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 Year: 2007
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The U.N. Law of the Sea Convention and the United States: Developments Since October 2003

The U.N. Law of the Sea Convention and the United States: Developments Since October 2003

Date: October 31, 2007
Creator: Browne, Marjorie Ann
Description: On October 31, 2007, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to recommend Senate advice and consent to U.S. adherence to the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1994 Agreement Relating to Implementation of Part XI of that Convention. This followed the statement by President Bush on May 15, 2007, urging “the Senate to act favorably on U.S. accession” to the Convention. CRS Issue Brief IB95010, The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy, serves as a basic CRS source for discussion of issues related to the United States and the Convention and Agreement, whereas this report focuses on events and issues that emerged since October 2003. It summarizes the committee’s proposed resolution of advice and consent in 2004 and presents some of the issues raised in support of and in opposition to U.S. adherence.
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The Endangered Species Act and "Sound Science"

The Endangered Species Act and "Sound Science"

Date: September 27, 2007
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.; Corn, M. L.; Baldwin, Pamela & Alexander, Kristina
Description: This report provides a context for evaluating legislative proposals through examples of how science has been used in selected cases, a discussion of the nature and role of science in general, and its role in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) process in particular, together with general and agency information quality requirements and policies, and a review of how the courts have viewed agency use of science.
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The “Farm Bill” in Brief

The “Farm Bill” in Brief

Date: February 2, 2007
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: This report briefly discusses federal farm support, food assistance, agricultural trade, marketing, and rural development policies are governed by a variety of separate laws. Many of these laws periodically have been evaluated, revised, and renewed through an omnibus, multi-year farm bill. These policies can be and sometimes are modified through free-standing authorizing legislation, or as part of other laws.
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The “Farm Bill” in Brief

The “Farm Bill” in Brief

Date: May 29, 2007
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Description: This report discusses the farm bill, which renewed about every five years, governs federal farm and food policy. The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-171) is the most recent omnibus farm bill, covering a wide range of programs including commodity price and income support, farm credit, agricultural conservation, research, rural development, and foreign and domestic food programs, among others.
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The “Farm Bill” in Brief

The “Farm Bill” in Brief

Date: January 3, 2007
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: Federal farm support, food assistance, agricultural trade, marketing, and rural development policies are governed by a variety of separate laws. Although many of these policies can be and sometimes are modified through freestanding authorizing legislation, or as part of other laws, the omnibus, multi-year farm bill provides an opportunity for policymakers to address agricultural and food issues more comprehensively.
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Congress’s Contempt Power: A Sketch

Congress’s Contempt Power: A Sketch

Date: August 1, 2007
Creator: Rosenberg, Morton & Tatelman, Todd B.
Description: This report outlines the source of the contempt power, reviews major developments in the case law, and analyzes the procedures associated with each of the three different types of contempt proceedings.
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Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods

Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods

Date: January 31, 2007
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 Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape

The Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape

Date: March 15, 2007
Creator: Moloney Figliola, Patricia
Description: The report discusses the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-Related Congressional Actions in the 112th Congress. The policymakers, including some in Congress, have long called for varying degrees and types of reform to the FCC. Most proposals fall into two categories: (1) procedural changes made within the FCC or through congressional action that would affect the agency's operations or (2) substantive policy changes requiring congressional action that would affect how the agency regulates different services and industry sectors.
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The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act

The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act

Date: January 22, 2007
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Description: President George W. Bush signed the Postal Enhancement and Accountability Act (P.L. 109-435) on December 20, 2006. This report briefly describes Congress’s pursuit of postal reform, summarizes the major provisions of the new postal reform law, and identifies possible P.L. 109-435 oversight issues for Congress.
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Nonimmigrant Overstays: Brief Synthesis of the Issue

Nonimmigrant Overstays: Brief Synthesis of the Issue

Date: January 24, 2007
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report discusses a fundamental problem of immigration control in which foreign nationals enter legally on a temporary basis and continue to stay after their visas expire.
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Forestry in the 2007 Farm Bill

Forestry in the 2007 Farm Bill

Date: August 20, 2007
Creator: Gorte, Ross W.
Description: This report briefly describes the Agriculture Committees' jurisdiction over forestry, with examples of legislation addressed by the committees. It discusses forestry issues likely to be debated in the upcoming farm bill and presents information on the forestry provisions in the Administration's proposal for the 2007 farm bill, followed by the forestry provisions in the Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007 (H.R. 2419).
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Arsenic in Drinking Water: Regulatory Developments and Issues

Arsenic in Drinking Water: Regulatory Developments and Issues

Date: January 17, 2007
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: This report discusses the 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments. These amendments directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to update the standard for arsenic in drinking water.
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Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense: Background and Issues for Congress

Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: January 3, 2007
Creator: Bearden, David M.
Description: Over time, Congress has included exemptions in several environmental statutes to ensure that requirements of those statutes would not restrict military training needs to the extent that national security would be compromised. This report discusses these exemptions and congressional disagreement over the need for broader exemptions in the absence of data on the overall impact of environmental requirements on training and readiness.
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Telecommunications Act: Competition, Innovation, and Reform

Telecommunications Act: Competition, Innovation, and Reform

Date: June 7, 2007
Creator: Goldfarb, Charles B.
Description: In 1996, Congress enacted comprehensive reform of the nation’s statutory and regulatory framework for telecommunications by passing the Telecommunications Act, which substantially amended the 1934 Communications Act. The general objective of the 1996 Act was to open up markets to competition by removing unnecessary regulatory barriers to entry. This report discusses the history of the law and examines current issues.
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Federal and State Quarantine and Isolation Authority

Federal and State Quarantine and Isolation Authority

Date: January 23, 2007
Creator: Swendiman, Kathleen S. & Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: This report provides an overview of federal and state public health laws as they relate to the quarantine and isolation of individuals, a discussion of constitutional issues that may be raised should individual liberties be restricted in a quarantine situation, and federalism questions that may arise where federal and state authorities overlap. In addition, the possible role of the armed forces in enforcing public health measures is discussed, specifically whether the Posse Comitatus Act would constrain any military role, and other statutory authorities that may be used for the military enforcement of health measures.
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Burma: Economic Sanctions

Burma: Economic Sanctions

Date: December 14, 2007
Creator: Niksch, Larry A. & Weiss, Martin A.
Description: This report provides background information on existing economic sanctions against Burma and possible options to expand sanctions.
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Wildfire Funding

Wildfire Funding

Date: May 7, 2007
Creator: Gorte, Ross W.
Description: This report briefly describes the three categories of federal programs for wildfire protection. One is to protect the federal lands managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (FS), and by the U.S. Department of the Interior, whose wildfire programs are coordinated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). A second category assists state and local governments and communities in protecting nonfederal lands; these programs are used to reduce wildland fuels, to otherwise prepare for fire control, to contain and control wildfires, and to respond after severe wildfires have burned. A third category of federal programs supports fire research, fire facilities, and improvements in forest health. The last section of this report discusses the impact of high and rising wildfire costs.
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Transportation Security: Issues for the 110th Congress

Transportation Security: Issues for the 110th Congress

Date: August 3, 2007
Creator: Peterman, David R.; Elias, Bart & Frittelli, John
Description: The focus of this report is how best to construct and finance a system of deterrence, protection, and response that effectively reduces the possibility and consequences of another terrorist attack without unduly interfering with travel, commerce, and civil liberties.
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Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Date: September 10, 2007
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried and punished according to the laws on the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under some limited circumstances. The federal exceptions to the general rule usually involve crimes like drug trafficking, terrorism, or crimes committed aboard a ship or airplane. State prosecution for overseas misconduct is limited almost exclusively to multijurisdictional crimes, i.e., crimes where some elements of the offense are committed within the state and others are committed abroad. The Constitution, Congress, and state law define the circumstances under which American criminal law may be used against crimes occurring, in whole or in part, outside the United States
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Davis-Bacon: The Act and the Literature

Davis-Bacon: The Act and the Literature

Date: November 13, 2007
Creator: Whittaker, William G.
Description: The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, as amended, requires that contractors, engaging in certain federal contract construction, pay workers on such projects not less than the locally prevailing wage for comparable work. In addition, such contractors are required to file payroll reports and to meet other administrative and labor standards requirements. Included in this report is a bibliography of published materials dealing with the Davis-Bacon Act and related issues.
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The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: An Overview of the Statutory Framework and U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review Decisions

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: An Overview of the Statutory Framework and U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review Decisions

Date: February 15, 2007
Creator: Bazan, Elizabeth B.
Description: This report discusses the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, and other related amendments that were included in the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002.
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Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Date: January 22, 2007
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Description: Aquaculture — the farming of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic animals and plants in a controlled environment — is expanding rapidly abroad, with more modest advances in the United States. This report discusses the federal laws and regulations that guide the management of resources in open ocean and near-shore coastal areas.
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Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Date: April 26, 2007
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Description: Aquaculture — the farming of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic animals and plants in a controlled environment — is expanding rapidly abroad, with more modest advances in the United States. This report discusses the federal laws and regulations that guide the management of resources in open ocean and near-shore coastal areas.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Date: July 13, 2007
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Description: Aquaculture — the farming of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic animals and plants in a controlled environment — is expanding rapidly abroad, with more modest advances in the United States. This report discusses the federal laws and regulations that guide the management of resources in open ocean and near-shore coastal areas.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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