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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs403/
FEMA's Community Disaster Loan Program
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Federalism: Selected Opinions of Judge Samuel Alito
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Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
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Immigration Enforcement within the United States
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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): Analysis of Changes Made by P.L. 108-446
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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/
Internet Commerce and State Sales and Use Taxes
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Internet Commerce and State Sales and Use Taxes
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Influenza Antiviral Drugs and Patent Law Issues
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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Amendments: 109th Congress
Enacted in 1966, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was designed to enable any person -- individual or corporate, regardless of citizenship -- to request, without explanation or justification, presumptive access to existing, identifiable, unpublished, executive branch agency records on any topic. The statute specified nine categories of information that may be permissibly exempted from the rule of disclosure. Disputes over the accessibility of requested records could be ultimately settled in court. The statute has become a somewhat popular tool of inquiry and information gathering for various quarters of American society. This report details the history of the Act, as well as relevant legislation and incidences and the efforts to amend the Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10375/
Freedom of Information Act Amendments: 109th Congress
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Greenhouse Gas Legislation: Summary and Analysis of H.R. 2454 as Reported by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce
This report offers an introduction and overview of legislation regarding greenhouse gases. It also discusses combined efficiency and renewable electricity standard, geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide, vehicles and fuels, smart grid, energy efficiency, and major cap-and-trade provisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87143/
A History of Federal Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Taxes
Three primary categories of legislation pertaining to transfer taxes have been introduced in the 110th Congress. As noted above, the repeal of the estate and generation-skipping taxes is not permanent. One category would make the repeal permanent. (See, H.R. 411 and H.R. 2380). Another category would accelerate the repeal of these transfer taxes. (See, H.R. 25, H.R. 1040, H.R. 1586, H.R. 4042, S. 1025, S. 1040, and S. 1081). The third would reinstate these taxes at lower rates and/or in a manner more considerate of family-owned business. (See, H.R. 1928, H.R. 3170, H.R. 3475, H.R. 4172, H.R. 4235, H.R. 4242, and S. 1994). In this report, the history of the federal transfer taxes has been divided into four parts: (1) the federal death and gift taxes used between 1789 and 1915; (2) the development, from 1916 through 1975, of the modern estate and gift taxes; (3) the creation and refinement of a unified estate and gift tax system, supplemented by a generation-skipping transfer tax; and (4) the phaseout and repeal of the estate and generation-skipping taxes, with the gift tax being retained as a device to protect the integrity of the income tax. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26091/
Grazing Regulations: Changes by the Bureau of Land Management
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Intermediate-Level Blends of Ethanol in Gasoline, and the Ethanol "Blend Wall"
This report discusses the growing interest in the potential for ethanol to displace petroleum as a transportation fuel, as well as related issues, including current Clean Air Act (CAA) limitation on ethanol content in gasoline; the requests of ethanol producers for an increase of this limitation; and the effects the limitation has upon vehicle and engine warranties and the infrastructures of the automobile and fuel industries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29564/
Iran Sanctions
This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue. That approach was not initially altered because of the Iranian dispute over its June 12, 2009, elections. However, with subsequent negotiations yielding no firm Iranian agreement to compromise, since early 2010 the Administration has focused on achieving the imposition of additional U.N., U.S., and allied country sanctions whose cumulative effect would be to compel it to accept a nuclear bargain. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84095/
Horse Slaughter Prevention Bills and Issues
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Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues
This report reviews past and proposed treatment of hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Water Drinking Act, the principal federal statute for regulating the underground injection of fluids to protect groundwater sources of drinking water. It reviews current provisions for regulating underground injection activities, and discusses some possible implications of, and issues associated with, enactment of legislation authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate hydraulic fracturing under this statute. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97999/
Forestry Assistance Programs
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The FY2007 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Policy Issues
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The FY2007 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Policy Issues
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Food Safety Provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill
Food safety re-emerged as an issue in the 110th Congress following a series of widely publicized incidents -- including adulterated Chinese seafood and pet food ingredient imports, findings of bacteria-tainted spinach, meat, and poultry produced domestically, and several large food recalls. In 2008, Congress approved a new omnibus farm law that includes, among other provisions, several changes affecting U.S. food safety programs. This report outlines said provisions and explores the issue of food safety and related legislation in detail. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10747/
Hedge Funds: Should They Be Regulated?
In view of the growing impact of hedge funds on a variety of financial markets, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in October 2004 adopted a regulation that requires hedge funds to register as investment advisers, disclose basic information about their operations, and open their books for inspection. The regulation took effect in February 2006, but on June 23, 2006, a court challenge was upheld and the rule was vacated. S. 1402 and H.R. 2586 would reinstate the SEC's authority. H.R. 2683 would require defined benefit pension plans to disclose investments in hedge funds. In December 2006, the SEC proposed raising the "accredited investor" standard - to be permitted to invest in hedge funds, an investor would need $2.5 million in assets, instead of $1 million. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26047/
Gun Legislation in the 109th Congress
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Gun Legislation in the 109th Congress
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Gasoline Price Increases: Federal and State Authority to Limit "Price Gouging"
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Immigration Related Border Security Legislation in the 109th Congress
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Immigration Related Border Security Legislation in the 109th Congress
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Immigration Related Border Security Legislation in the 109th Congress
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Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues
As Congress considers addressing some of the problems in the nation's immigration system, the detention of noncitizens in the United States may be an issue as Congress may choose to reevaluate detention priorities (i.e., who should be detained) and resources. There are many policy issues surrounding detention of aliens. The Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) increased the number of aliens subject to mandatory detention, and raised concerns about the justness of mandatory detention, especially as it is applied to asylum seekers arriving without proper documentation. Additionally, as DHS increases its ability to identify aliens who are subject to removal from local jails in more remote locations, the nationwide allocation of detention space may become an issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84040/
Lobbying Regulations on Non-Profit Organizations
Public charities, religious groups, social welfare organizations, and other nonprofit organizations which are exempt from federal income taxation are not generally prohibited from engaging in all lobbying or public policy advocacy activities merely because of their tax-exempt status. There may, however, be some lobbying limitations on certain organizations, depending. This report discusses this issue at length, including related legislation, relevant passages in the Internal Revenue Code, and other regulatory information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26112/
Line Item Veto: A Constitutional Analysis of Recent Proposals
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NASA Workforce Flexibilities: H.R. 1085 and S. 610, 108th Congress
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Labor-Management Relations and the Federal Aviation Administration: Background and Current Legislative Issues
This report discusses labor-management relations at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the 2006 implementation of a new labor contract on air traffic controllers. The FAA's ability to implement the new contract with its controllers was arguably supported by a mediation procedure prescribed by federal law. This report provides background information on the mediation procedure, discusses litigation involving the FAA and two labor organizations, and examines legislative attempts to amend the existing system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10723/
Liability and Compensation Issues Raised by the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill
The first section of this report provides an overview of the existing liability and compensation framework as it relates to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The second section highlights many of the liability and compensation issues raised by the event. The third section discusses options for policymakers to adjust, amend, or supplement the current framework. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103145/
Lawsuits Against State Supporters of Terrorism: An Overview
A 1996 amendment to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) enables American victims of international terrorist acts supported by certain States designated by the State Department as supporters of terrorism - Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and previously Iraq and Libya - to bring suit in U.S. courts to seek monetary damages. This report, which will be updated, provides an overview of these issues and relevant legislation (H.R. 5167). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10633/
Lawsuits Against State Supporters of Terrorism: An Overview
A 1996 amendment to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) enables American victims of international terrorist acts supported by certain States designated by the State Department as supporters of terrorism -- Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and previously Iraq and Libya -- to bring suit in U.S. courts to seek monetary damages. Despite congressional efforts to make blocked (of "frozen) assets of such States available for attachment by judgment creditors in such cases, plaintiffs encountered difficulties in enforcing the awards. This report provides an overview of these issues and relevant legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10631/
Lawsuits Against State Supporters of Terrorism: An Overview
A 1996 amendment to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) enables American victims of international terrorist acts supported by certain States designated by the State Department as supporters of terrorism - Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and previously Iraq and Libya - to bring suit in U.S. courts to seek monetary damages. This report, which will be updated, provides an overview of these issues and relevant legislation (H.R. 5167). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10634/
Selected Procedural Safeguards in Federal, Military, and International Courts
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Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation
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Regulatory Waivers and Extensions Pursuant to Hurricane Katrina
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Regulatory Waivers and Extensions Pursuant to Hurricane Katrina
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Postal Reform Bills: A Side-by-Side Comparison of H.R. 22 and S. 662
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Postal Reform Bills: A Side-by-Side Comparison of H.R. 22 and S. 662
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Postal Reform Bills: A Side-by-Side Comparison of H.R. 22 and S. 662
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The Federal Migrant Education Program as Amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
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Trio and GEAR UP Programs: Status and Issues
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Rural Education: Legislative Initiatives
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Federal Stafford Act Disaster Assistance: Presidential Declarations, Eligible Activities, and Funding
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