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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Competition in Federal Contracting: An Overview of the Legal Requirements
This report describes the legal requirements pertaining to competition that presently apply to federal procurement contracts. Among other things, it discusses what contracts are subject to competition requirements; what constitutes full and open competition for government contracts; what is meant by "full and open competition after exclusion of sources"; and circumstances permitting agencies to award contracts on the basis of other than full and open competition. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689513/
Federal Land Ownership: Acquisition and Disposal Authorities
This report describes the primary authorities of the following agencies for acquiring and disposing of federal land. These four federal agencies--the National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and Bureau of Land Management (BLM), all in the Department of the Interior (DOI), and the U.S. Forest Service (FS) in the Department of Agriculture--administer about 95% of those lands. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689375/
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2010 Appropriations
This report provides an overview of actions taken by Congress to provide FY2011 appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS). It also provides an overview of FY2010 appropriations for agencies and bureaus funded under the CJS bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689137/
Financial Regulatory Reform: Analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) as Proposed by the Obama Administration and H.R. 3126
This report provides a brief summary of the President's Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 and delineates some of the substantive differences between it and H.R. 3126, as introduced. It then analyzes some of the policy implications of the proposal, focusing on the separation of safety and soundness regulation from consumer protection, financial innovation, and the scope of regulation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689285/
The Global Economic Downturn and Protectionism
This report develops three scenarios to approximate different dimensions of the relationship between the global economic downturn and protectionism. The scenarios are not predictions, but descriptions of how and why pressures for protection could be manifested and transmitted under different circumstances and assumptions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689164/
The Global Economic Crisis: Impact on Sub-Saharan Africa and Global Policy Responses
This report analyzes Africa's vulnerability to the global crisis and potential implications for economic growth, poverty alleviation, fiscal balances, and political stability. The report describes channels through which the crisis is affecting Africa, and provides information on international efforts to address the impact, including U.S. policies and those of multilateral institutions in which the United States plays a major role. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689190/
The Internet Tax Freedom Act: In Brief
This report discusses the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA; P.L. 105-277), which enacted in 1998, implemented a three-year moratorium preventing state and local governments from taxing Internet access, or imposing multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689445/
National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: Legal Background and Recent Amendments
This report discusses the National Security Letters (NSLs), which seek customer and consumer transaction information in national security investigations from communications providers, financial institutions, and credit agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689431/
The Global Economic Downturn and Protectionism
This report develops three scenarios to approximate different dimensions of the relationship between the global economic downturn and protectionism. The scenarios are not predictions, but descriptions of how and why pressures for protection could be manifested and transmitted under different circumstances and assumptions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689157/
Net Operating Losses: Proposed Extension of Carryback Period
This report explains the current law regarding the tax treatment of net operating losses (NOLs). In addition, this report highlights a number of policy considerations relating to the extension of the NOL carryback period. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626978/
Financial Regulatory Reform: Analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) as Proposed by the Obama Administration and H.R. 3126
This report provides a brief summary of the Obama Administration's Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 (CFPA) and delineates some of the substantive differences between it and H.R. 3126, as ordered to be reported by the House Financial Services Committee, as well as the version that was ordered to be reported by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626997/
U.S. Aerospace Manufacturing: Industry Overview and Prospects
This report primarily provides a snapshot of the U.S. commercial (non-defense, non-space) aerospace manufacturing industry and a discussion of major trends affecting the future of this industry. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627165/
U.S. Economy in Recession: Similarities To and Differences From the Past
This report provides information on the patterns found across past recessions since World War II and analyzes whether and how the recession starting in 2007 might be different. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626931/
Financial Market Supervision: European Perspectives
This report addresses the European perspectives on a number of proposals that are being advanced for financial oversight and regulation in Europe. The European experience may be instructive because financial markets in Europe are well developed, European firms often are competitors of U.S. firms, and European governments have faced severe problems of integration and consistency across the various financial structures that exist in Europe. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627177/
Financial Market Supervision: European Perspectives
This report addresses the European perspectives on a number of proposals that are being advanced for financial oversight and regulation in Europe. The European experience may be instructive because financial markets in Europe are well developed, European firms often are competitors of U.S. firms, and European governments have faced severe problems of integration and consistency across the various financial structures that exist in Europe. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627161/
Unemployment and Economic Recovery
This report examines the relationship between economic growth and the unemployment rate to anticipate possible future developments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626892/
Legislation to Facilitate Cybersecurity Information Sharing: Economic Analysis
This report analyzes the incentives for companies to share information about cybersecurity breaches with other companies and the federal government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505415/
Competition in Federal Contracting: An Overview of the Legal Requirements
This report describes the legal requirements pertaining to competition that presently apply to federal procurement contracts. Among other things, it discusses what contracts are subject to competition requirements; what constitutes full and open competition for government contracts; and what is meant by "full and open competition after exclusion of sources." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505432/
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase, a historical overview of debt limits, and how the current economic slowdown has led to higher deficits and thereby a series of debt limit increases, as well as legislation related to these increases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505595/
Small Business Administration Microloan Program
This report describes the Microloan program's eligibility standards and operating requirements for lenders and borrowers and examines the arguments presented by the program's critics and advocates. It also examines changes to the program authorized by P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505568/
Financial Market Supervision: European Perspectives
This report addresses the European perspectives on a number of proposals that are being advanced for financial oversight and regulation in Europe. The European experience may be instructive because financial markets in Europe are well developed, European firms often are competitors of U.S. firms, and European governments have faced severe problems of integration and consistency across the various financial structures that exist in Europe. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505438/
The Financial Crisis: Impact on and Response by The European Union
This report discusses the European Union's response to the global financial crisis. As the crisis has ebbed, coordination among European capitals and between Europe and the United States has become more elusive and growing differences threaten the adoption of a coordinated long-term solution to regulatory reform and coordination of financial policies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503599/
Economic Downturns and Crime
This report examines the relationships between selected variables of economic strength and crime. It begins with an overview of crime rates during times of economic recession in the United States. It then reviews the existing literature in the field analyzing various data sets that examine whether the unemployment rate and foreclosures can be related to increases in the national crime rate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503512/
GAO Bid Protests: An Overview of Timeframes and Procedures
This report is one of two providing Congress with background on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) bid-protest process. It provides an overview of the timeframes and procedures in a GAO bid protest, including several issues enumerated in the report's introduction. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503361/
Research Tax Credit: Current Law and Policy Issues for the 114th Congress
This report describes the current status of the research tax credit, summarizes its legislative history, discusses policy issues it raises, and describes legislation to modify and extend it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503371/
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase, an historical overview of debt limits, and how the current economic slowdown has led to higher deficits and thereby a series of debt limit increases, as well as legislation related to these increases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503326/
Long-Term Unemployment and Recessions
This report analyzes the trend in long-term unemployment over the postwar period and offers explanations for its unusually high incidence during the most recent recession. It compares the individual, job, and household characteristics of the long-term unemployed during the latest recession (2007-2009) with the long-term unemployed at the end of the two previous recessions (1990-1991 and 2001). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503328/
Government Interventions in Response to Financial Turmoil
This report reviews new programs introduced and other actions taken by the Treasury, Federal Reserve, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in response to the recent financial crisis. It does not cover longstanding programs such as the Fed's discount window and FDIC receivership of failed banks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503291/
The U.S. Motor Vehicle Industry: Confronting a New Dynamic in the Global Economy
This report provides an in-depth analysis of the 2009 crisis in the U.S. auto industry and its prospects for regaining domestic and global competitiveness. It also analyzes business and policy issues arising from the unprecedented restructurings that occurred within the industry. The starting point for this analysis is June-July 2009, with General Motors Company (GM or new GM) and Chrysler Group LLC (or new Chrysler) incorporated as new companies, having selectively acquired many, but not all, assets from their predecessor companies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503593/
Government Access to Phone Calling Activity and Related Records: Legal Authorities
This report summarizes legal authorities regarding access by the government, for either foreign intelligence or law enforcement purposes, to information related to telephone calling patterns or practices. Where pertinent, it also discusses statutory prohibitions against accessing or disclosing such information, along with relevant exceptions to those prohibitions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503528/
The Proposed Comcast-NBC Universal Combination: How It Might Affect the Video Market
This report discusses the proposed combination of Comcast, the largest distributor of video services in the United States, and NBC Universal (NBCU), a major producer and aggregator of video content, which would create a huge, vertically integrated entity with potentially enormous negotiating power at a time when market forces already are altering traditional content provider/distributor relationships. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503568/
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms: Economic, Program, and Policy Issues
This report discusses the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) programs, which were authorized by Congress in the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to help workers and firms adjust to import competition and dislocation caused by trade liberalization. It provides information about TAAF program and policy issues, as well as legislation to reauthorize the TAAF program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503343/
The Network for Manufacturing Innovation
This report discusses the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2014 (RAMIA). RAMIA includes provisions authorizing the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Department of Energy, and other agencies to support the establishment of centers for manufacturing innovation, as well as establishing and providing for the operation of a Network for Manufacturing Innovation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503321/
Distribution of Small Business Ownership and Income by Individual Tax Rates and Selected Policy Issues
This report examines how small business owners may be affected by tax increases by exploring what is known about the share of small business owners and of small business income that is subject to the top two marginal income tax rates. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503626/
The Global Economic Crisis: Impact on Sub-Saharan Africa and Global Policy Responses
This report analyzes Africa's vulnerability to the global crisis and potential implications for economic growth, poverty alleviation, fiscal balances, and political stability. The report describes channels through which the crisis is affecting Africa, and provides information on international efforts to address the impact, including U.S. policies and those of multilateral institutions in which the United States plays a major role. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503672/
GAO Bid Protests: Trends, Analysis, and Options for Congress
This report provides an overview of the time frames and procedures in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) bid protest, including (1) what issues can be protested with GAO; (2) who can file or be a party to a GAO protest; (3) the procedures for bringing and resolving GAO protests; (4) the time frames involved in GAO protests; (5) the automatic stay of contract award or performance triggered by a GAO protest, as well as the basis for agency overrides of automatic stays and judicial review of agency override determinations; (6) the basis and effects of GAO decisions; and (7) reconsideration and "appeal" of GAO decisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503712/
Economic Downturns and Crime
This report examines the relationships between selected variables of economic strength and crime. It begins with an overview of crime rates during times of economic recession in the United States. It then reviews the existing literature in the field analyzing various data sets that examine whether the unemployment rate and foreclosures can be related to increases in the national crime rate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503468/
Contract Types: Legal Overview
This report provides an overview of the various contract types (e.g., fixed-price, cost-reimbursement) used in federal procurement and the legal requirements and issues pertaining to each. The types of contracts used by federal agencies have long been of interest to Congress and the executive branch, as they have sought to ensure that the most appropriate type of contract is used to acquire particular supplies or services. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501867/
Terrorism Risk Insurance Legislation: Issue Summary and Side-by-Side Analysis
After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Congress responded to the disruption in the insurance market by passing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (TRIA; P.L. 107-297). TRIA created a temporary program, to calm the insurance markets through a government reinsurance backstop sharing in terrorism losses. The current TRIA program expires at the end of 2014. This report briefly outlines the issues involved with terrorism insurance, summarizes the extension legislation, and includes a side-by-side of the current TRIA law and the bills that have been passed by the Senate (S. 2244), reported by the House Committee on Financial Services (H.R. 4871), and passed by the House (S. 2244 with a substitute amendment). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501846/
Outsourcing and Insourcing Jobs in the U.S. Economy: Evidence Based on Foreign Investment Data
This report addresses the issue of jobs outsourcing by analyzing the extent of direct investment into and out of the economy, the role such investment plays in U.S. trade, jobs, and production, and the relationship between direct investment and the broader economic changes that are occurring in the U.S. economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501812/
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations
This report provides an overview of actions taken by Congress to provide FY2011 appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS). It also provides an overview of FY2010 appropriations for agencies and bureaus funded under the CJS bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501633/
DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress
This report briefly discusses the Department of Defense leases of foreign-built ships, the opponents of this practice, and related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501622/
Running Deficits: Positives and Pitfalls
This report discusses how deficit finance can help governments manage their economies and how large and persistent deficits can lead to severe economic problems. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501644/
Small Business Administration Trade and Export Promotion Programs
This report begins with the history, role, and scope of the Small Business Administration's (SBA's) export promotion activities, and the creation of the Office of International Trade (OIT). Next, quantitative data from SBA and qualitative data from other sources are used to provide performance analysis of SBA's international programs. This report concludes with a presentation of three issues for consideration during an era where concerns of fiscal responsibility and economic recovery are high priorities for many policy makers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501841/
DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress
This report briefly discusses the Department of Defense leasing foreign-built ships, the opponents of this practice, and related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501926/
Legislation to Facilitate Cybersecurity Information Sharing: Economic Analysis
This report analyzes the incentives for companies to share information about cybersecurity breaches with other companies and the federal government. Data breaches, such as those at Target, Home Depot, Neiman Marcus, and JPMorgan Chase, affecting financial records of tens of millions of households seem to occur regularly. Companies typically respond by trying to increase their cybersecurity by hiring consultants and purchasing new hardware and software. Policy analysts have suggested that sharing information about these breaches could be an effective and inexpensive part of improving cybersecurity. Firms share information directly on an ad hoc basis and through private-sector, nonprofit organizations such as Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs) that can analyze and disseminate information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501916/
Economic Crisis in Russia
This report briefly examines the economic climate in Russia, providing background information and examining key trends. The report also briefly discusses possible next steps for the Kremlin and potential spillover effects for the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501784/
Causes of the Financial Crisis
The financial crisis that began in 2007 spread and gathered intensity in 2008, despite the efforts of central banks and regulators to restore calm. By early 2009, the financial system and the global economy appeared to be locked in a descending spiral, and the primary focus of policy became the prevention of a prolonged downturn on the order of the Great Depression. This report sets out in tabular form a number of the factors that have been identified as causes of the crisis. The left column of Table 1 below summarizes the causal role of each such factor. The next column presents a brief rejoinder to that argument. The right-hand column contains a reference for further reading. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501708/
Outsourcing and Insourcing Jobs in the U.S. Economy: Evidence Based on Foreign Investment Data
This report addresses the issue of jobs outsourcing by analyzing the extent of direct investment into and out of the economy, the role such investment plays in U.S. trade, jobs, and production, and the relationship between direct investment and the broader economic changes that are occurring in the U.S. economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501615/
Financial Market Supervision: European Perspectives
This report addresses the European perspectives on a number of proposals that are being advanced for financial oversight and regulation in Europe. The European experience may be instructive because financial markets in Europe are well developed, European firms often are competitors of U.S. firms, and European governments have faced severe problems of integration and consistency across the various financial structures that exist in Europe. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501906/