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Congress and the Fusion Energy Sciences Program: A Historical Analysis

Description: The U.S. government has been funding research into controlled thermonuclear fusion since 1951. Since 1957, when the program was declassified, a public record is available in the form of appropriations and authorization reports presenting congressional decisions about fusion research. This report analyzes that record in order to assess how the program may fare in the future. The program recently underwent a major restructuring at the direction of Congress, and is currently establishing plans about how to proceed toward the goal of developing a practical fusion powerplant. These plans are likely to be the subject of close congressional scrutiny during review of the FY2001 budget request from the Department of Energy
Date: January 31, 2000
Creator: Rowberg, Richard E
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Debt Reduction: Initiatives for the Most Heavily Indebted Poor Countries

Description: This report offers a broad overview of the debate concerning debt reduction for poor developing countries. It profiles the scope and structure of debt and reviews previous debt relief strategies and the current HIPC Initiative. It analyzes and compares competing alternatives endorsed by the Administration, congressional activists, NGOs, and other G-7 governments. Several key issues, such as costs, impact, and conditionality, of pending proposals are also assessed.
Date: February 1, 2000
Creator: Nowels, Larry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Grazing Regulations: Public Lands Council v. Babbitt

Description: This report discusses new regulations on livestock grazing on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management became effective August 21, 1995. Many aspects of the new regulations were challenged in Public Lands Council v. Babbitt. A federal district court upheld many of the regulations, but struck down four of them and enjoined their implementation. At the appellate level, only the new regulation allowing conservation use to the exclusion of livestock grazing for the full term of a permit was held invalid. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case and argument has been set for March 1, 2000.
Date: February 1, 2000
Creator: Baldwin, Pamela
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Medicare Beneficiary Access to Care: The Effects of New Prospective Payment Systems on Outpatient Hospital Care, Home Health Care, and Skilled Nursing Facility Care

Description: This report discusses the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA 97), which required that prospective payment systems replace retrospective cost-based reimbursement systems for Medicare beneficiaries receiving care in hospital outpatient departments, from home health care agencies, and in skilled nursing facilities.
Date: February 2, 2000
Creator: Merck, Carolyn L
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA's Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program: Highlights of Proposed Changes and Impacts on Agriculture

Description: In August 1999 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed regulations to clarify and strengthen the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program under section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act. Section 303(d) requires states to identify surface waters for which wastewater discharge limits are not stringent enough to achieve water quality standards and to allocate further required pollutant reductions among sources in order to attain those standards. This report discusses the major changes in EPA's proposals, compared with existing regulatory program requirements, and potential impacts on agriculture and forestry sources, which have been controversial.
Date: February 3, 2000
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Global Climate Change: The Role for Energy Efficiency

Description: This report reviews the role of energy efficiency in federal policies to curb CO2 emissions. In particular, it discusses targets for CO2 reductions, projected energy efficiency impacts, strategies for measuring impacts, and legislative proposals that would affect support for energy efficiency programs.
Date: February 3, 2000
Creator: Sissine, Fred
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Appropriations for FY2000: Department of Transportation and Related Agencies

Description: Appropriations are one part of a complex federal budget process that includes budget resolutions, appropriations (regular, supplemental, and continuing) bills, rescissions, and budget reconciliation bills. This report is a guide to one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress passes each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the Subcommittees on Transportation of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations.
Date: February 4, 2000
Creator: Thompson, Duane A. & Kirk, Robert S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Description: Soft money is a major issue in the campaign finance reform debate because these generally unregulated funds are perceived as resulting from a loophole in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Generally, soft money is funds that are raised and spent according to applicable state laws, which FECA prohibits from being spent directly on federal elections, but that may have an indirect influence on federal elections. This Issue Brief discusses three major types of soft money: political party soft money, corporate and labor union soft money, and soft money used for issue advocacy communications.
Date: February 4, 2000
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Military Health Care: The Issue of “Promised” Benefits

Description: In the debate over the Department of Defense policy on military health care benefits, many military personnel and retirees say that they were promised “free health care for life” when they entered the armed forces. What benefits are available and who is eligible to receive these benefits are matters determined by Congress. This report discusses the issue of “promises” of lifetime health care benefits made to military retirees.
Date: February 10, 2000
Creator: Burrelli, David F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department