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The 2008 Farm Bill: Major Provisions and Legislative Action

Description: The report discusses the 2008 farm bill (H.R. 2419), covering a wide range of programs including The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, farm credit, agricultural conservation, research, rural development, and foreign and domestic food programs, among others.
Date: October 3, 2008
Creator: Johnson, Renée; Becker, Geoffrey S.; Capehart, Tom; Chite, Ralph M.; Cowan, Tadlock; Gorte, Ross W. et al.

The 2009 Influenza A(H1N1) "Swine Flu" Outbreak: U.S. Responses to Global Human Cases

Description: This report discusses the April 2009 outbreak of the influenza strain known as H1N1, or swine influenza. This report describes the distribution of the virus and the statistics of affected areas, as well as international and U.S. efforts to treat infected persons, respond to outbreaks in various countries, and prepare for a possible influenza pandemic.
Date: May 26, 2008
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji

The 2009 U.N. Durban Review Conference: Follow-Up to the 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism

Description: This report provides information on the 2001 World Conference Against Racism and the circumstances of U.S. withdrawal. It discusses preparations for the Durban Review Conference, including U.S. policy and reaction from other governments. It highlights possible issues for the 111th Congress, including the Review Conference preparatory process, U.S. funding of the Conference, and the political and diplomatic impact of U.S. engagement.
Date: November 20, 2008
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa

Abortion Services and Military Medical Facilities

Description: In 1993, President Clinton modified the military policy on providing abortions at military medical facilities. Under the change directed by the President, military medical facilities were allowed to perform abortions if paid for entirely with non-Department of Defense (DOD) funds (i.e., privately funded). Over the last three decades, the availability of abortion services at military medical facilities has been subjected to numerous changes and interpretations.
Date: July 10, 2008
Creator: Burelli, David F.

Abortion Services and Military Medical Facilities

Description: The purpose of this report is to describe and discuss the provisions for providing abortion services to military personnel, their dependents, and other military health care beneficiaries at military medical facilities. The report describes the history of these provisions, with particular emphasis on legislative actions. Finally, this report discusses a number of proposals to modify the law, as well as other related legislative and administrative actions.
Date: July 10, 2008
Creator: Burrelli, David F.

Access to Government Information In the United States

Description: The Constitution of the United States makes no specific allowance for any one of the co-equal branches to have access to information held by the others and contains no provision expressly establishing a procedure for, or a right of, public access to government information. Nonetheless, Congress has legislated various public access laws. These include two records access statutes — the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act — and two meetings access statutes — the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the Government in the Sunshine Act. This report provides background on the issue of government transparency and examines relevant litigation.
Date: March 13, 2008
Creator: Relyea, Harold C. & Ginsberg, Wendy

Access to Paper Currency by Visually Impaired Individuals: The American Council of the Blind v. Paulson

Description: In May 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a decision in The American Council of the Blind v. Paulson. The court held that under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Treasury Department of the U.S. government discriminates against blind and visually impaired individuals through the issuance of currency in denominations which are not readily distinguishable by touch. The Treasury Department did not file an appeal of the decision, and the case was remanded to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to address the American Council of the Blind’s request for injunctive relief. The House Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology held a hearing on this issue on July 30, 2008. This report discusses the court of appeals’ decision and factors and viewpoints by affected parties that may have implications for a proposed remedy.
Date: October 15, 2008
Creator: Toland, Carol

Active Military Sonar and Marine Mammals: Events and References

Description: This report summarizes legal and political events related to active sonar and marine mammals since 1994. The report discusses the deployment of active sonar by the U.S. Navy and its potential impacts on marine mammals has been an ongoing issue of intense debate; regulatory, legislative, and judicial activity; and international concern.
Date: February 11, 2008
Creator: Buck, Eugene H. & Calvert, Kori

Administering Green Programs in Congress: Issues and Options

Description: This report discusses "green" programs and the higher profile they have gained in the 110th Congress. "Green" programs are those designed to create an environmentally friendly work environment and conserve energy. This report discusses initiatives and policy options that would improve the "greening" process on Capitol Hill.
Date: October 6, 2008
Creator: Straus, Jacob R.