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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Athletic Footwear for the Military: The Berry Amendment Controversy
This report briefly examines issues regarding the Berry Amendment, which is a 1941 federal law (10 U.S.C. §2533a) requiring the Department of Defense (DOD) to purchase only wholly American-made clothing, textiles, and other essential items for the military. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855925/
The Buy American Act--Preferences for "Domestic" Supplies: In Brief
This report discusses the Buy American Act of 1933, which is the earliest and arguably the best known of various statutes regarding federal procurement of domestic products. The act attempts to protect U.S. businesses and labor by restricting the acquisition and use of end products or construction materials that are not "domestic." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855744/
Slow Growth in the Current U.S. Economic Expansion
This report summarizes the U.S. economic growth record and reviews a number of explanations forwarded by economists for why this expansion has featured slow growth. Some explanations focus on short-term factors that would not be expected to persist, while others focus on long-term changes to the economy. The report does not discuss labor market conditions, except in the context of how they contribute to the pace of GDP growth. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855792/
Job Creation in the Manufacturing Revival
This report examines the current status of the manufacturing sector in the U.S., which is a subject of ongoing interest in Congress. After rebounding from the 2007-09 recession, U.S. manufacturing output has grown little since the second half of 2014. Over the same period, employment in the U.S. manufacturing sector has been flat. These trends defy expectations that forces such as higher labor costs in the emerging economies of Asia, heightened concern about the risk of disruptions to long, complex supply chains, and the development of inexpensive domestic supplies of natural gas would increase the relative attractiveness of the United States as a location for factory production. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855832/
Brazil in Crisis
Brazil is in the midst of deepening economic and political crises that are closely intertwined and unlikely to be resolved quickly. This report briefly examines the political situation and discusses public opinion regarding the Rousseff Administration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847792/
Protection of Trade Secrets: Overview of Current Law and Legislation
This report provides an overview of existing federal, state, and international laws governing trade secret protection, describes the limitations of these legal regimes, and reviews pending legislation, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (S. 1890), that is intended to address such deficiencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847573/
Alaska Natural Gas Pipelines: Interaction of the Natural Gas and Steel Markets
In 1976, Congress approved legislation to establish the regulatory framework for building a pipeline to bring natural gas from the Alaska North Slope to the lower 48 states. This report focuses on two major issues or uncertainties that may serve as economic constraints on a capital investment undertaking of this major scale. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847781/
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA): Congressional Interest and Executive Enforcement, In Brief
This report briefly discusses the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act of 1977 (FCPA), which was intended to prevent corporate bribery of foreign officials. Criticisms of the act's operation and scope began almost immediately after its passage and have continued. This report addresses these criticisms. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847616/
Methods of Estimating the Total Cost of Federal Regulations
This report analyzes these two approaches for estimating the total cost of federal regulations. In discussing each approach, the report provides an overview of the advantages, a brief case study, and an analysis of the potential issues or inherent problems using the case study to illustrate the concepts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824492/
Energy Tax Policy
This report discusses the history, current posture, and outlook for federal energy tax policy. It also discusses recent energy tax proposals, focusing on the major energy tax provisions that were debated as part of omnibus energy legislation in the 108th Congress (e.g., H.R. 6), which may be reintroduced in the 109th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824500/
Bankruptcy for Marijuana Businesses?
This legal sidebar discusses recent bankruptcy court cases that suggest that one such risk may be the ultimate unavailability to both debtors and creditors of the protections, benefits, and predictability of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code when state-regulated marijuana businesses fail. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824612/
Postal Reform
This report examines the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS's) financial crisis and the resulting legislative action. Although its short-term financial performance has improved, the USPS faces severe long-term financial straits, largely due to digital alternatives. USPS has a negative net worth and mounting obligations for retiree health benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824616/
Local Food Systems: Selected Farm Bill and Other Federal Programs
This report examines the federal support of local food systems, such as sales of locally-produced foods which comprise a small but growing part of U.S. agricultural sales. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824622/
Small Business Tax Relief: Proposals in the 108th Congress and Their Economic Justification
This report examines the economic arguments for and against small business tax subsidies in the context of current congressional proposals to expand them. It begins with a brief description of current federal tax subsidies for small firms, moves on to consider the principal economic arguments for and against these subsidies, and concludes with a discussion of proposals in the 108th Congress to expand small business tax subsidies and their likely economic effects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824642/
GAO Bid Protests: An Overview of Time Frames and Procedures
This report provides an overview of the time frames and procedures in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) bid protest, including (1) what issues can be protested with GAO; (2) who can file or be a party to a GAO protest; (3) the procedures for bringing and resolving GAO protests; (4) the time frames involved in GAO protests; (5) the automatic stay of contract award or performance triggered by a GAO protest, as well as the basis for agency overrides of automatic stays and judicial review of agency override determinations; (6) the basis and effects of GAO decisions; and (7) reconsideration and "appeal" of GAO decisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824512/
Dairy Policy Issues
This report discusses several dairy issues that have been or are being considered by the 109th Congress, some of which affect the three major federal dairy policy tools -- the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program, federal milk marketing orders, and the dairy price support program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824542/
What Does the Gig Economy Mean for Workers?
This report provides an overview of the gig economy -- i.e., the collection of markets that match providers to consumers on a gig (or job) basis in support of on-demand commerce (e.g., Uber, TaskRabbit) -- and identifies legal and policy questions relevant to its workforce. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824431/
Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program: An Overview
This report provides a brief overview of The Hollings Manufacturing Partnership (MEP), which is a program of regional centers set up to assist small and medium-sized manufacturing companies use knowledge and technologies developed under the auspices of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822551/
Research Tax Credit: Current Law and Policy Issues for the 114th Congress
Technological innovation is a primary engine of long-term economic growth, and research and development (R&D) serves as the lifeblood of innovation. The federal government encourages businesses to invest more in R&D than they otherwise would in several ways, including a tax credit for increases in spending on qualified research above a base amount. This report describes the current status of the credit, summarizes its legislative history, discusses policy issues it raises, and describes legislation to modify and extend it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820882/
Small Business Administration Microloan Program
This report describes the Microloan program's eligibility standards and operating requirements for lenders and borrowers and examines the arguments presented by the program's critics and advocates. It also examines changes to the program authorized by P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822590/
Small Business Legislation: Sources of Information
This report seeks to respond to inquiries from congressional staff who request information about major legislation affecting small business. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822581/
U.S. Motor Vehicle Industry: Federal Financial Assistance and Restructuring
This report focuses on the current situation faced by the Detroit 3, key aspects of their current crisis, including possible consequences of a failure of one or more companies, and some aspects of legislative actions that have been considered to bridge their financial conditions to a more stable situation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821135/
Economic Recovery: Sustaining U.S. Economic Growth in a Post-Crisis Economy
The 2007-2009 recession was long and deep, and according to several indicators was the most severe economic contraction since the 1930s (but still much less severe than the Great Depression). This report examines the state of the economy in light of the recession. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821176/
Economic Downturns and Crime
This report examines the relationships between selected variables of economic strength and crime. It begins with an overview of crime rates during times of economic recession in the United States. It then reviews the existing literature in the field analyzing various data sets that examine whether the unemployment rate and foreclosures can be related to increases in the national crime rate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821092/
Economic Slowdown: Issues and Policies
This report first discusses the current state of the economy, including measures that have already been taken by the monetary authorities, and assesses the need for and potential consequences of fiscal stimulus. The second part of the report reviews the proposals discussed during debate on the recently enacted fiscal stimulus, both those adopted and those considered but not adopted. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821119/
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase, a historical overview of debt limits, and how the current economic slowdown has led to higher deficits and thereby a series of debt limit increases, as well as legislation related to these increases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821608/
Selected Small Business Statistics
This report gathers selected statistics on the role of small businesses in the national economy that Congress has frequently asked the Congressional Research Service (CRS) to provide. Most of the statistics are calculated by CRS from Census data. The report uses the widely accepted research definition that a small business has fewer than 500 employees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821567/
Legal Authorities Governing Federal Contracting and Subcontracting with Small Businesses
This report provides an overview of the various legal authorities governing small business contracting and subcontracting, as well as the relationship between them. It also explains the roles of the Small Business Administration (SBA), procuring activities, Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA), Government Accountability Office (GAO), and other tribunals in implementing and construing the law governing federal contracting and subcontracting with small businesses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821972/
Codes of Conduct for Multinational Corporations: An Overview
This report discusses The U.S. economy is growing increasingly interconnected with other economies around the world, a phenomenon often referred to as globalization. As U.S. businesses expand globally, however, various groups across the social and economic spectrum are growing concerned over the economic, social, and political impact of this activity. Over the past 15 years, multinational corporations and nations have adopted voluntary, legally enforceable, and industry-specific codes of conduct to address many of these concerns. This report provides background on the issue and briefly examines options for Congress to address it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821180/
Softwood Lumber Imports from Canada: Issues and Events
This report provides a concise historical account of the dispute over softwood lumber imports from Canada, summarizes the subsidy and injury evidence, and discusses current issues and events. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821033/
The American Steel Industry: A Changing Profile
The U.S. steel industry has faced increasing difficulties since the late 1990s. More than 30 U.S. steel producers have gone into bankruptcy. While different companies and parts of the industry have been affected to different degrees, the two types of domestic producers of raw steel, integrated mills and minimills, have both supported restrictions on imports, which they say have undermined the ability of the U.S. industry to produce steel economically. This report reviews industry developments and the economic situation of the steel industry, including legacy cost aspects of its problems. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821167/
The American Steel Industry: A Changing Profile
The U.S. steel industry has faced increasing difficulties since the late 1990s. About 40 U.S. steel producers have gone into bankruptcy. While different companies and parts of the industry have been affected to different degrees, the two types of domestic producers of raw steel, integrated mills and minimills, have both supported restrictions on imports, which they say have undermined the ability of the U.S. industry to produce steel economically. This report reviews industry developments and the economic situation of the steel industry, including legacy cost aspects of its problems. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc806386/
Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Legal Challenges and Solutions
While considerable debate exists with regard to the best strategies for protecting America’s various cyber-systems and promoting cybersecurity, one point of general agreement amongst cyber-analysts is the perceived need for enhanced and timely exchange of cyber-threat intelligence both within the private sector and between the private sector and the government. This report examines the various legal issues that arise with respect to the sharing of cybersecurity intelligence, with a special focus on two distinct concepts: (1) sharing of cyberinformation within the government’s possession and (2) sharing of cyber-information within the possession of the private sector. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821165/
Small Business Administration and Job Creation
The Small Business Administration (SBA) administers several programs to support small businesses, including loan guaranty programs, disaster loan programs, management and technical assistance training programs, and federal contracting programs. Congressional interest in these programs has increased in recent years, primarily because they are viewed as a means to stimulate economic activity, create jobs, and assist in the national economic recovery. This report examines the economic research on net job creation to identify the types of businesses that appear to create the most jobs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820993/
Small Business Administration and Job Creation
The Small Business Administration (SBA) administers several programs to support small businesses, including loan guaranty programs; disaster loan programs; management and technical assistance training programs; and federal contracting programs. Congressional interest in these programs has increased in recent years, primarily because they are viewed as a means to stimulate economic activity, create jobs, and assist in the national economic recovery. This report examines the economic research on net job creation to identify the types of businesses that appear to create the most jobs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc819391/
Small Business: Access to Capital and Job Creation
This report addresses a core issue facing Congress during the 112th Congress: what, if any, additional action should the federal government take to enhance small business access to capital? After briefly discussing the role of small business in job creation and retention, this report provides an assessment of the supply and demand for small business loans. It also examines selected laws enacted during the 110th and 111th Congresses that were designed to enhance small business access to capital by increasing the supply of small business loans and/or the demand for small business loans. This report also includes empirical evidence concerning small business lending and borrowing, including the number and amount of small business loans guaranteed by the SBA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822668/
Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, H.R. 1036 and S. 659, 108th Congress: Legal Analysis
This report examines H.R. 1036, 108th Congress, as ordered to be reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary on April 3, 2003, and passed by the House without amendment on April 9, 2003. H.R. 1036, titled the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” would prohibit lawsuits, except in specified circumstances, against a manufacturer or seller of a firearm or ammunition, or a trade association, for damages resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse of a firearm or ammunition. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822520/
Business and Labor Spending in U.S. Elections
Federal election law has long prohibited corporate and union spending in federal elections, but distinctions in statutes and judicial rulings have opened avenues by which these groups have been able to spend money in the electoral process. Business groups make particular use of political action committee (PAC) donations to candidates and soft money donations to parties. Unions made prominent use of issue advocacy in 1996, but labor’s political strength lies in exempt activity communications with members. This report explains these tools and their use in today’s elections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821470/
Small Business Administration Microloan Program
The Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) Microloan program provides direct loans to qualified nonprofit intermediary lenders who, in turn, provide “microloans” of up to $50,000 to small businesses and nonprofit child care centers. It also provides marketing, management, and technical assistance to microloan borrowers and potential borrowers. This report opens with a discussion of the rationale provided for having a Microloan program, describes the program’s eligibility standards and operating requirements for lenders and borrowers, and examines the arguments presented by the program’s critics and advocates. It then discusses P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which increased the Microloan program’s loan limit for borrowers from $35,000 to $50,000, and the aggregate loan limit for intermediaries after their first year of participation in the program from $3.5 million to $5 million. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821462/
Why Has the Economy Become Less Volatile?
The 2001 recession was unusually mild and brief by historical standards. At 120 months, the expansion that preceded it had been the longest in U.S. history. Is this a coincidence? A body of research concludes that it is not. This report discusses several theories for what caused this phenomenon. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821522/
Small Business: Access to Capital and Job Creation
The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) authorization is due to expire on September 30, 2010. The SBA administers several programs to support small businesses, including loan guarantees to help small businesses gain access to capital. This report addresses a core issue facing Congress during the SBA’s reauthorization process: what, if any, additional action should the federal government take to enhance small business access to capital? digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820914/
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: A Legal Overview
This report examines the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 was enacted principally to prevent corporate bribery of foreign officials. This act had three major parts: 1. It required the keeping by corporations of accurate books, records, and accounts; 2. It required issuers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to maintain a responsible internal accounting control system; and 3. It prohibited bribery by American corporations of foreign officials. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821543/
Reporting Requirements in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
This report describes the various reporting requirements in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) and is organized according to the entities required to prepare and submit the reports. The report also provides some concluding observations regarding those requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795526/
Financial Market Intervention
This report provides answers to some frequently asked questions concerning ongoing financial disruptions and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). It also summarizes legislation in the 111th Congress such as H.R. 384, the TARP Reform and Accountability Act of 2009 and H.R. 703, "Promoting Bank Liquidity and Lending Through Deposit Insurance, Hope for Homeowners, and other Enhancements." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795565/
Selected Legal Mechanisms Whereby the Government Can Hold Contractors Accountable for Failure to Perform or Other Misconduct
This report provides an overview of selected legal mechanisms that the federal government could rely upon in holding contractors accountable for deficiencies in their performance under the contract, or for other misconduct. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795603/
Small Business: Access to Capital and Job Creation
This report discusses the role of small business in job creation and retention, then provides an assessment of the supply and demand for small business loans and recently enacted laws designed to enhance small business access to capital. It also examines recent actions concerning the SBA's budget and concludes with a brief overview of legislative options available to address small business access to capital issues during the 114th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795882/
Running Deficits: Positives and Pitfalls
This report discusses how deficit finance can help governments manage their economies and how large and persistent deficits can lead to severe economic problems. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795390/
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Rural Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009
This report analyzes the agriculture, nutrition, and rural provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, P.L. 111-5). The ARRA boosts government spending on various infrastructure programs and government benefits programs, and offers individual and business tax benefits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795420/
Using Business Tax Cuts to Stimulate the Economy
This report discusses issues associated with the use of business tax subsidies. First, is fiscal policy appropriate? Second, how successful are subsidies likely to be and what form might they take to be most effective? Finally, what other consequences might flow from the use of business tax subsidies, especially if they are to be permanent? digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795492/
Multilateral Development Banks: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and highlights major issues for Congress. The first section discusses how the MDBs operate, and the second section discusses the role of Congress in the MDBs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795908/
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