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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force

Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force

Date: July 23, 2008
Creator: Matthews, Christine M.
Description: The increased presence of foreign students in graduate science and engineering programs and in the scientific workforce has been and continues to be of concern to some in the scientific community. Enrollment of U.S. citizens in graduate science and engineering programs has not kept pace with that of foreign students in those programs. Many in the scientific community maintain that in order to compete with countries that are rapidly expanding their scientific and technological capabilities, the country needs to bring to the United States those whose skills will benefit society and will enable us to compete in the new-technology based global economy. This report analyzes this issue in detail and includes discussion of related legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Emergency Unemployment Compensation

Emergency Unemployment Compensation

Date: July 11, 2008
Creator: Whittaker, Julie M.
Description: The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program is a temporary unemployment insurance program that provides up to 13 additional weeks of unemployment benefits to certain workers who have exhausted their rights to regular unemployment compensation (UC) benefits. The program effectively begins July 6, 2008, and will terminate on March 28, 2009. No EUC benefit will be paid beyond the week ending July 4, 2009.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Tax Treatment of Employer Educational Assistance for the Benefit of Employees

Tax Treatment of Employer Educational Assistance for the Benefit of Employees

Date: July 3, 2008
Creator: Levine, Linda
Description: Educational assistance offered by employers to their employees may be exempt from federal income tax under Section 127 and Section 132 of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 127 is the employer educational assistance exclusion; Section 132, the fringe benefit exclusion for working condition benefits (e.g., job-related eduction) among other benefits. Congress established the two tax provisions well before it enacted to her higher education tax benefits meant to assist taxpayers, their spouses, and dependents -- regardless of employment status -- pay current educational expenses incurred while obtaining postsecondary degrees and undertaking lifelong learning.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Government Spending on Health Care Benefits and Programs: A Data Brief

Government Spending on Health Care Benefits and Programs: A Data Brief

Date: June 16, 2008
Creator: Jenson, Jennifer
Description: In a country where health spending accounts for more than 16% of gross domestic product (GDP), health care costs and spending are often described as a problem for consumers and their families; for employers that provide (or seek to provide) health benefits; and for government, which finances a mix of health care services, health research and training, and health safety programs. To describe government spending on health care benefits and programs, this report presents data from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
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Haiti: Legislative Responses to the Food Crisis and Related Development Challenges

Haiti: Legislative Responses to the Food Crisis and Related Development Challenges

Date: May 22, 2008
Creator: Seelke, Clare Ribando & Hornbeck, J. F.
Description: Haiti faces several interrelated challenges, the most immediate being a deepening food crisis that in April 2008 led to deadly protests and the ouster of Haiti's prime minister. Haiti also suffers from a legacy of poverty, unemployment, and underdevelopment that is compounding security problems for its new and fragile democracy. This report follows the current situation in Haiti and key legislative initiatives designed to help address Haiti's many challenges.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Coal Excise Tax Refunds: United States v. Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co.

Coal Excise Tax Refunds: United States v. Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co.

Date: May 16, 2008
Creator: Lunder, Erika
Description: In 1998, a U.S. district court held that the imposition of the coal excise tax, or black lung excise tax, on coal destined for export was unconstitutional. The process of refunding the tax has been controversial. This is because some coal producers and exporters have attempted to bypass the limitations in the Internal Revenue Code's refund scheme for bringing suit under the Export Clause in the Court of Federal Claims, seeking damages from the United States in the amount of coal excise taxes paid. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals held the court had jurisdiction under the Tucker Act to hear the suits and allowed them as an alternative to the Code's refund process. However, in a 2008 decision, United States v. Clintwood Elkhorn Mining Co., the Supreme Court unanimously held that taxpayers must comply with the Code's administrative refund process before bringing suit. Meanwhile, H.R. 1762 and S. 373 would provide an alternative method for taxpayers to receive coal excise tax refunds.
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Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: A Fact Sheet

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: A Fact Sheet

Date: January 29, 2008
Creator: Topoleski, John J.
Description: The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is a federal government agency established in 1974 by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) (P.L. 93- 406). It was created to protect the pensions of participants and beneficiaries covered by private sector, defined benefit (DB) plans. These pension plans provide a specified monthly benefit at retirement, usually either a percent of salary or a flat dollar amount multiplied by years of service. Defined contribution plans, such as ยง401(k) plans, are not insured. The PBGC is chaired by the Secretary of Labor, with the Secretaries of Treasury and Commerce serving as board members.
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Immigration: The Effects on Low-Skilled and High-Skilled Native-Born Workers

Immigration: The Effects on Low-Skilled and High-Skilled Native-Born Workers

Date: January 24, 2008
Creator: Levine, Linda
Description: The report opens with a discussion of how to analyze the impact of immigrants on the pay and job opportunities of native-born workers. It then uses this framework to examine and interpret the empirical literature on the subject. The report concludes with a discussion of policy implications.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Labor-Management Relations and the Federal Aviation Administration: Background and Current Legislative Issues

Labor-Management Relations and the Federal Aviation Administration: Background and Current Legislative Issues

Date: January 8, 2008
Creator: Shimabukuro, Jon O.
Description: This report discusses labor-management relations at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the 2006 implementation of a new labor contract on air traffic controllers. The FAA's ability to implement the new contract with its controllers was arguably supported by a mediation procedure prescribed by federal law. This report provides background information on the mediation procedure, discusses litigation involving the FAA and two labor organizations, and examines legislative attempts to amend the existing system.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Davis-Bacon Act: Institutional Evolution and Public Policy

The Davis-Bacon Act: Institutional Evolution and Public Policy

Date: November 30, 2007
Creator: Whittaker, William G.
Description: This report examines policy issues the Davis-Bacon Act has sparked through the years and which remain a part of the Davis-Bacon debate of the 1990s. These include such questions as: wage rate determination procedures, reporting requirements under the Copeland Act, an appropriate threshold for activation of the statute, interagency relationships with respect to Davis-Bacon enforcement and compliance activity, administrative or judicial appeals procedures, the use of "helpers" and other low-skilled workers on covered projects, and the right of a President to suspend the statute as well as the conditions under which such a suspension may occur. That the fundamental premise of the Act remains in contention after 60 years may be, itself, part of the public policy debate.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department