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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress

Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress

Date: October 28, 2013
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.
Description: This report discusses sovereign debt, which is also called public debt or government debt, and refers to debt incurred by governments. The first section provides background information on sovereign debt, including why governments borrow, how sovereign debt differs from private debt, why governments repay their debt (or not), and how sovereign debt is measured. The second section examines the shift of concerns over sovereign debt sustainability from emerging markets in the 1990s and 2000s to advanced economies following the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, and the challenges posed by high debt levels. The third section analyzes the different policy options governments have for lowering debt levels. It also discusses the current strategy being used by most advanced economies -- fiscal austerity -- and concerns that have been raised about its global impact. Finally, the fourth section analyzes issues of particular interest to Congress, including comparisons between U.S. and European debt levels, how efforts to reduce debt levels could impact the U.S. economy, and policy options available to Congress for engaging on this issue.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?

Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?

Date: October 21, 2013
Creator: Scott, Christine
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Background and Legislative Issues

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Background and Legislative Issues

Date: September 25, 2013
Creator: Akhtar, Shayerah I.
Description: This report provides: (1) a background on Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) origins and program operations; (2) discussion of the international development finance context; and (3) analysis of key issues for Congress related to OPIC.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Funding and Financing Highways and Public Transportation

Funding and Financing Highways and Public Transportation

Date: September 23, 2013
Creator: Kirk, Robert S. & Mallett, William J.
Description: This report begins with a discussion of the problems associated with the trust fund financing system (which supports both federal highway and public transportation programs) and then explores possible options for financing surface transportation infrastructure.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress

The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress

Date: September 20, 2013
Creator: Garrett, R. S.
Description: 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
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Army Corps Supplemental Appropriations: Recent History, Trends, and Policy Issues

Army Corps Supplemental Appropriations: Recent History, Trends, and Policy Issues

Date: September 19, 2013
Creator: Stern, Charles V. & Carter, Nicole T.
Description: This report provides analysis of Corps supplemental funding. Its focus is recent decades of supplemental funding provided directly to the Corps, and it does not include extensive analysis of regular Corps appropriations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Climate Change Funding from FY2008 to FY2014

Federal Climate Change Funding from FY2008 to FY2014

Date: September 13, 2013
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.; Lattanzio, Richard K. & Bruner, Emily
Description: This report summarizes direct federal funding identified as climate change-related from FY2008 enacted funding through FY2013 and the FY2014 request (as well as a less consistent series beginning with FY2001). It reports the Administration's estimates of tax revenues not received due to energy tax provisions that may reduce GHG emissions. The report briefly identifies the programs and funding levels, as well as some qualifications and observations on reporting of federal funding. It further offers some issues that Members may wish to consider in deliberating on U.S. climate change strategies.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
GSEs and the Government's Role in Housing Finance: Issues for the 113th Congress

GSEs and the Government's Role in Housing Finance: Issues for the 113th Congress

Date: September 13, 2013
Creator: Weiss, N. Eric
Description: This report examines options concerning the future of the GSEs and the future government role in residential mortgage markets. Other CRS reports address related issues such as conservatorship, the GSEs' financial condition, residential mortgage markets in other nations, and affordable housing.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI): Budget Authority and Request, FY2010-FY2014

The Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI): Budget Authority and Request, FY2010-FY2014

Date: September 12, 2013
Creator: Lattanzio, Richard K.
Description: This report discusses the financial assistance for global climate change initiatives in developing countries. The Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI) -- one of the three main pillars to the 2010 directive -- aims to integrate climate change considerations into relevant foreign assistance, from FY2008 enacted funding request for FY2010 through the FY2014.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Selected Legislative Proposals to Reform the Housing Finance System

Selected Legislative Proposals to Reform the Housing Finance System

Date: September 10, 2013
Creator: Hoskins, Sean M.; Weiss, N. E. & Jones, Katie
Description: This report briefly explains the different approaches to housing finance reform proposed by the three bills, focusing on efforts to replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and reform FHA.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department