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  Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
 Decade: 1990-1999
 Year: 1997
The Abandoned Mine Land Fund: Grants Distribution and Issues
The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA, P.L. 95-87), enacted in 1977, established reclamation standards for all coal surface mining operations, and for the surface effects of underground mining. It also established the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program to promote the reclamation of sites mined and abandoned prior to the enactment of SMCRA. To finance reclamation of abandoned mine sites, the legislation established fees on coal production. These collections are divided into federal and state shares; subject to annual appropriation, AML funds are distributed annually to states with approved reclamation programs. This report describes the distribution of these funds and the various issues that arise from said distribution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs398/
Abortion Procedures
The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1997, H.R. 1122 was vetoed by President Clinton on October 10, 1997. This legislation would have made it a federal crime, punishable by fine and/or incarceration, for a physician to perform a partial birth abortion unless it was necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury. The partial-birth abortion legislation has stimulated a great deal of controversy. This report provides a brief overview of the abortion methods currently in use for which data have been published and some positions on the partial birth abortion legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs370/
Adoption Promotion Legislation in the 105th Congress
President Clinton signed the Adoption and Safe Families Act into law on November 19, 1997, after the House and Senate approved final versions of the legislation on November 13. The new law (P.L. 105-89) is intended to promote adoption or other permanent arrangements for foster children who are unable to return home, and to make general improvements in the nation’s child welfare system. The House initially passed legislation (H.R. 867) on April 30 by a vote of 416-5, and the Senate passed an amended version on November 8. A compromise version was passed on November 13, by a vote of 406-7 in the House and by unanimous consent in the Senate. This report discusses the final version of the legislation, as enacted into law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs446/
African Elephant Issues: CITES and CAMPFIRE
The conservation of African elephants has been controversial recently on two fronts: the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES, to which the United States is a party), and a Zimbabwean program for sustainable development called CAMPFIRE, which is partially funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Two controversies have sprung up recently about the African elephant. One is the changing status of this species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), of which the United States is a signatory. The other is over a program in Zimbabwe called "CAMPFIRE." The partial funding of this program by the U.S. Agency for International Development has been criticized by animal welfare groups and some conservation groups, though it has been supported by other conservation groups as well as many hunting organizations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs388/
Agricultural Exports: Technical Barriers to Trade
Technical barriers to trade (TBTs) are widely divergent measures that countries use to regulate rnarkets, protect their consumers, and preserve natural resources, but which can also discriminate against imports in favor of domestic products. Most TBTs in agriculture are sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures designed to protect humans, animals, and plants from contaminants, diseases, and pests. In the wake of new trade agreements aimed at reducing tariffs, import quotas, and other trade barriers, TBTs have become more prominent concerns for agricultural exporters and policymakers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs380/
Agricultural Research, Education, Extension and Economics Programs: A Primer
The 105th Congress is undertaking a thorough review of federal laws and policies affecting the nationwide system of federal and state agricultural research laboratories and agencies, the land grant Colleges of Agriculture and related schools of forestry and veterinary medicine, and the continuing education programs of the Cooperative Extension System. In preparation for hearings and subsequent debate on these subjects, this report provides an overview of all the components of the system, its major programs, and its funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs375/
Agriculture: A Glossary of Terms, Programs, and Laws
This report includes a glossary of approximately 1,700 agriculture and related terms (e.g., food programs, conservation, forestry, environmental protection, etc.). Besides defining terms and phrases with specialized meanings for agriculture, the glossary also identifies acronyms, agencies, programs, and laws related to agriculture. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs379/
Agriculture and Fast Track Trade Legislation
Senate and House committees in October reported legislation for new fast track authority enabling the Administration to negotiate trade agreements with foreign countries and to submit them to Congress for consideration under expedited procedures. Many agricultural and food industry interests are among the export-dependent enterprises that support new fast track authority, arguing that foreign trading partners will not seriously negotiate with an Administration that lacks it. However, some agricultural groups argue that fast track provides them with inadequate opportunities for dealing with their issues, and that it ultimately will lead to new agreements that benefit foreign more than U.S. producers, at least in some commodity sectors. Neither bill was taken to the floor in 1997 because of insufficient votes for passage in the House. However, the President is expected to seek approval in 1998. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs407/
Air Quality: EPA's Proposed New Ozone and Particulate Matter Standards
This report discusses the contentious issue of enforcing stringent national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone and particulate matter (PM), the opponents of which decry as harmful to the economy. The report discusses actions undertaken by the EPA, President Clinton's support of the NAAQSs, and the criticisms of opponents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs384/
Alien Eligibility for Public Assistance
This report discusses the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which affected alien eligibility for federal, state, and local government assistance programs, both imposing and broadening restrictions on a number of immigration benefits and programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs460/
American Federalism, 1776 to 1997: Significant Events
This report identifies several significant eras and events in the evolution of American federalism and provides a capsule description or discussion of each. It should be noted that among experts in the field of federalism there may be a general consensus concerning the evolution of American federalism; however, the choice of events and scholarly interpretations of such events may vary and are by nature subjective. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs490/
Amtrak: Federal Financial Assistance
This report discusses federal financial assistance to Amtrak, an intercity rail service created by Congress in 1971. It discusses the possibility of significantly reducing, or even eliminating, federal financial assistance to Amtrak, in an effort to reduce the federal budget deficit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs497/
Analysis of Ten Selected Science and Technology Policy Studies
Since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s, a number of reports have been prepared on a broad range of science and technology (S&T) policy issues, most notably dealing with national research and development (R&D) goals, priorities, and budgets, and university-government-industry relationships. This report discusses and analyzes ten of these S&T reports. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs481/
APEC and the 1997 Summit in Vancouver
This report discusses the November 25, 1997 summit held by leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. The purpose of the summit was to further pursue the APEC agenda of endorsing a framework developed by APEC leaders' finance ministers to promote financial stability in the Asia-Pacific region and to supplement resources by the International Monetary Fund when necessary. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs451/
Appropriations for FY1998: Interior and Related Agencies
The annual Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations bill includes funding for agencies and programs in four separate federal departments, as well as numerous smaller agencies and diverse programs. This report discusses the FY1998 appropriations authorized under this bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs439/
Attorneys' Fees in the State Tobacco Litigation Cases
In the past few years, many states have filed complaints against the tobacco industry in state court to recover Medicaid costs paid by the states to treat their citizens for tobacco related illnesses. The states are also attempting to recover other damages, such as punitive damages, against the tobacco industry. For various reasons, the states have hired private attorneys to assist the state Attorneys General in prosecuting these cases. In most cases, the retention of private counsel has included a fee agreement specifying the amount of compensation that these attorneys will receive for their services. These agreements are not uniform among the states, but most tend to provide some form of contingency fee arrangement. Some of these states have developed a sliding scale contingency fee schedule which varies with the amount of time spent on the litigation and whether a trial has begun. This report briefly summarizes the different fee agreements that the states have with private counsel. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs377/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
Cases Adjudged in The Supreme Court at October Term, 1992
Volume of the United States Reports containing the final decisions and opinions of the Supreme Court justices regarding cases between June 18 and October 1, 1993. Also includes notes regarding the members of the Supreme Court, orders, and other relevant materials. Index starts on page 1305. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc158357/
Cases Adjudged in The Supreme Court at October Term, 1993
Volume of the United States Reports containing the final decisions and opinions of the Supreme Court justices regarding cases between March 22 and June 7, 1994. Also includes notes regarding the members of the Supreme Court, orders, and other relevant materials. Index starts on page 1193. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc158359/
Cases Adjudged in The Supreme Court at October Term, 1993
Volume of the United States Reports containing the final decisions and opinions of the Supreme Court justices regarding cases between October 4, 1993 and March 21, 1994. Also includes notes regarding the members of the Supreme Court, orders, and other relevant materials. Index starts on page 1323. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc158358/
Central American Asylum Seekers: Impact of 1996 Immigration Law
This report discuses issues related to the significant portion of the Central Americans affected by the IIRIRA revisions still have asylum cases pending and may obtain legal permanent residence by that avenue if they demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution. The Attorney General also has the discretionary authority to grant blanket relief from deportation, but the discretionary forms of relief do not entail legal permanent residence. There is considerable interest in this issue in the 105th Congress, and the Senate passed by a vote of 99 to 1 an amendment to provide relief for certain Central Americans to the D.C. appropriations bill (S.1156). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs463/
China and the Multilateral Development Banks
Congress is currently considering appropriations for U.S. contributions to the World Bank and other multilateral development banks (MDBs) as well as separate legislation that would require U.S. representatives to these institutions to oppose all concessional loans to China. This report provides a brief analysis of China’s relationship with the MDBs to highlight some issues and help Members of Congress, congressional staff, and observers better understand the context for the current debates in Congress and the multilateral agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs466/
China: Commission of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND) and Defense Industries
Congressional interest in the Chinese military, or People’s Liberation Army (PLA), has increased as a result of the March 1996 tensions in the Taiwan Strait, continuing allegations of Chinese proliferation of technology useful in weapons of mass destruction, and reports that some Chinese defense-related corporations have circumvented U.S. export controls to acquire dual-use technology. The Commission of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND), an important, high-level PLA organization, plays a role in China’s weapon programs, sales of civilian goods, acquisition of military technology, and arms sales and export controls. The purpose of this CRS Report is to examine the origins and command, roles, and influence of COSTIND. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs397/
China: U.S. Economic Sanctions
This report presents a history of U.S. economic sanctions imposed against the People's Republic of China for foreign policy reasons since 1949. It highlights sanctions that are currently active and details occasions on which those restrictions have been modified, waived or permanently lifted. The report provides citations for Presidential authority in current law and the Administration's issuance of regulations and administrative orders. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs450/
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 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/
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/
Commission on Dietary Supplement Labels
This website contains an overview of the purpose of the Commission on Dietary Supplement Labels as well as the final report and letters of transmittal related to the activities of the commission. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc36264/
The Commission on Structural Alternatives for the Federal Courts of Appeals Homepage
Effective March 19, 1999 the Commission on Structural Alternatives for the Federal Courts of Appeals completed its business and ceased operations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc792/
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/
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 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/
Conservation Reserve Program - Preliminary Results from the 15th Signup
This report includes a table listing, by state, the: Number of bids, or offers, received; Total acres offered for enrollment; Acres offered that are currently enrolled in the CRP; Acres offered are not currently enrolled in the CRP; Acres on which contracts expire on September 30, 1997; Percentage of acres currently in the program that were offered for reenrollment; and Percentage of acres offered that are not currently enrolled in the CRP. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs376/
Conservation Reserve Program: Status and Policy Issues
The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), enacted in 1985, enables producers to bid to retire highly erodible or environmentally sensitive cropland, usually for 10 years. Participants receive annual rental and cost-sharing payments, and technical assistance to install approved plantings. Up to 36.4 million acres have been enrolled; current enrollment is estimated to be 32.9 million acres. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs374/
Continuing Appropriations Acts: Brief Overview of Recent Practices
This report provides information on the history of continuing resolutions; the nature, scope, and duration of CRs during the last 30 years; the various types of CRs that have been enacted; and an overview of those instances when budget authority has lapsed and a funding gap has resulted. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs393/
Countries of the World and International Organizations: Sources of Information
This report provides a selection of materials for locating information on foreign countries and international organizations. In the general information section, it presents sources giving an overview of politics, economics, and recent history. A specialized information section cites sources on human rights, immigration, international organizations, military strengths, terrorism, and other topics. Included are titles of some of the most frequently consulted bibliographic sources that are available for use in many libraries. Electronic information on foreign countries is also provided, via the Internet, by agencies of the federal government, international organizations, and related sources. Included is a list of foreign chanceries located in Washington, D.C. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs478/
Defense Industry in Transition: Issues and Options for Congress
The U.S. government and the defense industry continued to adjust to the post-Cold War era. Complicating the transition was the restructuring of the U.S. and other industrialized economies, and questions concerning the future direction of U.S. defense policy. The 104th Congress grappled with how to ensure that the U.S. retained a smaller, but capable, defense industry. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs400/
The Department of Energy FY1998 Research and Development Budget and Issues
This report focuses on the R&D programs. DOE has divided its activities into four major business categories: Resource, Science and Technology, National Security, and Environmental Quality. Each has an R&D component, although the R&D funding is concentrated in the first three. Table 1 (on the next page) shows FY1997 R&D funding, the FY1998 request, and the FY1998 appropriation actions by those categories digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs440/
The Department of Energy's FY1998 Budget
This issue brief describes the FY1998 request for DOE's major programs, its implications, and congressional action on the DOE budget. Table 1 at the end of the issue brief highlights the FY1998 DOE budget request. House and Senate marks and the final budget enacted will be included in revised versions as the appropriations bills move through the Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs445/
DOD's Dual-Use Strategy
In an effort to reduce the costs of its military systems and gain greater access to state-of-the-art technologies, the Department of Defense is pursuing what is being called a "dual-use" strategy. This strategy seeks to make greater use of the commercial sector in developing and manufacturing military goods. This report discusses issues raised over the implementation of this strategy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26081/
DOE Laboratory Restructuring Legislation in the 104th Congress
Interest in restructuring (including eliminating) the Department of Energy (DOE) and its laboratories has increased since the end of the Cold War, and especially since the beginning of the 104th Congress. A number of non-legislative proposals and activities to this end are reviewed, including DOE's own proposals for "alignment and downsizing" of the Department and its laboratories. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs480/
Dolphin Protection and Tuna Seining
From its inception in 1972, one of the goals of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) was to reduce the incidental mortality of dolphins in the ETP tuna fishery. Regulations promulgated under MMPA authority set standards for tuna seining and motivated technological improvements that reduced dolphin mortalities in this fishery -- by 1977, annual dolphin mortality by U.S. tuna seiners had declined to about 25,450 animals. Despite the extensive mortalities, no ETP dolphin population has been listed as endangered or threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. However, two ETP dolphin stocks were listed as depleted under the MMPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs389/
Drug Control: International Policy and Options
Over the past decade, worldwide production of illicit drugs has risen dramatically: opium and marijuana production has roughly doubled and coca production tripled. Street prices of cocaine and heroin have fallen significantly in the past 20 years, reflecting increased availability. Despite apparent national political resolve to deal with the drug problem, inherent contradictions regularly appear between U.S. anti-drug policy and other national policy goals and concerns. The mix of competing domestic and international pressures and priorities has produced an ongoing series of disputes within and between the legislative and executive branches concerning U.S. international drug policy. One contentious issue has been the Congressionally-mandated certification process, an instrument designed to induce specified drug-exporting countries to prioritize or pay more attention to the fight against narcotics businesses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs420/
Economic Sanctions to Achieve U.S. Foreign Policy Goals: Discussion and Guide to Current Law
This report provides background on the range of actions that might be termed foreign policy sanctions and the events that might necessitate their use. Criteria are offered that legislators might consider to judge when sanctions might be appropriate, approaches that might be effective, aspects of the use of sanctions that are sometimes overlooked or not considered fully. The report provides an uncomplicated "map" of where sanctions policies and options currently lay in U. S. law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs465/
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