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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Endangered Species Act and Legal Issues Regarding Columbia Basin Salmon and Steelhead
This report discusses the resident fish, such as bull trout and Kootenai River white sturgeon, which are listed as threatened and endangered respectively under the ESA are affected by the FCRPS. This report focuses on Endangered Species Act (ESA) actions and litigation related to these species. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94142/
The Role of Offsets in a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cap-and-Trade Program: Potential Benefits and Concerns
This report discusses offsets in relation to a greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade program. The first section of this report provides an overview of offsets by discussing different types of offset projects and describing how the offsets would likely be used in an emission reduction program. The next section discusses the supply of offsets that might be available in an emission trading program. The subsequent sections examine the potential offset benefits and the potential concerns associated with offsets. The final section offers considerations for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94141/
Unauthorized Aliens' Access to Federal Benefits: Policy and Issues
This report focuses on the policy and legislative debate surrounding unauthorized aliens' access to federal benefits. Federal law bars aliens residing without authorization in the United States from most federal benefits; however, there is a widely held perception that many unauthorized aliens obtain such benefits. The degree to which unauthorized resident aliens should be accorded certain rights and privileges as a result of their residence in the United States, along with the duties owed by such aliens given their presence, remains the subject of debate in Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94147/
Coal Mine Safety and Health
This report begins by reviewing the record of working conditions in the coal mining industry. It then describes the regulatory regime and recent funding of the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration. The report closes with an analysis of current regulatory and legislative initiatives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94140/
Alien Smuggling: Recent Legislative Developments
This report discusses issues surrounding aliens within the United States including an overview of currently-proscribed activities, exemptions, sentencing provisions, and proposed legislative changes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94148/
Animal Drug User Fee Programs
This report discusses aspects of the Animal Drug User Fee Act of 2003 (ADUFA I), including funding and program performance; FDA's ADUFA II and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Act of 2008 (AGDUFA) proposals; congressional activity; and other relevant issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94144/
Emission Allowance Allocation in a Cap-and-Trade Program: Options and Considerations
The first two sections of this report discuss the primary emission allowance distribution methods: auctions and no-cost distribution to covered sources. These sections examine the potential benefits and concerns of these allocation mechanisms. The final section identifies different options and policy considerations for Congress when determining to whom and for what purpose to distribute the value of the emission allowances. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94149/
Statutory Individual Income Tax Rates and Other Elements of the Tax System: 1988 through 2008
This report summarizes information about the tax brackets and other key elements of the tax system that determine taxpayer's statutory marginal tax rate. Such elements include tax brackets, exemptions, standard deductions, etc. Statutory individual income tax rates, also referred to as “statutory marginal tax rates,” are the rates of tax applicable to the last (marginal) increment of taxable income. Statutory rates play an important role in determining the real marginal tax rates, which affect taxpayers' economic behavior. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94146/
Science and Technology Policymaking: A Primer
This report provides a basic understanding of science and technology policy including the nature of S&T policy, how scientific and technical knowledge is useful for public policy decisionmaking, and an overview of the key stakeholders in science and technology policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94143/
U.S. Food and Agricultural Imports: Safeguards and Selected Issues
This report discusses the food and agricultural imports, federal oversight responsibilities, international trade considerations, and legislative proposals. The report includes list of tables with leading suppliers of U.S. agriculture and seafood imports, and imported meat and poultry products presented for inspection. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94115/
Rural Development Provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill
This report discusses the provisions under Title VI of the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-246, Food, Conservation, and Energy Act), which addresses development and issues in rural areas. The report includes background on the policies, issues, and programs involved in rural development as well as a breakdown of the provisions in the 2008 farm bill, such as broadband and telecommunications, rural utilities infrastructure, business and community development, regional development, and other provisions. It also includes a comparison of rural development provisions in the 2002 and 2008 farm bills. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94112/
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): Implementation and New Challenges
This report provides an overview of basic Toxic Supstances Control Act (TSCA) provisions, briefly examines the history of TSCA implementation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and describes the legal, scientific, and technological developments that are being used to provide support to calls for TSCA reform. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94111/
Climate Change: The Role of the U.S. Agriculture Sector
This report is organized in three parts. First, it discusses the extent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the U.S. agriculture sector, and cites current and potential estimates for U.S. agricultural soils to sequester carbon and partly offset national GHG emissions. Second, the report describes the types of land management and farm conservation practices that can reduce GHG emissions and/or sequester carbon in agricultural soils, highlighting those practices that are currently promoted under existing voluntary federal agricultural programs. The Appendix provides a summary primer of the key background information presented in these first two sections. Finally, the report describes ongoing legislative action within both the climate change and farm bill debates, and discusses the types of questions that may be raised regarding the role of the U.S. agriculture sector in the broader climate change debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94117/
Sugar Policy and the 2008 Farm Bill
This report discusses the provisions for sugar imports and the sugar price support program, which was reauthorized with some changes in the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-246, Food, Conservation, and Energy Act). It includes an overview of the sugar program as well as a breakdown of the issues from the 2008 farm bill including the level of sugar price support, controlling the sugar supply to protect sugar prices, sugar for ethanol, ang sugar program cuts. There is also an appendix comparing the 2008 farm bill provisions with previous legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94110/
Commercial Fishery Disaster Assistance
This report discusses disaster relief for commercial fishery, which be provided by the federal government to assist the fishing industry when it is affected by a commercial fishery failure. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94118/
The National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility: Issues for Congress
This report outlines current progress towards establishment of the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), presents current and projected funding levels and timelines, and describes policy issues of potential interest to Congress, such as agency coordination, possession of viruses, construction timelines, disposition of PIADC, and community safety concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94114/
Presidential Nominating Process: Current Issues
This report discusses issues regarding the Presidential Nomination Process including information about the 2008 election, calendar changes from 1988 to 2008, changes to national party rules for 2012, an evaluation of the primary system, reform proposals, and legislative considerations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94119/
Crop Insurance and Disaster Assistance in the 2008 Farm Bill
This report discusses the crop insurance provisions (Title XV) in the 2008 farm bill. Title XV of the 2008 farm bill authorizes a new $3.8 billion trust fund to cover the cost of making agricultural disaster assistance available on an ongoing basis over the next four years through five new programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94116/
Possible Expiration (or Extension) of the 2002 Farm Bill
This report discusses the 2002 farm bill (P.L. 107-171) that authorized an array of agricultural, rural, and nutrition programs. Many provisions of the 2002 farm bill were scheduled to expire in 2007. If a new farm bill or year-long extension were not enacted before the 2008 harvest, permanent law would have taken effect. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94113/
Primer on Energy Derivatives and Their Regulation
This report presents basic information about over-the-counter(OTC) markets, the instruments traded, the regulatory framework, speculation, and current legislative proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94245/
Livestock Feed Costs: Concerns and Options
This report discusses higher livestock feed costs. The authors argue the current public policies, including financial incentives that divert corn from feed uses into ethanol production. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94242/
Cluster Munitions: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the background of cluster munitions in the U.S. military, and the current Department of Defense (DOD) and Obama Administration stances on the topic. It also discusses the two major international initiatives to address cluster munitions: the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) and negotiations under the U.N. Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94241/
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94247/
Agricultural Export Provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill
This report discusses the agricultural export provisions in the 2008 Farm Bill. It discusses programs that deal with U.S. agricultural exports that are a major focus of Title III, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-246, H.R. 6124). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94240/
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94248/
The Enron Loophole
This report discusses the Commodity Exchange Act that exempts certain energy derivatives contracts from regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94244/
U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians
This report describes issues related to U.S. aid provided to Palestine to support prevention/combating against terrorism, creating coexistence with Israel and self-governance, and meeting humanitarian needs. In includes introductory and historical background as well as in-depth analysis of the types of U.S. bilateral aid to Palestine, U.S. contributions to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the near East (UNRWA), and the issues involved in determining future aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94249/
Department of Defense Fuel Costs in Iraq
This report discusses the Department of Defense (DOD) fuel costs in Iraq. It analyzes the disparity between the higher price of fuel supplied to the United States Central Command compared to Iraq's civilian population that has been a point of contention. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94246/
The 2008 Farm Bill: Analysis of Tax-Related Conservation Reserve Program Proposals
This report discusses the 2008 Farm Bill, which contains two tax-related proposals for the Conservation Reserve Program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94243/
U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians
This report describes issues related to U.S. aid provided to Palestine to support prevention/combating against terrorism, creating coexistence with Israel and self-governance, and meeting humanitarian needs. In includes introductory and historical background as well as in-depth analysis of the types of U.S. bilateral aid to Palestine, U.S. contributions to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the near East (UNRWA), and the issues involved in determining future aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94250/
Dairy Policy and the 2008 Farm Bill
This report discusses the impact of the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-234, The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act) on the U.S. dairy industry. It includes an overview of provisions and issues that result from the bill and looks specifically at the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program, the dairy price support program, federal milk marketing orders, and dairy import assessment. There is also some analysis of the implications regarding World Trade Organization (WTO) limitations. An appendix provides a comparison of the 2008 provisions and those from previous legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94105/
Forestry in the 2008 Farm Bill
This report discusses the forestry title and provisions introduced by the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-246, Food, Conservation, and Energy Act). It includes an overview of the 2008 forestry title (Title VIII) introduced by the farm bill, forestry provisions in other titles, and possible issues for a future farm bill related to forestry. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94102/
Mining on Federal Lands: Hardrock Minerals
This report discusses the mining of hardrock minerals on fedearl lands, which is governed by the claim-patent system under the General Mining Law of 1872. It gives an overview the issues involved with the current system, such as competing land uses, and discusses proposed legislation meant to reform the claim-patent system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94101/
The Palestinians: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of current issues in U.S.-Palestinian relations. It also contains an overview of Palestinian society and politics and descriptions of key Palestinian individuals and groups—chiefly the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Palestinian Authority (PA), Fatah, Hamas, and the Palestinian refugee population. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94107/
Issues Affecting Tidal, Wave, and In-Stream Generation Projects
This report provides an overview of developments and considerations regarding wave, tidal, and in-stream energy generation technology. It summarizes federal involvement in the regulation of this new industry and highlights current issues in the field. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94100/
FEMA Disaster Housing and Hurricane Katrina: Overview, Analysis, and Congressional Issues
This report discusses the issues with the housing policies of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), particularly as they relate to the Post-Katrina Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-295) and the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Plan (P.L. 93-288). It includes an overview of the Stafford Act sections 403 and 408 as well as a breakdown of issues for Congress and possible Congressional approaches to address the policies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94108/
Animal Agriculture: 2008 Farm Bill Issues
This report discusses a number of animal-related provisions related to the 2008 farm bill. It includes background and specific provisions from the bill for each of the issues and options analyzed in the report: market competition and packer concentration, livestock mandatory price reporting, meat and poultry safety, country-of-origin labeling, animal identification for health protection, animal welfare, feed prices, disaster assistance, and environmental issues. The report also provides a summary comparison of previous farm bills with the 2008 provisions for selected issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94104/
Globalization, Worker Insecurity, and Policy Approaches
This report discusses the global economy, or what many call globalization, which has a growing impact on the economic futures of American companies, workers, and families. Increasing integration with the world economy makes the U.S. and other economies more productive. For most Americans, this has translated into absolute increases in living standards and real disposable incomes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94109/
Environmental Services Markets in the 2008 Farm Bill
This report gives an overview of issues involved in the provisions of the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-234, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act). It includes a brief overview describing environmental services markets, benefits and barriers, recent Congressional action related to the topics, and possible considerations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94106/
Illegal Logging: Background and Issues
This report discusses the problem of illegal logging worldwide. It gives an overview of the scope and scale, ecological impacts, and socioeconomic impacts of illegal logging as well as international initiatives and institutions, U.S. laws (such as the 2008 farm bill; P.L. 110-246, Food, Conservation, and Energy Act), and foreign policies which address the problem. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94103/
Biofuels Provisions in the 2007 Energy Bill and the 2008 Farm Bill: A Side-by-Side Comparison
The report discusses the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 (EISA, P.L. 110-140), also known as the 2007 energy bill. It also describes the key elements of EISA and the 2008 Farm Bill. The report provides a table with comparison of current or prior law with biofuels provisions in EISA and the enacted Farm Bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94125/
Comparison of the 2008 Farm Bill Conference Agreement with the House and Senate Farm Bills
This report compares the major provisions in the House- and Senate-passed bills and the conference agreement with each other and with the 2002 law, and provides a brief description of all individual sections or subsections within each title. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94122/
Presidential Nominating Process: Current Issues
This report discusses issues regarding the Presidential Nomination Process including information about the 2008 election, calendar changes from 1988 to 2008, changes to national party rules for 2012, an evaluation of the primary system, reform proposals, and legislative considerations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94121/
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation and Security Issues
This report discusses Pakistan's nuclear proliferation and security issues. It discusses the steps that could enable Pakistan to undertake both quantitative and qualitative improvements to its nuclear arsenal. Whether and to what extent Pakistan's current expansion of its nuclear weapons-related facilities is a response to the 2008 U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement is unclear. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94127/
Presidential Nominating Process: Current Issues
This report discusses issues regarding the Presidential Nomination Process including information about the 2008 election, calendar changes from 1988 to 2008, changes to national party rules for 2012, an evaluation of the primary system, reform proposals, and legislative considerations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94120/
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation and Security Issues
This report discusses Pakistan's nuclear proliferation and security issues. It discusses the steps that could enable Pakistan to undertake both quantitative and qualitative improvements to its nuclear arsenal. Whether and to what extent Pakistan's current expansion of its nuclear weapons-related facilities is a response to the 2008 U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement is unclear. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94128/
Managing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Policy Implications of Expanding Global Access to Nuclear Power
This report is intended to provide Members and congressional staff with the background needed to understand the current debate over proposed strategies to redesign the global nuclear fuel cycle. It begins with a look at the motivating factors underlying the resurgent interest in nuclear power, the nuclear power industry's current state of affairs, and the interdependence with the nuclear fuel cycle. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94124/
Russian Energy Policy Toward Neighboring Countries
This report begins with a brief discussion of the Russian oil and gas industries, including their efforts to purchase energy infrastructure in central and Eastern Europe and reduce energy subsidies to neighboring countries. A second section deals with the impact of recent Russian energy policy on neighboring countries, all of them formerly part of the Soviet Union, de facto or de jure, and all heavily dependent on Russian energy imports. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94129/
Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation and Security Issues
This report discusses Pakistan's nuclear proliferation and security issues. It discusses the steps that could enable Pakistan to undertake both quantitative and qualitative improvements to its nuclear arsenal. Whether and to what extent Pakistan's current expansion of its nuclear weapons-related facilities is a response to the 2008 U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement is unclear. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94126/
Director of National Intelligence Statutory Authorities: Status and Proposals
This report discusses the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) position created by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458). It includes an overview of the authorities granted to the DNI by legislation in 2004 and later as well as the varying opinions of Congress regarding new DNI authorities, as well as related legislation from FY2010 through FY2012. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94123/