Public policy of the United States

Public policy decisions are often decided by a group of individuals with different beliefs and interests.[1] The policies of the United States of America comprise all actions taken by its federal government. The executive branch is the primary entity through which policies are enacted, however the policies are derived from a collection of laws, executive decisions, and legal precedents.

Types of policies

The policies of the United States The Almanac of Policy Issues, which provides background information, archived documents, and links to major U.S. public policy issues, organized the public policy of the United States into nine categories. The following lists these categories followed by a few examples of specific, respective policies:

Agricultural policy

Agricultural policy of the United States is the governing policy for agriculture in the United States and is composed primarily of the periodically renewed federal U.S. farm bills.

In "A New Agricultural Policy for the United States," authors Dennis Keeney and Long Kemp summarize the agricultural policy of the United States as follows: "Because of its unique geography, weather, history and policies, the United States has an agriculture that has been dominated by production of commodity crops for use in animal, industrial and export enterprises. Over time agricultural policies evolved to support an industrialized, commodity-based agriculture. This evolution resulted in farmers leaving the land with agriculture moving to an industrial structure."[20] In parallel with the industrialization of agriculture in the United States, the Federal Government also developed the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which emphasize consumption of foods that are produced by large-scale farming.

Drug Policy

The drug policy of the United States is established by The Office of National Drug Control Policy, a former cabinet-level[21] component of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, which was established by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. Its stated goal is to establish policies, priorities, and objectives to eradicate illicit drug use, drug manufacturing, and trafficking, drug-related crime and violence, and drug-related health consequences in the U.S.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy's two current specific goals are to "curtail illicit drug consumption in America" and to "improve the public health and public safety of the American people by reducing the consequences of drug abuse."[22] They plan to achieve these goals by taking the following actions:

  • Strengthen efforts to prevent drug use in communities
  • Seek early intervention opportunities in health care
  • Integrate treatment for substance use disorders into health care, and expand support for recovery
  • Break the cycle of drug use, crime, delinquency, and incarceration
  • Disrupt domestic drug trafficking and production
  • Strengthen international partnerships
  • Improve information systems for analysis, assessment, and local management[22]

Energy policy

The energy policy of the United States addresses issues of energy production, distribution, and consumption, such as building codes and gas mileage standards. The United States Department of Energy plays a major role, and its mission is "to ensure America's security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental, and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions."

Moreover, the White House provides a summary of the United States' current condition regarding its energy policy: "For decades it has been clear that the way Americans produce and consume energy is not sustainable. Our addiction to foreign oil and fossil fuels puts our economy, our national security and our environment at risk. To take this country in a new direction, the President is working with Congress to pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation to protect our nation from the serious economic and strategic risks associated with our reliance on foreign oil, to create jobs, and to cut down on the carbon pollution that contributes to the destabilizing effects of climate change."

The following is a snapshot of the United States' current energy policy goals:

  • Clean Energy Economy: make the investments in clean energy sources that will put Americans back in control of our energy future, create millions of new jobs and lay the foundation for long-term economic security. This will be accomplished by taking the following actions:
    • Initiating recovery act investments in clean energy
    • Applying more stringent appliance efficiency standards
    • Leading the way in sustainability
    • Creating efficiency standards for cars and trucks
    • Making homes more energy efficient

Environmental policy

The environmental policy of the United States addresses and regulates activities that impact the environment. Its general goal is to protect the environment for the welfare of future generations. The environmental policy goals are detailed below:

  • The Environment: the United States is committed to protecting our country's air, water, and land, from restoring ecosystems in the Chesapeake Bay and the Everglades, to reducing the impacts of mountaintop mining. Specifically, the environment will be protected by taking the following actions:
    • Protecting our oceans
    • Land conservation
    • Restoring our ecosystems
    • Renewing the federal commitment to California's Bay Delta
    • Chesapeake Bay protection and restoration
    • Great Lakes restoration
    • Limiting mercury emissions
    • Reducing the environmental impact of mountaintop coal mining
    • Reinvigorate the National Environmental Policy Act
  • Climate Change: the United States is committed to leading the charge to reduce the dangerous pollution that causes global warming, and to make the investments in the clean energy technology that will power sustainable growth in the future. The following are actions that will be taken to accomplish climate change goals:
    • Providing international leadership
    • Monitoring greenhouse gas emissions
    • Developing climate change adaptations[23]
    • Improving the educational curriculum for climate change science

Foreign policy

The foreign policy of the United States defines how the United States interacts with foreign nations. It only addresses the security of the American people and promotes international order. The following are the most prominent foreign policies of the United States:

  • Refocusing on the threat from al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Ending the war in Iraq responsibly
  • Keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists
  • Promoting peace and security in Israel and the Middle East
  • Re-energizing America's alliances
  • Maintaining core American values
  • Restoring American leadership in Latin America
  • Ensuring energy security and fighting climate change

Policy responses to the late-2000s recession

The Federal Reserve, Treasury, and Securities and Exchange Commission took several steps on September 19 to intervene in the crisis. To stop the potential run on money market mutual funds, the Treasury also announced on September 19 a new $50 billion program to insure the investments, similar to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) program.[24] Part of the announcements included temporary exceptions to section 23A and 23B (Regulation W), allowing financial groups to more easily share funds within their group. The exceptions would expire on January 30, 2009, unless extended by the Federal Reserve Board.[25] The Securities and Exchange Commission announced termination of short-selling of 799 financial stocks, as well as action against naked short selling, as part of its reaction to the mortgage crisis.[26]


  1. ^ "Characteristics of Successful Public Policy". Norwich University. Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  2. ^ Almanac of Policy Issues "Capital Punishment 2000", Almanac of Policy Issues, September 23, 2004, accessed March 21, 2011.
  3. ^ Almanac of Policy Issues "Drug Abuse in America:2001", Almanac of Policy Issues, September 23, 2004, accessed March 21, 2011.
  4. ^ Almanac of Policy Issues "Gun Control", Almanac of Policy Issues, September 23, 2004, accessed March 21, 2011.
  5. ^ Almanac of Policy Issues "Abortion Law Development: A Brief Overview" Archived 2011-05-14 at the Wayback Machine, Almanac of Policy Issues, September 23, 2004, accessed March 21, 2011.
  6. ^ Almanac of Policy Issues "Arts and humanities", Almanac of Policy Issues, September 23, 2004, accessed March 21, 2011.
  7. ^ Almanac of Policy Issues "Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws", Almanac of Policy Issues, September 23, 2004, accessed March 21, 2011.
  8. ^ Almanac of Policy Issues "Budget and Taxes", Almanac of Policy Issues, September 23, 2004, accessed March 30, 2011.
  9. ^ Almanac of Policy Issues "The State of U.S. Education", Almanac of Policy Issues, September 23, 2004, accessed March 30, 2011.
  10. ^ Almanac of Policy Issues "Post-Secondary Education Statistics", Almanac of Policy Issues, September 23, 2004, accessed March 30, 2011.
  11. ^ Almanac of Policy Issues "Plain English Guide To The Clean Air Act", Almanac of Policy Issues, September 23, 2004, accessed March 30, 2011.
  12. ^ Almanac of Policy Issues "Climate Change", Almanac of Policy Issues, September 23, 2004, accessed March 30, 2011.
  13. ^ Almanac of Policy Issues "Summary of the Shay's-Meehan Campaign Finance Reform Law", Almanac of Policy Issues, September 23, 2004, accessed March 30, 2011.
  14. ^ Almanac of Policy Issues "Charity and Volunteerism", Almanac of Policy Issues, September 23, 2004, accessed March 30, 2011.
  15. ^ Almanac of Policy Issues "Health Insurance Coverage", Almanac of Policy Issues, September 23, 2004, accessed March 30, 2011.
  16. ^ Almanac of Policy Issues "2000 Ways and Means Green Book: Medicare", Almanac of Policy Issues, September 23, 2004, accessed March 30, 2011.
  17. ^ Almanac of Policy Issues "Social Security Reform", Almanac of Policy Issues, September 23, 2004, accessed March 30, 2011.
  18. ^ Almanac of Policy Issues "Welfare Reform: An Issue Overview", Almanac of Policy Issues, September 23, 2004, accessed March 30, 2011.
  19. ^ Almanac of Policy Issues "FY 2004 Pentagon Budget", Almanac of Policy Issues, September 23, 2004, accessed March 30, 2011.
  20. ^ The Minnesota Project A New Agricultural Policy of the United States., July, 2003, accessed February 16, 2011.
  21. ^ Cook, Dave (2009-03-11). "New drug czar gets lower rank, promise of higher visibility". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2009-03-16. For one thing, in the Obama administration the Drug Czar will not have Cabinet status, as the job did during George W. Bush's administration.
  22. ^ a b President Obama "2010 National Drug Control Policy.", Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2010, accessed February 21, 2011.
  23. ^ "Global Climate Change". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  24. ^ Gullapalli, Diya and Anand, Shefali. "Bailout of Money Funds Seems to Stanch Outflow", The Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2008.
  25. ^ (Press Release) FRB: Board Approves Two Interim Final Rules, Federal Reserve Bank, September 19, 2008.
  26. ^ Boak, Joshua (Chicago Tribune). "SEC temporarily suspends short selling", San Jose Mercury News, September 19, 2008.
Alfred J. Kahn

Alfred Joseph Kahn (February 8, 1919 – February 13, 2009) was an American expert on social policy, particularly as it related to child welfare. He was critical of problems at the local and federal governmental level in providing services related to child development and family support, arguing that a comprehensive system of social welfare provision should be made available to all Americans comparable to similar systems offered in Western Europe.

Bricker Amendment

The Bricker Amendment is the collective name of a number of slightly different proposed amendments to the United States Constitution considered by the United States Senate in the 1950s. Each of these amendments would have insulated American laws and policies from foreign influence exerted through treaties, executive agreements, international law, or the United Nations. They are named for their sponsor, Republican Senator John W. Bricker of Ohio.

The Bricker Amendment was designed to keep world entanglements from entering into American life. American entry into World War II led to a new sense of internationalism, which seemed threatening to many conservatives.Frank E. Holman, president of the American Bar Association (ABA), called attention to Federal court decisions, notably Missouri v. Holland, which he claimed could give international treaties and agreements precedence over the United States Constitution and could be used by foreigners to threaten American liberties. Senator Bricker was influenced by the ABA's work and first introduced a proposed constitutional amendment in 1951. With substantial popular support and the election of a Republican president and Congress in the elections of 1952, together with support from many Southern Democrats, Bricker's plan seemed destined to be sent to the individual states for ratification.

The best-known version of the Bricker Amendment, considered by the Senate in 1953–54, declared that no treaty could be made by the United States that conflicted with the Constitution; treaties could not be self-executing without the passage of separate enabling legislation through Congress; treaties could not give Congress legislative powers beyond those specified in the Constitution. It also limited the president's power to enter into executive agreements with foreign powers.

Bricker's proposal attracted broad bipartisan support and was a focal point of intra-party conflict between the administration of president Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Old Right faction of conservative Republican senators. Despite the initial support, the Bricker Amendment was blocked through the intervention of President Eisenhower with then-Senate Minority Leader Lyndon Johnson and failed in the Senate by a single vote in 1954. Three years later the Supreme Court of the United States explicitly ruled in Reid v. Covert that the Bill of Rights cannot be abrogated by agreements with foreign powers. Nevertheless, Senator Bricker's ideas still have supporters, and new versions of his amendment have been reintroduced in Congress periodically.

Chapter 15, Title 11, United States Code

Chapter 15, Title 11, United States Code is a section of the United States bankruptcy code that deals with jurisdiction. Under Chapter 15 a representative of a corporate bankruptcy proceeding outside the U.S. can obtain access to the United States courts. It allows cooperation between the United States courts and the foreign courts, as well as other authorities of foreign countries involved in cross-border insolvency cases.

Humane Slaughter Act

The Humane Slaughter Act, or the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act (P.L. 85-765; 7 U.S.C. 1901 et seq.) is a United States federal law designed to decrease suffering of livestock during slaughter. It was approved on August 27, 1958. The most notable of these requirements is the need to have an animal completely sedated and insensible to pain. This is to minimize the suffering to the point where the animal feels nothing at all, instead losing a consciousness from which they will never awaken. This differs from animal to animal as size increases and decreases. Larger animals such as bovines require a stronger method than chickens, for example. Bovines require electronarcosis or something equally potent, though electronarcosis remains a standard. The bovine would have a device placed on their head that, once activated, sends an electric charge that efficiently and safely stuns them. Chickens, on the other hand, require much less current to be efficiently sedated and are given a run under electrically charged water. To ensure that these guidelines are met, The Food Safety and Inspection Service inspectors at slaughtering plants are responsible for overseeing compliance, and have the authority to stop slaughter lines and order plant employees to take corrective actions. Although more than 168 million chickens (excluding broilers) and around 9 billion broiler chickens are killed for food in the United States yearly, the Humane Slaughter Act specifically mentions only cattle, calves, horses, mules, sheep and swine.Due to several reports of alleged non-compliance with these regulations and safety protocols, originating in the early 2000s, specifically late 2002, FSIS assigned additional veterinarians to its district offices specifically to monitor slaughter and handling procedures and to report to their headquarters about any issues of compliance. This has been the case ever since, as Congress passed a bill in 2002, The 2002 farm bill, that requires a compliance report to be submitted annually. In 2003, the initiative increased further as, in the FY in 2003, Congress voted in another $5 million operation to the FSIS effort and increased the amount of compliance inspectors by 50. Language in the FY 2004 consolidated appropriations act directs FSIS to continue fulfilling that mandate, and the FY2005 budget request calls for another $5 million to be allocated for enforcement activities. Despite these requirements in place, reports from January 2004 GAO have noted that there is still alleged non-compliance. These were narrowed down to select states that issues of non-compliance still allegedly persist (GAO-04-247). Earlier concerns about humane treatment of non-ambulatory (downer) cattle at slaughter houses became irrelevant when FSIS issued regulations in January 2004 (69 FR 1892) prohibiting them from being slaughtered and inspected for use as human food.

Isadore Singer

Isadore Manuel Singer (born May 3, 1924) is an American mathematician. He is an Institute Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley.Singer is noted for his work with Michael Atiyah proving the Atiyah–Singer index theorem in 1962, which paved the way for new interactions between pure mathematics and theoretical physics. In early 1980s, while a professor at Berkeley, Singer co-founded the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) with Shiing-Shen Chern and Calvin Moore.

Jewish National Fund

Jewish National Fund (Hebrew: קֶרֶן קַיֶּימֶת לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, Keren Kayemet LeYisrael, previously הפונד הלאומי, Ha Fund HaLeumi) was founded in 1901 to buy and develop land in Ottoman Palestine (later the British Mandate for Palestine, and subsequently Israel and the Palestinian territories) for Jewish settlement. The JNF is a non-profit organization. By 2007, it owned 13% of the total land in Israel. Since its inception, the JNF says it has planted over 240 million trees in Israel. It has also built 180 dams and reservoirs, developed 250,000 acres (1,000 km2) of land and established more than 1,000 parks.In 2002, the JNF was awarded the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement and special contribution to society and the State of Israel.

Motion Picture Patents Co. v. Universal Film Manufacturing Co.

Motion Picture Patents Co. v. Universal Film Mfg. Co., 243 U.S. 502 (1917), is United States Supreme Court decision that is notable as an early example of the patent misuse doctrine. It held that, because a patent grant is limited to the invention described in the claims of the patent, the patent law does not empower the patent owner, by notices attached to the patented article, to extend the scope of the patent monopoly by restricting the use of the patented article to materials necessary for their operation but forming no part of the patented invention, or to place downstream restrictions on the articles making them subject to conditions as to use. The decision overruled The Button-Fastener Case, and Henry v. A.B. Dick Co., which had held such restrictive notices effective and enforceable.

Policy studies

Policy studies is a subdisicipline of political science that includes the analysis of the process of policymaking (the policy process) and the contents of policy (policy analysis). Policy analysis includes substantive area research (such as health or education policy), program evaluation and impact studies, and policy design. It "involves systematically studying the nature, causes, and effects of alternative public policies, with particular emphasis on determining the policies that will achieve given goals." It emerged in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s.

Policy Studies also examines the conflicts and conflict resolution that arise from the making of policies in civil society, the private sector, or more commonly, in the public sector (e.g. government).

It frequently focuses on the public sector but is equally applicable to other kinds of organizations (e.g., the not-for-profit sector). Some policy study experts graduate from public policy schools with public policy degrees. Alternatively, experts may have backgrounds in policy analysis, program evaluation, sociology, psychology, philosophy, economics, anthropology, geography, law, political science, social work, environmental planning and public administration.

Traditionally, the field of policy studies focused on domestic policy, with the notable exceptions of foreign and defense policies. However, the wave of economic globalization, which ensued in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, created a need for a subset of policy studies that focuses on global governance, especially as it relates to issues that transcend national borders such as climate change, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and economic development. This subset of policy studies, which is often referred to as international policy studies, typically requires mastery of a second language and attention to cross-cultural issues in order to address national and cultural biases. For example, the Monterey Institute of International Studies at Middlebury College offers Master of Arts programs that focus exclusively on international policy through a mix of interdisciplinary and cross-cultural analysis called the "Monterey Way". Examples of academic programs in policy studies include the Harvard Kennedy School and the LBJ School of Public Affairs.


Soyuzmultfilm (Russian: Союзмультфильм, IPA: [səjʉsmʊlʲtˈfʲilʲm] listen , Union Cartoon) is a Russian animation studio based in Moscow. Over the years it has gained international attention and respect, garnering numerous awards both at home and abroad. Noted for a great variety of style, it is regarded as the most influential animation studio of the former Soviet Union. The studio has produced 1,582 films as of August 2018.It is currently divided into two studios: Creative Union of the Soyuzmultfilm Film Studio («Творческо-производственное объединение «Киностудия «Союзмультфильм») and the Soyuzmultfilm Film Fund («Фильмофонд Киностудии «Союзмультфильм»).

United States v. Belmont

United States v. Belmont, 301 U.S. 324 (1937), was a dispute between the federal executive branch and the State of New York over property rights to a deposit from a former Russian corporation with August Belmont & Company, a private New York City banking firm. Belmont established executive predominance over state laws and constitutions in the sphere of foreign policy, and allocated the constitutional power for initiating executive agreements solely to the president of the United States.

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