Congressional Research Service Reports - 90 Matching Results

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Campaign Finance Reform: Regulating Political Communications on the Internet

Description: In October 2002, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) promulgated regulations exempting from the definition of “public communication” those communications that are made over the Internet. In response to the FEC’s final rules, the two primary House sponsors of BCRA filed suit in U.S. district court against the FEC seeking to invalidate the regulations as opening a new avenue for circumvention of federal campaign finance law. In September 2004, in Shays v. FEC, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia overturned some of the FEC’s new regulations. In response to the district court’s decision, in April 2005, the FEC published proposed new rules in order to conform to the Shays ruling. The proposed regulations reflect an attempt by the FEC to leave web logs, or “blogs,” created and wholly maintained by individuals, free of regulations under FECA, while extending limited regulation only to uses of the Internet involving substantial monetary transactions.
Date: September 20, 2005
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige & Cantor, Joseph E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Berne Union: An Overview

Description: The Berne Union, or the International Union of Credit and Investment Insurers, is an international organization comprised of 54 public and private sector members that represent various segments of the export credit and investment insurance industry. Within the Berne Union, the United States is represented by the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and four private-sector firms and by one observer. Congress, through its oversight of Eximbank and OPIC, as well as international trade and finance, has interests in the functioning of the Berne Union.
Date: November 8, 2005
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment

Description: The proposed acquisition of major operations in six major U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World and of Unocal by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation sparked intense concerns among some Members of Congress and the public and has reignited the debate over what role foreign acquisitions play in U.S. national security. The United States actively promotes internationally the national treatment of foreign firms. Several Members of Congress have introduced various measures during the 2nd Session of the 109th Congress that can be grouped into four major areas: those that deal specifically with the proposed Dubai Ports World acquisition; those that focus more generally on foreign ownership of U.S. ports; those that would amend the CFIUS process; and those that would amend the Exon-Florio process.
Date: July 15, 2005
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Budget Reconciliation: Projections of Funding in the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)

Description: In FY2005, six states faced the prospect of running out of federal funds in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). This was the first time since the program’s creation in 1997 that multiple states faced such a shortfall. The shortfalls were avoided by the redistribution of funds from other states’ original SCHIP allotments that had not been spent by the end of the three-year period of availability. To address this, the reconciliation proposal approved by the Senate Finance Committee would reduce the period of availability for original allotments from three years to two.
Date: October 28, 2005
Creator: Peterson, Chris L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Employment-Related Issues in Bankruptcy

Description: This report provides an overview of the status of employee wages and benefits, including retiree benefits, when an employer files in bankruptcy, and the amendments made to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. This report examines those provisions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code which govern the priority of employee wage and benefit claims, including severance payments; procedures for a chapter 1 1 debtor to modify benefits under a collective bargaining agreement; and procedures for a chapter 11 debtor to modify retiree life and health insurance benefits. It examines the role of employees on creditor committees and procedures in bankruptcy that facilitate lawsuits that may be directed at an employer/debtor. Finally, it considers the treatment accorded some aspects of managerial compensation, such as retention bonuses.
Date: November 1, 2005
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China's Exchange Rate Peg: Economic Issues and Options for U.S. Trade Policy

Description: The continued rise in the U.S.-China trade imbalance and complaints from U.S. manufacturing firms and workers over the competitive challenges posed by cheap Chinese imports have led several Members to call for a more aggressive U.S. stance against certain Chinese trade policies they deem to be unfair, such as China’s policy of pegging its currency (the yuan) to the U.S. dollar. Some Members assert this policy constitutes a form of “currency manipulation” intended to give China an unfair trade advantage and is contributing to the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs.
Date: May 10, 2005
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trade in Services: The Doha Development Agenda Negotiations and U.S. Goals

Description: This report is designed to assist Congress to understand and monitor progress of the negotiations and the major issues that the negotiators are addressing. The report provides a brief background section on the significance of services to the U.S. economy. It then explains briefly the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the structure and agenda of the services negotiations in the DDA round, including U.S. objectives in the negotiations. The report concludes with a status report on the negotiations and an examination of potential results.
Date: September 12, 2005
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act of 2005 (CURIA)

Description: On May 12, 2005, regulatory modernization legislation for credit unions was introduced as H.R. 2317. The three titles of the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA) would provide regulatory changes requested by credit union industry advocates. These changes would provide supervisory flexibility to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the federal regulator for the credit union industry, enhance the ability of credit unions to provide loans to their members, and ease credit union regulatory burdens.
Date: July 29, 2005
Creator: Smale, Pauline
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campus-Based Student Financial Aid Programs Under the Higher Education Act

Description: This report discusses the issues likely to be considered during reauthorization are whether the campus-based programs provide types of aid to students that are not or cannot be provided via other postsecondary aid programs, and whether the current formulas for allocating funds to institutions for the operation of these programs are optimal. Provisions specific to each program, such as requirements for community service under FWS and terms and conditions of Perkins Loans also may be considered.
Date: April 21, 2005
Creator: Smole, David P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Comparison of Tax Incentives of Domestic Manufacturing: 108th Congress

Description: The enacted provision of this legislation (H.R. 4520), following the passage of the Senate’s version (then S. 1637) and the House bill (H.R. 4520) followed the Senate version, which allowed a deduction and would cover unincorporated firms as well as corporations. However, the proposal contained the broader definition of manufacturing in the House bill which included oil and gas extraction, utilities, construction, and electricity. This report discusses the provisions in these two versions of the subsidy as well as some of the issues surrounding alternative methods of providing a manufacturing subsidy.
Date: January 25, 2005
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China's Currency Peg: A Summary of the Economic Issues

Description: This report evaluates that assertion, and considers other effects China’s peg has on the U.S. economy. These include the beneficial effects on consumption, interest rates, and investment spending. Nationwide, these effects should offset job loss in the trade sector, at least in the medium term. Several bills have been introduced in the 109th Congress to address China’s currency policy, including H.R. 1216, H.R. 1498, H.R. 1575, S. 14, S. 295, S. 377, and S. 593; some would impose trade sanctions against China unless it accepted a market-based system of currency valuation.
Date: April 25, 2005
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China’s Currency: U.S. Options

Description: In recent years, the United States and China have disagreed whether China’s national currency, the yuan or renminbi, is properly valued compared to the U.S. dollar and whether China is manipulating its currency.1 The United States has pushed China to raise the value of its currency. Chinese officials say they want to make their exchange rate system more flexible, but China also needs long-term stability in its currency value in order to avoid dislocations. Chinese officials also say they will not bow to foreign pressure. China announced a new exchange rate procedure on July 21, 2005. This report summarizes this controversy, it describes actions and positions taken by the United States, China and other countries, and it discusses various approaches the United States might use to address this concern.
Date: July 29, 2005
Creator: Sanford, Jonathan E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China's Currency: Brief Overview of U.S. Opinions

Description: Many are concerned that China’s currency is undervalued and that this injures the U.S. economy. The Chinese authorities say they are not manipulating their currency and they want to move as soon as possible to a market-based yuan. A new exchange rate procedure was announced in July 2005 but has not resulted in meaningful changes in the yuan’s international value. This report reviews the issues and discusses alternative approaches the United States might take to encourage more rapid reform.
Date: November 29, 2005
Creator: Sanford, Jonathan E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department