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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases

The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases

Date: January 6, 2012
Creator: Austin, D. Andrew & Levit, Mindy R.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases

The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases

Date: January 20, 2012
Creator: Austin, D. Andrew & Levit, Mindy R.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2012

Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2012

Date: January 26, 2012
Creator: Sargent, John F., Jr.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Evaluating the Current Stance of Monetary Policy Using a Taylor Rule

Evaluating the Current Stance of Monetary Policy Using a Taylor Rule

Date: January 30, 2012
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions

Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions

Date: January 30, 2012
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S.-Japan Economic Relations: Significance, Prospects, and Policy Options

U.S.-Japan Economic Relations: Significance, Prospects, and Policy Options

Date: February 14, 2012
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Economic Development Administration: Reauthorization and Funding Issues in the 112th Congress

Economic Development Administration: Reauthorization and Funding Issues in the 112th Congress

Date: March 1, 2012
Creator: Boyd, Eugene
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Changing the Federal Reserve's Mandate: An Economic Analysis

Changing the Federal Reserve's Mandate: An Economic Analysis

Date: March 13, 2012
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The G-20 and International Economic Cooperation: Background and Implications for Congress

The G-20 and International Economic Cooperation: Background and Implications for Congress

Date: April 12, 2012
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.
Description: The G-20 is an international forum for discussing and coordinating economic policies among major advanced and emerging economies. Congress may want to exercise oversight over the Administration's participation in the G-20 process, including the policy commitments that Administration is making in the G-20 and the policies it is encouraging other G-20 countries to pursue.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Economic Growth and the Unemployment Rate

Economic Growth and the Unemployment Rate

Date: April 18, 2012
Creator: Levine, Linda
Description: Issues concerning and which can be influenced by Congress regarding unemployment rates.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department