Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED

The “Farm Bill” in Brief

Description: Federal farm support, food assistance, agricultural trade, marketing, and rural development policies are governed by a variety of separate laws. Although many of these policies can be and sometimes are modified through freestanding authorizing legislation, or as part of other laws, the omnibus, multi-year farm bill provides an opportunity for policymakers to address agricultural and food issues more comprehensively.
Date: January 3, 2007
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The “Farm Bill” in Brief

Description: Federal farm support, food assistance, agricultural trade, marketing, and rural development policies are governed by a variety of separate laws. Many of these laws periodically have been evaluated, revised, and renewed through an omnibus, multi-year farm bill. This report discusses the "farm bill" and it's components.
Date: March 22, 2006
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Estate Tax Legislation in the 110th Congress

Description: This report examines current legislation regarding estate taxes. Under provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA, P.L. 107-16), the estate tax exclusion is scheduled to continue to rise, from $2 million for decedents dying in 2008, to $3.5 million in 2009. The estate tax is repealed for decedents dying in 2010 only.
Date: February 14, 2008
Creator: Noto, Nonna A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Lobbying Disclosure and Ethics Proposals Related to Lobbying Introduced in the 109th Congress: A Comparative Analysis

Description: This report provides context, comparison, discussion, and analysis of the issues addressed in the legislative proposals that have been introduced in the 109th Congress to address lobbying disclosure and related laws and congressional rules.
Date: March 23, 2006
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Safe Drinking Water Act: Background and Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: This report examines the Safe Drinking Water Act, which is the key federal law for protecting public water supplies from harmful contaminants. First enacted in 1974 and broadly amended in 1986 and 1996, the act is administered through programs that regulate contaminants in public water supplies, provide funding for infrastructure projects, protect sources of drinking water, and promote the capacity of water systems to comply with SDWA regulations.
Date: January 10, 2007
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate Change Legislation in the 110th Congress

Description: This report briefly discusses the basic concepts on which climate change bills are based, and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research; emissions reduction technologies; U.S. actions pursuant to international emission reduction agreements; adaptation to the effects of climate change; GHG reporting and registration; and GHG emissions reduction programs.
Date: November 7, 2008
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L. & Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Access to Government Information In the United States

Description: The Constitution of the United States makes no specific allowance for any one of the co-equal branches to have access to information held by the others and contains no provision expressly establishing a procedure for, or a right of, public access to government information. Nonetheless, Congress has legislated various public access laws. These include two records access statutes — the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act — and two meetings access statutes — the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the Government in the Sunshine Act. This report provides background on the issue of government transparency and examines relevant litigation.
Date: March 13, 2008
Creator: Relyea, Harold C. & Ginsberg, Wendy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Affiliates in Banking, Finance, and Commerce: Development and Regulatory Background

Description: The proliferation of corporate affiliates in banking, finance, and commerce has figured in discussion of several policy issues, including how to protect against (1) losses incurred by affiliated companies; (2) anticompetitive “tying” of bank and nonbank financial services; and (3) misuse of financial data of consumers. This report outlines the nature and evolution of affiliates, primarily from a regulatory perspective. It provides background for discussing financial issues involving corporate affiliates.
Date: April 27, 2005
Creator: Jackson, William D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Access to Government Information In the United States

Description: The Constitution of the United States makes no specific allowance for any one of the co-equal branches to have access to information held by the others and contains no provision expressly establishing a procedure for, or a right of, public access to government information. Nonetheless, Congress has legislated various public access laws. These include two records access statutes — the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act — and two meetings access statutes — the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the Government in the Sunshine Act. This report provides background on the issue of government transparency and examines relevant litigation.
Date: April 23, 2007
Creator: Relyea, Harold C. & Kolakowski, Michael W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act

Description: President George W. Bush signed the Postal Enhancement and Accountability Act (P.L. 109-435) on December 20, 2006. This report briefly describes Congress’s pursuit of postal reform, summarizes the major provisions of the new postal reform law, and identifies possible P.L. 109-435 oversight issues for Congress.
Date: January 22, 2007
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

Description: Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th Congress and those that are pending in the 108th Congress. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital (and traditional) copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders.
Date: August 2, 2004
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

Description: Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th Congress and those that are pending in the 108th Congress. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders.
Date: December 18, 2003
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Extradition To and From the United States: Overview of the Law and Recent Treaties

Description: “Extradition” is the formal surrender of a person by a State to another State for prosecution or punishment. Extradition to or from the United States is a creature of treaty. The United States has extradition treaties with over a hundred of the nations of the world. International terrorism and drug trafficking have made extradition an increasingly important law enforcement tool. This report is a brief overview of federal law in the area and of the adjustments in recent treaties to make them more responsive to American law enforcement interests.
Date: September 30, 2003
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal and State Quarantine and Isolation Authority

Description: This report provides an overview of federal and state public health laws as they relate to the quarantine and isolation of individuals, a discussion of constitutional issues that may be raised should individual liberties be restricted in a quarantine situation, and federalism questions that may arise where federal and state authorities overlap. In addition, the possible role of the armed forces in enforcing public health measures is discussed, specifically whether the Posse Comitatus Act would constrain any military role, and other statutory authorities that may be used for the military enforcement of health measures.
Date: January 23, 2007
Creator: Swendiman, Kathleen S. & Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Exporting Software and the Extraterritorial Reach of U.S. Patent Law: Microsoft Corp. v. AT&T Corp.

Description: Generally speaking, United States patent law does not have extraterritorial effect. The exception, however, is § 271(f) of the Patent Act, which makes it an act of patent infringement to manufacture within the United States the components of a patented invention and then export those disassembled parts for combination abroad into an end product. This report discusses Microsoft Corp. v. AT&T Corp. (550 U.S. ___ , No. 05-1056, decided April 30, 2007), in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that software companies are not liable for patent infringement under § 271(f) when they export software that has been embodied in machine-readable, physical form (a CD-ROM, for example), with the intent that such software be copied abroad for installation onto foreign-manufactured computers.
Date: May 31, 2007
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

“Good Samaritan” Tort Reform: Three House Bills

Description: This report discusses three 108th Congress tort reform bills: the Volunteer Pilot Organization Protection Act (H.R. 1084), the Good Samaritan Firefighter Assistance Act of 2003 (H.R. 1787), and the Nonprofit Athletic Organization Protection Act of 2003 (H.R. 3369).
Date: September 15, 2004
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sanctuary Jurisdictions and Criminal Aliens: In Brief

Description: This report examines the interplay between the federal government (i.e., ICE) and state and local jurisdictions in enforcing immigration law, with a specific focus on noncitizens who have been convicted of a crime. It explores major programs and federal resources available to state and local law enforcement agencies that cooperate with ICE to enforce immigration law.
Date: October 20, 2015
Creator: Kandel, William A. & Seghetti, Lisa
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Insurance and Climate Change: Do Governments Have a Duty to Protect Property Owners?

Description: This legal sidebar discusses the climate change in context of federal and private insurers. One of the many insurance company concerns is whether the government can be held liable for not putting in place adequate infrastructure to protect against property damage from climate-change-related extreme weather.
Date: October 16, 2014
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran-U.S. Air Service Not Imminent

Description: This report discusses the prospect of bilateral air service between Iran and the United States to resume, after the July 2015 agreement in which Iran accepted strict limits on its nuclear program.
Date: November 18, 2015
Creator: Tang, Rachel Y.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Affirmative Action Law: A Brief History

Description: This report provides a brief history of federal affirmative action law, including legal and political developments at the federal, state, and local levels. It describes the origins, affirmative action in public education, minority contracting, and recent developments as of 2015.
Date: October 19, 2015
Creator: Feder, Jody
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reauthorization of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC): Opportunity to Reexamine the Congressionally Mandated Antitrust Exemption for Ocean Liner Carriers?

Description: The focus of this report is on the commercial aspects of the U.S. liner trade. The report discusses the historical rationale for shipping conferences and legislative history of U.S. shipping law.
Date: September 18, 2008
Creator: Frittelli, John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department