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 Decade: 1990-1999
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Cigarette Taxes to Fund Health Care Reform: An Economic Analysis
A cigarette excise tax increase of 75 cents per pack has been proposed to finance part of the President's universal health care program. The tax enjoys considerable public support, would raise about $11 billion per year, and would be relatively simple to administer because it would increase an existing manufacturer's excise tax. This report discusses these rationales, as well as other effects of and concerns about the tax, organized into topics of market failure as a justification for the tax (i.e., economic efficiency); potential for revenue; equity; and the job loss the tax might cause in tobacco growing regions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26039/
Civil Rights Commission Reauthorization
The Civil Rights Commission Act of 1998 (H.R. 3117) would reauthorize the commission through FY2001. It was introduced by Representative Canady on January 28, 1998, referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and reported with an amendment on March 2, 1998. It passed the House, amended, by voice vote on March 18. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs675/
Civilian Nuclear Spent Fuel Temporary Storage Options
The Department of Energy (DOE) is studying a site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for a permanent underground repository for highly radioactive spent fuel from nuclear reactors, but delays have pushed back the facility’s opening date to 2010 at the earliest. In the meantime, spent fuel is accumulating at U.S. nuclear plant sites at the rate of about 2,000 metric tons per year. Major options for managing those growing quantities of nuclear spent fuel include continued storage at reactors, construction of a DOE interim storage site near Yucca Mountain, and licensing of private storage facilities. Arguments for development of a federal interim storage facility include DOE legal obligations, long-term costs, and public controversy over new on-site storage facilities. Opposition to centralized storage centers on the potential risks of a large-scale nuclear waste transportation campaign. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs784/
Clean Air Act Issues
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Clean Air Act Issues in the 105th Congress
This Issue Brief discusses clean air issues that arose in the 105th Congress. CRS Issue Brief IB10004 addresses the 106th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs966/
Clean Air Act Permitting: Status of Implementation
The 1990 Clean Air Act amendments established an operating permit system that is affecting many new and existing sources of air emissions, as well as state and local air pollution control agencies. After delays and early missteps, the operating permit program is moving ahead. All state and local programs have received interim or full approval, and permits are being issued, although at a slower rate than anticipated. However, a number of issues exist. These include the effect of key federal regulations, not yet promulgated, on permit programs and regulated sources; adequacy of state resources; gaining full approval for those permit programs that now have interim approval; and oversight. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs964/
A Clean Air Option: Cash for Clunkers
The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 encourage states to pursue market-based approaches to improve air quality. An Accelerated Vehicle Retirement (AVR) program, commonly referred to as "Cash for Clunkers," is designed to provide an economic incentive for the owners of highly polluting vehicles to retire their automobiles permanently from use and to provide greater flexibility for private industry to reduce emissions by sponsoring such a program. The implementation of AVR programs can be controversial. This report discusses the AVR program debate and includes information on completed AVR pilot projects in selected states. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs287/
Clean Water Act and TMDLs
Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. For those waters, states must establish a total maximum daily load (TMDL) of pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained. Implementation of this provision has been dormant until recently, when states and EPA were prodded by numerous lawsuits. The TMDL issue has become controversial, in part because of requirements and costs now facing states to implement a 25-year-old provision of the law. Congressional activity to reauthorize the Act, a possibility in the 2nd Session of the 105th Congress, could include TMDL issues, but the direction for any such action is unclear at this time. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs417/
Clean Water Act Issues in the 106th Congress
In the 106th Congress, no comprehensive activity on reauthorizing the Clean Water Act occurred, although a number of individual clean water bills were enacted. Other issues have been debated recently, such as reforming the law to provide regulatory relief for industry, states and cities, and individual landowners. The debate over many of these issues highlights differing views of the Act and its implementation by some who seek to strengthen existing requirements and others who believe that costs and benefits should be more carefully weighed before additional control programs are mandated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs650/
Clean Water Act Reauthorization in the 105th Congress
In the 105th Congress, legislation to reauthorize the Clean Water Act was not been introduced, and no major House or Senate committee activity occurred. EPA and states' water quality inventories have identified wet weather flows (including agricultural runoff, urban storm water, and sewer overflows) as the largest remaining threat to water quality. EPA's clean water programs are now focusing to a large extent on solving wet weather pollution problems. These issues may be addressed legislatively, as well. At issue is whether and how to detail wet weather programs in the Act versus allowing flexibility that recognizes the site-specific nature of intermittent wet weather pollution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs651/
Clean Water Act Section 401: Background and Issues
Section 401 of the Clean Water Act requires that an applicant for a federal license or permit provide a certification that any discharges from the facility will comply with the Act, including water quality standard requirements. Disputes have arisen over the states' exercise of authority under Section 401. Until recently, much of the debate over the Section 401 certification issue has been between states and hydropower interests. A 1994 Supreme Court decision which upheld the states' authority in this area dismayed development and hydroelectric power interest groups. The dispute between states and industry groups was a legislative issue in the 104th Congress through an amendment to a House-passed Clean Water Act re-authorization bill; the Senate did not act on that bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs646/
The Clean Water Action Plan: Background and Early Implementation
In October 1997, Vice President Gore directed federal agencies to develop a Clean Water Initiative to improve and strengthen water pollution control efforts. The multiagency plan was released on Feb. 19, 1998, and identifies nearly 100 key actions. Most are existing activities, now labeled as part of the Initiative. The President's FY1999 budget requests $2.2 billion for five departments and agencies to fund implementation of the Plan. While Congress is considering appropriations bills to fund the Plan, federal agencies are beginning or accelerating activities to carry out the actions under the Plan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs822/
The Clean Water Action Plan: Background and Early Implementation
October 1997, Vice President Gore directed federal agencies to develop a Clean Water Initiative to improve and strengthen water pollution control efforts. The multi-agency plan was released on Feb. 19, 1998, and identifies more than 100 key actions. Most are existing activities, now labeled as part of the Initiative. The President's FY1999 budget requested $2.2 billion for five departments and agencies ($568 million more than in FY1998) to fund implementation. By October 1998, Congress passed bills to fund the plan, but appropriations provided $1.8 billion, or less than 15%, of the requested increases. In the meantime, however, federal agencies are beginning or accelerating activities to carry out the actions under the Plan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1040/
Clean Water Issues in the 104th Congress
For the 104th Congress, reauthorization of the Clean Water Act would seem likely to be a priority, since the Act was last amended in 1987 and authorizations expired on September 30, 1990. But legislative prospects in the 104th Congress are uncertain. Clean water also was a priority for the 103rd Congress, but, in 1994, Congress ran out of time and did not act on comprehensive amendments. Many of the issues proved to be too complex and controversial to be resolved easily, while Congress also was considering a large agenda of environmental and other bills. Controversies arose in connection with issues specific to the Clean Water Act and a trio of regulatory relief issues that became barriers to a number of bills in the 103rd Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs168/
Clean Water Issues in the 105th Congress
For the 105th Congress, reauthorization of the Clean Water Act may be a priority in the second session. The Act was last amended in 1987 and authorizations expired on Sept. 30, 1990. Clean water was a priority for the last two Congresses, but no legislation was enacted. In the 104th Congress, the House passed a comprehensive reauthorization bill, but during House debate and subsequently, controversies arose over whether and how the Act should be made more flexible and less burdensome on regulated entities. Issues likely to be of interest again in the 105th Congress include funding, overall flexibility and regulatory reform of water quality programs, and measures to address polluted runoff from farms and city streets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs498/
Clean Water: Summary of H.R. 961, As Passed
The Clean Water Act, which was last amended in 1987, consists of two major parts: regulatory provisions that impose progressively more stringent requirements on industries and cities to abate pollution and meet the statutory goal of zero discharge of pollutants, and provisions that authorize Federal financial assistance for municipal wastewater treatment construction. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs270/
Clearcutting in the National Forests
Congressional interest in clearcutting has increased in the past few years. Several bills have been introduced in the current and preceding Congresses to ban the use of clearcutting and/or all even-aged management systems in the national forests. The issue, however, transcends the use of clearcutting and focuses on how to assure the choice of a silvicultural system and the implementation of the management practices that will achieve the stated goals for public land and resource management. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs34/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs746/
The Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Program: Status and Legislative Issues
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Colombia: The Problem of Illegal Narcotics and U.S. - Colombian Relations
The United States has long been concerned with Colombia as a major producer and trafficker of the illegal narcotics entering this country: first marijuana, then cocaine, and now also heroin. Colombia's drug trafficking business has been dominated by two cartels during the two decades in which cocaine trafficking became a major activity: first the Medellin cartel, which dominated during the 1980s and then the Cali cartel, which dominated during the early 1990s. With the arrests of the major Cali cartel leaders in the mid-1990s, independent traffickers have filled the void. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs620/
Commemorative Observances 1997 and 1998: A Chronological List
Historically, national commemorative observances were recommended by Congress through the legislative process. This practice was discontinued by the House of Representatives in January 1995, although the Senate continues to issue sense of the Senate resolutions recommending the establishment of commemoratives. It has now become standard practice for special observances to be designated by a proclamation issued by the President. This report is a chronological list of these proclamations for 1997 and 1998, indicating the proclamation number and its Federal Register citation digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs578/
The Commerce Clause as a Limit on Congressional Power to Protect the Environment
Several times during the 1990s the Supreme Court struck down federal enactments as exceeding Congress' power under the Commerce Clause or Tenth Amendment. This report briefly reviews three of these decisions -- United States v. Lopez, New York v. United States, and Printz v. United States. Its focus, however, is how these cases have played out in subsequent lower-court challenges to federal environmental laws. The report shows that Supreme Court rulings in favor of these states notwithstanding, such laws have generally, though not always, been found within Commerce Clause and Tenth Amendment limits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs969/
Commercial Fishing: Economic Aid and Capacity Reduction
Both experience and economic models show that, in the absence of enforceable access or catch restrictions, competition among commercial fishermen results in an expansion of fishing capacity, and resultant fishing effort, beyond the sustainable limits of the fish population being pursued. The spiral of increasing effort and diminishing returns (i.e., rent dissipation) has helped to fuel increases in fish prices that reduce benefits to consumers and processors; has shifted many fish populations toward smaller, younger fish that typically command lower prices; and in many cases has reduced yields far below achievable levels. Congress has considered several approaches to address concerns about overcapitalization and excess capacity in the fishing industry. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs469/
Commercial Relations with Russia: Prospects for a Common United States-Japanese Policy
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Commercial Relations with the Soviet Union: Prospects for a Common United States Japanese Policy
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10/
Committee Funding Resolutions and Processes, 106th Congress
This report describes the procedures under which committee funding resolutions are considered in the two chambers, and 106th Congress action to review and approve committee operating budgets. Also noted are changes in the Senate’s committee funding processes to move from a session-based biennial funding process to one more closely matched to a fiscal year cycle. Tables at the end of the report show funds approved for the 105th Congress, and the funds requested, recommended, and approved for the 106th Congress for each House and Senate committee. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs926/
Committee Funding Resolutions and Processes, 106th Congress
This report describes the procedures under which committee funding resolutions are considered in the two chambers. A table at the end of the report shows funds approved for the 105th Congress, and the funds requested, recommended, and approved for the 106th Congress for each House committee. The Senate agreed to temporary funding extensions for its committees pending a decision to shift to a fiscal year-based funding process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs924/
The Committee Markup Process in the House of Representatives
This report discusses aspects of the process by which House committees mark up and report legislation. Among the subjects discussed are: selecting the text to be marked up, offering and debating amendments, and making motions to conclude debates during markups. The report also discusses relevant rules and practices concerning motions, quorums, votes, points of order, and parliamentary inquiries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs929/
Committee Numbers, Sizes, Assignments, and Staff: Selected Historical Data
The development of today's committee system is a product of internal congressional reforms, but national forces also have played a role. This report contains data on the numbers and sizes of committees and subcommittees and on Members' assignments since 1945. This report also contains data on committee staff sizes from 1979 through 1995. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26109/
The Committee System in the U.S. Congress
Due to the high volume and complexity of its work, Congress divides its tasks among approximately 44 committees with 154 subcommittees. The House and Senate each has its own committee systems, which are similar. Within chamber guidelines, however, each committee adopts its own rules; thus, there is considerable variation among panels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs183/
Committee System: Rules Changes in the House, 104th Congress
This fact sheet details changes in the committee system contained in H. Res. 6, Rules of the House for the 104th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26074/
Committee System Rules Changes in the House, 106th Congress
This fact sheet details changes in the committee system contained in H. Res. 5, the rules of the House for the 106th Congress digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs930/
Community Services Block Grants: Background and Current Legislation
This report provides background on the Community Services Block Grants (CSBG) and related activities, including information on funding, and tracks the progress of relevant legislation and appropriations measures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs787/
Comparison of 501(c )(3) and 501(c )(4) Organizations
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Compensating Farmers for the Tobacco Settlement
The legislative proposals designed to reduce smoking, primarily by teenagers, are likely to have negative economic consequences for tobacco growers and tobacco-dependent communities. This report discusses the possibility of some kind of compensation to farmers as part of the settlement package legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs563/
Competitiveness: Economic Issue or Illusion?
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Conference Committee and Related Procedures: An Introduction
Conference committees generally are free to conduct their negotiations as they choose, but they are to address only the matters on which the House and Senate have disagreed. Moreover, they are to propose settlements that represent compromises between the positions of the two houses. When they have completed their work, they submit a conference report and joint explanatory statement, and the House and Senate vote on accepting the report without amendments. Sometimes conference reports are accompanied by amendments that remain in disagreement. Only after the two houses have reached complete agreement on all provisions of a bill can it be sent to the President for his approval or veto. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs304/
Congress and Trade Policy Toward Japan
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Congress' Early Organization Meetings
The purposes of these meetings are both educational and organizational. Educational sessions range from legislative procedures and staff hiring to current issues. Organizational sessions elect class officers, party leaders, and chamber officers; name committee representatives and other party officials; and select committee chairmen and often committee members. Such actions are officially ratified at the start of the new Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs303/
The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction
This report describes the annual appropriations cycle from the President’s submission of his annual budget through enactment of the appropriations measures. It describes the three types of appropriations measures—regular appropriations bills, continuing resolutions, and supplemental bills. It explains the spending ceilings for appropriations bills that are associated with the budget resolution and the sequestration process, including a description of the mechanisms used to enforce the ceilings. It also explains the authorization appropriations process, which prohibits certain provisions in some of the appropriations bills. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs898/
Congressional Budget Act Points of Order
Title III of the Congressional Budget Act (CBA) of 1974 (P.L. 93-344), as amended, establishes the points of order that are used to enforce congressional budget procedures and substantive provisions of a budget resolution. These points of order prohibit certain congressional actions and consideration of certain legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs921/
Congressional Budget Act Points of Order
Title III of the Congressional Budget Act (CBA) of 1974 (P.L. 93-344), as amended, establishes the points of order that are used to enforce congressional budget procedures and substantive provisions of a budget resolution. These points of order prohibit certain congressional actions and consideration of certain legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs597/
Congressional Budget Actions in 1997
In 1997, during the first session of the 105th Congress, the House and Senate will consider many different budgetary measures. Most of these measures will pertain to FY1998 and beyond, but some measures will make adjustments in the budget for the current fiscal year, FY1997. This issue brief describes House and Senate action on major budgetary legislation within the framework of the congressional budget process and other procedural requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs413/
The Congressional Budget Process Timetable
The Congressional Budget Act (CBA) of 1974 (P.L. 93-344), as amended, establishes the congressional budget process, which coordinates the legislative activities on the budget resolution, appropriations bills, reconciliation legislation, revenue measures, and other budgetary legislation. Section 300 of this act provides a timetable (see Table 1) so that Congress may complete its work on the budget by the start of the fiscal year on October 1. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs911/
The Congressional Budget Process Timetable
The Congressional Budget Act (CBA) of 1974 (P.L. 93-344), as amended, establishes the congressional budget process, which coordinates the legislative activities on the budget resolution, appropriations bills, reconciliation legislation, revenue measures, and other budgetary legislation. Section 300 of this act provides a timetable (see Table 1) so that Congress may complete its work on the budget by the start of the fiscal year on October 1. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs594/
Congressional Campaign Spending: 1976-1996
The data in this report reflect spending by congressional candidates from funds donated by individuals, political action committees (PACs), parties, and candidates. Thus, it includes expenditures under candidate control and does not reflect spending on their behalf, with or without their cooperation, by parties, PACs, and other groups. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs406/
Congressional Gold Medals 1776-1999
Since the American Revolution, Congress has commissioned gold medals as its highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions. These medals should not be confused with the Medal of Honor, which is presented “in the name of the Congress of the United States,” and is often referred to as the Congressional Medal of Honor. Regulations for the Medal of Honor are established by the armed services. Congressional Gold Medals, conversely, can only be approved by Congress. This report provides a response to such inquiries and includes a historical examination and chronological list of these awards intended to assist Members of Congress in their consideration of future proposals to award Congressional Gold Medals. It will be updated annually. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs925/
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This is a directory of approximately 150 government agencies designed to assist congressional staff in contacting agencies of the legislative branch, cabinet departments and other executive branch agencies and boards and commissions. This directory contains names of congressional liaison officers, addresses, telephone and fax numbers, and occasionally e-mail addresses. It is regularly updated each spring. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs591/
Congressional Overrides of Presidential Vetoes
The President’s veto is effective not only in preventing the passage of legislation undesirable to the President, but also as a threat, sometimes forcing Congress to modify legislation before it is presented to the President. However, as a veto threat is carried out, Congress is faced with choices: letting the veto stand, the difficult task of overriding the veto, meeting the President’s objections and sending a new bill forward, or resubmitting the same provisions under a new bill number. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs768/
Congressional Oversight
Congressional oversight of policy implementation and administration, which has occurred throughout the U.S. government experience under the Constitution, takes a variety of forms and utilizes various techniques. These range from specialized investigations by select committees to annual appropriations hearings, and from informal communications between Members or congressional staff and executive personnel to the use of extra congressional mechanisms, such as offices of inspector general and study commissions. Oversight, moreover, is supported by a variety of authorities—the Constitution, public law, and chamber and committee rules—and is an integral part of the system of checks and balances between the legislature and the executive digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs411/