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527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change

Description: Virtually all political organizations are "section 527" political organizations, which means that they are tax-exempt. 527 organizations are created to influence the election or defeat of public officials. This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees prior to the enactment of P.L. 106-230 in an attempt to highlight the differences between them, and discusses some of the proposals in the 106th Congress to require additional reporting by organizations engaging in political activities. This report does not address the taxation of other tax-exempt organizations making political expenditures taxable under IRC § 527.
Date: September 7, 2000
Creator: Morris, Marie B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change

Description: This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees in an attempt to highlight the differences between them, and discusses some of the proposals in the 106th Congress to require additional reporting by organizations engaging in political activities. This report does not address the taxation of other tax-exempt organizations making political expenditures taxable under IRC § 527. The report will be updated as new proposals are reported.
Date: June 26, 2000
Creator: Morris, Marie B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change

Description: This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees prior to the enactment of P.L. 106-230 in an attempt to highlight the differences between them, and discusses some of the proposals in the 106th Congress to require additional reporting by organizations engaging in political activities. This report does not address the taxation of other tax-exempt organizations making political expenditures taxable under IRC § 527. For developments after the enactment of P.L. 106-230, please see CRS Report RS20650, 527 Organizations: Reporting Requirements Imposed on Political Organizations after the Enactment of P.L. 106-230.
Date: September 7, 2000
Creator: Morris, Marie B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change

Description: Virtually all political organizations are "section 527" political organizations, which means that they are tax-exempt. 527 organizations are created to influence the election or defeat of public officials. This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees prior to the enactment of P.L. 106-230 in an attempt to highlight the differences between them, and discusses some of the proposals in the 106th Congress to require additional reporting by organizations engaging in political activities. This report does not address the taxation of other tax-exempt organizations making political expenditures taxable under IRC § 527.
Date: September 7, 2000
Creator: Morris, Marie B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture and the 106th Congress: A Summary of Major Issues

Description: Most congressional interest in agriculture in the 106th Congress was focused on persistent low prices for major commodities and proposals to redress declining farm income. Six emergency farm aid bills were approved, increasing agricultural spending by nearly $27 billion for fiscal years 1999-2001. These bills provided disaster relief along with short term “market loss payments”to farmers to shore up farm income. Some longer term changes also were enacted as part of emergency farm legislation, which this report discusses in brief.
Date: December 15, 2000
Creator: Jones, Jean Yavis
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Alternative Transportation Fuels and Vehicles: Energy, Environment, and Development Issues

Description: This report reviews several issues relating to alternative fuels and vehicles, mainly to combat dependence on petroleum imports and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The report discusses the advantages and drawbacks of various alternative fuels and vehicles, as well as related legislation.
Date: December 5, 2000
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

American Inventors Protection Act of 1999

Description: After several years of consideration, on Friday, November 19, 1999, Congress gave final approval to a bill which makes major changes to the patent laws. On this day the Senate passed the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 as part of the Intellectual Property and Communications Omnibus Reform Act of 1999, attached by reference to the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2000. This report summarizes major provisions of the patent reform bill.
Date: February 28, 2000
Creator: Seitzinger, Michael V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Asbestos Compensation Act of 2000

Description: This report summarizes H.R. 1283, 106th Congress, the Asbestos Compensation Act of 2000, as ordered to be reported with amendments by the House Committee on the Judiciary on March 16, 2000. The bill would create an administrative procedure for asbestos liability claims.
Date: April 13, 2000
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Bills in the 106th Congress: Comparison of Shays-Meehan, as passed, with McCain-Feingold, as considered

Description: On September 14, 1999, the House passed the Shays-Meehan bill--H.R. 417, the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 1999, as amended, by a vote of 252-177. Senate sponsors of the companion measure, S. 26 (McCain-Feingold), revised their proposal and, on September 16, introduced S. 1593, containing just four sections of H.R. 417 and S. 26. The Senate debated S. 1593 from October 13-20, culminating in unsuccessful cloture votes October 19 on two amendments: Daschle amendment 2298, substituting text nearly identical to the House-passed H.R. 417; and Reid amendment 2229 (a perfecting amendment to no. 2298), substituting text of S. 1593 as offered, plus McCain amendment 2294 (adopted October 14), which added certain disclosure requirements. This report compares provisions of the House-passed bill with the one considered by the Senate in October 1999. No further updates are planned.
Date: January 12, 2000
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Description: "Soft money" has become one of the major issues in the area of campaign financing in federal elections. The controversy surrounding this issue is due to the perception that soft money may be the largest loophole in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Soft money is broadly defined as funds that are raised and spent according to applicable state laws; that would be impermissible, under the FECA, to spend directly in federal elections and that may have an indirect influence on federal elections. This Issue Brief discusses three major types of soft money: political party soft money, corporate and labor union soft money, and soft money used for issue advocacy communications.
Date: August 10, 2000
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Description: As in the 105th Congress, many of the 106th Congress bills focus on political party soft money--subjecting contributions, expenditures, or transfers of national political parties to the limitations, prohibitions and reporting requirements of the FECA. Other bills would restrict corporate and labor union soft money. Another major reform proposal would subject certain types of advocacy communications to FECA regulation, either fully or just insofar as disclosure requirements.
Date: December 11, 2000
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Description: Soft money is a major issue in the campaign finance reform debate because these generally unregulated funds are perceived as resulting from a loophole in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Generally, soft money is funds that are raised and spent according to applicable state laws, which FECA prohibits from being spent directly on federal elections, but that may have an indirect influence on federal elections. This Issue Brief discusses three major types of soft money: political party soft money, corporate and labor union soft money, and soft money used for issue advocacy communications.
Date: February 4, 2000
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Debate in the 106th Congress: Comparison of Measures Under House Consideration

Description: On September 14, the House passed H.R. 417 on a vote of 252-177, as amended by three perfecting amendments: Bereuter/Wicker #6; Faleomavaega #1; and Sweeney #21. This report features two tables. Table 1 summarizes and compares the ten perfecting amendments, current law, and the Shays-Meehan proposal. Table 2 summarizes and compares current law, the Shays-Meehan bill, and the three substitute amendments.
Date: January 12, 2000
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Regulation Under the First Amendment:

Description: This Report first discusses the critical holdings enunciated by the Supreme Court in Buckley, including those: upholding reasonable contribution limits, striking down expenditure limits, upholding disclosure reporting requirements, and upholding the system of voluntary presidential election expenditure limitations linked with public financing. It then examines the Court’s extension of Buckley in fourteen subsequent cases, evaluating them in three regulatory contexts: contribution limits (California Medical Association v. FEC; Citizens Against Rent Control v. Berkeley; Nixon v. Shrink Missouri Government PAC), expenditure limits (First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti; FEC v. Massachusetts Citizens for Life; Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce; FEC v. National Right to Work; Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee v. FEC; FEC v. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; FEC v. National Conservative Political Action Committee), and disclosure requirements (Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation; Brown v. Socialist Workers ‘74 Campaign Committee; FEC v. Akins; McIntrye v. Ohio Elections Commission).
Date: September 8, 2000
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige & Jennings, Christopher Alan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Financing: Highlights and Chronology of Current Federal Law

Description: Current law governing financial activity of campaigns for federal office is based on two principal statutes: the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971, as amended in 1974, 1976, and 1979, and the Revenue Act of 1971. These laws were enacted to remedy widely perceived shortcomings of existing law, the Corrupt Practices Act of 1925, and in response to reports of campaign finance abuses over the years, culminating in the 1972-1974 Watergate scandal. This report provides a summary of major provisions of federal law and a chronology of key legislative and judicial actions.
Date: March 8, 2000
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Caribbean Basin Interim Trade Program: CBI/NAFTA Parity

Description: The entry into force, on January 1, 1994, of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has eliminated the advantage that the beneficiaries of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) and related provisions of the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) had enjoyed in trade with the United States relative to Mexico, and gave Mexico an increasingly significant competitive edge over the CBERA countries. The scheduled further implementation of the NAFTA would have resulted in a substantial advantage to Mexico over the CBERA countries and vitiate in part the purpose of the CBERA.
Date: November 21, 2000
Creator: Pregelj, Vladimir N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China's Accession to the World Trade Organization: Legal Issues

Description: The People's Republic of China (PRC) applied to resume membership in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1986 and continues to negotiate its accession to GATT's successor, the World Trade Organization (WTO). A country may join the WTO on terms agreed by the applicant and WTO Members if two-thirds of Members approve the country's accession agreement. A Member may "opt out" of WTO relations with another country by invoking Article XIII of the WTO Agreement, its "non-application" clause. The United States and the PRC agreed to bilateral terms for the PRC's accession in November 1999.
Date: June 2, 2000
Creator: Grimmett, Jeanne J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Civil Service Retirement Bills in the 106th Congress

Description: Among the civil service retirement issues addressed in bills introduced thus far in the 106th Congress are the correction of retirement coverage errors for federal employees assigned to the wrong retirement system; immediate eligibility for federal employees to participate in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP); improved portability of pension benefits; and repeal of the temporary increase in employee retirement contributions that was mandated by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Other bills would expand TSP eligibility to include members of the armed services; improve pension coverage for temporary and part-time federal employees; and designate several categories of federal employees as law enforcement officers for purposes of determining their retirement benefits.
Date: June 28, 2000
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Air Act Issues in the 106th Congress

Description: The Clean Air Act and its 1990 amendments appear to have contributed to a marked improvement in air quality nationwide. Of nearly 100 metropolitan areas not meeting air quality standards for ozone in 1990, more than two-thirds now do so. Even greater progress has been achieved with carbon monoxide: 36 of 42 areas not in attainment in 1990 now meet the standard. Nevertheless, EPA remains concerned about air pollution. In 1997, the Agency promulgated major revisions to its air quality standards for ozone and particulates, an action that would require most states and urban areas to establish additional controls on a wide range of pollution sources. The revised standards were challenged by numerous parties and the courts have remanded the standards to EPA. Implementation is currently in limbo, pending resolution of appeals by the Supreme Court.
Date: November 14, 2000
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Air Standards: The Supreme Court Agrees to Review

Description: In May, 2000, the Supreme Court agreed to review this decision, raising the prospect of a major pronouncement on the non-delegation doctrine, the enforceability of the revised ozone standard, and the role of compliance costs in setting nationwide air quality standards.
Date: December 5, 2000
Creator: Meltz, Robert & McCarthy, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Coastal Zone Management Reauthorization: An Overview

Description: Congress is considering legislation that would reauthorize the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. This overview summarizes the programs created by this act and its amendments, and outlines issues associated with reauthorization. These issues include reauthorizing funding, altering grant programs, changing the National Estuarine Research Reserve system, funding to implement nonpoint water pollution requirements, protecting private property rights, expanding program evaluation efforts, and examining effects of personal water craft on the coastal requirement. A reauthorization bill has been reported by the House Resources Committee (H.R. 2669, H. Rept. 106-485), and floor action is anticipated soon. In the Senate, no action has been taken.
Date: March 14, 2000
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conservation Reserve Payments and Self-Employment Taxes

Description: Farmers enrolling their land in the Department of Agriculture's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) receive payments for refraining from farming their property and for engaging in certain conservation practices mandated by the Department of Agriculture. These payments are described in the contract with the Department of Agriculture as "rental payments." Farmers would like to treat the income as "rental income" because it would not be subject to self-employment taxes, but the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) insists that under certain conditions, the payments are income from the trade or business of farming and thus subject to self-employment taxes.
Date: May 1, 2000
Creator: Morris, Marie B
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Constitutional Constraints on Congress' Ability to Protect the Environment

Description: Federal protection of the environment must hew to the same constitutional strictures as any other federal actions. In the past decade, however, the Supreme Court has invigorated several of these strictures in ways that present new challenges to congressional drafters of environmental statutes. This report reviews six of these newly emergent constitutional areas, with special attention to their significance for current and future environmental legislation.
Date: September 8, 2000
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department