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 Decade: 1990-1999
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
A Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment: Background and Congressional Options
One of the most persistent political issues facing Congress in recent years is whether to require that the budget of the United States be in balance. Although a balanced federal budget has long been held as a political ideal, the accumulation of large deficits in recent years has heightened concern that some action to require a balance between revenues and expenditures may be necessary. The debate over a balanced budget measure actually consists of several interrelated debates, which this report addresses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs392/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs686/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs690/
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 digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs862/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs857/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs545/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26024/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs145/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs913/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs915/
Biological Diversity: Issues Related to the Convention on Biodiversity
This report discusses treaty on biodiversity, issues, history and current status. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs235/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26102/
Biosphere Reserves and the U.S. MAB Program
Since 1972, the United States has participated in the Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB), coordinated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In addition to the American Land Sovereignty Protection Act this report also discusses the legislation that would affect U.S. participation in the World Heritage Convention, under which World Heritage sites are recognized, and which include some of the sites recognized as biosphere reserves digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1013/
Biosphere Reserves: Fact Sheet
Since 1972, the United States has participated in the Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB), coordinated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This report presents a background on the criteria for Biosphere Reserves, designation process and the policy implications of designation/recognition. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs472/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8176/
Bosnia: Civil Implementation of the Peace Agreement
Since Dayton Peace Accords, the civilian side of peace implementation has been challenged by the scope of the tasks, and by the lack of commitment demonstrated by the Bosnian parties to various aspects of the peace agreement. In addition, issues such as International Framework for peace implementation, formation of governmental institution, election, civil police task force and displaced persons are discussed in this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs607/
Bosnia Stabilization Force (SFOR) and U.S. Policy
In December 1995, a NATO-led implementation force (IFOR) was deployed to Bosnia to enforce the military aspects of the Bosnian peace agreement. After fierce debate, the House and Senate passed separate resolutions in December 1995 expressing support for the U.S. troops in Bosnia, although not necessarily for the mission itself. Legislative efforts to bar funds for the deployment of U.S. troops to Bosnia were narrowly rejected. In the 105th Congress, similar efforts to bar a U.S. deployment after June 1998 were also rejected, although the FY 1998 defense authorization and appropriations laws contain reporting requirements that must be fulfilled before an extended deployment may take place. The defense appropriation measure requires the President to seek a supplemental appropriation for any deployment after June 1998. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs608/
Bosnian Muslim-Croat Federation: Key to Peace in Bosnia?
The Federation of Bosnia and Hercegovina was established in March 1994, with U.S. mediation. It aims to unite areas held by the largely Bosniak (Muslim) pre-war republic government with areas held by Croats. The Bosnian peace agreement, signed in Dayton in November 1995, recognized the Federation and the Bosnian Serb Republika Srpska as two largely autonomous entities within a weak, but sovereign Bosnia and Hercegovina union. Real political, economic and military integration of Bosniak and Croat-held areas has been slow to materialize. The United States has played a key role in setting up the Federation and in efforts to make it viable. The long term viability of the Federation is open to question, however, due to continued mistrust between the two sides and significant differences in their perceived interests. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs756/
The Brady Handgun Control Act: Constitutional Issues
The Brady Handgun Control Act established a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases, during which local law enforcement can make reasonable efforts to conduct background checks in available records and block and sales to convicted felons and other disqualified persons. This report reviews the background of federal gun control legislation, analyzes the conflict in the courts over the constitutionality under the Tenth Amendment of the duties placed on local law enforcement, and considers the implications of the decisions for Brady Act enforcement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26060/
A Brief Introduction to the Federal Budget Process
This report provides a brief introduction to the federal budget process. Key budget concepts and terminology are defined and explained. The separate procedures that make up the federal budget process are identified and their salient features described. While a complete understanding of federal budgeting probably can be obtained only after much observation and study of the process in operation, broad exposure to its rudiments is a useful first step. Various resources "for additional reading" are identified at the end of this report, which the reader may find helpful in exploring the subject in greater depth. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs295/
A Brief Introduction to the Federal Budget Process
This report provides a brief introduction to the federal budget process. Key budget concepts and terminology are defined and explained. The separate procedures that make up the federal budget process are identified and their salient features described. While a complete understanding of federal budgeting probably can be obtained only after much observation and study of the process in operation, broad exposure to its rudiments is a useful first step. Various resources “for additional reading” are identified at the end of this report, which the reader may find helpful in exploring the subject in greater depth. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs390/
Brief Summaries of Federal Animal Protection Statutes
This report contains brief summaries of federal animal protection statutes, listed alphabetically. It does not include treaties, although it does include statutes enacted to implement treaties. It includes statutes concerning animals that are not entirely, or not at all, animal protection statutes. For example, it includes a statute authorizing the eradication of predators, because one of the statute's purposes is to protect domestic and "game, animals; and it includes statutes to conserve fish, although their ultimate purpose may not be for the fishes' benefit. It also includes statutes that allow the disabled to use service animals, and even includes statutes aimed at acts of animal rights advocates (the Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992, and the Recreational Hunting Safety and Preservation Act of 1994). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs529/
Brownfields Program: Cleaning Up Urban Industrial Sites
The Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative is a pilot project to return idle or underused industrial and commercial facilities back to productive use, in situations where redevelopment is complicated by potential environmental contamination. The program is flexible, allowing cities to use a variety of approaches in utilizing grants of up to $200,000 to develop abandoned and underused sites, neighborhoods, and small regional areas. States and Indian tribes are eligible as well as local governments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs226/
The Budget Enforcement Act: Its Operation Under a Budget Surplus
The Budget Enforcement Act was enacted in 1990 in an effort to control future budgetary actions. It did this through two separate, but related, mechanisms: limits on discretionary spending, and the pay-as-you-go process to require that any legislative action on direct spending or revenues which would increase the deficit be offset. These procedures currently would apply through FY2002 (for legislation enacted before October 1, 2002, for measures affecting direct spending or revenues), regardless of whether the budget is in deficit or surplus. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs553/
The Budget Enforcement Act of 1997
President Clinton signed two reconciliation acts into law in August 1997 as part of a plan to balance the budget by FY2002. To ensure compliance with this goal, enforcement procedures were included in one of the acts in a title referred to separately as the Budget Enforcement Act (BEA) of 1997. The BEA of 1997 extends procedures under the Budget Enforcement Act (BEA) of 1990 through FY2002 digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs395/
The Budget for Fiscal Year 1998
This report discusses the efforts to reach an agreement on the fiscal year (FY) 1998 budget were, in many respects, a continuation of the efforts to balance the federal budget by (or before) FY2002. The proposals and legislation for FY1998 were designed to move the budget further towards balance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs555/
Budget FY1999: A Chronology with Internet Access
This is a select chronology of, and a finding guide for information on, congressional and presidential actions and documents related to major budget events in calendar year 1998, covering the FY1999 budget. Brief information is provided for the President’s budget, congressional budget resolutions, appropriations measures (regular, continuing, supplementals, and rescissions), budget reconciliation, House and Senate votes, line-item vetoes, publications, testimony, charts, and tables. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs540/
Budget FY1999: A Chronology with Internet Access
This is a select chronology of, and a finding guide for information on, congressional and presidential actions and documents related to major budget events in calendar year 1998, covering the FY1999 budget. Brief information is provided for the President’s budget, congressional budget resolutions, appropriations measures (regular, continuing, supplementals, and rescissions), budget reconciliation, House and Senate votes, line-item vetoes, publications, testimony, charts, and tables. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs854/
Budget FY2000: A Chronology with Internet Access
This report provides a select chronology of congressional and presidential actions and documents related to major budget events in calendar year 1999, covering the FY2000 budget. While the paper copy provides numerous Internet addresses, congressional offices can also use the Internet version of this report to access active links to appropriations and budget legislation, budget and economic data tables, pie charts, glossaries, selected testimony, publications, the President’s budget documents, and CRS products. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs870/
Budget FY2000: A Chronology with Internet Access
This report provides a select chronology of congressional and presidential actions and documents related to major budget events in calendar year 1999, covering the FY2000 budget. While the paper copy provides numerous Internet addresses, congressional offices can also use the Internet version of this report to access active links to appropriations and budget legislation, budget and economic data tables, pie charts, glossaries, selected testimony, publications, the President’s budget documents, and CRS products. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs871/
The Budget of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) FY1999
This report provides an overview of FY1999 budget request for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Initially, the report is limited to the Administration’s budget request for HUD. The report is updated periodically as legislative action occurs on FY1999 appropriations for HUD and as action occurs on authorizing legislation to implement the budget proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs677/
Budget Reconciliation in the 105th Congress: Achieving a Balanced Budget by 2002
Achievement of a balanced federal budget by 2002 was a high priority for the 105th Congress and the President. After months of negotiations and debate, starting in February 1997 and ending in July 1997, congressional leaders and the White House forged a consensus on legislation to accomplish this goal. The legislation, signed into law by President Clinton on August 5, 1997, sets “caps” on discretionary spending, constrains entitlement programs, and on balance reduces federal taxes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs391/
Budget Reconciliation Legislation: Development and Consideration
Budget reconciliation is an optional two-step process Congress may use to assure compliance with the direct spending, revenue, and debt-limit levels set forth in budget resolutions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs865/
Budget Reconciliation Legislation: Development and Consideration
Budget reconciliation is an optional two-step process Congress may use to assure compliance with the direct spending, revenue, and debt-limit levels set forth in budget resolutions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs551/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs866/
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 digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs552/
Business and Labor Spending in U.S. Elections
Federal election law has long prohibited corporate and union spending in federal elections, but distinctions in statutes and judicial rulings have opened avenues by which these groups have been able to spend money in the electoral process. Business groups make particular use of political action committee (PAC) donations to candidates and soft money donations to parties. Unions made prominent use of issue advocacy in 1996, but labor’s political strength lies in exempt activity communications with members. This report explains these tools and their use in today’s elections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs468/
California Air Quality FIP - A Fact Sheet
On April 10, 1995, President Clinton signed P.L. 104-6, which contained a provision that rescinds the Federal air quality implementation plan (FIP) for the South Coast, Ventura, and Sacramento areas of California.(1) As a result, the FIP issued by EPA has no further force and effect, and California will continue pursuing approval of its own State implementation plan (SIP) in lieu of the FIP. Promulgation of the FIP was perceived by some within the State as having a detrimental effect on California's industries and economy resulting from costly and burdensome air pollution control measures contained in the plan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs175/
Campaign Finance Bills in the 105th Congress: Comparison of H.R. 2183 (Hutchison -Allen), H.R. 3526 (Shays-Meehan), and Current Law
As pledged by Speaker Gingrich, the House renewed consideration of campaign finance reform in May 1998. The principal bill is H.R. 2183, known as the freshman bipartisan bill, introduced July 17, 1997, by Messrs. Hutchinson and Allen. Selected floor amendments and substitutes will be in order. The legislation that has generated the most publicity in the 105th Congress has been the McCain-Feingold bill (S. 25), offered on March 19, 1998, as H.R. 3526 by Messrs. Shays and Meehan;1 this has also been offered as substitute amendment no. 13 to H.R. 2183 in the current debate. Table 1 highlights key differences between the two bills, and Table 2 summarizes and compares H.R. 2183, H.R. 3526, and current law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs628/
Campaign Finance Debate in the House: Substitute Amendments to H.R. 2183 (105th Congress)
This report provides a summary and comparison of the 11 substitute amendments to H.R. 2183, a campaign finance reform bill offered by Representatives Hutchinson and Allen, that, under H. Res. 442, will be in order for consideration by the House. The House began consideration of the bill and these substitute amendments (as well as additional perfecting amendments) on May 21, 1998. This report is intended for use by House Members and staff in preparation for and during House debate and assumes basic familiarity with the underlying issues. It may be updated to reflect further legislative actions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs629/
Campaign Finance Reform: A Legal Analysis of Issue and Express Advocacy
Issue advocacy communications have become increasingly popular over the federal election cycles. Often these advertisements could be interpreted to favor or disfavor certain candidates, while also serving to inform the public about a policy issue. However, unlike communications that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, the Supreme Court has ruled that issue ads are constitutionally protected First Amendment speech and cannot be regulated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs626/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs627/
Campaign Financing: Highlights and Chronology of Current Federal Law
Current law governing financial activity of campaigns for federal office is based on two principal statutes: the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971, as amended in 1974, 1976, and 1979, and the Revenue Act of 1971. These laws were enacted to remedy widely perceived shortcomings of existing law, the Corrupt Practices Act of 1925, and in response to reports of campaign finance abuses over the years, culminating in the 1972-1974 Watergate scandal. This report provides a summary of major provisions of federal law and a chronology of key legislative and judicial actions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs954/
Campaign Financing: Highlights and Chronology of Current Federal Law
Current law governing financial activity of campaigns for federal office is based on two principal statutes: the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971, as amended in 1974, 1976, and 1979, and the Revenue Act of 1971. These laws were enacted to remedy widely perceived shortcomings of existing law, the Corrupt Practices Act of 1925, and in response to reports of campaign finance abuses over the years, culminating in the 1972-1974 Watergate scandal. This report provides a summary of major provisions of federal law and a chronology of key legislative and judicial actions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs425/
Cancer Research: Selected Federal Spending and Morbidity and Mortality Statistics
This report shows federal spending at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research on selected cancer sites. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs744/
Capital Gains and Securities Transactions Taxation in Japan: Fact Sheet
This fact sheet provides information on the taxation of securities transactions and capital gains income in Japan at the national level. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs155/
Capital Gains Taxes: An Overview
The capital gains tax has been a tax cut target since the 1986 Tax Reform Act treated capital gains as ordinary income. An argument for lower capital gains taxes is reduction of the lock-in effect. Some also believe that lower capital gains taxes will cost little compared to the benefits they bring and that lower taxes induce additional economic growth, although the magnitude of these potential effects is in some dispute. Others criticize lower capital gains taxes as benefitting higher income individuals and express concerns about the budget effects, particularly in future years. Another criticism of lower rates is the possible role of a larger capital gains tax differential in encouraging tax sheltering activities and adding complexity to the tax law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1024/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs307/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs290/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1033/