Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse


9/11 Commission: Current Legislative Proposals for U.S. Immigration Law and Policy

Description: This report briefly discusses some of the major immigration areas under consideration in comprehensive reform proposals suggested by the 9/11 Commission, including asylum, biometric tracking systems, border security, document security, exclusion, immigration enforcement, and visa issuances. It refers to other CRS reports that discuss these issues in depth and will be updated as needed.
Date: October 18, 2004
Creator: Garcia, Michael John & Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

9/11 Terrorism: Global Economic Costs

Description: The 9/11 attacks were part of Al Qaeda’s strategy to disrupt Western economies and impose both direct and secondary costs on the United States and other nations. The immediate costs were the physical damage, loss of lives and earnings, slower world economic growth, and capital losses on stock markets. Indirect costs include higher insurance and shipping fees, diversion of time and resources away from enhancing productivity to protecting and insuring property, public loss of confidence, and reduced demand for travel and tourism. In a broader sense, the 9/11 attacks led to the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq (and the Global War on Terrorism) and perhaps emboldened terrorists to attack in Bali, Spain, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia. A policy question for Congress is how to evaluate the costs and benefits of further spending to counter terrorism and its economic impact.
Date: October 5, 2004
Creator: Nanto, Dick K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Argentina's Sovereign Debt Restructuring

Description: The U.S. Congress has held numerous hearings to evaluate the causes and ongoing repercussions of Argentina’s financial crisis. This report analyzes Argentina’s debt situation in support of this interest and will be updated periodically.
Date: October 19, 2004
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Assistance After Hurricanes and Other Disasters: FY2004 and FY2005 Supplemental Appropriations

Description: After a series of devastating hurricanes struck Florida and other states in the summer of 2004, the 108th Congress passed two emergency supplemental appropriations statutes that provide a total of $16.475 billion to areas stricken by the hurricanes and other natural disasters. The House and Senate quickly approved legislation (H.R. 5005) the day after President Bush submitted a request on September 6 for $2 billion in FY2004 funding, largely in response to the devastation caused by Hurricanes Charley and Frances in Florida. The other issue that was a matter of public debate focused on a proposed amendment in the House to fully offset the cost of the FY2005 supplemental through a proportional reduction in discretionary funds; the House rejected the amendment.
Date: October 22, 2004
Creator: Bea, Keith & Chite, Ralph M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Automatic Enrollment in Section 401(k) Plans

Description: This report discusses enrollment practices for 401k retirement plans. Historically, most employers that have sponsored retirement savings plans under §401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) have required employees to decide whether to enroll in the plan. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued rulings to inform employers that current law allows them to enroll employees automatically, provided that the employee is notified in advance and is permitted to leave the plan.
Date: October 14, 2004
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Aviation Security-Related Findings and Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission

Description: In response to the 9/11 Commission’s aviation security-related recommendations, two bills — H.R. 5121 and H.R. 10 — introduced in the House contain several provisions to enhance aviation security. Additionally, floor amendments to S. 2845, the National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, contain numerous aviation security provisions, many of which address 9/11 Commission recommendations related to aviation safety. S. 2845 was passed (96-2) by the Senate on October 6, 2004. The House passed H.R. 10 on October 8 by a vote of 282-134. A conference has been requested to resolve numerous differences between H.R. 10 and S. 2845.
Date: October 13, 2004
Creator: Elias, Bartholomew
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Background and Legal Issues Related to Stem Cell Research

Description: This report discusses issues regarding stem cell research. With certain restrictions, the President has announced that federal funds may be used to conduct research on human embryonic stem cells. Federal research is limited to "the more than 60" existing stem cell lines that were derived (1) with the informed consent of the donors; (2) from excess embryos created solely for reproductive purposes; and (3) without any financial inducements to the donors. No federal funds will be used for the derivation or use of stem cell lines derived from newly destroyed embryos; the creation of any human embryos for research purposes; or cloning of human embryos for any purposes.
Date: October 26, 2004
Creator: Shimabukuro, Jon O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Inspections Practices, Policies, and Issues

Description: Some argue that this reorganization of border inspections has been long needed and is resulting in a more streamlined and efficient set of procedures at the border with a clear, single, chain of command. Others warn that the different types of inspections are quite complex in their own right and that the reorganization is exacerbating the conflicting priorities at the border, ultimately resulting in many more people and goods being sent to secondary inspections. This report, discusses a range of legal, administrative, and policy issues that are emerging with the implementation of the unified border inspections.
Date: October 13, 2004
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen; Lake, Jennifer E.; Seghetti, Lisa M.; Monke, James & Viña, Stephen R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Broadband Internet Access: Background and Issues

Description: From a public policy perspective, the goals are to ensure that broadband deployment is timely, that industry competes fairly, and that service is provided to all sectors and geographical locations of American society. The federal government -- through Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) -- is seeking to ensure fair competition among the players so that broadband will be available and affordable in a timely manner to all Americans who want it. While the FCC's position is not to intervene at this time, some assert that legislation is necessary to ensure fair competition and timely broadband deployment. One proposal would ease certain legal restrictions and requirements, imposed by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, on incumbent telephone companies who provide high speed data (broadband) access. Another proposal would compel cable companies to provide "open access" to competing Internet service providers.
Date: October 27, 2004
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A. & Kruger, Lennard G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Brownfields and Superfund Issues in the 108th Congress

Description: This report discusses the Superfund program for cleaning up the nation's worst hazardous waste sites, created by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, or CERCLA (P.L. 96-510, as amended). It includes recent development and background issues, superfund issues, revenue issues, comprehensive reauthorization, and legislation regarding superfund program.
Date: October 27, 2004
Creator: Reisch, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department