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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA): A Summary

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA): A Summary

Date: April 5, 2012
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: This report summarizes the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the major regulatory programs that mandate reporting by industrial facilities of releases of potentially hazardous chemicals to the environment, as well as local planning to respond in the event of significant, accidental releases.
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Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC): A Fact Sheet

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC): A Fact Sheet

Date: April 16, 2012
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. The PBGC is chaired by the Secretary of Labor, with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Commerce serving as board members. In the 112th Congress, an amendment offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to S. 1813, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), contains provisions that would address the use of excess defined benefit pension plan assets and the interest rates that defined benefit plans use to value plan liabilities.
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Economic Growth and the Unemployment Rate

Economic Growth and the Unemployment Rate

Date: April 18, 2012
Creator: Levine, Linda
Description: Issues concerning and which can be influenced by Congress regarding unemployment rates.
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Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress

Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress

Date: April 20, 2012
Creator: Wyler, Liana Sun
Description: This report explores current foreign policy issues confronting U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing polices, and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts. The 112th Congress has introduced and taken action on several bills related to human trafficking. Given recent challenges in balancing budget priorities, the 112th Congress may choose to consider certain aspects of this issue further, including the effectiveness of international anti-trafficking projects, interagency coordination mechanisms, and the monitoring and enforcement of anti-trafficking regulations, particularly as they relate to the activities of U.S. government contractors and subcontractors operating overseas.
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Insourcing Functions Performed by Federal Contractors: An Overview of the Legal Issues

Insourcing Functions Performed by Federal Contractors: An Overview of the Legal Issues

Date: May 7, 2012
Creator: Manuel, Kate M. & Maskell, Jack
Description: Recent Congresses and the Obama Administration have taken numerous actions to promote "insourcing," or the use of government personnel to perform functions that contractors have performed on behalf of federal agencies. Members of the 112th Congress have introduced several measures which seek to ensure that certain contractors have standing to challenge insourcing determinations; would provide for additional review of insourcing determinations that affect small businesses; or could otherwise constrain insourcing initiatives.
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Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures

Immigration-Related Worksite Enforcement: Performance Measures

Date: May 10, 2012
Creator: Bruno, Andorra
Description: The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is responsible for immigration-related worksite enforcement, or enforcement of the prohibitions on unauthorized employment in Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The INA ยง274A provisions, sometimes referred to as employer sanctions, make it unlawful for an employer to knowingly hire, recruit or refer for a fee, or continue to employ an alien who is not authorized to be so employed. This report looks at enforcement measures of this act.
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Federal Labor Relations Statutes: An Overview

Federal Labor Relations Statutes: An Overview

Date: May 11, 2012
Creator: Hegji, Alexandra
Description: This report provides a brief history and overview of the aims of these statutes: the Railway Labor Act (RLA) enacted in 1926, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (FSLMRS). It also discusses key statutory provisions for each statute.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Immigration of Foreign Nationals with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Degrees

Immigration of Foreign Nationals with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Degrees

Date: May 11, 2012
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: Congress is renewing its interest in facilitating the immigration of foreign professional workers in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields. The STEM workforce is seen by many as a catalyst of U.S. global economic competitiveness and is likewise considered a key element of the legislative options aimed at stimulating economic growth. "STEM visa" is a shorthand for an expedited immigration avenue that enables foreign nationals with graduate degrees in STEM fields to adjust their immigration status to legal permanent residence (LPR) without waiting in the queue of numerically-limited LPR visas.
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Vulnerable Youth: Employment and Job Training Programs

Vulnerable Youth: Employment and Job Training Programs

Date: May 11, 2012
Creator: Fernandes-Alcantara, Adrienne L.
Description: In an increasingly global economy, and with retirement starting for the Baby Boomer generation, Congress has indicated a strong interest in ensuring that today's young people have the educational attainment and employment experience needed to become highly skilled workers, contributing taxpayers, and successful participants in civic life. Challenges in the economy and among certain youth populations, however, have heightened concern among policymakers that some young people may not be prepared to fill these roles. This report covers this history and current status of governmental assistance in federal youth employment and job training programs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Taxation of Aliens Working in the United States

Federal Taxation of Aliens Working in the United States

Date: May 18, 2012
Creator: Lunder, Erika K.
Description: This report outlines issues regarding the taxation of aliens since several pieces of current legislation have been introduced that would impose restrictions for claiming child tax credits or for claiming credits and refunds. The report includes an overview of immigration status, resident or nonresident aliens, taxation of income for various classifications, and Social Security and medicare taxes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department