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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2005
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Accounting Problems at Fannie Mae

Accounting Problems at Fannie Mae

Date: November 15, 2005
Creator: Jickling, Mark
Description: On September 22, 2004, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Supervision (OFHEO) made public a report that was highly critical of accounting methods at Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored enterprise that plays a leading role in the secondary mortgage market. OFHEO charged Fannie Mae with not following generally accepted accounting practices in two critical areas: (1) amortization of discounts, premiums, and fees involved in the purchase of home mortgages and (2) accounting for financial derivatives contracts. According to OFHEO, these deviations from standard accounting rules allowed Fannie Mae to reduce volatility in reported earnings, present investors with an artificial picture of steadily growing profits, and, in at least one case, to meet financial performance targets that triggered the payment of bonuses to company executives. On November 15, 2004, Fannie Mae reported that it was unable to file a third-quarter earnings statement because its auditor, KPMG, refused to sign off on the accounting results. On December 15, 2004, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), after finding inadequacies in Fannie’s accounting policies and methodologies, directed Fannie Mae to restate its accounting results since 2001. Shortly thereafter, the company’s CEO and CFO resigned. It is estimated that earnings since 2001 will be revised downwards ...
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The Advanced Technology Program

The Advanced Technology Program

Date: July 6, 2005
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Description: The Advanced Technology Program (ATP) was created by P.L. 100-418, the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, to encourage public-private cooperation in the development of pre-competitive technologies with broad application across industries. This activity has been targeted for elimination as a means to cut federal spending. Since FY2000, the original House-passed appropriation bills have not included funding for ATP. Many of the Administration’s budget requests have proposed termination of the program. However, ATP continues to be supported, although at levels below that achieved in FY1995 when the activity was expanded significantly. This report discusses funding (or lack thereof) appropriated for the ATP for FY2006.
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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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"Bunker Busters": Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Issues, FY2005 and FY2006

"Bunker Busters": Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Issues, FY2005 and FY2006

Date: June 23, 2005
Creator: Medalia, Jonathan
Description: The Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) program has been the most controversial nuclear weapon program in Congress for the last several years. Supporters argue that it is needed to attack hard and deeply buried targets (such as leadership bunkers) in countries of concern, thereby deterring or defeating challenges from such nations; critics assert that RNEP would lower the threshold for use of nuclear weapons and prompt other nations to develop nuclear weapons to deter U.S. attack. This report presents a brief technical background on RNEP, then discusses the history of RNEP in Congress and the Administration for the FY2005 and FY2006 budget cycles.
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"Bunker Busters": Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Issues, FY2005 and FY2006

"Bunker Busters": Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Issues, FY2005 and FY2006

Date: July 6, 2005
Creator: Medalia, Jonathan
Description: The Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) program has been the most controversial nuclear weapon program in Congress for the last several years. Supporters argue that it is needed to attack hard and deeply buried targets (such as leadership bunkers) in countries of concern, thereby deterring or defeating challenges from such nations; critics assert that RNEP would lower the threshold for use of nuclear weapons and prompt other nations to develop nuclear weapons to deter U.S. attack. This report presents a brief technical background on RNEP, then discusses the history of RNEP in Congress and the Administration for the FY2005 and FY2006 budget cycles.
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"Bunker Busters": Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Issues, FY2005 and FY2006

"Bunker Busters": Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Issues, FY2005 and FY2006

Date: August 2, 2005
Creator: Medalia, Jonathan
Description: The Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) program has been the most controversial nuclear weapon program in Congress for the last several years. Supporters argue that it is needed to attack hard and deeply buried targets (such as leadership bunkers) in countries of concern, thereby deterring or defeating challenges from such nations; critics assert that RNEP would lower the threshold for use of nuclear weapons and prompt other nations to develop nuclear weapons to deter U.S. attack. This report presents a brief technical background on RNEP, then discusses the history of RNEP in Congress and the Administration for the FY2005 and FY2006 budget cycles.
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"Bunker Busters": Sources of Confusion in the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Debate

"Bunker Busters": Sources of Confusion in the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Debate

Date: January 10, 2005
Creator: Medalia, Jonathan
Description: Earth penetrator weapons, often called “bunker busters,” burrow into the ground some tens of feet before detonating, greatly increasing their ability to destroy buried targets. The United States has several types of conventional earth penetrators. The Air Force and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) are studying a more effective penetrator, the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP). The FY2005 defense authorization act contained the full RNEP request, $27.6 million. This report explains the budget request and provides details on the RNEP plan.
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Charitable Contributions of Food Inventory: Proposals for Change

Charitable Contributions of Food Inventory: Proposals for Change

Date: January 31, 2005
Creator: Talley, Louis Alan & Jackson, Pamela J
Description: Early in the 109th Congress, both S. 6, the Family and Community Protection Act of 2005, and S. 94, the Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Incentive Act, have been introduced to encourage gifts of food by businesses for charitable purposes. While current law provides a deduction only to C corporations, these bills would expand the tax break to all business entities. The value of the existing deduction is the corporation’s basis in the donated product plus one half of the amount of appreciation, as long as that amount is less than twice the corporation’s basis in the product.
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Chemical Facility Security

Chemical Facility Security

Date: July 29, 2005
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes.
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Chemical Plant Security

Chemical Plant Security

Date: February 14, 2005
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemicals (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. Because few terrorist attacks have been attempted against chemical facilities in the United States, the risk of death and injury in the near future is estimated to be low, relative to the likelihood of accidents at such facilities or attacks on other targets using conventional weapons. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but risks may be increasing with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Available evidence indicates that many chemical facilities may lack adequate safeguards.
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China and the CNOOC Bid for Unocal: Issues for Congress

China and the CNOOC Bid for Unocal: Issues for Congress

Date: September 15, 2005
Creator: Nanto, Dick K & Kumins, Lawrence C
Description: The bid by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to acquire the U.S. energy company Unocal for $18.5 billion raised many issues with U.S. policymakers. This report provides an overview and analysis of the CNOOC bid, U.S. interests, implications for U.S. energy security, U.S. investment in the PRC’s (People’s Republic of China’s) oil industry, the process for reviewing the security and other implications of foreign investment in the United States, Congressional activity, and a listing of unresolved issues.
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Comparison of Tax Incentives of Domestic Manufacturing:  108th Congress

Comparison of Tax Incentives of Domestic Manufacturing: 108th Congress

Date: January 25, 2005
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G
Description: The enacted provision of this legislation (H.R. 4520), following the passage of the Senate’s version (then S. 1637) and the House bill (H.R. 4520) followed the Senate version, which allowed a deduction and would cover unincorporated firms as well as corporations. However, the proposal contained the broader definition of manufacturing in the House bill which included oil and gas extraction, utilities, construction, and electricity. This report discusses the provisions in these two versions of the subsidy as well as some of the issues surrounding alternative methods of providing a manufacturing subsidy.
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Competitive Sourcing Legislation

Competitive Sourcing Legislation

Date: March 29, 2005
Creator: Halchin, L. Elaine
Description: Competitive sourcing is a government-wide initiative that subjects commercial activities performed by federal government employees to public-private competition. As a federal government policy, competitive sourcing debuted in 1966 with the publication of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76. Under the circular, commercial activities performed by federal employees are subjected to public-private competition.
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Congressional or Federal Charters: Overview and Current Issues

Congressional or Federal Charters: Overview and Current Issues

Date: August 25, 2005
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R
Description: A congressional or federal charter is a federal statute that establishes a corporation. Congress has issued charters since 1791, although most charters were issued after the start of the 20th century. This report discusses the issues that recently, Congress has faced two issues involving its use of charters — confusion over who is responsible for the activities of chartered corporations and the challenges of managing them.
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Dairy Policy Issues

Dairy Policy Issues

Date: January 7, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M
Description: Several dairy issues that were debated during the 108th Congress are expected to continue as issues of interest in the 109th Congress. Separate bills were introduced in the 108th Congress to extend authority for both the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program and the dairy forward pricing pilot program, and to address dairy producer concerns about the importation of milk protein concentrates.
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Dairy Policy Issues

Dairy Policy Issues

Date: May 26, 2005
Creator: Chite, Ralph M
Description: Several dairy issues that were debated during the 108th Congress are expected to continue as issues of interest in the 109th Congress. Separate bills were introduced in the 108th Congress to extend authority for both the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program and the dairy forward pricing pilot program, and to address dairy producer concerns about the importation of milk protein concentrates.
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DR-CAFTA, Textiles, and Apparel

DR-CAFTA, Textiles, and Apparel

Date: May 20, 2005
Creator: Gelb, Bernard A
Description: The Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), signed on August 5, 2004, by the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic is a comprehensive and reciprocal trade agreement that, if ratified by all parties, would govern market access of goods, services trade, investment, government procurement, intellectual property, labor, and the environment. With respect to textiles and apparel, DR-CAFTA is comparatively less restrictive than most other trade agreements and trade preference programs regarding what qualifies for duty-free access to the United States.
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Energy Tax Policy

Energy Tax Policy

Date: April 22, 2005
Creator: Lazzari, Salvatore
Description: This report discusses the history, current posture, and outlook for federal energy tax policy. It also discusses recent energy tax proposals, focusing on the major energy tax provisions that were debated as part of omnibus energy legislation in the 108th Congress (e.g., H.R. 6), which may be reintroduced in the 109th Congress.
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Energy Tax Policy: An Economic Analysis

Energy Tax Policy: An Economic Analysis

Date: June 28, 2005
Creator: Lazzari, Salvatore
Description: The report provides background on the theory and application of tax policy as it relates to the energy sector, particularly with respect to the theory of market failure in the energy sector and the suggested policy remedies. This background provides a context for understanding how current or proposed energy tax policy may affect other policy objectives or be affected by such objectives.
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Estate Taxes and Family Businesses: Economic Issues

Estate Taxes and Family Businesses: Economic Issues

Date: September 8, 2005
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G & Maguire, Steven
Description: The 2001 tax revision began a phaseout of the estate tax, by increasing exemptions and lowering rates. The estate tax is scheduled to be repealed in 2010 and a provision to tax appreciation on inherited assets (in excess of a limit) will be substituted. The 2001 tax provisions sunset, however, so that absent a change making them permanent the estate tax will revert, in 2011, to prior, pre-2001, law.
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Foreign Outsourcing: Economic Implications and Policy Responses

Foreign Outsourcing: Economic Implications and Policy Responses

Date: June 21, 2005
Creator: Elwell, Craig K
Description: None
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Government-Sposored Enterprises (GSEs): Regulatory Reform Legislation

Government-Sposored Enterprises (GSEs): Regulatory Reform Legislation

Date: October 27, 2005
Creator: Jickling, Mark
Description: This report summarizes legislative proposals in the 109th Congress that aim to strengthen the regulation of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), and will be updated as warranted.
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Government-Sposored Enterprises (GSEs): Regulatory Reform Legislation

Government-Sposored Enterprises (GSEs): Regulatory Reform Legislation

Date: May 26, 2005
Creator: Jickling, Mark
Description: This report summarizes legislative proposals in the 109th Congress that aim to strengthen the regulation of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), and will be updated as warranted.
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Hurricane Katrina: Fishing and Aquaculture Industries - Damage and Recovery

Hurricane Katrina: Fishing and Aquaculture Industries - Damage and Recovery

Date: September 7, 2005
Creator: Buck, Eugene H
Description: This report summarizes damage assessments and recovery efforts, with initial reports primarily anecdotal until more accurate assessments become available.
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