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Agent Orange: Veterans' Complaints Concerning Exposure to Herbicides in South Vietnam
From 1962 to 1971, the United States Air Force (USAF) sprayed various herbicide mixtures (chemicals that kill plants) in South Vietnam. The purpose of the spraying was to defoliate jungle growth to deprive the Communist forces of ground cover, and to destroy enemy crops to restrict food supplies. The most extensively used of these herbicide mixtures was known as Agent Orange, a 50:50 mix of two common herbicides called 1,4,5-T and 2,4-D (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid). The third chemical present in the mixture in small amounts was TCDD, an inevitable by-product of the manufacture of 2,4,5-T. This chemical, called tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin or simply "dioxin," is highly toxic to laboratory animals when administered in its pure form. CRS has been unable to locate any report of a human death from exposure to pure TCDD. This report discusses the human health effects that have occurred from exposure to TCDD, as well as related Congressional concerns.
Finance and Adjustment: The International Debt Crisis, 1982-84
This report provides an overview of the international debt problem which has significantly disturbed the international economic environment of the 1980s. It describes the characteristics of the less developed country (LDC) debt and discusses the role of major participants in the debt crisis. The study shows how the role of the participants has evolved during the crisis. Lastly, some of the issues arising from the debt crisis are discussed.
Financial Deregulation: Current Status and Legislative Issues
This report reviews deregulation to date and its effects on financial markets. Current policy issues are also identified.
Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Programs: Reauthorization Issues
This report discusses the reauthorization of most Federal elementary and secondary education programs, which the 100th Congress is currently considering, as well as the creation of several new programs. Issues have included: (1) Federal versus ~tate/local priorities in the use of funds; (2) use of formula grants or competitive grants to allocate funds; (3) services for eligible nonpublic school children; (4) relationship between Federal programs and State-level school reform activities; and (5) information about programs and participants for the Congress.
Federal Real Property: Inventory and Disposal Initiatives
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.
Federal Drug Control: President's Budget Request for Fiscal Year 1988
This report discusses the President's FY1988 budget, focusing on the $3 billion set aside for Federal programs to control or prevent the use of narcotics and other dangerous drugs. The report includes various key documents illustrating the positions taken by Congressional critics of the request as well as the Administration's defenses. Finally, for a longer term perspective, there are graphs and a table showing drug budget trends since FY 1981.
Federal Drug Control: President's Budget Request for Fiscal Year 1988
This report discusses the President's FY1988 budget, focusing on the $3 billion set aside for Federal programs to control or prevent the use of narcotics and other dangerous drugs. The report includes various key documents illustrating the positions taken by Congressional critics of the request as well as the Administration's defenses. Finally, for a longer term perspective, there are graphs and a table showing drug budget trends since FY 1981.
Arms Shipments to Iran
This report provides background and examines key questions in regards to the shipments of arms to Iran and the subsequent diversion of funds to Nicaraguan guerrillas by the Reagan Administration.
Federal Reserve Membership and Monetary Control
This report discusses the current state of monetary policy. Questions about the continued capability of the Federal Reserve System (FRS) to exercise effective monetary control were raised in connection with several developments over recent years that diminished, in relative terms, the deposit component of the stock of money over which the FRS maintained reserve requirement controls. The Monetary Control Act, Title 1 of P.L. 96-221 was designed to ensure that the FRS as ability to conduct monetary policy is not diminished. This Act, signed into law on Mar. 31, 1980, is one of the few major amendments to the original Federal Reserve Act of 1913.
Family Planning: Title X of the Public Health Service Act
This report discusses Title X of the Public Health Service Act provides support for family planning clinics, research related to family planning and population, training of family planning personnel, and development and dissemination of family planning information.
The Iran-Iraq War: Implications for U.S. Policy
This report discusses the Iran-Iraq conflict at its present state, which has become a war of attrition with neither side capable of achieving a decisive military victory over the other in the short term. U.S. policy concerns currently are threefold: first, that Iraq, despite moves to sustain its economic and military capacities, ultimately might suffer a destabilizing defeat to the detriment of U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf region; second, that future instability in Iran could open opportunities for Soviet exploitation; and third, that the conflict might expand beyond its present confines to threaten friendly regional states and the availability of their vast petroleum resources.
Federal Laws Relating to the Control of Narcotics and Other Dangerous Drugs, Enacted 1961-1985: Brief Summaries
This report contains summaries of enactments, treaties, and reorganization plans, passed from 1961 through 1985, that have some clearly indicated relationship-- either by specific reference or by virtue of legislative history--to the Federal effort to prevent drug misuse through control of the supply of narcotics and other dangerous drugs.
Iran-Contra Affair: Biographical Profiles
This report provides biographical information on individuals who have been associated in public reports with the controversy surrounding the secret U.S. arms sales to Iran and the channeling of profits to the rebels or Contras in Nicaragua. The information has been compiled from public sources.
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)
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.
Immigration Issues and Legislation in the 98th Congress
This report discusses Immigration reform, which continues to be of concern in the '96th Congress, and legislation has been moving quickly. Specific issues include illegal immigration, temporary workers, legalization, asylum adjudications, and legal immigration. The legislation under consideration is the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1983, popularly referred to as the Simpson-Mazzoli bill, introduced in the House and Senate on Feb, 17, 1983 as H.R. 1510 and S. 529.
Grants Work in a Congressional Office
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.
Hospital Cost Containment
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.
High Interest Rates: Causes, Consequences, and Issues
This paper reviews the causes of the steep interest rate escalation since 1978 and the persistence of high rates during the recent recession and revival.
Heroin: Legalization for Medical Use
This report discusses the limited legalization of diacetylmorphine (heroin) for use in the medical treatment of intractable pain. The report attempts to present pros and cons on the issue as well as information on pending legislation. The report also provides a comparison of heroin's analgesic qualities to those of currently available and equivalent pharmaceutical alternatives.
The Insanity Defense: An Overview and Legislative Proposals
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.
Infant Formula: National Problems
This report discusses congressional concerns regarding infant formula that was deficient in a required nutrient.
Information Services for Agriculture: The Role of Technology
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.
The Immigration and Nationality Act: Questions and Answers
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.
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): Tax Incentives for Retirement Savings
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.
Glass-Steagall Act: Commercial vs. Investment Banking
This report discusses debate over reform of the Nation's financial structure in the 100th Congress includes re-examination of "the separation of banking and commerce." This separation was mandated by the Glass-Steagall Act (part of the Banking Act of 1933); and was carried forward into the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended in 1970 and thereafter. The resulting isolation of banking from securities was designed to (1) maintain the integrity of the banking system; (2) prevent self-dealing and other financial abuses; and (3) limit stock market speculation. By half a century later, the "wall" it created seemed to be crumbling, as bankers created new financial products resembling securities, and securities firms innovated new financial products resembling loans and deposits. The ongoing process of "financial deregulation" has evoked calls for Congress to give depository institutions new powers, especially in the securities field. Financial deregulation in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan has put additional pressure on Congress to re-examine this Act. Concerns over a seemingly fragile system of depository institutions persist, however, tending to place counter-pressure on Congress to maintain the Act.
Japan-U.S. Trade Relations
This report discusses trade relations between the U.S. and Japan. Commercial aspects of the United States-Japan alliance, in recent years, have begun to dominate the dialogue between the two nations. In particular, friction points have developed over chronic U.S. bilateral trade deficits with Japan, allegations of Japanese protectionism, and rapid incursions into U.S. markets by Japanese export products.
Foreign Investment in U.S. Industry
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.
Job Training Programs: Reauthorization and Funding Issues
This paper is divided into the following sections: (1) History of Federal Employment and Training Programs; (2) Reauthorization Issues; (3) Administration Legislative and Budget Proposals; and (4) Congressional Action.
Handicapped Infants: The Final Section 504 Regulation and Legislative Proposals
This report discusses the final rule regarding handicapped infants published in the Federal register by HHS on January 12, 1984. Legislative action in response to the Infant Doe issue is also discussed.
The Homeless: Overview of the Problem and the Federal Response
This report discusses the problem of homelessness in the U.S. and the resulting policy response. Unlike the skid row "derelicts" who comprised the typical homeless population of the 1960s, today's street people represent many diverse groups including: the mentally ill, evicted families, the aged, alcoholics, drug addicts, abused spouses, abused young people, and cast-off children.
Former Presidents: Pensions, Facilities, and Services
The Former Presidents Act (72 Stat. 838) of 1958 provides financial and practical means to those who have served as President of the United States and still retain certain implicit public duties. In 1958, the cost of former Presidents to the public was an estimated $64,000. In FY84, approximately $27 million will be spent on benefits to former Presidents and their widows. Operation and maintenance of Presidential Libraries was approximately $14.9 million in FY83. This report discusses increasing concerns regarding the amounts and the types of expenditures that have been made.
The FTC's Used Car Rule
This report discusses the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) used car rule, which aims to prevent and discourage oral misrepresentations and deceptive omissions of material facts by those selling used cars concerning warranty coverage and mechanical condition.
Foreign Ownership of Property in the United States: Federal and State Restrictions
This report examines various legal issues raised by Federal and State laws restricting foreign ownership in U. S. property. The report examines the constitutional barriers to Federal and State laws restricting such ownership, and the possible constitutional predicates for Federal legislation regulating foreign ownership of property in the united States. The impact of treaties to which the United States is a party on both Federal and State restrictions on the rights of foreign persons to own U.S. property is also discussed.
Guatemala: U.S. Foreign Assistance Facts
In the past three years, the Administration has moved to substantially increase U.S. aid levels for Guatemala from $18.3 million in FY84 to a proposed $149.7 million in FY88. Budgetary limits on the overall size of the U.S. foreign aid program may cause reductions in the proposed 1988 levels, however, independent of any choices related to the Guatemalan, situation. This issue brief provides basic information on the U.S. aid program and on the general situation in Guatemala. It also outlines major issues that have arisen in the aid debate.
Genocide Convention
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide has been a matter of pending business before the Senate since its transmittal to that body in 1949. On May 21, 1985, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee recommended that the Senate give its advice and consent to ratification of the Convention subject to eight conditions: two reservations, five understandings, and one declaration. This report examines the differing opinions on whether and under what conditions the Senate should approve ratification of the Genocide Convention.
How the Food Stamp Program Works
This report briefly describes the present operation of the Food Stamp program, reflecting legislative revisions through 1982.
Food Stamps: 1982 Legislation
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.
Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy
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.
Health Maintenance Organizations
This report discusses the "health maintenance organization", which is an entity that provides specific health services to its members for a prepaid, fixed payment.
The General Motors-Toyota Joint Venture and Its Competitive Implications
This report reviews the economics of joint ventures by focusing on their implication for market competition. It also reviews the legislative history of mergers and joint ventures with special emphasis on aspects of the law that are directed at reducing market concentration.
Gun Control
This report provides basic firearms-related issues and a summary of legislative action.
Monetary Policy: Recent Changes and Current Conditions
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.
Manual on the Federal Budget Process
The purpose of this manual is to assist users of Federal budget information in understanding how the process works and how data are to be interpreted.
Manual on the Federal Budget Process
The purpose of this manual is to assist users of Federal budget information in understanding how the process works and how data are to be interpreted.
Federal and State Authority to Regulate Radioactive Waste Disposal and Transportation
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.
Medicare: Physician Payments
This report discusses payments for physicians services under Medicare that are made on the basis of a fee schedule.
Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) Power Generation: More Energy from Less Fuel
This report discusses magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) power generation, which is a method for converting heat directly into electrical energy without the use of a rotating electrical power generator.
MX Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Program
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.
The MX Basing Debate: The Reagan Plan and Alternatives
This report discusses the Reagan MX basing plan, and the FY82 Defense authorization bill.
Medicare/Medicaid Reimbursement: Selected References
This report is a compilation of selected articles, books, and executive agency and congressional publications on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, primarily to health facilities and physicians.