Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, or “Mad Cow Disease”): Current and Proposed Safeguards
This report presents an overview of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or “mad cow disease”) in the United States. Shortly after the first case of BSE was announced, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other officials announced measures to improve existing safeguards against the introduction and spread of BSE. This report discusses trade restrictions, the live-stock “feed ban”, as well as the BSE surveillance and testing in cattle.
Tracking Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Basic Sources
This report introduces researchers to selected basic sources that are useful in obtaining background information or specific facts on the status of federal legislative or regulatory initiatives. Printed, telephone, online, and media sources are included, as well as pertinent directories, such as those of organizations that track areas of interest.
Tracking Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Basic Sources
This report introduces selected basic sources that are useful in obtaining background information or specific facts on the status of federal legislative or regulatory initiatives. It includes telephone, online, and media sources are included, as well as pertinent directories, such as those of organizations that track areas of interest. Annotations describing each source's contents and organization are included so that researchers can select those that most closely fit their needs. Internet addresses usually provide information about the items, rather than access to them.
Tracking Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Basic Sources
This report introduces selected basic sources that are useful in obtaining background information or specific facts on the status of federal legislative or regulatory initiatives. It includes telephone, online, and media sources are included, as well as pertinent directories, such as those of organizations that track areas of interest. Annotations describing each source's contents and organization are included so that researchers can select those that most closely fit their needs. Internet addresses usually provide information about the items, rather than access to them.
Tracking Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Basic Sources
This report introduces selected basic sources that are useful in obtaining background information or specific facts on the status of federal legislative or regulatory initiatives. It includes telephone, online, and media sources are included, as well as pertinent directories, such as those of organizations that track areas of interest. Annotations describing each source's contents and organization are included so that researchers can select those that most closely fit their needs. Internet addresses usually provide information about the items, rather than access to them.
Energy Policy: 112th Congress Issues and Legislative Proposals
This report discusses the energy policy in the United States, which has focused on three major goals: assuring a secure supply of energy, keeping energy costs low, and protecting the environment.
Medical Records Privacy: Questions and Answers on the HIPAA Rule
This report discuses the HIPAA privacy rule, which gives patients the right of access to their medical information and prohibits health plans and health care providers from using or disclosing individually identifiable health information without a patient’s written authorization except as expressly permitted or required by the rule.
Lobbying Regulations on Non-Profit Organizations
This report is intended to provide a brief overview of the various potential restrictions, rules or regulations upon lobbying activities of non-profit organizations.
Lobbying Regulations on Non-Profit Organizations
This report is intended to provide a brief overview of the various potential restrictions or regulations on lobbying activities of non-profit organizations. Public charities, social welfare organizations, religious groups, and other non-profit, tax-exempt organizations are not generally prohibited from engaging in all lobbying or public policy advocacy merely because of their tax-exempt status.
Lobbying Regulations on Non-Profit Organizations
This report is intended to provide a brief overview of the various potential restrictions or regulations on lobbying activities of non-profit organizations. Public charities, social welfare organizations, religious groups, and other non-profit, tax-exempt organizations are not generally prohibited from engaging in all lobbying or public policy advocacy merely because of their tax-exempt status.
Monetary Policy: Current Policy and Conditions
This report discusses monetary policy, which can also be defined in terms of the directives, policies, statements, and actions of the Federal Reserve, particularly those from its Board of Governors that have an effect on aggregate demand or national spending.
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions
Monetary policy can be defined as any policy relating to the supply of money. Since the agency concerned with the supply of money is the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, monetary policy can also be defined in terms of the directives, policies, statements, and actions of the Federal Reserve, particularly those from its Board of Governors that have an effect on national spending. This report discusses current issues regarding monetary policy.
Why Has the Economy Become Less Volatile?
The 2001 recession was unusually mild and brief by historical standards. At 120 months, the expansion that preceded it had been the longest in U.S. history. Is this a coincidence? A body of research concludes that it is not. This report discusses several theories for what caused this phenomenon.
The Economic Effects of Spending on Homeland Security
One direct result of the terrorist attacks of September 11 is that the cost of domestic security has risen. That increased cost is likely to be in the form of increased outlays on the military, as well as increases in spending for domestic law enforcement, public safety, and private security services. This report briefly discusses the economic effects of this increased cost looks into how security affects GDP.
ERISA’s Impact on Medical Malpractice and Negligence Claims Against Managed Care Plans
This report examines the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which provides a comprehensive federal scheme for the regulation of employee pension and welfare benefit plans offered by employers. While ERISA does not require an employer to offer pension and welfare benefits, it does mandate compliance with its provisions if such benefits are offered. Congress enacted ERISA to eliminate the conflicting and inconsistent regulation of pension and employee welfare benefit plans by state laws. The provisions at issue in the preemption debate are sections 502(a) and 514(a) of ERISA.
Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Background and Issues
This report discusses broadband Internet, examining what it is and the various technologies that allow for its transmission. Broadband or high-speed Internet access is provided by technologies that give users the ability to send and receive data at volumes and speeds far greater than access over traditional telephone lines; it also provides a continuous, "always on" connection (no need to dial-up) and a "two-way" capability, that is, the ability to both receive (download) and transmit (upload) data at high speeds.
Tracking Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Basic Sources
This report is a guide to basic sources useful in tracking federal legislation and regulations. It has been prepared primarily for the use of constituents who wish to follow the federal government's legislative or regulatory activities at the local level. Brief annotations for the selected printed, telephone, electronic, and related sources describe their scope, focus, and frequency, include publisher contact information, and provide Internet addresses where available.
Economic Development Administration: FY2016 Appropriations
This report discusses funding issues for the Economic Development Administration (EDA), which was created pursuant to the enactment of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965, with the objective of fostering growth in economically distressed areas characterized by high levels of unemployment and low per-capita income levels.
Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Background and Issues
This is one part in the series of reports that provide a background and analysis, and most recent developments regarding broadband or high-speed Internet access. The report starts out by answering questions; what is broadband and why is it important? This report also discusses broadband technologies, the status of broadband deployment and the related policy issues, as well as the legislation in congress.
China's Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States
This report provides background on China's economic rise; describes its current economic structure; identifies the challenges China faces to maintain economic growth; and discusses the challenges, opportunities, and implications of China's economic rise for the United States.
U.S. Trade in Services: Trends and Policy Issues
This report provides background information and analysis on U.S. international trade in services, as well as policy issues before the United States. The report also examines emerging issues and current negotiations, including the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP).
Economic Effects of the FY2014 Shutdown
This report provides an info-graphic discussing the economic effects of the FY2014 shutdown.
Emergency Economic Stabilization Act: Preliminary Analysis of Oversight Provisions
This report discusses the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which provides authority for the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase and insure "troubled assets" to provide stability and prevent disruption in the economy and financial system.
Turkmenistan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests
This report examines Turkmenistan's halting economic and political reforms under the authoritarian leadership of President Saparmurad Niyazov. It discusses U.S. policy and assistance, including support for grassroots democratization and advocacy for human rights, and provides basic facts and biographical information.
Reporting Requirements in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
This report describes the various reporting requirements in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) and is organized according to the entities required to prepare and submit the reports. The report also provides some concluding observations regarding those requirements.
Economic Slowdown: Issues and Policies
This report first discusses the current state of the economy, including measures that have already been taken by the monetary authorities, and assesses the need for and potential consequences of fiscal stimulus. The second part of the report reviews the proposals discussed during debate on the recently enacted fiscal stimulus, both those adopted and those considered but not adopted.
Financial Market Intervention
This report provides answers to some frequently asked questions concerning ongoing financial disruptions and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). It also summarizes legislation in the 111th Congress such as H.R. 384, the TARP Reform and Accountability Act of 2009 and H.R. 703, "Promoting Bank Liquidity and Lending Through Deposit Insurance, Hope for Homeowners, and other Enhancements."
The U.S. Financial Crisis: The Global Dimension with Implications for U.S. Policy
This report examines the global ramifications of the financial crisis, which exposed fundamental weaknesses in financial systems worldwide, and despite coordinated easing of monetary policy by governments and trillions of dollars in intervention by governments and the International Monetary Fund, the crisis continues.
Russia's Economic Performance and Policies and Their Implications for the United States
This report discusses the Russian economy, which has grown impressively since 1999 and, by some measures, has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The improvement in the Russian economy is arguably a factor in the boldness with which the Putin leadership has reasserted Russia's status as a world power.
The Cost of Government Financial Interventions, Past and Present
The results of previous government financial interventions are summarized in this report. In response to ongoing financial turmoil that began in the subprime mortgage-backed securities market, the federal government has intervened with private corporations on a large scale and in an ad hoc manner three times from the beginning of 2008 through September 19, 2008.
Bolivia: Political and Economic Developments and Relations with the United States
This report includes background information on Bolivia's political unrest, particularly regarding instability in shifting leaderships, economic situation, and relations with the United States.
China-U.S. Trade Issues
This report provides an overview of U.S.-China commercial relations, including major trade disputes.
Legislation Eliminating the Federal Reserve's Surplus
The Fed retains some of its profits in a surplus account, which currently has a balance of $29.3 billion. This report discusses H.Amdt. 824 to the highway bill (H.R. 22) and H.R. 3189, which would permanently eliminate the surplus.
Inequality in the Distribution of Income: Trends and International Comparisons
This report examines the distribution of income in the United States, including factors that may help explain it, how it has changed over time, and how it compares with those of other countries.
Current Economic Conditions and Selected Forecasts
This report contains information about the economy including an overview of the current economic conditions, fiscal and monetary policies, forecasts for 2008-2009, and other topics related to economic growth.
Running Deficits: Positives and Pitfalls
This report discusses how deficit finance can help governments manage their economies and how large and persistent deficits can lead to severe economic problems.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
This report provides a background on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental economic organization in which the 30 member countries discuss, develop and analyze economic and social policy and shares expertise and exchanges with more than 70 developing and emerging economies.
Discriminatory Pricing and the Robinson- Patman Act: Brief Background and Analysis
This report discusses the Robinson-Patman (R-P) Act, which makes it unlawful, with certain exceptions, to knowingly sell goods "in commerce," for use or sale within the United States, at differing prices to contemporaneous buyers of those goods.
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Rural Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009
This report analyzes the agriculture, nutrition, and rural provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, P.L. 111-5). The ARRA boosts government spending on various infrastructure programs and government benefits programs, and offers individual and business tax benefits.
Federal Reserve: Oversight and Disclosure Issues
This report provides an overview of existing Fed oversight and disclosure practices. It also considers the potential impact of greater oversight and disclosure on the Fed's independence and its ability to achieve its macroeconomic and financial stability goals.
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report discusses congressional restrictions on federal debt. The statutory debt limit applies to almost all federal debt. The limit applies to federal debt held by the public (that is, debt held outside the federal government itself) and to federal debt held by the government's own accounts.
Emerging Markets: Is Slower Growth Temporary?
This report discusses the growing vulnerabilities Emerging market (EM) countries are facing due to declining global trade, depreciating currencies, sharply lower commodity prices, volatile equity markets, and deeper economic reforms.
Reporting Requirements in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
This report describes the various reporting requirements in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) and is organized according to the entities required to prepare and submit the reports. It also provides some concluding observations regarding those requirements.
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions
This report discusses two of the four major responsibilities of the Federal Reserve (Fed) as the nation's central bank: execution of monetary policy and ensuring financial stability through the lender of last resort function. This report provides an overview of these mandates and activities, recent developments, and the role of Congressional oversight.
China's Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States
This report provides background on China's economic rise; describes its current economic structure; identifies the challenges China faces to maintain economic growth; and discusses the challenges, opportunities, and implications of China's economic rise.
Federal Reserve: Emergency Lending
This report provides a review of the history of Section 13(3) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act; P.L. 111-203), including its use in 2008. It discusses the Federal Reserve's (Fed's) authority under Section 13(3) before and after the Dodd-Frank Act. It then discusses policy issues and legislation to amend Section 13(3).
Current Economic Conditions and Selected Forecasts
This report contains information about the economy including an overview of the current economic conditions, fiscal and monetary policies, forecasts for 2008-2009, and other topics related to economic growth.
Puerto Rico's Current Fiscal Challenges: In Brief
This report discusses the current state of Puerto Rico's public finances. Puerto Rico faces several fiscal hurdles in 2015. Concerns regarding the sustainability of Puerto Rico's public finances have intensified over the past year, despite several measures taken by the island's government to reduce spending, increase revenues, and restructure its obligations.
Is Global Growth Slowing?
This report discusses concerns about a slowdown in the global economy, particularly in China and other emerging markets. Some projections indicate that global economic growth in 2016 could be slightly weaker for emerging markets, primarily Latin America, and developed economies, except the United States and the United Kingdom.
The Financial Crisis: Impact on and Response by The European Union
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.