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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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 the open economy and the UAE's lax export controls. It discusses these issues in relation to a recently-signed U.S.-UAE civilian nuclear agreement and 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/metadc122338/
Moldova: Background and U.S. Policy
This report provides information and analysis on Moldova, including its political and economic situation, foreign policy, and on U.S. policy toward Moldova. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122342/
TARP Assistance for the U.S. Motor Vehicle Industry: Unwinding the Government Stake in GMAC
This report discusses government support given to Ally Financial, formerly known as General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC), which provides auto financing, insurance, online banking, and mortgage and commercial financing. This report looks at how or even it GMAC will be able to pay back the government for Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122209/
Unemployment: Issues in the 112th Congress
This report briefly reviews the situation in the 2012 labor market, expands on the policy steps taken to date, and analyzes policy issues that typically arise during consideration of stimulus legislation. Three policy issues are examined: whether to take additional measures to increase jobs, what measures might be most effective, and how job creation proposals should be financed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122205/
Clean Water Act and Pollutant Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
This report discusses the total maximum daily load (TMDL) program which regulates pollutants to ensure that water quality standards can be attained; section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to identify waters that are impaired by pollution, even after application of pollution controls. The report focuses on new challenges facing the TMDL program, including more complex TMDLs, larger scale impairments, and nonpoint sources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122259/
U.S. International Trade: Trends and Forecasts
This report provides an overview of the current status, trends, and forecasts for U.S. import and export flows as well as certain trade balances. The purpose of this report is to provide current data and brief explanations for the various types of trade flows, along with a brief discussion of trends that help inform the discussion of the various policy issues mentioned above. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122307/
Extending Unemployment Compensation Benefits During Recessions
This report describes the history of temporary federal extensions to unemployment benefits from 1980 to the present. It has five sections which discuss: [1] background information on unemployment compensation (UC) benefits, [2] a definition of a recession and the process of declaring a recession, [3] a summary of the legislative history of federal extensions of unemployment benefits, [4] figures examining the statistics of recessions, and [5] previous methods for financing temporary recession programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122321/
Changing the Federal Reserve's Mandate: An Economic Analysis
This report discusses a number of implementation issues surrounding an economic inflation target. These include what rate of inflation to target, what inflation measure to use, whether to set a point target or range, and what penalties to impose if a target is missed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103136/
Panama: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the current political and economic conditions in the country of Panama. Furthermore, it describes the U.S.-Panama relationship at length, including trade relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103158/
Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP): Implementation and Status
The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was created by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA) enacted on October 3, 2008 to address the ongoing financial crisis. This report provides a brief outline of the programs created under TARP, recent changes made by Congress, and a summary of the current status and estimated costs of the program. It also provides an Appendix that contains detailed discussions of the individual TARP programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103108/
Trade Preferences: Economic Issues and Policy Options
This report discusses programs designed to foster growth in less developed countries, the major U.S. trade preference programs, their possible economic effects, stakeholder interests, and legislative options. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103109/
Belarus: Background and U.S. Policy Concerns
This report provides an overview of the history of U.S. - Belarus relations. Current issues include U.S. and international attempts to influence Aleksandr Lukashenko, the Belarusian President, toward making the Belarusian government more democratic and open. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103173/
Derivatives Regulation in the 111th Congress
This report summarizes derivatives legislation that was considered but not enacted by the 111th Congress, and it provides background on the derivatives market. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103061/
Legislative Branch: FY2011 Appropriations
This report discusses budgetary issues of the legislative branch of the U.S. government during Fiscal Year 2011. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103093/
Panama: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the current political and economic conditions in the country of Panama, which has made notable political and economic progress since the 1989 U.S. military intervention that ousted the regime of General Manuel Noriega from power. The United States has close relations with Panama, stemming in large part from the extensive linkages developed when the canal was under U.S. control. This report describes the U.S.-Panama relationship at length, including trade relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99078/
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
This report provides a background of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) financial crisis and the issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99122/
The G-20 and International Economic Cooperation: Background and Implications for Congress
This report discusses the background of the G-20 (an international forum for discussing and coordinating economic policies) and some of the issues that it has addressed. It includes historic background on the work of the G-20, information about how the group operates, overviews of G-20 summits, major issues that the group is likely to address and the likely effectiveness of the G-20 in the near future. The members of the G-20 include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99014/
U.S.-Japan Economic Relations: Significance, Prospects, and Policy Options
This report discusses issues regarding U.S.-Japan economic relations, since the economic condition of each nation can affect the world economy and a U.S.-Japan bilateral economic relationship could influence economic conditions in other countries. U.S. and Japanese leaders have several options on how to manage their relationship, including stronger reliance on the World Trade Organization; special bilateral negotiating frameworks and agreements; or a free trade agreement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99086/
An Analysis of the Distribution of Wealth Across Households, 1989-2010
The distribution of wealth (net worth) across households has been an underlying consideration in congressional deliberations on various issues, including taxation and social welfare. This report analyzes the change over time in the concentration of net worth (assets minus liabilities) to help inform those policy deliberations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98064/
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase, including an 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/metadc98048/
LIBOR: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers frequently asked questions about the London Interbank Offer Rate (LIBOR), which is an estimate of prevailing interest rates in London money market. In particular, it addresses the effects of individual institutions, in response to an admission by Barclays (a British bank) that the bank had submitted false reports to manipulate the index. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98032/
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. It discusses these issues in relation to a recently-signed U.S.-UAE civilian nuclear agreement and 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/metadc98120/
The 2001 and 2003 Bush Tax Cuts and Deficit Reduction
This report uses the context of the current and long-term economic environment to examine the tax cuts implemented by the George W. Bush Administration, including the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98014/
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions
This report discusses economic effects of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy, monetary policy vs. fiscal policy, the current stance of monetary policy given the financial crisis, and Congressional oversight and disclosure on the issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98039/
Economic Recovery: Sustaining U.S. Economic Growth in a Post-Crisis Economy
This report looks at how Congress has been proactive in helping the economy recover after the 2008-2009 recession, as well as how it can help to keep recessions at bay in the future. Issues include typical post-war recessions, insufficient pace of private spending, and the long-term debt problem. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96676/
Higher Education Tax Benefits: Brief Overview and Budgetary Effects
This report provides a brief overview of the higher education tax benefits that are currently available to students and their families. The report contrasts higher education tax benefits with traditional student aid, presents a brief history of higher education tax policy over the past 60 years, summarizes key features of the available tax benefits, and provides JCT estimates of revenue losses resulting from individual tax provisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96712/
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions
This report discusses how the Federal Reserve (Fed) handles monetary policy, including background information about the execution of monetary policy, the recent and current stance of monetary policy, and current legislation and Congressional oversight that would affect the Fed's practices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96734/
China-U.S. Trade Issues
This report discusses the U.S.-China economic relationship and China's rapid expansion as a global economic market, both with respect to the current global economic crisis. It also examines major U.S.-China trade issues and related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94052/
China's Economic Conditions
This report looks at how economic reforms and trade liberalization that began in 1979 has lead to China blossoming into one of the world's fastest growing economies. The report surveys the rise of China's economy; describes major economic challenges facing China; and discusses the challenges, opportunities, and implications of China's economic rise for the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94051/
China-U.S. Trade Issues
This report discusses the U.S.-China economic relationship and China's rapid expansion as a global economic market, both with respect to the current global economic crisis. It also examines major U.S.-China trade issues and related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94053/
U.S. International Trade: Trends and Forecasts
This report discusses the U.S. trade deficit in light of the 2008 global financial crisis, with emphasis on international trade and U.S. trade policy, most recent developments in trade of goods and service, trade forecasts for the future, and how issues such as the U.S. trade deficit and international trade, particularly with China, are commonly perceived. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94065/
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/metadc94197/
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase, an 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/metadc93968/
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase, an 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/metadc93970/
Rio+20: The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, June 2012
This report discusses the purpose of the June 2012 United Nations (U.N.) Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or “Rio+20”) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It looks at issues that could be addressed during the conference as well as how this conference may differ from the last U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio in 1992. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93939/
Millennium Challenge Corporation
This report discusses the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), which provides economic assistance through a competitive selection process to developing nations that are pursuing political and economic reforms in three areas: ruling justly, investing in people, and fostering economic freedom. This report also discusses several concerns related to MCC implementation, including the level of funding to support MCC programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93984/
Double-Dip Recession: Previous Experience and Current Prospect
This report discusses factors suggesting an increased risk of a double-dip recession. A double-dip or W-shaped recession occurs when the economy emerges from a recession, has a short period of growth, but then, still well short of a full recovery, falls back into recession. It also discusses other factors that suggest economic recovery will continue. It presents the U.S. historical experience with double-dip recessions. It examines the role of deleveraging by households and businesses in the aftermath of the recent financial crisis in shaping the likely pace of economic recovery. The report concludes with a look at current economic projections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93846/
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase, an 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/metadc87266/
Legislative Branch: FY2013 Appropriations
The legislative branch appropriations bill provides funding for the Senate; House of Representatives; Joint Items; Capitol Police; Office of Compliance; Congressional Budget Office; Architect of the Capitol; Library of Congress, including the Congressional Research Service; Government Printing Office; Government Accountability Office; and Open World Leadership Center. The legislative branch FY2013 budget request of $4.512 billion, which is submitted to the President by the legislative branch agencies and entities and included in the budget without change, was submitted to Congress on February 13, 2012. The request represents an increase of $205.5 million over the $4.307 billion in discretionary funding provided in Division G of the FY2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which was enacted on December 23, 2011. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87224/
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions
The Federal Reserve (Fed) defines monetary policy as the actions it undertakes to influence the availability and cost of money and credit. Since the expectations of market participants play an important role in determining prices and growth, monetary policy can also be defined to include the directives, policies, statements, and actions of the Fed that influence how the future is perceived. In addition, the Fed acts as a “lender of last resort” to the nation's financial system, meaning that it ensures continued smooth functioning of financial intermediation by providing financial markets with adequate liquidity. This role has become of great importance following the onset of the recent financial crisis. Congress has delegated responsibility for monetary policy to the Fed, but retains oversight responsibilities to ensure that the Fed is adhering to its statutory mandate “maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.” This report looks at the background and influences of current legislation that would affect the Fed's practices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87249/
Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2012
President Obama has requested $147.911 billion for research and development (R&D) in FY2012, a $772 million (0.5%) increase from the FY2010 actual R&D funding level of $147.139 billion. Congress will play a central role in defining the nation's R&D priorities, especially with respect to two overarching issues: the extent to which the federal R&D investment can grow in the context of increased pressure on discretionary spending and how available funding will be prioritized and allocated. Low or negative growth in the overall R&D investment may require movement of resources across disciplines, programs, or agencies to address priorities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87174/
U.S.-Japan Economic Relations: Significance, Prospects, and Policy Options
This report discusses issues regarding U.S.-Japan economic relations, since the economic condition of each nation can affect the world economy and a U.S.-Japan bilateral economic relationship could influence economic conditions in other countries. U.S. and Japanese leaders have several options on how to manage their relationship, including stronger reliance on the World Trade Organization; special bilateral negotiating frameworks and agreements; or a free trade agreement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87288/
U.S.-Japan Economic Relations: Significance, Prospects, and Policy Options
This report discusses issues regarding U.S.-Japan economic relations, since the economic condition of each nation can affect the world economy and a U.S.-Japan bilateral economic relationship could influence economic conditions in other countries. U.S. and Japanese leaders have several options on how to manage their relationship, including stronger reliance on the World Trade Organization; special bilateral negotiating frameworks and agreements; or a free trade agreement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87289/
Evaluating the Current Stance of Monetary Policy Using a Taylor Rule
Oversight of the Federal Reserve's (Fed's) monetary policy decisions rests with Congress. But oversight is encumbered by the absence of a straightforward relationship between interest rates and economic performance. Further, the Fed's policy decisions are discretionary, meaning there is no objective, transparent “yardstick” for evaluating their decisions. A simple rule of thumb guide to monetary policy decisions called a “Taylor rule” is an intuitive way to judge actual policy against some objective, albeit simplistic, ideal. Taylor rules prescribe a federal funds target based on inflation and the output gap (i.e., the difference between actual gross domestic product [GDP] and potential GDP) and can be adjusted to reflect a variety of policy goals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87374/
Changing the Federal Reserve's Mandate: An Economic Analysis
This report discusses a number of implementation issues surrounding an inflation target. These include what rate of inflation to target, what inflation measure to use, whether to set a point target or range, and what penalties to impose if a target is missed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86574/
Economic Development Administration: Reauthorization and Funding Issues in the 112th Congress
The 112th Congress may consider legislation to reauthorize and amend the Public Works and Economic Development Act (PWEDA), whose statutory authority expired on September 30, 2008. As part of those deliberations, Congress may consider a number of changes in the structure of Economic Development Administration (EDA) assistance programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86557/
U.S.-Japan Economic Relations: Significance, Prospects, and Policy Options
Japan and the United States are the two largest economic powers. Together they account for over 30% of world domestic product, for a significant portion of international trade in goods and services, and for a major portion of international investment. This economic clout makes the United States and Japan potentially powerful actors in the world economy. Economic conditions in the United States and Japan have a significant impact on the rest of the world. Furthermore, the U.S.-Japan bilateral economic relationship can influence economic conditions in other countries. More generally, other issues regarding U.S.-Japan economic relations may emerge on the agenda of the 112th Congress. U.S. and Japanese leaders have several options on how to manage their relationship, including stronger reliance on the World Trade Organization; special bilateral negotiating frameworks and agreements; or a free trade agreement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86647/
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
This report provides a background of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), financial crisis and the issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86666/
Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP): Implementation and Status
The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was created by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act1 (EESA) enacted on October 3, 2008, to address the ongoing financial crisis. This report provides a brief outline of the programs created under TARP, recent changes made by Congress, and a summary of the current status and estimated costs of the program. It also provides an Appendix that contains detailed discussions of the individual TARP programs. This report will be updated as warranted by market and legislative events. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86568/
Economic Recovery: Sustaining U.S. Economic Growth in a Post-Crisis Economy
A look at how Congress' has been proactive in helping the economy recover after the 2008-2009 recession, as well as how it can help to keep recessions at bay in the future. Issues regards to this are typical post-war recessions, insufficient pace of private spending, and long-term debt problem. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86564/