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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Campaign Finance Bills in the 107th Congress: Comparison of S. 22 (Hagel-Landrieu) with S. 27 (McCain-Feingold)
On March 19, 2001, the Senate began consideration of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill. The bill–S. 27 (Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2001)–was introduced on January 22, 2001 by Senators McCain, Feingold, Cochran et al. It features a ban on the raising of soft money by national parties, a ban on the spending of soft money by state and local parties on federal election-related activities (as defined), and a disclosure requirement for electioneering messages not regulated by federal election law, along with a ban on their funding from union or for-profit corporation treasuries. Another bill receiving considerable Senate attention is S. 22 (Open and Accountable Campaign Financing Act of 2001), introduced on January 22, 2001 by Senators Hagel, Landrieu et al. It features limits on soft money donations to national parties, increases in hard money contribution limits, and a requirement that broadcasters make information available on groups engaging in issue advocacy. This report provides a summary and comparison of these two measures, according to various categories. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1638/
Campaign Finance Reform and Incentives to Voluntarily Limit Candidate Spending From Personal Funds: Constitutional Issues Raised by Public Subsidies and Variable Contribution Limits
The Supreme Court in Buckley v. Valeo ruled that spending limits, including the amount a candidate can spend on his or her own campaign from personal funds (also known as personal fund expenditure limits) are unconstitutional. The Court did, however, uphold a system of spending limits, on the condition that they are voluntarily accepted in exchange for some form of public financing. As a result of these Court rulings, the concept of various incentives toward voluntary compliance with a personal funds expenditure limit has been developed. This report discusses some constitutional issues raised by two such incentives: public subsidies and variable contribution limits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1641/
Social Security and Medicare "Lock Boxes"
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Campaign Finance Reform: Constitutional Issues Raised by Disclosure Requirements
Campaign finance reform legislation often contains provisions that would impose additional reporting and disclosure requirements under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). For example, S. 27 (McCain/Feingold), would require disclosure of disbursements of expenditures over $10,000 for “electioneering communications,” which are defined to include broadcast ads that “refer” to federal office candidates, with identification of donors of $500 or more. S. 22 (Hagel/Landrieu) would increase and expedite current disclosure requirements under FECA. H.R. 380 (Shays/Meehan) would lower the current FECA threshold for contribution reporting from $200 to $50 and impose reporting requirements for soft money disbursements by persons other than political parties. This report will discuss some of the constitutional issues relating to these and other such disclosure requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1640/
Social Security Reform
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The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare
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Campaign Finance Reform: A Legal Analysis of Issue and Express Advocacy
Issue advocacy communications have become increasingly popular in recent federal election cycles. These advertisements are often 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 determined that issue ads are constitutionally protected First Amendment speech that cannot be regulated in any manner. According to most lower court rulings, only speech containing express words of advocacy of election or defeat, also known as "express advocacy" or "magic words" can be regulated and therefore be subject to the requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Unlike express advocacy communications, therefore, issue ads may be paid for with funds unregulated by federal law, i.e., soft money. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1623/
Campaign Finance Bills in the 107th Congress: Comparison of H.R. 380 (Shays-Meehan) with S. 27 (McCain-Feingold)
As in the last two Congresses, campaign finance reform will be a major issue in the 107th Congress, with attention again centered on the Senate McCain-Feingold and House Shays-Meehan bills. S. 27 (Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2001), introduced on January 22, 2001, will be considered by the Senate in March 2001; H.R. 380 (Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2001) was introduced January 31. Both bills ban the raising of soft money by national parties and the spending of it by state and local parties on federal election-related activities (as defined). But on the other key provision–issue advocacy–they differ notably. H.R. 380 offers a broad new definition of express advocacy, subjecting activity meeting that standard to all aspects of federal election law regulation. S. 27 classifies some messages as electioneering communications, requiring their disclosure and banning their funding by unions or for-profit corporations. This report summarizes and compares these two measures, according to various categories. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1639/
Social Security, Saving, and the Economy
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Issues in Consumer Bankruptcy Reform Before the 107th Congress
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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/metacrs2582/
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the 2000 Summit in Brunei
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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/metacrs1624/
Multilateral Development Banks: Basic Background
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H.R. 2415: Bankruptcy Reform in the Closing Days of the 106th Congress
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IMF Reform and the International Financial Institutions Advisory Commission
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Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information
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Social Security Reform: Bills in the 106th Congress
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Social Security Reform
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Derivatives Regulation: Legislation in the 106th Congress
The 106th Congress is considering a general overhaul of derivatives regulation. Pending legislation would codify the unregulated status of certain derivatives, exempt many other currently-regulated contracts from oversight by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and permit the trading of a new kind of contract: a futures contract based on the stock of an individual corporation. Derivatives legislation has been reported out of committee in both House and Senate. This report analyzes this legislation in the 106th Congress, and will be updated as developments warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1223/
Social Security Reform
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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
Virtually all political organizations are "section 527" political organizations, which means that they are tax-exempt. 527 organizations are created to influence the election or defeat of public officials. This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees prior to the enactment of P.L. 106-230 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10190/
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
Virtually all political organizations are "section 527" political organizations, which means that they are tax-exempt. 527 organizations are created to influence the election or defeat of public officials. This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees prior to the enactment of P.L. 106-230 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10189/
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 prior to the enactment of P.L. 106-230 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. For developments after the enactment of P.L. 106-230, please see CRS Report RS20650, 527 Organizations: Reporting Requirements Imposed on Political Organizations after the Enactment of P.L. 106-230. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9625/
Social Security: Taxation of Benefits
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Russia's Paris Club Debt: U.S. Interests
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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/
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/
Social Security: Summary of Major Changes in the Cash Benefits Program
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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/
Outer Continental Shelf: Oil and Gas Leasing and Revenue
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Global Financial Turmoil, the IMF, and the New Financial Architecture
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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/
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/
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/
Natural Resources: Assessing Nonmarket Values through Contingent Valuation
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The Russian Financial Crisis: An Analysis of Trends, Causes, and Implications
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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/
Managing Farm Risk in a New Policy Era
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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/
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/
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/
Securities Litigation Reform: Unfinished Business?
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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/
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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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/