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Unfunded Mandates Reform Act: History, Impact, and Issues

Description: This report examines debates over what constitutes an unfunded federal mandate and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act's (UMRA) implementation. It focuses on UMRA's requirement that CBO issue written cost estimate statements for federal mandates in legislation, its procedures for raising points of order in the House and Senate concerning unfunded federal mandates in legislation, and its requirement that federal agencies prepare written cost estimate statements for federal mandates in rules. It also assesses UMRA's impact on federal mandates and arguments concerning UMRA's future, focusing on UMRA's definitions, exclusions, and exceptions that currently exempt many federal actions with potentially significant financial impacts on nonfederal entities. An examination of the rise of unfunded federal mandates as a national issue and a summary of UMRA's legislative history are provided in Appendix A. Citations to UMRA points of order raised in the House and Senate are provided in Appendix B.
Date: August 7, 2017
Creator: Dilger, Robert Jay
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FATCA Reporting on U.S. Accounts: Recent Legal Developments

Description: This report discusses the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA) intended to curb tax evasion through the use of offshore accounts and its requirement to for foreign banks to report information on their U.S. citizen account holders to the IRS. It starts with an overview of the foreign financial instituition (FFI) reporting requirements and examines the role of the intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) in implementing them. The report then discusses the confidentiality protections provided to the information reported by FFIs and litigation in which plaintiffs have raised concerns about privacy and the use of IGAs. It ends with a summary of FATCA legislation introduced in the 114th Congress.
Date: September 7, 2016
Creator: Lunder, Erika K. & Pettit, Carol A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Background and Summary

Description: This report reviews issues related to financial regulation and provides brief descriptions of major provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, along with links to CRS products going in to greater depth on specific issues. It does not attempt to track the legislative debate in the 115th Congress.
Date: April 21, 2017
Creator: Webel, Baird
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Financial CHOICE Act in the 115th Congress: Selected Policy Issues

Description: This report highlights major proposals included in the Financial CHOICE Act (FCA) but is not a comprehensive summary. In general, the bill proposes changes that can be divided into two categories: (1) changes to financial policies and regulations and (2) changes to the regulatory structure and rulemaking process. Major policy-related changes proposed by the FCA include the following: Leverage Ratio, Regulatory Relief, To Big To Fail, Funding, Rulemaking, Judicial Review, Enforcement, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and the Federal Reserve.
Date: September 8, 2017
Creator: Labonte, Marc; Carpenter, David H.; Davis, Christopher M.; Perkins, David W.; Shorter, Gary & Webel, Baird
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Medicare Primer

Description: This report provides a general overview of the Medicare program including descriptions of the program's history, eligibility criteria, covered services, provider payment systems, and program administration and financing. A list of commonly used acronyms, as well as information on beneficiary cost sharing, may be found in the appendixes.
Date: August 2, 2017
Creator: Davis, Patricia A.; Binder, Cliff; Hahn, Jim; Kirchhoff, Suzanne M.; Morgan, Paulette C. & Villagrana, Marco A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Loan Limits for Government-Backed Mortgages

Description: This report contains brief program descriptions for each of the government-backed housing loan programs and discusses the maximum guarantee amounts for each. The government or quasi-government entities that insure or guarantee mortgages and are discussed in this report are the following: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Housing Service (RHS).
Date: April 27, 2017
Creator: Weiss. N. Eric; Jones, Katie; Perl, Libby & Cowan, Tadlock
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

For First Time, FinCEN Imposes Penalty on Foreign-Based Virtual Currency Exchange for Violations of Anti-Money Laundering Laws

Description: This report discusses the first case of enforcement by the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) against a foreign-based virtual currency exchange. The action was taken agains BTC-e for violations of anti-money laundering regulations in the U.S. and potential money laundering activities.
Date: August 17, 2017
Creator: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

S. 488, H.R. 1343, and Section 406 of H.R. 10: Encouraging Employee Ownership

Description: This report provides background and a policy discussion of similar legislation, S. 488, H.R. 1343 (which passed the House on April 4, 2017), and Section 406 in H.R. 10, the Financial CHOICE Act, which passed the House on June 8, 2017. According to H.R. 1343's sponsor, Representative Randy Hultgren, the legislation is aimed at "eas[ing] the ability of companies to offer ownership to their ... employees."
Date: August 22, 2017
Creator: Shorter, Gary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Social Security: The Trust Funds

Description: This report covers how the Social Security program is financed and how the Social Security trust funds work. It will be updated annually to reflect current projections of the financial status of the Social Security trust funds.
Date: September 12, 2017
Creator: Morton, William R. & Liou, Wayne
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Commodity Futures Trading Commission: Proposed Reauthorization in the 115th Congress

Description: This report examines selected major H.R. 238 provisions that would authorize appropriations for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) of $250 million for each of FY2017 through FY2021, expand the current 5 cost-benefit analysis provisions in the CEA to 12 considerations and add a requirement that the CFTC conduct quantitative as well as qualitative assessments, potentially broaden the bona fide hedging definition to allow anticipated, as well as current, risks to be hedged, which might increase the number of swaps that qualify as hedges, and mandate that, starting 18 months from enactment, the regulatory requirements of the eight largest foreign swaps markets be considered comparable to those of the United States--unless the CFTC issued a rule finding that any of those foreign jurisdictions' requirements were not comparable to U.S. requirements.
Date: September 29, 2017
Creator: Miller, Rena S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Social Security: What Would Happen if the Trust Funds Ran Out?

Description: This report explains what the Social Security trust funds are and how they work. It describes the historical operations of the trust funds and the Social Security trustees' projections of future operations. It explains what could happen if Congress allowed the trust funds to run out. It also analyzes two scenarios that assume Congress waits until the moment of insolvency to act, showing the magnitude of benefit cuts or tax increases needed and how such changes would affect beneficiaries.
Date: September 12, 2017
Creator: Morton, William R. & Liou, Wayne
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Medicare Financial Status: In Brief

Description: This report discusses the funding sources of Medicare and its financial stability.
Date: August 9, 2017
Creator: Davis, Patricia A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Normalization of the Federal Reserve's Balance Sheet

Description: This report answers questions about the Federal Reserve's (Fed's) September 20 announcement that it would begin to normalize its balance sheet in October by gradually reducing its asset holdings.
Date: September 20, 2017
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Corporate Expatriation, Inversions, and Mergers: Tax Issues

Description: This report discusses corporate inversions and mergers; these actions change the parent company to one based in another country with a low tax rate to avoid paying U.S. corporate taxes. It discusses past attempts and legislation outlawing varying forms of inversion, the most recent regulations issued by the Treasury Department to decrease inversions, and policy options that would remove the incentive for companies to invert.
Date: August 17, 2017
Creator: Marples, Donald J. & Gravelle, Jane G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)

Description: This report discusses the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) comprising nine members, two ex officio members, and other members as appointed by the President representing major departments and agencies within the federal executive branch. While the group generally has operated in relative obscurity, the proposed acquisition of commercial operations at six U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World in 2006 placed the group's operations under intense scrutiny by Members of Congress and the public.
Date: August 12, 2016
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Coordinated Party Expenditures in Federal Elections: An Overview

Description: This report examines campaign finance law in the context of political party committee expenditures. It discusses relevant Supreme Court precedent and recent legislative activity.
Date: August 15, 2016
Creator: Garrett, R. S. & Whitaker, L. P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Who Regulates Whom? An Overview of the U.S. Financial Regulatory Framework

Description: This report attempts to set out the basic frameworks and principles underlying U.S. financial regulation and to give some historical context for the development of that system. The first section briefly discusses the various modes of financial regulation and the next section identifies the major federal regulators and the types of institutions they supervise (see Table 1). It then provides a brief overview of each federal financial regulatory agency. Finally, the report discusses other entities that play a role in financial regulation--interagency bodies, state regulators, and international standards.
Date: August 17, 2017
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve: Current Policy and Conditions

Description: This report provides an overview of monetary policy and recent developments. It discusses issues for Congress, including transparency and proposals to change the Federal Reserve's (Fed's) mandate, and ends with a brief overview of the Fed's regulatory responsibilities.
Date: June 21, 2017
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)

Description: This report discusses the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) comprising nine members, two ex officio members, and other members as appointed by the President representing major departments and agencies within the federal executive branch. While the group generally has operated in relative obscurity, the proposed acquisition of commercial operations at six U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World in 2006 placed the group's operations under intense scrutiny by Members of Congress and the public.
Date: June 13, 2017
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Export-Import Bank: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report addresses frequently-asked questions about the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, grouped in the following categories: congressional interest and the Ex-Im Bank reauthorization debate; market context; international context; organizational structure and management; programs; statutory requirements and policies; risk management; budget and appropriations; implications of a sunset in authority; and historical and current approaches to reauthorization.
Date: April 13, 2016
Creator: Akhtar, Shayerah Ilias; Carpenter, David H.; Driessen, Grant A. & Taylor, Julia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Puerto Rico's Current Fiscal Challenges

Description: This report discusses multiple challenges the government of Puerto Rico faces in the fall of 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. The Puerto Rican government outlined a medium-term strategy to address those challenges in a fiscal plan put forth in mid-September 2015.
Date: June 3, 2016
Creator: Austin, D. A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department