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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Proposed Funding for Education in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
This report provides a brief overview of the key provisions related to education programs that are or would be administered by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) that were included in the act under Title IX (Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education) and Title XII (State Fiscal Stabilization Fund). It also provides estimates of state grants for programs for which these estimates are relevant and for which data needed to produce the estimates are available. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462251/
Economic Stimulus: Issues and Policy
This report discusses the passing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which included tax cut and spending provisions totaling at a cost of $787 billion in an attempt to mitigate the economic fallout of the housing and financial crises on the general economy. The report examines issues surrounding fiscal stimulus such as timeliness, the magnitude of stimulus, long-term effects and previously adopted policies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463421/
Social Security: Calculation and History of Taxing Benefits
This report discusses the calculations that go into taxing Social Security benefits, which prior to 1984 were exempt from taxation but have since been taxed at gradually increasing levels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463427/
Social Security Reform: Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefit Entitlement Issues
This report addresses selected legal issues which may be raised regarding entitlement to Social Security benefits as Congress considers possible changes to the Social Security program, and in view of projected long-range shortfalls in the Social Security Trust Funds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463036/
Economic Stimulus: Issues and Policy
This report discusses the passing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which included tax cut and spending provisions totaling at a cost of $787 billion in an attempt to mitigate the economic fallout of the housing and financial crises on the general economy. The report examines issues surrounding fiscal stimulus such as timeliness, the magnitude of stimulus, long-term effects and previously adopted policies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462684/
Tolling of Interstate Highways: Issues in Brief
In recent years, the revenues flowing into the highway trust fund have been insufficient to maintain even current levels of federal funding for highways. Political resistance to raising the federal fuels tax is high. This report discusses arguments for and against expanding tolling of the Interstate highways as a means of generating needed funds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463040/
International Climate Change Financing: The Green Climate Fund (GCF)
This report discusses the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which aims to assist developing countries in their efforts to combat climate change through the provision of grants and other concessional financing for mitigation and adaptation projects, programs, policies, and activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463060/
Argentina's Defaulted Sovereign Debt: Dealing with the "Holdouts"
This report reviews Argentina's financial crisis, the bond exchanges of 2005 and 2010, ongoing litigation, prospects for a final solution, related U.S. legislation, and broader policy issues. These include lessons on the effectiveness and cost of Argentina's default strategy, the ability to force sovereigns to meet their debt obligations, and ways to avoid future defaults like Argentina's. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463061/
Ebbs and Flows of Federal Debt
This report will define the measures of debt, discuss the mechanisms of how debt levels change, and use historical examples to illustrate the factors causing debt movements over the last seven decades. In addition, some policies which may affect the future budgetary outlook and the debt will be discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462087/
Primer on Disability Benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
This report provides an overview on federal disability benefits programs including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is an insurance program that provides benefits to individuals who have paid into the system and meet certain minimum work requirements, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a means-tested program that does not have work or contribution requirements, but restricts benefits to those who meet certain financial eligibility criteria. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462061/
Iraq's Debt Relief: Procedure and Potential Implications for International Debt Relief
This report discusses the Iraqi debt problem in three parts: [1] overview of the Iraq debt situation following the ouster of the Saddam regime; [2] subsequent debt relief negotiations and their resolution; [3] possible implications for future debt relief cases that arise from Iraq's experience. The implications are: a willingness by the international community to grant a stay on the enforcement of creditor rights; an increased flexibility in Paris Club debt relief decisions; and an unwillingness by successor regimes to claim that their debt is odious and repudiate it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462036/
Securities Fraud Class Action Certification: Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc.
This report discusses requirements for securities fraud class action certification. The report also specifically examines each of the decisions made in the Halliburton cases, which proceeded through two complete rounds in federal district court, court of appeals, and the Supreme Court. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462069/
IMF Reforms: Issues for Congress
This report provides information about the reforms made by the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in December 2010, Congress's role in the reform process, and how the reforms could affect U.S. interests at the IMF. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462037/
Clean Coal Loan Guarantees and Tax Incentives: Issues in Brief
This report discusses certain federal financial incentive mechanisms for "clean coal" commercial projects; namely, loan guarantees and tax incentives. At issue for Congress is the extent to which the private sector has used these financial toolsto develop the technology needed for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while continuing to use available domestic coal reserves for electricity generation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462084/
The OECD Initiative on Tax Havens
This report examines the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and its role in changes to U.S. laws related to bribery, tax havens. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462229/
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/metadc462289/
International Trade and Finance: Key Policy Issues for the 113th Congress, Second Session
This report provides information about the reforms, Congress's role in the reform process, and how the reforms could affect U.S. interests at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462243/
Palestinian Authority: U.S. Payments to Creditors as Alternative to Direct Budgetary Assistance?
A September 24, 2014, congressional notification (CN) from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) may reflect a new executive branch approach in assisting the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pay off some of the debts it incurs in providing various benefits and services to West Bank and Gaza residents. The CN indicates that USAID plans to obligate a total of $100 million in FY2014 bilateral economic assistance for the Palestinians toward direct U.S. payments to PA creditors. This report briefly discusses the details and implications of this new alternative method. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462260/
Argentina's Defaulted Sovereign Debt: Dealing with the "Holdouts"
This report reviews Argentina's financial crisis, the bond exchanges of 2005 and 2010, ongoing litigation, prospects for a final solution, related U.S. legislation, and broader policy issues. These include lessons on the effectiveness and cost of Argentina's default strategy, the ability to force sovereigns to meet their debt obligations, and ways to avoid future defaults like Argentina's. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462540/
Proposals to Eliminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns
This report discusses Presidential campaign funding and provides a brief policy overview and raises potential issues for congressional consideration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463489/
International Monetary Fund: Background and Issues for Congress
This report evaluates the purpose, membership, financing, and focus of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) activities. It also discusses the role of Congress in shaping U.S. policy at the IMF and concludes by addressing key issues, both legislative and oversight-related, that Congress may wish to consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463401/
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/metadc462552/
An Analysis of the Geographic Distribution of the Mortgage Interest Deduction
This report analyzes variation in the mortgage interest deduction tax expenditure across states. Tax expenditures, such as the mortgage interest deduction, can generally be viewed as government spending administered via the tax code, or as tax incentives that are intended to achieve particular policy objectives. Regardless of the interpretation, tax expenditures provide a benefit to qualifying taxpayers by lowering their federal tax liabilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463404/
Foreign Direct Investment: Current Issues
This report presents an overview of current issues related to foreign direct investment in the economy and the development of U.S. policy toward inward and outward direct investment. This report also assesses the role of foreign direct investment in the economy and the costs and benefits of direct investment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463436/
Export-Import Bank Reauthorization: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses frequently asked questions about Ex-Im Bank, grouped in the following categories: congressional interest and the Ex-Im Bank reauthorization debate; market context; international context; organizational structure and management; programs; statutory requirements and policies; risk management; budget and appropriations; implications of a sunset in authority; and historical and current approaches to reauthorization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463458/
Taxation of Hedge Fund and Private Equity Managers
This report discusses the major issues surrounding the tax treatment of hedge fund and private equity managers and will be updated as legislative developments warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462305/
"Dark Pools" In Equity Trading: Significance and Recent Developments
This report discusses "Dark Pools", relatively recent and controversial electronic stock trading alternatives to traditional exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and now account for about 15% of overall trading volume. The report discusses the pros and cons of "dark trading", civil suits in reaction to Dark Pools and recent Securities and Exchange Commission actions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462349/
Argentina's Defaulted Sovereign Debt: Dealing with the "Holdouts"
This report reviews Argentina's financial crisis, the bond exchanges of 2005 and 2010, ongoing litigation, prospects for a final solution, related U.S. legislation, and broader policy issues. These include lessons on the effectiveness and cost of Argentina's default strategy, the ability to force sovereigns to meet their debt obligations, and ways to avoid future defaults like Argentina's. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462318/
The Depreciating Dollar: Economic Effects and Policy Response
This report addresses the concern about the health of the U.S. economy regarding the depreciation of the dollar and examines the likely reasons for the dollar's fall, the effects the depreciating currency could have on the economy, and possible policy responses that could be considered to attempt to alter the dollar's path if needed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462316/
Campaign Finance: Legislative Developments and Policy Issues in the 110th Congress
This report provides an overview of major legislative and policy developments related to campaign finance during the 110th Congress. The report discusses legislative and oversight hearings and floor action during the period. It also explores major policy issues that are relevant for Congress, but have largely occurred away from Capitol Hill. As of this writing, approximately 50 bills devoted primarily to campaign finance have been introduced in the 110th Congress, but none have become law. A new lobbying and ethics law, the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA) contains campaign finance provisions related to "bundled" campaign contributions and campaign travel. That measure is the only campaign finance related bill to become law during the 110th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462357/
Preserving Homeownership: Foreclosure Prevention Initiatives
This report describes the consequences of foreclosure on homeowners, outlines recent foreclosure prevention plans implemented by the government and private organizations, and discusses the challenges associated with foreclosure prevention. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462555/
International Trade and Finance: Key Policy Issues for the 113th Congress, Second Session
This report highlights major international trade and finance issues that the 113th Congress may address. This report presents broader congressional oversight of the economic and political context of the current U.S. participation in the global economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462361/
International Monetary Fund: Background and Issues for Congress
This report evaluates the purpose, membership, financing, and focus of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) activities. It also discusses the role of Congress in shaping U.S. policy at the IMF and concludes by addressing key issues, both legislative and oversight-related, that Congress may wish to consider, including: the role of the IMF as a lender of last resort; the adequacy of IMF resources; and the effectiveness of IMF surveillance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462399/
Argentina's Defaulted Sovereign Debt: Dealing with the "Holdouts"
This report reviews Argentina's financial crisis, the bond exchanges of 2005 and 2010, ongoing litigation, prospects for a final solution, related U.S. legislation, and broader policy issues. These include lessons on the effectiveness and cost of Argentina's default strategy, the ability to force sovereigns to meet their debt obligations, and ways to avoid future defaults like Argentina's. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462536/
The American Opportunity Tax Credit: Overview, Analysis, and Policy Options
This report provides both an in-depth description of this tax credit and an analysis of its economic impact. This report is organized to first provide an overview of the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), followed by a legislative history that highlights the evolution of education tax credits from proposals in the 1960s through the recent extension of the AOTC at the end of 2012. This report then analyzes the credit by looking at who claims the credit, the effect education tax credits have on increasing college attendance, and administrative issues with the AOTC. Finally, this report concludes with a brief overview of various policy options, including tax law changes proposed in Chairman Camp's tax reform bill3 and in the President's FY2015 budget request. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463239/
Financial Market Supervision: Canada's Perspective
This report presents an overview of Canada's financial system and its supervisory framework and draws some distinctions between that system and the current U.S. framework. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462664/
Egypt and the IMF: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of the economic situation in post-revolution Egypt and negotiations between Egypt and the IMF. It also analyzes why an IMF program is controversial in Egypt and the relationship between an IMF program for Egypt and U.S. foreign policy goals in the region. It discusses the IMF program from a congressional perspective, including how debt relief for Egypt has been tied to an IMF program and legislation that would condition U.S. bilateral economic assistance to Egypt on an IMF program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462602/
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/
Social Security: Trust Fund Investment Practices
This report describes Social Security trust fund investment practices under current law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461980/
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 Stimulus: Issues and Policy
This report discusses the passing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which included tax cut and spending provisions totaling at a cost of $787 billion in an attempt to mitigate the economic fallout of the housing and financial crises on the general economy. The report examines issues surrounding fiscal stimulus such as timeliness, the magnitude of stimulus, long-term effects and previously adopted policies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462760/
Unlawfully Present Aliens, Higher Education, In-State Tuition, and Financial Aid: Legal Analysis
This report surveys key legal issues pertaining to unlawfully present alien students' access to higher education, in-state tuition, and financial aid. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462719/
Argentina's Defaulted Sovereign Debt: Dealing with the "Holdouts"
This report reviews Argentina's financial crisis, the bond exchanges of 2005 and 2010, ongoing litigation, prospects for a final solution, related U.S. legislation, and broader policy issues. These include lessons on the effectiveness and cost of Argentina's default strategy, the ability to force sovereigns to meet their debt obligations, and ways to avoid future defaults like Argentina's. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462717/
Multilateral Development Banks: How the United States Makes and Implements Policy
This report analyzes how the United States makes policy towards the multilateral development banks (MDBs) and identifies ways by which Congress can shape U.S. policy and influence the activities of the banks themselves. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462790/
Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns: Overview and Analysis
This report discusses current controversies and arguments for and against public financing of presidential campaigns; legislative history; elements of the program; taxpayer and candidate participation; financial status of the program; recent legislation; and analysis of various policy proposals. If Congress chooses to alter the program, consensus will be necessary in what has historically been a particularly complex and contentious area of campaign finance policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462712/
Designating Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFIs)
This report discusses congressional concerns regarding the Financial Stability Oversight Council's (FSOC) authorization to designate certain non-bank entities as Systemically Important Financial Institutions (SIFI). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462755/
Dark Pools in Equity Trading: Policy Concerns and Recent Developments
This report examines the confluence of factors that led to the rise of dark pools; the potential benefits and costs of such trading; some regulatory and congressional concerns over dark pools; recent regulatory developments by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which oversees broker-dealers; and some recent lawsuits and enforcement actions garnering significant media attention. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461960/
An Overview of the Housing Finance System in the United States
This report provides an overview of how the housing finance system works and provides context for housing finance-related policy issues that Congress might choose to consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462704/
Terrorism Risk Insurance: Issue Analysis and Overview of Current Program
This report discusses the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (TRIA). TRIA created a temporary three-year Terrorism Insurance Program in which the government would share some of the losses with private insurers should a foreign terrorist attack occur. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462934/
Argentina's Post-Crisis Economic Reform: Challenges for U.S. Policy
This report provides a framework for understanding Argentina's economic policies, issues raised for U.S. stakeholders, and implications for the future of U.S.-Argentine economic relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462978/
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