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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment
The United States actively promotes internationally the national treatment of foreign firms. Some Members of Congress and others are concerned with this policy, however, particularly with how it applies to allowing government-owned companies unlimited access to the Nation's industrial base. Much of this debate focuses on the activities of a relatively obscure committee, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the Exon-Florio provision, which gives the President broad powers to block certain types of foreign investment. Several Members of Congress have introduced various measures during the 2nd Session of the 109th Congress regarding this ongoing policy debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10344/
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Amendments: 109th Congress
Enacted in 1966, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was designed to enable any person -- individual or corporate, regardless of citizenship -- to request, without explanation or justification, presumptive access to existing, identifiable, unpublished, executive branch agency records on any topic. The statute specified nine categories of information that may be permissibly exempted from the rule of disclosure. Disputes over the accessibility of requested records could be ultimately settled in court. The statute has become a somewhat popular tool of inquiry and information gathering for various quarters of American society. This report details the history of the Act, as well as relevant legislation and incidences and the efforts to amend the Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10375/
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/metacrs10343/
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/
Safe Drinking Water Act: State Revolving Fund Program
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Safe Drinking Water Act: State Revolving Fund Program
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The Role of Designation of Critical Habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
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The Endangered Species Act (ESA), Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), and Department of Defense (DOD) Readiness Activities: Background and Current Law
This report provides a brief overview of how the Endangered Species Act (ESA)1 and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA)2 and their relevant regulations may apply to military training and readiness activities of the Department of Defense (DOD). Military activities may “take” protected creatures directly (e.g,. killing with ordnance during rifle, gunnery or assault drills), or might destroy habitat (e.g., artillery or bombing practices), even if these results are not the purpose of the activities. The applicability of the MBTA and ESA to military readiness activities has been controversial recently and legislation has been enacted in both the 107th and 108th Congresses on these topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10071/
The Role of Risk Analysis and Risk Management in Environmental Protection
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Climate Change Legislation in the 109th Congress
Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a continuing issue in the 109th Congress. Bills directly addressing climate change issues range from those focused primarily on climate change research to comprehensive emissions cap-and-trade programs. Additional bills focus on GHG reporting and registries, or on power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, as part of wider controls on pollutant emissions. The bills vary in their approaches to climate change issues. This report briefly discusses the basic concepts on which these bills are based and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research, technology deployment, GHG reporting and registries, and emissions reduction programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10374/
Labor-Management Relations and the Federal Aviation Administration: Background and Current Legislative Issues
This report discusses labor-management relations at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the 2006 implementation of a new labor contract on air traffic controllers. The FAA's ability to implement the new contract with its controllers was arguably supported by a mediation procedure prescribed by federal law. This report provides background information on the mediation procedure, discusses litigation involving the FAA and two labor organizations, and examines legislative attempts to amend the existing system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10723/
Merger Review Authority of the Federal Communications Commission
This report will explain the merger review process at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission). Whenever companies holding licenses issued by the FCC wish to merge, the merging entities must obtain approval from two federal agencies: the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FCC. The Commission and the DOJ do not follow precisely the same process or reasoning when examining the potential effects of proposed mergers. The Act permits the Commission to grant the transfer only if the agency determines that the transaction would be in the public interest. The public interest standard is generally broader than the competition analysis authorized by the antitrust laws and conducted by the DOJ. Therefore, the Commission possesses greater latitude to examine other potential effects of a proposed merger beyond its possible effect on competition in the relevant market. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10784/
Food Safety Provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill
Food safety re-emerged as an issue in the 110th Congress following a series of widely publicized incidents -- including adulterated Chinese seafood and pet food ingredient imports, findings of bacteria-tainted spinach, meat, and poultry produced domestically, and several large food recalls. In 2008, Congress approved a new omnibus farm law that includes, among other provisions, several changes affecting U.S. food safety programs. This report outlines said provisions and explores the issue of food safety and related legislation in detail. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10747/
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
In order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states, it must conclude a framework agreement that meets specific requirements under section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA). The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. Congressional review is required for section 123 agreements; the AEA establishes special "fast track" parliamentary procedures by which Congress may act on a proposed agreement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10783/
The Enron Loophole
The Commodity Exchange Act exempts certain energy derivatives contracts from regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). These exemptions are popularly known as the "Enron loophole." Soaring energy prices have raised concerns about whether the CFTC has enough information about these unregulated markets to monitor energy trading in a comprehensive manner. A number of other bills in the 110th Congress would impose new reporting or regulatory requirements on the bilateral energy swaps market, which was not addressed by the Farm Bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10766/
The Siting of Wireless Communications Facilities: An Overview of Federal, State, and Local Law
The siting of wireless communications facilities has been a topic of controversy in communities all over the United States. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 governs federal, state, and local regulation of the siting of communications towers by placing certain limitations on local zoning authority without totally preempting state and local law. This report provides an overview of the federal, state, and local laws governing the siting of wireless communications facilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10561/
Water Quality: Implementing the Clean Water Act
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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/metacrs1144/
Lawsuits Against State Supporters of Terrorism: An Overview
A 1996 amendment to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) enables American victims of international terrorist acts supported by certain States designated by the State Department as supporters of terrorism - Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and previously Iraq and Libya - to bring suit in U.S. courts to seek monetary damages. This report, which will be updated, provides an overview of these issues and relevant legislation (H.R. 5167). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10633/
Perchlorate Conatmination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions
Perchlorate is the explosive component of solid rocket fuel, fireworks, road flares, and other products and is used heavily by the Department of Defense (DOD) and other industries. Perchlorate also occurs naturally. This compound has been detected in drinking water supplies, especially in California. It also has been found in milk and many foods. Because of this widespread occurrence, concern over the potential health risks of perchlorate exposure has increased, and some states and Member of Congress have urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set a drinking water standard for perchlorate. This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and developments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10617/
"Price Gouging," the Antitrust Laws, and Vertical Integration in the Petroleum Industry: How They Are Related
This report, which may be updated to further reflect congressional action, attempts to provide the antitrust context for prohibited practices, such as "price gouging"; notes prior congressional action concerning vertical divestiture in the petroleum industry; and provides information on the state "divorcement" statutes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10649/
Lawsuits Against State Supporters of Terrorism: An Overview
A 1996 amendment to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) enables American victims of international terrorist acts supported by certain States designated by the State Department as supporters of terrorism -- Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and previously Iraq and Libya -- to bring suit in U.S. courts to seek monetary damages. Despite congressional efforts to make blocked (of "frozen) assets of such States available for attachment by judgment creditors in such cases, plaintiffs encountered difficulties in enforcing the awards. This report provides an overview of these issues and relevant legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10631/
Perchlorate Contamination of Drinking Water: Regulatory Issues and Legislative Actions
Perchlorate is the explosive component of solid rocket fuel, fireworks, road flares, and other products and is used heavily by the Department of Defense (DOD) and other industries. Perchlorate also occurs naturally. This compound has been detected in drinking water supplies, especially in California. It also has been found in milk and many foods. Because of this widespread occurrence, concern over the potential health risks of perchlorate exposure has increased, and some states and Member of Congress have urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set a drinking water standard for perchlorate. This report reviews perchlorate water contamination issues and developments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10616/
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/
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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Campaign Finance Regulation Under the First Amendment:
This Report first discusses the critical holdings enunciated by the Supreme Court 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 fourteen 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), 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 v. FEC; 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/metacrs1158/
Prayer and Religion in the Public Schools: What Is, and Is Not, Permitted
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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/metacrs8696/
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/metacrs8703/
Sex Discrimination in Education: Title IX
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School Prayer
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Toxic Pollutants and the Clean Water Act: Current Issues
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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): Analysis of Changes Made by P.L. 108-446
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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/
State and Local Sales and Use Taxes and Internet Commerce
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Climate Change Legislation in the 109th Congress
Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a continuing issue in the 109th Congress. Bills directly addressing climate change issues range from those focused primarily on climate change research to comprehensive emissions cap-and-trade programs. Additional bills focus on GHG reporting and registries, or on power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, as part of wider controls on pollutant emissions. The bills vary in their approaches to climate change issues. This report briefly discusses the basic concepts on which these bills are based and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research, technology deployment, GHG reporting and registries, and emissions reduction programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9385/
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/
Gun Legislation in the 109th Congress
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Farm Commodity Programs: Direct Payments, Counter-Cyclical Payments, and Marketing Loans
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Immigration: The Labor Market Effects of a Guest Worker Program for U.S. Farmers
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Forestry Assistance Programs
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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/
Advertising of Alcoholic Beverages: Should a Radio and TV Ban be Imposed?
This issue brief discusses the ongoing debate centered around television and radio advertising of alcoholic beverages, especially as it relates to the possible negative influence on the drinking habits of minors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9049/
Highway Fund Sanctions and Conformity Under the Clean Air Act
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Reauthorizing and Restructuring the Transportation Security Administration's Aviation Security Functions: Legislative Issues and Approaches
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Pesticide Use and Water Quality : Are the Laws Complementary or in Conflict?
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Environmental Reauthorizations and Regulatory Reform: From the 104th Congress to the 106th
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/metacrs953/
The Virus-Serum-Toxin Act: A Brief History and Analysis
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