This report describes the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program's structure and operations, focusing on SBIC eligibility requirements, investment activity, and program statistics. It also includes information concerning the SBIC program's debenture SBIC program, participating securities SBIC program, impact investment SBIC debenture program (targeting underserved markets and communities facing barriers to access to credit and capital), and the now-sunset early stage debenture SBIC initiative.
This report discusses the rationale provided for the Small Business Administration's 7(a) loan guaranty program. It also examines issues raised concerning the SBA's administration of the 7(a) program, including the oversight of 7(a) lenders and the program's lack of outcome-based performance measures. The report also surveys congressional and presidential actions taken in recent years to enhance small businesses' access to capital.
This report discusses the Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) which is the lead federal agency dedicated to supporting the development and expansion of the minority business community. Currently, the MBDA provides a number of services principally through a network of business centers located in areas with the largest concentration of minority populations and the largest number of minority businesses. The Trump Administration's budget request for FY2018 proposes to reduce the agency's appropriation from $34 million appropriated for FY2017 to $6 million for FY2018. The proposed funds would be used to cover the cost of terminating the agency and its activities. Contrary to the Administration's request, the House Committee on Appropriations approved a Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill (H.R. 3267), which was later incorporated into H.R. 3357 that the House passed on September 14, 2017, and would provide $34 million for MBDA. On July 27, 2017, the Senate Committee on Appropriations approved S. 1662, its version of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Appropriations bill for FY2018. The bill also recommended an appropriation of $34 million for MBDA.
This report opens with a discussion of the rationale provided for having a Microloan program, describes the program's eligibility standards and operating requirements for lenders and borrowers, and examines the arguments presented by the program's critics and advocates. It then discusses P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which increased the Microloan program's loan limit for borrowers from $35,000 to $50,000, and the aggregate loan limit for intermediaries after their first year of participation in the program from $3.5 million to $5 million. It also discusses H.R. 2056, the Microloan Modernization Act of 2017, and S. 526, its companion bill in the Senate. The bill, as amended, was favorably reported by the House Committee on Small Business on July 12, 2017, and agreed to by the House on July 24, 2017, by voice vote.
This report examines the economic arguments for and against small business tax subsidies in the context of current congressional proposals to expand them. It begins with a brief description of current federal tax subsidies for small firms, moves on to consider the principal economic arguments for and against these subsidies, and concludes with a discussion of proposals in the 108th Congress to expand small business tax subsidies and their likely economic effects.
This report describes the Microloan program's eligibility standards and operating requirements for lenders and borrowers and examines the arguments presented by the program's critics and advocates. It also examines changes to the program authorized by P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.
This report discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase, a 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.
This report discusses the global financial crisis and resulting geopoligical situation in detail. It also discusses individual efforts by both the U.S. and European Union (EU) to combat the effects of the crisis by attempting to resolve the financial crisis while stimulating domestic demand to stem the economic downturn.
This report provides a brief summary of the President's Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 and delineates some of the substantive differences between it and H.R. 3126, as introduced. It then analyzes some of the policy implications of the proposal, focusing on the separation of safety and soundness regulation from consumer protection, financial innovation, and the scope of regulation.
This report provides a brief summary of the Obama Administration's Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 (CFPA) and delineates some of the substantive differences between it and H.R. 3126, as ordered to be reported by the House Financial Services Committee, as well as the version that was ordered to be reported by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The financial crisis that began in 2007 spread and gathered intensity in 2008, despite the efforts of central banks and regulators to restore calm. By early 2009, the financial system and the global economy appeared to be locked in a descending spiral, and the primary focus of policy became the prevention of a prolonged downturn on the order of the Great Depression. This report sets out in tabular form a number of the factors that have been identified as causes of the crisis. The left column of Table 1 below summarizes the causal role of each such factor. The next column presents a brief rejoinder to that argument. The right-hand column contains a reference for further reading.
This report provides an overview of Mexico's economy post-financial crisis, effects of the global economic downturn, structural and other challenges in the Mexican economy, and implications for the United States.
This report provides an overview of the time frames and procedures in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) bid protest, including (1) what issues can be protested with GAO; (2) who can file or be a party to a GAO protest; (3) the procedures for bringing and resolving GAO protests; (4) the time frames involved in GAO protests; (5) the automatic stay of contract award or performance triggered by a GAO protest, as well as the basis for agency overrides of automatic stays and judicial review of agency override determinations; (6) the basis and effects of GAO decisions; and (7) reconsideration and "appeal" of GAO decisions.
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.
Congress chartered government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) to improve the workings of credit markets. This report briefly describes the nature of GSEs, their mixed governmental-private nature, the differences between GSEs and government agencies, and the arguments for and against GSEs.
In theory, state sales and use taxes are based on the destination principle, which prescribes that taxes should be paid where the consumption takes place. States are concerned because they anticipate gradually losing more tax revenue as the growth of Internet commerce allows more residents to buy products from vendors located out-of-state and evade use taxes. The size of the revenue loss from Internet commerce and subsequent tax evasion is uncertain. Congress is involved in this issue because commerce conducted by parties in different states over the Internet falls under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The degree of congressional involvement is an open question.
On June 28, 1995, the United States and Japan reached a settlement in a long-running dispute over access to Japan's market for automobiles and parts. 100-percent tariffs by the United States on imports of luxury cars from Japan had been threatened under a Section 301 unfair trade practices case dealing with the aftermarket for autoparts in Japan. This report describes the dispute, the settlement, and questions and issues that still remain.
Retail reciprocity requirements have been included in the electricity restructuring legislation of at least four states. These requirements mandate generally that out-of-state utilities which operate in a state “closed” to retail competition cannot market power to retail consumers in the “open” state. Because state reciprocity requirements enacted without congressional authorization are probably unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Congress would have to include a reciprocity provision in federal electricity restructuring legislation if it wants to support the view that such a provision will increase competition. This report reviews the treatment of state reciprocity requirements by the U.S. Supreme Court and discusses Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause.
The U.S. government and the defense industry continued to adjust to the post-Cold War era. Complicating the transition was the restructuring of the U.S. and other industrialized economies, and questions concerning the future direction of U.S. defense policy. The 104th Congress grappled with how to ensure that the U.S. retained a smaller, but capable, defense industry.
Many dairy farmer groups are concerned that imports of milk protein concentrates (MPCs) are displacing domestic dairy ingredients and thus depressing farm milk prices. S.560 and H.R. 1160 would impose tariff rate quotas on certain MPCs, and S. 40 would prohibit the use of dry MPC in domestic cheese production. Dairy processor groups are opposed to these bills. A dairy producer group challenged the Customs Service classification of MPCs, but Customs ruled that current classifications are correct.
Several dairy issues that were debated during the 108th Congress are expected to continue as issues of interest in the 109th Congress. Separate bills were introduced in the 108th Congress to extend authority for both the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) Program and the dairy forward pricing pilot program, and to address dairy producer concerns about the importation of milk protein concentrates.
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