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 Country: United States
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
This report discusses Bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is used to produce certain types of plastic that are used in thousands of formulations for myriad products. Containers made with these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Medical devices and other more ubiquitous products, such as thermal paper coatings, also may contribute significantly to human exposure. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491289/
The TANF Emergency Contingency Fund
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 created an Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF) within the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. The fund expired on September 30, 2010. It helped states, Indian tribes, and territories pay for additional costs of providing economic aid to families during the current economic downturn for FY2009 and FY2010. This report describes the TANF ECF as well as proposals offered in 2010 to extend and modify TANF emergency funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491209/
Contract Types: An Overview of the Legal Requirements and Issues
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. Current congressional and public interest in contract types is, in part, an outgrowth of the reported increase in the use of cost-reimbursement contracts during the George W. Bush Administration and the Obama Administration's proposal to reduce by at least 10% the funds obligated by "high risk-contracting authorities," such as cost-reimbursement, time-and-materials, and labor-hour contracts, in FY2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490931/
"Amazon Laws" and Taxation of Internet Sales: Constitutional Analysis
As more purchases are made over the Internet, states are looking for new ways to collect taxes on online sales. There is a common misperception that the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from taxing Internet sales. This report discusses "Amazon laws", which try to capture uncollected taxes on Internet sales and yet still comply with the Constitution's requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490974/
The Power to Regulate Commerce: Limits on Congressional Power
This report discusses the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, which provides that the Congress shall have the power to regulate interstate and foreign commerce. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491073/
Economic Recovery: Sustaining U.S. Economic Growth in a Post-Crisis Economy
This report looks at how Congress has been proactive in helping the economy recover after the 2008-2009 recession, as well as how it can help to keep recessions at bay in the future. Issues include typical post-war recessions, insufficient pace of private spending, and the long-term debt problem. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491017/
Double-Dip Recession: Previous Experience and Current Prospect
This report discusses factors suggesting an increased risk of double-dip recession. It discusses other factors that suggest economic recovery will continue. The U.S. historical experience with double-dip recessions is also presented. It examines the role of deleveraging by households and businesses in the aftermath of the recent financial crisis in shaping the likely pace of economic recovery. The report concludes with a look at current economic projections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491082/
Debarment and Suspension of Government Contractors: An Overview of the Law Including Recently Enacted and Proposed Amendments
As a general rule, government agencies contract with the lowest qualified responsible bidder or offeror. Debarment and suspension are among the techniques that government agencies use to ensure that they contract with only "responsible" bidders or offerors because they allow the government to exclude contractors from receiving government contracts. This report focuses upon exclusions on procurement grounds.2 It surveys the authorities requiring or allowing federal agencies to debar or suspend contractors, due process and other protections for contractors, and recently enacted and proposed amendments to the laws governing debarment and suspension. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491188/
The TANF Emergency Contingency Fund
This report describes the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF) as well as proposals to extend and modify TANF emergency funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491643/
Tariff Modifications: Miscellaneous Tariff Bills
Importers often request that Members of Congress introduce bills seeking to suspend or reduce tariffs on certain imports on their behalf. This report discusses the current process by which duty suspension bills and other provisions are introduced, reviewed by several government agencies and committee staff, made available for public comment, and finally included in omnibus miscellaneous trade and technical corrections bills (MTB) legislation reported out by the committees of jurisdiction. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491517/
The Corporate Income Tax System: Overview and Options for Reform
This report presents information and research on the corporate tax to help policy makers understand and evaluate arguments presented in the tax reform debate. This report first reviews the structure of the corporate income tax. Data on which companies pay the corporate tax, corporate tax revenue, and how the U.S. system compares to the rest of the world are then presented and analyzed. Next, the economic effects of the corporate tax are reviewed--including a discussion of the purpose of the corporate tax, who bears the burden of the tax, and how to evaluate alternative corporate tax systems. The report then reviews broad reform options and concludes with a comparison of specific proposals that have been offered. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491518/
State Small Business Credit Initiative: Implementation and Funding Issues
This report examines the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) and its implementation, including Treasury's response to initial program audits conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and Treasury's Office of Inspector General (OIG). The SSBCI provides funding, allocated by formula and distributed in one-third increments, to states, territories, and eligible municipalities (hereinafter referred to as states) to expand existing or create new state small business investment programs, including state capital access programs, collateral support programs, loan participation programs, loan guarantee programs, and venture capital programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491393/
National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: A Glimpse of the 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/metadc491001/
U.S. International Trade: Trends and Forecasts
This report discusses the U.S. trade deficit in light of the 2008 global financial crisis, with emphasis on international trade and U.S. trade policy, most recent developments in trade of goods and service, trade forecasts for the future, and how issues such as the U.S. trade deficit and international trade, particularly with China, are commonly perceived. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491092/
The TANF Emergency Contingency Fund
This report discusses the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which created an Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF) within the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. The fund expired on September 30, 2010. It helped states, Indian tribes, and territories pay for additional costs of providing economic aid to families during the current economic downturn for FY2009 and FY2010. This report describes the TANF ECF as well as proposals offered in 2010 to extend and modify TANF emergency funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490991/
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/metadc490871/
The Role of Trade Secrets in Innovation Policy
This report provides an overview of the law and policy of trade secrets. It discusses the role of trade secrets in U.S. innovation policy. It then reviews the sources of trade secret law and the substantive rules that they provide. The report then provides a more detailed review of existing federal legislation that pertains to trade secrets. In its next section, the report then discusses the relationship between patent law and trade secret law. The report closes with an identification of congressional issues and options within this field. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490862/
Location-Based Preferences in Federal and Federally Funded Contracting: An Overview of the Law
This report discusses constitutional and other legal issues related to the creation and implementation of location-based preferences in federal contracting, as well as summarizes key authorities requiring or allowing federal agencies to "favor" contractors located in specific places. The report does not address federal preferences for domestic products or provisions of federal law that could, depending upon their implementation, effectively prefer local contractors, such as project labor agreements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490923/
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Executive Compensation
This report discusses the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 4173), which was implemented as part of financial regulatory reform initiatives undertaken by Congress in light of the recent global economic crisis. The legislation focuses on executive compensation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490937/
Responsibility Determinations Under the Federal Acquisition Regulation: Legal Standards and Procedures
This report discusses the standards and procedures that federal agencies use in making responsibility determinations under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). As a general rule, government agencies contract with the lowest qualified responsible bidder or offeror. Responsibility is an attribute of the contractor, while price and qualifications are attributes of the bid or offer. Under the FAR, "[n]o purchase or award shall be made unless the contracting officer makes an affirmative determination of responsibility." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490971/
Small Business Size Standards: A Historical Analysis of Contemporary Issues
This report provides a historical examination of the SBA's size standards, assesses competing views concerning how to define a small business, and discusses how the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 might affect program eligibility. It also discusses H.R. 585, the Small Business Size Standard Flexibility Act of 2011, which would authorize the SBA's Office of Chief Counsel for Advocacy to approve or disapprove a size standard proposed by a federal agency if it deviates from the SBA's size standards. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462695/
Small Business Size Standards: A Historical Analysis of Contemporary Issues
This report provides a historical examination of the Small Business Administration's SBA size standards, and assesses competing views concerning how to define a small business. It also discusses H.R. 585, the Small Business Size Standard Flexibility Act of 2011, which would have authorized the SBA's Office of Chief Counsel for Advocacy to approve or disapprove a size standard proposed by a federal agency if it deviates from the SBA's size standards. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463081/
International Corporate Tax Rate Comparisons and Policy Implications
This report focuses on the global issues relating to tax rate differentials between the United States and other countries. It provides tax rate comparisons; discusses policy implications, including the effect of a corporate rate cut on revenue, output, and national welfare; and discusses the outlook for and consequences of a revenue neutral corporate tax reform. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463460/
Legal Protections for Subcontractors on Federal Prime Contracts
This report provides an overview of the payment and other protections for subcontractors on certain federal prime contracts under the Miller Act, the 1988 amendments to the Prompt Payment Act, and the Small Business Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463442/
The Obama Administration's Proposal to Establish a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation
This report discusses the proposed creation of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), which would help accelerate innovation and support manufacturing technology commercialization. The report includes an overview of the topic as well as discussion on the Administration's proposal, preliminary activities, legislative status, and issues for consideration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463238/
Protection of Trade Secrets: Overview of Current Law and Legislation
This report starts out with background information regarding trade secrets and an overview of current legal landscape for trade secret protection. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462248/
Job Loss and Infrastructure Job Creation Spending During the Recession
This report takes an in-depth look at job creation estimates, including the limitations of the methodology often used to derive them and the difficulties associated with developing job estimates for green infrastructure in particular. The report views these topics in the context of the 2007-2008 recession and its aftermath. The report closes with a review of what is known to date about the number of jobs supported by infrastructure spending and other provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, P.L. 111-5). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463048/
Job Loss and Infrastructure Job Creation Spending During the Recession
This report takes an in-depth look at job creation estimates, including the limitations of the methodology often used to derive them and the difficulties associated with developing job estimates for green infrastructure in particular. The report views these topics in the context of the 2007-2008 recession and its aftermath. The report closes with a review of what is known to date about the number of jobs supported by infrastructure spending and other provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, P.L. 111-5). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463015/
Codes of Conduct for Multinational Corporations: An Overview
This report examines corporate social responsibility (CSR) on the part of multinational corporations in the globalized economy. The report discusses the U.S. government's role through regulation, as well as industry-specific codes of conduct. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462686/
Job Loss and Infrastructure Job Creation Spending During the Recession
This report takes an in-depth look at job creation estimates, including the limitations of the methodology often used to derive them and the difficulties associated with developing job estimates for green infrastructure in particular. The report views these topics in the context of the 2007-2008 recession and its aftermath. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463084/
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Manufacturing Trends
Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) represent a bright spot for the technology-intensive aerospace manufacturing sector, but military and civil government agencies will likely be the predominant customers for an extended period while such systems are integrated into the U.S. National Airspace System ("national airspace"). This report discusses the market for UAS in 2013 and briefly discusses UAS manufacturers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462518/
The Role of Local Food Systems in U.S. Farm Policy
This report looks at the growing popularity of locally produced foods, and how that popularity and regional/local food systems are affected by the reauthorization of the 2008 farm bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462598/
Outsourcing and Insourcing Jobs in the U.S. Economy: Evidence Based on Foreign Investment Data
This report addresses the debate of job creation in the U.S. versus job outsourcing and its effects on the economy 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/metadc462394/
Stealing Trade Secrets and Economic Espionage: An Overview of 18 U.S.C. 1831 and 1832
This report gives an overview of two federal crimes: theft of trade secrets and economic espionage. The report explains both types of offenses and their consequences. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462643/
The Constitutionality of Campaign Finance Regulation: Buckley v. Valeo and Its Supreme Court Progeny
This report first discusses the key holdings enunciated by the Supreme Court in Buckley, including those upholding reasonable contribution limits, striking down expenditure limits, upholding disclosure reporting requirements, and upholding the system of voluntary presidential election expenditure limitations linked with public financing. It then examines the Court's extension of Buckley in several subsequent cases, evaluating them in various regulatory contexts: contribution limits, expenditure limits, disclosure requirements, and political party soft money and electioneering communication restrictions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461924/
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/metadc461953/
Legal Protections for Subcontractors on Federal Prime Contracts
This report provides an overview of the payment and other protections for subcontractors on certain federal prime contracts under the Miller Act, the 1988 amendments to the Prompt Payment Act, and the Small Business Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461979/
Causes of the Financial Crisis
This report sets out in tabular form a number of the factors that have been identified as causes of the financial crisis that began in 2007. The left column of Table 1 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. Where text is given in quotation marks, the reference in the right column is the source, unless otherwise specified. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461964/
Economic Slowdown: Issues and Policies
This report first discusses the current state of the economy, including measures that have already been taken by the monetary authorities, and assesses the need for and potential consequences of fiscal stimulus. The second part of the report reviews the proposals discussed during debate on the recently enacted fiscal stimulus, both those adopted and those considered but not adopted. The various stimulus packages differed somewhat, and the report briefly describes those differences. This section also includes a discussion of the potential elements of a second stimulus proposal, and concludes with a discussion of the macroeconomic effects of the proposals. The final section of the paper discusses recent and proposed financial interventions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462792/
Barriers to Corporate Fraud: How They Work, Why They Fail
The report focuses on the internal controls on American corporations (including corporate governance, business ethics, managerial structure and compensation, internal counsel, and whistleblowers), as well as external controls (government regulation, external auditors and accountants, and the judicial process). A recurring theme is the limited efficacy of many safeguards and watchdogs in cases of "control fraud," where fraud is directed or abetted by top management, and where unethical or abusive practices may become the organizational norm. Another broad question raised by the report is whether the post-Enron scandals were a one-time event, made possible by the stock market bubble of the 1990s and several other unique historical developments which together constituted a "perfect storm," or whether fraud is a cyclical phenomenon associated with the end of long bull markets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462705/
Job Loss and Infrastructure Job Creation During the Recession
The report examines trends in employment and job loss since the start of the latest recession then focuses on job creation estimates associated with increased spending on infrastructure, placing a heavy emphasis on explaining the limitations with the methodology that is often utilized to develop the estimates. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461987/
Job Loss and Infrastructure Job Creation Spending During the Recession
This report takes an in-depth look at job creation estimates, including the limitations of the methodology often used to derive them and the difficulties associated with developing job estimates for green infrastructure in particular. The report views these topics in the context of the 2007-2008 recession and its aftermath. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462993/
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report gives an historical overview of debt limits, discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase 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/metadc463280/
"Hollowing Out" in U.S. Manufacturing: Analysis and Issues for Congress
Statistics showing that domestic value added represents a diminishing share of the value of U.S. factory output have been interpreted by many analysts as indicating that manufacturing is "hollowing out" as U.S. manufacturers undertake more highvalue work abroad. Economic data have been slow to take note of this development, which raises the question of whether the United States will continue to generate highly skilled, high-wage jobs related to advanced manufacturing. This report discusses economic evidence related to the "hollowing out" thesis with respect to the manufacturing sector. It then considers the policy implications of the debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463166/
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms: Economic, Program, and Policy Issues
This report discusses the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) program, which provides technical assistance to trade affected firms to help them develop strategies to remain competitive in a dynamic international economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462841/
Job Loss and Infrastructure Job Creation During the Recession
This report takes an in-depth look at job creation estimates, including the limitations of the methodology often used to derive them and the difficulties associated with developing job estimates for green infrastructure in particular. The report views these topics in the context of the 2007-2008 recession and its aftermath. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462199/
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms: Economic, Program, and Policy Issues
This report discusses the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) program and policy issues, as well as legislation to reauthorize the TAAF program. It provides technical assistance to help trade-impacted firms make strategic adjustments to improve their global competitiveness. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462974/
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act and Current Financial Turmoil: Issues and Analysis
This report briefly introduces aspects of the current financial instability. Following this, it outlines the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) legislation and the steps that Treasury has taken to implement EESA. Finally, the report concludes with a more in-depth analysis of the current financial instability, including potential causes of financial instability in general, some sources of the current instability, and how financial instability may spill over into the broader economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462143/
"Amazon Laws" and Taxation of Internet Sales: Constitutional Analysis
This report focuses on the ways in which the states' efforts to impose requirements on out-of-state retailers are limited by the Constitution. The report discusses recent state legislation as well as legislation introduced in the two most recent Congresses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462168/
Government Assistance for GMAC/Ally Financial: Unwinding the Government Stake
This report explains the governments relationship with Ally Financial (formerly known as General Motors Acceptance Corporation, or GMAC). Under the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) the government purchased preferred shares in Ally Financial, acquiring a 73.8% ownership state. This report discusses the reasoning behind this assistance to Ally and the ultimate costs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462857/
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