Congressional Research Service Reports - 121 Matching Results

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Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues

Description: Since the first genetically engineered (GE) crops (also called GM [genetically modified] crops, or GMOs, genetically modified organisms) became commercially available in the mid-1990s, U.S. soybean, cotton, and corn farmers have rapidly adopted them. As adoption has spread, there have been policy debates over the costs and benefits of GE products. Issues include the impacts of GE crops on the environment and food safety, and whether GE foods should be specially labeled. Congress generally has been supportive of GE agricultural products, although some Members have expressed wariness about their adoption and regulation. The 109th Congress will likely continue to follow trade developments, particularly the U.S.-EU dispute, as well as U.S. regulatory mechanisms for approving biotech foods.
Date: March 7, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Biotechnology: The U.S.-EU Dispute

Description: In May 2003, the United States, Canada, and Argentina initiated a formal challenge before the World Trade Organization (WTO) of the European Union’s (EU’s) de facto moratorium on approving new agricultural biotechnology products, in place since 1998. Although the EU effectively lifted the moratorium in May 2004 by approving a genetically engineered (GE) corn variety, the three countries are pursuing the case, in part because a number of EU member states continue to block approved biotech products. Because of delays, the WTO is expected to decide the case by December 2005. The moratorium reportedly cost U.S. corn growers some $300 million in exports to the EU annually. The EU moratorium, U.S. officials contend, threatened other agricultural exports not only to the EU, but also to other parts of the world where the EU approach to regulating agricultural biotechnology is taking hold.
Date: November 17, 2005
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Credit: Institutions and Issues

Description: The federal government has a long history of providing credit assistance to farmers by issuing direct loans and guarantees, and creating rural lending institutions. These institutions include the Farm Credit System (FCS), which is a network of borrower-owned lending institutions operating as a government-sponsored enterprise, and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which makes or guarantees loans to farmers who cannot qualify at other lenders. When loans cannot be repaid, special bankruptcy provisions help family farmers reorganize debts and continue farming (P.L. 109-8 made Chapter 12 permanent and expanded eligibility). S. 238 and H.R. 399 (the Rural Economic Investment Act) would exempt commercial banks from paying taxes on profits from farm real estate loans, thus providing similar benefits as to the Farm Credit System.
Date: November 23, 2005
Creator: Monke, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Description: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the non-insured assistance program and emergency disaster loans. In recent years, Congress frequently has made supplemental financial assistance available to farmers and ranchers on an ad-hoc basis, most notably in the form of direct crop disaster payments and emergency livestock assistance. Congress provided an estimated $3.1 billion of such assistance in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-7) for 2001 and 2002 crop and livestock losses. Some farm groups would like to see similar assistance provided for 2003 losses, particularly in regions of the Midwest and West that have experienced prolonged drought conditions. To date, no ad-hoc assistance has been made available for 2003 losses.
Date: August 29, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Export and Food Aid Programs

Description: This report discusses projected agricultural imports and exports for FY2005, as well as legislation that deals with federal programs in support of agricultural exports and federal aid dedicated to farms and agricultural reform.
Date: May 12, 2005
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Export and Food Aid Programs

Description: This report discusses projected agricultural imports and exports for FY2005, as well as legislation that deals with federal programs in support of agricultural exports and federal aid dedicated to farms and agricultural reform.
Date: April 11, 2005
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: A number of issues affecting U.S. agriculture are receiving attention during the 109th Congress. Some are related to new initiatives or to unfinished legislation from the 108th Congress; others have been the focus of ongoing congressional oversight. The agriculture committees are required by the FY2006 budget resolution to report legislation this year that reduces spending on mandatory food and agriculture support programs by $3 billion over the next five years. Other issues of importance to agriculture during the 109th Congress include the possible reauthorization of an expiring dairy support program; multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations; concerns about agroterrorism, food safety, and animal and plant diseases (e.g., “mad cow” disease and Asian soybean rust); high energy costs; environmental issues; and a number of agricultural marketing matters. Although the current (2002) farm bill (P.L. 107-171) generally does not expire until 2007, the agriculture committees could begin hearings on a new measure later this year. This report will be updated if significant developments ensue.
Date: July 6, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: A number of issues affecting U.S. agriculture are receiving attention during the 109th Congress. Some are related to new initiatives or to unfinished legislation from the 108th Congress; others have been the focus of ongoing congressional oversight. Although the current (2002) farm bill (P.L. 107-171) generally does not expire until 2007, the agriculture committees could begin hearings on a new measure later this year. Meanwhile, the agriculture committees are required by the adopted FY2006 budget resolution to report legislation that reduces spending on mandatory food and agriculture support programs by $3 billion over the next five years. Other issues of importance to agriculture during the 109th Congress include the possible reauthorization of an expiring dairy support program; multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations; concerns about agroterrorism, food safety, and animal and plant diseases (e.g., “mad cow” disease and Asian soybean rust); high energy costs; environmental issues; and a number of agricultural marketing matters. This report will be updated if significant developments ensue.
Date: May 13, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M. & Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Issues in the 109th Congress

Description: A number of issues affecting U.S. agriculture are receiving attention during the 109th Congress. The agriculture committees are required by the FY2006 budget resolution to report legislation this year that reduces spending on mandatory food and agriculture support programs by $3 billion over the next five years. Other issues of importance to agriculture during the 109th Congress include the possible reauthorization of an expiring dairy support program; consideration of emergency farm disaster assistance; multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations; concerns about agroterrorism, food safety, and animal and plant diseases (e.g., “mad cow” disease and avian flu); high energy costs; environmental issues; and a number of agricultural marketing matters. This report will be updated if significant developments ensue.
Date: October 13, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture: A Glossary of Terms, Programs, and Laws, 2005 Edition

Description: This report includes a glossary of approximately 2,500 agriculture and related terms (e.g., food programs, conservation, forestry, environmental protection, etc.). Besides defining terms and phrases with specialized meanings for agriculture, the glossary also identifies acronyms, agencies, programs, and laws related to agriculture.
Date: June 16, 2005
Creator: Womach, Jasper
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture and FY2006 Budget Reconciliation

Description: The FY2006 budget resolution (H.Con.Res. 95, H.Rept. 109-62) contains reconciliation instructions that require authorizing committees to report legislation to reduce spending on mandatory programs within each committee’s jurisdiction. The resolution instructed the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to report legislation reducing spending on USDA mandatory programs by $173 million in FY2006 and $3.0 billion over five years (FY2006-FY2010). The House and Senate Agriculture Committees have completed action on their recommendations ($3.7 billion in the House and $3.0 billion in the Senate). The two measures would reduce spending on farm commodity and conservation programs in varying ways. The House measure also eliminates funding for various rural development programs and reduces food stamp spending. The Senate extends authority for a dairy income support program, which would require an offset of its projected cost. Reconciliation floor action is expected in November.
Date: November 1, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture and FY2006 Budget Reconciliation

Description: During the week of December 18, 2005, both the House and Senate approved the conference agreement on the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (H.Rept. 109-362, S. 1932), which includes net reductions of $2.7 billion over five years for USDA mandatory programs. Included in the agreement is a $1.7 billion reduction in farm commodity support programs, a $934 million reduction in conservation spending, a $620 million reduction in a mandatory research program, and $419 million cut in rural development programs, as scored by CBO over a five-year period (FY2006-2010). The measure also includes a two-year extension of a dairy income support program, at an estimated cost of $998 million. No reductions to food stamp spending were included in the conference agreement.
Date: December 23, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture and FY2006 Budget Reconciliation

Description: On April 29, 2005, Congress completed action on the FY2006 budget resolution (H.Con.Res. 95, H.Rept. 109-62). This measure contains reconciliation instructions that require authorizing committees to report legislation to reduce spending on mandatory programs within each committee’s jurisdiction. To reduce spending in mandatory U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, conferees instructed the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to reduce mandatory spending by $173 million in FY2006 and $3.0 billion over five years (FY2006-FY2010). The Bush Administration earlier proposed changes to several mandatory USDA programs, which it said would save $5.7 billion over five years (and which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) subsequently scored at $9.4 billion in reductions). The agriculture committees must determine how to divide the cuts among the various programs under their jurisdiction by September 16, 2005.
Date: May 4, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture and FY2006 Budget Reconciliation

Description: The FY2006 budget resolution (H.Con.Res. 95, H.Rept. 109-62) contains reconciliation instructions that require authorizing committees to report legislation to reduce spending on mandatory programs within each committee’s jurisdiction. The resolution instructed the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to report legislation reducing spending on USDA mandatory programs by $173 million in FY2006 and $3.0 billion over five years (FY2006-FY2010). The House and Senate Agriculture Committees have completed action on their recommendations ($3.65 billion in the House and $3.0 billion in the Senate). The two measures would reduce spending on farm commodity and conservation programs in varying ways. The House measure also eliminates funding for various rural development programs and reduces food stamp spending. The Senate extends authority for a dairy income support program, which would require an offset of its projected cost. Reconciliation floor action is expected in November.
Date: November 2, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2006 Appropriations

Description: This report is a guide to one of the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Agriculture. It summarizes the status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity, and is updated as events warrant. The report lists the key CRS staff relevant to the issues covered and related CRS products.
Date: September 28, 2005
Creator: Monke, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture and Related Agencies: FY2006 Appropriations

Description: This report is a guide to one of the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Agriculture. It summarizes the status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity, and is updated as events warrant. The report lists the key CRS staff relevant to the issues covered and related CRS products.
Date: July 19, 2005
Creator: Monke, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture-Based Renewable Energy Production

Description: Since the late 1970s, U.S. policy makers at both the federal and state levels have enacted a variety of incentives, regulations, and programs to encourage the production and use of agriculture-based renewable energy. Motivations cited for these legislative initiatives include energy security concerns, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and raising domestic demand for U.S.-produced farm products. This report provides background information on farm-based energy production and how this fits into the national energy-use picture. It briefly reviews the primary agriculture-based renewable energy types and issues of concern associated with their production, particularly their economic and energy efficiencies and long-run supply. Finally, this report examines the major legislation related to farm-based energy production and use.
Date: January 4, 2005
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture Conservation Programs: A Scorecard

Description: The Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Farm Service Agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture currently administer 20 programs and subprograms that are directly or indirectly available to assist producers and landowners who wish to practice conservation on agricultural lands. The number, scope, and overall funding of these programs have all grown with each recent farm bill. This growth can cause confusion over which problems and conditions each program addresses, and specific program characteristics and performance, especially for those who are less familiar with this conservation effort. This report lists these programs and basic information about each of them.
Date: June 3, 2005
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey A. & Cowan, Tadlock
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department