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Animal Agriculture: Issues for the 106th Congress

Description: This report discusses a variety of animal agriculture issues that generated debate during the 106th Congress, including low livestock prices, especially for hogs. Economic difficulties have revived questions such as the impacts of consolidation in the livestock industry, and the price effects of animal imports from Canada and Mexico. This report also discusses a number of legislative proposals to assist livestock producers and enforce sanitary and phytosanitary standards, as well as continuing trade disputes and negotiations with China, the European Union, New Zealand, and Australia.
Date: September 2, 1999
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.

Agricultural Trade Issues in the 106th Congress

Description: Agricultural interests have been following trade policy developments against a backdrop of weak foreign demand and large world supplies of agricultural products. 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. USDA forecasts agricultural exports at $50.5 billion in FY2000 and $51.5 billion in FY2001. However, the projected agricultural trade surpluses for those years, of $11.5 billion and $12 billion, would be less than half the FY1996 surplus of $27.2 billion. Many agricultural groups and their supporters in Congress believe that the sector's future prosperity 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 agriculture 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: November 27, 2000
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.; Hanrahan, Charles E. & Jurenas, Remy

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

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

Airport Improvement Program Reauthorization Legislation in the 106th Congress

Description: This report discusses the Airport Improvement Program (AIP), which provides federal grants to airports for capital development. This report also discusses the Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century, also referred to as AIR21, which includes provisions for increases in AIP spending, among other things. Primarily, this report discusses the legislative processes surrounding the enaction of these laws and the various appropriations the laws authorize.
Date: April 17, 2000
Creator: Kirk, Robert S.

Biennial Budgeting: Background and Legislative History in the 106th Congress

Description: Proposals for a two-year budget cycle have previously been reported in the Senate in 1988, 1990, 1994, and 1997. Another such proposal, S. 92, was reported by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee on March 10, 1999 (S.Rept. 106-12). S. 92 calls for the House and Senate to use the first year of each Congress to consider a two-year budget resolution and two-year appropriation bills, and the second year to consider multiyear authorizations and conduct oversight. More recently, biennial budgeting has also been a topic of interest in the House where the Rules Committee conducted a series of hearings on February 16, March 10, and March 16, 2000.
Date: May 4, 2000
Creator: Saturno, James V.

Committee Funding Resolutions and Processes, 106th Congress

Description: This report describes the procedures under which committee funding resolutions are considered in the two chambers. A table at the end of the report shows funds approved for the 105th Congress, and the funds requested, recommended, and approved for the 106th Congress for each House committee. The Senate agreed to temporary funding extensions for its committees pending a decision to shift to a fiscal year-based funding process.
Date: March 25, 1999
Creator: Rundquist, Paul S.

Committee Funding Resolutions and Processes, 106th Congress

Description: This report describes the procedures under which committee funding resolutions are considered in the two chambers, and 106th Congress action to review and approve committee operating budgets. Also noted are changes in the Senate’s committee funding processes to move from a session-based biennial funding process to one more closely matched to a fiscal year cycle. Tables at the end of the report show funds approved for the 105th Congress, and the funds requested, recommended, and approved for the 106th Congress for each House and Senate committee.
Date: November 3, 1999
Creator: Rundquist, Paul S. & Bullock, Faye M

Environmental Reauthorizations and Regulatory Reform: From the 104th Congress to the 106th

Description: The 104th Congress pursued efforts to reform environmental regulations on several fronts: (1) revising regulatory decision making processes; (2) attaching specific reforms to funding bills; (3) establishing a House corrections day calendar of bills addressing specific regulatory problems; and (4) incorporating regulatory reforms into individual program reauthorization bills. The 105th Congress has pursued regulatory reform in four primary directions: (1) proposals to establish a comprehensive cost-benefit/risk analysis framework for regulatory programs, (2) private property “takings” initiatives, (3) amendments and reforms directed at individual environmental statutes, and (4) oversight of environmental programs.
Date: January 8, 1999
Creator: Blodgett, John E.

Campaign Finance Debate in the 106th Congress: Comparison of Measures Under House Consideration

Description: On September 14, the House passed H.R. 417 on a vote of 252-177, as amended by three perfecting amendments: Bereuter/Wicker #6; Faleomavaega #1; and Sweeney #21. This report features two tables. Table 1 summarizes and compares the ten perfecting amendments, current law, and the Shays-Meehan proposal. Table 2 summarizes and compares current law, the Shays-Meehan bill, and the three substitute amendments.
Date: January 12, 2000
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.

Campaign Finance Bills in the 106th Congress: Comparison of Shays-Meehan, as passed, with McCain-Feingold, as considered

Description: On September 14, 1999, the House passed the Shays-Meehan bill--H.R. 417, the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 1999, as amended, by a vote of 252-177. Senate sponsors of the companion measure, S. 26 (McCain-Feingold), revised their proposal and, on September 16, introduced S. 1593, containing just four sections of H.R. 417 and S. 26. The Senate debated S. 1593 from October 13-20, culminating in unsuccessful cloture votes October 19 on two amendments: Daschle amendment 2298, substituting text nearly identical to the House-passed H.R. 417; and Reid amendment 2229 (a perfecting amendment to no. 2298), substituting text of S. 1593 as offered, plus McCain amendment 2294 (adopted October 14), which added certain disclosure requirements. This report compares provisions of the House-passed bill with the one considered by the Senate in October 1999. No further updates are planned.
Date: January 12, 2000
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.

Elementary and Secondary School Teachers: Action by the 106th Congress

Description: The quality and quantity of public elementary and secondary school teachers are of increasing concern to the 106th Congress. Although states and localities are responsible for most aspects of teacher preparation, recruitment, and employment, the federal government supports a wide array of programs for teachers. Several of these programs are being considered for amendment and extension by the 106th Congress including the Eisenhower Professional Development program and the Class Size Reduction program. The 106th Congress has before it a wide array of legislative proposals to address teacher issues. Action has occurred on several proposals. This report tracks such action and will be updated as it occurs.
Date: August 22, 2000
Creator: Stedman, James B.

Disaster Mitigation Assistance Bills in the 106th Congress: Comparison of Provisions

Description: The Administration initiative to shift federal emergency management policy away from a "response and recovery" emphasis has generated little congressional controversy, although some have raised concerns about the cost effectiveness of implementing a mitigation strategy. Greater attention, it is generally argued, should be given to mitigation (loss reduction) efforts before disasters occur in order to reduce future losses. Legislation (H.R. 707, S. 1691) pending before the 106th Congress would amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the Stafford Act) which authorizes federal assistance when the President declares that a catastrophe has overwhelmed state and local resources.
Date: May 5, 2000
Creator: Bea, Keith

Disaster Mitigation Bills in the 106th Congress: H.R. 707, S. 1691 Compared

Description: The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act authorizes the President to declare that an emergency or major disaster exists that overwhelms state and local resources. Legislation before the 106th Congress (H.R. 707 and S. 1691) would, among other matters, amend the Act to: (1) fund hazard mitigation projects designed to reduce future disaster losses; (2) add conditions to assistance; and (3) consolidate provisions governing the distribution of aid to disaster victims. This report compares provisions of the two bills, and will be updated as legislative action occurs.
Date: October 25, 1999
Creator: Bea, Keith