Congressional Research Service Reports - 53 Matching Results

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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: December 5, 2007
Creator: Relyea, Harold C. & Kolakowski, Michael W.
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

Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Background and Issues

Description: This is one part in the series of reports that provide a background and analysis, and most recent developments regarding broadband or high-speed Internet access. The report starts out by answering questions; what is broadband and why is it important? This report also discusses broadband technologies, the status of broadband deployment and the related policy issues, as well as the legislation in congress.
Date: July 31, 2007
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A. & Kruger, Lennard G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Background and Issues

Description: This report discusses broadband Internet, examining what it is and the various technologies that allow for its transmission. Broadband or high-speed Internet access is provided by technologies that give users the ability to send and receive data at volumes and speeds far greater than access over traditional telephone lines; it also provides a continuous, "always on" connection (no need to dial-up) and a "two-way" capability, that is, the ability to both receive (download) and transmit (upload) data at high speeds.
Date: May 29, 2007
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A. & Kruger, Lennard G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Burma: Economic Sanctions

Description: This report provides background information on existing economic sanctions against Burma and possible options to expand sanctions.
Date: December 14, 2007
Creator: Niksch, Larry A. & Weiss, Martin A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Air Act Issues in the 110th Congress: Implementation and Oversight

Description: This report provides a discussion of several interrelated air issues of interest in the 110th Congress, including revision of the particulate standards, the role of independent scientific review in the setting of air quality standards, multi-pollutant legislation for electric power plants, mercury from power plants, and New Source Review. This report provides an overview of these issues; CRS reports that contain additional information and detailed sources are referenced in the appropriate sections.
Date: January 3, 2007
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Act and Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) of Pollutants

Description: This report discusses the section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, which requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. For those waters, states must establish a total maximum daily load (TMDL) of pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained. Implementation was dormant until states and EPA were prodded by lawsuits. The TMDL program has become controversial, in part because of requirements and costs now facing states to implement this 35-year-old provision of the law, as well as industries, cities, farmers, and others who may be required to use new pollution controls to meet TMDL requirements. In July 2000, EPA issued revisions to strengthen the program. The rule was widely criticized, and congressional interest was high. The 2000 rule did not go into effect, and in March 2003, EPA withdrew the rule to consider whether to issue an entirely new rule or other options; no timetable has been announced. Consequently, the program continues to operate under regulations issued in 1992.
Date: April 6, 2007
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congress’s Contempt Power: A Sketch

Description: This report outlines the source of the contempt power, reviews major developments in the case law, and analyzes the procedures associated with each of the three different types of contempt proceedings.
Date: August 1, 2007
Creator: Rosenberg, Morton & Tatelman, Todd B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods

Description: This report briefly discusses the USDA's FY2006 appropriation, which postpones rules requiring many retailers to provide country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for fresh produce, red meats, and peanuts until September 30, 2008. The report also discusses related legislation.
Date: January 31, 2007
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Davis-Bacon Act: Institutional Evolution and Public Policy

Description: This report examines policy issues the Davis-Bacon Act has sparked through the years and which remain a part of the Davis-Bacon debate of the 1990s. These include such questions as: wage rate determination procedures, reporting requirements under the Copeland Act, an appropriate threshold for activation of the statute, interagency relationships with respect to Davis-Bacon enforcement and compliance activity, administrative or judicial appeals procedures, the use of "helpers" and other low-skilled workers on covered projects, and the right of a President to suspend the statute as well as the conditions under which such a suspension may occur. That the fundamental premise of the Act remains in contention after 60 years may be, itself, part of the public policy debate.
Date: November 30, 2007
Creator: Whittaker, William G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Davis-Bacon: The Act and the Literature

Description: The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, as amended, requires that contractors, engaging in certain federal contract construction, pay workers on such projects not less than the locally prevailing wage for comparable work. In addition, such contractors are required to file payroll reports and to meet other administrative and labor standards requirements. Included in this report is a bibliography of published materials dealing with the Davis-Bacon Act and related issues.
Date: November 13, 2007
Creator: Whittaker, William G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Education for the Disadvantaged: Reauthorization Issues for ESEA Title I-A Under the No Child Left Behind Act

Description: This report provides an overview of aspects of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Title I-A that are likely to be the focus of substantial debate as the 110th Congress considers the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) reauthorization legislation.
Date: September 17, 2007
Creator: Riddle, Wayne C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Endangered Species Act and "Sound Science"

Description: This report provides a context for evaluating legislative proposals through examples of how science has been used in selected cases, a discussion of the nature and role of science in general, and its role in the Endangered Species Act (ESA) process in particular, together with general and agency information quality requirements and policies, and a review of how the courts have viewed agency use of science.
Date: September 27, 2007
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.; Corn, M. L.; Baldwin, Pamela & Alexander, Kristina
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Exemptions from Environmental Law for the Department of Defense: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: Over time, Congress has included exemptions in several environmental statutes to ensure that requirements of those statutes would not restrict military training needs to the extent that national security would be compromised. This report discusses these exemptions and congressional disagreement over the need for broader exemptions in the absence of data on the overall impact of environmental requirements on training and readiness.
Date: January 3, 2007
Creator: Bearden, David M.
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

Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Description: Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried and punished according to the laws on the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under some limited circumstances. The federal exceptions to the general rule usually involve crimes like drug trafficking, terrorism, or crimes committed aboard a ship or airplane. State prosecution for overseas misconduct is limited almost exclusively to multijurisdictional crimes, i.e., crimes where some elements of the offense are committed within the state and others are committed abroad. The Constitution, Congress, and state law define the circumstances under which American criminal law may be used against crimes occurring, in whole or in part, outside the United States
Date: September 10, 2007
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The “Farm Bill” in Brief

Description: This report briefly discusses 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. These policies can be and sometimes are modified through free-standing authorizing legislation, or as part of other laws.
Date: February 2, 2007
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The “Farm Bill” in Brief

Description: This report discusses the farm bill, which renewed about every five years, governs federal farm and food policy. The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-171) is the most recent omnibus farm bill, covering a wide range of programs including commodity price and income support, farm credit, agricultural conservation, research, rural development, and foreign and domestic food programs, among others.
Date: May 29, 2007
Creator: Johnson, Renée
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. 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

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

The Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape

Description: The report discusses the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-Related Congressional Actions in the 112th Congress. The policymakers, including some in Congress, have long called for varying degrees and types of reform to the FCC. Most proposals fall into two categories: (1) procedural changes made within the FCC or through congressional action that would affect the agency's operations or (2) substantive policy changes requiring congressional action that would affect how the agency regulates different services and industry sectors.
Date: March 15, 2007
Creator: Moloney Figliola, Patricia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department