Congressional Research Service Reports - 57 Matching Results

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Accounting Problems at Fannie Mae

Description: On September 22, 2004, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Supervision (OFHEO) made public a report that was highly critical of accounting methods at Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored enterprise that plays a leading role in the secondary mortgage market. OFHEO charged Fannie Mae with not following generally accepted accounting practices in two critical areas: (1) amortization of discounts, premiums, and fees involved in the purchase of home mortgages and (2) accounting for financial derivatives contracts. According to OFHEO, these deviations from standard accounting rules allowed Fannie Mae to reduce volatility in reported earnings, present investors with an artificial picture of steadily growing profits, and, in at least one case, to meet financial performance targets that triggered the payment of bonuses to company executives. On November 15, 2004, Fannie Mae reported that it was unable to file a third-quarter earnings statement because its auditor, KPMG, refused to sign off on the accounting results. On December 15, 2004, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), after finding inadequacies in Fannie’s accounting policies and methodologies, directed Fannie Mae to restate its accounting results since 2001. Shortly thereafter, the company’s CEO and CFO resigned. It is estimated that earnings since 2001 will be revised downwards by as much as $12 billion, but the formal restatement of earnings is not expected before late 2006.
Date: November 15, 2005
Creator: Jickling, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China and the CNOOC Bid for Unocal: Issues for Congress

Description: The bid by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to acquire the U.S. energy company Unocal for $18.5 billion raised many issues with U.S. policymakers. This report provides an overview and analysis of the CNOOC bid, U.S. interests, implications for U.S. energy security, U.S. investment in the PRC’s (People’s Republic of China’s) oil industry, the process for reviewing the security and other implications of foreign investment in the United States, Congressional activity, and a listing of unresolved issues.
Date: September 15, 2005
Creator: Nanto, Dick K.; Jackson, James K.; Morrison, Wayne M. & Kumins, Lawrence C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Estate Taxes and Family Businesses: Economic Issues

Description: The 2001 tax revision began a phaseout of the estate tax, by increasing exemptions and lowering rates. The estate tax is scheduled to be repealed in 2010 and a provision to tax appreciation on inherited assets (in excess of a limit) will be substituted. The 2001 tax provisions sunset, however, so that absent a change making them permanent the estate tax will revert, in 2011, to prior, pre-2001, law.
Date: September 8, 2005
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G. & Maguire, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional or Federal Charters: Overview and Current Issues

Description: A congressional or federal charter is a federal statute that establishes a corporation. Congress has issued charters since 1791, although most charters were issued after the start of the 20th century. This report discusses the issues that recently, Congress has faced two issues involving its use of charters — confusion over who is responsible for the activities of chartered corporations and the challenges of managing them.
Date: August 25, 2005
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

"Bunker Busters": Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Issues, FY2005 and FY2006

Description: The Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) program has been the most controversial nuclear weapon program in Congress for the last several years. Supporters argue that it is needed to attack hard and deeply buried targets (such as leadership bunkers) in countries of concern, thereby deterring or defeating challenges from such nations; critics assert that RNEP would lower the threshold for use of nuclear weapons and prompt other nations to develop nuclear weapons to deter U.S. attack. This report presents a brief technical background on RNEP, then discusses the history of RNEP in Congress and the Administration for the FY2005 and FY2006 budget cycles.
Date: August 2, 2005
Creator: Medalia, Jonathan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical Facility Security

Description: Facilities handling large amounts of potentially hazardous chemical (i.e., chemical facilities) might be of interest to terrorists, either as targets for direct attacks meant to release chemicals into the community or as a source of chemicals for use elsewhere. For any individual facility, the risk is very small, but the risks may be increasing -- with potentially severe consequences for human health and the environment. Congress might choose to rely on existing efforts in the public and private sectors to improve chemical site security over time. Alternatively, Congress could expand existing environmental planning requirements for chemical facilities to require consideration of terrorism. Congress might also enact legislation to reduce risks, either by "hardening" defenses against terrorists or by requiring industries to consider use of safer chemicals, procedures, or processes.
Date: July 29, 2005
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Advanced Technology Program

Description: The Advanced Technology Program (ATP) was created by P.L. 100-418, the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, to encourage public-private cooperation in the development of pre-competitive technologies with broad application across industries. This activity has been targeted for elimination as a means to cut federal spending. Since FY2000, the original House-passed appropriation bills have not included funding for ATP. Many of the Administration’s budget requests have proposed termination of the program. However, ATP continues to be supported, although at levels below that achieved in FY1995 when the activity was expanded significantly. This report discusses funding (or lack thereof) appropriated for the ATP for FY2006.
Date: July 6, 2005
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

"Bunker Busters": Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Issues, FY2005 and FY2006

Description: The Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) program has been the most controversial nuclear weapon program in Congress for the last several years. Supporters argue that it is needed to attack hard and deeply buried targets (such as leadership bunkers) in countries of concern, thereby deterring or defeating challenges from such nations; critics assert that RNEP would lower the threshold for use of nuclear weapons and prompt other nations to develop nuclear weapons to deter U.S. attack. This report presents a brief technical background on RNEP, then discusses the history of RNEP in Congress and the Administration for the FY2005 and FY2006 budget cycles.
Date: July 6, 2005
Creator: Medalia, Jonathan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department