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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting
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Farm and Food Support Under USDA's Section 32 Program
This report discusses "Section 32", which is a permanent appropriation that since 1935 has earmarked the equivalent of 30% of annual customs receipts to support the farm sector through a variety of activities. Today, most of this sizeable appropriation (now about $5.7 billion per year) is simply transferred directly into the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) child nutrition account to fund school feeding and other programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs839/
Emergency Funding for Agriculture: A Brief History of Congressional Action, 1988-June 1999
Between 1988 and June 1999, thirteen emergency supplemental or farm disaster acts provided a total of $17 billion in emergency funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs. The vast majority of this amount has gone directly to farmers, primarily in the form of disaster payments ($12.2 billion) to any farmer suffering a significant crop loss caused by a natural disaster, and "market loss" payments ($3.1 billion) to help grain, cotton, and dairy farmers recover from low farm commodity prices. The remaining $1.7 billion has gone to a wide array of other USDA programs, including those for other forms of farm disaster assistance, farm loans, and overseas food aid. Congress is expected to consider a multi-billion financial assistance package for farmers sometime this year. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs840/
Emergency Funding for Agriculture: A Brief History of Congressional Action, FY1989-FY2001
From FY1989 through FY2001 (to date), nineteen appropriations or farm disaster acts have provided $38 billion in emergency funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs. Nearly $27 billion, or about 70 percent of the total amount, has been provided for FY1999-FY2001 alone. Since FY1989, the vast majority of the funds has been paid directly to farmers, primarily in the form of “market loss payments” (just under $17 billion, all since FY1999) to compensate for low farm commodity prices, and disaster payments($15.6 billion) paid to any producer who experienced a major crop loss caused by a natural disaster. The remaining $5.4 billion has funded a wide array of other USDA programs, including other forms of farm disaster assistance, farm loans, overseas food aid, food and nutrition programs, and rural development assistance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1063/
The Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA)
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IMF and World Bank: U.S. Contributions and Agency Budgets
This paper shows how much the United States has contributed to these international agencies in recent years. It also shows how much the international agencies budget (and the source of those funds) for their administrative expenses and their operational budgets. This report will be updated periodically. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs842/
Agriculture and the 106th Congress: A Summary of Major Issues
Most congressional interest in agriculture in the 106th Congress was focused on persistent low prices for major commodities and proposals to redress declining farm income. Six emergency farm aid bills were approved, increasing agricultural spending by nearly $27 billion for fiscal years 1999-2001. These bills provided disaster relief along with short term “market loss payments”to farmers to shore up farm income. Some longer term changes also were enacted as part of emergency farm legislation, which this report discusses in brief. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1064/
Federal Grazing Regulations: Public Lands Council v. Babbitt
This report discusses new regulations on livestock grazing on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management became effective August 21, 1995. Many aspects of the new regulations were challenged in Public Lands Council v. Babbitt. A federal district court upheld many of the regulations, but struck down four of them and enjoined their implementation. At the appellate level, only the new regulation allowing conservation use to the exclusion of livestock grazing for the full term of a permit was held invalid. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case and argument has been set for March 1, 2000. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1065/
Conservation Reserve Payments and Self-Employment Taxes
Farmers enrolling their land in the Department of Agriculture's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) receive payments for refraining from farming their property and for engaging in certain conservation practices mandated by the Department of Agriculture. These payments are described in the contract with the Department of Agriculture as "rental payments." Farmers would like to treat the income as "rental income" because it would not be subject to self-employment taxes, but the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) insists that under certain conditions, the payments are income from the trade or business of farming and thus subject to self-employment taxes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1066/
StarLink™ Corn Controversy: Background
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Agriculture: Prospective Issues for the 107th Congress
Persistent low farm prices and 3 years of multi-billion dollar ad hoc additions to federal spending for farmers are expected to put pressure on the 107th Congress for an early review of federal farm policy. Farm policy is governed by a variety of laws, many of which are incorporated into an omnibus, multi-year farm bill. Most of the provisions of the current farm bill, the Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform (FAIR) Act of 1996, expire after the 2002 crop year. Key issues are the responsiveness of current policy to low commodity prices and farm income, factors influencing low prices, and options for improving prices and/or providing automatic relief to farmers when prices fall. Increased concentration in the agriculture industry, trade, and environmental regulations affecting agriculture are likely to be part of the debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1388/
Farm Program Spending: What's Permitted Under the Uruguay Round Agreements
This report discusses farm income and commodity price support proposals that might succeed the programs due to expire in 2002. A key question being asked of virtually every new proposal is how it will affect U.S. commitments under the 1994 Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture (URAA), which commitsthe United States to spend no more than $19.1 billion annually on domestic farm supports most likely to distort trade. The URAA spells out the rules for countries to determine whether their policies are potentially trade distorting, and to calculate the costs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1389/
Farm Commodity Programs: A Short Primer
This report briefly discusses programs designed to provide income support, price support, and/or supply management for approximately 20 specified agricultural commodities. USDA farm support programs represent the heart of U.S. farm policy, by virtue of their longevity – they have existed since the early 1930s – and their cost. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1390/
Farm Commodity Programs: A Short Primer
This report briefly discusses programs designed to provide income support, price support, and/or supply management for approximately 20 specified agricultural commodities. USDA farm support programs represent the heart of U.S. farm policy, by virtue of their longevity – they have existed since the early 1930s – and their cost. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2122/
Farm "Counter-Cyclical Assistance"
This report discusses the reauthorization of major farm income and commodity price support programs that expire after crop year 2002. Many agricultural interests expect that a new “counter-cyclical assistance” program will be an integral component of future farm policy. The intent of counter-cyclical assistance is to provide more government support when farm prices and/or incomes decline, and less support when they improve. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2123/
Farm "Counter-Cyclical Assistance"
This report discusses recently approved legislation reauthorizing major farm income and commodity price support programs through crop year 2007. This legislation includes new “counter-cyclical assistance” programs for grains, cotton, oilseeds, peanuts, and milk. The intent of counter-cyclical assistance is to provide more government support when farm prices and/or incomes decline, and less support when they improve. In fact, farmers have, for many years, been eligible for various forms of counter-cyclical assistance. At issue has been the need for, and potential impacts of, another counter-cyclical program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2124/
Farm Bill Trade and Food Aid Provisions
This report discusses the trade provisions of omnibus farm legislation, passed in May 2002. The measure includes a trade title reauthorizing, through 2007, the major foreign food aid and agricultural export programs. It also contains other provisions affecting agricultural trade, including new country-of-origin labeling requirements for meat, seafood, and produce; and increased domestic farm subsidies with possible implications for U.S. trade relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2125/
Farm Commodity Payment Limits: Comparison of Proposals
This report discusses U.S. policy regard farm commodities. Greater public awareness of the size of commodity program payments reaching a comparatively small number of very large farms has focused the attention of Congress on payment limits. Limits on commodity program payments have been imposed since 1970. As part of the emergency economic assistance packages enacted each of the past three years, the payment limits have been doubled. In addition, a mechanism has been developed that allows farms to circumvent the limit on loan deficiency payments, namely commodity certificates digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2126/
The 2002 Farm Law at a Glance
On May 13, 2002, President Bush signed the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002 into law (P.L. 107-171). FSRIA is the latest in a long line of omnibus, multi-year farm bills. The 2002 law is the successor to the last omnibus measure, the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-127). This report, to be updated if events warrant, provides selected highlights. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2127/
Ethanol and Clean Air: The "Reg-Neg" Controversy and Subsequent Events
The Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA), enacted in 1990, called for cleaner automotive fuels in order to upgrade air quality. This appeared to provide new market potential for ethanol, which is obtained from corn grown in the midwestern United States, and which is already in large-scale use in a blend of ten percent ethanol to ninety percent gasoline. The CAAA left specific details of the clean fuels program to be worked out by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in consultation with the interested parties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs44/
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/
California Air Quality FIP - A Fact Sheet
On April 10, 1995, President Clinton signed P.L. 104-6, which contained a provision that rescinds the Federal air quality implementation plan (FIP) for the South Coast, Ventura, and Sacramento areas of California.(1) As a result, the FIP issued by EPA has no further force and effect, and California will continue pursuing approval of its own State implementation plan (SIP) in lieu of the FIP. Promulgation of the FIP was perceived by some within the State as having a detrimental effect on California's industries and economy resulting from costly and burdensome air pollution control measures contained in the plan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs175/
Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate: Marine Mammal Issues
After global warming became a concern in the mid-1950s, researchers proposed measuring deep ocean temperatures to reveal any significant trends in core ocean warming. Acoustic thermometry can detect changes in ocean temperature by receiving low-frequency sounds transmitted across an ocean basin because the speed of sound is proportional to water temperature. Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate, or ATOC, is an international program involving 11 institutions in seven nations. It is designed as a 30-month "proof-of-concept" project to provide data on possible global climate change, with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Defense. A debate has arisen over ATOC's impact on marine mammals versus the benefits of better global warming information derived from ATOC. This report dicusses the ATOC program and related concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs176/
A Clean Air Option: Cash for Clunkers
The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 encourage states to pursue market-based approaches to improve air quality. An Accelerated Vehicle Retirement (AVR) program, commonly referred to as "Cash for Clunkers," is designed to provide an economic incentive for the owners of highly polluting vehicles to retire their automobiles permanently from use and to provide greater flexibility for private industry to reduce emissions by sponsoring such a program. The implementation of AVR programs can be controversial. This report discusses the AVR program debate and includes information on completed AVR pilot projects in selected states. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs287/
Nitrogen Oxides and Electric Utilities: Revising the NSPS
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Global Climate Change: Adequacy of Commitments Under the U.N. Framework Convention and the Berlin Mandate
This report discusses the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) convened July 8-19, 1996, in Geneva, Switzerland. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs286/
Global Climate Change Treaty: Negotiations and Related Issues
This report discusses the negotiations leading the Kyoto conference of the parties. The United States and other parties to the 1992 Climate Change Convention signed at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro will meet December 1-12 in Kyoto, Japan, to conclude year-long negotiations on a legally binding protocol or amendment to reduce or stabilize emissions of greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. proposal to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases to 1990 levels between 2008-2012 is less ambitious than environmentalists and many other treaty Parties urge, but represents a commitment that others, including many in business, fear could damage the economy. A key aspect of the negotiations also is what should be expected of developing nations, whose current emissions of greenhouse gases are relatively small, but are expected to increase rapidly over the next decade with economic development. A sense of the Senate resolution calls for all countries to meet scheduled reductions, and would agree to U.S. participation only if harm to the domestic economy is avoided. If agreement is reached in Kyoto, Senate approval would be required for U.S. ratification, and legislation to implement commitments would also likely be necessary. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs382/
Air Quality Standards: The Decisionmaking Process
The decisions by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1997 to revise the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone and particulate matter refocused attention on the criteria and the process by which these decisions are made Tracing the steps of the decision pieces, this report identifies the statutory criteria established by the Congress and summarizes the administrative procedures the Agency follows in setting these standards and in reviewing them every 5 years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs521/
Global Climate Change: The Role of U.S. Foreign Assistance
This report discusses the role of U.S. foreign assistance to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases that most experts believe cause global warming digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs383/
Air Quality and the New Ozone NAAQS: The OTAG Process
The Ozone Transport Assessment Group (OTAG) represented a cooperative effort between states, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and numerous stakeholders to address teh complex issue of ozone transport. However, opponents of the new ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) argue that the OTAG recommendations are far too vague and ambiguous to be cited by EPA as a basis for implementation. This report provides background on the effort, and summarizes OTAG's assessment and recommendations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs522/
Air Quality: EPA's Proposed New Ozone and Particulate Matter Standards
This report discusses the contentious issue of enforcing stringent national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone and particulate matter (PM), the opponents of which decry as harmful to the economy. The report discusses actions undertaken by the EPA, President Clinton's support of the NAAQSs, and the criticisms of opponents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs384/
Global Climate Change: The Energy Tax Incentives in the President's FY1999 Budget
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Global Climate Change: The Energy Tax Incentives in the President's FY2000 Budget
This report discusses the FY2000 budget, which includes several energy tax incentives intended to reduce greenhouse gasses linked to possible global warming. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs843/
Global Climate Change Treaty: The Kyoto Protocol
Negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) were completed December 11, 1997, committing the industrialized nations to specified, legally binding reductions in emissions of six "greenhouse gases." This report discusses the major provisions of the Kyoto Protocol. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1067/
Global Climate Change Treaty: The Kyoto Protocol
Negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) were completed December 11, 1997, committing the industrialized nations to specified, legally binding reductions in emissions of six "greenhouse gases." This report discusses the major provisions of the Kyoto Protocol. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs524/
Global Climate Change: Reducing Greenhouse Gases - How Much from What Baseline?
This report discusses the ways to reduce emissions of six greenhouses gases after the Kyoto meeting on Global Climate Change. Projecting the reductions that would be required if the U.S. were to ratify the treaty is difficult. While emissions of CO are fairly well established and account for 2 about 85% of total carbon equivalent emissions, emissions of the other gases, especially N O, are more uncertain. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs525/
Global Climate Change: U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Status, Trends, and Projections
This report discusses greenhouse gas emissions and baselines in the U.S. and various aspects of future projections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2128/
Global Climate Change: U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Status, Trends, and Projections
This report reviews U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases in the contexts both of domestic policy and of international obligations and proposals. On October 15, 1992, the United States ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which entered into force on March 21, 1994. This committed the United States to “national policies” to limit “its anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases,” with a voluntary goal of returning “emissions of carbon dioxide [CO2] and other greenhouse gases [methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)]” at the “end of the decade” to “their 1990 levels.” digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3733/
Global Climate Change: Selected Legal Questions About the Kyoto Protocol
This report addresses legal issues after the United States signed the Kyoto Protocol to the UnitedNations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The protocol is not yet in effect internationally and cannot be legally binding on the U.S. unless and until the Senate gives its advice and consent. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1391/
Global Climate Change: Selected Legal Questions About the Kyoto Protocol
This report discusses the Kyoto Protocol and whether the United States is now legally bound by the Protocol, the legal implications of signing it, whether it could be implemented as an executive agreement without submission to the Senate, and whether the Protocol could be used as the legal basis for regulation of emissions even prior to ratification. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs526/
Global Climate Change: Selected Legal Questions About the Kyoto Protocol
This report addresses legal issues after the United States signed the Kyoto Protocol to the UnitedNations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The protocol is not yet in effect internationally and cannot be legally binding on the U.S. unless and until the Senate gives its advice and consent. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1392/
Global Climate Change: Selected Legal Questions About the Kyoto Protocol
This report addresses legal issues after the United States signed the Kyoto Protocol to the UnitedNations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The protocol is not yet in effect internationally and cannot be legally binding on the U.S. unless and until the Senate gives its advice and consent. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2129/
Global Climate Change: A Concise History of Negotiations and Chronology of Major Activities Preceding the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention
This report discusses the ongoing international policy debate regarding Global Climate Change and U.S. involvement in the issue of global climate change.The report provides an historical context of the current debate, which is important in understanding the fundamental issues about global climate change. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs527/
Global Climate Change: Congressional Concern About "Back Door" Implementation of the 1997 U.N. Kyoto Protocol
This report discusses legislation and issues relating to global climate change, some legislation and some FY1999 appropriations bills were used as vehicles for explicit congressional direction to the executive branch about possible "back door" implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs844/
Global Climate Change
This report discusses the effect of human activities on global climate change. Human activities, particularly burning of fossil fuels, have increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and other trace gases, including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), methane, and nitrous oxide. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs288/
Global Climate Change: Three Policy Perspectives
This paper examines three reasonably distinct starting points from which a U.S. response to the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change is being framed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs528/
Global Climate Change
This report discusses different perspectives used to consider issues related to the global climate change and issues related to the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 1997 Kyoto Agreement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1393/
Global Climate Change
This report discusses different perspectives used to consider issues related to the global climate change and issues related to the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 1997 Kyoto Agreement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1394/
Global Climate Change
This report discusses different perspectives used to consider issues related to the global climate change and issues related to the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 1997 Kyoto Agreement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1395/
Global Climate Change
This report discusses different perspectives used to consider issues related to the global climate change and issues related to the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 1997 Kyoto Agreement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1396/