Congressional Research Service Reports - 54 Matching Results

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Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Background and Issues

Description: This report discusses broadband Internet, examining what it is and the various technologies that allow for its transmission. Broadband or high-speed Internet access is provided by technologies that give users the ability to send and receive data at volumes and speeds far greater than access over traditional telephone lines; it also provides a continuous, "always on" connection (no need to dial-up) and a "twoway" capability, that is, the ability to both receive (download) and transmit (upload) data at high speeds.
Date: June 14, 2006
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A. & Kruger, Lennard G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Space Launch Vehicles: Government Activities, Commercial Competition, and Satellite Exports

Description: This report various sides of the debate related to domestic launch services, such as satellite export issues, the development of new launch vehicles by the private sector, and whether tax incentives or loan guarantees should be created for companies attempting to develop lower-cost launch vehicles.
Date: March 20, 2006
Creator: Behrens, Carl E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, or “Mad Cow Disease”): Current and Proposed Safeguards

Description: This report presents an overview of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or “mad cow disease”) in the United States. Shortly after the first case of BSE was announced, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other officials announced measures to improve existing safeguards against the introduction and spread of BSE. This report discusses trade restrictions, the live-stock “feed ban”, as well as the BSE surveillance and testing in cattle.
Date: September 20, 2006
Creator: Lister, Sarah A. & Becker, Geoffrey S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China's Economic Conditions

Description: Since the initiation of economic reforms in 1979, China has become one of the world's fastest-growing economies. Many economists speculate that China could become the world's largest exporter within the next few years and the largest economy within a few decades, provided that the government is able to continue and deepen economic reforms, particularly in regard to its inefficient state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the state banking system, and fixed exchange rate system. China's economy continues to be a concern to many U.S. policymakers. On the one hand, China's economic growth presents huge opportunities for U.S. exporters. On the other hand, the surge in Chinese exports to the United States has put competitive pressures on various U.S. industries. This report explores both sides of this issue in detail.
Date: July 12, 2006
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Long-Term Growth of the U.S. Economy: Significance, Determinants, and Policy

Description: The rate of long-term economic growth is the salient measure of the nation's ability to steady advance its material living standard. The pace of long-term economic growth is likely to be a center of attention in the decades just ahead, as the U.S. economy confronts the need to undertake unprecedentedly large generational transfers of income to pay for the retirement of the huge baby-boom generation as well as large transfers to the rest of the world to meet the debt service costs of the United States' large and still growing foreign debt.
Date: May 25, 2006
Creator: Elwell, Craig K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trade, Trade Barriers, and Trade Deficits: Implications for U.S. Economic Welfare

Description: This report provides an overview of the economics of international trade that may be helpful for consideration of many recurring international economic policy issues. It is intended as a general explanation of mainstream economic principles that may be considered in gauging the economic significance of trade issues as well as the trade-offs inherent in many policy choices. This report provides a brief overview of the economic arguments for free trade, common arguments for trade barriers, and the cause and economic significance of persistent large trade deficits.
Date: May 22, 2006
Creator: Elwell, Craig K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Panama: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations

Description: The Central American nation of Panama has made notable political and economic progress since the 1989 U.S. military intervention that ousted General Manuel Noriega from power. Under the current administration of President Martin Torrijos, the most significant challenges have included dealing with the funding deficits of the country's social security fund; developing plans for the expansion of the Panama Canal; and combating unemployment and poverty. The United States has close relations with Panama. The current bilateral relationship is characterized by extensive cooperation on counternarcotics efforts, assistance to help Panama assure the security of the Canal and its border with Colombia, and negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement.
Date: September 22, 2006
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Panama: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations

Description: The country of Panama has made significant political and economic progress since the 1989 U.S. military intervention that ousted the regime of General Manuel Noriega from power. The current President, Martin Torrijos, has faced significant challenges, including dealing with the funding deficits of the country's social security fund; developing plans for the expansion of the Panama Canal; and combating unemployment and poverty. The U.S. has close relations with Panama, and both countries currently cooperate on counternarcotics efforts, the security of the Panama Canal and the Panama-Colombia border, and negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement. This report describes all of the above; the aforementioned U.S.-Panamanian negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement is detailed in particular.
Date: May 24, 2006
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Monetary Policy: Current Policy and Conditions

Description: Monetary policy can be defined broadly as any policy relating to the supply of money. Monetary policy can have important effects on aggregate demand and through it on real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), unemployment, real foreign exchange rates, real interest rates, the composition of output, etc., all of which are short-term effects. Over the longer run, the major effect of monetary policy is on the rate of inflation. A growing money supply is important for the subsequent growth in money spending or aggregate demand. The Federal Reserve executes monetary policy by setting a target for an overnight interest rate called the federal funds rate. Changes in the federal funds rates affect primarily short-term interest rates, and through these changes, money spending.
Date: July 28, 2006
Creator: Labonte, Marc & Makinen, Gail E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Monetary Policy: Current Policy and Conditions

Description: Monetary policy can be defined broadly as any policy relating to the supply of money. Monetary policy can have important effects on aggregate demand and through it on real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), unemployment, real foreign exchange rates, real interest rates, the composition of output, etc., all of which are short-term effects. Over the longer run, the major effect of monetary policy is on the rate of inflation. A growing money supply is important for the subsequent growth in money spending or aggregate demand. The Federal Reserve executes monetary policy by setting a target for an overnight interest rate called the federal funds rate. Changes in the federal funds rates affect primarily short-term interest rates, and through these changes, money spending.
Date: August 21, 2006
Creator: Labonte, Marc & Makinen, Gail E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Current Economic Conditions and Selected Forecasts

Description: U.S. real GDP growth has been positive for 18 consecutive quarters, and the economy is considered to be in an "expansion" phase. The rebound in payroll employment has been modest compared with past expansions. Other elements in the economic picture are promising: 1) A pick-up in output at the same time as employment is growing slowly means that productivity (or output per worker) is increasing; and 2) The inflation rate, measured by the CPI, rose 3.4% during 2005. The consensus among economists is that GDP will grow between 3.3% and 3.6% in 2006. The unemployment rate is expected to show little tendency to change. The inflation rate is expected to be higher than the rate that prevailed in 2005.
Date: July 28, 2006
Creator: Makinen, Gail E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Current Economic Conditions and Selected Forecasts

Description: U.S. real GDP growth has been positive for 18 consecutive quarters, and the economy is considered to be in an "expansion" phase. Other elements in the economic picture are promising: 1) a pick-up in output at the same time as employment is growing slowly means that productivity (or output per worker) is increasing; and 2) the inflation rate, measured by the CPI, rose 3.4$ during 2005, driven largely by rising energy prices. The consensus among economists is that GDP will grow between 3.3% and 3.5% in 2006.
Date: August 21, 2006
Creator: Makinen, Gail E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gasoline Price Increases: Federal and State Authority to Limit "Price Gouging"

Description: In the aftermath of last year’s hurricane season, questions arose regarding increased prices in the areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma and the effect that the damage caused by the hurricanes would have on prices, specifically gasoline prices, in other parts of the country. As gasoline prices have continued to rise in the months since, Congress has considered legislation addressing gasoline and oil prices that includes provisions related to price gouging. The House has recently passed two bills that include a federal prohibition on price gouging (H.R. 3893 and H.R. 5253). This report discusses state laws regarding price gouging, the role of the federal government in addressing rising gas prices, and selected federal legislative proposals specific to price gouging.
Date: May 18, 2006
Creator: Welborn, Angie A. & Flynn, Aaron M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Effects of Government Expenditures and Revenues on the Economy and Economic Well-Being: A Cross-National Analysis

Description: Congress passed and the President signed a reconciliation bill (P.L. 109-171) to reduce mandatory spending by $39 billion between FY2006 and FY2010. A revenue reduction reconciliation bill (H.R. 4297) has not been enacted as of the date of this report. Many argue that tax and spending reductions will stimulate economic growth, whereas many others argue that tax cuts will lead to a larger deficit with adverse economic effects and that spending cuts will reduce critical government services. This report examines the effects of government spending and taxation on economic growth and economic well-being by comparing the United States with 20 other industrial Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries.
Date: April 5, 2006
Creator: Hungerford, Thomas L
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China's Economic Conditions

Description: China’s economy continues to be a concern to U.S. policymakers. On the one hand, China’s economic growth presents huge opportunities for U.S. exporters. On the other hand, the surge in Chinese exports to the United States has put competitive pressures on many U.S. industries. Many U.S. policymakers have argued that greater efforts should be made to pressure China to fully implement its WTO commitments and to change various economic policies deemed harmful to U.S. economic interests, such as its currency peg and its use of subsidies to support its SOEs. In addition, recent bids by Chinese state-owned firms to purchase various U.S. firms have raised concerns among Members over the impact such acquisitions could have on U.S. national and economic security.
Date: July 12, 2006
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Monetary Policy: Current Policy and Conditions

Description: This report discusses monetary policy, which can also be defined in terms of the directives, policies, statements, and actions of the Federal Reserve, particularly those from its Board of Governors that have an effect on aggregate demand or national spending.
Date: August 21, 2006
Creator: Labonte, Marc & Makinen, Gail
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department