine the small group market, they are likely to require additional features to significantly expand insurance coverage among the uninsured. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6676/
Clean Water Act Section 401: Background and Issues
Section 401 of the Clean Water Act requires that an applicant for a federal license or permit provide a certification that any discharges from the facility will comply with the Act, including water quality standard requirements. Disputes have arisen over the states' exercise of authority under Section 401. Until recently, much of the debate over the Section 401 certification issue has been between states and hydropower interests. A 1994 Supreme Court decision which upheld the states' authority in this area dismayed development and hydroelectric power interest groups. The dispute between states and industry groups was a legislative issue in the 104th Congress through an amendment to a House-passed Clean Water Act re-authorization bill; the Senate did not act on that bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs646/
Restructuring the Internal Revenue Service: A Comparison of Two Major Bills in the 105th Congress
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Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): Controversies for the 109th Congress
This report discusses the ongoing debate about whether or not to approve energy development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Current law forbids energy leasing in the Refuge. This report addresses several legislative options on the issue, as well as policymakers' arguments for and against development, especially in the wake of increasing terrorism since 2000-2001. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6857/
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): Controversies for the 109th Congress
This report discusses the ongoing debate about whether or not to approve energy development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Current law forbids energy leasing in the Refuge. This report addresses several legislative options on the issue, as well as policymakers' arguments for and against development, especially in the wake of increasing terrorism since 2000-2001. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6858/
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): Controversies for the 109th Congress
This report discusses the ongoing debate about whether or not to approve energy development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Current law forbids energy leasing in the Refuge. This report addresses several legislative options on the issue, as well as policymakers' arguments for and against development, especially in the wake of increasing terrorism since 2000-2001. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6856/
Association Health Plans, Health Marts and the Small Group Market for Health Insurance
An estimated 41.2 million people were without health insurance in 2001. Legislation under consideration by the 108th and earlier Congresses is intended to assist small employers in offering health insurance as a benefit to their workers. A new bill, H.R. 4281, introduced on May 5, 2004, The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003 (H.R. 6601s. 545), and a number of bills from the earlier Congresses include provisions creating new groups for small firms to join or encouraging the growth of existing groups so that small employers can band together to offer coverage to their employees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6562/
Drunk Driving and Raising the Drinking Age
This brief report is prepared in response to numerous requests for information on the related issues of drunk driving and raising the drinking age. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8712/
Constitutionality of Applying the FCC's Indecency Restriction to Cable Television
Various federal officials have spoken in favor of extending the Federal Communication Commission’s indecency restriction, which currently applies to broadcast television and radio, to cable and satellite television. This report examines whether such an extension would violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8234/
DOD's National Security Personnel System: Statute, Regulations, and Implementation Plans
This report discusses each of the provisions in Title XI of P.L. 108-136 and plans to implement the law. Title XI of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2004, P.L. 108-136, includes provisions on a National Security Personnel System (NSPS) for the Department of Defense (DOD) and provisions on personnel management that are applicable government-wide. The law was enacted on November 24, 2003. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8582/
Property Rights "Takings": Justice O'Connor's Opinions
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Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
Report that discusses the effects of economic sanctions against Iran, support to the Iranian democracy movement, and opposition against Iranian human rights violations and Iranian support for Syrian human rights violations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227605/
The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment
The proposed acquisition of major operations in six major U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World and of Unocal by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation sparked intense concerns among some Members of Congress and the public and has reignited the debate over what role foreign acquisitions play in U.S. national security. The United States actively promotes internationally the national treatment of foreign firms. Several Members of Congress have introduced various measures during the 2nd Session of the 109th Congress that can be grouped into four major areas: those that deal specifically with the proposed Dubai Ports World acquisition; those that focus more generally on foreign ownership of U.S. ports; those that would amend the CFIUS process; and those that would amend the Exon-Florio process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9829/
Leaking Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Issues
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Constitutionality of Proposals to Prohibit the Sale or Rental to Minors of Video Games with Violent or Sexual Content or "Strong Language"
It has been proposed that Congress prohibit the sale or rental to minors of video games that are rated “M” (mature) or “AO” (adults-only) by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. This board is a non-governmental entity established by the Interactive Digital Software Association, and its ratings currently have no legal effect. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9144/
Terrorism: U.S. Policy Options
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Terrorist Watchlist Checks and Air Passenger Prescreening
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Internet Commerce and State Sales and Use Taxes
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Constitutional Conventions: Political and Legal Questions
This report discusses the applications that have been passed by 32 of the necessary 34 State legislatures to convene a convention to propose an amendment prohibiting abortion. Because this process for amending the Constitution has never been used, several unresolved legal and policy questions arise governing the convening and the authority of such a convention. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9057/
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/
Parental Notification for Family Planning Services: Title X Regulations
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Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996: Overview of P.L. 104-182
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U.S. Policy Regarding the International Criminal Court
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U.S. Policy Regarding the International Criminal Court
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U.S. Policy Regarding the International Criminal Court
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U.S. Policy Regarding the International Criminal Court
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The Virus-Serum-Toxin Act: A Brief History and Analysis
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The Pigford Case: USDA Settlement of a Discrimination Suit by Black Farmers
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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/
The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment
The proposed acquisition of major operations in six major U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World and of Unocal by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation sparked intense concerns among some Members of Congress and the public and has reignited the debate over what role foreign acquisitions play in U.S. national security. The United States actively promotes internationally the national treatment of foreign firms. Several Members of Congress have introduced various measures during the 2nd Session of the 109th Congress that can be grouped into four major areas: those that deal specifically with the proposed Dubai Ports World acquisition; those that focus more generally on foreign ownership of U.S. ports; those that would amend the CFIUS process; and those that would amend the Exon-Florio process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9704/
Executive Compensation in Bankruptcy: The Fairness and Accountability in Reorganizations Act
S. 2556 and its companion bill, H.R. 5113, 109th Congress, 2nd Sess. (2006), introduced by Senator Bayh and Representative Conyers, respectively, are entitled the Fairness and Accountability in Reorganizations Act of 2006. The legislation, according to its sponsors, is intended to “ensure that workers are treated more fairly during [bankruptcy] reorganizations by limiting executive compensation deals and requiring corporations to provide a more accurate picture of their holdings before attempting to modify collective bargaining agreements or promised health benefits.” This report surveys the bill’s provisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9151/
FEMA's Community Disaster Loan Program
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Privacy: An Abbreviated Outline of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping
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Patent Reform: Issues in the Biomedical and Software Industries
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Immigration Enforcement within the United States
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The Role of Risk Analysis and Risk Management in Environmental Protection
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The Role of Risk Analysis and Risk Management in Environmental Protection
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The Role of Risk Analysis and Risk Management in Environmental Protection
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The Role of Risk Analysis and Risk Management in Environmental Protection
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Water Quality: Implementing the Clean Water Act
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Water Quality: Implementing the Clean Water Act
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Water Quality: Implementing the Clean Water Act
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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/
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Reauthorization Legislation: An Overview
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Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants (Title II, Part A of the Higher Education Act): Overview and Reauthorization Issues
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Federal Tax Benefits for Families' K-12 Education Expenses in the Context of School Choice
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Federal Tax Benefits for Families' K-12 Education Expenses in the Context of School Choice
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Campaign Finance Regulation Under the First Amendment: Buckley v. Valeo and its Supreme Court Progeny
This report first discusses the critical holdings enunciated bythe SupremeCourt in Buckley, including those: upholding reasonable contribution limits, striking down expenditure limits, upholding disclosure reporting requirements, and upholding the system of voluntary presidential election expenditure limitations linked with public financing. It then examines the Court’s extension of Buckley in fifteen subsequent cases, evaluating them in three regulatory contexts: contribution limits (California Medical Association v. FEC; Citizens Against Rent Control v. Berkeley; Nixon v. Shrink Missouri Government PAC; FEC v. Beaumont), expenditure limits (First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti; FEC v. Massachusetts Citizens for Life; Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce; FEC v. National Right to Work; Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee (Colorado I) v. FEC; FEC v. Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee (Colorado II); FEC v. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; FEC v. National Conservative Political Action Committee), and disclosure requirements (Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation; Brown v. Socialist Workers ‘74 Campaign Committee; FEC v. Akins; McIntrye v. Ohio Elections Commission). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4392/
Campaign Finance Regulation Under the First Amendment: Buckley v. Valeo and its Supreme Court Progeny
This report first discusses the critical holdings enunciated bythe SupremeCourt in Buckley, including those: upholding reasonable contribution limits, striking down expenditure limits, upholding disclosure reporting requirements, and upholding the system of voluntary presidential election expenditure limitations linked with public financing. It then examines the Court’s extension of Buckley in fifteen subsequent cases, evaluating them in three regulatory contexts: contribution limits (California Medical Association v. FEC; Citizens Against Rent Control v. Berkeley; Nixon v. Shrink Missouri Government PAC; FEC v. Beaumont), expenditure limits (First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti; FEC v. Massachusetts Citizens for Life; Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce; FEC v. National Right to Work; Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee (Colorado I) v. FEC; FEC v. Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee (Colorado II); FEC v. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; FEC v. National Conservative Political Action Committee), and disclosure requirements (Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation; Brown v. Socialist Workers ‘74 Campaign Committee; FEC v. Akins; McIntrye v. Ohio Elections Commission). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4391/