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U.S.-Latin America Trade: Recent Trends

Description: This report looks at the status, implications, and alternatives to current free trade agreements in the Latin America. Trade is one of the more enduring issues in contemporary U.S.-Latin America relations. Latin America is far from the largest U.S. regional trade partner, but it is the fastest growing one, with the current exception of Africa. Over the last 15 years, the United States has implemented multiple free trade agreements with the region, which are more comprehensive than those that include only Latin American countries.
Date: May 18, 2007
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.

Medicare: FY2008 Budget Issues

Description: This report discusses President's budget request to Congress for Medicare, for the following federal fiscal year, along with projections for the five-year budget window. The President’s 2008 budget includes Medicare legislative proposals with estimated savings of $4.3 billion in 2008 and $65.6 billion over the five-year budget window.
Date: February 6, 2007
Creator: Chaikind, Hinda; Jacobson, Gretchen A.; Hahn, Jim; Morgan, Paulette C.; O’Sullivan, Jennifer & Stockdale, Holly Sue

Immigration: Foreign Physicians and the J-1 Visa Waiver Program

Description: This report focuses on those IMGs who are foreign nationals, hereafter referred to as foreign medical graduates (FMGs). Many FMGs first entered the United States to receive graduate medical education and training as cultural exchange visitors through the J-1 cultural exchange program. Other ways for FMGs to enter the United States include other temporary visa programs as well as permanent immigration avenues such as family- or employment-based immigration, the diversity lottery, and humanitarian relief provisions.
Date: December 9, 2004
Creator: Ester, Karma A.

First Responder Initiative: Policy Issues and Options

Description: This report provides background information and policy analysis pertinent to proposals to restructure first responder assistance programs. Specifically, this report provides information on existing programs, appropriations, legislation in the 107th and 108th Congress, and selected policy issues. This report does not discuss all relevant policy issues, but, rather, those issues that may be germane to any significant restructuring of existing programs.
Date: June 4, 2003
Creator: Canada, Ben

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

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Infrastructure Security: Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of industry and federal activities related to LNG security. The report describes U.S. LNG infrastructure, the industry's safety record and security risks, and the industry's security initiatives since September 11, 2001. It summarizes recent changes in federal LNG and maritime security law and related changes in the security roles of federal agencies. The report discusses several policy concerns related to federal LNG security efforts: 1) public costs of marine security, 2) uncertainty regarding LNG terrorism risks, and 3) security implications of promoting U.S.-flagged LNG tankers and U.S. crews.
Date: March 25, 2008
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.

Hurricane Katrina: Medicaid Issues

Description: This report discusses the following: Medicaid’s rules on eligibility, benefits, and financing in the context of current questions and issues raised by Hurricane Katrina. Recent state actions in response to Medicaid issues raised by the hurricane. Federal Medicaid waiver authority, including information on current activity in this area and the New York Disaster Relief Medicaid waiver granted in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks. Current federal legislation related to Medicaid and Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
Date: November 18, 2005
Creator: Baumrucker, Evelyne P.; Grady, April; Hearne, Jean P. & Herz, Elicia J.

Medicaid and SCHIP: The President’s FY2006 Budget Proposals

Description: This report describes the proposal and provides an estimate of the cost or savings based on publicly available information. The report provides a brief background for the proposal and provides a listing of current Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports related to the proposal.
Date: February 15, 2005
Creator: Grady, April; Hearne, Jean P.; Herz, Elicia J.; Scott, Christine; Stone-Axelrad, Julie & Tritz, Karen

The U.S. Trade Situation for Fruit and Vegetable Products

Description: This report presents recent trends in U.S. fruit and vegetable trade, and highlights some of the factors contributing to these trends. This summary excludes trade data for tree nuts and processed tree nut products. Although not presented here, U.S. exports and imports of tree nuts and processed tree nut products (excluding peanuts) have shown continued increases, with a growing trade surplus of $1.8 billion in 2006.
Date: April 30, 2008
Creator: Johnson, Renée

Conservation and the 2007 Farm Bill

Description: This report introduces some of the issues that are influencing the development of a conservation title. It then reviews the contents of the House-passed bill, H.R. 2419. Some alternative proposals that the House considered are summarized in an appendix. The House-passed bill includes some elements of the alternative proposals (usually in modified form). This report is limited to the conservation title. However, conservation topics in recent farm bills have been increasingly addressed in other titles, and that trend continues with the House-passed version, which contains conservation provisions in the energy, forestry, and research titles, and others as well.
Date: August 27, 2007
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey A.

Selected Small Business Statistics

Description: This report gathers selected statistics on the role of small businesses in the national economy that Congress has frequently asked the Congressional Research Service (CRS) to provide. Most of the statistics are calculated by CRS from Census data. The report uses the widely accepted research definition that a small business has fewer than 500 employees.
Date: July 3, 2007
Creator: Weiss, N. E.

The American Steel Industry: A Changing Profile

Description: The U.S. steel industry has faced increasing difficulties since the late 1990s. More than 30 U.S. steel producers have gone into bankruptcy. While different companies and parts of the industry have been affected to different degrees, the two types of domestic producers of raw steel, integrated mills and minimills, have both supported restrictions on imports, which they say have undermined the ability of the U.S. industry to produce steel economically. This report reviews industry developments and the economic situation of the steel industry, including legacy cost aspects of its problems.
Date: February 14, 2003
Creator: Cooney, Stephen

China’s Trade with the United States and the World

Description: This report provides a quantitative framework for policy considerations dealing with U.S. trade with China. It provides basic data and analysis of China’s international trade with the United States and other countries. Since Chinese data differ considerably from those of its trading partners (because of how entrepot trade through Hong Kong is counted), data from both PRC sources and those of its trading partners are presented. Charts showing import trends by sector for the United States highlight China’s growing market shares in many industries and also show import shares for Japan, Canada, Mexico, the European Union, and the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN ).
Date: September 13, 2005
Creator: Lum, Thomas & Nanto, Dick K.

Republic of the Marshall Islands Changed Circumstances Petition to Congress

Description: This report summarizes U.S. nuclear testing on the Marshall Islands, U.S. compensation efforts to date, relevant provisions in the Compact of Free Association, and the Changed Circumstances Petition. It analyzes several issues related to the personal injury, health care, and property damages claims in the Petition.
Date: March 14, 2005
Creator: Lum, Thomas; Thomas, Kenneth R.; Redhead, C. Stephen; Bearden, David M.; Holt, Mark & Lazzari, Salvatore

Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Description: The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act has two basic aims: to regulate intentional ocean disposal of materials, and to authorize related research. Permit and enforcement provisions of the law are often referred to as the Ocean Dumping Act. The basic provisions of the act have remained virtually unchanged since 1972, when it was enacted to establish a comprehensive waste management system to regulate disposal or dumping of all materials into marine waters that are within U.S. jurisdiction, although a number of new authorities have been added. This report presents a summary of the law, describing the essence of the statute.
Date: August 25, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia

Ocean Dumping Act: A Summary of the Law

Description: The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (MPRSA, P.L. 92-532) has two basic aims: to regulate intentional ocean disposal of materials, and to authorize related research. This report presents a summary of the law, describing the essence of the statute.
Date: November 17, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Claudia

Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy

Description: This report begins with an inventory of basic information: definitions and guides to histories of the growth of open access publishing and citation archives and descriptions of selected major open access activities. It moves on to summarize major points of difference between proponents and opponents of nongovernmental open access publishing and databases, and then highlights federal, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), open access activities and contentious issues surrounding these developments. The report also briefly describes open access developments in the United Kingdom (where a number of governmental and nongovernmental initiatives have occurred) and in the international arena. Finally, controversial issues which could receive attention in the 109th Congress are summarized.
Date: July 26, 2005
Creator: Knezo, Genevieve J.

Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy

Description: This report begins with an inventory of basic information: definitions and guides to histories of the growth of open access publishing and citation archives and descriptions of selected major open access activities. It moves on to summarize major points of difference between proponents and opponents of nongovernmental open access publishing and databases, and then highlights federal, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), open access activities and contentious issues surrounding these developments. The report also briefly describes open access developments in the United Kingdom (where a number of governmental and nongovernmental initiatives have occurred) and in the international arena. Finally, controversial issues which could receive attention the 110th Congress are summarized.
Date: December 12, 2006
Creator: Knezo, Genevieve J.

Environmental Protection Agency: FY2006 Appropriations Highlights

Description: This report discusses issues regarding the funding of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As enacted in August 2005, Title II of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY2006 (P.L. 109-54, H.R. 2361) provided $7.73 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), subject to an across-the-board rescission of 0.476%.
Date: January 20, 2006
Creator: Bearden, David & Esworthy, Robert