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The Budget Deficit and the Trade Deficit: What Is Their Relationship?

Description: During the last half of the 1990s, real gross domestic investment rose as a fraction of real GDP. This resulted from the rise in U.S. productivity and the related rise in the real yield on U.S. assets. This drew additional private capital from abroad. If the twin deficits theory is correct, it has an adverse implication for the efficacy of fiscal policy as a stimulus tool. It suggests that in an environment of highly mobile international capital flows the effect of policy induced increases in the structural budget deficit (e.g., tax cuts) on short-run economic growth would be largely offset by increases in the trade deficit. The experience during both the 1980s and 1990s demonstrates that a large and growing trade deficit need not be an impediment to overall job creation even though it may have had an effect on the type of jobs that were created since it affected the composition of U.S. output.
Date: January 31, 2003
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Clean Water Issues in the 107th Congress

Description: Key water quality issues currently include: actions to implement existing provisions of the Clean Water Act (CWA), whether additional steps are necessary to achieve overall goals of the Act, and the appropriate federal role in guiding and paying for clean water infrastructure and other activities. In the second session of the 107th Congress, House and Senate committees approved legislation to reauthorize water infrastructure funding programs (H.R. 3930, S. 1961), but no further action occurred. Congress has been examining impacts on agricultural producers and how the programs will be funded.
Date: January 9, 2003
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Global Climate Change

Description: This report briefly reviews the status of climate science, international negotiations, and congressional activity focused specifically on climate change.
Date: January 3, 2003
Creator: Justus, John R. & Fletcher, Susan R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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A New Farm Bill: Comparing the 2002 Law with Previous Law and House and Senate Bills

Description: On May 13, 2002, President Bush signed a new farm bill — The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (P.L.107-171). This comprehensive new law contains ten titles covering commodity support, conservation, nutrition, trade, research, credit, rural development and other related programs. It makes significant changes to commodity, conservation and nutrition programs, and is intended to guide most federal farm and food policies through FY2007. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates (using the March 2002 baseline) place the total cost of the new bill (i.e., baseline plus new funding) at just under $274 billion over its six-year life-span. This report discusses the bill in detail, as well as the arguments of both its supporters and critics.
Date: January 21, 2003
Creator: Jones, Jean Yavis
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Energy Provisions of the Farm Bill: Comparison of the New Law with Previous Law and House and Senate Bills

Description: This report provides a side-by-side comparison of the energy provisions of the new law with previously existing law, as well as the versions engrossed by the House and Senate in the 107th Congress. While the energy provisions in the House version were spread throughout the bill, the Senate version consolidated most of its energy provisions into Title IX - Energy. Both bills provided for the use of reserve land for renewable energy production. The House version also allowed for loans to farmers in response to high energy prices, while the Senate version did not.
Date: January 22, 2003
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Funding Postal Service Obligations to the Civil Service Retirement System

Description: This report provides background on the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) funding of its retirement obligations, describes and analyzes the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recalculation, and discusses considerations Congress may bring to bear on the draft legislation.
Date: January 2, 2003
Creator: Purcell, Patrick & Stevens, Nye
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Travel Restrictions: U.S. Government Limits on American Citizens' Travel Abroad

Description: The U.S. government currently maintains limitations or restrictions on travel to four countries: Cuba, Libya, Iraq, and North Korea. This paper briefly outlines the nature of such restrictions, who administers them and why, and compares the restrictions among the four targeted countries.
Date: January 28, 2003
Creator: Epstein, Susan B. & Rennack, Dianne E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Medicaid

Description: This report begins with an overview of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It then discusses the distinction made in IDEA between medical services and health services. The report then summarizes the provisions in law that link Medicaid funding to IDEA. Next the report provides an overview of the complexities of Medicaid eligibility and covered services. Following that discussion, the report analyzes possible reasons why Medicaid appears to cover relatively little of IDEA health-related costs. Finally the report outlines possible legislative approaches with respect to Medicaid and IDEA.
Date: January 31, 2003
Creator: Apling, Richard N. & Herz, Elicia J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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The Debt Limit: The Need to Raise It After Four Years of Surpluses

Description: Increases in total federal debt are driven by government deficits (which increase debt held by the public) and by the surpluses credited to (and federal accounting for) debt-holding federal accounts, mostly federal trust funds such as the Social Security, Medicare, Transportation, and Civil Service trust funds.
Date: January 23, 2003
Creator: Winters, Philip D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Lumber Imports from Canada: Issues and Events

Description: This report provides a concise historical account of the dispute, summarizes the subsidy and injury evidence, and discusses the current issues and events regarding lumber imports from Canada.
Date: January 22, 2003
Creator: Gorte, Ross W. & Grimmett, Jeanne
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy

Description: This report discusses the ongoing congressional interest in the pace of U.S. technological advancement due to its influence on U.S. economic growth, productivity, and international competitiveness. Because technology can contribute to economic growth and productivity increases, congressional interest has focused on how to augment private-sector technological development. Legislative activity over the past decade has created a policy for technology development, albeit an ad hoc one. Because of the lack of consensus on the scope and direction of a national policy, Congress has taken an incremental approach aimed at creating new mechanisms to facilitate technological advancement in particular areas and making changes and improvements as necessary.
Date: January 27, 2003
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Chemical Plant Security

Description: Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemicals (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. Because few terrorist attacks have been attempted against chemical facilities in the United States, the risk of death and injury in the near future is estimated to be low, relative to the likelihood of accidents at such facilities or attacks on other targets using conventional weapons. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but risks may be increasing with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Available evidence indicates that many chemical facilities may lack adequate safeguards.
Date: January 23, 2003
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Critical Infrastructure Information Disclosure and Homeland Security

Description: This report discusses the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that was passed to ensure by statute citizen access to government information. Nine categories of information may be exempted from disclosure. Three of the nine exemptions provide possible protection against the release of critical infrastructure information: exemption 1 (national security information); exemption 3 (information exempted by statute); and exemption 4 (confidential business information). Congress has considered several proposals to exempt critical infrastructure information from the FOIA.
Date: January 29, 2003
Creator: Moteff, John D. & Stevens, Gina Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Detention of American Citizens as Enemy Combatants

Description: This report provides background information regarding the cases of two U.S. citizens deemed “enemy combatants,” Yaser Esam Hamdi, who has been returned to Saudi Arabia, and Jose Padilla, who remains in military custody. The report addresses the constitutional and statutory sources that arguably provide authority for the detention of enemy combatants, as well as those that may prevent the exercise of that power with respect to U.S. citizens. The report concludes that historically, even during declared wars, additional statutory authority has been seen as necessary to validate the detention of citizens not members of any armed forces, casting in some doubt the argument that the power to detain is necessarily implied by an authorization to use force. Finally, the report briefly analyzes the Detention of Enemy Combatants Act, H.R. 1029, which would authorize the President to detain U.S. citizens and residents who are determined to be “enemy combatants” in certain circumstances.
Date: January 30, 2003
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Medical Records Privacy: Questions and Answers on the HIPAA Final Rule

Description: This report discusses the issue facing Congress on whether to continue to support the executive branch’s prosecution of medical marijuana patients and their providers, in accordance with marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, or whether to relax federal marijuana prohibition enough to permit the medical use of botanical cannabis products by seriously ill persons, especially in states that have created medical marijuana programs under state law.
Date: January 3, 2003
Creator: Redhead, C. Stephen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Flag Protection: A Brief History and Summary of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendment

Description: This report is divided into two parts. The first gives a brief history of the flag protection issue, from the enactment of the Flag Protection Act in 1968 through current consideration of a constitutional amendment. The second part briefly summarizes the two decisions of the United States Supreme Court, Texas v. Johnson and United States v. Eichman, that struck down the state and federal flag protection statutes as applied in the context punishing expressive conduct.
Date: January 27, 2003
Creator: Luckey, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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House and Senate Vacancies: How Are They Filled?

Description: Vacancies in Congress occur due to the death, resignation, or declination (refusal to serve) of a Senator or Representative, or as the result of expulsion or exclusion by either house. The Constitution requires that vacancies in both houses be filled by special election, but in the case of the Senate, it empowers state legislatures to provide for temporary appointments by the state governor until special elections can be scheduled. This report describes this process.
Date: January 22, 2003
Creator: Richardson, Sula P. & Neale, Thomas H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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