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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Role of Risk Analysis and Risk Management in Environmental Protection
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The Abandoned Mine Land Fund: Grants Distribution and Issues
The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA, P.L. 95-87), enacted in 1977, established reclamation standards for all coal surface mining operations, and for the surface effects of underground mining. It also established the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program to promote the reclamation of sites mined and abandoned prior to the enactment of SMCRA. To finance reclamation of abandoned mine sites, the legislation established fees on coal production. These collections are divided into federal and state shares; subject to annual appropriation, AML funds are distributed annually to states with approved reclamation programs. This report describes the distribution of these funds and the various issues that arise from said distribution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs398/
Environmental Protection: How Much it Costs and Who Pays
A recurring issue in environmental policy is the cost of pollution control imposed on individuals, businesses, and government. To inform policymakers about these costs, a number of surveys and analyses have been conducted over the years. consistent, basic sources have been an annual survey of costs to manufacturers, conducted by the Bureau of Census(BOC), and an annual analysis of total costs, prepared by the Bureau of Economic Analysis(BEA). Overall, the BEA analysis showed the nation spent $122 billion for pollution abatement and control in 1994, or about 1.76% of Gross Domestic Product. Personal consumption expenditures for pollution control were $22 billion, government 435 billion, and business $65 billion. These 1994 data represent the end of the annual series; the BOC survey and BEA analysis have been discontinued digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs435/
Wildlife Restoration Projects Fund
Since 1937, a cooperative program between the federal and state governments has existed for wildlife restoration. This program provides federal grants-in-aid to state agencies for conservation through land and water management for wild birds and mammals. While up to 8% of the collected revenues from excise taxes dedicated to the program may be retained by the federal government for administration, all remaining funds are apportioned to the states and territories for use either in wildlife restoration or hunter safety and education programs. Wildlife restoration programs receive all funds generated from the excise tax on firearms other than pistols and revolvers and all funds collected from shells and cartridges. Additionally, one-half of the excise taxes collected from pistols, revolvers, and archery equipment goes for wildlife restoration purposes. Hunter safety and education programs are funded from the remaining half of excise taxes collected on pistols, revolvers, and archery equipment. The states have been authorized by law to use hunter safety and education funds for wildlife restoration projects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs386/
Forest Roads: Construction and Financing
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Social Security Financing Reform: Lessons from the 1983 Amendments
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Out-of-State Money in the Congressional Elections of 1992, 1994, and 1996: Trends and Policy Issues
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ISTEA Reauthorization: Highway Related Legislative Proposals in the 105th Congress
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China and the Multilateral Development Banks
Congress is currently considering appropriations for U.S. contributions to the World Bank and other multilateral development banks (MDBs) as well as separate legislation that would require U.S. representatives to these institutions to oppose all concessional loans to China. This report provides a brief analysis of China’s relationship with the MDBs to highlight some issues and help Members of Congress, congressional staff, and observers better understand the context for the current debates in Congress and the multilateral agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs466/
FY1998 USDA Budget and Appropriations: Domestic Food Programs
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Private Mortgage Insurance: Cancellation Options
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The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Proposed Quota Increase: Issues for Congress
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Africa: Trade and Development Initiatives by the Clinton Administration and Congress
In February 1997, the Clinton Administration submitted the second of five annual reports on the Administration's Comprehensive Trade and Development Policy for Africa as required by section 134 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (House Document 103-3415, Vol. 1.). On April 24, 1997, members of the African Trade and Investment Caucus introduced a bill, H.R. 1432, on U.S.-Africa trade and investment issues. In his State of the Union address in January 1998, President Clinton called on Congress to pass the trade legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs813/
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/
Campaign Finance Reform Bills in the 105th Congress: Comparison of H.R. 3581 (Thomas), H.R. 3526 (Shays-Meehan), and Current Law
On March 30, 1998, the House considered four campaign reform bills under a suspension of rules, focusing on the comprehensive H.R. 3581, offered that day for the Republican leadership by Mr. Thomas; it failed passage on a 74-337 vote. (The bill was similar to H.R. 3485, also by Mr. Thomas, reported by the House Oversight Committee March 18.1) The bill generating the most publicity in the 105th Congress has been S. 25 (McCain-Feingold),2 introduced on March 19 as H.R. 3526 by Messrs. Shays and Meehan. This report summarizes and compares H.R. 3581, H.R. 3526, and current law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs627/
Asian Financial Crisis: An Analysis of U.S. Foreign Policy Interests and Options
The principal focus of this report is on the foreign policy ramifications of the Asian financial crisis and U.S. options for addressing them. This report tracks and analyzes the efforts of the most seriously affected Asian countries to deal with their economic and financial problems, and their interaction with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United States, and other major sources of financial support and policy advice. It also addresses the implications of the crisis for such U.S. interests as regional stability and the prevention of conflict, trade liberalization, and U.S. regional and global leadership, and discusses the principal factors that could influence the duration and severity of the crisis. A final section considers options for Congress in the context of various criticisms of the IMF’s stabilization programs and the operations of the Fund itself. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs692/
Medicare: Financing the Part A Hospital Insurance Program
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Multiple-Group Federal Credit Unions: An Update
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The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare
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Social Security: The Relationship of Taxes and Benefits for Past, Present, and Future Retirees
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One Million Personal Bankruptcies a Year: Economic Implications and Policy Options
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Campaign Finance Reform: A Legal Analysis of Issue and Express Advocacy
Issue advocacy communications have become increasingly popular over the federal election cycles. Often these advertisements could be interpreted to favor or disfavor certain candidates, while also serving to inform the public about a policy issue. However, unlike communications that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, the Supreme Court has ruled that issue ads are constitutionally protected First Amendment speech and cannot be regulated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs626/
Banking Acquisition and Merger Procedures
This report discusses in general terms the basic process and time line for banking industry acquisitions and mergers and briefly discusses the May 4, 1998 application by Travelers Group to merge with Citicorp. Among the issues discussed are: potential impact on consumers; whether the new entities would be too big to fail; and, whether competitive equity calls for financial modernization legislation with functional regulation of the securities, banking, and insurance sectors of companies offering customers a full range of financial products and services. Legislative developments on financial modernization issues in the 105th Congress are reported in CRS Issue Brief 97034, which is available on the Legislative Information System. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs686/
Uniform Standards in Private Securities Litigation: Limitations on Shareholder Lawsuits
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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/
Campaign Finance Debate in the House: Substitute Amendments to H.R. 2183 (105th Congress)
This report provides a summary and comparison of the 11 substitute amendments to H.R. 2183, a campaign finance reform bill offered by Representatives Hutchinson and Allen, that, under H. Res. 442, will be in order for consideration by the House. The House began consideration of the bill and these substitute amendments (as well as additional perfecting amendments) on May 21, 1998. This report is intended for use by House Members and staff in preparation for and during House debate and assumes basic familiarity with the underlying issues. It may be updated to reflect further legislative actions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs629/
Highway Funding, the States, and New Air Quality Standards
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Restructuring Electricity Markets, Public Power, and Tax-Exempt Bonds: An Economic Analysis
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Are High Interest Rates a Threat to Sustained Economic Recovery?
A major question that arises in Congress during its considerations of what policies promote and what inhibit the restoration of a healthy economy is the influence that interest rates exert. In particular, are high interest rates a threat to sustained economic recovery? digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9033/
Securities Litigation Reform: Unfinished Business?
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Campaign Finance Bills in the 105th Congress: Comparison of H.R. 2183 (Hutchison -Allen), H.R. 3526 (Shays-Meehan), and Current Law
As pledged by Speaker Gingrich, the House renewed consideration of campaign finance reform in May 1998. The principal bill is H.R. 2183, known as the freshman bipartisan bill, introduced July 17, 1997, by Messrs. Hutchinson and Allen. Selected floor amendments and substitutes will be in order. The legislation that has generated the most publicity in the 105th Congress has been the McCain-Feingold bill (S. 25), offered on March 19, 1998, as H.R. 3526 by Messrs. Shays and Meehan;1 this has also been offered as substitute amendment no. 13 to H.R. 2183 in the current debate. Table 1 highlights key differences between the two bills, and Table 2 summarizes and compares H.R. 2183, H.R. 3526, and current law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs628/
Banking and Finance: Legislative Initiatives in the 105th Congress, Second Session
This report reviews major banking and finance issues that are receiving congressional attention in the 2nd session of the 105th Congress. It will be updated periodically to reflect legislative developments. Relevant CRS products are referenced. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs690/
Credit Union Common Bond Ruling: NCUA v. First National Bank and Trust Co._U.S._ (No. 96-843)
On February 25, 1998, the Supreme Court ruled that federal credit unions may not consist of more than one occupational group having a single common bond. On April 1, the House passed H.R. 1151 (H.Rept. 105-472), which grandfathers existing credit unions and sets standards for future multi-group credit unions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs683/
Managing Farm Risk in a New Policy Era
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Environmental, Health, and Safety Tradeoffs: A Discussion of Policymaking Opportunities and Constraints
This report discusses the implications of cost-benefit analysis and risk assessment in the context of congressional and administrative decision-making structures. It identifies constraints on flexible decision-making and some implications of trying to overcome them. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1018/
The Russian Financial Crisis: An Analysis of Trends, Causes, and Implications
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Natural Resources: Assessing Nonmarket Values through Contingent Valuation
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Campaign Finance Bills in the 106th Congress: Comparison of Shays-Meehan, as passed, with McCain-Feingold, as considered
On September 14, 1999, the House passed the Shays-Meehan bill--H.R. 417, the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 1999, as amended, by a vote of 252-177. Senate sponsors of the companion measure, S. 26 (McCain-Feingold), revised their proposal and, on September 16, introduced S. 1593, containing just four sections of H.R. 417 and S. 26. The Senate debated S. 1593 from October 13-20, culminating in unsuccessful cloture votes October 19 on two amendments: Daschle amendment 2298, substituting text nearly identical to the House-passed H.R. 417; and Reid amendment 2229 (a perfecting amendment to no. 2298), substituting text of S. 1593 as offered, plus McCain amendment 2294 (adopted October 14), which added certain disclosure requirements. This report compares provisions of the House-passed bill with the one considered by the Senate in October 1999. No further updates are planned. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1160/
Campaign Finance Debate in the 106th Congress: Comparison of Measures Under House Consideration
On September 14, the House passed H.R. 417 on a vote of 252-177, as amended by three perfecting amendments: Bereuter/Wicker #6; Faleomavaega #1; and Sweeney #21. This report features two tables. Table 1 summarizes and compares the ten perfecting amendments, current law, and the Shays-Meehan proposal. Table 2 summarizes and compares current law, the Shays-Meehan bill, and the three substitute amendments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1155/
Campaign Financing
This is one report in the series of reports that discuss the campaign finance practices and related issues. Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. The report talks about the today’s paramount issues such as perceived loopholes in current law and the longstanding issues: overall costs, funding sources, and competition. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1152/
Electricity Restructuring and Tax-Exempt Bonds: Economic Analysis of Legislative Proposals
Tax-exempt bonds reduce public power's interest cost on debt and enable it to lower the price of electricity. This subsidy makes taxpayers better off only if the private market fails to provide the correct amount of electricity. In general, the private market can provide the correct amount of electricity; in those cases when it can not, the tax-exempt bond subsidy is unlikely to correct the problem. Tax-exempt bond legislation has been consistent with this perspective that an interest subsidy for electricity production does not correct a market failure; its focus has been to prohibit the spread of subsidized public power beyond its traditional service areas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1222/
Debt Reduction: Initiatives for the Most Heavily Indebted Poor Countries
This report offers a broad overview of the debate concerning debt reduction for poor developing countries. It profiles the scope and structure of debt and reviews previous debt relief strategies and the current HIPC Initiative. It analyzes and compares competing alternatives endorsed by the Administration, congressional activists, NGOs, and other G-7 governments. Several key issues, such as costs, impact, and conditionality, of pending proposals are also assessed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1259/
Global Financial Turmoil, the IMF, and the New Financial Architecture
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Outer Continental Shelf: Oil and Gas Leasing and Revenue
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African Development Bank and Fund
The African Development Bank Group, including the Bank itself (AfDB) and its "soft-loan" affiliate, the African Development Fund (AfDF), is a development finance institution based in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. The Bank has 53 African members, as well as 24 non-regional members, including the United States. In the mid-1990s, the Bank faced management problems and difficulties arising from non-performing loans, but reforms launched in 1995 by a new Bank president, Omar Kabbaj, brought new pledges of support from the non-regionals. U.S. contributions to the Bank resumed in FY2000. This report will be updated as events warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1260/
Social Security: Summary of Major Changes in the Cash Benefits Program
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Brazil's Economic Reform and the Global Financial Crisis
Despite backing from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), capital flight from Brazil in 1998 prompted the government to jettison its pegged currency stabilization program and float the real on January 15, 1999, becoming another casualty of the volatile international capital markets. Brazil adjusted to its financial crisis faster than expected, which is considered over. This report provides a final summary of Brazil's financial crisis and related IMF assistance in support of Congressional interest in various aspects of the 1990s global financial turmoil. It will not be updated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1220/
527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change
This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees in an attempt to highlight the differences between them, and discusses some of the proposals in the 106th Congress to require additional reporting by organizations engaging in political activities. This report does not address the taxation of other tax-exempt organizations making political expenditures taxable under IRC § 527. The report will be updated as new proposals are reported. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1156/
Russia's Paris Club Debt: U.S. Interests
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Social Security: Taxation of Benefits
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