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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Discriminatory Pricing and the Robinson- Patman Act: Brief Background and Analysis

Discriminatory Pricing and the Robinson- Patman Act: Brief Background and Analysis

Date: January 16, 2009
Creator: Rubin, Janice E.
Description: This report discusses the Robinson-Patman (R-P) Act, which makes it unlawful, with certain exceptions, to knowingly sell goods "in commerce," for use or sale within the United States, at differing prices to contemporaneous buyers of those goods.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Products Liability: A Legal Overview

Products Liability: A Legal Overview

Date: January 16, 2009
Creator: Chu, Vivian S.
Description: This report discusses products liability, which refers to the liability of a manufacturer or seller for injury caused by his product to the person or property of a buyer or third party. Legal developments starting in the 1960s, particularly the adoption of strict tort liability, have made it substantially easier for persons injured by defective products to recover damages.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Date: January 13, 2009
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Description: This report provides an overview of concerns about the health, safety, and quality of imported Chinese products, and implications for U.S.-China trade relations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Date: November 13, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Date: October 17, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act's Insurance for Troubled Assets

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act's Insurance for Troubled Assets

Date: October 8, 2008
Creator: Webel, Baird
Description: Many observers trace the root cause of recent instability in financial markets to uncertainty surrounding the value of widely held securities that are based on mortgages and mortgage-related assets. The introduction of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) was designed to address said financial instability through a variety of measures, including an insurance program for "troubled assets." This report briefly summarizes and analyzes the insurance program contained in the enacted version of the EESA.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Date: September 22, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The FDA FY2009 Budget

The FDA FY2009 Budget

Date: August 25, 2008
Creator: Johnson, Judith A.; Lister, Sarah A. & Porter, Donna V.
Description: This report discusses the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) FY2009 budget request of $2.676 billion that would provide a 17.9% increase ($406 million) over FY2008. It includes an overview and breakdowns for specific programs: Foods Program, Human Drugs Program, Biologics program, Animal Drugs and Feed Program, and the Devices and Radiological Health Program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Credit Default Swaps: Frequently Asked Questions

Credit Default Swaps: Frequently Asked Questions

Date: July 30, 2008
Creator: Murphy, Edward Vincent
Description: Credit default swaps are contracts that provide protection against default by third parties, similar to insurance. These financial derivatives are used by banks and other financial institutions to manage risk. The rapid growth of the derivatives market, the potential for widespread credit defaults (such as defaults for subprime mortgages), and operational problems in the over-the-counter (OTC) market where credit default swaps are traded, have led some policymakers to inquire if credit default swaps are a danger to the financial system and the economy. This report defines credit default swaps, explains their use by banks for risk management, and discusses the potential for systemic risk.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Date: July 29, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
"Price Gouging," the Antitrust Laws, and Vertical Integration in the Petroleum Industry: How They Are Related

"Price Gouging," the Antitrust Laws, and Vertical Integration in the Petroleum Industry: How They Are Related

Date: May 28, 2008
Creator: unknown
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The FDA 2009 Budget Request

The FDA 2009 Budget Request

Date: May 19, 2008
Creator: Johnson, Judith A.; Lister, Sarah A.; Porter, Donna V.; Smith, Pamela W.; Thaul, Susan & Williams, Erin D.
Description: The Administration's FY2009 budget request of $2.4 billion for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would provide a 5.7% increase ($130 million) over FY2008. User fees would make up about 26% of the total amount requested and would account for 61% of the proposed increase. Budget documents indicate that the additional funding would provide for expanded activities to ensure the safety of foods and drugs, as well as to accelerate the availability of new medical products. About half of the requested increase would be used for cost-of-living pay increases, as opposed to new program activities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Date: May 8, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress

Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress

Date: May 6, 2008
Creator: Best, Jr., Richard A.
Description: In its FY2007 budget submission, the Department of Defense (DOD) proposed increases in Tricare enrollment fees, deductibles, and pharmacy co-payments for retired beneficiaries not yet eligible for Medicare. The raises were justified by DOD as necessary to constrain the growth of health care spending as a proportion of the overall defense budget in the next decade. Many beneficiaries argued that the proposed hikes were unfair and unnecessary. The FY2007 Defense Authorization Act prohibited increases in premiums, deductibles, and co-payments prior to September 30, 2007. The FY2008 National Defense Authoriztion Act extended the prohibition of increases in co-payments and enrollment fees until October 2008 and Congress may move to extend them further.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Budget for Fiscal Year 2008

The Budget for Fiscal Year 2008

Date: January 4, 2008
Creator: Austin, D. Andrew
Description: This report discusses the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) FY2009 budget request of $2.676 billion that would provide a 17.9% increase ($406 million) over FY2008. It includes an overview and breakdowns for specific programs: Foods Program, Human Drugs Program, Biologics program, Animal Drugs and Feed Program, and the Devices and Radiological Health Program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Steel: Price and Policy Issues

Steel: Price and Policy Issues

Date: August 31, 2006
Creator: Cooney, Stephen
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Date: July 17, 2006
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Date: July 17, 2006
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney
Description: The term "spyware" is not well defined. Generally, it is used to refer to any software that is downloaded onto a person's computer without their knowledge. Spyware may collect information about a computer user's activities and transmit their information to someone else. Most spyware is installed surreptitiously, and most users are therefore unaware that spyware exists on their computers. A central point of the spyware debate in Congress is whether new laws are needed, or if industry self-regulation, coupled with enforcement actions under existing laws, such as the Trade Commission Act, is sufficient.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records

Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records

Date: May 17, 2006
Creator: Stevens, Gina Marie & Rainson, Tara Alexandra
Description: This report discusses recent legislative and regulatory efforts to protect the privacy of customer telephone records, and efforts to prevent the unauthorized use, disclosure, or sale of such records by data brokers. In addition, it provides a brief overview of the confidentiality protections for customer information established by the Communications Act of 1934.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Standardized Choices: Medigap Lessons for Medicare Part D

Standardized Choices: Medigap Lessons for Medicare Part D

Date: March 8, 2006
Creator: Hahn, Jim
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records

Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records

Date: February 28, 2006
Creator: Stevens, Gina Marie & Rainson, Tara Alexandra
Description: This report discusses recent legislative and regulatory efforts to protect the privacy of customer telephone records, and efforts to prevent the unauthorized use, disclosure, or sale of such records by data brokers. In addition, it provides a brief overview of the confidentiality protections for customer information established by the Communications Act of 1934.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: An Overview of Implementation for Dual Eligibles

Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: An Overview of Implementation for Dual Eligibles

Date: February 6, 2006
Creator: O'Sullivan, Jennifer & Tritz, Karen
Description: This report provides background information on the early stages of the implementation of the Medicare Part D outpatient prescription drug program. This report describes certain policies and implementation issues related to those who are not dually eligible.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Internal Revenue Service's Use of Private Debt Collection Agencies: Current Status and Issues for Congress

The Internal Revenue Service's Use of Private Debt Collection Agencies: Current Status and Issues for Congress

Date: January 11, 2006
Creator: Guenther, Gary
Description: Under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (AJCA, P.L. 108-357), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has acquired for the second time in its history the legal authority to hire private debt collection agencies (PCAs) to assist in the collection of certain individual tax debt. The grant of authority grew out of a proposal made by the Bush Administration in its budget request for the IRS in both FY2004 and FY2005. This report focuses on IRS’s current plan for hiring PCAs to collect delinquent individual taxes and the policy issues it raises. It begins with an examination of the scope of IRS’s authority to use PCAs under the AJCA and concludes with a discussion of the main issues for Congress as it oversees IRS’s efforts to implement and manage the private tax debt collection initiative. The report will be updated to reflect significant legislative action and new developments related to the initiative
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
State Securities Class Action Suits: Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner

State Securities Class Action Suits: Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner

Date: November 1, 2005
Creator: Seitzinger, Michael V
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department