Congressional Research Service Reports - 214 Matching Results

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Perspective on the Top 20 Emitters and Developed Versus Developing Nations

Description: This report uses the data compiled by World Resources Institute (WRI) to examine a pivotal and long-running issue surrounding U.S. climate change policy: the appropriate roles of developed and developing countries in addressing climate change.
Date: December 24, 2008
Creator: Parker, Larry & Blodgett, John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Low Carbon Fuel Standard: State and Federal Legislation and Regulations

Description: This report analyzes the draft California standards, and discusses how those standards might work. Next, the report analyzes federal Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) legislation proposed in the 110th Congress. Finally, the report analyzes what effects an LCFS might have on state and national fuel supplies.
Date: December 23, 2008
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A U.S.-centric Chronology of the International Climate Change Negotiations

Description: This document provides a U.S.-centric chronology of the international policy negotiations to address climate change. It covers the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992, the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, the Marrakesh Accords of 2001, and the Bali Action Plan of 2007 that mandates the current negotiations toward a new agreement by the end of 2009 on commitments for the period beyond 2012. Today's negotiations under the Bali Action Plan focus on four elements: mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions; adaptation to impacts of climate change; financial assistance to low income countries; and technology development and transfer. For U.S. legislators, important issues include the compatibility of any international agreement with U.S. domestic policies and laws; the adequacy of appropriations, fiscal measures and programs to achieve any commitments under the agreement; and the desirable form of the agreement and related requirements for potential Senate ratification and federal implementing legislation.
Date: December 23, 2008
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Selected Proposals

Description: This report discusses bills introduced into the 110th Congress pertaining to food safety that could affect farmers and ranchers. Several of these bills would expressly have required enforceable on-farm safety standards. Others that focused primarily on post-harvest food safety measures nonetheless might have led to changes in on-farm practices if the regulated sectors (handlers and processors of agricultural products) placed new demands on their suppliers in order to comply. Similar proposals are re-emerging in the 111th Congress, where food safety reform is expected to be on the agenda.
Date: December 19, 2008
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Brief Summaries of Federal Animal Protection Statutes

Description: This report contains summaries of federal animal protection statutes, listed alphabetically. It does not include treaties, although it does include statutes enacted to implement treaties. It includes statutes concerning animals that are not entirely, or not at all, animal protection statutes. For example, it includes a statute authorizing the eradication of predators, because one of the statute's purposes is to protect domestic and "game" animals; and it includes statutes to conserve fish, although their ultimate purpose may not be for the fishes' benefit. It also includes statutes that allow the disabled to use service animals, and even includes statutes aimed at acts of animal rights advocates (the Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992, and the Recreational Hunting Safety and Preservation Act of 1994).
Date: December 18, 2008
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ocean Piracy and Its Impact on Insurance

Description: This report examines the issue of piracy off the coast of East Africa in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. The report looks into the impact of such piracy on the insurance industry and explains the available options for Congress to mitigate piracy's negative effects on the industry.
Date: December 3, 2008
Creator: King, Rawle O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FDA’s Authority to Ensure That Drugs Prescribed to Children Are Safe and Effective

Description: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved for adult use many drugs never tested in children. Yet clinicians often prescribe them for children believing that the safety and effectiveness demonstrated with adults probably reasonably transfers to younger patients. The data show that this is not always true. To encourage industry to develop drugs and medical devices for pediatric use, Congress has established three programs. The Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA, P.L. 110-85) reauthorized and strengthened two laws addressing drugs—the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (BPCA) of 2002 and the Pediatric Research Equity Act (PREA) of 2003—and enacted a new law addressing devices—the Pediatric Medical Device Safety and Improvement Act (PMDSIA) of 2007. The historical approach of this report allows an understanding of how and why Congress took these steps.
Date: December 2, 2008
Creator: Thaul, Susan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Medicaid Regulatory Issues

Description: This report provides a summary of seven proposed and final rules affecting the Medicaid program that were issued by the Bush Administration during 2007 and 2008. Six of the seven rules are currently under a congressional moratorium on further administrative action until April 1, 2009. A description of possible administrative and legislative actions to modify these rules, which could be taken by the next administration or the 111th Congress, is also provided.
Date: November 26, 2008
Creator: Herz, Elicia J. & Burrows, Vanessa K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The President-Elect: Succession and Disability Issues During the Transition Period

Description: Procedures governing replacement of a President or Vice President-elect during the transition period depend on when the events that might lead to a temporary or permanent replacement occur. This report describes the general election process by which American voters directly choose members of the electoral college and indirectly choose the President and Vice President. This report also describes the so-called "lame duck" period between the election and the incoming President's inauguration, specifically regarding questions of disability or resignation by a President or Vice President-elect during this time.
Date: November 26, 2008
Creator: Neale, Thomas H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The World Bank's Clean Technology Fund (CTF)

Description: The United States Treasury has led efforts to create a $10 billion Clean Technology Fund (CTF), located at the World Bank, to help fund deployment of clean technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing economies. The Bush administration has asked Congress to authorize and appropriate U.S. funding of $2 billion over three years (FY2009 to FY2011). While many Members of Congress have expressed support for the CTF, others have raised concerns, primarily with respect to whether the CTF should finance carbon-based energy projects. To date, Congress has not passed legislation authorizing or appropriating U.S. contributions to the Fund.
Date: November 24, 2008
Creator: Weiss, Martin A. & Logan, Jeffrey
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Emergency Communications: The Future of 911

Description: Today's 911 system is built on an infrastructure of analog technology that does not support many of the features that most Americans expect are part of an emergency response. Recognizing the importance of providing effective 911 service, Congress has passed three major bills supporting improvements in the handling of 911 emergency calls. This report includes a detailed overview of the 911 system, as well as related legislation and policies currently in consideration by Congress.
Date: November 21, 2008
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Constitutionality of Campaign Finance Regulation: Buckley v. Valeo and Its Supreme Court Progeny

Description: This report first discusses the key holdings enunciated by the Supreme Court in Buckley, including those upholding reasonable contribution limits, striking down expenditure limits, upholding disclosure reporting requirements, and upholding the system of voluntary presidential election expenditure limitations linked with public financing. It then examines the Court's extension of Buckley in several subsequent cases, evaluating them in various regulatory contexts: contribution limits, expenditure limits, disclosure requirements, and political party soft money and electioneering communication restrictions.
Date: November 18, 2008
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Rights Related to Oil Shale Development in the Upper Colorado River Basin

Description: Concerns over fluctuating oil prices and declining petroleum production worldwide have revived interest in oil shale as a potential resource. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-58) identified oil shale as a strategically important domestic resource and directed the Department of the Interior to promote commercial development. Oil shale development would require significant amounts of water, however, and water supply in the Colorado River Basin, where several oil shale reserves are located, is limited. This report will provide a brief overview of water rights in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, including changes that may be made to currently held water rights and the possibility for abandonment of unused water rights.
Date: November 18, 2008
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Searches of Laptop Computers and Other Electronic Storage Devices

Description: This report discusses a developing issue in the law of search and seizure: whether the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution permits warrantless searches of the content of laptop computers and other electronic storage devices at U.S. borders. The federal courts that have addressed this issue have held that the border search exception to the Fourth Amendment applies to these searches, making warrantless searches permissible.
Date: November 17, 2008
Creator: Kim, Yule & Henning, Anna C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Description: The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (MPRSA, P.L. 92-532) has two basic aims: to regulate intentional ocean disposal of materials, and to authorize related research. This report presents a summary of the law, describing the essence of the statute.
Date: November 17, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water Infrastructure Projects Designated in EPA Appropriations: Trends and Policy Implications

Description: This report discusses appropriations for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water infrastructure programs, focusing on congressional special project designations in the account that funds these programs. While some Members of Congress, interest groups, and Administration officials are critical of these types of congressional actions, there is little indication that the practice will cease. Information on the programmatic history of EPA involvement in assisting wastewater treatment and drinking water projects also is provided in two appendixes.
Date: November 17, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

"Fast Track" Parliamentary Procedures of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act

Description: The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Division A of H.R. 1424, P.L. 110-343) empowers the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase certain "troubled assets" as a means to stabilize the economy. This report examines this procedure and explains how it differs from the regular parliamentary mechanisms of the House and Senate.
Date: November 14, 2008
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate Change Legislation in the 110th Congress

Description: This report briefly discusses the basic concepts on which climate change bills are based, and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research; emissions reduction technologies; U.S. actions pursuant to international emission reduction agreements; adaptation to the effects of climate change; GHG reporting and registration; and GHG emissions reduction programs.
Date: November 7, 2008
Creator: Ramseur, Jonathan L. & Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIG TARP)

Description: This report discusses the Special Inspector General provisions in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, H.R. 1424, which was enacted as P.L. 110-343 on October 3, 2008. This Act created a Special Inspector General (SIG) for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). This report will compare the duties and authorities of the SIG TARP to those of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), as well as statutory IGs under the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended (IG Act).
Date: November 5, 2008
Creator: Burrows, Vanessa K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pharmaceutical Patent Litigation Settlements: Implications for Competition and Innovation

Description: This report introduces and analyzes innovation policy issues concerning pharmaceutical patent litigation settlements, including pharmaceutical patent litigation procedures under the Hatch-Waxman Act, the concept of reverse payment settlements, the status of reverse payment settlements under the antitrust laws, and congressional issues and alternatives.
Date: November 4, 2008
Creator: Thomas, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Follow-On Biologics: Intellectual Property and Innovation Issues

Description: This report reviews doctrinal and policy issues pertaining to follow-on biologics. The report first introduces the application of federal food and drug legislation to follow-on biologics. It next turns to the patent implications of marketing follow-on biologics. Following this review of substantive law, the remainder of the report introduces innovation policy issues pertaining to follow-on biologics.
Date: October 31, 2008
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H. & Thomas, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department