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Conference Committee and Related Procedures: An Introduction

Description: Conference committees generally are free to conduct their negotiations as they choose, but they are to address only the matters on which the House and Senate have disagreed. Moreover, they are to propose settlements that represent compromises between the positions of the two houses. When they have completed their work, they submit a conference report and joint explanatory statement, and the House and Senate vote on accepting the report without amendments. Sometimes conference reports are accompanied by amendments that remain in disagreement. Only after the two houses have reached complete agreement on all provisions of a bill can it be sent to the President for his approval or veto.
Date: July 29, 1996
Creator: Bach, Stanley

A Clean Air Option: Cash for Clunkers

Description: The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 encourage states to pursue market-based approaches to improve air quality. An Accelerated Vehicle Retirement (AVR) program, commonly referred to as "Cash for Clunkers," is designed to provide an economic incentive for the owners of highly polluting vehicles to retire their automobiles permanently from use and to provide greater flexibility for private industry to reduce emissions by sponsoring such a program. The implementation of AVR programs can be controversial. This report discusses the AVR program debate and includes information on completed AVR pilot projects in selected states.
Date: September 16, 1996
Creator: Bearden, David M.

Agricultural Marketing and Regulatory Provisions of the 1996 Farm Bill

Description: The Federal Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-127), signed into law on April 4, for the first time grants the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) broad-based authority to establish national generic promotion ("check-off") programs for virtually any agricultural commodity. Formerly, individual programs first had to be authorized expressly by Congress. The new law also explicitly authorizes the establishment of new check-off programs for rapeseed and canola, kiwifruit, and popcorn. Other provisions require USDA to establish a new meat and poultry inspection advisory committee; deal with the collection of user fees for the inspection of agricultural imports; and authorize new guidelines to protect horses being transported to slaughter facilities, among other things.
Date: April 30, 1996
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.

Cattle Prices: Questions and Answers

Description: After 7 years of relatively high returns, cattle producers by 1994 were experiencing steeply falling prices--mainly caused by abundant supplies of cattle destined for U.S. feedlots. Record-high grain prices and dry pastures amplified the problem. Because of the lengthy biological cycle governing cattle production, large numbers will be coming onto the market for some time, as producers undertake the slow process of curtailing herd expansion.
Date: November 14, 1996
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.

Alternative Transportation Fuels: Oil Import, Highway Tax, and Implementation Issues

Description: This report discusses three major pieces of legislation designed to, among other objectives, foster the development, introduction, and diffusion of alternative nonpetroleum fuels into the U.S. transportation sector. These three pieces of legislation are the Alternative Motor Fuels Act of 1988, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, and the Energy Policy Act of 1992.
Date: August 30, 1996
Creator: Behrens, Carl E.

The Convention on Nuclear Safety - A Fact Sheet

Description: Until the catastrophic accident with the former Soviet Union's Chernobyl nuclear power plant showed that radioactivity from a major nuclear accident could reach neighboring nations, nuclear safety was held to be an exclusively sovereign responsibility of each nation. Now it is recognized that a nuclear accident in one state can release radioactivity dangerous to another. As a result, many now view international cooperation as one way to help to assure safe operation of each nation's civil nuclear power stations.
Date: May 16, 1996
Creator: Behrens, Carl E. & Donnelly, Warren H.

EURATOM and the United States: Renewing the Agreement for Nuclear Cooperation

Description: The European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) is a regional organization established in 1958 to "create conditions necessary for the establishment and growth of nuclear industries." The United States promoted its establishment to benefit sales of U.S. nuclear power reactors and related equipment. fuels and technology in Europe. The agreement for nuclear cooperation between the United States and EURATOM expired at the end of 1995. On November 29 President Clinton submitted to Congress a new agreement. reached after several years of difficult negotiation.
Date: April 26, 1996
Creator: Behrens, Carl E. & Donnelly, Warren H.

DOE Laboratory Restructuring Legislation

Description: Interest in restructuring (including eliminating) the Department of Energy (DOE) and its laboratories has increased since the end of the Cold War, and especially since the beginning of the 104th Congress. A number of non-legislative proposals and activities to this end are reviewed, including DOE's own proposals for "alignment and downsizing" of the Department and its laboratories.
Date: December 4, 1996
Creator: Boesman, William C

Agreements to Promote Fishery Conservation and Management in International Waters

Description: Declining fish populations threaten an important food source. Natural catastrophes, pollution, habitat destruction, and overfishing contribute to the depletion of fish stocks. Overexploitation of fishery resources often occurs when management allows expanding and increasingly efficient fishing fleets to continue harvesting dwindling supplies. Although prevalent, overexploitation is not universal and its extent varies among areas, species, and fisheries. This report discusses the issue of overfishing and its possible consequences, as well as domestic and international efforts to combat overfishing.
Date: January 5, 1996
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.

Grazing Fees: An Overview

Description: This report briefly discusses charging fees for grazing private livestock on federal lands, which is a long-standing but contentious practice. Generally, livestock producers who use federal lands want to keep fees low, while conservation groups and others believe fees should be raised to approximate "fair market value."
Date: May 21, 1996
Creator: Cody, Betsy A.

Auburn Dam on the American River: Fact Sheet

Description: For more than 30 years, Congress has debated constructing a dam on the American River near Auburn, California. The Army Corps of Engineers recently identified three alternatives for flood control, with the Division office's preferred plan calling for construction of a 508-foot-high detention dam. Currently, two bills address the issue: H.R. 3270 supports construction of the dam, while H.R. 2951 opposes construction of any structure on the North Fork of the American River.
Date: June 6, 1996
Creator: Cody, Betsy A.; Hughes, H. Steven & Price, Shelley