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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Consumer Bankruptcy Reform: Proposals Before the 105th Congress
This report examines current consumer bankruptcy practice and the proposals set forth in the reform bills. Also considered are the legislative history of the current consumer bankruptcy scheme, and topics likely to be debated as Congress proceeds to consider consumer bankruptcy reform. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs599/
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): A Legal Analysis
This report provides an overview of the regulatory structure of consumer finance under existing federal law before the Dodd-Frank Act went into effect, and examines arguments for modifying the regime in order to more effectively regulate consumer financial markets. It then analyzes how the CFP Act changes the legal structure, with a focus on the Bureau's organization; the entities and activities that fall (and do not fall) under the Bureau's supervisory, enforcement, and rulemaking authorities; the Bureau's general and specific rulemaking powers and procedures; and the Bureau's funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276920/
The Consumer Price Index: An Overview
The consumer price index is probably the most widely used measure of inflation. Changes i n the index affect the incomes of a substantial portion of the U.S. population. This report provides background information on the history and concepts of the index. In addition, several factors which may produce biases in the index are analyzed. The objective is to provide an introduction to the CPI f o r the policy maker who wishes to acquire a working knowledge of the concept as an aid in examining economic policy alternatives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8856/
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and International Trade: Legal Issues
This report examines the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) role in regulating U.S. imported and exported consumer products. It also examines some of the international obligations that the United States has undertaken with respect to the promulgation of standards-related measures, such as mandatory consumer product safety regulations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc267878/
Consumer Proposals in the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1998: H.R. 3150, 105th Congress, 2d Session (1998)
This report considers the legislative history of the current consumer bankruptcy scheme. It examines current consumer bankruptcy practice and surveys the consumer proposals set forth in Title I of H.R. 3150, with an emphasis on the likely impact of the bill on family support obligations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs687/
Consumers and Food Price Inflation
The heightened commodity price volatility of 2008 and the subsequent acceleration in U.S. food price inflation raised concerns and generated many questions about farm and food price movements by Members of Congress and their constituents. This report responds to those concerns by addressing the nature and measurement of retail food price inflation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627118/
Consumers and Food Price Inflation
This report is divided into five sections that cover the following: major economic concepts underlying consumer food behavior; descriptions how U.S. food price inflation rates have evolved since 1915, when federal price data collection for inflation-measuring purposes began; information on recent history and projections for U.S. food expenditure shares relative to total household budget; an examination of retail food price inflation; and a discussion on the impact that rapid food price inflation can have on government food programs and the more vulnerable consumer groups. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227643/
Consumers and Food Price Inflation
This report is divided into five sections that cover the following: major economic concepts underlying consumer food behavior; descriptions how U.S. food price inflation rates have evolved since 1915, when federal price data collection for inflation-measuring purposes began; information on recent history and projections for U.S. food expenditure shares relative to total household budget; an examination of retail food price inflation; and a discussion on the impact that rapid food price inflation can have on government food programs and the more vulnerable consumer groups. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97973/
Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation
Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th Congress and those that are pending in the 108th Congress. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital (and traditional) copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5956/
Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation
Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th Congress and those that are pending in the 108th Congress. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital (and traditional) copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5957/
The Cost of Prescription Drugs for the Uninsured Elderly and Legislative Approaches
The purpose of this report is to explain why many of those who are least able to afford high drug costs are those who are most frequently charged the most. This report describes the basic economic theory underlying price differentiation and, in the context of the pharmaceutical market, analyzes the role and behavior of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), pharmaceutical manufacturers, and retail pharmacies, respectively. It also looks at a number of the criticisms that have been made of the practice of differential pricing. Finally, this report discusses various policy approaches aimed at assisting the elderly to purchase prescription drugs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1520/
Credit Default Swaps: Frequently Asked Questions
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10780/
Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9027/
Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9026/
The Defense Production Act of 1950: History, Authorities, and Reauthorization
This report examines some of the history of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA), focusing primarily on its creation and most recent legislative reauthorization. It also discusses the foremost active authorities of the DPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282318/
The Defense Production Act of 1950: History, Authorities, and Reauthorization
This report examines some of the history of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA), focusing primarily on its creation and most recent legislative reauthorization. It also discusses the foremost active authorities of the DPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332993/
The Defense Production Act of 1950: History, Authorities, and Reauthorization
This report examines some of the history of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA), focusing primarily on its creation and most recent legislative reauthorization. It also discusses the foremost active authorities of the DPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491317/
The Defense Production Act of 1950: History, Authorities, and Reauthorization
This report examines some of the history of the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA), focusing primarily on its creation and most recent legislative reauthorization. It also discusses the foremost active authorities of the DPA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462762/
Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs
This report describes the current status of direct-to-consumer (DTC) drug advertising; analyzes issues surrounding it; and discusses potential options for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700845/
Discriminatory Pricing and the Robinson- Patman Act: Brief Background and Analysis
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795356/
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Titles III and VI, Regulation of Depository Institutions and Depository Institution Holding Companies
This report discusses Titles III and VI of the Dodd-Frank Act, which effectuate changes in the regulatory structure governing depository institutions and their holding companies and, thus, constitute a substantial component of the reform effort. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491083/
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Titles III and VI, Regulation of Depository Institutions and Depository Institution Holding Companies
This report discusses Titles III and VI of the Dodd-Frank Act, which effectuate changes in the regulatory structure governing depository institutions and their holding companies and, thus, constitute a substantial component of the reform effort. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103103/
Drug Control
How to prevent the non-medical use of dependency-producing drugs has been a public policy concern for at least a century. A large part of the responsibility for controlling such substances has been assumed by the Federal Government. Historically based on decision to restrict availability through a system of close regulation, including selective prohibition, the current Federal anti-drugs strategy lives on activities and programs in five major areas: 1) regulation and other “enforcement” efforts; 2) support for international control and for control efforts of individual drug-producing and drug-transiting countries; 3) education and other prevention activities; 4 ) treatment and rehabilitation for drug-dependent persons; and ( 5 ) research on drugs , drug dependency, and prevention and treatment methods. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8518/
Ecstasy: Actions of the 107th Congress to Control MDMA
Legislation has been proposed in the 107th Congress to combat the use and abuse of Ecstasy (MDMA) and other “club drugs.” In a 2001 survey, 12% of 12th graders reported ever having taken the drug. The Ecstasy Anti-Proliferation Act of 2000, enacted by the 106th Congress, directed the U.S. Sentencing Commission to increase penalties for Ecstasy offenses. As of March 2001, MDMA penalties became more severe than for powder cocaine but less severe than for heroin. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2337/
Ecstasy: Actions of the 107th Congress to Control MDMA
Legislation has been proposed in the 107th Congress to combat the use and abuse of Ecstasy (MDMA) and other “club drugs.” In a 2001 survey, 12% of 12th graders reported ever having taken the drug. The Ecstasy Anti-Proliferation Act of 2000, enacted by the 106th Congress, directed the U.S. Sentencing Commission to increase penalties for Ecstasy offenses. As of March 2001, MDMA penalties became more severe than for powder cocaine but less severe than for heroin. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2338/
Ecstasy: Actions of the 107th Congress to Control MDMA
Legislation has been proposed in the 107th Congress to combat the use and abuse of Ecstasy (MDMA) and other “club drugs.” In a 2001 survey, 12% of 12th graders reported ever having taken the drug. The Ecstasy Anti-Proliferation Act of 2000, enacted by the 106th Congress, directed the U.S. Sentencing Commission to increase penalties for Ecstasy offenses. As of March 2001, MDMA penalties became more severe than for powder cocaine but less severe than for heroin. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2339/
Ecstasy: Legislative Proposals in the 107th Congress to Control MDMA
Legislation has been proposed in the 107th Congress to combat the use and abuse of Ecstasy (MDMA) and other “club drugs.” In a 2001 survey, 12% of 12th graders reported ever having taken the drug. The Ecstasy Anti-Proliferation Act of 2000, enacted by the 106th Congress, directed the U.S. Sentencing Commission to increase penalties for Ecstasy offenses. As of March 2001, MDMA penalties became more severe than for powder cocaine but less severe than for heroin. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4073/
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act's Insurance for Troubled Assets
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10806/
Fair Credit Reporting Act: Frequently Asked Questions
As financial privacy issues are debated in Congress, numerous questions about the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) have emerged. Enacted in 1970, the Fair Credit Reporting Act is the federal statute that establishes a regulatory framework for credit reporting in the United States and establishes a consumer’s rights with respect to his or her credit report. This report attempts to answer frequently asked questions about the Fair Credit Reporting Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4075/
Fair Credit Reporting Act: Frequently Asked Questions
As financial privacy issues are debated in Congress, numerous questions about the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) have emerged. Enacted in 1970, the Fair Credit Reporting Act is the federal statute that establishes a regulatory framework for credit reporting in the United States and establishes a consumer’s rights with respect to his or her credit report. This report attempts to answer frequently asked questions about the Fair Credit Reporting Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4076/
Fair Credit Reporting Act: Preemption of State Law
As financial privacy issues are debated in Congress, numerous questions about the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) have emerged. Enacted in 1970, the Fair Credit Reporting Act is the federal statute that establishes a regulatory framework for credit reporting in the United States and establishes a consumer’s rights with respect to his or her credit report. This report attempts to answer frequently asked questions about the Fair Credit Reporting Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4074/
Farm Product "Check-Off" Programs: A Constitutional Analysis
This report begins with a brief introduction to check-off programs and then describes many of the First Amendment principles that have been discussed in checkoff cases. Next is an analysis of the first two challenges that reached the Supreme Court, as well as a brief discussion of subsequent lower court decisions. This report concludes with a discussion of Johanns v. Livestock Marketing Association and its possible implications for check-off programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9116/
The FDA 2009 Budget Request
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10745/
The FDA FY2009 Budget
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770528/
Federal Advertising Law: An Overview
This report provides a brief overview of federal law with respect to five selected advertising issues: alcohol advertising, tobacco advertising, the Federal Trade Commission Act, advertising by mail, and advertising by telephone. There are numerous federal statutes regulating advertising that do not fit within any of these categories; as random examples, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires disclosures in advertisements for prescription drugs ; the Truth in Lending Act governs the advertising of consumer credit ; and a federal criminal statute makes it illegal falsely to convey in an advertisement that a business is connected with a federal agency. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs580/
Federal Sales of Natural Resources: Pricing and Allocation Mechanisms (1998)
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Financial Market Turmoil and U.S. Macroeconomic Performance
Lending in credit markets requires confidence in the borrowers' ability to repay the debt (principal and interest) in full and on schedule. The current turmoil in U.S. financial markets is the result of a breakdown in that necessary confidence. A number of indicators have pointed to a substantial rise in the cost of credit and a decrease in the flow of credit to the broader economy. Economic policy may be needed to get credit flowing smoothly again and to mitigate the damage incurred by households and non-financial businesses. Three types of policy response exist and are being applied in varying degrees. This report discusses each of these policy responses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26126/
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 Obama Administration's Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 (CFPA) and delineates some of the substantive differences between it and H.R. 3126, as ordered to be reported by the House Financial Services Committee, as well as the version that was ordered to be reported by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626997/
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/
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 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689285/
Firestone Tire Recall: NHTSA, Industry, and Congressional Responses
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Food Safety in the 111th Congress
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31334/
Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31333/
Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31332/
Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29563/
Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510
This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29562/
Geographical Indications and WTO Negotiations
This report discusses the issue of expanding intellectual property protections for geographical indications for wines, spirits, and agricultural products is being debated in the World Trade Organization (WTO). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9083/
The Hatch-Waxman Act: Proposed Legislative Changes
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The Hatch-Waxman Act: Proposed Legislative Changes Affecting Pharmaceutical Patents
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The Hatch-Waxman Act: Proposed Legislative Changes Affecting Pharmaceutical Patents
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