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Climate Change Legislation in the 108th Congress
Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been an issue in the 108th Congress, as they have been over the past decade. Bills directly addressing climate change issues range from those focused primarily on climate change research (H.R. 1578 and S. 1164) to comprehensive emissions cap and trading programs for all six greenhouse gases (S. 139 and H.R. 4067). This report briefly discusses basic concepts on which these bills are based, and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research, GHG reporting and registries, and cap and trade programs.
Suspension of Rules in the House: Measure Sponsorship by Party
This report provides a brief analysis and tables that show the breakdown of motions to suspend the rules in the House of Representatives by party of the sponsor (100th-108th Congresses).
Committee System Rules Changes in the House, 109th Congress
This fact sheet details changes in the committee system contained in H.Res. 5, the rules of the House for the 109th Congress, agreed to by the House January 4, 2005, and the Speaker’s announced policies.
Preparation for Senate Committee Markup
This report briefly discusses the preparation which precedes the legislative stage during which a committee chooses the language of a measure it expects to report to the Senate, called "markups." Markups are carefully planned in advance to insure that the requirements of Senate rules have been met, political decisions have been made, and administrative issues have been addressed.
Protection of Classified Information by Congress: Practices and Proposals
No Description Available.
The Senate's Executive Calendar
No Description Available.
"Dear Colleague" Letters: A Brief Overview
“Dear Colleague” letters are official correspondence distributed in bulk to Members in both chambers. Primarily, they are used by one or more Members to persuade others to cosponsor or oppose a bill (generally, prior to introduction). Dear Colleague letters might also inform Members of an event connected with congressional business, of new or modified House procedures, or of some other matter. The use of the phrase “‘Dear Colleague’ letter” to refer to a widely distributed letter among Members dates at least to the start of the 20th century. New technologies and expanded use of the Internet have increased the speed and facilitated the process of preparing Dear Colleague letters.
Agriculture: Prospective Issues for Congress
A number of issues affecting U.S. agriculture could receive attention during the 109th Congress. Some are related to new initiatives or to unfinished legislation from the 108th Congress; others have been the focus of ongoing congressional oversight. Although the current (2002) farm bill (P.L. 107-171) generally does not expire until 2007, the agriculture committees could begin hearings on a new measure as early as 2005. The farm bill spells out the types and levels of benefits provided to producers and landowners under commodity price support and conservation programs, both of which could receive close scrutiny in the coming year as lawmakers seek ways to control federal spending. Other concerns include agroterrorism, food safety, and animal and plant diseases (e.g., “mad cow” disease); interest in multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations; the rising cost of energy on farms; environmental issues; and a number of agricultural marketing matters.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
This report discusses major decisions on clean air issues facing the courts and the executive branch in 2006. One focus will be EPA's recent proposal to strengthen air quality standards for fine particles. Other issues of continuing interest are EPA's 2005 decisions limiting interstate transport of air pollution and establishing cap-and-trade systems for emissions from coal fired power plants, and the agency's proposed changes to New Source Review.
Grants Work in a Congressional Office
Report discussing grants requests for federal funds made to members of Congress by their constituents. It provides a general overview, information provided to constituents about grant funding, letters of support for grant seekers, federal assistance opportunities, proposal writing, following up on requests, announcements of grant awards, foundations and corporate grants, and additional grant-related resources.
Congressional Budget Actions in 2004
During the second session of the 108th Congress, the House and Senate considered many different budgetary measures. Most of them pertained to FY2005 (referred to as the “budget year”) and beyond. In addition, some made adjustments to the budget for FY2004 (referred to as the “current year”). This report describes House and Senate action on major budgetary legislation within the framework of the congressional budget process and other procedural requirements.
Mexico-U.S. Relations: Issues for the 108th Congress
The United States and Mexico have a special relationship as neighbors and partners under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The friendly relationship has been strengthened by President Bush's meetings with President Fox but has been weakened by disagreements over Iraq and other issues. Major congressional issues are trade, migration/border security, drug trafficking, and political and human rights issues.
Membership of the 109th Congress: A Profile
No Description Available.
Tactical Aircraft Modernization: Issues for Congress
No Description Available.
Amendments Between the Houses
This report briefly summarizes the process of amendments between the House of Representatives and the Senate, which occurs if the House and Senate approve differing versions of a measure. An exchange of amendments between the houses resolves these differences.
The Congressional Budget Process: A Brief Overview
The term “budget process,” when applied to the federal government, actually refers to a number of processes that have evolved separately and that occur with varying degrees of coordination. This overview, and the accompanying flow chart, are intended to describe in brief each of the parts of the budget process that involve Congress, clarify the role played by each, and explain how they operate together. They include the President’s budget submission, the budget resolution, reconciliation, sequestration, authorizations, and appropriations.
Bills and Resolutions: Examples of How Each Kind Is Used
This report briefly describes the process by which Congress seeks to pass a law. During this process Congress uses a bill or joint resolution, which must be passed by both houses in identical form, that is then presented to the President for his approval or disapproval.
Clean Water Act Issues in the 108th Congress
This report discusses issues regarding the Clean Water Act. Prospects for legislative initiatives to comprehensively amend the Clean Water Act (CWA) have stalled for some time over whether and exactly how to change the law, and Congress has recently focused legislative attention on narrow bills to extend or modify selected CWA programs, rather than taking up comprehensive proposals. For example, the 108th Congress enacted one bill amending the CWA, legislation to reauthorize the National Estuary Program (H.R. 4731, P.L. 108-399).
The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction
Congress annually considers 13 or more appropriations measures, which provide funding for numerous activities, for example, national defense, education, homeland security, and crime. These measures also fund general government operations such as the administration of federal agencies. Congress has developed certain rules and practices for the consideration of appropriations measures, referred to as the congressional appropriations process. This report discusses the following aspects of this process: Annual appropriations cycle; Spending ceilings for appropriations associated with the annual budget resolution; and Prohibitions against certain language in appropriations measures that violate separation of the authorization and appropriation functions into separate measures.
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.
Constitutionality of a Senate Filibuster of a Judicial Nomination
This report provides an overview of the major issues which have been raised recently in the Senate regarding the Judicial Nominations, Filibusters, and the Constitution: When a Majority Is Denied Its Right to Consent and in the press concerning the constitutionality of a Senate filibuster (i.e., extended debate) of a judicial nomination.
Revenue Reconciliation Directives to the Senate Finance Committee in Congressional Budget Resolutions
No Description Available.
Commonly Used Motions and Requests in the House of Representatives
This report identifies the most commonly used motions and requests available to Members during proceedings in the House of Representatives. The report divides the motions and requests into seven broad categories, based on when the motion or request is in order and who can make the motion or request. Daily Business is the category that includes items that are routine to the conduct of business in the House each day, such as the motion to adjourn. Decorum and Privilege covers issues of the rights and privileges of Members and the House and how Members conduct themselves on the floor.
Internet Gambling: A Sketch of Legislative Proposals in the 108th Congress
No Description Available.
Party Leaders in the House: Election, Duties, and Responsibilities
Each major party in the House has a leadership hierarchy. This report summarizes the election, duties, and responsibilities of the Speaker of the House, the majority and minority leaders, and the whips and whip system.
Congressional Gold Medals, 1776-2004
This report responds to congressional inquiries concerning the process for awarding Congressional Gold Medals, and includes a historical examination and chronological list of these awards.
9/11 Commission Recommendations: The Senate Confirmation Process for Presidential Nominees
On July 22, 2004, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, known as the 9/11 Commission, issued its final report, detailing the events up to and including the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks upon the United States. The 9/11 Commission recommended that the Senate adopt rules requiring hearings and votes to confirm or reject national security nominees within 30 days of their submission at the start of each new presidential administration. Implementing the commission's proposal would involve imposing new restrictions on both the power of committee chairs to control the agenda of their committees and the rights of Senators to delay or block nominations through holds and extended debate. This report discusses in detail this proposal, how it could be implemented, and the potential effects of its implementation.
Amendments in the House: Types and Forms
This report briefly discusses the amending process, which is central to the consideration of legislation by the House of Representatives, and the rules, practices, and precedents that underlie this process frequently depend on distinguishing among amendments based on their type and form. Simply put, not all amendments are equal in a procedural sense, and the form or type of amendment frequently determines what further amendments may be offered, and therefore what alternatives the House may choose among.
War Powers Resolution: Presidential Compliance
No Description Available.
Procedural Distinctions between the House and the Committee of the Whole
This report very briefly explains some of the chief distinctions between consideration in the House of Representatives operating as the House vs. consideration in Committee of the Whole.
Floor Consideration of Conference Reports in the House
This report briefly discusses procedures regarding conference reports in the House of Representatives.
Floor Consideration of Conference Reports in the Senate
This report briefly discusses procedure regarding conference reports in the Senate.
Amendments in Disagreement
This report briefly summarizes the process of amendments between the House of Representatives and the Senate, which occurs if the House and Senate approve differing versions of a measure. The House and Senate must approve an identical version of a measure before it may be presented for the President's approval or veto. If the House and Senate approve differing versions of a measure, the differences must first be resolved.
Amendments in the Senate: Types and Forms
This report briefly describes the various types of amendments that take place in the Senate. It has sections describing distinctions among amendments, degrees of amendments, forms of amendments, and the scope of amendments.
Consolidating Intelligence Appropriation and Authorization in a Single Committee: 9/11 Commission Recommendation and Alternatives
This report focuses on the commission’s proposal, to consolidate appropriation and authorization functions in the existing Senate and House Select Intelligence Committees. The report (1) describes the proposal; (2) compares it to the existing committee system; (3) describes a 19th century precedent for consolidation; (4) provides selected arguments in favor of consolidation as well as against; (5) discusses two alternatives to consolidating authorization and appropriation functions: a Joint Committee on Intelligence and separate intelligence appropriations subcommittees in the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations; and (6) describes current legislation.
Environmental Protection Issues in the 108th Congress
The 108th Congress has acted on a variety of disparate environmental measures; some of these represent proposals or issues that had been under consideration in the 107th Congress and earlier. Environmental issues considered by Congress tend to fall into several major categories: (1) funding issues — whether funding levels are adequate and focused on appropriate priorities; (2) expanding, renewing, or refocusing specific environment programs; (3) environmental issues that are important “subsets” of other major areas of concern, such as energy, defense, or transportation programs; and more recently, (4) terrorism and infrastructure protection in areas such as wastewater and chemical facilities.
Mexico-U.S. Relations: Issues for the 108th Congress
No Description Available.
Mexico-U.S. Relations: Issues for the 109th Congress
This report discusses the United States and Mexico relations and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The major issues discussed by Congress are trade, migration/border security, drug trafficking, and political issues.
Clean Water Act Issues in the 108th Congress
The Clean Water Act Issues has again received attention in the 108th Congress. At issue is how the federal government will assist states and cities in meeting needs to rebuild, repair, and upgrade wastewater treatment plants, especially in light of capital costs which are projected to be as much as $390 billion over the next two decades. In October 2004, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee reported legislation to authorize $20 billion in funding for clean water infrastructure (S. 2550), while in July 2003, a House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee also approved a water infrastructure financing bill (H.R. 1560). Still, prospects for further action during the 108th Congress are uncertain.
Environmental Protection Issues in the 108th Congress
The 108th Congress has acted on a variety of disparate environmental measures; some of these represent proposals or issues that had been under consideration in the 107th Congress and earlier. Environmental issues considered by Congress tend to fall into several major categories: (1) funding issues — whether funding levels are adequate and focused on appropriate priorities; (2) expanding, renewing, or refocusing specific environment programs; (3) environmental issues that are important “subsets” of other major areas of concern, such as energy, defense, or transportation programs; and more recently, (4) terrorism and infrastructure protection in areas such as wastewater and chemical facilities.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 108th Congress
The conference report on the energy bill (H.R. 6), which came to the House and Senate floor for action the week of November 17, 2003, contained several Clean Air Act provisions. Most of these are also contained in S. 2095, a revised version of the bill introduced February 12, 2004, and in H.R. 4503, which passed the House June 15, 2004. Most of the air provisions concern the gasoline additives MTBE and ethanol, used to meet Clean Air Act requirements that reformulated gasoline (RFG) sold in the nation’s worst ozone nonattainment areas contain at least 2% oxygen, to improve combustion.
Senate Committee Reports: Required Contents
This report briefly describes Senate rules and statutes that specify information that must be included as part of the written report about the purposes and provisions of a proposed measure. Senate committees also may include additional items in their reports.
Congressional Oversight Manual
Throughout its history, Congress has engaged in oversight of the executive branch — the review, monitoring, and supervision of the implementation of public policy. The first several Congresses inaugurated such important oversight techniques as special investigations, reporting requirements, resolutions of inquiry, and use of the appropriations process to review executive activity. Contemporary developments, moreover, have increased the legislature’s capacity and capabilities to check on and check the Executive. Public laws and congressional rules have measurably enhanced Congress’s implied power under the Constitution to conduct oversight.
Private Bills: Procedure in the House
This report briefly discusses private bills, which are bills providing benefits to specified individuals (including corporate bodies). Individuals sometimes request relief through private law when administrative or legal remedies are exhausted, but Congress seems more often to view private legislation as appropriate when no other remedy is available, and when enactment would, in a broad sense, afford equity.
Secret Sessions of Congress: A Brief Historical Overview
No Description Available.
Guide to Individuals Seated on the Senate Dais
This report briefly discusses where various individuals are seated in the Senate chamber.
S.Res. 445: Senate Committee Reorganization for Homeland Security and Intelligence Matters
No Description Available.
Presidential Advisers' Testimony Before Congressional Committees: An Overview
No Description Available.
Pakistan's Domestic Political Developments
No Description Available.
Peacekeeping and Related Stability Operations: Issues of U.S. Military Involvement
No Description Available.