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Private Bills: Procedure in the House

Description: This report briefly discusses private bills, which are bills providing benefits to specified individuals (including corporate bodies). Individuals sometimes request relief through private law when administrative or legal remedies are exhausted, but Congress seems more often to view private legislation as appropriate when no other remedy is available, and when enactment would, in a broad sense, afford equity.
Date: October 21, 2004
Creator: Beth, Richard S.

Automatic Enrollment in Section 401(k) Plans

Description: This report discusses enrollment practices for 401k retirement plans. Historically, most employers that have sponsored retirement savings plans under §401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) have required employees to decide whether to enroll in the plan. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued rulings to inform employers that current law allows them to enroll employees automatically, provided that the employee is notified in advance and is permitted to leave the plan.
Date: October 14, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick

The Higher Education Act: Reauthorization Status and Issues

Description: This report provides an overview of postsecondary education (institutions and students), an overview of the Higher Education Act (HEA) with a focus on its most significant programs and provisions, and a discussion of major issues that have been, or may be, of interest to the Congress during the HEA reauthorization process.
Date: October 29, 2003
Creator: Stedman, James B.

Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues

Description: This report discusses various proposed changes to the military retirement system, which includes benefits for retirement after an active or reserve military career, disability retirement, and survivor benefits for eligible survivors of deceased retirees. Major issues include whether some or all military retirees should be allowed to receive both military retired pay and any VA disability compensation to which they are otherwise entitled -- referred to as "concurrent receipt" -- whether some military personnel should be entitled to military retired pay with less than 20 years of service, and whether many more personnel should serve well past the 20-year point before retiring.
Date: October 21, 2003
Creator: Goldich, Robert L.

China's Space Program: An Overview

Description: This report discusses the nature and scope of the Chinese space program. The People's Republic of China launched its first astronaut, or "taikonaut," Lt. Col. Yang Liwei, on October 15, 2003 Beijing time (October 16 Eastern Daylight Time). China thus became only the third country, after Russia and the United States, able to launch humans into orbit. Lt. Col. Yang landed on October 16 Beijing time (October 15 EDT) after making 14 orbits (21 hours and 23 minutes).
Date: October 21, 2003
Creator: Smith, Marcia S.

Gene Patents: A Brief Overview of Intellectual Property Issues

Description: This report is a brief discussion of the ethical, legal, and economic issues of gene patenting. The courts have upheld gene patents that meet the criteria of patentability defined by the Patent Act. However, the practice of awarding patents on genes has come under intense scrutiny by some scientists, legal scholars, politicians, and other experts.
Date: October 3, 2006
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.

The FCC's Political Broadcasting Regulations

Description: This report provides an overview of the Federal Communication Commission's political broadcasting regulations, including general public interest obligations; the equal opportunity (equal time) regulations; and the various interpretations of the Fairness Doctrine, which is no longer enforced by the Commission. A brief section of frequently asked questions regarding political broadcasting is also provided.
Date: October 27, 2004
Creator: Welborn, Angie A.

Senate Committee Reports: Required Contents

Description: This report briefly describes Senate rules and statutes that specify information that must be included as part of the written report about the purposes and provisions of a proposed measure. Senate committees also may include additional items in their reports.
Date: October 22, 2004
Creator: Carr, Thomas P.

Disapproval of Regulations by Congress: Procedure Under the Congressional Review Act

Description: This report discusses the Congressional Review Act of 1996, which established expedited (or "fast track") procedures by which Congress may disapprove a broad range of regulatory rules issued by federal agencies by enacting a joint resolution of disapproval. For initial floor consideration, the Act provides an expedited procedure only in the Senate.
Date: October 10, 2001
Creator: Beth, Richard S.

A User's Guide to the Congressional Record

Description: This report discusses use of the Congressional Record, which is a substantially verbatim account of remarks made during the proceedings of the House and Senate, subject only to technical, grammatical, and typographical corrections. It consists of four main sections: the proceedings of the House and Senate, the Extensions of Remarks, and the Daily Digest.
Date: October 27, 2005
Creator: Amer, Mildred

Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs

Description: This report discusses the "digital divide," a term that has been used to characterize a gap between those Americans who use or have access to telecommunications technologies (e.g., telephones, computers, the Internet) and those who do not. It particularly discusses one important subset of the digital divide debate concerns high speed Internet access or broadband.
Date: October 31, 2006
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G. & Gilroy, Angele A.

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA): Program-by-Program Overview and FY2007 Funding of Title I Training Programs

Description: This report tracks current appropriations and related legislation for Title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) (P.L. 105-220). Following a brief summary of each WIA program, the report presents the status of legislative proposals contained in the Administration’s FY2007 budget request and compares WIA funding in the FY2006 appropriation, the FY2007 budget request, and the FY2007 House and Senate Appropriations Committee reports.
Date: October 31, 2006
Creator: Naughton, Blake Alan & Lordeman, Ann

U.S. Embassy in Iraq

Description: This report discusses issues with the U.S. Embassy in Iraq such as the potential rising cost, delay in opening, quality of construction, and reported assertions of trafficking-like labor practices by First Kuwaiti General Trade and Contracting Company, the primary builder of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
Date: October 10, 2007
Creator: Epstein, Susan B.