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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Candidates, Groups, and the Campaign Finance Environment
This report briefly discusses the current campaign finance environment and the implications of changes to campaign finance policy over the past several decades. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627084/
International Investment Agreements (IIAs): Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers frequently asked questions about international investment agreements (IIAs) made between the United States and other countries. Questions are categorized in three main areas: background and context; U.S. international investment agreements; and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627163/
Uncertainty in Financial Projections of Social Security
The financial outlook for Social Security has been the subject of much analysis and debate. This report briefly discusses a report from the Social Security Board of Trustees which contains the federal government's official financial projections for the Social Security program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626889/
Current Debates over Exchange Rates: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides information on current debates over exchange rates in the global economy. It offers an overview of how exchange rates work; analyzes specific disagreements and debates; and examines existing frameworks for potentially addressing currency disputes. It also lays out some policy options available to Congress, should Members want to take action on exchange rate issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627010/
International Investment Agreements (IIAs): Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers frequently asked questions about international investment agreements (IIAs) made between the United States and other countries. Questions are categorized in three main areas: background and context; U.S. international investment agreements; and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627222/
The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress
This report includes updated material that emphasizes the issues most prominently before the 113th Congress. It also discusses foundational information about major elements of campaign finance policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627056/
An Analysis of the Regulatory Burden on Small Banks
This report explains the concept of regulatory burden and the different ways it can be manifested. It analyzes whether small banks are relatively more burdened by regulation than big banks. To help answer that question, the report looks at the relative treatment of small and large banks in recent major regulatory proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626873/
IMF Reforms: Issues for Congress
This report provides information about the reforms made by the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in December 2010, Congress's role in the reform process, and how the reforms could affect U.S. interests at the IMF. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505420/
Status of the Federal Perkins Loan Program: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers several frequently asked questions regarding the current and future status of the Federal Perkins Loan program, which authorizes the allocation of federal funds to institutions of higher education to assist them in capitalizing revolving loan funds for the purpose of making low-interest loans to students with exceptional financial need. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627046/
Designating Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs)
This report briefly discusses congressional concerns regarding the Financial Stability Oversight Council's (FSOC) authorization to designate certain non-bank entities as Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFI). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505533/
Small Business Administration Microloan Program
This report describes the Microloan program's eligibility standards and operating requirements for lenders and borrowers and examines the arguments presented by the program's critics and advocates. It also examines changes to the program authorized by P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505568/
Increased Campaign Contribution Limits in the FY2015 Omnibus Appropriations Law: Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides brief answers to frequently asked questions about increased campaign contribution limits in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.R. 83; P.L. 113-235), enacted and signed into law in December 2014. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503282/
The European Capital Markets Union
This report briefly discusses the implications of the European Commission's recently drafted proposal for a Capital Markets Union (CMU) to complement its current efforts to create a Banking Union. The CMU is intended to strengthen capital markets in the 28-member European Union (EU) in order to provide a viable alternative to the current bank-centered funding model commonly used by European firms. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503680/
Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns
Congress is faced with determining whether it wants public financing of presidential campaigns to continue and, if so, how. Proposals to curtail the presidential public financing program have been a consistent theme in recent Congresses. This report provides a brief policy overview and raises potential issues for congressional consideration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503306/
The EMV Chip Card Transition: Background, Status, and Issues for Congress
This report describes the financial harm caused by data breaches and explains how those breaches are carried out. It provides information about the effect of the transition in selected foreign countries. The report also discusses resolved and remaining impediments to completing the EMV ( Europay, MasterCard Visa) transition in the United States and identifies areas of potential congressional interest. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503558/
The Swiss National Bank's Recent Currency Actions
This report presents the foreign exchange value of the Swiss franc relative to the euro and dollar. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501609/
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions
This report provides an overview of monetary policy and recent developments. It discusses issues for Congress, including transparency and proposals to change the Fed's mandate, and ends with a brief overview of the Fed's regulatory responsibilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503675/
The Target and Other Financial Data Breaches: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers some frequently asked questions about the Target and selected other data breaches, including what is known to have happened in the breach, and what costs may result. It also examines some of the broader issues common to data breaches, including how the payment system works, how cybersecurity costs are shared and allocated within the payment system, who bears the losses in such breaches more generally, what emerging cybersecurity technologies may help prevent them, and what role the government could play in encouraging their adoption. The report addresses policy issues that were discussed in the 113th Congress to deal with these issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503332/
Who Regulates Whom and How? An Overview of U.S. Financial Regulatory Policy for Banking and Securities Markets
This report provides an overview of the regulatory policies of the agencies that oversee banking and securities markets and explains which agencies are responsible for which institutions, activities, and markets. Some agencies regulate particular types of institutions for risky behavior or conflicts of interest, some agencies promulgate rules for certain financial transactions no matter what kind of institution engages in them, and other agencies enforce existing rules for some institutions, but not for others. These regulatory activities are not necessarily mutually exclusive. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503669/
Government Assistance for GMAC/Ally Financial: Unwinding the Government Stake
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 if -- GMAC will be able to pay back the government for Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501973/
Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY2000-FY2015
This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration requested and how much Congress appropriated for U.S. payments to the multilateral development banks (MDBs) since 2000. It also provides a brief description of the MDBs and the ways they fund their operations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501634/
Tax-Exempt Bonds: A Description of State and Local Government Debt
This report provides information about state and local government debt. State and local governments often issue debt instruments in exchange for the use of individuals' and businesses' savings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501876/
Insurance Regulation: Issues, Background, and Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report discusses the legislation in the 113th Congress regarding insurance regulation. Among the insurance regulatory issues addressed by legislation in the 113th Congress are the application of federal orderly liquidation authority to insurers (addressed in H.R. 605); the supervision of some insurers by the Federal Reserve (addressed in H.R. 2140, H.R. 4510, H.R. 5461, S. 2102, and S. 2270); and the licensing of insurance agents and brokers (addressed in S. 534, S. 1926, S. 2244, H.R. 1155/H.R. 1064, and H.R. 4871). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503536/
"Living Wills": The Legal Regime for Constructing Resolution Plans for Certain Financial Institutions
One of the chief objectives of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (DFA) is to promote financial stability within the United States, without the need for emergency governmental assistance to troubled firms. To achieve this goal, the DFA establishes a heightened regulatory regime for certain, generally large "covered financial institutions." A pillar of this heightened regulatory regime is that each covered financial institution must submit "credible" plans to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) detailing how the firm could be quickly resolved in an orderly fashion under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code or other applicable insolvency regime "in the event of a material financial distress or failure." These resolution plans are commonly referred to as "living wills." This report reviews the legal structure of the DFA's living will requirements, pursuant to both DFA Section 165(d) and the regulations and guidance issued jointly by the FRB and FDIC, and explains the August 2014 joint announcement of the FRB and FDIC regarding the inadequacies of the 2013 living wills filed by the 11 largest, most complex financial institutions in the country. This report also examines some of the steps that these institutions might voluntarily take. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491021/
Export-Import Bank Reauthorization: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses frequently asked questions about Ex-Im Bank, grouped in the following categories: congressional interest and the Ex-Im Bank reauthorization debate; market context; international context; organizational structure and management; programs; statutory requirements and policies; risk management; budget and appropriations; implications of a sunset in authority; and historical and current approaches to reauthorization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491230/
Palestinian Authority: U.S. Payments to Creditors as Alternative to Direct Budgetary Assistance?
A September 24, 2014, congressional notification (CN) from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) may reflect a new executive branch approach in assisting the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pay off some of the debts it incurs in providing various benefits and services to West Bank and Gaza residents. The CN indicates that USAID plans to obligate a total of $100 million in FY2014 bilateral economic assistance for the Palestinians toward direct U.S. payments to PA creditors. This report briefly discusses the details and implications of this new alternative method. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462260/
State Small Business Credit Initiative: Implementation and Funding Issues
This report examines the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) and its implementation, including Treasury's response to initial program audits conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Treasury's Office of Inspector General (OIG). The SSBCI provides funding, allocated by formula and distributed in one-third increments, to states, territories, and eligible municipalities (hereinafter referred to as states) to expand existing or create new state small business investment programs, including state capital access programs, collateral support programs, loan participation programs, loan guarantee programs, and venture capital programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491393/
Multiemployer Defined Benefit (DB) Pension Plans: A Primer and Analysis of Policy Options
This report discusses the nature of multiemployer defined benefit (DB) pension plans, and issues regarding their financial solvency. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491061/
Palestinian Authority: U.S. Payments to Creditors as Alternative to Direct Budgetary Assistance?
A September 24, 2014, congressional notification (CN) from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) may reflect a new executive branch approach in assisting the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pay off some of the debts it incurs in providing various benefits and services to West Bank and Gaza residents. The CN indicates that USAID plans to obligate a total of $100 million in FY2014 bilateral economic assistance for the Palestinians toward direct U.S. payments to PA creditors. This report briefly discusses the details and implications of this new alternative method. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463198/
Dark Pools in Equity Trading: Policy Concerns and Recent Developments
This report examines the confluence of factors that led to the rise of dark pools; the potential benefits and costs of such trading; some regulatory and congressional concerns over dark pools; recent regulatory developments by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which oversees broker-dealers; and some recent lawsuits and enforcement actions garnering significant media attention. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461960/
Corporate Expatriation, Inversions, and Mergers: Tax Issues
This report discusses relevant portions of the U.S. corporate income tax system and how inversions have commonly been structured. It also looks at how Congress and Department of the Treasury have reduced the benefits of inversions, including The American Jobs Creation Act, as well as post-2004 inversions and treasury regulations, and policy options. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462140/
Insurance Regulation: Issues, Background, and Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report discusses the legislation in the 113th Congress regarding insurance regulation. Among the insurance regulatory issues addressed by legislation in the 113th Congress are the application of federal orderly liquidation authority to insurers (addressed in H.R. 605); the supervision of some insurers by the Federal Reserve (addressed in H.R. 2140, H.R. 4510, H.R. 5461, S. 2102, and S. 2270); and the licensing of insurance agents and brokers (addressed in S. 534, S. 1926, S. 2244, H.R. 1155/H.R. 1064, and H.R. 4871). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462626/
Social Security Reform: Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefit Entitlement Issues
This report addresses selected legal issues that may be raised regarding entitlement to Social Security benefits as Congress considers possible changes to the Social Security program in view of projected long-range shortfalls in the Social Security Trust Funds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463125/
Designating Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs)
This report discusses congressional concerns regarding the Financial Stability Oversight Council's (FSOC) authorization to designate certain non-bank entities as Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFI). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462755/
Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?
This report explains what the Social Security trust funds are and how they work. It describes the historical operations of the trust funds and the Social Security trustees' projections of future operations. It explains what could happen if Congress allowed the trust funds to run out. It also analyzes two scenarios that assume Congress waits until the moment of insolvency to act, showing the magnitude of benefit cuts or tax increases needed and how such changes would affect beneficiaries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463289/
"Dark Pools" In Equity Trading: Significance and Recent Developments
This report discusses "Dark Pools", relatively recent and controversial electronic stock trading alternatives to traditional exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and now account for about 15% of overall trading volume. The report discusses the pros and cons of "dark trading", civil suits in reaction to Dark Pools and recent Securities and Exchange Commission actions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462349/
Social Security: Trust Fund Investment Practices
This report describes Social Security trust fund investment practices under current law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461980/
Clean Coal Loan Guarantees and Tax Incentives: Issues in Brief
This report discusses certain federal financial incentive mechanisms for "clean coal" commercial projects; namely, loan guarantees and tax incentives. At issue for Congress is the extent to which the private sector has used these financial toolsto develop the technology needed for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while continuing to use available domestic coal reserves for electricity generation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462084/
Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Debate
This report discusses the ongoing debate regarding the Export-Import Bank of the United States, a federal government corporation which is the the official export credit agency (ECA) of the U.S. Government. The bank's statutory charter expires on September 30, 2014, meaning that its authority to obligations generally would cease and a wind-down of operations would be required. The report gives four possible scenarios for approaches Congress could take in regards to approaching the bank's future authorization status. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462120/
Securities Fraud Class Action Certification: Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc.
This report discusses requirements for securities fraud class action certification. The report also specifically examines each of the decisions made in the Halliburton cases, which proceeded through two complete rounds in federal district court, court of appeals, and the Supreme Court. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462069/
Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits
This report discusses the calculations that go into taxing Social Security benefits, which prior to 1984 were exempt from taxation but have since been taxed at gradually increasing levels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463427/
Export-Import Bank Reauthorization: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses frequently asked questions about Ex-Im Bank, grouped in the following categories: congressional interest and the Ex-Im Bank reauthorization debate; market context; international context; organizational structure and management; programs; statutory requirements and policies; risk management; budget and appropriations; implications of a sunset in authority; and historical and current approaches to reauthorization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463458/
Export-Import Bank Reauthorization: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses frequently asked questions about Ex-Im Bank, grouped in the following categories: congressional interest and the Ex-Im Bank reauthorization debate; market context; international context; organizational structure and management; programs; statutory requirements and policies; risk management; budget and appropriations; implications of a sunset in authority; and historical and current approaches to reauthorization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463344/
Primer on Disability Benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
This report provides an overview on federal disability benefits programs including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is an insurance program that provides benefits to individuals who have paid into the system and meet certain minimum work requirements, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a means-tested program that does not have work or contribution requirements, but restricts benefits to those who meet certain financial eligibility criteria. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462061/
Social Security: The Trust Fund
This report covers how the Social Security program is financed and how the Social Security trust fund works. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461903/
Unlawfully Present Aliens, Higher Education, In-State Tuition, and Financial Aid: Legal Analysis
This report surveys key legal issues pertaining to unlawfully present alien students' access to higher education, in-state tuition, and financial aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462719/
International Monetary Fund: Background and Issues for Congress
This report evaluates the purpose, membership, financing, and focus of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) activities. It also discusses the role of Congress in shaping U.S. policy at the IMF and concludes by addressing key issues, both legislative and oversight-related, that Congress may wish to consider, including: the role of the IMF as a lender of last resort; the adequacy of IMF resources; and the effectiveness of IMF surveillance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462399/
The American Opportunity Tax Credit: Overview, Analysis, and Policy Options
This report provides both an in-depth description of the American Opportunity Tax Credit, an analysis of its economic impact, and an overview of various policy options. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332894/
The American Opportunity Tax Credit: Overview, Analysis, and Policy Options
This report provides both an in-depth description of this tax credit and an analysis of its economic impact. This report is organized to first provide an overview of the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), followed by a legislative history that highlights the evolution of education tax credits from proposals in the 1960s through the recent extension of the AOTC at the end of 2012. This report then analyzes the credit by looking at who claims the credit, the effect education tax credits have on increasing college attendance, and administrative issues with the AOTC. Finally, this report concludes with a brief overview of various policy options, including tax law changes proposed in Chairman Camp's tax reform bill3 and in the President's FY2015 budget request. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463239/
The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress
This report includes updated material that emphasizes the issues most prominently before the 113th Congress. It also discusses foundational information about major elements of campaign finance policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332864/
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