Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Energy Policy: Conceptual Framework and Continuing Issues
In the spring of 2006, crude oil prices were exceeding $70/barrel (bbl) in response to tight markets and uncertainty over the security of world oil supply. A number of developments have placed additional pressure on world markets, including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (in late August and late September 2005), the phaseout of the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and a renewable fuels mandate, and a continuing high and worldwide demand for oil. Energy policy issues for continuing interest include opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for leasing; Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards (CAFE) for passenger vehicles; improving U.S. energy infrastructure, including pipelines and refineries; seeking effective means to promote energy conservation using currently available technologies, and developing new technologies and alternative fuels.
Welfare Reauthorization: Overview of the Issues
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Welfare Reauthorization: An Overview of the Issues
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Resource Conservation Title: Comparison of Current Law with Farm Bills Passed by the House and Senate
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The Federal Circuit Rules on Trademarks Considered Offensive: May Affect Redskins Trademark Dispute
This legal sidebar examines cases involving the revocation of the Washington Redskins' federally-registered trademarks (Pro-Football, Inc. v. Blackhorse) and the refusal to grant registration for a rock band's name (In re Tam). These cases raise questions about the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Trademark Act of 1946 (conventionally known as the Lanham Act), which denies trademark registration to certain offensive content.
Corporate Inversions: Frequently Asked Legal Questions
This report answers frequently-asked legal questions about corporate inversions. It answers questions relating to the scope and operation of Section 7874, including how key statutory terms have been interpreted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It discusses important Department of Treasury regulations that were finalized in 2015 and 2016, and answers questions about the IRS's authority to issue these regulations. Other questions that are answered relate to legislation introduced in the 114th Congress, the interaction of Section 7874 with tax treaties, and the imposition of an excise tax on corporate insiders who benefit from an inversion.
Agriculture: Previewing a Farm Bill
Most provisions of the current “farm bill,” the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002 (P.L. 107-171), do not expire until 2007. Nonetheless, various policy developments have brought farm bill programs into play during the 109th Congress. For example, the FY2006 budget resolution (H.Con.Res. 95) directs the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to find five-year savings of $3 billion from programs under their jurisdiction. Hearings on a 2007 farm bill itself could begin later in 2005. This report will be updated if events warrant; for a more extensive discussion of the issues, see CRS Report RL33037, Previewing a 2007 Farm Bill.
Mining Law Reform: The Impact of a Royalty
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Child Care Issues in the 108th 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 108th Congress in regard to child care legislature and provisions.
Child Care Issues in the 108th 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 108th Congress in regard to child care legislature and provisions.
Child Care Issues in the 108th 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 108th Congress in regard to child care legislature and provisions.
Agriculture and the 106th Congress: A Summary of Major Issues
Most congressional interest in agriculture in the 106th Congress was focused on persistent low prices for major commodities and proposals to redress declining farm income. Six emergency farm aid bills were approved, increasing agricultural spending by nearly $27 billion for fiscal years 1999-2001. These bills provided disaster relief along with short term “market loss payments”to farmers to shore up farm income. Some longer term changes also were enacted as part of emergency farm legislation, which this report discusses in brief.
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.
The Telecommunications Act of 1982 (H.R. 5158, 97th Congress): Provisions and Controversies
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Trade Legislation in the 107th Congress: An Overview
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Status of Trade Legislation in the 107th Congress
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Status of Trade Legislation in the 107th Congress
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Status of Trade Legislation in the 107th Congress
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Status of Trade Legislation in the 107th Congress
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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.
Bankruptcy Reform in the 108th Congress
On February 27, 2003, House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner introduced H.R. 975, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2003. Subcommittee hearings were held on March 4, and the legislation was marked-up and ordered to be reported by the full committee on March 12. This report provides an overview of selected major provisions of the legislation.
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.
Bankruptcy Reform Legislation in the 107th Congress: A Comparison of H.R. 333 As Passed by the House and the Senate
H.R. 333, 107th Congress, 1st Sess. (2001), the “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2001” and its counterpart in the Senate, S. 220, 107th Congress, 1st Sess. (2001), the “Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2001” were introduced on January 31, 2001. So far, the 107th Congress has demonstrated widespread support for the bills evidenced by the votes. Although President Bush is expected to sign bankruptcy reform into law, the White House has indicated that a bankruptcy bill that contains a federal homestead cap may be unacceptable. This report surveys the bills and the major amendments that have been adopted. It provides a sectional analysis comparing selected provisions, with an emphasis on consumer bankruptcy.
Abortion: Legal Control
The U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 112 (1973), and Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179, which held generally that a State could no longer prohibit abortions in the first 6 months of pregnancy, caused several House and Senate members to move for an abortion prohibition effectuated by congressional action. To this end, proposed bills and constitutional amendments have been introduced in both Houses. Rather than having settled the abortion question conclusively, the Supreme Court decisions have kindled a national protest movement.
Supreme Court Opinions: October 2004 Term
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Authority to Enforce the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) in the Wake of the Homeland Security Act: Legal Issues
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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.
Abortion: Judicial and Legislative Control
In 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Constitution protects a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, and that a State may not unduly burden the exercise of that fundamental right by regulations that prohibit or substantially limit access to the means of effectuating that decision, Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179. But rather than settling the issue, the Court's rulings have kindled heated debate and precipitated a variety of governmental actions at the national, State and local levels designed either to nullify the rulings or hinder their effectuation. This brief discusses this ongoing issue, including related legislation and judicial history.
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.