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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Ergonomics in the Workplace: Is It Time for an OSHA Standard?
Improper ergonomic design of jobs is one of the leading causes of work-related illness, accounting for perhaps a third of employers’ costs under state workers’ compensation laws. Due to the wide variety of circumstances, however, any comprehensive standard would probably have to be complex and costly, while scientific understanding of the problem is not complete. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1865/
Ergonomics in the Workplace: Is It Time for an OSHA Standard?
Improper ergonomic design of jobs is one of the leading causes of work-related illness, accounting for perhaps a third of employers’ costs under state workers’ compensation laws. Due to the wide variety of circumstances, however, any comprehensive standard would probably have to be complex and costly, while scientific understanding of the problem is not complete. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5142/
Ergonomics in the Workplace: Is It Time for an OSHA Standard?
Improper ergonomic design of jobs is one of the leading causes of work-related illness, accounting for perhaps a third of employers’ costs under state workers’ compensation laws. Due to the wide variety of circumstances, however, any comprehensive standard would probably have to be complex and costly, while scientific understanding of the problem is not complete. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3249/
ERISA's Impact on Medical Malpractice and Negligence Claims Against Managed Care Plans
This report will examine the preemption provisions of ERISA, the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of these provisions, selected cases applying ERISA to state medical malpractice and negligence claims, and the congressional response to the issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3298/
Europe's Energy Security: Options and Challenges to Natural Gas Supply Diversification
This report focuses on potential approaches that Europe might employ to diversify its sources of natural gas supply, Russia's role in Europe's natural gas policies, and key factors that could hinder efforts to develop alternative suppliers of natural gas. The report assesses the potential suppliers of natural gas to Europe and the short- to medium-term hurdles needed to be overcome for those suppliers to be credible, long-term providers of natural gas to Europe. The report looks at North Africa, potentially the most realistic supply alternative in the near term, but notes that the region will have to resolve its current political, economic, and security instability as well as the internal structural changes to the natural gas industry. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227749/
Evaluating the Current Stance of Monetary Policy Using a Taylor Rule
Oversight of the Federal Reserve's (Fed's) monetary policy decisions rests with Congress. But oversight is encumbered by the absence of a straightforward relationship between interest rates and economic performance. Further, the Fed's policy decisions are discretionary, meaning there is no objective, transparent “yardstick” for evaluating their decisions. A simple rule of thumb guide to monetary policy decisions called a “Taylor rule” is an intuitive way to judge actual policy against some objective, albeit simplistic, ideal. Taylor rules prescribe a federal funds target based on inflation and the output gap (i.e., the difference between actual gross domestic product [GDP] and potential GDP) and can be adjusted to reflect a variety of policy goals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87374/
Examining the Monetary Causes of the Economic Slowdown
This issue brief investigates the effects of changes in money supply growth on the current economic conditions. The results presented are based upon a statistical methodology outlined in a CRS report (No.82-43E, March 1982) of the same title. The approach may be distinguished from most previous work along these lines in that it attempts to estimate the statistical significance of the 1979-82 deceleration in monetary growth. The resulting estimates are then employed in analyzing the timing implications of decelerating monetary growth for episodes of high and volatile interest rates, for lower inflation, and for unstable economic growth. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8800/
Exchange Rates: The Dollar in International Markets
Mainstream economic theory suggests that U.S. budget deficit was the main cause of the dollar appreciation between 1980 and early 1985. The high budget deficit forced the U.S. Government to compete against the private sector for available savings, raising interest rates in the United States. In response, net capital inflows to the United States increased, the demand for dollars on the foreign exchange market went up, and the dollar appreciated. Restrictive budgets and loose monetary policies abroad, both of which kept interest rates low abroad, also contributed to the dollar’s appreciation on over this period. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8427/
Extending Unemployment Compensation Benefits During Recessions
This report describes the history of temporary federal extensions to unemployment benefits from 1980 to the present. It has five sections which discuss: [1] background information on unemployment compensation (UC) benefits, [2] a definition of a recession and the process of declaring a recession, [3] a summary of the legislative history of federal extensions of unemployment benefits, [4] figures examining the statistics of recessions, and [5] previous methods for financing temporary recession programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122321/
"Fast Track" Parliamentary Procedures of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Division A of H.R. 1424, P.L. 110-343) empowers the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase certain "troubled assets" as a means to stabilize the economy. This report examines this procedure and explains how it differs from the regular parliamentary mechanisms of the House and Senate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10823/
FCC Media Ownership Rules: Issues for Congress
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FCC Media Ownership Rules: Issues for Congress
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FDA Regulation of Tobacco Products: A Policy and Legal Analysis
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8198/
The Federal Debt: An Analysis of Movements from World War II to the Present
This report will define the measures of debt, discuss the reasons why debt levels change, and use historical examples to illustrate the factors causing debt movements over the last seven decades. Recent policies that have affected the budgetary outlook and the debt will also be discussed. Finally, this report will examine the long-term U.S. debt outlook and implications of rising federal debt levels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29718/
Federal Regulation of Working Hours: The Ballenger and Ashcroft Proposals (H.R. 1 and S.4)
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs739/
Federal Regulatory Reform: An Overview
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1609/
Federal Regulatory Reform: An Overview
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Federal Regulatory Structure for Egg Safety: Fact Sheet
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Federal Research and Development Funding: FY2012
President Obama has requested $147.911 billion for research and development (R&D) in FY2012, a $772 million (0.5%) increase from the FY2010 actual R&D funding level of $147.139 billion. Congress will play a central role in defining the nation's R&D priorities, especially with respect to two overarching issues: the extent to which the federal R&D investment can grow in the context of increased pressure on discretionary spending and how available funding will be prioritized and allocated. Low or negative growth in the overall R&D investment may require movement of resources across disciplines, programs, or agencies to address priorities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87174/
Federal Reserve Interest Rate Changes: 2001-2008
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided at its scheduled meeting held on October 29 to lower the target rate for federal funds to 1% from 1½% set at its unscheduled meeting of October 8, 2008. In making its decision to reduce the target, the FOMC stressed the following factors: (1) the pace of economic growth appears to have slowed markedly owing importantly to a softening of consumer spending; (2) business equipment spending and industrial production have weakened; (3) economic slowdowns abroad have dampened the prospects for U.S. exports; (4) intensified strains in financial markets are also likely to further reduce spending; and (5) inflation prospects have improved due to declines in energy and other commodity prices. The next schedule meeting of the FOMC is set for December 11, 2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10545/
Federal Reserve Membership and Monetary Control
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Federal Reserve: Oversight and Disclosure Issues
The report discusses recently-enacted legislation and legislation introduced in the 113th Congress related to the Federal Reserve (Fed). It also provides information about the potential impact of greater oversight and disclosure on the Fed's independence and its ability to achieve its macroeconomic and financial stability goals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287890/
Federal Reserve: Unconventional Monetary Policy Options
This report discusses the Federal Reserve (Fed) unconventional policies in an attempt to reduced the federal funds rate and revive the economy. The Fed has also changed its communication policies since rates reached the zero bound. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276894/
Federal Sales of Natural Resources: Pricing and Allocation Mechanisms (1998)
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The Financial Crisis: Impact on and Response by the European Union
According to the most recent National Threat Assessment, the global financial crisis and its geopolitical implications pose the primary near-term security concern of the United States. Over the short run, both the EU and the United States are attempting to resolve the financial crisis while stimulating domestic demand to stem the economic downturn. These efforts have born little progress so far as the economic recession and the financial crisis have become reinforcing events, causing EU governments to forge policy responses to both crises. This report discusses this situation in detail and also discusses individual efforts by both the U.S. and EU to combat the effects of the crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26139/
Financial Market Intervention
Financial markets continue to experience significant disturbance and the banking sector remains fragile. Efforts to restore confidence have been met with mixed success thus far. After attempting to deal with troubled institutions on a case-by-case basis, Treasury has proposed a plan to purchase mortgage-related assets to alleviate stress in financial markets and in the banking system. This report provides answers to some frequently asked questions concerning the financial disruptions of September 2008 and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in H.R. 3997. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10801/
Financial Market Turmoil and U.S. Macreconomic Performance
This report looks at causes of the 2008 financial crisis and ways that government policy can help to fix it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83895/
The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare
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The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5304/
The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6035/
The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3372/
The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs778/
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 (the CPFA Act or the Act) 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. The report then raises some questions regarding state law preemption, sources of funding, and rule-making procedures that the Act does not fully answer. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26183/
Financial Turmoil: Comparing the Troubled Asset Relief Program to the Federal Reserve's Response
As financial conditions have deteriorated over the past year, the Federal Reserve (FeD) has greatly increased its lending to financial firms. It has also expanded the scope of eligible borrowers to include non-bank financial firms. Some have asked why these loans have not restored financial stability, and if the purchase of up to $700 billion of distressed assets through the recently enacted Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) might lead to a different result. Financial assistance to financial firms entails considerable risks to taxpayers. This report analyzes the risks and possible benefits of federally-assisted loans to banks and financial firms, especially in light of the financial crisis that came to a head in September 2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10804/
Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit
The U.S. merchandise trade deficit is a part of the overall U.S. balance of payments, a summary statement of all economic transactions between the residents of the United States and the rest of the world, during a given period of time. Some Members of Congress and other observers have grown concerned over the magnitude of the U.S. merchandise trade deficit and the associated increase in U.S. dollar-denominated assets owned by foreigners. This report provides an overview of the U.S. balance of payments, an explanation of the broader role of capital flows in the U.S. economy, an explanation of how the country finances its trade deficit or a trade surplus, and the implications for Congress and the country of the large inflows of capital from abroad. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33053/
Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit
This report provides an overview of the U.S. balance of payments, an explanation of the broader role of capital flows in the U.S. economy, an explanation of how the country finances its trade deficit or a trade surplus, and the implications for Congress and the country of the large inflows of capital from abroad. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272094/
Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit
This report provides an overview of the U.S. balance of payments, an explanation of the broader role of capital flows in the U.S. economy, an explanation of how the country finances its trade deficit or a trade surplus, and the implications for Congress and the country of the large inflows of capital from abroad. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284475/
Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit: Role of Foreign Governments
The nation's trade deficit is equal to the imbalance between national investment and national saving. The financial turmoil and economic contraction during 2008 reduced the gap between national saving and investment. The result was a decline in the trade deficit and the net inflow of capital. If total net capital inflows decline, mainstream economics suggests, all else held constant, that the dollar and trade deficit would decline, U.S. interest rates would rise, and U.S. spending on capital goods and consumer durables would fall, all else equal. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26324/
The "Fiscal Cliff": Macroeconomic Consequences of Tax Increases and Spending Cuts
Report regarding the fiscal cliff, which is a set of tax increases and spending cuts that would substantially reduce the deficit in 2013. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227799/
Food Additive Regulations: A Chronology
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs203/
Food Safety Agencies and Authorities: A Primer
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs694/
Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: An Economic Analysis
This report discusses the foreign direct investment in the United States that declined sharply after 2000, when a record $300 billion was invested in U.S. businesses and real estate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272125/
Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: An Economic Analysis
This report discusses the foreign direct investment in the United States that declined sharply after 2000, when a record $300 billion was invested in U.S. businesses and real estate. While some in Congress encourage such investment to offset the perceived negative economic effects of U.S. firms investing abroad, others are concerned about foreign acquisitions of U.S. firms that are considered essential to U.S. national and economic security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85486/
Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: An Economic Analysis
Report that discusses the foreign direct investment in the United States that declined sharply after 2000, when a record $300 billion was invested in U.S. businesses and real estate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228124/
Foreign Outsourcing: Economic Implications and Policy Responses
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The Former Soviet Union and U.S. Foreign Aid: Implementing the Assistance Program, 1992-1994
In fiscal year 1994, the new states of the former Soviet Union became collectively the second largest recipient of U.S. foreign assistance made available from all sources. Whether and how the assistance program is helping to bring about democratic systems and free market economies is increasingly a question of interest to Congress and the public at large. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26073/
The G-20 and International Economic Cooperation: Background and Implications for Congress
This report discusses the G-20, an international forum for discussing and coordinating economic policies among major advanced and emerging economies. Previous summits have, for example, focused on financial regulatory reform, global imbalances, funding for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), voting power of emerging economies in international financial institutions, and fossil fuel subsidies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272004/
The G-20 and International Economic Cooperation: Background and Implications for Congress
This report discusses the background of the G-20 (an international forum for discussing and coordinating economic policies) and some of the issues that it has addressed. It includes historic background on the work of the G-20, information about how the group operates, overviews of G-20 summits, major issues that the group is likely to address and the likely effectiveness of the G-20 in the near future. The members of the G-20 include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99014/
The G-20 and International Economic Cooperation: Background and Implications for Congress
This report discusses the background of the G-20 (an international forum for discussing and coordinating economic policies) and some of the issues that it has addressed. It includes historic background on the work of the G-20, information about how the group operates, overviews of G-20 summits, major issues that the group is likely to address and the likely effectiveness of the G-20 in the near future. The members of the G-20 include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc267832/
The G-20 and International Economic Cooperation: Background and Implications for Congress
The G-20 is an international forum for discussing and coordinating economic policies among major advanced and emerging economies. Congress may want to exercise oversight over the Administration's participation in the G-20 process, including the policy commitments that Administration is making in the G-20 and the policies it is encouraging other G-20 countries to pursue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83933/