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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10734/
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10735/
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10733/
Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview
China is a major source of U.S. imports of consumer products (such as toys) and an increasingly important supplier of various food products. Reports of unsafe seafood, pet food, toys, tires, and other products imported from China over the past year or so have raised concern in the United States over the health, safety, and quality of imported Chinese products. This report provides an overview of this issue and implications for U.S.-China trade relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10711/
DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress
The Department of Defense (DOD) in recent years has leased some foreign-built cargo ships for total periods, including options and renewals, of almost 10 years - a length of time that some observers argue effectively circumvents a legal requirement that U.S. military ships be built in U.S. shipyards. These observers, particularly the American Shipbuilding Association (ASA), have proposed reducing the current five-year legal limit on ship leases to two years for foreign-built ships. DOD has opposed the idea, arguing that its ship leases are the most cost-effective way to meet its needs for the ships in question. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10676/
DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress
The Department of Defense (DOD) in recent years has leased some foreign-built cargo ships for total periods, including options and renewals, of almost 10 years - a length of time that some observers argue effectively circumvents a legal requirement that U.S. military ships be built in U.S. shipyards. These observers, particularly the American Shipbuilding Association (ASA), have proposed reducing the current five-year legal limit on ship leases to two years for foreign-built ships. DOD has opposed the idea, arguing that its ship leases are the most cost-effective way to meet its needs for the ships in question. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10675/
DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress
The Department of Defense (DOD) in recent years has leased some foreign-built cargo ships for total periods, including options and renewals, of almost 10 years - a length of time that some observers argue effectively circumvents a legal requirement that U.S. military ships be built in U.S. shipyards. These observers, particularly the American Shipbuilding Association (ASA), have proposed reducing the current five-year legal limit on ship leases to two years for foreign-built ships. DOD has opposed the idea, arguing that its ship leases are the most cost-effective way to meet its needs for the ships in question. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10674/
The Pattern of Interest Rates: Does it Signal an Impending Recession?
The cyclical behavior of the economy is of great interest to Congress, yet the onset of an economic downturn is seldom recognized promptly. Policymakers frequently search for reliable recession predictors. The behavior of interest rates may provide advanced warning of an impending downturn. The easing of monetary policy in evidence since September 2007 is consistent with efforts to forestall or minimize an economic downturn. Economic growth has been low since the last quarter of 2007, and some forecasters are now predicting a recession in 2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10658/
General Services Administration Prospectus Thresholds for Owned and Leased Federal Facilities
The General Services Administration (GSA) oversees GSA-owned and -leased federal buildings and courthouses. This report provides an overview of the funding for GSA, GSA procedures, and related legislation, especially in light of recent disasters, i.e., hurricanes, flooding, etc. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10651/
"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/
Outsourcing and Insourcing Jobs in the U.S. Economy: An Overview of Evidence Based on Foreign Investment Data
Foreign direct investment is sparking a national debate. Local communities compete for investment projects, while many of the residents of those communities fear losing their jobs to foreign outsourcing. Some opponents argue that such job losses have disproportionately negative impact on local communities. Economists generally argue that free and unimpeded international capital flows have a positive impact on both domestic and foreign economies. This report provides an overview of CRS Report RL32461, Outsourcing and Insourcing Jobs in the U.S. Economy: Evidence Based on Foreign Investment Data, that analyzes the extent of direct investment into and out of the economy and the relationship between direct investment and the broader economic changes that are occurring in the U.S. economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10609/
Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs): An Institutional Overview
Congress chartered government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) to improve the workings of credit markets. This report briefly describes the nature of GSEs, their mixed governmental-private nature, the differences between GSEs and government agencies, and the arguments for and against GSEs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10599/
Regulation of Energy Derivatives
After the collapse of Enron Corp. in late 2001, that company's activities came under intense scrutiny. Much of its business consisted of trading financial contracts whose value was derived from changes in energy prices. Enron's derivatives trading was largely "over-the-counter" (OTC) and unregulated: little information about transactions was available. This incident has sparked interest in reform of energy derivatives regulation. This report summarizes energy derivatives regulation and proposed legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10584/
Memorials: Creating National, State, and Local Memorials
This report provides information on the mandatory steps to building a memorial on federal property in the District of Columbia. It also provides information on creating memorials in Arlington National Cemetery, within the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery System, and in state veterans' cemeteries. In addition, it discusses public and private initiatives at the state and local levels to create memorials including successful local fund-raising efforts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10573/
Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy
There is ongoing interest in the pace of U.S. technological advancement due to its influence on U.S. economic growth, productivity, and international competitiveness. Because technology can contribute to economic growth and productivity increases, congressional attention has focused on how to augment private-sector technological development. This report outlines federal efforts to fund technological research and innovations, as well as congressional efforts to eliminate or significantly curtail said efforts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10314/
Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy
There is ongoing interest in the pace of U.S. technological advancement due to its influence on U.S. economic growth, productivity, and international competitiveness. Because technology can contribute to economic growth and productivity increases, congressional attention has focused on how to augment private-sector technological development. This report outlines federal efforts to fund technological research and innovations, as well as congressional efforts to eliminate or significantly curtail said efforts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10315/
Chemical Facility Security
The potential for United States hazardous chemical facilities to become the targets of terrorist attacks is a concern which Congress has begun to address in earnest. While the likelihood of such attacks is low at present, Congress enacted legislation that requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to analyze such facilities and suggest enhancements in security and infrastructure. Such legislation--and future like legislation--could include requiring certain environmental and security standards in the future construction of new hazardous chemical facilities. Congress is focusing on educating the public and holding facility owners accountable to increase security, rather than simply restricting terrorists' access to information about the United States' chemical facility infrastructure. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10459/
Chemical Facility Security
Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10458/
Chemical Facility Security
Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10460/
State and Local Sales and Use Taxes and Internet Commerce
In theory, state sales and use taxes are based on the destination principle, which prescribes that taxes should be paid where the consumption takes place. States are concerned because they anticipate gradually losing more tax revenue as the growth of Internet commerce allows more residents to buy products from vendors located out-of-state and evade use taxes. The size of the revenue loss from Internet commerce and subsequent tax evasion is uncertain. Congress is involved in this issue because commerce conducted by parties in different states over the Internet falls under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The degree of congressional involvement is an open question. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10474/
Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy
There is ongoing interest in the pace of U.S. technological advancement due to its influence on U.S. economic growth, productivity, and international competitiveness. Because technology can contribute to economic growth and productivity increases, congressional interest has focused on how to augment private-sector technological development. Congressional action has mandated specific technology development programs and obligations in federal agencies that did not initially support such efforts. Some legislative activity, beginning in the 104th Congress, has been directed at eliminating or significantly curtailing many of these federal efforts. Questions have been raised concerning the proper role of the federal government in technology development and the competitiveness of U.S. industry. As the 109th congress continues to develop its budget priorities, how the government encourages technological process in the private sector again may be explored and/or redefined. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10509/
Internet Commerce and State Sales and Use Taxes
In theory, state sales and use taxes are based on the destination principle, which prescribes that taxes should be paid where the consumption takes place. States are concerned because they anticipate gradually losing more tax revenue as the growth of Internet commerce allows more residents to buy products from vendors located out-of-state and evade use taxes. The size of the revenue loss from Internet commerce and subsequent tax evasion is uncertain. Congress is involved in this issue because commerce conducted by parties in different states over the Internet falls under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The degree of congressional involvement is an open question. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10193/
Dairy Policy Issues
Many dairy farmer groups are concerned that imports of milk protein concentrates (MPCs) are displacing domestic dairy ingredients and thus depressing farm milk prices. S.560 and H.R. 1160 would impose tariff rate quotas on certain MPCs, and S. 40 would prohibit the use of dry MPC in domestic cheese production. Dairy processor groups are opposed to these bills. A dairy producer group challenged the Customs Service classification of MPCs, but Customs ruled that current classifications are correct. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10019/
Dairy Policy Issues
A temporary pilot program that allows processors to enter into forward price contracts with individual dairy farmers or their cooperatives for certain uses of milk is scheduled to expire December 31, 2004. A forward price contract allows buyers and sellers of a commodity to negotiate a price for the commodity on a future delivery date and insulates both parties from price volatility. Identical bills (H.R. 3308, S. 2565) pending in Congress would convert the pilot program to a permanent one. The bills are supported by dairy processors, but are opposed by the largest organization of dairy cooperatives, which is concerned that the program might undermine federal minimum pricing requirements digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10043/
Dairy Policy Issues
Several dairy issues that were debated during the 108th Congress are expected to continue as issues of interest in the 109th Congress. Separate bills were introduced in the 108th Congress to extend authority for both the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program and the dairy forward pricing pilot program, and to address dairy producer concerns about the importation of milk protein concentrates. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10091/
Dairy Policy Issues
Several dairy issues that were debated during the 108th Congress are expected to continue as issues of interest in the 109th Congress. Separate bills were introduced in the 108th Congress to extend authority for both the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program and the dairy forward pricing pilot program, and to address dairy producer concerns about the importation of milk protein concentrates. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10090/
The Advanced Technology Program
The Advanced Technology Program (ATP) was created by P.L. 100-418, the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, to encourage public-private cooperation in the development of pre-competitive technologies with broad application across industries. This activity has been targeted for elimination as a means to cut federal spending. Since FY2000, the original House-passed appropriation bills have not included funding for ATP. Many of the Administration’s budget requests have proposed termination of the program. However, ATP continues to be supported, although at levels below that achieved in FY1995 when the activity was expanded significantly. This report discusses funding (or lack thereof) appropriated for the ATP for FY2006. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10087/
Stormwater Permits: Status of EPA's Regulatory Program
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Electricity: The Road Toward Restructuring
The Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA) and the Federal Power Act (FPA) were enacted to eliminate unfair practices and other abuses by electricity and gas holding companies by requiring federal control and regulation of interstate public utility holding companies. Comprehensive energy legislation has passed the House and Senate. The House passed H.R. 6 on April 11, 2003. On July 31, 2003, the Senate suspended debate on S. 14, inserted the text of H.R. 4 (107th Congress) as a substitute, and passed H.R. 6. A conference agreement was reached November 17, 2003, and passed by the House the next day. H.R. 6 includes an electricity title that would, in part, repeal PUHCA, would prospectively repeal the mandatory purchase requirement under PURPA, and would create an electric reliability organization. On June 15, 2004, H.R. 4503, a comprehensive energy policy bill, passed the House. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10037/
Upper Mississippi River - Illinois Waterway Navigation Expansion: An Agricultural Transportation and Environmental Context
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9657/
U.S.-Canada Wheat and Corn Trade Disputes
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9683/
U.S. Tobacco Production, Consumption, and Export Trends
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9644/
U.S. Sales of New Domestic and Imported Automobiles from 1977 through 1984, With U.S. Market Shares of Countries of Origin
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9584/
U.S. Defense Procurement Reform: Major Congressional Initiatives
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9583/
Tobacco Farmer Assistance
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9682/
Three Utility Financing Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9574/
The Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement: A Brief Description
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9990/
The Pattern of Interest Rates in 2006: Could It Signal an Impending Recession?
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9985/
The Liability Insurance Crisis
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The Liability Insurance Controversy
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The Labor Market of the 1980s: Unemployment Omens in a Growing Economy
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9616/
The International Wine Market: Description and Selected Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9641/
Upper Mississippi River - Illinois Waterway Navigation Expansion: An Agricultural Transportation and Environmental Context
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9654/
U.S.-Canada Wheat and Corn Trade Disputes
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9674/
U.S. Tobacco Production, Consumption, and Export Trends
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9640/
U.S. Sales of New Domestic and Imported Automobiles from 1977 through 1984, With U.S. Market Shares of Countries of Origin
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9578/
U.S. Defense Procurement Reform: Major Congressional Initiatives
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9577/
Tobacco Farmer Assistance
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9673/
Three Utility Financing Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9573/
The Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement: A Brief Description
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9966/