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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY1998-2009

Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY1998-2009

Date: August 8, 2008
Creator: Sanford, Jonathan E.
Description: This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration requested and how much Congress appropriated during the past 11 years for U.S. payments to the multilateral development banks (MDBs). It also provides a brief description of the MDBs and the ways they fund their operations. It will be updated periodically. Three companion reports provide further information on the MDBs. See CRS Report RS20793, Multilateral Development Banks: Basic Background, CRS Report RS20791, Multilateral Development Banks: Procedures for U.S. Participation, and CRS Report RS22134 International Financial Institutions: Funding U.S. Participation.
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Federal Reserve Interest Rate Changes: 2001-2008

Federal Reserve Interest Rate Changes: 2001-2008

Date: October 29, 2008
Creator: Labonte, Marc & Makinen, Gail E.
Description: The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided at its scheduled meeting held on October 29 to lower the target rate for federal funds to 1% from 1½% set at its unscheduled meeting of October 8, 2008. In making its decision to reduce the target, the FOMC stressed the following factors: (1) the pace of economic growth appears to have slowed markedly owing importantly to a softening of consumer spending; (2) business equipment spending and industrial production have weakened; (3) economic slowdowns abroad have dampened the prospects for U.S. exports; (4) intensified strains in financial markets are also likely to further reduce spending; and (5) inflation prospects have improved due to declines in energy and other commodity prices. The next schedule meeting of the FOMC is set for December 11, 2008.
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The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Background and Legislative Issues

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Background and Legislative Issues

Date: May 22, 2008
Creator: Langton, Danielle
Description: This report outlines challenges faced by Tajikistan since its five-year civil war ended in 1997. It discusses U.S. policy and assistance. Basic facts and biographical information are provided. This report may be updated. Related products include CRS Report RL33458, Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, updated regularly.
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The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Background and Legislative Issues

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation: Background and Legislative Issues

Date: October 20, 2008
Creator: Langton, Danielle
Description: The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)1 was established in 1969 and began operations in 1971 to promote and assist U.S. business investment in developing nations. OPIC is a U.S. government agency that provides project financing, investment insurance, and other services for U.S. businesses in 154 developing nations and emerging economies. OPIC is currently authorized through March 9, 2009 under the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009 (P.L. 110-329).
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Statutory Offices of Inspector General: Past and Present

Statutory Offices of Inspector General: Past and Present

Date: September 25, 2008
Creator: Kaiser, Frederick M.
Description: Statutory offices of inspector general (OIG) consolidate responsibility for audits and investigations within a federal agency. Established by public law as permanent, nonpartisan, independent offices, they now exist in more than 60 establishments and entities, including all departments and largest agencies, along with numerous boards and commissions. Various initiatives and proposals in the 110th Congress are designed to strengthen the IGs' independence, add to their reports, and create new posts in the Intelligence Community.
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Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: May 8, 2006
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Description: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the noninsured assistance program, and emergency disaster loans. Since 1988, Congress regularly has made supplemental financial assistance available to farmers and ranchers, primarily in the form of crop disaster payments and emergency livestock assistance. The Senate-passed version of a pending FY2006 supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 4939) contains an adopted committee amendment that would provide an estimated additional $3.9 billion in various forms of farm assistance, including payments for major crop and livestock losses caused by any 2005 disaster, such as the drought in portions of the Midwest and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Gulf.
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The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment

The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment

Date: June 15, 2006
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: The proposed acquisition of major operations in six major U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World and of Unocal by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation sparked intense concerns among some Members of Congress and the public and has reignited the debate over what role foreign acquisitions play in U.S. national security. The United States actively promotes internationally the national treatment of foreign firms. Several Members of Congress have introduced various measures during the 2nd Session of the 109th Congress that can be grouped into four major areas: those that deal specifically with the proposed Dubai Ports World acquisition; those that focus more generally on foreign ownership of U.S. ports; those that would amend the CFIUS process; and those that would amend the Exon-Florio process.
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The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment

The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment

Date: July 28, 2006
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: The United States actively promotes internationally the national treatment of foreign firms. Some Members of Congress and others are concerned with this policy, however, particularly with how it applies to allowing government-owned companies unlimited access to the Nation's industrial base. Much of this debate focuses on the activities of a relatively obscure committee, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the Exon-Florio provision, which gives the President broad powers to block certain types of foreign investment. Several Members of Congress have introduced various measures during the 2nd Session of the 109th Congress regarding this ongoing policy debate.
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The Commodity Futures Modernization Act (P.L. 106-554)

The Commodity Futures Modernization Act (P.L. 106-554)

Date: February 3, 2003
Creator: Jickling, Mark
Description: The last act of the 106th Congress was to pass an omnibus bill that included the Commodity Futures Modernization Act (H.R. 5660; P.L. 106-554), the most significant amendments to the regulation of derivatives trading in 25 years. Derivative financial instruments are those that gain or lose value as some underlying rate, price, or other economic variable changes. The 106th Congress approved an overhaul of derivatives regulation which codified the unregulated status of certain derivatives, permitted the exemption of other currently-regulated contracts from oversight by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and permitted the trading of a new kind of contract: a futures contract/security hybrid based on the stocks of individual corporation.
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Campaign Finance Reform: A Legal Analysis of Issue and Express Advocacy

Campaign Finance Reform: A Legal Analysis of Issue and Express Advocacy

Date: July 10, 2001
Creator: Whitaker, Paige L.
Description: 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 as election-related communications and therefore be subject to the requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Upcoming legislation would further investigate and elaborate upon this issue.
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