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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Haiti Earthquake: Crisis and Response
The largest earthquake ever recorded in Haiti devastated parts of the country, including the capital, on January 12, 2010. This report discusses the disaster and various responses, ranging from the Haitian government's initial response to foreign humanitarian and financial aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501598/
Haiti Earthquake: Crisis and Response
The largest earthquake ever recorded in Haiti devastated parts of the country, including the capital, on January 12, 2010. This report discusses the disaster and various responses, ranging from the Haitian government's initial response to foreign humanitarian and financial aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501690/
Haiti Earthquake: Crisis and Response
The largest earthquake ever recorded in Haiti devastated parts of the country, including the capital, on January 12, 2010. This report discusses the disaster and various responses, ranging from the Haitian government's initial response to foreign humanitarian and financial aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501878/
Haiti Earthquake: Crisis and Response
The largest earthquake ever recorded in Haiti devastated parts of the country, including the capital, on January 12, 2010. This report discusses the disaster and various responses, ranging from the Haitian government's initial response to foreign humanitarian and financial aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501760/
Foreign Ownership of U.S. Financial Assets: Implications of a Withdrawal
This report provides an overview of the role foreign investment plays in the U.S. economy and an assessment of possible actions a foreign investor or a group of foreign investors might choose to take to liquidate their investments in the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501737/
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/
North Korean Counterfeiting of U.S. Currency
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10856/
China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues
Many Members of Congress charge that China's policy of accumulating foreign reserves (especially U.S. dollars) to influence the value of its currency constitutes a form of currency manipulation intended to make its exports cheaper and imports into China more expensive than they would be under free market conditions. Although China made modest reforms to its currency policy in 2005, Members contend the forms have not gone far enough and have warned of potential legislative action. This report summarizes the main findings CRS Report RL32165, China's Currency: Economic Issues and Options for U.S. Trade Policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10596/
China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues
Many Members of Congress charge that China's policy of accumulating foreign reserves (especially U.S. dollars) to influence the value of its currency constitutes a form of currency manipulation intended to make its exports cheaper and imports into China more expensive than they would be under free market conditions. Although China made modest reforms to its currency policy in 2005, Members contend the forms have not gone far enough and have warned of potential legislative action. This report summarizes the main findings CRS Report RL32165, China's Currency: Economic Issues and Options for U.S. Trade Policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10597/
China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues
This report explores various aspects of the Chinese economy, including specific policies that some Members of Congress consider a form of currency manipulation, the U.S.-China economic relationship, and the state of the Chinese economy with respect to the current global economic crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26318/
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
This report gives a brief overview of P.L. 110-49, the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007. Although both the President and Congress are directly involved in formulating the scope and direction of U.S. foreign investment policy, this law broadens Congress' oversight role; it also explicitly includes the areas of homeland security and critical infrastructure as separately-identifiable components of national security that the President must consider when evaluating the national security implications of a foreign investment transaction. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272100/
International Climate Change Financing: Needs, Sources, and Delivery Methods
This report discusses the domestic and international efforts to increase foreign assistance to address climate change. Proponents maintain that such assistance could help promote low-emissions and high-growth economic development in lower-income countries, while simultaneously protecting the more vulnerable countries from the effects of a changing climate. The fundamental dispute concerning international financing for climate change centers upon who should pay for it and how. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40169/
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
This report has two sections. The first provides an overview of the current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance programs: federal crop insurance, NAP payments, emergency disaster loans, the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), and four other smaller disaster programs authorized in the 2008 farm bill. The second section reviews the recent history of emergency supplemental farm disaster assistance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29731/
Foreign Investment and National Security: Economic Considerations
This report assesses recent international developments as the leaders from a number of nations work to reach a consensus on an informal set of best practices regarding national restrictions on foreign investment for national security purposes. This report also provides one possible approach for assessing the costs and benefits involved in using national policies to direct or to restrict foreign direct investment for national security reasons. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33071/
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
This report gives a brief overview of P.L. 110-49, the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007. Although both the President and Congress are directly involved in formulating the scope and direction of U.S. foreign investment policy, this law broadens Congress' oversight role; it also explicitly includes the areas of homeland security and critical infrastructure as separately-identifiable components of national security that the President must consider when evaluating the national security implications of a foreign investment transaction. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272099/
The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment
This report covers the recent background of the Exon-Florio provision with special regards to issues faced in the 112th Congress. The Exon-Florio provision grants the President the authority to block proposed or pending foreign acquisitions of “persons engaged in interstate commerce in the United States” that threaten to impair the national security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99092/
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
This report covers the background and recent history on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). This committee has recently emerged from obscurity due to concerns involving foreign investments in U.S. companies and national security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99094/
Foreign Investment, CFIUS, and Homeland Security: An Overview
This report gives a brief overview of P.L. 110-49, the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007. Although both the President and Congress are directly involved in formulating the scope and direction of U.S. foreign investment policy, this law broadens Congress’s oversight role; it also explicitly includes the areas of homeland security and critical infrastructure as separately-identifiable components of national security that the President must consider when evaluating the national security implications of a foreign investment transaction. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99132/
Financial Market Intervention
Financial markets continue to experience significant disturbance and the banking sector remains fragile. Efforts to restore confidence have been met with mixed success thus far. After attempting to deal with troubled institutions on a case-by-case basis, Treasury has proposed a plan to purchase mortgage-related assets to alleviate stress in financial markets and in the banking system. This report provides answers to some frequently asked questions concerning the financial disruptions of September 2008 and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in H.R. 3997. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10801/
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/
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 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act's Insurance for Troubled Assets
Many observers trace the root cause of recent instability in financial markets to uncertainty surrounding the value of widely held securities that are based on mortgages and mortgage-related assets. The introduction of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) was designed to address said financial instability through a variety of measures, including an insurance program for "troubled assets." This report briefly summarizes and analyzes the insurance program contained in the enacted version of the EESA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10806/
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/metadc228029/
IMF Reform and the International Financial Institutions Advisory Commission
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1845/
The Role of Risk Analysis and Risk Management in Environmental Protection
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10096/
International Financial Institutions and Environment: Multilateral Development Banks and the Global Environment Facility
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs138/
The Yen/Dollar Exchange Rate
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs137/
The Pattern of Interest Rates: Does it Signal an Impending Recession?
The cyclical behavior of the economy is of great interest to Congress, yet the onset of an economic downturn is seldom recognized promptly. Policymakers frequently search for reliable recession predictors. The behavior of interest rates may provide advanced warning of an impending downturn. The easing of monetary policy in evidence since September 2007 is consistent with efforts to forestall or minimize an economic downturn. Economic growth has been low since the last quarter of 2007, and some forecasters are now predicting a recession in 2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10658/
The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10344/
The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10343/
The Role of Risk Analysis and Risk Management in Environmental Protection
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10047/
Highway and Transit Program Reauthorization Legislation in the 2nd Session, 108th Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10048/
The Future Role of U.S. Trade Policy: An Overview
The United States has become increasingly integrated with the rest of the world economy. This integration has offered benefits and presented challenges to U.S. business, agriculture, labor, and consumers. Those who can compete in the more integrated economy have enjoyed opportunities to broaden their success, while those who are challenged by increased foreign competition have been forced to adjust and some have exited the market or relocated overseas. Some observers contend that, in order to remain globally competitive, the United States must continue to support trade liberalization policies, while assisting those hurt by trade. Others have raised doubts over whether free trade policies benefit the U.S. economy. This report provides an overview and background on the debate over the future course of U.S. trade policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10769/
Community Development Block Grants: Legislative Proposals to Assist Communities Affected by Home Foreclosures
In response to the rising number of home mortgage foreclosures, several bills have been introduced during the 110th Congress that would provide additional federal assistance to state and local governments with high concentrations of foreclosed homes, subprime mortgage loans, and delinquent home mortgages. At least one of these proposals, H.R. 3221, as passed by the Senate, includes provisions that would use the framework of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to channel an additional $4 billion in assistance to state and local governments. This provision faces an uncertain future; objections to it have been raised by the Bush Administration and others, contending that the assistance will result in the rescue of lenders and speculators. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10773/
Flood Insurance Requirements for Stafford Act Assistance
The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the Stafford Act) imposes flood insurance requirements upon eligibility for disaster assistance in two general cases: (1) if the entity seeking disaster assistance has received disaster assistance in the past, or (2) if the entity seeking disaster assistance is a state or local government or private nonprofit located in a federally designated special flood hazard area (SFHA) as determined under the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968. The requirements imposed by the Stafford Act operate independently of each other, and a potential applicant for disaster assistance may fall into both categories. This report will discuss the specific requirements imposed in each situation after briefly discussing the history of flood insurance and the relevant types of disaster assistance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10788/
The Enron Loophole
The Commodity Exchange Act exempts certain energy derivatives contracts from regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). These exemptions are popularly known as the "Enron loophole." Soaring energy prices have raised concerns about whether the CFTC has enough information about these unregulated markets to monitor energy trading in a comprehensive manner. A number of other bills in the 110th Congress would impose new reporting or regulatory requirements on the bilateral energy swaps market, which was not addressed by the Farm Bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10766/
Proposal to Allow Treasury to Buy Mortgage-Related Assets to Address Financial Instability
Financial markets underwent severe stress during the week of September 15 - 22, 2008. After Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy and AIG received a bridge loan from the Federal Reserve, policymakers reassessed their case-by-case approach to resolving financial problems. Secretary of the Treasury Paulson announced a plan to allow Treasury to purchase mortgage-related assets from U.S. financial institutions. The announced intent of the plan is to unclog financial markets, increase the health of the banking sector, and reduce ongoing risks to the economy. This report discusses a draft of the proposal as it stood on September 21, 2008, and analyzes frequently asked questions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10796/
The Future Role of U.S. Trade Policy: An Overview
The United States has become increasingly integrated with the rest of the world economy. This integration has offered benefits and presented challenges to U.S. business, agriculture, labor, and consumers. Those who can compete in the more integrated economy have enjoyed opportunities to broaden their success, while those who are challenged by increased foreign competition have been forced to adjust and some have exited the market or relocated overseas. Some observers contend that, in order to remain globally competitive, the United States must continue to support trade liberalization policies, while assisting those hurt by trade. Others have raised doubts over whether free trade policies benefit the U.S. economy. This report provides an overview and background on the debate over the future course of U.S. trade policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10768/
Regulation of Energy Derivatives
After the collapse of Enron Corp. in late 2001, that company's activities came under intense scrutiny. Much of its business consisted of trading financial contracts whose value was derived from changes in energy prices. Enron's derivatives trading was largely "over-the-counter" (OTC) and unregulated: little information about transactions was available. This incident has sparked interest in reform of energy derivatives regulation. This report summarizes energy derivatives regulation and proposed legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10584/
The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1923/
The Role of Risk Analysis and Risk Management in Environmental Protection
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1687/
The Role of Risk Analysis and Risk Management in Environmental Protection
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1688/
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/
The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8696/
The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8703/
China's Currency: Economic Issues and Options for U.S. Trade Policy
When the U.S. runs a trade deficit with the Chinese, this requires a capital inflow from China to the United States. This, in turn, lowers U.S. interest rates and increases U.S. investment spending. On the negative side, lower priced goods from China may hurt U.S. industries that compete with those products, reducing their production and employment. In addition, an undervalued yuan makes U.S. exports to China more expensive, thus reducing the level of U.S. exports to China and job opportunities for U.S. workers in those sectors. However, in the long run, trade can affect only the composition of employment, not its overall level. Thus, inducing China to appreciate its currency would likely benefit some U.S. economic sectors, but would harm others, including U.S. consumers. Several estimates of the yuan’s undervaluation are evaluated in the report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8766/
Banking and Securities Regulation and Agency Enforcement Authorities
The federal bank regulatory agencies — the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Office of Thrift Supervision — have extensive authority to enforce various legal and regulatory standards with respect to the banking institutions that they supervise. Similarly, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has a wide range of tools to enforce the securities laws. This report provides a brief sketch of these authorities and identifies the organizational entities within each agency that Congress assigns enforcement responsibilities. It includes a table comparing the formal enforcement tools that the banking agencies may use with those of the SEC. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8338/
Foreign Ownership of Property in the United States: Federal and State Restrictions
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8493/
Benefit-Cost Analysis and the Discount Rate for the Corps of Engineers' Water Resource Projects: Theory and Practice
Construction of large water resource projects, such as those of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), can be controversial because they involve trade-offs among various river uses, and between current and future generations. Pursuant to federal water project planning guidelines, the Corps weighs these trade-offs using benefit-cost analysis. If its analysis shows that a project’s national economic development (NED) benefits exceed its NED costs, the Corps seeks project authorization from Congress. Congress authorizes the Corps to construct some of these large water projects through (usually) biennial Water Resource Development Acts. Since the Corps rarely recommends a project that does not have a benefit-cost ratio greater than 1.0, this report describes the decisions that influence this ratio, with a focus on the role of the discount rate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9078/