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Chemical Weapons Convention: Issues for Congress

Description: The Convention provides the most extensive and intrusive verification regime of any arms control treaty, extending its coverage to not only governmental but also civilian facilities. The Convention also requires export controls and reporting requirements on chemicals that can be used as warfare agents and their precursors. The CWC establishes the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to oversee the Convention's implementation. Chemical Weapons Convention implementing legislation, as S. 610, passed the Senate unanimously on May 23, 1997. This legislation, which was an amendment in the nature of a substitute reported from the Judiciary Committee, provides the statutory authority for domestic compliance with the Convention's provisions. It sets criminal and civil penalties for the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, transfer, possession, or use of chemical weapons.
Date: September 20, 2000
Creator: Bowman, Steven R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Executive Branch Reorganization

Description: This issue brief views reorganization as involving the alteration and relocation of both programs and the administrative structure of the executive branch for reasons of efficiency, economy, and direction. The underlying issue is who reorganizes--Congress or the President--and by what authority and, also, for what purpose? Some other related administrative and management reforms are tracked as well.
Date: September 22, 2000
Creator: Relyea, Harold C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energy Tax Policy

Description: The Clinton Administration’s FY2001 budget proposes several tax subsidies for energy conservation and alternative fuels: 1) solar energy tax credits very similar to those that expired in 1985; 2) a new tax credit for the cost of a new home that would meet certain energy efficiency standards; 3) a tax credit for advanced energy-efficient equipment for space heating and cooling and hot water heaters; 4) more accelerated depreciation deductions for distributed power technologies, including small electrical generating systems (self-generated power), and for co-generation systems; 5) a new tax credit for the purchase of hybrid vehicles – cars, minivans, sport utility vehicles, and pickups – that run alternately on a consumable fuel (such as gasoline) and a rechargeable energy storage system (such as an electric battery); 6) extension of the present $4,000 tax credit for electric vehicles, which would otherwise terminate on 2004; and 7) a liberalization of the renewable electricity credit from such wind systems and closed-loop biomass systems.
Date: November 9, 2000
Creator: Lazzari, Salvatore
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Item Veto and Expanded Impoundment Proposals

Description: In recent years conflicting budget priorities and divided political control have accentuated the institutional tensions between the executive and legislative branches inherent in the federal budget process. President Clinton, like his two predecessors, called for an item veto, or possibly expanded impoundment authority, to provide him with greater control over federal spending. This report provides a brief history of impoundment and discusses the debate surrounding the line item veto.
Date: November 20, 2000
Creator: McMurtry, Virginia A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Caribbean Basin Interim Trade Program: CBI/NAFTA Parity

Description: The entry into force, on January 1, 1994, of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has eliminated the advantage that the beneficiaries of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) and related provisions of the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) had enjoyed in trade with the United States relative to Mexico, and gave Mexico an increasingly significant competitive edge over the CBERA countries. The scheduled further implementation of the NAFTA would have resulted in a substantial advantage to Mexico over the CBERA countries and vitiate in part the purpose of the CBERA.
Date: November 21, 2000
Creator: Pregelj, Vladimir N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy

Description: This report discusses contribution of technological advancement to economic growth and productivity increases. Because technology can contribute to economic growth and productivity increases, congressional interest has focused on how to augment private-sector technological development.
Date: December 5, 2000
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Value-Added Tax Contrasted with a National Sales Tax

Description: Proposals to replace all or part of the income tax and proposals for national health care have sparked congressional interest in possible sources of additional revenue. A value-added tax (VAT) or a national sales tax (NST) have been frequently discussed as possible new tax services. Both the VAT and the NST are taxes on the consumption of goods and services and are conceptually similar. Yet, these taxes also have significant differences. This issue brief discusses some of the potential policy implications associated with these differences.
Date: December 20, 2000
Creator: Bickley, James M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy

Description: This report discusses contribution of technological advancement to economic growth and productivity increases. Because technology can contribute to economic growth and productivity increases, congressional interest has focused on how to augment private-sector technological development.
Date: December 28, 2000
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Broadband Internet Access: Background and Issues

Description: From a public policy perspective, the goals are to ensure that broadband deployment is timely, that industry competes fairly, and that service is provided to all sectors and geographical locations of American society. The federal government -- through Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) -- is seeking to ensure fair competition among the players so that broadband will be available and affordable in a timely manner to all Americans who want it. While the FCC's position is not to intervene at this time, some assert that legislation is necessary to ensure fair competition and timely broadband deployment. One proposal would ease certain legal restrictions and requirements, imposed by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, on incumbent telephone companies who provide high speed data (broadband) access. Another proposal would compel cable companies to provide "open access" to competing Internet service providers.
Date: January 10, 2001
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G. & Gilroy, Angele A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Global Climate Change

Description: This report discusses different perspectives used to consider issues related to the global climate change and issues related to the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 1997 Kyoto Agreement.
Date: January 12, 2001
Creator: Morrissey, Wayne A & Justus, John R
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Drug Control: International Policy and Options

Description: Over the past decade, worldwide production of illicit drugs has risen dramatically: opium and marijuana production has roughly doubled and coca production tripled. Street prices of cocaine and heroin have fallen significantly in the past 20 years, reflecting increased availability. Despite apparent national political resolve to deal with the drug problem, inherent contradictions regularly appear between U.S. anti-drug policy and other national policy goals and concerns. The mix of competing domestic and international pressures and priorities has produced an ongoing series of disputes within and between the legislative and executive branches concerning U.S. international drug policy. One contentious issue has been the Congressionally-mandated certification process, an instrument designed to induce specified drug-exporting countries to prioritize or pay more attention to the fight against narcotics businesses.
Date: January 19, 2001
Creator: Perl, Raphael F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bosnia: U.S. Military Operations

Description: This report outlines U.S. military operations in Bosnia and discusses issues such as U.S. and Allied Participation in Bosnia Peacekeeping (IFOR/SFOR), duration, cost, arms control and military assistance. This report also includes most recent development, background analysis, and legislation.
Date: January 22, 2001
Creator: Bowman, Steven R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department