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Bankruptcy Reform in the 108th Congress
On March 19, 2003, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 975, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2003. H.R. 975, as introduced, was substantially similar to the legislation (H.R. 333) approved by both the House and the Senate during the 107th Congress, but omitted the Schumer Amendment which would have prevented the discharge of liability for willful violation of protective orders and violent protests against providers of “lawful services,” including reproductive health services. As passed by the House, H.R. 975 was amended to add sections to, among other things, increase the cap on wage and employee benefit claims. The Senate did not consider H.R. 975 during the first session of the 108th Congress. This report provides an overview of selected major provisions of the legislation.
Cash Balance Pension Plans: Selected Legal Issues
Over the past few years, cash balance pension plans have received significant attention. In particular, three issues have been controversial: the negative effect of a plan conversion on older employees due to wear-away, the whipsaw effect that may occur when computing a lump-sum payment of benefits prior to normal retirement age, and the claim that these plans violate federal laws prohibiting age discrimination. This report discusses the wear-away and whipsaw issues, a proposal by the Treasury Department that addresses them, and relevant legislation introduced in the 109th Congress (H.R. 2830 and S. 1304).
Immigration Legislation and Status Adjustment Legislation
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Immigration Legislation and Status Adjustment Legislation
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Immigration: S Visas for Criminal and Terrorist Informants
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Immigration: S Visas for Criminal and Terrorist Informants
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Federal Tort Reform Legislation: Constitutionality and Summaries of Selected Statutes
This report considers the constitutionality of federal tort reform legislation, such as the products liability and medical malpractice reform proposals that have been introduced for the last several Congresses. Tort law at present is almost exclusively state law rather than federal law, although, as noted in the appendix to this report, Congress has enacted a number of tort reform statutes.
Products Liability: A Legal Overview
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Immigration: Terrorist Grounds for Exclusion of Aliens
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Immigration: Terrorist Grounds for Exclusion and Removal of Aliens
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Immigration: Terrorist Grounds for Exclusion and Removal of Aliens
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Immigration: Terrorist Grounds for Exclusion and Removal of Aliens
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) spells out a strict set of admissions criteria and exclusion rules for all foreign nationals who come permanently to the United States as immigrants (i.e., legal permanent residents) or temporarily as nonimmigrants. This report opens with an overview of the grounds for inadmissibility and summarizes key legislation enacted in recent years. Where relevant, the report discusses how recently enacted legislation, including the REAL ID Act, affects these matters. This report also briefly discusses two recent proposals that would modify the terrorism-related provisions of the INA.
Trade Legislation in the 106th Congress: An Overview
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The 2002 Farm Law at a Glance
On May 13, 2002, President Bush signed the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002 into law (P.L. 107-171). FSRIA is the latest in a long line of omnibus, multi-year farm bills. The 2002 law is the successor to the last omnibus measure, the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-127). This report, to be updated if events warrant, provides selected highlights.
Previewing a 2007 Farm Bill
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Previewing a 2007 Farm Bill
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A New Farm Bill: Comparing the 2002 Law with Previous Law and House and Senate Bills
On May 13, 2002, President Bush signed a new farm bill — The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (P.L.107-171). This comprehensive new law contains ten titles covering commodity support, conservation, nutrition, trade, research, credit, rural development and other related programs. It makes significant changes to commodity, conservation and nutrition programs, and is intended to guide most federal farm and food policies through FY2007. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates (using the March 2002 baseline) place the total cost of the new bill (i.e., baseline plus new funding) at just under $274 billion over its six-year life-span. This report discusses the bill in detail, as well as the arguments of both its supporters and critics.
The Mining Law Millsite Debate
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The 2002 Farm Bill: Overview and Status
The Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform, or FAIR, Act of 1996 (commonly known as the "farm bill"), which was due to expire in 2002, is expected to be extended for another six years when President Bush signs the bill into law. This report discusses the provisions of the new "farm bill," including the federal spending involved.
The 2002 Farm Bill: Overview and Status
This report discusses the provisions of the 1996 farm bill, which was due to expire in 2002 but was extended (P.L. 107-171) for an additional 6 years on May 13, 2002.
The 2002 Farm Bill: Overview and Status
This report discusses the provisions of the 1996 farm bill, which was due to expire in 2002 but was extended for an additional 6 years on May 13, 2002 by President Bush (P.L. 107-171). The new law is called the "Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002. The new law generally supersedes the previous omnibus farm bill, the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform (FAIR) Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-127). The new farm law has attracted widespread criticism both in the U.S. and abroad. This report discusses these criticisms as well as the defenses of the law's proponents.
Legislative Initiatives to Temporarily Relocate Federal Courts Interrupted by Natural or Man-Made Disasters, 109th Congress
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Electronic Banking: The Check Truncation Issue
If all checks were replaced by electronic transactions, the exact cost savings would still be unknown, because estimates of the cost of using a check and the number of checks written each year remain in dispute. Consequently, estimates of cost savings range from $1.4 billion annually for truncation alone to $68 billion for replacing checks with electronic payments. A significant part of the savings comes from eliminating the handling, sorting, and physically transporting of checks to the paying bank. To clear checks electronically, banks must negotiate processing agreements thatmake it unnecessary to physically present the paper check. Since the benefits are not uniformly dispersed among the participants, banks have found it difficult to obtain these agreements, thus constraining the widespread adoption of electronic check clearing.
Electronic Banking: The Check Truncation Issue
If all checks were replaced by electronic transactions, the exact cost savings would still be unknown, because estimates of the cost of using a check and the number of checks written each year remain in dispute. Consequently, estimates of cost savings range from $1.4 billion annually for truncation alone to $68 billion for replacing checks with electronic payments. A significant part of the savings comes from eliminating the handling, sorting, and physically transporting of checks to the paying bank. To clear checks electronically, banks must negotiate processing agreements thatmake it unnecessary to physically present the paper check. Since the benefits are not uniformly dispersed among the participants, banks have found it difficult to obtain these agreements, thus constraining the widespread adoption of electronic check clearing.
Electronic Banking: The Check Truncation Issue
If all checks were replaced by electronic transactions, the exact cost savings would still be unknown, because estimates of the cost of using a check and the number of checks written each year remain in dispute. Consequently, estimates of cost savings range from $1.4 billion annually for truncation alone to $68 billion for replacing checks with electronic payments. A significant part of the savings comes from eliminating the handling, sorting, and physically transporting of checks to the paying bank. To clear checks electronically, banks must negotiate processing agreements thatmake it unnecessary to physically present the paper check. Since the benefits are not uniformly dispersed among the participants, banks have found it difficult to obtain these agreements, thus constraining the widespread adoption of electronic check clearing.
Fact Sheet on Congressional Tax Proposals
A general tax cut (H.R. 2488), costing $792 billion over 10 years, was vetoed in September 1999. A more narrowly focused bill (H.R. 1180) extending certain expiring provisions was adopted in December. Several tax proposals have been or are likely to be considered in 2000. The largest of these was marriage penalty legislation (H.R. 6 and S. 2346). Tax provisions are also included in health care legislation and minimum wage legislation; the latter passed the House on March 9 and included distressed communities legislation and a repeal of the installment sales provision included in the extenders bill. A number of separate tax bills are also under consideration. The general tax cut proposal included across-the-board tax cuts, benefits for married couples, phase-out of the alternative minimum tax, a reduction in capital gains taxes, a phase-out of the estate tax and provisions relating to education and health.
Fact Sheet on Congressional Tax Proposals
After passing a major multi-year tax cut in Mid-2001 (which was sunsetted after ten years) and a stimulus bill in 2002, Congress is considering energy tax subsidies, tax incentives for charitable giving deductions, pension diversification in the wake of the ENRON problems, and tax shelters. The House has passed several bills that would make the multiyear tax cut permanent as well as a bill to speed up certain provisions.
Fact Sheet on Congressional Tax Proposals
After passing a major multi-year tax cut in Mid-2001 (which was sunsetted after ten years) and a stimulus bill in 2002, Congress is considering energy tax subsidies, tax incentives for charitable giving deductions, pension diversification in the wake of the ENRON problems, and tax shelters. The House has passed several bills that would make the multiyear tax cut permanent as well as a bill to speed up certain provisions.
Fact Sheet on Congressional Tax Proposals in the 108th Congress
This report discusses the President, House and Senate tax proposals. Beyond the comprehensive tax proposals, both the House and the Senate have considered a range of targeted tax proposals. One of the first tax-related measures considered during the 108th Congress would provide tax reductions to armed services personnel. Congress has also initiated reconsideration of legislation not completed in the 107th Congress: tax incentives for charitable giving deductions, pension diversification, energy taxation, and tax shelters.
Fact Sheet on Congressional Tax Proposals in the 108th Congress
This report discusses the President, House and Senate tax proposals. Beyond the comprehensive tax proposals, both the House and the Senate have considered a range of targeted tax proposals. One of the first tax-related measures considered during the 108th Congress would provide tax reductions to armed services personnel. Congress has also initiated reconsideration of legislation not completed in the 107th Congress: tax incentives for charitable giving deductions, pension diversification, energy taxation, and tax shelters.
Fact Sheet on Congressional Tax Proposals in the 108th Congress
After passing a major multi-year tax cut in Mid-2001 (which was sunsetted after ten years) and a stimulus bill in 2002, Congress is considering energy tax subsidies, tax incentives for charitable giving deductions, pension diversification in the wake of the ENRON problems, and tax shelters. The House has passed several bills that would make the multiyear tax cut permanent as well as a bill to speed up certain provisions.
Fact Sheet on Congressional Tax Proposals in the 108th Congress
This report discusses the President, House and Senate tax proposals. Beyond the comprehensive tax proposals, both the House and the Senate have considered a range of targeted tax proposals. One of the first tax-related measures considered during the 108th Congress would provide tax reductions to armed services personnel. Congress has also initiated reconsideration of legislation not completed in the 107th Congress: tax incentives for charitable giving deductions, pension diversification, energy taxation, and tax shelters.
Fact Sheet on Congressional Tax Proposals in the 108th Congress
This report discusses the President, House and Senate tax proposals. Beyond the comprehensive tax proposals, both the House and the Senate have considered a range of targeted tax proposals. One of the first tax-related measures considered during the 108th Congress would provide tax reductions to armed services personnel. Congress has also initiated reconsideration of legislation not completed in the 107th Congress: tax incentives for charitable giving deductions, pension diversification, energy taxation, and tax shelters.
Fact Sheet on Congressional Tax Proposals in the 108th Congress
This report discusses the President, House and Senate tax proposals. Beyond the comprehensive tax proposals, both the House and the Senate have considered a range of targeted tax proposals. One of the first tax-related measures considered during the 108th Congress would provide tax reductions to armed services personnel. Congress has also initiated reconsideration of legislation not completed in the 107th Congress: tax incentives for charitable giving deductions, pension diversification, energy taxation, and tax shelters.
Fact Sheet on Congressional Tax Proposals in the 108th Congress
This report discusses the President, House and Senate tax proposals. Beyond the comprehensive tax proposals, both the House and the Senate have considered a range of targeted tax proposals. One of the first tax-related measures considered during the 108th Congress would provide tax reductions to armed services personnel. Congress has also initiated reconsideration of legislation not completed in the 107th Congress: tax incentives for charitable giving deductions, pension diversification, energy taxation, and tax shelters.
The Origination Clause of the U.S. Constitution: Interpretation and Enforcement
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Insurance Regulation: Issues, Background, and Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report discusses the legislation in the 113th Congress regarding insurance regulation. Among the insurance regulatory issues addressed by legislation in the 113th Congress are the application of federal orderly liquidation authority to insurers (addressed in H.R. 605); the supervision of some insurers by the Federal Reserve (addressed in H.R. 2140, H.R. 4510, H.R. 5461, S. 2102, and S. 2270); and the licensing of insurance agents and brokers (addressed in S. 534, S. 1926, S. 2244, H.R. 1155/H.R. 1064, and H.R. 4871).
Insurance Regulation: Issues, Background, and Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report discusses the legislation in the 113th Congress regarding insurance regulation. Among the insurance regulatory issues addressed by legislation in the 113th Congress are the application of federal orderly liquidation authority to insurers (addressed in H.R. 605); the supervision of some insurers by the Federal Reserve (addressed in H.R. 2140, H.R. 4510, H.R. 5461, S. 2102, and S. 2270); and the licensing of insurance agents and brokers (addressed in S. 534, S. 1926, S. 2244, H.R. 1155/H.R. 1064, and H.R. 4871).
Nominations to U.S. Circuit and District Courts by President Obama During the 111th and 112th Congresses
Recent Senate debates in the 112th Congress over judicial nominations have focused on issues such as the relative degree of success of President Barack Obama's nominees in gaining Senate confirmation (compared with other recent Presidents) as well as the effect of delayed judicial appointments on judicial vacancy levels. The following report addresses these issues, and others, by providing a statistical overview of President Obama's nominees to U.S. circuit court of appeals and U.S. district court judgeships, current through May 31, 2012.
Child Care Issues in the 107th Congress
This report includes recent developments in federal child care programs and tax provisions. The report discusses several federal programs that support child care or related services, primarily for low-income working families. In addition, the tax code includes provisions specifically targeted to assist families with child care expenses. The report presents the legislative activity in the 107th Congress in regard to child care legislature and provisions.
Child Care Issues in the 107th Congress
This report includes recent developments in federal child care programs and tax provisions. The report discusses several federal programs that support child care or related services, primarily for low-income working families. In addition, the tax code includes provisions specifically targeted to assist families with child care expenses. The report presents the legislative activity in the 107th Congress in regard to child care legislature and provisions.
Child Care Issues in the 107th Congress
This report includes recent developments in federal child care programs and tax provisions. The report discusses several federal programs that support child care or related services, primarily for low-income working families. In addition, the tax code includes provisions specifically targeted to assist families with child care expenses. The report presents the legislative activity in the 107th Congress in regard to child care legislature and provisions.
Insurance Regulation: Issues, Background, and Legislation in the 111th Congress
This report discusses congressional and action on insurance regulation in the wake of the recent financial crisis. Although the financial crisis has changed the focus of the debate surrounding insurance regulatory reform, many of the pre-crisis pressures for regulatory changes continue.
Tax Activity in the 107th Congress
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Common Legal Questions and Answers Concerning Currency, Legal Tender and Money
This report answers common legal questions relating to currency, legal tender, and money.
H.R. 2415: Bankruptcy Reform in the Closing Days of the 106th Congress
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Homeland Security Act of 2002: Critical Infrastructure Information Act
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Harvey v. Veneman and the National Organic Program: A Legal Analysis
The First Circuit’s ruling in Harvey v. Veneman brought much attention and uncertainty to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program. In the case, Harvey alleged that multiple provisions of the National Organic Program Final Rule (Final Rule) were inconsistent with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA). The First Circuit sided with Harvey on three counts, putting into question the use of synthetics and commercially unavailable organic agricultural products, as well as certain feeding practices for dairy herds converting to organic production. On remand, the district court ordered a two-year time frame for the implementation and enforcement of new rules consistent with the ruling; however, in the FY2006 agriculture appropriations act (P.L. 109 97), Congress amended the OFPA to address the holdings of the case. This report describes the OFPA, discusses those holdings where the court determined that a provision of the Final Rule was inconsistent with the OFPA and analyzes the most recent legislative action.
Products Liability: A Legal Overview
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Products Liability: A Legal Overview
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