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Energy Policy: 113th Congress Issues
This report discusses the energy policy in the United States that is focused on three major goals: assuring a secure supply of energy, keeping energy costs low, and protecting the environment.
International Trade and Finance: Key Policy Issues for the 113th Congress, Second Session
This report highlights major international trade and finance issues that the 113th Congress may address. This report presents broader congressional oversight of the economic and political context of the current U.S. participation in the global economy.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization: An Overview of Legislative Action in the 112th Congress
This report looks at issues faced by the 112th Congress in regards to reauthorization of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs. The House has passed a bill which would authorize programs through FY2014, while the Senate's bill would only last until FY2011. The Senate's bill also proposes an increase in jet fuel tax for general aviation and a new jet fuel surcharge for fractionally owned air crafts. The report covers key issues that need to be addressed for reconciliation between the two bills.
Clean Air Issues in the 110th Congress: Climate Change, Air Quality Standards, and Oversight
This report provides a brief overview of the climate change issue as well as other Clean Air Act issues the 110th Congress may consider.
Water Quality Issues in the 110th Congress: Oversight and Implementation
This report discusses issues surrounding the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972 and programs set up to meet the water quality standards that it outlined. The report focuses specifically on the legislative issues for the 110th Congress in relation to the CWA including the authorization of water infrastructure funding, regulatory protection of wetlands, and other CWA issues that may require separate oversight or legislation. It also includes a brief comparison of the expected appropriations for FY2008 and FY2009.
Job Training Reform: Legislation in the 105th Congress
No Description Available.
Managed Health Care: Federal and State Regulation
No Description Available.
Food Stamp Benefits for Legal Immigrants in P.L. 105-185
No Description Available.
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): Legislative Issues in the 105th Congress
No Description Available.
Airline Passenger Rights Legislation in the 107th Congress
This report examines legislation pertaining to airline consumer protection in the 107th Congress. For background it first summarizes legislation proposed in the 106th Congress and the airlines’ response. The report then briefly examines the findings of the Department of Transportation Inspector General’s February 13, 2001 report on airline customer service. It then discusses the legislative remedies proposed in the 107th Congress. Finally, a side-by-side presentation of provisions from six airline passenger rights bills is set forth.
Immigration: Visa Entry/Exit Control System
No Description Available.
Sanctions Against South Africa: Activities of the 99th Congress
No Description Available.
The Fair Labor Standards Act: Changes Made by the 101st Congress and Their Implications
Initially, in the 101st Congress, a measure to increase federal minimum wage (and to make numerous other changes in the FLSA) was passed by both the House and the Senate but, in June 1989, it was vetoed by President Bush. An effort by the House to override the President's veto was unsuccessful. Later, new legislation was introduced and approved both by the House and the Senate. On November 17, 1989, President Bush signed the bill (P.L. 101-107).
Adult Education and Literacy: Current Programs and Legislative Proposals in the 105th Congress
This report summarizes current programs for adult education and literacy, provides a funding history, and analyzes major provisions of the legislative proposals being considered by the 105th Congress for amending adult education and literacy programs. Specifically, the report examines the provisions of H.R. 1385, the Employment, Training, and Literacy Enhancement Act of 1997, as passed by the House, and H.R. 1385, the Workforce Investment Partnership Act of 1998, as amended by the Senate (originally considered as S. 1186). Key issues include state and local administration issues, comprehensive state plan requirements, integration with other federal training and employment programs, and program performance standards. The report will be updated as legislative action occurs.
Marine Mammal Protection Act: Reauthorization Issues for the 107th Congress
This report discusses the issues likely to be raised during any reauthorization debate, the reasons behind them, and possible proposals that could be offered to address these concerns.
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Issues in the 111th Congress
This report discusses federal laws and regulations regarding fish and marine mammals that are important resources in open ocean and nearshore coastal areas. These lows and regulations guide their management as well as the management of their habitat.
Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Issues in the 111th Congress
This report discusses many federal laws and regulations regarding fish and marine mammals that are important resources in open ocean and nearshore coastal areas. These lows and regulations guide their management as well as the management of their habitat.
Patent Reform in the 111th Congress: Innovation Issues
This study provides an overview of current patent reform issues. It begins by offering a summary of the structure of the current patent system and the role of patents in innovation policy. The report then reviews some of the broader issues and concerns, including patent quality, the high costs of patent litigation, international harmonization, and speculation in patents, that have motivated these diverse legislative reform proposals.
The Chief Justice of the United States: Responsibilities of the Office and Process for Appointment
As part of Senate consideration, the Judiciary Committee holds hearings on the nominee and votes on whether to report the nomination favorably, unfavorably, or without recommendation. Regardless of the outcome of that vote, the reporting of a Supreme Court nomination sends it to the full Senate for debate and a vote. Like the President, Senators may evaluate the nominee by such standards as professional excellence, integrity, and leadership qualities, but may also (again, as the President is free to do) focus on the nominee's judicial philosophy, views on constitutional issues, or how they believe the appointment might affect the Court's future direction on major legal and constitutional issues.
Proposed Amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in the 114th Congress: S. 697, S. 725, and a House Discussion Draft
This report tracks the legislative status in the 114th Congress of proposals to amend Title I of the Toxic Substances Control Act and includes a discussion of selected issues that have received more attention. This report does not present a comprehensive analysis of all provisions of relevant legislation, nor is this report intended to provide a detailed analysis of precise language and its legal or regulatory interpretation.
Access to Government Information In the United States
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.
Access to Government Information In the United States
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.
Supreme Court Appointment Process: Roles of the President, Judiciary Committee, and Senate
No Description Available.
Supreme Court Nominations Not Confirmed, 1789-2004
No Description Available.
Points of Order in the Congressional Budget Process
The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 created a process that Congress uses each year to establish and enforce the parameters for budgetary legislation. This report summarizes points of order under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as amended, as well as related points of order established in the budget resolutions adopted by Congress in 2007 and 2008, the Rules of the House for the 110th Congress, and the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990. In addition, it describes how points of order are applied and the processes used for their waiver in the House and Senate.
Constitutional Constraints on Congress' Ability to Protect the Environment
Federal protection of the environment must hew to the same constitutional strictures as any other federal actions. In the past decade, however, the Supreme Court has invigorated several of these strictures in ways that present new challenges to congressional drafters of environmental statutes. This report reviews six of these newly emergent constitutional areas, with special attention to their significance for current and future environmental legislation.
Constitutionality of a Senate Filibuster of a Judicial Nomination
This report provides an overview of the major issues which have been raised recently in the Senate regarding the Judicial Nominations, Filibusters, and the Constitution: When a Majority Is Denied Its Right to Consent and in the press concerning the constitutionality of a Senate filibuster (i.e., extended debate) of a judicial nomination.
Constitutionality of a Senate Filibuster of a Judicial Nomination
This report provides an overview of the major issues which have been raised recently in the Senate regarding the Judicial Nominations, Filibusters, and the Constitution: When a Majority Is Denied Its Right to Consent and in the press concerning the constitutionality of a Senate filibuster (i.e., extended debate) of a judicial nomination.
The Constitutionality of Requiring Photo Identification for Voting: An Analysis of Crawford v. Marion County Election Board
In a splintered decision issued in April 2008, the Supreme Court upheld an Indiana statute requiring identification for voting, determining that lower courts had correctly decided that the evidence in the record was insufficient to support a facial attack on the constitutionality of the law. Written by Justice Stevens, the lead opinion in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board finds that the law imposes only "a limited burden on voters' rights," which is justified by state interests.
Compliance with the HIPAA Medical Privacy Rule
As of April 14, 2003, most health care providers (including doctors and hospitals) and health plans are required to comply with the new Privacy Rule mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), and must comply with national standards to protect individually identifiable health information. The HIPAA Privacy Rule creates a federal floor of privacy protections for individually identifiable health information; establishes a set of basic consumer protections; institutes a series of regulatory permissions for uses and disclosures of protected health information; permits any person to file an administrative complaint for violations; and authorizes the imposition of civil or criminal penalties.
The Endangered Species Act: Consideration of Economic Factors
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides for the listing and protection of species that are found to be “endangered” or “threatened” – species that might become extinct. The listing of a species as endangered triggers the prohibitions in the Act against “taking” (killing or harming) individuals of the protected species, unless a permit is obtained to take individuals incidental to an otherwise lawful proposed action, or an exemption for the proposed action is obtained. Unauthorized taking of a listed species can result in civil or criminal penalties. These prohibitions and potential penalties can affect various activities, including development and use of land, with attendant economic impacts.
The Endangered Species Act: Consideration of Economic Factors
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides for the listing and protection of species that are found to be “endangered” or “threatened” – species that might become extinct. The listing of a species as endangered triggers the prohibitions in the Act against “taking” (killing or harming) individuals of the protected species, unless a permit is obtained to take individuals incidental to an otherwise lawful proposed action, or an exemption for the proposed action is obtained. Unauthorized taking of a listed species can result in civil or criminal penalties. These prohibitions and potential penalties can affect various activities, including development and use of land, with attendant economic impacts.
Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court
There have been inconsistent opinions in the District Court for the District of Columbia as to whether detainees who are suspected of connections to terrorist actions have any enforceable rights to challenge their treatment and detention. This report describes issues surrounding the writ of habeas corpus as it relates to detaining and imprisonment in matters of counterterrorism. This report also includes several legal cases and pieces of legislation in regards to this issue.
Excited Utterances, "Testimonial" Statements, and the Confrontation Clause
The United States Supreme Court will hear oral argument this term in appeals from two state supreme court cases, Hammon v. Indiana and Davis v. Washington, concerning the admissibility of “excited utterance” statements made by non-testifying witnesses at criminal trials. In the landmark Crawford v. Washington case in 2004, the Court held that the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause forbids hearsay “testimonial” evidence from being introduced against the accused unless the witness is unavailable to testify and the defendant has had a prior opportunity to crossexamine the witness. However, the Crawford Court declined to provide a comprehensive definition of “testimonial,” leaving such task “for another day.”
Exporting Software and the Extraterritorial Reach of U.S. Patent Law: Microsoft Corp. v. AT&T Corp.
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.
Guantanamo Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court
This report provides an overview of the Combatant Status Review Tribunal procedures, summarizes court cases related to the detentions and the use of military commissions, and summarizes the Graham Amendment and analyzes how it might affect detainee-related litigation in federal court.
The Liability Exemptions in the Senate Brownfields Bill (S. 350)
No Description Available.
Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act Contracts and
No Description Available.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: Discipline Legislation in the 106th Congress
No Description Available.
Overview of State Charter School Laws
No Description Available.
Proposed Bankruptcy Legislation to Address Natural Disaster Victims
No Description Available.
"Property Rights" Bills Take a Process Approach: H.R. 992 and H.R. 1534
In the 105th Congress, the property rights agenda has shifted from "compensation" to "process" bills. While the former would ease the standards for when property owners harmed by government action are compensated, the new approach simply streamlines how federal courts handle such claims. This report examines the three leading process bills -- H.R. 992, House-passed H.R. 1534, and Senate-reported H.R. 1534. The bills embody two process approaches: allowing property owners suing the United States to bring invalidation and compensation claims in the same court, and lowering abstention and ripeness barriers when suing local governments in federal court for property rights violations.
Property Rights: Comparison of H.R. 9 as Passed and S. 605 as Reported
No Description Available.
Property Rights: House Judiciary Committee Reports H.R. 2372
No Description Available.
The Property Rights Implementation Act of 1998
No Description Available.
Safe Harbor for Service Providers Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
No Description Available.
U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emission Trends and the Role of the Clean Power Plan
This report examines recent trends in U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions -- particularly CO2 emissions from electricity generation -- and the factors that impact emission levels in that sector. In addition, this report examines the degree to which Clean Power Plan (CPP) implementation (or lack thereof) may impact CO2 emission levels from electric power plants.
Clean Power Plan: Legal Background and Pending Litigation in West Virginia v. EPA
This report provides legal background on the Clean Power Plan rule (CPP) to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), its Clean Air Act (CAA) framework under Section 111, and climate-related lawsuits that have preceded the present litigation over the CPP. It then gives an overview of the participants in the current litigation, including two groups of Members of Congress, who have offered briefs in support of the petitioners and the respondents, respectively.
EPA Policies Concerning Integrated Planning and Affordability of Water Infrastructure
This report examines two recent initiatives by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in which the agency works with states to develop and implement new approaches for water quality goals that will be more cost-effective and address the most pressing water infrastructure problems first. The examples include an integrated planning policy and a framework policy for assessing a community's financial capability to meet objectives and requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA).
U.S. Sanctions and Russia's Economy
This report discusses the sanctions on Russia, imposed by United States in response to Russia's annexation of the Crimean region of neighboring Ukraine and its support of separatist militants in Ukraine's east.