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Tracking Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Basic Sources

Description: This report introduces researchers to selected basic sources that are useful in obtaining background information or specific facts on the status of federal legislative or regulatory initiatives. Printed, telephone, online, and media sources are included, as well as pertinent directories, such as those of organizations that track areas of interest.
Date: January 13, 2005
Creator: Davis, Carol D.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Appropriations Bills: What is Report Language?

Description: When the Senate or House Appropriations Committee reports an appropriations bill to the full Senate or House, respectively, the committee typically publishes a committee report explaining the bill. This fact sheet provides a brief overview of what these reports entail and the language used within them.
Date: January 12, 2005
Creator: Streeter, Sandy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Calendars of the House of Representatives

Description: In the House of Representatives, the term “calendar” has two related meanings. This fact sheet, one of a series of fact sheets on legislative process, explains calendars and their use in the House of Representatives.
Date: January 11, 2005
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Days Reserved for Special Business in the House

Description: This report provides a table and general guidelines for business that has privileged consideration on specified days in the House of Representatives. It includes some information about related procedures.
Date: January 11, 2005
Creator: Saturno, James V.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Availability of Legislative Proposals in the House of Representatives (The "Three-Day Rule")

Description: House rules govern the length of time legislative proposals must be available to Members prior to being considered on the floor. For measures reported from committee, the committee report must have been available for three calendar days. Conference reports must also have been available for three calendar days, and special rules for considering measures for one legislative day. The House, however, also has several means by which it can choose to waive these availability requirements and call up, debate, and vote on a measure in a single calendar day, even if the text of the measure was not made available prior to consideration.
Date: January 10, 2005
Creator: Rybicki, Elizabeth
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Senate Committees: Categories and Rules for Committee Assignments

Description: This report briefly examines Senate Rule XXV and party conference rules that address committee assignments. It includes a table for A, B, and C committees with an overview of limitations and procedures.
Date: January 8, 2005
Creator: Schneider, Judy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate Change Legislation in the 108th Congress

Description: 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.
Date: January 6, 2005
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D. & Powers, Kyna
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Suspension of Rules in the House: Measure Sponsorship by Party

Description: 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).
Date: January 6, 2005
Creator: Carr, Thomas P.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Committee System Rules Changes in the House, 109th Congress

Description: 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.
Date: January 5, 2005
Creator: Schneider, Judy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Preparation for Senate Committee Markup

Description: 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.
Date: January 5, 2005
Creator: Carr, Thomas P.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

"Dear Colleague" Letters: A Brief Overview

Description: “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.
Date: January 4, 2005
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture: Prospective Issues for Congress

Description: 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.
Date: January 3, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: 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.
Date: January 3, 2005
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Grants Work in a Congressional Office

Description: 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.
Date: January 3, 2005
Creator: Gerli, Merete F.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Budget Actions in 2004

Description: 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.
Date: December 27, 2004
Creator: Heniff, Bill, Jr.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mexico-U.S. Relations: Issues for the 108th Congress

Description: 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.
Date: December 22, 2004
Creator: Storrs, K. Larry
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Amendments Between the Houses

Description: 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.
Date: December 9, 2004
Creator: Saturno, James V.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department