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Climate Change Legislation in the 108th Congress

Description: Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been an issue in the 108th Congress, as they have been over the past decade. Bills directly addressing climate change issues range from those focused primarily on climate change research (H.R. 1578 and S. 1164) to comprehensive emissions cap and trading programs for all six greenhouse gases (S. 139 and H.R. 4067). This report briefly discusses basic concepts on which these bills are based, and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research, GHG reporting and registries, and cap and trade programs.
Date: January 6, 2005
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D. & Powers, Kyna
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Continuing Appropriations Acts: Brief Overview of Recent Practices

Description: This report is divided into two segments. The first segment provides the most recent developments and content of the FY2005 continuing resolutions. The second segment provides information on the history of CRs; the nature, scope, and duration of CRs during the last 35 years; the types of CRs that have been enacted; and an overview of those instances when funding (or budget authority2) has lapsed and a funding gap has resulted.
Date: January 10, 2005
Creator: Streeter, Sandy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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The Economics of the Federal Budget Deficit

Description: In FY1998, federal budget receipts exceeded outlays for the first time since 1969. Those surpluses continued through FY2001. At one time, those surpluses had been projected to continue, but conditions have since changed. The economy went into recession in 2001, and a stimulus package was enacted. Since then, the budget has been in deficit. The actual unified budget deficit for FY2004 was $412.1 billion. In January 2005, the Congressional Budget Office projected that there would be a budget deficit of $368 billion in FY2005, and a deficit of $295 billion in FY2006.
Date: January 28, 2005
Creator: Cashell, Brian W.
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: February 14, 2005
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
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. A brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals is offered, followed by brief analyses of the main legal precedents invoked to support the President’s actions, as well as Ex parte Milligan, which some argue supports the opposite conclusion. 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 persons arrested in a context other than actual hostilities is necessarily implied by an authorization to use force.
Date: February 24, 2005
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
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. A brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals is offered, followed by brief analyses of the main legal precedents invoked to support the President’s actions, as well as Ex parte Milligan, which some argue supports the opposite conclusion. 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 persons arrested in a context other than actual hostilities is necessarily implied by an authorization to use force.
Date: March 31, 2005
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Freedom of Information Act Amendments: 109th Congress

Description: This report discusses the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which was designed to enable any person — individual or corporate, regardless of citizenship — to request, without explanation or justification, presumptive access to existing, identifiable, unpublished, executive branch agency records on any topic.
Date: February 25, 2005
Creator: Relyea, Harold C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Detention of U.S. Citizens

Description: In 1971, Congress passed legislation to repeal the Emergency Detention Act of 1950 and to enact the following language: “No citizen shall be imprisoned or otherwise detained by the United States except pursuant to an Act of Congress.” The new language, codified at 18 U.S.C. §4001(a), is called the Non-Detention Act. This statutory provision received attention after the 9/11 terrorist attacks when the Administration designated certain U.S. citizens as “enemy combatants” and claimed the right to detain them indefinitely without charging them, bringing them to trial, or giving them access to counsel. In litigation over Yaser Esam Hamdi and Jose Padilla, both designated enemy combatants, the Administration has argued that the Non-Detention Act restricts only imprisonments and detentions by the Attorney General, not by the President or military authorities.
Date: April 28, 2005
Creator: Fisher, Louis
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Homosexuals and U.S. Military Policy: Current Issues

Description: This report discusses policy towards homosexuals in the U.S. military service. In 1993, new laws and regulations pertaining to homosexuals and U.S. military service came into effect reflecting a compromise in policy. This compromise, colloquially referred to as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” holds that the presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion which are the essence of military capability. Service members are not to be asked about nor allowed to discuss their homosexuality. This compromise notwithstanding, the issue has remained politically contentious.
Date: February 10, 2005
Creator: Burrelli, David F. & Dale, Charles V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Floor Procedure in the House of Representatives: A Brief Overview

Description: The House considers bills and resolutions on the floor under several different sets of procedures governing the time for debate and the opportunities for amendment. Some procedures allow 40 or 60 minutes for debate; others permit debate to continue until a majority of Members vote to end it. Some procedures prohibit most or all floor amendments; others allow Members to offer any amendments that meet the requirements of the House’s rules and precedents. Notwithstanding these differences, the rules, precedents, and practices of the House generally are designed to permit the majority to work its will in a timely manner. This report provides a brief overview of this procedure.
Date: March 15, 2005
Creator: Rybicki, Elizabeth & Bach, Stanley
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Invoking Cloture in the Senate

Description: This report discuses cloture, which is is the only procedure by which the Senate can vote to set an end to a debate without also rejecting the bill, amendment, conference report, motion, or other matter it has been debating. A Senator can make a nondebatable motion to table an amendment, and if a majority of the Senate votes for that motion, the effect is to reject the amendment. Thus, the motion to table cannot be used to conclude a debate when Senators still wish to speak and to enable the Senate to vote for the proposal it is considering. Only the cloture provisions of Rule XXII achieve this purpose.
Date: February 9, 2005
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Calendars of the House of Representatives

Description: In the House of Representatives, the term “calendar” has two related meanings. This fact sheet, one of a series of fact sheets on legislative process, explains calendars and their use in the House of Representatives.
Date: January 11, 2005
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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The Senate's Executive Calendar

Description: No Description Available.
Date: January 5, 2005
Creator: Palmer, Betsy & Bach, Stanley
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Tracking Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Basic Sources

Description: This report introduces selected basic sources that are useful in obtaining background information or specific facts on the status of federal legislative or regulatory initiatives. It includes telephone, online, and media sources are included, as well as pertinent directories, such as those of organizations that track areas of interest. Annotations describing each source's contents and organization are included so that researchers can select those that most closely fit their needs. Internet addresses usually provide information about the items, rather than access to them.
Date: January 13, 2005
Creator: Davis, Carol D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Cloture: Its Effect on Senate Proceedings

Description: Cloture is the only means by which the Senate can vote to limit debate on a matter, and thereby overcome a possible filibuster. Until 1949, cloture could not be invoked on nominations, and before 1980 this action was attempted only twice. From 1949 through 2002, cloture was sought on 35 nominations, and invoked on 21.
Date: March 7, 2005
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Congressional Budget Resolutions: Selected Statistics and Information Guide

Description: This report provides current and historical information on the budget resolution. It provides a list of the budget resolutions adopted and rejected by Congress since implementation of the CBA, including the U.S. Statutes-at-Large citations and committee report numbers, and describes their formulation and content. The report provides a table of selected optional components, a list of reconciliation measures, and information on the number of years covered by budget resolutions. It also provides information on the consideration and adoption of budget resolutions, including an identification of the House special rules that provided for consideration of budget resolutions; the amendments in the nature of a substitute to the budget resolution considered in the House; the number and disposition of House and Senate amendments to budget resolutions; and dates of House and Senate action on budget resolutions.
Date: January 25, 2005
Creator: Heniff, Bill, Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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House and Senate Rules of Procedure: A Comparison

Description: This report compares selected House and Senate rules of procedure for various stages of the legislative process: referral of legislation to committees; scheduling and calling up measures; and floor consideration.
Date: February 10, 2005
Creator: Schneider, Judy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Evolution of the Senate's Role in the Nomination and Confirmation Process: A Brief History

Description: Over time, the Senate has developed a series of procedures to deal with the concerns of its Members on nominations. First is the custom of senatorial courtesy, whereby Senators from the same party as the President might influence a nomination or kill it by objecting to it. This tradition has not always been absolute, but it has allowed Senators to play a fairly large role, particularly in the selection of nominees within a Senator’s home state, such as for district court judgeships.
Date: March 29, 2005
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Cloture Attempts on Nominations

Description: Cloture is the only means by which the Senate can vote to limit debate on a matter, and thereby overcome a possible filibuster. It would be erroneous, however, to assume that cases in which cloture is sought are the same as those in which a filibuster occurs. Cloture may be sought when no filibuster is taking place, and filibusters may occur without cloture being sought.
Date: April 22, 2005
Creator: Beth, Richard S. & Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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Congressional Authority Over the Federal Courts

Description: This report examines Congress' legislative authority with respect to the Judicial Branch. While Congress has broad power to regulate the structure, administration and jurisdiction of the courts, its powers are limited by precepts of due process, equal protection and separation of powers. This report addresses the constitutional foundation of the federal courts, and the explicit and general authorities of Congress to regulate the courts. It then addresses Congress’ ability to limit the jurisdiction of the courts over particular issues, sometimes referred to as “court-stripping.” The report then analyzes Congress’ authority to regulate the availability of certain judicial processes and remedies for litigants. Congressional power to legislate regarding specific judicial decisions is also discussed.
Date: May 16, 2005
Creator: Bazan, Elizabeth B.; Killian, Johnny & Thomas, Kenneth R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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