Congressional Research Service Reports - 34 Matching Results

Search Results

Small Business Administration Microloan Program
This report provides an overview of the Small Business Administration's microloan program and its funding sources.
Small Business Administration and Job Creation
The Small Business Administration (SBA) administers several programs to support small businesses, including loan guaranty programs; disaster loan programs; management and technical assistance training programs; and federal contracting programs. Congressional interest in these programs has increased in recent years, primarily because they are viewed as a means to stimulate economic activity, create jobs, and assist in the national economic recovery. This report examines the economic research on net job creation to identify the types of businesses that appear to create the most jobs.
Codes of Conduct for Multinational Corporations: An Overview
This report discusses The U.S. economy is growing increasingly interconnected with other economies around the world, a phenomenon often referred to as globalization. As U.S. businesses expand globally, however, various groups across the social and economic spectrum are growing concerned over the economic, social, and political impact of this activity. Over the past 15 years, multinational corporations and nations have adopted voluntary, legally enforceable, and industry-specific codes of conduct to address many of these concerns. This report provides background on the issue and briefly examines options for Congress to address it.
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
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.
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms: Economic, Program, and Policy Issues
This report discusses the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) programs, which were authorized by Congress in the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 to help workers and firms adjust to import competition and dislocation caused by trade liberalization. It provides information about TAAF program and policy issues, as well as legislation to reauthorize the TAAF program.
Location-Based Preferences in Federal and Federally Funded Contracting: An Overview of the Law
This report discusses constitutional and other legal issues related to the creation and implementation of location-based preferences in federal contracting, as well as summarizes key authorities requiring or allowing federal agencies to "favor" contractors located in specific places. The report does not address federal preferences for domestic products or provisions of federal law that could, depending upon their implementation, effectively prefer local contractors, such as project labor agreements.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Manufacturing Trends
Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) represent a bright spot for the technology-intensive aerospace manufacturing sector, but military and civil government agencies will likely be the predominant customers for an extended period while such systems are integrated into the U.S. National Airspace System ("national airspace"). This report discusses the market for UAS in 2013 and briefly discusses UAS manufacturers.
Selected Recently Expired Business Tax Provisions ("Tax Extenders")
This report briefly summarizes and discusses the economic impact of selected business-related tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013 and that are being considered for extension.
GAO Bid Protests: An Overview of Time Frames and Procedures
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.
Competition in Federal Contracting: An Overview of the Legal Requirements
This report describes the competition requirements currently governing the procurement activities of federal agencies. It addresses several issues, including what contracts are subject to competition requirements, what constitutes full and open competition for government contracts, and the circumstances permitting agencies to award contracts on the basis of other than full and open competition. It also briefly describes the benefits and drawbacks of competition, situates recent reform efforts within their historical context, and discusses how the policy debates surrounding competition in federal contracting can shape legislative responses.
U.S. Motor Vehicle Industry: Federal Financial Assistance and Restructuring
This report looks at TARP and federal government assistance to General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford Motors. In particular, the history of these transactions and how they were affecte by Congress, Senate, President Bush, and President Obama.
Job Growth During the Recovery
Congress in recent years passed a number of bills intended in part to jump-start a recovery in the labor market from the recession that began in December 2007. Policymakers are interested in how employment has responded to stimulus measures to determine how effective the legislation has been and to decide whether additional job creation legislation is warranted. This report discusses this topic in brief.
The Federal Role in Technology Development
The federal government has traditionally played a role in fostering technological progress. This has involved both direct federal research and development (R&D) funding and indirect measures that create incentives for increased private sector investments in innovation. However, this mix of initiatives was challenged since the 104th Congress. While support for all on-going efforts continues, some programs have been funded at reduced levels. However, since FY2001, appropriations appear to have reversed this trend.
The Davis-Bacon Act: Institutional Evolution and Public Policy
This report examines policy issues the Davis-Bacon Act has sparked through the years and which remain a part of the Davis-Bacon debate of the 1990s. These include such questions as: wage rate determination procedures, reporting requirements under the Copeland Act, an appropriate threshold for activation of the statute, interagency relationships with respect to Davis-Bacon enforcement and compliance activity, administrative or judicial appeals procedures, the use of "helpers" and other low-skilled workers on covered projects, and the right of a President to suspend the statute as well as the conditions under which such a suspension may occur. That the fundamental premise of the Act remains in contention after 60 years may be, itself, part of the public policy debate.
The Global Financial Crisis: The Role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
This report discusses two potential roles the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may have in helping to resolve the current global financial crisis: (1) immediate crisis control through balance of payments lending to emerging market and less-developed countries and (2) increased surveillance of the global economy through better coordination with the international financial regulatory agencies.
Livestock Feed Costs: Concerns and Options
Sharply higher feed costs, fueled by competing use demands for corn and soybeans and by rising energy prices, are affecting the beef, pork, dairy, and poultry industries. In contrast, wholesales prices for most animal products have held steady. Some analysts argue that current public policies, including financial incentives that divert corn from feed uses into ethanol production, have exacerbated if not caused these higher costs. Other factors include crop production declines due to weather, and higher global demand for consumption. Proposed options aimed at easing the impacts of higher feed costs include changes in ethanol incentives, use of conservation land for forage use, and direct aid to producers.
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA.
Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy
There is ongoing interest in the pace of U.S. technological advancement due to its influence on U.S. economic growth, productivity, and international competitiveness. Because technology can contribute to economic growth and productivity increases, congressional interest has focused on how to augment private-sector technological development. Congressional action has mandated specific technology development programs and obligations in federal agencies that did not initially support such efforts. Some legislative activity, beginning in the 104th Congress, has been directed at eliminating or significantly curtailing many of these federal efforts. Questions have been raised concerning the proper role of the federal government in technology development and the competitiveness of U.S. industry. As the 109th congress continues to develop its budget priorities, how the government encourages technological process in the private sector again may be explored and/or redefined.
Electricity: The Road Toward Restructuring
The Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA) and the Federal Power Act (FPA) were enacted to eliminate unfair practices and other abuses by electricity and gas holding companies by requiring federal control and regulation of interstate public utility holding companies. Comprehensive energy legislation has passed the House and Senate. The House passed H.R. 6 on April 11, 2003. On July 31, 2003, the Senate suspended debate on S. 14, inserted the text of H.R. 4 (107th Congress) as a substitute, and passed H.R. 6. A conference agreement was reached November 17, 2003, and passed by the House the next day. H.R. 6 includes an electricity title that would, in part, repeal PUHCA, would prospectively repeal the mandatory purchase requirement under PURPA, and would create an electric reliability organization. On June 15, 2004, H.R. 4503, a comprehensive energy policy bill, passed the House.
State Corporate Income Taxes: A Description and Analysis
No Description Available.
Status of the Justice Department/American Telephone and Telegraph Company Antitrust Settlement: A Brief Overview
No Description Available.
Commerical Television Broadcasting: An Economic Analysis of Its Structure and Competitive Alternatives
This report analyzes the economic structure of both the conventional commercial television broadcasting industry as well as the significant commercial competitive alternatives. Federal Communications Commission policies and their effect on the competitive structure and development of the television industry are also discussed.
Textile and Apparel Trade Issues
No Description Available.
Firms That Incorporate Abroad for Tax Purposes: Corporate "Inversions" and "Expatriation"
No Description Available.
Using Business Tax Cuts to Stimulate the Economy
No Description Available.
Should Banking Powers Expand into Real Estate Brokerage and Management?
No Description Available.
Postal Reform
No Description Available.
Electricity: The Road Toward Restructuring
The Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA) and the Federal Power Act (FPA) were enacted to eliminate unfair practices and other abuses by electricity and gas holding companies by requiring federal control and regulation of interstate public utility holding companies. Comprehensive energy legislation has passed the House and Senate. The House passed H.R. 6 on April 11, 2003. On July 31, 2003, the Senate suspended debate on S. 14, inserted the text of H.R. 4 (107th Congress) as a substitute, and passed H.R. 6. A conference agreement was reached November 17, 2003, and passed by the House the next day. H.R. 6 includes an electricity title that would, in part, repeal PUHCA, would prospectively repeal the mandatory purchase requirement under PURPA, and would create an electric reliability organization. On June 15, 2004, H.R. 4503, a comprehensive energy policy bill, passed the House.
Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information
No Description Available.
Steel: Key Issues for Congress
No Description Available.
Steel: Legislative and Oversight Issues
No Description Available.
Lumber Imports from Canada: Issues and Events
This report provides a concise historical account of the dispute, summarizes the subsidy and injury evidence, and discusses the current issues and events regarding lumber imports from Canada.
The Proposed Tobacco Settlement: Who Pays for the Health Costs of Smoking?
No Description Available.
Dairy Policy Issues
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.