Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED

Agricultural Trade in the 106th Congress: A Review of Issues

Description: The 106th Congress considered a number of trade policy developments against a backdrop of weak foreign demand and large world supplies of agricultural commodities. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that the value of U.S. agricultural exports fell between FY1996 (a record year) and FY1999 by almost $11 billion, to $49.2 billion. Agricultural exports did climb back to $50.9 billion in FY2000, and are now projected at $53 billion in FY2001. However, the pace of recovery concerned many agricultural groups and their supporters in Congress. Although they recognize that many world economic, farm production, political, and weather factors influence exports, many of these groups believe that the agricultural sector's future prosperity also depends upon such U.S. trade policies as: 1) encouraging China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), with its binding rules and responsibilities; 2) exempting agricultural exports from U.S. unilateral economic sanctions; 3) fully using export and food aid programs; and 4) aggressively battling foreign-imposed barriers to the movement of U.S. farm products. A few U.S. farm groups are wary of such approaches.
Date: December 29, 2000
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.; Hanrahan, Charles E. & Jurenas, Remy
Item Type: Report
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.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Budget FY2001: A Chronology with Internet Access

Description: This is a select chronology of, and a finding guide for information on, congressional and presidential actions and documents related to major budget events in calendar year 2000, covering the FY2001 budget. Brief information is provided for the President’s budget, congressional budget resolutions, appropriations measures (regular, continuing, supplementals, and rescissions), budget reconciliation, House and Senate votes, line-item vetoes, publications, testimony, charts, and tables.
Date: December 27, 2000
Creator: Thomas, Pearl
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Continuing Appropriations Acts: Brief Overview of Recent Practices

Description: For FY2001, twenty-one continuing resolutions became law. These measures extended funding for the outstanding FY2001 regular appropriations bills from October 1, 2000, through midnight, December 21, 2000.
Date: December 22, 2000
Creator: Streeter, Sandy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China: Suspected Acquisition of U.S. Nuclear Weapon Secrets

Description: This CRS Report discusses China’s suspected acquisition of U.S. nuclear weapon secrets, including that on the W88, the newest U.S. nuclear warhead, since the late 1970s. This current controversy, began in early 1999, raises policy issues about whether U.S. security is further threatened by the PRC’s suspected use of U.S. nuclear weapon secrets in its development of nuclear forces, as well as whether the Administration’s response to the security problems is effective or mishandled and whether it fairly used or abused its investigative and prosecuting authority.
Date: December 20, 2000
Creator: Kan, Shirley A.
Item Type: Report
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.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Education Vouchers: Constitutional Issues and Cases

Description: This report details the constitutional standards that currently apply to indirect aid programs and summarizes all of the pertinent state and federal court decisions, including the Ohio case that will be heard by the Supreme Court. On September 25, 2001, the Supreme Court agreed to review a case raising the controversial issue of the constitutionality of education vouchers. In Zelman v. Simmons-Harris the Sixth Circuit held Ohio’s Pilot Scholarship Program, which provided up to $2500 to help low-income students in Cleveland’s public schools attend private schools in the city, to violate the establishment of religion clause of the First Amendment.
Date: December 19, 2000
Creator: Ackerman, David M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The European Union's Ban on Hormone-Treated Meat

Description: The European Union (EU) continues to ban imports of meat derived from animals treated with growth hormones despite rulings by World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panels that the banis inconsistent with the Uruguay Round Agreement on health and safety measures used to restrict imports (the Sanitary and Phytosanitary or SPS Agreement). U.S. retaliation, authorized by the WTO, in the form of 100% duties on $116 million of EU agricultural products remains in effect while negotiations to resolve the dispute continue. Thus far, EU offers of compensation (trade concessions) for lost U.S. meat exports in lieu of lifting the ban have been rejected by the United States.
Date: December 19, 2000
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture and the 106th Congress: A Summary of Major Issues

Description: Most congressional interest in agriculture in the 106th Congress was focused on persistent low prices for major commodities and proposals to redress declining farm income. Six emergency farm aid bills were approved, increasing agricultural spending by nearly $27 billion for fiscal years 1999-2001. These bills provided disaster relief along with short term “market loss payments”to farmers to shore up farm income. Some longer term changes also were enacted as part of emergency farm legislation, which this report discusses in brief.
Date: December 15, 2000
Creator: Jones, Jean Yavis
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Economic Sanctions: Legislation in the 106th Congress

Description: This report tracks legislation relating to the use of economic sanctions in pursuit of foreign policy or national security objectives. Separate sections are given to the areas of greatest activity: sanctions imposed against India and Pakistan; exemptions of food and medicine exports; and sanctions reform. A separate table is included listing sanctions measures that were introduced but received no consideration, including measures pertaining to export controls, nonproliferation, drug certifications, and the sanctions regimes leveled, or proposed to be leveled, against Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Serbia and Montenegro, and other countries.
Date: December 15, 2000
Creator: Rennack, Dianne E
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agricultural Marketing Assistance Loans and Loan Deficiency Payments

Description: Marketing assistance loans for the major crops were designed to facilitate orderly marketing by providing short-term financing so that farmers could pay their bills right after harvest and spread their sales over the entire marketing year. However, the persistence of very low commodity prices transformed the loan program into a major vehicle of farm income support. Marketing loan program benefits (primarily loan deficiency payments, LDPs) to farmers amounted to about $5.9 billion in 1999, and will exceed $6.5 billion in 2000. Such levels of use and high costs have revealed several administrative problems and given rise to several policy issues. Some policy makers have favored broadening the scope and enhancing the benefits of the program to achieve greater farm income support. Anticipated adverse market impacts have discouraged adoption of these proposals to date. A persistent policy issue is the payment limitation on marketing loan gains.
Date: December 13, 2000
Creator: Womach, Jasper
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department