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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
"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/
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/
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/
Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10666/
The Budget for Fiscal Year 2008
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/metadc822600/
Steel: Price and Policy Issues
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Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress
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Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10401/
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/
Standardized Choices: Medigap Lessons for Medicare Part D
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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/
Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: An Overview of Implementation for Dual Eligibles
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10840/
The Internal Revenue Service's Use of Private Debt Collection Agencies: Current Status and Issues for Congress
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 digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8380/
State Securities Class Action Suits: Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner
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Products Liability: A Legal Overview
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Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress
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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/
Products Liability: A Legal Overview
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Payday Loans: Federal Regulatory Initiatives
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Beneficiary Information and Decision Supports for the Medicare-Endorsed Prescription Drug Discount Card
On December 8, 2003 the President signed into law the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA, P.L. 108-173). This legislation establishes a Medicare prescription drug benefit, effective January 1, 2006. In the interim, the legislation requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a temporary program of Medicare-endorsed prescription drug discount cards. This report discusses the objectives and benefits of this legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6351/
Identity Theft: The Internet Connection
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The Pros and Cons of Allowing the Federal Government to Negotiate Prescription Drug Prices
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Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress
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Wireless Privacy and Spam: Issues for Congress
Wireless communications devices such as cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) are ubiquitous. Some consumers, already deluged with unwanted commercial messages, or “spam,” via computers that access the Internet by traditional wireline connections, are concerned that such unsolicited advertising is expanding to wireless communications, further eroding their privacy. Congress continues to debate how to protect wireless subscribers further, and several bills were considered in the 108th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8209/
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/
Medicare Endorsed Prescription Drug Discount Card Program
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Importing Prescription Drugs: Objectives, Options, and Outlook
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Implications of the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit for State Budgets
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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/
Overview of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003
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Prescription Drug Coverage Under Medicaid
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Legal Issues Related to Prescription Drug Sales on the Internet
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Telemarketing: Dealing with Unwanted Telemarketing Calls
This report provides summaries of the federal laws and regulations particular to telemarketing, the establishment of a national do-not-call registry, and the options that are available to consumers to limit the calls that they receive from telemarketers and to report questionable telemarketing practices to local or federal authorities. The report also lists sources of additional information with addresses, phone numbers, and Internet sites (if available). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824434/
Prescription Drug Importation and Internet Sales: A Legal Overview
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The Hatch-Waxman Act: Proposed Legislative Changes Affecting Pharmaceutical Patents
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Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, H.R. 1036, S. 659, S. 1805, S. 1806, 108th Congress: Legal Analysis
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The Hatch-Waxman Act: Proposed Legislative Changes Affecting Pharmaceutical Patents
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Telemarketing: Dealing with Unwanted Telemarketing Calls
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Slamming: The Unauthorized Change of a Consumer's Telephone Service Provider
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Products Liability: A Legal Overview
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The Hatch-Waxman Act: Proposed Legislative Changes Affecting Pharmaceutical Patents
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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/
Identity Theft and the Fair Credit Reporting Act: An Analysis of
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Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, H.R. 1036 and S. 659, 108th Congress: Legal Analysis
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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: 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/
Telemarketing: Dealing with Unwanted Telemarketing Calls
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Consumer Bankruptcy and Household Debt
Financial distress is most common among lower-income families, but its incidence has grown in all income brackets. This trend suggests that explanations for the rise in consumer bankruptcy filings are more likely to be found in micro-analysis of individuals and groups of debtors than in macroeconomic indicators. This report presents statistics on bankruptcy filings, household debt, and households in financial distress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4667/
Products Liability: A Legal Overview
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Overview of the Medicare Prescription Drug and Reform Legislation
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