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A Tax Limitation Constitutional Amendment: Issues and Options Concerning a Super-Majority Requirement

Description: Proposals to limit the federal government’s authority to raise taxes have been made several times in recent years. Most frequently, these proposals call for limits on Congress’s ability to pass revenue measures. Typically, limitation proposals would allow increases in tax revenues only under one of two circumstances. First, tax revenues could increase under existing tax laws as a result of economic upturns. Alternatively, they could increase because of a new law, but only if it were passed by a super-majority (typically two-thirds or three-fifths). Questions about how such proposals might be applied in practice have not been clearly answered. Congress has previously considered such proposals in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. In each case the proposal has failed to achieve the two-thirds majority necessary for passage. Most recently, the House considered H.J.Res. 96 on June 12, 2002. The measure failed to achieve the necessary two-thirds, 227-178. This report will be updated to reflect any further legislative actions on such proposals.
Date: June 13, 2002
Creator: Saturno, James V.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Tax Limitation Constitutional Amendment: Issues and Options Concerning a Super-Majority Requirement

Description: Proposals to limit the federal government’s authority to raise taxes have been made several times in recent years. Most frequently, these proposals call for limits on Congress’s ability to pass revenue measures. Typically, limitation proposals would allow increases in tax revenues only under one of two circumstances. First, tax revenues could increase under existing tax laws as a result of economic upturns. Alternatively, they could increase because of a new law, but only if it were passed by a super-majority (typically two-thirds or three-fifths). Questions about how such proposals might be applied in practice have not been clearly answered. Congress has previously considered such proposals in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. In each case the proposal has failed to achieve the two-thirds majority necessary for passage. Most recently, the House considered H.J.Res. 96 on June 12, 2002. The measure failed to achieve the necessary two-thirds, 227-178. This report will be updated to reflect any further legislative actions on such proposals.
Date: July 15, 2003
Creator: Saturno, James V.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The European Union's Reform Process: The Lisbon Treaty

Description: This report provides information on the Lisbon Treaty and possible U.S.-EU implications that may be of interest to the 111th Congress.
Date: November 9, 2009
Creator: Archick, Kristin
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Afghanistan: Elections, Constitution, and Government

Description: This report discusses the political situation in Afghanistan, more specifically it discusses the recent elections, newly formed constitution and the elected government.
Date: November 2, 2006
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Reform: Constitutional Issues Raised by Disclosure Requirements

Description: Campaign finance reform legislation often contains provisions that would impose additional reporting and disclosure requirements under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). For example, S. 27 (McCain/Feingold), would require disclosure of disbursements of expenditures over $10,000 for “electioneering communications,” which are defined to include broadcast ads that “refer” to federal office candidates, with identification of donors of $500 or more. S. 22 (Hagel/Landrieu) would increase and expedite current disclosure requirements under FECA. H.R. 380 (Shays/Meehan) would lower the current FECA threshold for contribution reporting from $200 to $50 and impose reporting requirements for soft money disbursements by persons other than political parties. This report will discuss some of the constitutional issues relating to these and other such disclosure requirements.
Date: March 20, 2001
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Afghanistan: Elections, Constitution, and Government

Description: In 2004 and 2005, Afghanistan adopted a permanent constitution and elected a president and a parliament. The parliament is emerging as a significant force in Afghan politics, as shown in debates over a new cabinet and the 2006 budget. See CRS Report RL30588, Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy, by Kenneth Katzman.
Date: May 25, 2006
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Afghanistan: Elections, Constitution, and Government

Description: In 2004 and 2005, Afghanistan adopted a permanent constitution and elected a president and a parliament. The parliament is emerging as a significant force in Afghan politics, as shown in debate over a new cabinet proposed in March 2006. However, insurgent violence continues to threaten Afghan stability. See CRS Report RL30588, Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy, by Kenneth Katzman.
Date: May 1, 2006
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federalism, State Sovereignty, and the Constitution: Basis and Limits of Congressional Power

Description: The report discusses state and federal legislative power generally, and focuses on a number of these "federalism" cases. Issues addressed include congressional power under the Commerce Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment; limits on congressional powers, such as the Tenth Amendment; and state sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment.
Date: February 1, 2008
Creator: Thomas, Kenneth R.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendments

Description: Many Members of Congress see continued tension between "free speech" decisions of the Supreme Court, which protect flag desecration as expressive conduct under the First Amendment, and the symbolic importance of the United States flag. This report is divided into two parts. The first gives a brief history of the flag protection issue, from the enactment of the Flag Protection Act in 1968 through current consideration of a constitutional amendment. The second part briefly summarizes the two decisions of the United States Supreme Court, Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman, that struck down the state and federal flag protection statutes as applied in the context punishing expressive conduct.
Date: January 7, 2009
Creator: Luckey, John R.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment

Description: This report provides an overview of the major exceptions to the First Amendment, i.e., of the ways that the Supreme Court has interpreted the guarantee of freedom of speech and press to provide no protection or only limited protection for some types of speech.
Date: June 2, 2006
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Description: This report gives a brief history of the flag protection issue, from the enactment of the Flag Protection Act in 1968 through current consideration of a constitutional amendment. A second part briefly summarizes the two decisions of the United States Supreme Court -- Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman -- that struck down the state and federal flag protection statutes as applied in the context punishing expressive conduct.
Date: January 3, 2005
Creator: Luckey, John
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence: A Guide to Obtaining Copies

Description: This report identifies ways to locate the texts of the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence in various formats, from sources such as the U.S. Government Printing Office, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Historical Documents Company, the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, and the Law Library of Congress. It also lists Internet addresses where applicable.
Date: August 19, 2004
Creator: Bearden, Maureen
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Description: Prior to enactment of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), P.L. 107-155, the term “soft money” generally referred to unregulated funds, perceived as resulting from loopholes in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), 2 U.S.C. §§ 431 et seq. Generally, the intent of BCRA, (effective Nov. 6, 2002), which amends FECA, is to restrict the raising and spending of soft money. This Issue Brief discusses constitutional and legal issues surrounding two major types of soft money that BCRA regulates: political party soft money and soft money used for issue advocacy communications. Corporate and labor union soft money, which FECA exempts from regulation and is not addressed by BCRA, is also discussed.
Date: July 21, 2004
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department