Congressional Research Service Reports - 214 Matching Results

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Horse Slaughter Prevention Bills and Issues

Description: This report discusses the bills and issues regarding horses that are slaughtered for human food. Debate revolves around the acceptability of horse slaughter, and how to care for and/or humanely dispose of horses if they no longer become human food.
Date: January 2, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A History of Federal Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Taxes

Description: Three primary categories of legislation pertaining to transfer taxes have been introduced in the 110th Congress. As noted above, the repeal of the estate and generation-skipping taxes is not permanent. One category would make the repeal permanent. (See, H.R. 411 and H.R. 2380). Another category would accelerate the repeal of these transfer taxes. (See, H.R. 25, H.R. 1040, H.R. 1586, H.R. 4042, S. 1025, S. 1040, and S. 1081). The third would reinstate these taxes at lower rates and/or in a manner more considerate of family-owned business. (See, H.R. 1928, H.R. 3170, H.R. 3475, H.R. 4172, H.R. 4235, H.R. 4242, and S. 1994). In this report, the history of the federal transfer taxes has been divided into four parts: (1) the federal death and gift taxes used between 1789 and 1915; (2) the development, from 1916 through 1975, of the modern estate and gift taxes; (3) the creation and refinement of a unified estate and gift tax system, supplemented by a generation-skipping transfer tax; and (4) the phaseout and repeal of the estate and generation-skipping taxes, with the gift tax being retained as a device to protect the integrity of the income tax.
Date: January 3, 2008
Creator: Luckey, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Labor-Management Relations and the Federal Aviation Administration: Background and Current Legislative Issues

Description: This report discusses labor-management relations at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the 2006 implementation of a new labor contract on air traffic controllers. The FAA's ability to implement the new contract with its controllers was arguably supported by a mediation procedure prescribed by federal law. This report provides background information on the mediation procedure, discusses litigation involving the FAA and two labor organizations, and examines legislative attempts to amend the existing system.
Date: January 8, 2008
Creator: Shimabukuro, Jon O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Supplemental Security Income (SSI): A Fact Sheet

Description: The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, Title XVI of the Social Security Act, was enacted in 1972 and implemented in 1974 to assure a minimum cash income to all aged, blind, or disabled persons. SSI is provided to eligible aged or disabled individuals or couples who have limited income and resources.
Date: January 8, 2008
Creator: Szymendera, Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Outer Continental Shelf: Debate Over Oil and Gas Leasing and Revenue Sharing

Description: Oil and gas leasing in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) has been an important issue in the debate over energy security and domestic energy resources. The Department of the Interior (DOI) released a comprehensive inventory of OCS resources in February 2006 that estimated reserves of 8.5 billion barrels of oil and 29.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Congress has imposed moratoria of the OCS since 1982 through the annual Interior appropriation bills. Proponents of the moratoria contend that offshore drilling would pose unacceptable environmental risks and threaten coastal tourism industries. This report analyzes this issue in-depth, including budgetary information and relevant legislation.
Date: January 22, 2008
Creator: Humphries, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Forestry in the 2007 Farm Bill

Description: This report briefly describes the Agriculture Committees' jurisdiction over forestry, with examples of legislation addressed by the committees. It discusses forestry issues likely to be debated in the upcoming farm bill. It then presents information on the forestry provisions in the Administration's proposal for the 2007 farm bill, followed by the forestry provisions in the House-passed 2007 farm bill (the Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007, H.R. 2419) and in the Senate Committee draft bill (the Food and Energy Security Act of 2007).
Date: January 25, 2008
Creator: Gorte, Ross W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate Change: Federal Laws and Policies Related to Greenhouse Gas Reductions

Description: This report provides background on the evolution of U.S. climate change policy, from ratification of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to the George W. Bush Administration's 2001 rejection of the Kyoto Protocol to the present. The report focuses on major regulatory programs that monitor or reduce greenhouse gas emissions, along with their estimated effect on emissions levels.
Date: January 28, 2008
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D. & Parker, Larry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

State and Local Restrictions on Employing, Renting Property to, or Providing Services for Unauthorized Aliens: Legal Issues and Recent Judicial Developments

Description: This report discusses the constitutional issues raised in relation to state and local laws intended to deter the presence of unauthorized aliens, along with the implications that federal civil rights statutes might have on the implementation and enforcement of measures restricting such persons' ability to obtain employment, housing, or other state and local benefits or services.
Date: January 28, 2008
Creator: Garcia, Michael John; Feder, Jody & Smith, Alison M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The War Crimes Act: Current Issues

Description: This report discusses current issues related to the War Crimes Act of 1996 and Common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which sets out minimum standards for the treatment of detainees in armed conflicts "not of an international character (e.g., civil wars, rebellions, and other conflicts between State and non-State actors).
Date: January 28, 2008
Creator: Garcia, Michael J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ecosystem Restoration in the Great Lakes: The Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy

Description: This report summarizes The Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy, analyzes issues related to the Strategy and its implementation, and discusses federal legislation related to restoration in the Great Lakes. The Strategy is a series of recommendations for actions and activities aimed at starting the restoration of the Great Lakes ecosystem. The Strategy encompasses eight issue areas: aquatic invasive species, fish and wildlife habitat (habitat/species), coastal health, contaminated sediments, nonpoint source pollution, toxic pollutants, indicators and information, and sustainable development.
Date: January 30, 2008
Creator: Sheikh, Pervaze A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues

Description: This report examines policy issues surrounding detention of aliens, including concerns about the number of aliens subject to mandatory detention and the justness of mandatory detention, especially as it is applied to asylum seekers arriving without proper documentation. Some have raised concerns about the length of time in detention for aliens who have been ordered removed. Additionally, issues have been raised about the amount of detention space available to house DHS detainees. Another area of uncertainty is the Attorney General’s role in the detention of noncitizens, since the creation of DHS.
Date: January 30, 2008
Creator: Siskin, Alison
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Offshore Oil and Gas Development: Legal Framework

Description: This report explains the nature of U.S. authority over offshore areas pursuant to international and domestic law. It also describes the laws, at both the state and federal levels, governing the development of offshore oil and gas and the litigation that has flowed from development under the current legal regimes. Also included is an outline of the recent changes to the authorities regulating offshore development wrought by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and subsequent legislation enacted by the 109th Congress prior to adjournment. Finally, this report discusses legislation under consideration by the 110th Congress that might also amend existing law in this area.
Date: January 30, 2008
Creator: Vann, Adam
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Foreign Students in the United States: Policies and Legislation

Description: This report examines various issues pertaining to foreign students in the United States. Since the Immigration Act of 1924, the United States has expressly permitted foreign students to study in U.S. institutions. Most foreign students are at least 18 years old and are enrolled in higher education programs. Foreign students are generally considered to enrich cultural diversity of the educational experience for U.S. residents as well as enhance the reputation of U.S. universities as world-class institutions. Concerns have arisen in recent years that have caused Congress to take a new look at the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provisions that govern their admission.
Date: January 31, 2008
Creator: Haddal, Chad C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Greenhouse Gas Reduction: Cap-and-Trade Bills in the 110th Congress

Description: This report discusses the Cap-and-Trade Bills in the 110th Congress which are meant to advance market-based greenhouse gas reduction programs, similar to the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. The report presents a side-by-side comparison of the major provision in each of the bills and includes a glossary of common terms.
Date: January 31, 2008
Creator: Parker, Larry & Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Review of Fluoridation and Regulation Issues

Description: This report discusses the potential benefits and adverse effects associated with the fluoridation of drinking water supplies. It also discusses the regulation of fluoride in drinking water to protect against adverse health effects from exposure to higher levels of fluoride, and it reviews the status of federal efforts to update the health risk assessment for fluoride and the drinking water standard for fluoride.
Date: February 4, 2008
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 110th Congress

Description: Aquaculture — the farming of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic animals and plants in a controlled environment — is expanding rapidly abroad, with more modest advances in the United States. This report discusses the federal laws and regulations that guide the management of resources in open ocean and near-shore coastal areas.
Date: February 7, 2008
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Global Climate Change: Three Policy Perspectives

Description: This paper discusses the three different perspectives used to consider issues related to the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 1997 Kyoto Agreement. The perspectives are: the technological lens (that environmental problems are the result of misused or inappropriate technologies that can be improved); the economic lens (that environmental problems are the result of inappropriate pricing that can be fixed by representing environmental measures in market costs); and the ecological lens (that environmental problems are the result of disregard for the ecosystem and can be improved with education and "green" initiatives). The report discusses each approach and how it relates to policy creation.
Date: February 7, 2008
Creator: Parker, Larry & Blodgett, John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Estate Tax Legislation in the 110th Congress

Description: This report examines current legislation regarding estate taxes. Under provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA, P.L. 107-16), the estate tax exclusion is scheduled to continue to rise, from $2 million for decedents dying in 2008, to $3.5 million in 2009. The estate tax is repealed for decedents dying in 2010 only.
Date: February 14, 2008
Creator: Noto, Nonna A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Social Security Number: Legal Developments Affecting Its Collection, Disclosure, and Confidentiality

Description: This report provides a comprehensive list of federal developments affecting use of social security numbers (SSNs), from 1935 to the present. This list includes federal statutes regulating the collection and disclosure of SSNs, as well as specific authorizations for the use of SSNs, confidentiality provisions, and criminal provisions relating to SSN misuse.
Date: February 21, 2008
Creator: Swendiman, Kathleen S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: Program Overview and Issues

Description: This report discusses the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996, which authorized a drinking water state revolving loan fund (DWSRF) program to help public water systems finance infrastructure projects needed to comply with federal drinking water regulations and to protect public health.
Date: February 22, 2008
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

California's Waiver Request to Control Greenhouse Gases Under the Clean Air Act

Description: This report reviews the nature of Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) authority, as well as that of California and other states, to regulate emissions from mobile sources. It includes a discussion fo the applicability of that authority to greenhouse gases (GHGs) and issues related to the California waiver request.
Date: March 4, 2008
Creator: McCarthy, James E. & Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department