The 107th Congress will consider and seek to influence trade issues with implications for the U.S. agricultural sector. Trade in agricultural commodities and food products affects farm income and rural employment, and it also generates economic activity beyond the farm gate. With agricultural export sales accounting for one-quarter of farm income, policymakers view U.S. efforts to develop market opportunities overseas as vital to the sector's financial health. Decisions taken by the Bush Administration, and actions taken by Congress, thus will affect the outlook for agricultural trade.
Key water quality issues that may face the 107th Congress include: actions to implement existing provisions of the Clean Water Act (CWA), whether additional steps are necessary to achieve overall goals of the Act, and the appropriate federal role in guiding and paying for clean water activities. Legislative prospects for comprehensively amending the Act have for some time stalled over whether and exactly how to change the law. If clean water issues receive attention in the 107th Congress, consideration of specific issues will depend in part on the CWA policy agenda of the new Bush Administration and on priorities of the key committees that have major jurisdiction over the Act.
Seven proposals to reform the Electoral College system have been introduced to date in the 107th Congress. H.J.Res. 3 (Representative Green of Texas), and H.J.Res. 5 (Representative Delahunt) would eliminate the electoral college, substituting direct popular election of the President. H.J.Res. 1 (Representative Clyburn), H.J.Res. 18 (Representative Engel), and H.J.Res. 37 (Representative Clement) would incorporate the “district” method of awarding electoral votes, and H.J.Res. 17 (Representative Engel) would provide for proportional award of electoral votes. H.J.Res. 25 (Representative Leach) is a hybrid plan. These measures have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee and await further action.
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