Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Renewable Energy and Electricity Restructuring
No Description Available.
Chemical Plant Security
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.
Chemical Facility Security
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.
Chemical Facility Security
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.
FY2004 Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Global War on Terrorism: Military Operations
No Description Available.
Insurance Regulation and Competition: Background and Issues
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Insurance Regulation and Competition: Background and Issues
No Description Available.
Insurance Regulation and Competition: Background and Issues
No Description Available.
Insurance Regulation: Background and Issues
No Description Available.
Postal Service Financial Problems and Stakeholder Proposals
No Description Available.
Insurance Regulation: Background and Issues
No Description Available.
Insurance Regulation: Background and Issues
No Description Available.
Foreign Outsourcing: Economic Implications and Policy Responses
No Description Available.
Primer on Energy Derivatives and Their Regulation
Prices of oil and other energy commodities are set in futures and derivatives markets, where producers, commercial users, and financial speculators buy and sell contracts whose value is linked to the price of the underlying commodity. Trading occurs on regulated futures exchanges and in a largely unregulated over-the-counter (OTC) market; both forms of trading are global in scope. This report presents basic information about these markets, the instruments traded, the regulatory framework, speculation, and current legislative proposals.
The Quasi Government: Hybrid Organizations with Both Government and Private Sector Legal Characteristics
No Description Available.
Accounting Problems at Fannie Mae
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 by as much as $12 billion, but the formal restatement of earnings is not expected before late 2006.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Constitutionality of Requiring Sexually Explicit Material on the Internet to be Under a Separate Domain Name
It is unclear whether making a “.xxx” domain mandatory would violate the First Amendment. Some propose making use of a “.xxx” domain voluntary, but others propose that Congress make it mandatory. The latter proposal raises the question whether a mandatory separate domain would violate the First Amendment, and this report focuses on that question.
Online Privacy Protection: Issues and Developments
No Description Available.
Online Privacy Protection: Issues and Developments
No Description Available.
TARP Assistance for Chrysler: Restructuring and Repayment Issues
This report describes the progress that New Chrysler has made since it was created from the sale of the Old Chrysler assets in July 2009 and the path of the divestment of the federal government's stake in Chrysler.
The Liability Insurance Controversy
This report discusses liability insurance, as the primary method of managing business related risks that has been recognized as one of the foundations of American commerce.
The Liability Insurance Controversy
This report discusses liability insurance, as the primary method of managing business related risks that has been recognized as one of the foundations of American comnerce.
The Liability Insurance Crisis
This report discusses liability insurance crisis, including complaints from businesses, professionals , and municipalities as well threat of lawsuits.
The Liability Insurance Crisis
This report discusses liability insurance crisis, including complaints from businesses, professionals , and municipalities as well threat of lawsuits.
The TANF Emergency Contingency Fund
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 created an Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF) within the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. The fund expired on September 30, 2010. It helped states, Indian tribes, and territories pay for additional costs of providing economic aid to families during the current economic downturn for FY2009 and FY2010. This report describes the TANF ECF as well as proposals offered in 2010 to extend and modify TANF emergency funding.
The TANF Emergency Contingency Fund
This report describes the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF) as well as proposals to extend and modify TANF emergency funding.
Outsourcing and Insourcing Jobs in the U.S. Economy: Evidence Based on Foreign Investment Data
This report addresses the debate of job creation in the U.S. versus job outsourcing and its effects on the economy by analyzing the extent of direct investment into and out of the economy, the role such investment plays in U.S. trade, jobs, and production, and the relationship between direct investment and the broader economic changes that are occurring in the U.S. economy.
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.
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase, an historical overview of debt limits, and how the current economic slowdown has led to higher deficits and thereby a series of debt limit increases, as well as legislation related to these increases.
Economic Slowdown: Issues and Policies
This report first discusses the current state of the economy, including measures that have already been taken by the monetary authorities, and assesses the need for and potential consequences of fiscal stimulus. The second part of the report reviews the proposals discussed during debate on the recently enacted fiscal stimulus, both those adopted and those considered but not adopted. The various stimulus packages differed somewhat, and the report briefly describes those differences. This section also includes a discussion of the potential elements of a second stimulus proposal, and concludes with a discussion of the macroeconomic effects of the proposals. The final section of the paper discusses recent and proposed financial interventions.
Barriers to Corporate Fraud: How They Work, Why They Fail
The report focuses on the internal controls on American corporations (including corporate governance, business ethics, managerial structure and compensation, internal counsel, and whistleblowers), as well as external controls (government regulation, external auditors and accountants, and the judicial process). A recurring theme is the limited efficacy of many safeguards and watchdogs in cases of "control fraud," where fraud is directed or abetted by top management, and where unethical or abusive practices may become the organizational norm. Another broad question raised by the report is whether the post-Enron scandals were a one-time event, made possible by the stock market bubble of the 1990s and several other unique historical developments which together constituted a "perfect storm," or whether fraud is a cyclical phenomenon associated with the end of long bull markets.
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report gives an historical overview of debt limits, discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase and how the current economic slowdown has led to higher deficits and thereby a series of debt limit increases, as well as legislation related to these increases.
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act and Current Financial Turmoil: Issues and Analysis
This report briefly introduces aspects of the current financial instability. Following this, it outlines the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) legislation and the steps that Treasury has taken to implement EESA. Finally, the report concludes with a more in-depth analysis of the current financial instability, including potential causes of financial instability in general, some sources of the current instability, and how financial instability may spill over into the broader economy.
U.S. International Trade: Trends and Forecasts
This report provides an overview of the current status, trends, and forecasts for U.S. international trade. The purpose of this report is to provide current data and brief explanations for the various types of trade flows, particularly U.S. exports, along with a short discussion of particular trends and points of contention related to trade policy.
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report gives an historical overview of debt limits, discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase and how the current economic slowdown has led to higher deficits and thereby a series of debt limit increases, as well as legislation related to these increases.
Running Deficits: Positives and Pitfalls
This report discusses how deficit finance can help governments manage their economies and how large and persistent deficits can lead to severe economic problems.