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Congressional Authority to Standardize National Election Procedures

Description: Recent events surrounding the Presidential election have led to increased scrutiny of voting procedures in the United States. This report focuses on the constitutional authority and limitations that might be relevant to attempts by Congress to standardize these and other procedures.
Date: November 27, 2000
Creator: Thomas, Kenneth R
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Air Act Issues in the 107th Congress

Description: Revisions to the air quality standards for ozone and particulates, promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1997, may also command renewed attention in the 107th Congress. The standards were challenged in the courts, and implementation is currently in limbo, pending resolution of appeals to the Supreme Court. The Court heard oral arguments November 7, 2000, and a decision is expected in spring 2001. The decision is likely to stimulate congressional oversight, and perhaps legislation.
Date: January 2, 2001
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Oversight

Description: 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
Date: January 2, 2001
Creator: Kaiser, Frederick M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Protection Issues in the 107th Congress

Description: This report discuss issues that received congressional attention in the 107th Congress, such as The impact of air quality regulations, key water quality issues, superfund, solid/hazardous wastes, multibillion dollar cleanup and compliance programs, climate change, pesticides, EPA budget, and Science and Technology.
Date: January 4, 2001
Creator: Lee, Martin R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legislative Research in Congressional Offices: A Primer

Description: This report discusses the process of conducting legislative research: deciding the scope, collecting the information and evaluating sources. Members of Congress need many kinds of information and analysis to support their legislative, oversight, and representational work, including both quick facts, or information to improve their understanding of a complex set of issues.
Date: January 9, 2001
Creator: Wellborn, Clay H. & Kolakowski, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Act Issues in the 107th Congress

Description: Key water quality issues that may face the 107th Congress include: actions to implement existing provisions of the Clean Water Act (CWA), whether additional steps are necessary to achieve overall goals of the Act, and the appropriate federal role in guiding and paying for clean water activities. Legislative prospects for comprehensively amending the Act have for some time stalled over whether and exactly how to change the law. If clean water issues receive attention in the 107th Congress, consideration of specific issues will depend in part on the CWA policy agenda of the new Bush Administration and on priorities of the key committees that have major jurisdiction over the Act.
Date: January 10, 2001
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Use of Funding Cutoffs Since 1970 Involving U.S. Military Forces and Overseas Deployments

Description: This report provides background information on major instances, since 1970, when Congress has utilized funding cutoffs to compel the withdrawal of United States military forces from overseas military deployments. It also highlights key efforts by Congress to utilize the War Powers Resolution, since its enactment in 1973, to compel the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from foreign deployments. In this review, legislation expressing the “sense of the Congress” regarding U.S. military deployments is not addressed.
Date: January 10, 2001
Creator: Grimmett, Richard F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) (H.R. 701) and a Related Initiative in the 106th Congress

Description: This report compares existing law with H.R. 701, as passed by the House(HP) and H.R. 701, as reported by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (SCR). Both versions, also known as the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA), would have created a new fund, the CARA Fund. Both bills would have created and funded a new coastal energy impact assistance program, amended and funded the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), funded the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program and the Historic Preservation Fund, increased funding for wildlife conservation, funded land restoration and easement programs, and funded the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) Program.1 The SCR version would also have funded additional programs to protect natural and cultural resources.
Date: January 17, 2001
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey A. & Corn, M. Lynne
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Election of the President and Vice President by Congress: Contingent Election

Description: The 12th Amendment to the Constitution requires that candidates for President and Vice President receive a majority of electoral votes (currently 270 or more of a total of 538) to be elected. If no candidate receives a majority, the President is elected by the House of Representatives, and the Vice President is elected by the Senate. This process is referred to as contingent election and is the topic of discussion in this report.
Date: January 17, 2001
Creator: Neale, Thomas H
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

"Fast-Track" or Expedited Procedures: Their Purposes, Elements, and Implications

Description: This report discusses certain provisions of law that commonly are known as “fast-track” or expedited procedures. They are so labeled because these statutory provisions contain special legislative procedures that apply to one or both houses of Congress and that expedite, or put on a fast track, congressional consideration of a certain measure or a narrowly defined class of measures. This report first presents the nature, purpose, and elements of fast-track procedures. Then the report discusses some of the most important ways in which these procedures differ from the normal procedures of the House and Senate and, therefore, how the use of expedited procedures can affect the legislative process in Congress.
Date: January 18, 2001
Creator: Bach, Stanley
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conference Reports and Joint Explanatory Statements

Description: The conference report presents the formal legislative language on which the conference committee has agreed. The joint explanatory statement explains the various elements of the conferees’ agreement in relation to the positions that the House and Senate had committed to the conference committee.
Date: January 24, 2001
Creator: Bach, Stanley
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Floor Procedure in the House of Representatives: A Brief Overview

Description: The House considers bills and resolutions on the floor under several different sets of procedures governing the time for debate and the opportunities for amendment. Some procedures allow 40 or 60 minutes for debate; others permit debate to continue until a majority of Members vote to end it. Some procedures prohibit most or all floor amendments; others allow Members to offer any amendments that meet the requirements of the House’s rules and precedents. Notwithstanding these differences, the rules, precedents, and practices of the House generally are designed to permit the majority to work its will in a timely manner. This report provides a brief overview of this procedure.
Date: January 24, 2001
Creator: Bach, Stanley
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Overrides of Presidential Vetoes

Description: 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.
Date: January 29, 2001
Creator: Galemore, Gary L
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Expedited Procedures in the House: Variations Enacted Into Law

Description: Congress enacts expedited, or fast-track, procedures into law when it wants to increase the likelihood that one or both houses of Congress will vote in a timely way on a certain measure or kind of measure. These procedures are enacted as rulemaking provisions of law pursuant to the constitutional power of each house to adopt its own rules. The house to which a set of expedited procedures applies may act unilaterally to waive, suspend, amend, or repeal them.
Date: January 29, 2001
Creator: Bach, Stanley
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Amending Process in the House of Representatives

Description: The amending process on the floor of the House of Representatives gives Members an opportunity to change the provisions of the bills and resolutions on which they are going to vote. This report summarizes many of the procedures and practices affecting this process, which can be among the most complex as well as the most important stages of legislative consideration.
Date: January 30, 2001
Creator: Bach, Stanley
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department