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Broadband Internet Access: Background and Issues

Description: From a public policy perspective, the goals are to ensure that broadband deployment is timely, that industry competes fairly, and that service is provided to all sectors and geographical locations of American society. The federal government -- through Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) -- is seeking to ensure fair competition among the players so that broadband will be available and affordable in a timely manner to all Americans who want it. While the FCC's position is not to intervene at this time, some assert that legislation is necessary to ensure fair competition and timely broadband deployment. One proposal would ease certain legal restrictions and requirements, imposed by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, on incumbent telephone companies who provide high speed data (broadband) access. Another proposal would compel cable companies to provide "open access" to competing Internet service providers.
Date: October 27, 2004
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A. & Kruger, Lennard G.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FDA Regulation of Tobacco Products: A Policy and Legal Analysis

Description: This report examines the legislative debate over giving FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products and provides some analysis of S. 2461/H.R. 4433. It begins with an overview of the FDA’s 1996 tobacco rule that includes a summary of the agency’s arguments for asserting jurisdiction over tobacco products. That is followed by an analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in FDA v. Brown & Williamson, which overturned the FDA tobacco rule. The report then reviews the 1997 proposed national tobacco settlement, which would have codified the FDA rule and given the agency explicit authority to regulate tobacco products as medical devices. It includes a discussion of the FDA provisions in the McCain tobacco bill, which was introduced and debated in the 105th Congress in an attempt to implement the proposed settlement. The final section of the report summarizes the provisions in S. 2461/H.R. 4433 and discusses some of the key issues, including preemption and the regulation of reduced-risk products.
Date: December 3, 2004
Creator: Redhead, C. Stephen & Feder, Jody
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Medical Records Privacy: Questions and Answers on the HIPAA Final Rule

Description: This report discusses the issue facing Congress on whether to continue to support the executive branch’s prosecution of medical marijuana patients and their providers, in accordance with marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, or whether to relax federal marijuana prohibition enough to permit the medical use of botanical cannabis products by seriously ill persons, especially in states that have created medical marijuana programs under state law.
Date: March 10, 2004
Creator: Redhead, C. Stephen
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

9/11 Terrorism: Global Economic Costs

Description: The 9/11 attacks were part of Al Qaeda’s strategy to disrupt Western economies and impose both direct and secondary costs on the United States and other nations. The immediate costs were the physical damage, loss of lives and earnings, slower world economic growth, and capital losses on stock markets. Indirect costs include higher insurance and shipping fees, diversion of time and resources away from enhancing productivity to protecting and insuring property, public loss of confidence, and reduced demand for travel and tourism. In a broader sense, the 9/11 attacks led to the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq (and the Global War on Terrorism) and perhaps emboldened terrorists to attack in Bali, Spain, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia. A policy question for Congress is how to evaluate the costs and benefits of further spending to counter terrorism and its economic impact.
Date: October 5, 2004
Creator: Nanto, Dick K.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Turkmenistan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests

Description: This report examines Turkmenistan's halting economic and political reforms under the authoritarian leadership of President Saparmurad Niyazov. It discusses U.S. policy and assistance, including support for grassroots democratization and advocacy for human rights, and provides basic facts and biographical information.
Date: May 13, 2004
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department