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Animal Rendering: Economics and Policy

Description: Renderers convert dead animals and animal byproducts into ingredients for a wide range of industrial and consumer goods, such as animal feed, soaps, candles, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products. This report describes the rendering industry and discusses several industry-related issues that arose in the 108th Congress.
Date: March 17, 2004
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Association Health Plans, Health Marts and the Small Group Market for Health Insurance

Description: An estimated 41.2 million people were without health insurance in 2001. Legislation under consideration by the 108th and earlier Congresses is intended to assist small employers in offering health insurance as a benefit to their workers. A new bill, H.R. 4281, introduced on May 5, 2004, The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003 (H.R. 6601s. 545), and a number of bills from the earlier Congresses include provisions creating new groups for small firms to join or encouraging the growth of existing groups so that small employers can band together to offer coverage to their employees.
Date: May 10, 2004
Creator: Hearne, Jean P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Barriers to Corporate Fraud: How They Work, Why They Fail

Description: The report focuses on the internal controls on American corporations (including corporate governance, business ethics, managerial structure and compensation, internal counsel, and whistleblowers), as well as external controls (government regulation, external auditors and accountants, and the judicial process). A recurring theme is the limited efficacy of many safeguards and watchdogs in cases of "control fraud," where fraud is directed or abetted by top management, and where unethical or abusive practices may become the organizational norm. Another broad question raised by the report is whether the post-Enron scandals were a one-time event, made possible by the stock market bubble of the 1990s and several other unique historical developments which together constituted a "perfect storm," or whether fraud is a cyclical phenomenon associated with the end of long bull markets.
Date: December 27, 2004
Creator: Jickling, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

"Bunker Busters": Sources of Confusion in the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Debate

Description: The Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP), often called a “bunker buster,” is at present the subject of a cost and feasibility study to determine if either of two nuclear bombs, the B61 and the B83, could be modified, mainly by adding a heavy, pointed case, so as to be able to penetrate perhaps 10 meters into earth or rock. This penetration would increase the weapon’s ability, by a factor of 20 to 50, to destroy hardened and deeply buried facilities. The RNEP debate has received much attention and spawned much confusion. This report examines sources of confusion in this debate.
Date: September 22, 2004
Creator: Medalia, Jonathan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Can the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Be Restored to Financial Health?

Description: In 2003, the Bush administration made a proposal for reform to strengthen pension plan funding and the financial condition of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Various bills with the goal of reforming the PBGC were proposed in the 108th Congress but none were enacted into law. The doubling of the PBGC deficit from fiscal 2003 to fiscal 2004, has heightened awareness about the PBGC deficit situation. Congressional leaders from both parties have announced their intention to move aggressively on legislative solutions in the 109th Congress.
Date: December 16, 2004
Creator: Ranade, Neela K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical Plant Security

Description: Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemicals (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. Because few terrorist attacks have been attempted against chemical facilities in the United States, the risk of death and injury in the near future is estimated to be low, relative to the likelihood of accidents at such facilities or attacks on other targets using conventional weapons. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but risks may be increasing with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Available evidence indicates that many chemical facilities may lack adequate safeguards.
Date: January 20, 2004
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Civil Charges in Corporate Scandals

Description: This report lists civil suites filled by federal regulatory agencies charging individuals and corporations with violations related to these scandals. The list is limited to corporations and their offices or employees that fit within the Enron pattern. That is, these are cases that display one or more of the following: irregular accounting and auditing, management self-dealing, conflicts of interests between firms and financial advisors (or Wall Street firms and their costumers), and manipulation or abusive trading in energy markets.
Date: April 8, 2004
Creator: Jickling, Mark & Janov, Paul H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressionally Chartered Nonprofit Organizations ("Title 36 Corporations"): What They Are and How Congress Treats Them

Description: This report discusses a category of congressionally chartered nonprofit organizations that have as their purpose the promotion of patriotic, charitable, educational, and other eleemosynary activities . Title 36 of the United States Code, where such corporate organizations are listed with their charters, was re-codified by law in 1998 (EL 105-225).
Date: April 8, 2004
Creator: Moe, Ronald C
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congress’s Power Under the Commerce Clause: The Impact of Recent Court Decisions

Description: This report will first review the current Supreme Court case law with respect to the Commerce Clause. Second, it will examine the analysis used and the results of the three lower court opinions. Finally, two areas of tension that appear to exist within the Court’s jurisprudence, and the potential implications that resolution of these conflicts may have on congressional power under the Commerce Clause will be examined.
Date: June 23, 2004
Creator: Tatelman, Todd B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Dairy Policy Issues

Description: A temporary pilot program that allows processors to enter into forward price contracts with individual dairy farmers or their cooperatives for certain uses of milk is scheduled to expire December 31, 2004. A forward price contract allows buyers and sellers of a commodity to negotiate a price for the commodity on a future delivery date and insulates both parties from price volatility. Identical bills (H.R. 3308, S. 2565) pending in Congress would convert the pilot program to a permanent one. The bills are supported by dairy processors, but are opposed by the largest organization of dairy cooperatives, which is concerned that the program might undermine federal minimum pricing requirements
Date: July 21, 2004
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electricity: The Road Toward Restructuring

Description: The Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA) and the Federal Power Act (FPA) were enacted to eliminate unfair practices and other abuses by electricity and gas holding companies by requiring federal control and regulation of interstate public utility holding companies. Comprehensive energy legislation has passed the House and Senate. The House passed H.R. 6 on April 11, 2003. On July 31, 2003, the Senate suspended debate on S. 14, inserted the text of H.R. 4 (107th Congress) as a substitute, and passed H.R. 6. A conference agreement was reached November 17, 2003, and passed by the House the next day. H.R. 6 includes an electricity title that would, in part, repeal PUHCA, would prospectively repeal the mandatory purchase requirement under PURPA, and would create an electric reliability organization. On June 15, 2004, H.R. 4503, a comprehensive energy policy bill, passed the House.
Date: September 30, 2004
Creator: Abel, Amy & Parker, Larry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energy Use in Agriculture: Background and Issues

Description: This report provides information relevant to the U.S. agricultural sector on energy use, emerging issues, and related legislation. This report provides background on the relationship between energy and agriculture in the United States. The first section provides background information on current and historical energy use in the U.S. agricultural sector and how this fits into the national energy-use picture. Energy’s role in agriculture’s overall cost structure is detailed both for present circumstances and for changes over time. Finally, this section examines how agriculture’s energy-use pattern varies across activities and regions.
Date: November 19, 2004
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FDA Regulation of Tobacco Products: A Policy and Legal Analysis

Description: This report examines the legislative debate over giving FDA the authority to regulate tobacco products and provides some analysis of S. 2461/H.R. 4433. It begins with an overview of the FDA’s 1996 tobacco rule that includes a summary of the agency’s arguments for asserting jurisdiction over tobacco products. That is followed by an analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in FDA v. Brown & Williamson, which overturned the FDA tobacco rule. The report then reviews the 1997 proposed national tobacco settlement, which would have codified the FDA rule and given the agency explicit authority to regulate tobacco products as medical devices. It includes a discussion of the FDA provisions in the McCain tobacco bill, which was introduced and debated in the 105th Congress in an attempt to implement the proposed settlement. The final section of the report summarizes the provisions in S. 2461/H.R. 4433 and discusses some of the key issues, including preemption and the regulation of reduced-risk products.
Date: December 3, 2004
Creator: Redhead, C. Stephen & Feder, Jody
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Land Management Agencies: Background on Land and Resources Management

Description: This report provides an overview of how federal lands and resources are managed, the agencies that manage the lands, the authorities under which these lands are managed, and some of the issues associated with federal land management. The report is divided into nine sections.
Date: August 2, 2004
Creator: Vincent, Carol H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: A Legal Overview

Description: This report examines the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 was enacted principally to prevent corporate bribery of foreign officials. This act had three major parts: 1. It required the keeping by corporations of accurate books, records, and accounts; 2. It required issuers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to maintain a responsible internal accounting control system; and 3. It prohibited bribery by American corporations of foreign officials.
Date: September 2, 2004
Creator: Seitzinger, Michael V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Internet Commerce and State Sales and Use Taxes

Description: State governments rely on sales and use taxes for approximately one-third (33.6%) of their total tax revenue - or approximately $179 billion in FY2002 .' Local governments derived 12.4% of their tax revenue or $44 .1 billion from local sales and use taxes in FY20012 Both state and local sales taxes are collected by vendors at the time of transaction and are levied at a percentage of a product's retail price. Alternatively, use taxes are not collected by the vendor if the vendor does not have nexus (loosely defined as a physical presence) in the consumer's state . Consumers are required to remit use taxes to their taxing jurisdiction . However, compliance with this requirement is quite low. Because of the low compliance, many observers suggest that the expansion of the internet as a means of transacting business across state lines, both from business to consumer (B to C) and from business to business (B to B), threatens to diminish the ability of state and local governments to collect sales and use taxes . Congress has a role in this issue because commerce between parties in different states conducted over the Internet falls under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.' Congress can either take an active or passive role in the "Internet tax" debate. This report intends to clarify important issues in the Internet tax debate .
Date: March 31, 2004
Creator: Maguire, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program: An Overview

Description: This report provides a brief overview of The Hollings Manufacturing Partnership (MEP), which is a program of regional centers set up to assist small and medium-sized manufacturing companies use knowledge and technologies developed under the auspices of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Date: January 28, 2004
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department