Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED

Agriculture in the WTO: Limits on Domestic Support

Description: Most provisions of the current “farm bill,” the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002 (P.L. 107-171), do not expire until 2007. However, hearings on a 2007 farm bill could begin in late 2005. At that time, Congress will begin to examine farm income and commodity price support proposals that might succeed the programs due to expire in 2007. A key question likely to be asked of virtually every new proposal is how it will affect U.S. commitments under the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture (AA), which commits the United States to spend no more than $19.1 billion annually on domestic farm support programs most likely to distort trade. The AA spells out the rules for countries to determine whether their policies are potentially trade distorting, and to calculate the costs. This report describes the steps for making these determinations.
Date: May 10, 2005
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): Overview of P.L. 108-446

Description: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the main federal program concerning the education of children with disabilities. It authorizes state and local aid for special education and related services for children with disabilities and contains detailed due process protections for children with disabilities and their parents. On December 3, 2004, President Bush signed “the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Improvement Act” (P.L. 108-446), a major reauthorization and revision of IDEA. The new law preserves the basic structure and civil rights guarantees of IDEA but also makes significant changes in the law. Most provisions of P.L. 108-446 go into effect on July 1, 2005. This report will briefly discuss several of the major changes made by the reauthorization.
Date: May 5, 2005
Creator: Jones, Nancy L. & Apling, Richard N.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Overview of the Administration's Strengthening America's Communities Initiative

Description: This report discusses administration’s proposed base program called strengthening America’s communities initiative intended to award funds in support of job creation and economic development.
Date: May 5, 2005
Creator: Boyd, Eugene; Mulock, Bruce K; Smale, Pauline; Cowan, Tadlock; Laney, Garrine P & Foote, Bruce E
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture and FY2006 Budget Reconciliation

Description: On April 29, 2005, Congress completed action on the FY2006 budget resolution (H.Con.Res. 95, H.Rept. 109-62). This measure contains reconciliation instructions that require authorizing committees to report legislation to reduce spending on mandatory programs within each committee’s jurisdiction. To reduce spending in mandatory U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, conferees instructed the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to reduce mandatory spending by $173 million in FY2006 and $3.0 billion over five years (FY2006-FY2010). The Bush Administration earlier proposed changes to several mandatory USDA programs, which it said would save $5.7 billion over five years (and which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) subsequently scored at $9.4 billion in reductions). The agriculture committees must determine how to divide the cuts among the various programs under their jurisdiction by September 16, 2005.
Date: May 4, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Housing Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: This report discusses the budget request for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which would be a decrease of $2.8 billion, or almost 9%, from FY2005.
Date: May 4, 2005
Creator: Bourdon, E. Richard; Foote, Bruce E.; McCarty, Maggie; Boyd, Eugene & Jackson, Pamela J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Funding Issues and Activities

Description: This report discusses federal funding for IT research and development. Proponents assert that federal support of IT R&D has produced positive outcomes for the country and played a crucial role in supporting long-term research into fundamental aspects of computing. Critics assert that the government, through its funding mechanisms, may be picking “winners and losers” in technological development, a role more properly residing with the private sector.
Date: May 2, 2005
Creator: Moloney Figliola, Patricia
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wildfire Protection Funding

Description: The severe 2000 fire season prompted a significant rise in funding for wildfire protection that has been sustained; wildfire appropriations in FY2005 were more than $2.9 billion. Most of the funds ($2.8 billion in FY2005) are to protect federal lands, with funds for reducing fuel loads, for equipment and training, for fighting fires, and for restoring burned sites. Federal funding ($98 million in FY2005) also supports state efforts to protect nonfederal lands. Some wildfire funding ($74 million in FY2005) is used for fire research, fire facilities, and programs to improve forest health. Congress continues to debate wildfire funding levels, with a growing focus on the cost of wildfire suppression.
Date: May 2, 2005
Creator: Gorte, Ross W
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Discretionary Spending: Prospects and History

Description: Federal spending has changed, both in size and composition over the last 40 years. Total federal spending is now a larger percentage of the economy (as measured by gross domestic product — GDP) than it was in 1965 (19.8% of GDP vs 17.2% of GDP). Mandatory spending (generally spending that result from laws other than appropriations acts, such as Social Security and Medicare), has grown substantially, both as a percentage of GDP and as a percentage of total spending to become, today, the largest component of federal spending. Mandatory spending, without significant changes to the programs composing it, will continue growing as a percentage of GDP and as a percentage of total outlays into the future.
Date: April 27, 2005
Creator: Winters, Philip D.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Recreation on Federal Lands

Description: The growing and diverse nature of recreation on federal lands has increased the challenge of balancing recreation with other land uses, and balancing different types of recreation. Motorized recreation has been particularly controversial, with issues centering on access and environmental impacts. The 109th Congress may consider legislation and conduct oversight on issues involving recreation on federal lands, including traditional recreational pursuits and newer forms of motorized recreation. Other federal land recreation issues of possible interest include recreational uses within the National Wildlife Refuge System, recreation at federal water, recreation fees, and Grand Canyon Colorado River management.
Date: April 25, 2005
Creator: Calvert, Kori & Vincent, Carol Hardy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Recreation on Federal Lands

Description: The growing and diverse nature of recreation on federal lands has increased the challenge of balancing recreation with other land uses, and balancing different types of recreation. Motorized recreation has been particularly controversial, with issues centering on access and environmental impacts. The 109th Congress may consider legislation and conduct oversight on issues involving recreation on federal lands, including traditional recreational pursuits and newer forms of motorized recreation. Other federal land recreation issues of possible interest include recreational uses within the National Wildlife Refuge System, recreation at federal water, recreation fees, and Grand Canyon Colorado River management.
Date: April 25, 2005
Creator: Calvert, Kori & Vincent, Carol Hardy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years

Description: This report provides information on congressional practices with respect to the duration of continuing resolutions, including the use of full-year measures, and focuses particularly on the period covering FY1997-FY2005
Date: April 22, 2005
Creator: Keith, Robert
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campus-Based Student Financial Aid Programs Under the Higher Education Act

Description: This report discusses the issues likely to be considered during reauthorization are whether the campus-based programs provide types of aid to students that are not or cannot be provided via other postsecondary aid programs, and whether the current formulas for allocating funds to institutions for the operation of these programs are optimal. Provisions specific to each program, such as requirements for community service under FWS and terms and conditions of Perkins Loans also may be considered.
Date: April 21, 2005
Creator: Smole, David P.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Budget: Long-Term Challenges for FY2006 and Beyond

Description: This report reviews long-term trends in the defense budget and discusses the challenges Congress and the Defense Department may face in trying to adjust plans in the face of fiscal constraints.
Date: April 20, 2005
Creator: Daggett, Stephen
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Budget Reconciliation Process: The Senate's "Byrd" Rule

Description: Reconciliation is a procedure under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 by which Congress implements budget resolution policies affecting mainly permanent spending and revenue programs. The principal focus in the reconciliation process has been deficit reduction, but in recent years reconciliation has encompassed revenue reduction generally and spending increases in selected program areas. The Byrd rule provides six definitions of what constitutes extraneous matter for purposes of the rule (and several exceptions thereto), but the term is generally described as covering provisions unrelated to achieving the goals of the reconciliation instructions.
Date: April 7, 2005
Creator: Keith, Robert
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department