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Human Rights in U.S. Foreign Relations: Six Key Questions in the Continuing Policy Debate

Description: This report provides background information and a general overview of the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy. It includes a discussion of some traditional arguments about how international human rights concerns might be integrated with other foreign policy factors. It also includes a discussion of the definition of human rights, of U.S. international obligations to promote human rights, and the apparatus and procedures available to the U.S. Government for implementing human rights policy. Particular attention is paid to congressional actions, not only in debating and holding hearings on human rights issues, but especially in enacting laws to assure that U.S. foreign policy formulation and practice include consideration of the status of human rights in other countries.
Date: December 10, 1981
Creator: Bite, Vita

MX Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Program

Description: This report discusses the MX Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM),which is designed to be the most lethal strategic ballistic missile in the world. The missile was developed by the U.S. Air Force to augment the capabilities of the presently deployed ICBM force, which together with Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) and manned strategic bomber aircraft form the triad of U.S. strategic nuclear offensive forces.
Date: December 14, 1981
Creator: Medalia, Jonathan

Grants Work in a Congressional Office

Description: Congressional offices are often approached by constituents seeking funds for proposals of potential benefit to their State or district. This report discusses the grants process and varying approaches and techniques congressional offices have developed in dealing with grants requests.
Date: January 1, 1982
Creator: Newman, Rhoda

The Immigration and Nationality Act: Questions and Answers

Description: The basic United States law governing immigration and naturalization is contained in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1101 -- et seq.). This report provides questions and answers to explain the way in which the Immigration and Nationality Act as amended through 1981 regulates the entry of aliens for permanent and temporary residence in the United States, and other major provisions of the law. Emphasis is placed on subjects which have been of particular interest to the Congress in recent years. This supersedes CRS Report No. 81-65 EPW.
Date: March 11, 1982
Creator: Vialet, Joyce

Federal and State Authority to Regulate Radioactive Waste Disposal and Transportation

Description: There appears to be a growing controversy concerning whether a state has the authority to prevent the federal government from disposing of nuclear wastes within it and transporting nuclear wastes through it. Several states have statutes purporting to veto the federal government's action in these areas. This report investigates whether these state statutes may be unconstitutional and preempted by federal statutes and regulations.
Date: May 11, 1982
Creator: Seitzinger, Michael V

Flat-Rate Tax Proposals

Description: In recent months there has been a growing congressional interest in the advantages and disadvantages of revamping our current tax system for a flat-rate tax method. Supporters of the new proposal argue that such a plan would promote productivity, simplify present IRS tax forms, save the public billions of dollars that presently go to tax-preparation professionals, and enhance Federal revenue by closing numerous tax loopholes and special deductions that are now enjoyed by relatively few. Opponents believe, however, that the tax burden under a flat-rate plan might fall more heavily upon the middle class and, unless exceptions were made, would hurt educational institutions and charities. Problems with popular tax deductions, such as home mortgage interest, would have to be addressed. This packet provides background materials which discuss the practical and theoretical issues that surround a flat-rate tax, including the probable redistribution of the tax burden under various rates and income bases.
Date: June 21, 1982
Creator: Esenwein, Gregg A.

Monetary Policy: Recent Changes and Current Conditions

Description: This report summarizes the current status of monetary conditions and policy. The report also describes the process though which Congress oversees monetary policy, the recent changes in the financial system which affect monetary policy, and the October 1979 changes in Federal Reserve operating procedures.
Date: July 1, 1982
Creator: Driscoll, David D

The Insanity Defense: An Overview and Legislative Proposals

Description: This report will discuss the insanity defense as used in the federal courts. It will briefly trace the history of the evolution of that defense from its earliest formulation to the version used in the John Hinckley case, and will provide, in summary form, descriptive analysis of various pieces of Legislation to change federal law with regard to the substantive definition of the defense, the allocation of the burden of persuasion when the defense is invoked, and procedures following the successful use of the defense.
Date: July 19, 1982
Creator: Marion, Catherine

Foreign Investment in U.S. Industry

Description: Although the total amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the U.S. is small relative to U.S. direct investment abroad, it is growing rapidly and may have a large effect on some industries and geographic areas of the U.S. The two main issues raised by FDI in the U.S. are first, shall Congress require more extensive data collection efforts than are already underway, and second, should laws be enacted to limit foreign direct investment in the U.S. These two issues turn in substantial measure on whether the benefits of additional data collection and/or restrictions on FDI in the U.S. exceed the costs. This report discusses the legislative history of the issue, the magnitude and distribution of FDI in the U.S., the existing data collection efforts, the potential implications for the U.S., the motivations for FDI in the U.S., and U.S. policy regarding FDI.
Date: October 18, 1982
Creator: Wilson, Arlene

Information Services for Agriculture: The Role of Technology

Description: Significant improvements in technology-supported information services have created opportunities for their utilization by the farmers and ranchers of our Nation. This report highlights the development and expanded offering of these systems, describes current operational and experimental systems, and presents salient legislative initiatives which address this priority area.
Date: November 16, 1982
Creator: Chartrand, Robert L.; Carr, A. B. & Miller, Nancy

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): Tax Incentives for Retirement Savings

Description: This report discusses Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRA) and their tax incentives. Many workers covered by employer-sponsored retirement plans do not work long enough with one employer to be entitled to a pension. Others may be covered by a profit-sharing plan to which the employer may have little or no profits to contribute. Since these individuals were "covered" by a retirement plan, they were ineligible to make tax-deductible contributions to a tax-sheltered Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA). Many observers considered this a tax inequity and felt that all employees should be eligible to establish their own IRAs or make tax-deductible contributions to their employer's plan. Congress responded to this situation by approving retirement savings incentives for all workers as part of the tax cut bill (H.R. 4242). All workers, whether or not covered by an employer pension plan, are now permitted tax deductible contributions to IRAs up to $2,000 a year.
Date: November 22, 1982
Creator: Schmitt, Ray

Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy

Description: Following a review of such broad policy issues, this report treats specific human rights issues of current interest. Discussions of controversy over the selection of an Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs and of human rights policy at the international financial institutions are followed by reviews of U.S. human rights policy toward Argentina, El Salvador, Nicaragua, South Africa, and the Soviet Union.
Date: November 24, 1982
Creator: Bite, Vita

Health Insurance: The Pro-Competition Proposals

Description: For more than a decade, Congress and the Executive Branch have tried to stem spiraling health care costs through various regulatory actions at the Federal and State levels. Planning laws, for example, focus regulatory attention on the capacity of the health care industry to provide health services. Other laws have created programs to monitor and control the use of services provided to individual patients. Direct wage and price controls were applied to the health industry in the early 1970's and in recent years Congress has debated whether to impose controls over hospital spending in the United States. This report discusses the debate surrounding various approaches to lower health care costs.
Date: December 6, 1982
Creator: Lundy, Janet P. & Markus, Glenn

Food Stamps: 1982 Legislation

Description: This report discusses legislative issues regarding food stamp appropriations. Authorization for food stamp appropriations was to have expired at the end of FY82; in addition, the FY83-85 budget resolution assumed substantial savings in food stamps. As a result, and with the potential of an FY82 food stamp funding shortfall averted by the appropriation of a $1 billion supplemental, Congress acted to reauthorize appropriations and limit program costs in the 1982 budget reconciliation process.
Date: January 10, 1983
Creator: Richardson, Joe

Hospital Cost Containment

Description: This report provides an overview of the dimensions of the problem of rising expenditures for hospital care, the reasons for rising hospital costs, general information on methods of controlling hospital costs and specific programs which have been developed, and some of the issues involved.
Date: January 10, 1983
Creator: Lundy, Janet Pernice

Federal Real Property: Inventory and Disposal Initiatives

Description: This report provides background and discusses the inventory and disposal of public lands and other Federal property. For many years the Federal Government has operated under a statutory policy of retaining public domain lands and has disposed of the proceeds from the sale of surplus property other than by the reduction of the national debt. Under the present system, the Government disposes of some types of land when it is determined to be surplus to Government needs, or, in the case of public lands, when it is determined that the national interest would best be served by the sale or exchange of particular tracts of land.
Date: January 27, 1983
Creator: Simmons, Malcolm; Baldwin, Pamela & Bea, Keith

Independent Truckers: The Effects of Recent Legislation on Earnings (Effects of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 and the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1983, as they affect highway-related taxes, two trailers, length and width of vehicles, and weights and loads)

Description: Congress passed legislation late in 1982 that is expected to have a significant effect on the annual net earnings of independent truckers. About 90 percent of fresh produce, most used household goods, and from one-third to one-half of all fabricated steel and other commodities transported by truck are hauled by independent truckers. The legislation raised the Federal fuel tax by 5 cents per gallon and significantly raised a highway use tax that is based on the weight of the vehicle. The legislation also allowed truckers to use two trailers, longer and wider vehicles, and carry heavier loads. This CRS report discusses these 1982 changes in Federal legislation. It also contains an estimate of the upper and lower bound of the impact that these changes could have on the annual net earnings of independent truckers.
Date: March 1, 1983
Creator: Thompson, Stephen J

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

Description: Recent changes in the Nation's tax laws have made Individual Retirement Accounts available to many people previously excluded. This report provides general information on IRAs including material explaining these recent changes and their consequences.
Date: June 28, 1983
Creator: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.