Congressional Research Service Reports - 1,109 Matching Results

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The U.S. Global Food Security Initiative: Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the United States’ foreign food aid program. Agricultural development has been a component of the United States’ foreign aid program, but U.S. funding for such assistance has declined from about 20% of U.S. official development assistance (ODA) in 1980 to around 5% in 2007.
Date: November 24, 2009
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E. & Ho, Melissa D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Navy Nuclear-Powered Surface Ships: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Description: This report discusses congressional interest in expanding the use of nuclear power to a wider array of Navy surface ships, starting with the Navy’s planned CG(X) cruiser. The issue for Congress is whether the CG(X) or other future Navy surface ships should be nuclear-powered. Congress’s decisions on this issue could affect, among other things, future Navy capabilities, Navy funding requirements, and the shipbuilding industrial base.
Date: September 21, 2009
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Peacekeeping/Stabilization and Conflict Transitions: Background and Congressional Action on the Civilian Response/Reserve Corps and other Civilian Stabilization and Reconstruction Capabilities

Description: This report provides background on issues regarding peacekeeping efforts, as well as stabilization and reconstruction operations. It also discusses proposals and tracks related legislative action.
Date: July 23, 2009
Creator: Serafino, Nina M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Members’ Representational Allowance: History and Usage

Description: This report provides a history and overview of the the Members’ Representational Allowance (MRA) and examines spending patterns in the 109th Congress (2005 and 2006), the two most recent years for which all billing is complete and spending amounts have been finalized, since late-arriving bills may be paid for up to two years following the end of the MRA year.
Date: December 1, 2009
Creator: Brudnick, Ida A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Voluntary Voting System Guidelines: Issues

Description: This report discusses the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG), which are a set of technical standards for voting systems that use computers to assist in recording or counting votes. Systems covered include most used in the United States—not only DREs (direct recording electronic systems) such as touchscreen voting machines, but also optical scan and punch card systems. Hand-counted paper-ballot and lever-machine systems, which do not involve computers, are not covered. However, they are used by a small and decreasing number of election jurisdictions.
Date: January 23, 2009
Creator: Fischer, Eric A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Obscenity and Indecency: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes

Description: his report examines federal law regarding obscenity and indecency. The First Amendment provides: “Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” In general, the First Amendment protects pornography, with this term being used to mean any erotic material. The Supreme Court, however, has held that the First Amendment does not protect two types of pornography: obscenity and child pornography. Consequently, they may be banned on the basis of their content, and federal law prohibits the mailing of obscenity, as well as its transport or receipt in interstate or foreign commerce.
Date: January 21, 2009
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Animal Waste and Hazardous Substances: Current Laws and Legislative Issues

Description: This report describes the provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, the Superfund law) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), and enforcement actions under these laws that have increasingly been receiving attention. Congressional scrutiny in the form of legislative proposals and two House hearings are discussed. Bills intended to exempt animal manure from the requirements of Superfund and EPCRA were introduced in the 109th Congress. Similar bills were introduced in the 110th Congress (H.R. 1398 and S. 807), but no legislation has been enacted. Issues raised by the legislation are analyzed.
Date: January 21, 2009
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

International Drug Control Policy

Description: This report provides an overview of U.S. international drug control policy. It describes major international counternarcotics initiatives and evaluates the broad array of U.S. drug control policy tools currently in use. The report also considers alternative counterdrug policy approaches to current initiatives and raises several counterdrug policy issues and considerations for policy makers.
Date: August 24, 2009
Creator: Wyler, Liana Sun
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Obscenity, Child Pornography, and Indecency: Brief Background and Recent Developments

Description: The First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. ...” The First Amendment applies, with two exceptions, to pornography, with that term being used to refer to any words or pictures of a sexual nature. This report discusses the two exceptions, which are obscenity and child pornography; because these are not protected by the First Amendment, they may be, and have been, made illegal. Pornography and “indecent” material that are protected by the First Amendment may nevertheless be restricted in order to limit minors’ access to them.
Date: October 6, 2009
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Long-Range Ballistic Missile Defense in Europe

Description: This report discusses how successive U.S. governments have urged the creation of an anti-missile system to protect against long-range ballistic missile threats from adversary states. The proposed U.S. system has encountered resistance in some European countries and beyond.
Date: January 21, 2009
Creator: Hildreth, Steven A. & Ek, Carl
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Proposed Regulations

Description: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has often been described as the most sweeping nondiscrimination legislation since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As stated in the act, its purpose is “to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities.” This report discusses recently proposed regulations that would adopt accessibility standards consistent with the minimum guidelines and requirements issued by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board.
Date: January 6, 2009
Creator: Jones, Nancy Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Overview of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Control Policies in Various Countries

Description: This report summarizes the GHG control policies in effect or under consideration in the European Union (EU) and various other large countries, and offers a brief set of initial observations. It gives particular emphasis to how particular trade sensitive sectors may be treated in the context of each national program.
Date: November 30, 2009
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.; Lattanzio, Richard K.; Ek, Carl & Parker, Larry
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 15, 2009
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proposed Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues

Description: This report examines three labor issues and arguments related to the pending U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (CFTA, H.R. 5724): violence against trade unionists; impunity (accountability for or punishment of the perpetrators); and worker rights protections for Colombians.
Date: January 15, 2009
Creator: Bolle, Mary Jane
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air Quality Issues and Animal Agriculture: EPA’s Air Compliance Agreement

Description: This report discusses a plan announced by EPA in January 2005, called the Air Compliance Agreement, intended to produce air quality monitoring data on animal agriculture emissions from a small number of farms, while at the same time protecting all participants (including farms where no monitoring takes place) through a “safe harbor” from liability under certain provisions of federal environmental laws.
Date: January 21, 2009
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proposed Import Restrictions on Milk Protein Concentrates (MPCs)

Description: Low farm milk prices and declining dairy sector income in 2009 have renewed congressional interest in imposing new import barriers on milk protein concentrates (MPCs), which generally include casein, the main protein found in milk, and caseinates, a soluble form of casein. This report examines proposed import restrictions and potential trade policy implications.
Date: September 30, 2009
Creator: Shields, Dennis A. & Hanrahan, Charles E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Senate Rule XIV Procedures for Placing Measures Directly on the Senate Calendar

Description: When a Senator introduces a bill or joint resolution, the measure is usually referred to committee, pursuant to provisions of Senate Rules XIV, XVII, and XXV. This report describes the Senate Rule XIV, para. 2, which requires that bills and resolutions have three readings before passage, and that they be read twice before being referred to committee.
Date: November 30, 2009
Creator: Koempel, Michael L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Introduction to the Design of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit

Description: This report discusses the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which is a federal provision that reduces the income tax liability of taxpayers claiming the credit. These taxpayers are typically investors in real estate development projects that have traded cash for the tax credits to support the production of affordable housing. The credit is intended to lower the financing costs of housing developments so that the rental prices of units can be lower than market rates, and thus, presumably, affordable.
Date: December 15, 2009
Creator: Keightley, Mark P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Access to Government Information In the United States: A Primer

Description: The U.S. Constitution makes no specific allowance for any one of the three branches of the federal government to have access to information held by the others. No provision in the U.S. Constitution expressly establishes a procedure for public access to government information. Congress has legislated various public access laws. Among these laws are two records access statutes, The Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and two meetings access statutes, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and the Government in the Sunshine Act. This report offers an overview of the four information access laws noted above, and provides citations to additional resources related to these tools.
Date: August 31, 2009
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department