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 Decade: 1990-1999
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Electricity Restructuring Background: Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA)
This report provides background information on PUHCA, including its history and impact. It also discusses how PUHCA reform fits into the current electric utility industry restructuring debate. This report will be updated as events warrant. For related information on electricity restructuring, see the CRS Electronic Briefing Book.
Electricity Restructuring Background: The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 and the Energy Policy Act of 1992
The Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPACT) increased competition in the electric generating sector by creating new entities that can generate and sell electricity at wholesale without being regulated as utilities under PUHCA. PURPA began to shift more regulatory responsibilities to the federal government, and EPACT continued that shift away from the states by creating new options for utilities and regulators to meet electricity demand.
Legislative Prayer and School Prayer: The Constitutional Difference
The Supreme Court's decisions holding government-sponsored prayer in the public schools to violate the First Amendment's establishment clause but prayer in legislative assemblies to be constitutional are sometimes lifted up as contradictory. This report summarizes the relevant decisions and identifies the distinctions the Court has drawn between the two situations.
Education Vouchers: The Constitutional Standards
The Court’s decisions permit a limited degree of public aid to be provided directly and a broader range of assistance indirectly. This report sketches the constitutional standards that apply to public aid to sectarian schools and especially to programs of indirect assistance such as education vouchers. It also summarizes recent significant state court decisions involving vouchers.
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.
Kosovo and NATO: Selected Issues of International Law
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The Law of Church and State: The Proposed Religious Freedom Amendment, H.J. Res. 78
This report summarizes legislative developments on the proposal and briefly analyzes its likely legal effect if added to the Constitution.
Legislative Prayer and School Prayer: The Constitutional Difference
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The Religious Freedom Restoration Act: Its Rise, Fall, and Current Status
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The Religious Freedom Amendment: H.J. Res. 78, As Reported by the House Judiciary Committee
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Japan-U.S. Trade Negotiations: Will the Deadlock Be Broken?
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Japan's Response to U.S. Trade Pressures: End of an Era?
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Regional Free Trade Partners and U.S. Interests: What's Next?
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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Reauthorization Legislation: An Overview
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English as the Official Language of the United States: An Overview
This report provides background on contemporary efforts to declare English the official language, a review of selected issues raised by official English proposals in Congress, and a summary of arguments that have been advanced in favor of and in opposition to such proposals.
Issues Related to the Provision of Housing and Utilities to Employees
Over 3,200 state employees receive free, state-subsidized housing and utilities; live in state-owned properties for a nominal monthly rate; or receive monthly cash payments in lieu of in-kind housing benefits. Over 1,300 state employees receive some form of educational assistance from their employing agencies
Secret Sessions of Congress: A Brief Historical Overview
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Appropriations for FY1999: An Overview
Appropriations are one part of a complex federal budget process that includes budget resolutions, appropriations (regular, supplemental, and continuing) bills, rescissions, and budget reconciliation bills. This report is a guide to CRS reports that provide analytical perspectives on the 13 annual appropriations bills, and other related appropriation measures. It does not include a detailed explanation or description of the budget or appropriations processes.
Line Item Vetoes in the 105th Congress, First Session: A Finding Aid
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Vocational Education: Legislation to Reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act
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Biotechnology, Indigenous Peoples, and Intellectual Property Rights
This report examines intellectual property right in pharmaceuticals in a particular context, namely, medicinal products and processes derived from the biodiversity resources of areas inhabited by indigenous peoples. This report discusses the international law regarding intellectual property rights in traditional knowledge and the American laws regarding traditional knowledge.
The Committee Markup Process in the House of Representatives
This report discusses aspects of the process by which House committees mark up and report legislation. Among the subjects discussed are: selecting the text to be marked up, offering and debating amendments, and making motions to conclude debates during markups. The report also discusses relevant rules and practices concerning motions, quorums, votes, points of order, and parliamentary inquiries.
Conference Committee and Related Procedures: An Introduction
Conference committees generally are free to conduct their negotiations as they choose, but they are to address only the matters on which the House and Senate have disagreed. Moreover, they are to propose settlements that represent compromises between the positions of the two houses. When they have completed their work, they submit a conference report and joint explanatory statement, and the House and Senate vote on accepting the report without amendments. Sometimes conference reports are accompanied by amendments that remain in disagreement. Only after the two houses have reached complete agreement on all provisions of a bill can it be sent to the President for his approval or veto.
House Rules Governing Committee Markup Procedures
This report provides general guidance to committees for conducting meetings to mark up legislation.
Instructing House Conferees
This report describes the process of reaching the final agreement between house and senate over the final version of a bill that the two houses have passes in different forms.
The Legislative Process on the House Floor: An Introduction
This report discusses the complicated body of rules, precedents, and practices that governs the legislative process on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Points of Order, Rulings, and Appeals in the House of Representatives
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Privileged Business on the House Floor
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Questions of Privilege in the House
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Special Rules in the House of Representatives
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House Rules Affecting Committees
House Rules, especially Rules X-XIII, govern the authority and operations of its committees and subcommittees. This report identifies and summarizes these and other rules and directives affecting committee powers, authority, activities, and operations.
Clearcutting in the National Forests
Congressional interest in clearcutting has increased in the past few years. Several bills have been introduced in the current and preceding Congresses to ban the use of clearcutting and/or all even-aged management systems in the national forests. The issue, however, transcends the use of clearcutting and focuses on how to assure the choice of a silvicultural system and the implementation of the management practices that will achieve the stated goals for public land and resource management.
Federal Land Management: Appeals and Litigation
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Habitat Modification and the Endangered Species Act: The Sweet Home Decision
This report discusses the Endangered Species Act, the regulation of the Fish and Wildlife Service defining "harm" for purposes of the "take" prohibitions of the Endangered Species Act.
Legal Issues Related to Livestock Watering in Federal Grazing Districts
This report discusses proposed regulations related to livestock watering in federal grazing districts.
The President's Forest/Roadless Area Initiative
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The Role of Designation of Critical Habitat under the Endangered Species Act
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Statutory Modifications of the Application of NEPA
From time to time, Congress has considered the operation of the National Environmental Policy Act. While Congress has amended the statute itself only twice since its enactment, Congress has often enacted provisions that modify the application of the Act or specify the extent of the documents that need be prepared in particular instances or contexts. This report collects and lists examples of such provisions.
The "Timber Rider": Section 2001 of the Rescissions Act
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Survey of Grazing Programs in Western States
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Endangered Species Act Amendments: An Analysis of S. 1180 and H.R. 2351
Because of wide-spread interest in possible amendments to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), CRS has received numerous requests for an analysis and critique of S.1180 and H.R. 2351. This report analyzes those bills. HR. 2351 was introduced on July 31, 1997 and S. 1180 on September 16, 1997. Each bill is discussed under various topic headings. The Senate bill will be described first, since it has been reported.
The Naval Petroleum Reserves: Proposed Sale and Issues
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The Abandoned Mine Land Fund: Grants Distribution and Issues
The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA, P.L. 95-87), enacted in 1977, established reclamation standards for all coal surface mining operations, and for the surface effects of underground mining. It also established the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program to promote the reclamation of sites mined and abandoned prior to the enactment of SMCRA. To finance reclamation of abandoned mine sites, the legislation established fees on coal production. These collections are divided into federal and state shares; subject to annual appropriation, AML funds are distributed annually to states with approved reclamation programs. This report describes the distribution of these funds and the various issues that arise from said distribution.
Japan-U.S. Automotive Framework Talks
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The Intersection Between the Former Presidents Act and the Impeachment Process
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Disaster Mitigation Bills in the 106th Congress: H.R. 707, S. 1691 Compared
The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act authorizes the President to declare that an emergency or major disaster exists that overwhelms state and local resources. Legislation before the 106th Congress (H.R. 707 and S. 1691) would, among other matters, amend the Act to: (1) fund hazard mitigation projects designed to reduce future disaster losses; (2) add conditions to assistance; and (3) consolidate provisions governing the distribution of aid to disaster victims. This report compares provisions of the two bills, and will be updated as legislative action occurs.
FEMA and Disaster Relief
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Air Quality and Motor Vehicles: An Analysis of Current and Proposed Emission Standards
The extent to which emissions from motor vehicles and the amount of sulfur in commercial gasoline should be regulated has become a controversial issue. The EPA is proposing national limits on gasoline sulfur levels which would become effective in 2004. This report provides background information on the regulation of vehicle emissions in the United States, analyzes key elements of the National Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) program and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Tier 2 proposal, summarizes major views on the proposal that have been expressed by the automobile industry, the oil refining industry, and some environmental organizations, and discusses relevant legislative activity in the 106th Congress.
Air Quality and Transportation Enhancement Provisions in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991
Federal funding to assist states in addressing the environmental impacts of surface transportation is a major issue for the second session of the 105th Congress. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 (P.L. 102-240) authorized a total of $155 billion for transportation projects from FY1992 to FY1997. This report describes how the Congrestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program (CMAQ) and enhancement programs function, examines the policy issues surrounding them, and summarizes relevant provisions in major legislation to reauthorize ISTEA in the 105th Congress.
Air Quality and Vehicle Emission Standards: An Overview of the National Low Emission Vehicle Program and Related Issues
This report provides background information on federal emission standards for motor vehicles under the Clean Air Act and stricter standards originally developed to address the severity of air quality problems in California, explains the low emission standards and flexible compliance mechanisms to which states and manufacturers have voluntarily agreed under the National Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Program, discusses the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) estimates of the program's air quality benefits and costs, and examines regulatory issues related to its implementation including sulfur levels in gasoline and the relative stringency of emission standards for light trucks.