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 Decade: 1990-1999
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The National Guard, State Defense Forces, And the Militias: Official and Unofficial Status
This short report discusses the differences between state militias (e.g. state Army National Guard and Air National Guard units), state military forces with no federal connections, and private organizations that claim to be state militias but which are not sanctioned by the state.
Food and Agriculture Provisions in the FY1997 Supplemental Appropriations Act
Report providing an overview of provisions and funding related to food and agriculture program as a part of a supplemental appropriations bill (P.L. 105-18, H.R. 1871).
Gun Industry Liability: Lawsuits and Legislation
This report discusses gun industry liability issues after the Maryland Court of Appeals announced that it was changing the common law "to hold the manufacturers and marketers of Saturday Night Special handguns strictly liable to innocent persons who suffer gunshot injuries from the criminal use of their products." Kelley v. R.G. Industries, Inc., 497 A.2d 1143, 1159 (Md. 1985).
Amendments Between the Houses
This report briefly summarizes the process of amendments between the House of Representatives and the Senate, which occurs if the House and Senate approve differing versions of a measure. An exchange of amendments between the houses resolves these differences.
APEC and Free Trade in the Asia Pacific
This report discusses the summit held by President Bill Clinton and other leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on November 19, 1995. The report discusses the primary reason for the summit, an Action Agenda intended to lead to free and open trade and investment among its members. The report also discusses how APEC countries were divided on certain issues going into this summit.
APEC and the 1997 Summit in Vancouver
This report discusses the November 25, 1997 summit held by leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. The purpose of the summit was to further pursue the APEC agenda of endorsing a framework developed by APEC leaders' finance ministers to promote financial stability in the Asia-Pacific region and to supplement resources by the International Monetary Fund when necessary.
APEC - Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation: Free Trade and Other Issues
As a result of an initiative by Australia in 1989, the United States joined with eleven other Asia/Pacific nations in creating APEC, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation organization. This report discusses the annual Ministerial Meeting of APEC in Seattle, held from November 17 - 19, 1993.
American Federalism, 1776 to 1997: Significant Events
This report identifies several significant eras and events in the evolution of American federalism and provides a capsule description or discussion of each. It should be noted that among experts in the field of federalism there may be a general consensus concerning the evolution of American federalism; however, the choice of events and scholarly interpretations of such events may vary and are by nature subjective.
American Heritage Rivers
This report discusses the American Heritage Rivers Initiative, implemented in 1998 by President Bill Clinton. The Initiative designed 14 rivers as "American Heritage Rivers," and declared that each "will receive help over the next five years tapping federal resources to carry out their plans for revitalizing their rivers and riverfronts." This report also discusses the reactions from both supporters and detractors of the initiative, and related legislation and appropriations.
Analysis of Ten Selected Science and Technology Policy Studies
Since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s, a number of reports have been prepared on a broad range of science and technology (S&T) policy issues, most notably dealing with national research and development (R&D) goals, priorities, and budgets, and university-government-industry relationships. This report discusses and analyzes ten of these S&T reports.
The Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act of 1997 and Related Developments
The Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act of 1997, enacted December 2, 1997, authorized appropriations to Amtrak through FY2002. This CRS report summarizes the provisions of the Act and discusses related developments.
Are High Interest Rates a Threat to Sustained Economic Recovery?
A major question that arises in Congress during its considerations of what policies promote and what inhibit the restoration of a healthy economy is the influence that interest rates exert. In particular, are high interest rates a threat to sustained economic recovery?
Basic Questions on U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization
U.S. citizenship is conferred at birth under the principle of jus soli (nationality of place of birth) and the principle of jus sanguinis (nationality of parents). The U.S. Constitution states as a fundamental rule of jus soli citizenship that "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." The exceptions to universal citizenship comprehended by the requirement that a person be born "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" include: (1) children born to a foreign sovereign or accredited diplomatic official; (2) children born on a foreign public vessel, such as a warship; (3) children born to an alien enemy in hostile occupation; and (4) native Indians.
Below-Cost Timber Sales: An Overview
The Forest Service sells some timber at prices that are less than the agency costs to administer the timber program. This report discusses these "below-cost" timber sales that have been debated by Congress for more than a decade, but no policy to address the issue has been adopted legislatively or administratively.
Background to the Overthrow of President Aristide
This report provides background information on the violent and authoritarian traditions that have characterized Haiti's political dynamics since Haiti attained independence in 1804. It examines Haiti's difficult path toward democracy after the fall of the Duvalier regime, from numerous short-lived governments until the election of Aristide. Finally, the report also surveys Aristide's rule and his subsequent overthrow by the Haitian military.
Attorneys' Fees in the State Tobacco Litigation Cases
In the past few years, many states have filed complaints against the tobacco industry in state court to recover Medicaid costs paid by the states to treat their citizens for tobacco related illnesses. The states are also attempting to recover other damages, such as punitive damages, against the tobacco industry. For various reasons, the states have hired private attorneys to assist the state Attorneys General in prosecuting these cases. In most cases, the retention of private counsel has included a fee agreement specifying the amount of compensation that these attorneys will receive for their services. These agreements are not uniform among the states, but most tend to provide some form of contingency fee arrangement. Some of these states have developed a sliding scale contingency fee schedule which varies with the amount of time spent on the litigation and whether a trial has begun. This report briefly summarizes the different fee agreements that the states have with private counsel.
The Au Pair Program
Legislation passed late in the 103rd Congress granted the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) authority to design and implement more rigorous rules regulating the au pair program. In 1997, the au pair program received considerable media attention as a result of the Louise Woodward court case regarding possible involvement of an au pair in the death of a child in Massachusetts. The U.S. Information Agency amended existing federal regulations for the au pair program in September 1997 to underscore the cultural exchange aspect of the program and strengthen au pair recruiting and training.
Auburn Dam on the American River: Fact Sheet
For more than 30 years, Congress has debated constructing a dam on the American River near Auburn, California. The Army Corps of Engineers recently identified three alternatives for flood control, with the Division office's preferred plan calling for construction of a 508-foot-high detention dam. Currently, two bills address the issue: H.R. 3270 supports construction of the dam, while H.R. 2951 opposes construction of any structure on the North Fork of the American River.
Banking Acquisition and Merger Procedures
This report discusses in general terms the basic process and time line for banking industry acquisitions and mergers and briefly discusses the May 4, 1998 application by Travelers Group to merge with Citicorp. Among the issues discussed are: potential impact on consumers; whether the new entities would be too big to fail; and, whether competitive equity calls for financial modernization legislation with functional regulation of the securities, banking, and insurance sectors of companies offering customers a full range of financial products and services. Legislative developments on financial modernization issues in the 105th Congress are reported in CRS Issue Brief 97034, which is available on the Legislative Information System.
Baselines and Scorekeeping in the Federal Budget Process
Baselines and scorekeeping are an integral part of the federal budget process, providing Congress and the President with a framework for making and enforcing budgetary decisions. A baseline serves as a benchmark for federal budget decisions. While the Office of Management and Budget (0MB) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) create different baselines, their baselines project federal spending, revenue, and budget surplus or deficit amounts that would occur if existing budget policies were left unchanged. Scorekeeping is the process by which the budgetary impact of proposed and enacted budget policies is measured; it assists Congress and the President in making and enforcing budgetary decisions
Basic Federal Budgeting Terminology
In its most elemental form, the federal budget is a comprehensive accounting of the government’s spending, revenues, and borrowing. This fact sheet provides a brief overview of the basic terminology and concepts used in the federal budget process.
Basic Federal Budgeting Terminology
In its most elemental form, the federal budget is a comprehensive accounting of the government’s spending, revenues, and borrowing. This fact sheet provides a brief overview of the basic terminology and concepts used in the federal budget process.
Bills and Resolutions: Examples of How Each Kind is Used
This report provides background information regarding the bill and joint resolution, which must be passed by both houses in identical form, then presented to the President for his approval or disapproval.
Banking and Finance: Legislative Initiatives in the 105th Congress, Second Session
This report reviews major banking and finance issues that are receiving congressional attention in the 2nd session of the 105th Congress. It will be updated periodically to reflect legislative developments. Relevant CRS products are referenced.
Appalachian Development Highway Program (ADHP): An Overview
This report discusses the Appalachian Development Highway Program (ADHP). After a brief description of the ADHP system, the report describes the ADHP's operation, organization, spending history and status. It then describes changes in its funding mechanism resultant from TEA 21 and issues of interest to Congress related to the ADHP.
Appropriations Bills: What are "General Provisions"?
An annual appropriations act generally consists of two parts – paragraphs providing funding, and general provisions focusing on non-funding as well as funding issues. Discussed on this brief fact sheet are what is found in general provisions of appropriations bills.
Appropriations for FY2000: Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs
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 one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress passes each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittees.
Appropriations for FY2000: Interior and Related Agencies
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 one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress passes each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations.
Appropriations for FY2000: Interior and Related Agencies
This report discusses the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which includes funding for agencies and programs in four separate federal departments as well as numerous smaller agencies and diverse programs.
Appropriations for FY2000: Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education
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 one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress passes each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.
Appropriations for FY2000: Military Construction
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 one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress passes each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Military Construction Appropriations.
Asian Financial Crisis: An Analysis of U.S. Foreign Policy Interests and Options
The principal focus of this report is on the foreign policy ramifications of the Asian financial crisis and U.S. options for addressing them. This report tracks and analyzes the efforts of the most seriously affected Asian countries to deal with their economic and financial problems, and their interaction with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United States, and other major sources of financial support and policy advice. It also addresses the implications of the crisis for such U.S. interests as regional stability and the prevention of conflict, trade liberalization, and U.S. regional and global leadership, and discusses the principal factors that could influence the duration and severity of the crisis. A final section considers options for Congress in the context of various criticisms of the IMF’s stabilization programs and the operations of the Fund itself.
The Assault Weapons Ban: Review of Federal Laws Controlling Possessions of Certain Firearms
This report reviews the 1994 assault weapons ban, which is effective for ten years on 19 types of semiautomatic assault weapons. The Act builds upon a 60-year history of federal regulation of firearms. The report also summarizes the pre-1994 federal gun control laws, analyzes the major cases relating to constitutional and statutory challenges to these laws, and reviews judicial and legislative developments since enactment of the ban.
Arts and Humanities: Funding and Reauthorization in the 105th Congress
One of the primary vehicles for federal support of the arts and humanities is the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities, composed of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This report describes the issues and options raised in the 105th Congress with regard to both authorization and appropriations for support of the arts and humanities.
Aviation: Direct Federal Spending, 1918-1998
The federal government has provided large financial resources in support of commercial aviation since 1918. This report details the amounts and types of federal spending that have occurred over this 80 year period. The report also discusses some of the issues that have shaped federal policy toward aviation and identifies some of the issues likely to affect federal spending in the future.
Bills, Resolutions, Nominations, and Treaties: Origins, Deadlines, Requirements, and Uses
In addition to bill and/or joint resolution this report presents two other acts of congress; 1) nominations and 2) treaties. It also discusses the characteristics and uses of six different kind of business before Congress, such as designation, origin, deadline for action, requirements for approval, and use.
Biological Diversity: Issues Related to the Convention on Biodiversity
This report discusses treaty on biodiversity, issues, history and current status.
Biological Diversity Treaty: Fact Sheet
As human activity continues to change and modify natural areas, widespread extinctions of plants, animals, and other types of species result. In 1992, negotiations conducted under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) were completed on a comprehensive global treaty to protect biological diversity (biodiversity). In June 1993, President Clinton signed the treaty and sent it to the Senate for advice and consent. It is not pending in the Senate. The treaty entered into force on December 29, 1993. As of May 15, 1995, 118 nations had ratified the treaty.
Cloning: Where Do We Go From Here?
News in February 1997 that scientists in Scotland had succeeded in cloning an adult sheep ignited a worldwide debate. Of concern are the ethical and social implications of the potential application of cloning to produce human beings. In response to concerns about the potential application of cloning to produce humans, actions were taken by the Administration and Congress.
China's Changing Conditions
Congressional interest in the leadership change and economic transformation underway in China has grown substantially over the past few years. Leading congressional concerns focus on how economic conditions in China pose opportunities for U.S. enterprise and how the evolution of conditions in China fosters U.S. security, economic, and political interests. Congressional concern with China grew in 1995 and 1996 as a result of reports of the serious decline in the health of senior Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. Present conditions in China include; A vibrant but sometimes overheated economy, A less divided central political leadership.
China's Changing Conditions: Possible Implications for US Interests
This report discusses possible outcomes and implications for U.S. interests vary. For example, increasingly effective political administration and reform with continued successful economic modernization would be generally compatible with U.S. interests in greater economic opportunity, foreign policy cooperation, and political liberalization in China. Alternatively, Chinese administration, economic vitality, and internal cohesion could degenerate, limiting U.S. economic opportunities, challenging U.S. interests in stability in East Asia, but also diminishing potential threats from a strong China. Finally, China could develop formidable economic power while retaining authoritarian political control, with China emerging as a world power less interested in accommodating U.S. interests than in opposing them.
Budget Resolution Enforcement
The annual budget resolution sets forth Congress's budget plan for a period of at least five fiscal years. It includes total levels of spending, revenues, and the debt limit for each of the fiscal years covered.
Budget Surpluses: Economic Effects of Debt Repayment, Tax Cuts, or Spending - An Overview
Updated projections released on July 15 by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) indicate budget surpluses rising from $63 billion (0.9% of GDP) in FY1998 to more than $100 billion (1.3% to 1.5% of GDP) from FY2002 through FY2005 and over $200 billion (1.8% to 1.9%) from FY2006 through FY2008.1
Casework in a Congressional Office
This report and its appendices present a general overview of congressional office procedures associated with handling casework and the assistance provided by a Member of Congress to help constituents in their dealings with federal agencies. It discusses options for assisting Members’ constituents and the role of Members and staff in providing casework services.
Cattle Prices: Questions and Answers
After 7 years of relatively high returns, cattle producers by 1994 were experiencing steeply falling prices--mainly caused by abundant supplies of cattle destined for U.S. feedlots. Record-high grain prices and dry pastures amplified the problem. Because of the lengthy biological cycle governing cattle production, large numbers will be coming onto the market for some time, as producers undertake the slow process of curtailing herd expansion.
CBI/NAFTA Parity Proposals: A Comparison
The tariff and quota treatment of U.S. imports from Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement has resulted in a distinct and increasing competitive disadvantage for imports from the beneficiary countries of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA). To eliminate this disadvantage, proposals have been made to extend to imports from Caribbean Basin countries preferential treatment equivalent to that accorded imports of identical goods from Mexico. This report compares the provisions of four such proposals: Title I of H.R. 984, Title I of S. 371, H.R. 1834, and S. 1389.
Censure of the President by the Congress
Exploring a possible compromise between an impeachment and taking no congressional action, certain Members of Congress and congressional commentators have suggested a congressional “censure” of the President to express the Congress’ disapproval of the President’s conduct which has been the subject of an ongoing independent counsel investigation. This report provides and overview and discussion of the legal basis and congressional precedents regarding a congressional “censure” of the President.
Census 2000: Sampling as an Appropriations Issue in the 105th Congress
The 105th Congress has debated the decennial census sampling issue mainly in the appropriations process, beginning with FY1997 supplemental appropriations legislation for disaster relief. In FY1998 appropriations for Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies (CJS), the Senate (S. 1022) instructed the Bureau of the Census not to make “irreversible” Census 2000 sampling plans, while the House (H.R. 2267) sought a moratorium on these plans, pending expedited judicial review of their constitutionality and legality.
Census 2000: The Sampling Debate
Plans by the Bureau of the Census to incorporate data from two new sample surveys into the 2000 decennial census count have had a mixed congressional reception. Three sampling bills in the 105th Congress (H.R. 1220, H.R. 1178, and H.R. 776) have been referred to committee, without further action. Sampling has been debated chiefly in the appropriations process (H.R. 1469, H.R. 1871 [P.L. 105-18; 111 Stat. 158], and H.R. 2267/S. 1022 [P.L. 105-119; 111 Stat. 2440]). The bureau now is a defendant in two anti-sampling suits brought under P.L. 105-119. The law also established a Census Monitoring Board and directed the bureau to prepare for a traditional headcount in 2000, not just to continue with its sampling plans.
Campaign Finance Reform Bills in the 105th Congress: Comparison of H.R. 3581 (Thomas), H.R. 3526 (Shays-Meehan), and Current Law
On March 30, 1998, the House considered four campaign reform bills under a suspension of rules, focusing on the comprehensive H.R. 3581, offered that day for the Republican leadership by Mr. Thomas; it failed passage on a 74-337 vote. (The bill was similar to H.R. 3485, also by Mr. Thomas, reported by the House Oversight Committee March 18.1) The bill generating the most publicity in the 105th Congress has been S. 25 (McCain-Feingold),2 introduced on March 19 as H.R. 3526 by Messrs. Shays and Meehan. This report summarizes and compares H.R. 3581, H.R. 3526, and current law.