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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2005
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Revising Insurance Regulation: Policy Considerations

Revising Insurance Regulation: Policy Considerations

Date: February 11, 2005
Creator: Webel, Baird & Cobb, Carolyn
Description: This report discusses federal regulation of insurers — whether optional or mandatory — in the broader context of national interests. To assist that discussion, it traces the evolving rationale for regulation generally, explains insurers' roles as risk managers and financial intermediaries, and reviews briefly important aspects of the major lines of insurance.
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Early Childhood Education: Preschool Participation, Program Efficacy, and Federal Policy Issues

Early Childhood Education: Preschool Participation, Program Efficacy, and Federal Policy Issues

Date: January 24, 2005
Creator: McCallion, Gail
Description: This report examines what we currently know about preprimary programs, including numbers of children served and their family characteristics; as well as data on the efficacy of preprimary programs in enhancing later learning and other life skills. Current federal programs that serve preschool age children are described, and policy issues which may arise as the federal role in early childhood education is debated are discussed.
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Congressional Authority Over the Federal Courts

Congressional Authority Over the Federal Courts

Date: May 16, 2005
Creator: Bazan, Elizabeth B; Killian, Johnny H. & Thomas, Kenneth R
Description: This report examines Congress' legislative authority with respect to the Judicial Branch. While Congress has broad power to regulate the structure, administration and jurisdiction of the courts, its powers are limited by precepts of due process, equal protection and separation of powers.
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Homosexuality and the Constitution: A Legal Analysis of the Supreme Court Ruling in Lawrence v. Texas

Homosexuality and the Constitution: A Legal Analysis of the Supreme Court Ruling in Lawrence v. Texas

Date: May 26, 2005
Creator: Feder, Jody
Description: This report provides an overview of the Supreme Court's opinion in Lawrence v. Texas, coupled with a discussion of its implications for future cases involving gay rights in general and same-sex marriage in particular.
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American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics

American War and Military Operations Casualties: Lists and Statistics

Date: July 13, 2005
Creator: Fischer, Hannah
Description: This report is written in response to numerous requests for war casualty statistics and lists of war dead. It provides tables, compiled by sources at the Department of Defense, indicating the number of casualties among American military personnel serving in principal wars and combat actions. For the more recent conflicts, starting with the Korean War, more detailed information on types of casualties, and when available, demographics have been included. This report also cites sources of published lists of military personnel killed in principal wars and combat actions.
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An Analysis of the Administration's Deficit Reduction Goal

An Analysis of the Administration's Deficit Reduction Goal

Date: March 2, 2005
Creator: Esenwein, Gregg A & Labonte, Marc
Description: This report briefly discusses the Bush Administration's proposal to reduce the deficit between FY2004 and FY2009. It discusses the provisions of the FY2006 budget proposal in respect to the Administration's deficit reduction goal. CRS has constructed a modified baseline budget which, arguably, provides a “best guess” of the path of future deficits if current policy is extended. Under this alternative, the deficit is projected to rise to $425 billion in FY2009.
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Argentina: Political Conditions and U.S. Relations

Argentina: Political Conditions and U.S. Relations

Date: March 31, 2005
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P
Description: This report briefly discusses the political and economic conditions of Argentina, as well as its relationship with the U.S.
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Association Health Plans: Legislation in the 109th Congress

Association Health Plans: Legislation in the 109th Congress

Date: May 26, 2005
Creator: Hearne, Jean P
Description: An estimated 41.2 million people were without health insurance in 2001. Legislation under consideration by the 108th and earlier Congresses is intended to assist small employers in offering health insurance as a benefit to their workers. A new bill, H.R. 4281, introduced on May 5, 2004, The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003 (H.R. 6601s. 545), and a number of bills from the earlier Congresses include provisions creating new groups for small firms to join or encouraging the growth of existing groups so that small employers can band together to offer coverage to their employees. Opponents of the AHP approach raise concerns that unintended negative consequences would arise, negating the benefits that the new groups would create. While the proposed AHPs are not likely to immediately undermine the small group market, they are likely to require additional features to significantly expand insurance coverage among the uninsured.
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Beneficiary Information and Decision Supports for the Medicare-Endorsed Prescription Drug Discount Card

Beneficiary Information and Decision Supports for the Medicare-Endorsed Prescription Drug Discount Card

Date: March 24, 2005
Creator: Justice, Diane
Description: On December 8, 2003 the President signed into law the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA, P.L. 108-173). This legislation establishes a Medicare prescription drug benefit, effective January 1, 2006. In the interim, the legislation requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a temporary program of Medicare-endorsed prescription drug discount cards. This report discusses the objectives and benefits of this legislation.
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The Berne Union: An Overview

The Berne Union: An Overview

Date: November 8, 2005
Creator: Jackson, James K
Description: The Berne Union, or the International Union of Credit and Investment Insurers, is an international organization comprised of 54 public and private sector members that represent various segments of the export credit and investment insurance industry. Within the Berne Union, the United States is represented by the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and four private-sector firms and by one observer. Congress, through its oversight of Eximbank and OPIC, as well as international trade and finance, has interests in the functioning of the Berne Union.
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The Berry Amendment: Requiring Defense Procurement to Come from Domestic Sources

The Berry Amendment: Requiring Defense Procurement to Come from Domestic Sources

Date: July 24, 2005
Creator: Grasso, Valerie Bailey
Description: The Berry Amendment requires the Department of Defense (DOD) to give preference in procurement to domestically produced, manufactured, or home grown products, notably food, clothing, fabrics, and specialty metals. This report examines the original intent and purpose of the Berry Amendment, legislative proposals to amend the application of domestic source restrictions, as well as options for Congress.
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Azerbaijan's 2005 Legislative Election: Outcome and Implications for U.S. Interests

Azerbaijan's 2005 Legislative Election: Outcome and Implications for U.S. Interests

Date: November 30, 2005
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Description: This report discusses Azerbaijan’s democratization progress as evidenced by its November 6, 2005, legislative election. It describes the campaign and results and examines implications of this election for Azerbaijani and U.S. interests.
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Balkan Cooperation on War Crimes Issues: 2005 Update

Balkan Cooperation on War Crimes Issues: 2005 Update

Date: June 9, 2005
Creator: Kim, Julie
Description: A combination of intensified international pressure and deadlines associated with Euro-Atlantic integration processes has prompted a spate of transfers of persons indicted for war crimes to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague in late 2004-early 2005. Full cooperation with The Hague tribunal has been established as a key prerequisite to further progress toward a shared long-term goal for the western Balkan countries: closer association with and eventual membership in the European Union (EU) and NATO. This report is updated as the number of individuals indicted for war crimes have been transferred to The Hague from Serbia, Kosovo, and Bosnia.
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Bank and Thrift Deposit Insurance Premiums: The Record from 1934-2004

Bank and Thrift Deposit Insurance Premiums: The Record from 1934-2004

Date: January 3, 2005
Creator: Miles, Barbara L & Jackson, William D
Description: Since federal deposit insurance first came into being in the mid-1930s, commercial banks and savings associations (thrifts) have paid premiums into government insurance reserves to cover losses due to financial institution failures. Banks and thrifts have come to offer similar services and the government has standardized insurance premiums for the two institutions to reflect their competition. Deposit insurance premiums have been the subject of legislation several times over recent years including measures passed by the House. Most banks and thrifts pay essentially no premiums, but the potential for future assessments continues to drive “reform” legislation. This report provides the rationale and amounts of assessments since federal deposit insurance began and will be updated annually.
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Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC): Property Transfer and Disposal

Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC): Property Transfer and Disposal

Date: February 23, 2005
Creator: Flynn, Aaron M
Description: The Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act of 1990 and the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 provide the basic framework for the transfer and disposal of military installations closed during the base realignment and closure (BRAC) process. This report provides an overview of the various authorities available under the current law and describes the planning process for the redevelopment of BRAC properties.
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Baseline Budget Projections: A Discussion of Issues

Baseline Budget Projections: A Discussion of Issues

Date: March 1, 2005
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: Between January 2001 and January 2005, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reduced its 10-year baseline projection for the period 2002-2011 from a peak surplus of $5.6 trillion to a deficit of $2.6 trillion for three reasons. First, about one third of the reduction is due to technical revisions CBO made to its projections (e.g., to account for the smaller than predicted growth in tax revenues). Second, the recession both reduced revenues and raised outlays automatically. This factor accounts for less than one-tenth of the 10-year decline, and is only significant in 2002 and 2003. Finally, about 60% of the reduction was due to policy changes, the largest of which was tax cuts, and the second largest of which was increased military outlays. Even without a recession or technical revisions, policy changes alone would have pushed the budget into deficit from 2003 to 2005.
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Baseline Budget Projections Under Alternative Assumptions

Baseline Budget Projections Under Alternative Assumptions

Date: February 8, 2005
Creator: Esenwein, Gregg A & Labonte, Marc
Description: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates a baseline budget based on simple rules prescribed by law. Statute requires CBO to project a baseline of revenues and outlays under current law over the next 10 years. Arguably, a “better guess” of the probable path of the federal budget under current policy might be achieved by modifying four assumptions in the CBO baseline. First, that discretionary spending will remain constant as a share of GDP rather than growing at the rate of inflation. Second, that military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan will continue and should be counted in the baseline rather than omitted. Third, that recent tax reduction will be extended rather than allowed to expire. Fourth, that the alternative minimum tax (AMT) relief will be extended rather than allowing the AMT to “take back” the reductions in regular income tax.
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Bankruptcy Relief and Natural Disaster Victims

Bankruptcy Relief and Natural Disaster Victims

Date: September 14, 2005
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Description: In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, many have questioned whether implementing the new procedures of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA), P.L. 109-8, scheduled to go into effect on October 17, 2005, should be delayed. This report considers whether bankruptcy law in general, and the BAPCPA in particular, may present unique challenges to financial recovery for those whose life, livelihood, and/or home have been damaged or destroyed.
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Appropriations Bills: What is Report Language?

Appropriations Bills: What is Report Language?

Date: January 12, 2005
Creator: Streeter, Sandy
Description: When the Senate or House Appropriations Committee reports an appropriations bill to the full Senate or House, respectively, the committee typically publishes a committee report explaining the bill. This fact sheet provides a brief overview of what these reports entail and the language used within them.
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Asian Soybean Rust: Background and Issues

Asian Soybean Rust: Background and Issues

Date: January 12, 2005
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Description: This report discusses the background and issues regarding Asian soybean rust (ASR) that was discovered in the United States in an experimental field in Louisiana. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is coordinating a plan to deal with ASR that encompasses various USDA agencies, state land-grant universities, and industry participants. The arrival of ASR has implications for several public policies including pest control research (particularly the development of resistant varieties), pesticide regulation, disaster assistance, and crop insurance.
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Asbestos Litigation: Prospects for Legislative Resolution

Asbestos Litigation: Prospects for Legislative Resolution

Date: May 20, 2005
Creator: Rappaport, Edward B
Description: This report summarizes H.R. 1283, 106th Congress, the Asbestos Compensation Act of 2000, as ordered to be reported with amendments by the House Committee on the Judiciary on March 16, 2000. The bill would create an administrative procedure for asbestos liability claims. Also, This report discusses such issues thematically, and will be updated to reflect major legislative actions. A section-by-section analysis of S. 852 may be found in CRS Report RS22081, S. 852: The Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2005.
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Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities: A Catalog of Recent Events

Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities: A Catalog of Recent Events

Date: January 7, 2005
Creator: Woolf, Amy F
Description: This report contains brief descriptions of the most prominent arms control and nonproliferation efforts in which the United States has participated during recent years. The entries describe the substance of each arms control effort, the period in which the effort occurred, and the status of the effort at the end of 2004.
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The Army's Future Combat System (FCS): Background and Issues for Congress

The Army's Future Combat System (FCS): Background and Issues for Congress

Date: April 28, 2005
Creator: Feickert, Andrew
Description: The Future Combat System (FCS) is the U.S. Army’s multiyear, multibillion dollar program at the heart of the Army’s transformation efforts. The FCS program exists in a dynamic national security environment which could significantly influence the program’s outcome. The FCS is experiencing a number of program development issues - with some technologies advancing quicker than anticipated, others progressing along predicted lines, while still others not meeting the Army’s expectations. Congress, in its authorization, appropriation, and oversight roles may wish to review the FCS program in terms of its capabilities and program costs.
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Arsenic in Drinking Water: Regulatory Develpoments and Issues

Arsenic in Drinking Water: Regulatory Develpoments and Issues

Date: February 7, 2005
Creator: Tiemann, Mary
Description: This report discusses issues regarding the arsenic’s health effects and how to reduce the uncertainty in assessing health risks associated with exposure to low levels of arsenic. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the current standard of 50 parts per billion (ppb) in 1975. . This report reviews EPA efforts to develop a new arsenic rule and summarizes key provisions and subsequent events.
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