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The Federal Food Safety System: A Primer

Description: The combined efforts of the food industry and the regulatory agencies often are credited with making the U.S. food supply among the safest in the world. Nonetheless, many food-related health issues persist. At issue is whether the current U.S. regulatory system has the resources and structural organization to protect consumers from these dangers. Also at issue is whether the federal food safety laws themselves, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then.
Date: December 15, 2010
Creator: Johnson, Renée

Seafood Safety: Background and Issues

Description: Although seafood consumption can contribute to a healthy diet, some fish and shellfish can cause foodborne illnesses or contain environmental contaminants. This report discusses whether current food safety programs are sufficiently protecting consumers, and if not, what changes should be considered.
Date: December 2, 2010
Creator: Upton, Harold F.

Cluster Munitions: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: Cluster munitions are air-dropped or ground-launched weapons that release a number of smaller submunitions intended to kill enemy personnel or destroy vehicles. This report discusses the two major international initiatives that address cluster munitions: the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) and negotiations under the UN Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). Currently, the Obama Administration has reiterated U.S. opposition to the CCM, which entered into force August 1, 2010, but is participating in negotiations regarding cluster munitions under the CCW. This report also provides a brief historical overview of cluster munitions.
Date: September 16, 2010
Creator: Feickert, Andrew & Kerr, Paul K.

The Marines' Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV): Background and Issues for Congress

Description: The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) is an armored amphibious vehicle program that originated two decades ago to replace the 1970s-era Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV). The EFV has experienced a variety of developmental difficulties, resulting in significant program delays and cost growth. While the Marine Corps and Department of Defense remain optimistic about the future of the EFC program, there continue to be major concerns about the EFV's reliability and escalating costs.
Date: September 17, 2010
Creator: Feickert, Andrew

Impeachment: An Overview of Constitutional Provisions, Procedure, and Practice

Description: This report focuses on the American impeachment process, which places in the legislative branch the authority to remove the President, Vice President, and other federal civil officers in the executive and judicial branches upon a determination that such officers have engaged in treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. This report summarizes impeachment proceedings in the 111th Congress, examines relevant constitutional provisions, and provides a brief historical overview.
Date: November 22, 2010
Creator: Bazan, Elizabeth B.

Contested Election Cases in the House of Representatives: 1933 to 2009

Description: From 1933 to 2009 (the 73rd Congress through the 111th Congress), the U.S. House of Representatives considered 107 contested election cases. The summaries of contested election cases contained in this report focus primarily on the nature of the contest and the disposition of the case. For more detailed information regarding each contest, it is important to consult relevant House records. This report examines only cases considered by the House of Representatives involving the question of whether a Member-elect was duly elected.
Date: November 2, 2010
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige

Special Rules and Waivers of House Rules

Description: A special rule is a House resolution intended to regulate floor consideration of a specific legislative measure named in the resolution. This report describes the two key functions of special rules. The second of these two functions involves waivers, which are also discussed.
Date: November 17, 2010
Creator: Lynch, Megan Suzanne

Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies

Description: This list of about 150 congressional liaison offices is intended to help congressional offices in placing telephone calls and addressing correspondence to government agencies. In each case, the information was supplied by the agency itself and is current as of the date of publication. Entries are arranged alphabetically in four sections: legislative branch; judicial branch; executive branch; and agencies, boards, and commissions.
Date: November 29, 2010
Creator: Crane-Hirsch, Audrey Celeste

Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies

Description: This list of about 150 congressional liaison offices is intended to help congressional offices in placing telephone calls and addressing correspondence to government agencies. In each case, the information was supplied by the agency itself and is current as of the date of publication. Entries are arranged alphabetically in four sections: legislative branch; judicial branch; executive branch; and agencies, boards, and commissions.
Date: October 26, 2010
Creator: Crane-Hirsch, Audrey Celeste

Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Federal Civil Service Annuities

Description: Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) are based on the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). All CSRS retirees and survivors receive COLAs. Under FERS, however, non-disabled retirees under age 62 do not receive COLAs. This report discusses cost-of-living adjustments for government retirees, as well as related legislation.
Date: October 15, 2010
Creator: Isaacs, Katelin P.

The Legislative Process on the House Floor: An Introduction

Description: This report provides an introduction to the legislative process on the House floor, including limitations on debate, calendars and the order of business, modes of floor consideration, senate amendments and conference reports, voting and quorum procedures, and information about a typical day on the House floor.
Date: December 1, 2010
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.

House Rules and Precedents Affecting Committee Markup Procedures

Description: Markup procedure in standing committee of the House of Representatives generally conform to guidelines the House follows when it conducts business on the floor under a set of procedures known as consideration by the "House as in Committee of the Whole." This report briefly discusses these procedures as they relate to legislative business conducted on the floor and in committee.
Date: November 19, 2010
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.

The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction

Description: This report discusses the following aspects of the congressional appropriations process: the annual appropriations cycle; types of appropriations measures; spending ceilings for appropriations associated with the annual budget resolution; and the relationship between authorization and appropriation measures.
Date: December 2, 2010
Creator: Streeter, Sandy

Points of Order in the Congressional Budget Process

Description: This report summarizes points of order under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as amended, and related points of order established in the budget resolutions adopted by Congress in 2007, 2008, and 2009, as well as the Rules of the House for the 111th Congress, the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990, and the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010. In addition, it describes how points of order are applied and the processes used for their waiver in the House and Senate.
Date: December 1, 2010
Creator: Saturno, James V.