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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Financial Regulatory Reform: Analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) as Proposed by the Obama Administration and H.R. 3126
This report provides a brief summary of the President's Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 (the CPFA Act or the Act) and delineates some of the substantive differences between it and H.R. 3126, as introduced. It then analyzes some of the policy implications of the proposal, focusing on the separation of safety and soundness regulation from consumer protection, financial innovation, and the scope of regulation. The report then raises some questions regarding state law preemption, sources of funding, and rule-making procedures that the Act does not fully answer. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26183/
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/metadc26113/
The Financial Crisis: Impact on and Response by the European Union
According to the most recent National Threat Assessment, the global financial crisis and its geopolitical implications pose the primary near-term security concern of the United States. Over the short run, both the EU and the United States are attempting to resolve the financial crisis while stimulating domestic demand to stem the economic downturn. These efforts have born little progress so far as the economic recession and the financial crisis have become reinforcing events, causing EU governments to forge policy responses to both crises. This report discusses this situation in detail and also discusses individual efforts by both the U.S. and EU to combat the effects of the crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26139/
The Labor Market during the Great Depression and the Current Recession
This report analyzes the labor market experiences of workers during the 1930s, which encompassed the almost five years of the Great Depression. Because it was a period very distant and different from today, considerable time is devoted to examining the employment and unemployment measures available at that time. The report ends by comparing the labor market conditions of the 1930s with those encountered by workers thus far during the recession that began in December 2007. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26169/
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
This report describes the open economy and society of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as U.S. concern over proliferation of advanced technology due to said open economy and the UAE's lax export controls. This report describes these issues in relation to a recently-signed U.S.-UAE civilian nuclear agreement. It also provides a general description of the UAE's government and political structure, as well as the effects of the recent global economic downturn on the UAE in general and on the city of Dubai in particular. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26321/
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/metadc29502/
U.S. Motor Vehicle Industry: Federal Financial Assistance and Restructuring
This report looks at TARP and federal government assistance to General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford Motors. In particular, the history of these transactions and how they were affecte by Congress, Senate, President Bush, and President Obama. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83892/
Countercyclical Job Creation Programs
To counter the effect of recessions on workers, Congress has passed legislation to spur job creation through increased spending on public works (infrastructure) and public service programs, revenue sharing with state governments, and employment tax credits. Although the economic stimulus measure enacted during the 110th Congress did not include these direct job creation approaches, additional spending on infrastructure in particular was considered before Congress recessed. (See CRS Report RL34349, Economic Slowdown: Issues and Policies, coordinated by Jane G. Gravelle et al.) Infrastructure spending continues to be mentioned in the context of a second stimulus package, as do state and local government revenue sharing and a jobs tax credit. The focus of this report is on the four countercyclical job creation approaches and related legislation enacted since the Great Depression's end. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26027/
Chrysler Corporation Loan Guarantee Act of 1979: Background, Provisions, and Cost
A look at how the Chrysler Loan Guarantee Act of 1979 affected TARP funding for the Detroit Big Three. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83894/
Chrysler Corporation Loan Guarantee Act of 1979: Background, Provisions, and Cost
A look at how the Chrysler Loan Guarantee Act of 1979 affected TARP funding for the Detroit Big Three. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83893/
Financial Market Turmoil and U.S. Macreconomic Performance
This report looks at causes of the 2008 financial crisis and ways that government policy can help to fix it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83895/
U.S. Motor Vehicle Industry: Federal Financial Assistance and Restructuring
This report reviews the U.S. automotive industry at present, aspects of the industry's financial situation, and relief options. It includes an analysis of the current situation in the U.S. automotive market, including efforts to address problems of long-term competitiveness and the impact of the industry on the broader U.S. economy. It focuses on financial issues, including credit questions, and legal and financial aspects of government-offered loans or loan guarantees. This further includes consideration of legacy issues, specifically pension and health care responsibilities of the Detroit 3. It also reviews potential solutions to the financial crisis, including options of government receivership and participation management, and various forms of bankruptcy. Finally, the report reviews stipulations that Congress might impose on auto manufacturers as conditions of providing assistance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83869/
Debarment and Suspension of Government Contractors: An Overview of the Law Including Recently Enacted and Proposed Amendments
The amount spent on government contracts, coupled with widely reported contractors misconduct, has generated congressional interest in debarment and suspension. The 110th Congress enacted several bills addressing debarment and suspension, including the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act, and several others, all of which are detailed in this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26290/
DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress
The Department of Defense (DOD) in recent years has leased some foreign-built cargo ships for total periods, including options and renewals, of almost 10 years - a length of time that some observers argue effectively circumvents a legal requirement that U.S. military ships be built in U.S. shipyards. These observers, particularly the American Shipbuilding Association (ASA), have proposed reducing the current five-year legal limit on ship leases to two years for foreign-built ships. DOD has opposed the idea, arguing that its ship leases are the most cost-effective way to meet its needs for the ships in question. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10676/
The Global Financial Crisis: The Role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
This report discusses two potential roles the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may have in helping to resolve the current global financial crisis: (1) immediate crisis control through balance of payments lending to emerging market and less-developed countries and (2) increased surveillance of the global economy through better coordination with the international financial regulatory agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10813/
The Global Financial Crisis: The Role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
This report discusses two potential roles the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may have in helping to resolve the current global financial crisis: (1) immediate crisis control through balance of payments lending to emerging market and less-developed countries and (2) increased surveillance of the global economy through better coordination with the international financial regulatory agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10812/
DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress
The Department of Defense (DOD) in recent years has leased some foreign-built cargo ships for total periods, including options and renewals, of almost 10 years - a length of time that some observers argue effectively circumvents a legal requirement that U.S. military ships be built in U.S. shipyards. These observers, particularly the American Shipbuilding Association (ASA), have proposed reducing the current five-year legal limit on ship leases to two years for foreign-built ships. DOD has opposed the idea, arguing that its ship leases are the most cost-effective way to meet its needs for the ships in question. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10675/
Financial Market Intervention
Financial markets continue to experience significant disturbance and the banking sector remains fragile. Efforts to restore confidence have been met with mixed success thus far. After attempting to deal with troubled institutions on a case-by-case basis, Treasury has proposed a plan to purchase mortgage-related assets to alleviate stress in financial markets and in the banking system. This report provides answers to some frequently asked questions concerning the financial disruptions of September 2008 and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in H.R. 3997. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10801/
The Resolution Trust Corporation: Historical Analysis
In a 1989 legislative response to financial troubles in the thrift industry, the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA, P.L. 101-73) was enacted. FIRREA's principal mission was to conduct a partially tax-payer funded program to address the troubles of the nation's many insolvent thrifts. To do so, it established a new entity, the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), whose mission was to address troubled thrifts by arranging their sale to other institutions or shuttering them and disposing of their assets. This report analyzes the creation and functions of the RTC, including criticisms and results of its actions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10797/
Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs): An Institutional Overview
Congress chartered government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) to improve the workings of credit markets. This report briefly describes the nature of GSEs, their mixed governmental-private nature, the differences between GSEs and government agencies, and the arguments for and against GSEs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10599/
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10735/
General Services Administration Prospectus Thresholds for Owned and Leased Federal Facilities
The General Services Administration (GSA) oversees GSA-owned and -leased federal buildings and courthouses. This report provides an overview of the funding for GSA, GSA procedures, and related legislation, especially in light of recent disasters, i.e., hurricanes, flooding, etc. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10651/
Merger Review Authority of the Federal Communications Commission
This report will explain the merger review process at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission). Whenever companies holding licenses issued by the FCC wish to merge, the merging entities must obtain approval from two federal agencies: the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FCC. The Commission and the DOJ do not follow precisely the same process or reasoning when examining the potential effects of proposed mergers. The Act permits the Commission to grant the transfer only if the agency determines that the transaction would be in the public interest. The public interest standard is generally broader than the competition analysis authorized by the antitrust laws and conducted by the DOJ. Therefore, the Commission possesses greater latitude to examine other potential effects of a proposed merger beyond its possible effect on competition in the relevant market. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10784/
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10733/
Primer on Energy Derivatives and Their Regulation
Prices of oil and other energy commodities are set in futures and derivatives markets, where producers, commercial users, and financial speculators buy and sell contracts whose value is linked to the price of the underlying commodity. Trading occurs on regulated futures exchanges and in a largely unregulated over-the-counter (OTC) market; both forms of trading are global in scope. This report presents basic information about these markets, the instruments traded, the regulatory framework, speculation, and current legislative proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10772/
The Enron Loophole
The Commodity Exchange Act exempts certain energy derivatives contracts from regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). These exemptions are popularly known as the "Enron loophole." Soaring energy prices have raised concerns about whether the CFTC has enough information about these unregulated markets to monitor energy trading in a comprehensive manner. A number of other bills in the 110th Congress would impose new reporting or regulatory requirements on the bilateral energy swaps market, which was not addressed by the Farm Bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10766/
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10734/
Livestock Feed Costs: Concerns and Options
Sharply higher feed costs, fueled by competing use demands for corn and soybeans and by rising energy prices, are affecting the beef, pork, dairy, and poultry industries. In contrast, wholesales prices for most animal products have held steady. Some analysts argue that current public policies, including financial incentives that divert corn from feed uses into ethanol production, have exacerbated if not caused these higher costs. Other factors include crop production declines due to weather, and higher global demand for consumption. Proposed options aimed at easing the impacts of higher feed costs include changes in ethanol incentives, use of conservation land for forage use, and direct aid to producers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10763/
"Price Gouging," the Antitrust Laws, and Vertical Integration in the Petroleum Industry: How They Are Related
This report, which may be updated to further reflect congressional action, attempts to provide the antitrust context for prohibited practices, such as "price gouging"; notes prior congressional action concerning vertical divestiture in the petroleum industry; and provides information on the state "divorcement" statutes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10649/
DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress
The Department of Defense (DOD) in recent years has leased some foreign-built cargo ships for total periods, including options and renewals, of almost 10 years - a length of time that some observers argue effectively circumvents a legal requirement that U.S. military ships be built in U.S. shipyards. These observers, particularly the American Shipbuilding Association (ASA), have proposed reducing the current five-year legal limit on ship leases to two years for foreign-built ships. DOD has opposed the idea, arguing that its ship leases are the most cost-effective way to meet its needs for the ships in question. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10674/
Memorials: Creating National, State, and Local Memorials
This report provides information on the mandatory steps to building a memorial on federal property in the District of Columbia. It also provides information on creating memorials in Arlington National Cemetery, within the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery System, and in state veterans' cemeteries. In addition, it discusses public and private initiatives at the state and local levels to create memorials including successful local fund-raising efforts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10573/
Outsourcing and Insourcing Jobs in the U.S. Economy: An Overview of Evidence Based on Foreign Investment Data
Foreign direct investment is sparking a national debate. Local communities compete for investment projects, while many of the residents of those communities fear losing their jobs to foreign outsourcing. Some opponents argue that such job losses have disproportionately negative impact on local communities. Economists generally argue that free and unimpeded international capital flows have a positive impact on both domestic and foreign economies. This report provides an overview of CRS Report RL32461, Outsourcing and Insourcing Jobs in the U.S. Economy: Evidence Based on Foreign Investment Data, that analyzes the extent of direct investment into and out of the economy and the relationship between direct investment and the broader economic changes that are occurring in the U.S. economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10609/
Regulation of Energy Derivatives
After the collapse of Enron Corp. in late 2001, that company's activities came under intense scrutiny. Much of its business consisted of trading financial contracts whose value was derived from changes in energy prices. Enron's derivatives trading was largely "over-the-counter" (OTC) and unregulated: little information about transactions was available. This incident has sparked interest in reform of energy derivatives regulation. This report summarizes energy derivatives regulation and proposed legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10584/
Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview
China is a major source of U.S. imports of consumer products (such as toys) and an increasingly important supplier of various food products. Reports of unsafe seafood, pet food, toys, tires, and other products imported from China over the past year or so have raised concern in the United States over the health, safety, and quality of imported Chinese products. This report provides an overview of this issue and implications for U.S.-China trade relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10711/
The Pattern of Interest Rates: Does it Signal an Impending Recession?
The cyclical behavior of the economy is of great interest to Congress, yet the onset of an economic downturn is seldom recognized promptly. Policymakers frequently search for reliable recession predictors. The behavior of interest rates may provide advanced warning of an impending downturn. The easing of monetary policy in evidence since September 2007 is consistent with efforts to forestall or minimize an economic downturn. Economic growth has been low since the last quarter of 2007, and some forecasters are now predicting a recession in 2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10658/
The Advanced Technology Program
President Bush's FY2008 budget request did not include financing for ATP. The FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act, P.L. 110-161, replaces ATP with the Technology Innovation Program (TIP) and provides $65.2 million (with an additional $5 million in ATP FY2007 unobligated balances), 17.6% less than the previous fiscal year. P.L. 110- 69, the America COMPETES Act, authorized the creation of TIP. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26083/
The Davis-Bacon Act: Institutional Evolution and Public Policy
This report examines policy issues the Davis-Bacon Act has sparked through the years and which remain a part of the Davis-Bacon debate of the 1990s. These include such questions as: wage rate determination procedures, reporting requirements under the Copeland Act, an appropriate threshold for activation of the statute, interagency relationships with respect to Davis-Bacon enforcement and compliance activity, administrative or judicial appeals procedures, the use of "helpers" and other low-skilled workers on covered projects, and the right of a President to suspend the statute as well as the conditions under which such a suspension may occur. That the fundamental premise of the Act remains in contention after 60 years may be, itself, part of the public policy debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26044/
Chemical Facility Security
Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (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. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9917/
Chemical Facility Security
Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (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. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10458/
Electric Reliability: Options for Electric Transmission Infrastructure Improvements
The electric utility industry is inherently capital intensive. At the same time, the industry must operate under a changing and sometimes unpredictable regulatory system at both the federal and state level. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 has set in place government activities intended to relieve congestion on the transmission system. Several factors have contributed to the lack of new transmission capacity; these are outlined within this report. This report also discusses earlier pieces of energy legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9547/
Military Service Records and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9541/
Steel: Price and Policy Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9360/
Authorized Generic Pharmaceuticals: Effects on Innovation
The practice of “authorized generics” has recently been the subject of considerable attention by the pharmaceutical industry, regulators, and members of Congress alike. An “authorized generic”–sometimes termed a “branded,” “flanking,” or “pseudo” generic–is a pharmaceutical that is marketed by or on behalf of a brand name drug company, but is sold under a generic name. Although the availability of an additional competitor in the generic drug market would appear to be favorable to consumers, authorized generics have nonetheless proven controversial. Some observers believe that authorized generics potentially discourage independent generic firms both from challenging drug patents and from selling their own products. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9508/
Cooperative R
In response to the foreign challenge in the global marketplace, the United States Congress has explored ways to stimulate technological advancement in the private sector. The government has supported various efforts to promote cooperative research and development activities among industry, universities, and the federal R&D establishment designed to increase the competitiveness of American industry and to encourage the generation of new products, processes, and services. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9460/
Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy
There is ongoing 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 attention has focused on how to augment private-sector technological development. This report outlines federal efforts to fund technological research and innovations, as well as congressional efforts to eliminate or significantly curtail said efforts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10315/
Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9464/
Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9844/
Chemical Facility Security
Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (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. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9340/
Chemical Facility Security
Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (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. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9770/
Chemical Facility Security
Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (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. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10460/
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