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The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Executive Compensation

Description: This report discusses the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 4173), which was implemented as part of financial regulatory reform initiatives undertaken by Congress in light of the recent global economic crisis. The legislation focuses on executive compensation.
Date: July 21, 2010
Creator: Seitzinger, Michael V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Economic Recovery: Sustaining U.S. Economic Growth in a Post-Crisis Economy

Description: This report looks at how Congress has been proactive in helping the economy recover after the 2008-2009 recession, as well as how it can help to keep recessions at bay in the future. Issues include typical post-war recessions, insufficient pace of private spending, and the long-term debt problem.
Date: July 22, 2010
Creator: Elwell, Craig K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tariff Modifications: Miscellaneous Tariff Bills

Description: Importers often request that Members of Congress introduce bills seeking to suspend or reduce tariffs on certain imports on their behalf. This report discusses the current process by which duty suspension bills and other provisions are introduced, reviewed by several government agencies and committee staff, made available for public comment, and finally included in omnibus miscellaneous trade and technical corrections bills (MTB) legislation reported out by the committees of jurisdiction.
Date: July 23, 2010
Creator: Jones, Vivian C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

Description: This report briefly discusses the Small Business Innovation Development Act (P.L. 97-219), which in 1982 established Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs designed to increase participation of small innovative companies in federally funded research and development (R&D). The report also discusses the program's extensions and reauthorization activity over the years.
Date: August 4, 2010
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects

Description: This report discusses Bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is used to produce certain types of plastic that are used in thousands of formulations for myriad products. Containers made with these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Medical devices and other more ubiquitous products, such as thermal paper coatings, also may contribute significantly to human exposure. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people.
Date: August 13, 2010
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo & Lister, Sarah A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The European Union's Response to the 2007-2009 Financial Crisis

Description: This report examines the EU responses to the financial crisis through changes to the financial regulatory structure at the EU level as well as the member country level. The countries examined are Germany and the United Kingdom, which have single financial regulators; the Netherlands, which has a twin peaks regulatory structure; and Spain, which has a functional structure.
Date: August 13, 2010
Creator: Eubanks, Walter W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Debarment and Suspension of Government Contractors: An Overview of the Law Including Recently Enacted and Proposed Amendments

Description: As a general rule, government agencies contract with the lowest qualified responsible bidder or offeror. Debarment and suspension are among the techniques that government agencies use to ensure that they contract with only "responsible" bidders or offerors because they allow the government to exclude contractors from receiving government contracts. This report focuses upon exclusions on procurement grounds.2 It surveys the authorities requiring or allowing federal agencies to debar or suspend contractors, due process and other protections for contractors, and recently enacted and proposed amendments to the laws governing debarment and suspension.
Date: August 16, 2010
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Responsibility Determinations Under the Federal Acquisition Regulation: Legal Standards and Procedures

Description: This report discusses the standards and procedures that federal agencies use in making responsibility determinations under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). As a general rule, government agencies contract with the lowest qualified responsible bidder or offeror. Responsibility is an attribute of the contractor, while price and qualifications are attributes of the bid or offer. Under the FAR, "[n]o purchase or award shall be made unless the contracting officer makes an affirmative determination of responsibility."
Date: August 18, 2010
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Types: An Overview of the Legal Requirements and Issues

Description: This report provides an overview of the various contract types (e.g., fixed-price, cost-reimbursement) used in federal procurement and the legal requirements and issues pertaining to each. Current congressional and public interest in contract types is, in part, an outgrowth of the reported increase in the use of cost-reimbursement contracts during the George W. Bush Administration and the Obama Administration's proposal to reduce by at least 10% the funds obligated by "high risk-contracting authorities," such as cost-reimbursement, time-and-materials, and labor-hour contracts, in FY2010.
Date: August 24, 2010
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Role of Trade Secrets in Innovation Policy

Description: This report provides an overview of the law and policy of trade secrets. It discusses the role of trade secrets in U.S. innovation policy. It then reviews the sources of trade secret law and the substantive rules that they provide. The report then provides a more detailed review of existing federal legislation that pertains to trade secrets. In its next section, the report then discusses the relationship between patent law and trade secret law. The report closes with an identification of congressional issues and options within this field.
Date: August 31, 2010
Creator: Thomas, John R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small Business: Access to Capital and Job Creation

Description: The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) authorization is due to expire on September 30, 2010. The SBA administers several programs to support small businesses, including loan guarantees to help small businesses gain access to capital. This report addresses a core issue facing Congress during the SBA’s reauthorization process: what, if any, additional action should the federal government take to enhance small business access to capital?
Date: September 1, 2010
Creator: Dilger, Robert J. & Gonzales, Oscar R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases

Description: 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.
Date: September 8, 2010
Creator: Austin, D. Andrew & Levit, Mindy R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Running Deficits: Positives and Pitfalls

Description: The FY2009 federal deficit swelled to $1.414 trillion, or nearly 10% of gross domestic product (GDP), due to the economic recession. The size of recent deficits has added to longstanding concerns regarding the federal government's long-term fiscal condition. However, deficit finance can serve as an important policy tool. This report discusses how deficit finance can help governments manage their economies and how large and persistent deficits can lead to severe economic problems.
Date: September 14, 2010
Creator: Austin, D. Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The TANF Emergency Contingency Fund

Description: 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.
Date: September 20, 2010
Creator: Falk, Gene
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Managing Electronic Waste: Issues with Exporting E-Waste

Description: Electronic waste (e-waste) is a term that is used loosely to refer to obsolete, broken, or irreparable electronic devices like televisions, computer central processing units (CPUs), and computer monitors. There are various issues of concern with regard to e-waste disposal and recycling. This report looks at issues specifically related to its export for recycling. Particularly, it discusses documented impacts to human health and the environment that have been tied to unsafe recycling practices in developing countries, as well as issues that have motivated certain stakeholders to divert e-waste from landfill disposal and, hence, increase recycling. It also provides an overview of various factors necessary to understand why e-waste disposal has become a concern in the United States, and it also discusses waste management requirements in the United States.
Date: September 27, 2010
Creator: Luther, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress

Description: The Department of Defense (DOD) in recent years has leased some foreign-built cargo ships for total periods, including options and renewals, of almost 10 years -- a length of time that some observers argue effectively circumvents a legal requirement that U.S. military ships be built in U.S. shipyards. These observers, particularly the American Shipbuilding Association (ASA), have proposed reducing the current five-year legal limit on ship leases to two years for foreign-built ships. DOD has opposed the idea, arguing that its ship leases are the most cost-effective way to meet its needs for the ships in question. This report briefly discusses this issue, as well as related legislation.
Date: September 28, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Job Growth During the Recovery

Description: Congress in recent years passed a number of bills intended in part to jump-start a recovery in the labor market from the recession that began in December 2007. Policymakers are interested in how employment has responded to stimulus measures to determine how effective the legislation has been and to decide whether additional job creation legislation is warranted. This report discusses this topic in brief.
Date: September 30, 2010
Creator: Levine, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Types: An Overview of the Legal Requirements and Issues

Description: This report provides an overview of the various contract types (e.g., fixed-price, cost-reimbursement) used in federal procurement and the legal requirements and issues pertaining to each. Current congressional and public interest in contract types is, in part, an outgrowth of the reported increase in the use of cost-reimbursement contracts during the George W. Bush Administration1 and the Obama Administration's proposal to reduce by at least 10% the funds obligated in FY2010 by "high risk-contracting authorities," such as cost-reimbursement, time-and-materials, and labor-hour contracts.
Date: October 1, 2010
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Location-Based Preferences in Federal and Federally Funded Contracting: An Overview of the Law

Description: This report discusses constitutional and other legal issues related to the creation and implementation of location-based preferences in federal contracting, as well as summarizes key authorities requiring or allowing federal agencies to "favor" contractors located in specific places. The report does not address federal preferences for domestic products or provisions of federal law that could, depending upon their implementation, effectively prefer local contractors, such as project labor agreements.
Date: October 1, 2010
Creator: Luckey, John R. & Manuel, Kate M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department