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The Abandoned Mine Land Fund: Grants Distribution and Issues

Description: The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA, P.L. 95-87), enacted in 1977, established reclamation standards for all coal surface mining operations, and for the surface effects of underground mining. It also established the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program to promote the reclamation of sites mined and abandoned prior to the enactment of SMCRA. To finance reclamation of abandoned mine sites, the legislation established fees on coal production. These collections are divided into federal and state shares; subject to annual appropriation, AML funds are distributed annually to states with approved reclamation programs. This report describes the distribution of these funds and the various issues that arise from said distribution.
Date: March 26, 1997
Creator: Bamberger, Robert L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Africa: Trade and Development Initiatives by the Clinton Administration and Congress

Description: In February 1997, the Clinton Administration submitted the second of five annual reports on the Administration's Comprehensive Trade and Development Policy for Africa as required by section 134 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (House Document 103-3415, Vol. 1.). On April 24, 1997, members of the African Trade and Investment Caucus introduced a bill, H.R. 1432, on U.S.-Africa trade and investment issues. In his State of the Union address in January 1998, President Clinton called on Congress to pass the trade legislation.
Date: March 2, 1998
Creator: Dagne, Theodore S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Are High Interest Rates a Threat to Sustained Economic Recovery?

Description: A major question that arises in Congress during its considerations of what policies promote and what inhibit the restoration of a healthy economy is the influence that interest rates exert. In particular, are high interest rates a threat to sustained economic recovery?
Date: June 15, 1998
Creator: Elwell, Craig K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Asian Financial Crisis: An Analysis of U.S. Foreign Policy Interests and Options

Description: The principal focus of this report is on the foreign policy ramifications of the Asian financial crisis and U.S. options for addressing them. This report tracks and analyzes the efforts of the most seriously affected Asian countries to deal with their economic and financial problems, and their interaction with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United States, and other major sources of financial support and policy advice. It also addresses the implications of the crisis for such U.S. interests as regional stability and the prevention of conflict, trade liberalization, and U.S. regional and global leadership, and discusses the principal factors that could influence the duration and severity of the crisis. A final section considers options for Congress in the context of various criticisms of the IMF’s stabilization programs and the operations of the Fund itself.
Date: April 23, 1998
Creator: Cronin, Richard P
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Banking Acquisition and Merger Procedures

Description: This report discusses in general terms the basic process and time line for banking industry acquisitions and mergers and briefly discusses the May 4, 1998 application by Travelers Group to merge with Citicorp. Among the issues discussed are: potential impact on consumers; whether the new entities would be too big to fail; and, whether competitive equity calls for financial modernization legislation with functional regulation of the securities, banking, and insurance sectors of companies offering customers a full range of financial products and services. Legislative developments on financial modernization issues in the 105th Congress are reported in CRS Issue Brief 97034, which is available on the Legislative Information System.
Date: May 19, 1998
Creator: Murphy, M. Maureen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Banking and Finance: Legislative Initiatives in the 105th Congress, Second Session

Description: This report reviews major banking and finance issues that are receiving congressional attention in the 2nd session of the 105th Congress. It will be updated periodically to reflect legislative developments. Relevant CRS products are referenced.
Date: August 10, 1998
Creator: Shorter, Gary & Wells, F. J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Bills in the 105th Congress: Comparison of H.R. 2183 (Hutchison -Allen), H.R. 3526 (Shays-Meehan), and Current Law

Description: As pledged by Speaker Gingrich, the House renewed consideration of campaign finance reform in May 1998. The principal bill is H.R. 2183, known as the freshman bipartisan bill, introduced July 17, 1997, by Messrs. Hutchinson and Allen. Selected floor amendments and substitutes will be in order. The legislation that has generated the most publicity in the 105th Congress has been the McCain-Feingold bill (S. 25), offered on March 19, 1998, as H.R. 3526 by Messrs. Shays and Meehan;1 this has also been offered as substitute amendment no. 13 to H.R. 2183 in the current debate. Table 1 highlights key differences between the two bills, and Table 2 summarizes and compares H.R. 2183, H.R. 3526, and current law.
Date: July 22, 1998
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Debate in the House: Substitute Amendments to H.R. 2183 (105th Congress)

Description: This report provides a summary and comparison of the 11 substitute amendments to H.R. 2183, a campaign finance reform bill offered by Representatives Hutchinson and Allen, that, under H. Res. 442, will be in order for consideration by the House. The House began consideration of the bill and these substitute amendments (as well as additional perfecting amendments) on May 21, 1998. This report is intended for use by House Members and staff in preparation for and during House debate and assumes basic familiarity with the underlying issues. It may be updated to reflect further legislative actions.
Date: June 10, 1998
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Reform: A Legal Analysis of Issue and Express Advocacy

Description: Issue advocacy communications have become increasingly popular over the federal election cycles. Often these advertisements could be interpreted to favor or disfavor certain candidates, while also serving to inform the public about a policy issue. However, unlike communications that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, the Supreme Court has ruled that issue ads are constitutionally protected First Amendment speech and cannot be regulated.
Date: May 15, 1998
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Reform Bills in the 105th Congress: Comparison of H.R. 3581 (Thomas), H.R. 3526 (Shays-Meehan), and Current Law

Description: On March 30, 1998, the House considered four campaign reform bills under a suspension of rules, focusing on the comprehensive H.R. 3581, offered that day for the Republican leadership by Mr. Thomas; it failed passage on a 74-337 vote. (The bill was similar to H.R. 3485, also by Mr. Thomas, reported by the House Oversight Committee March 18.1) The bill generating the most publicity in the 105th Congress has been S. 25 (McCain-Feingold),2 introduced on March 19 as H.R. 3526 by Messrs. Shays and Meehan. This report summarizes and compares H.R. 3581, H.R. 3526, and current law.
Date: April 13, 1998
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China and the Multilateral Development Banks

Description: Congress is currently considering appropriations for U.S. contributions to the World Bank and other multilateral development banks (MDBs) as well as separate legislation that would require U.S. representatives to these institutions to oppose all concessional loans to China. This report provides a brief analysis of China’s relationship with the MDBs to highlight some issues and help Members of Congress, congressional staff, and observers better understand the context for the current debates in Congress and the multilateral agencies.
Date: October 31, 1997
Creator: Sanford, Jonathan E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China and the Multilateral Development Banks

Description: Congress is currently considering appropriations for U.S. contributions to the World Bank and other multilateral development banks (MDBs) as well as separate legislation that would require U.S. representatives to these institutions to oppose all concessional loans to China. This report provides a brief analysis of China’s relationship with the MDBs to highlight some issues and help Members of Congress, congressional staff, and observers better understand the context for the current debates in Congress and the multilateral agencies.
Date: October 31, 1997
Creator: Sanford, Jonathan E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Consumer Bankruptcy Reform: Proposals Before the 105th Congress

Description: This report examines current consumer bankruptcy practice and the proposals set forth in the reform bills. Also considered are the legislative history of the current consumer bankruptcy scheme, and topics likely to be debated as Congress proceeds to consider consumer bankruptcy reform.
Date: March 20, 1998
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Consumer Proposals in the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1998: H.R. 3150, 105th Congress, 2d Session (1998)

Description: This report considers the legislative history of the current consumer bankruptcy scheme. It examines current consumer bankruptcy practice and surveys the consumer proposals set forth in Title I of H.R. 3150, with an emphasis on the likely impact of the bill on family support obligations.
Date: June 1, 1998
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cost-Benefit Analysis: Issues in Its Use in Regulation

Description: This report sketches issues underlying broader use of cost-benefit analysis. It focuses on cost-benefit as one of several related frameworks for assessing regulatory actions or policies. Cost-benefit is the broadest of these frameworks, which also include impact assessment, risk assessment, and cost-effectiveness. Which analytical framework is appropriate depends on the regulatory context.
Date: June 28, 1995
Creator: Moore, John L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Credit Union Common Bond Ruling: NCUA v. First National Bank and Trust Co._U.S._ (No. 96-843)

Description: On February 25, 1998, the Supreme Court ruled that federal credit unions may not consist of more than one occupational group having a single common bond. On April 1, the House passed H.R. 1151 (H.Rept. 105-472), which grandfathers existing credit unions and sets standards for future multi-group credit unions.
Date: August 13, 1998
Creator: Murphy, M. Maureen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Current Social Security Issues

Description: Social Security is the focus of intense public interest. Projected long-range funding problems, public skepticism about its future, and a growing perception that Social Security will not be as good a value for future retirees as it is today are fueling calls for reform. This report discusses a number of the major Social Security issues currently drawing congressional attention.
Date: May 21, 1998
Creator: Koitz, David & Kollmann, Geoffrey
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Daiwa Bank Problems: Background and Policy Issues

Description: On November 2, 1995, U.S. banking authorities ordered the Daiwa Bank to close its banking operations in the United States, and a 24-count criminal indictment was issued against it. These actions stem from the bank's admission that Toshihide Iguchi, a rogue trader at its New York branch office, had incurred $1.1 billion in losses over eleven years from trading U.S. Treasury securities and that Daiwa managers had "directed that those losses be concealed" from U.S. regulators.
Date: November 30, 1995
Creator: Nanto, Dick K.; Jackson, William D. & Wells, F. Jean
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Effects of Flat Taxes and Other Proposals on Housing: An Overview

Description: Studies have estimated that some of these revisions would cause a decline in demand for houses and significant reduction in house prices--perhaps in excess of 15 percent. These studies, however, presumed a fixed supply of housing; even a limited supply response would greatly decrease predicted asset price effects. Supply response is likely to be large in the long run and not insignificant in the short run. Effects on housing demand might also be mitigated by increases in savings rates and lower interest rates. Thus, effects of the flat tax on housing prices are likely to be limited in the short run and very small in the long run. Rental housing demand, on the other hand, would be encouraged with a shift to a consumption tax base.
Date: June 17, 1996
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Protection: How Much it Costs and Who Pays

Description: A recurring issue in environmental policy is the cost of pollution control imposed on individuals, businesses, and government. To inform policymakers about these costs, a number of surveys and analyses have been conducted over the years. consistent, basic sources have been an annual survey of costs to manufacturers, conducted by the Bureau of Census(BOC), and an annual analysis of total costs, prepared by the Bureau of Economic Analysis(BEA). Overall, the BEA analysis showed the nation spent $122 billion for pollution abatement and control in 1994, or about 1.76% of Gross Domestic Product. Personal consumption expenditures for pollution control were $22 billion, government 435 billion, and business $65 billion. These 1994 data represent the end of the annual series; the BOC survey and BEA analysis have been discontinued
Date: April 16, 1997
Creator: Blodgett, John E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Exchange-Rate System: Return to Bretton Woods?

Description: This report focuses on the exchange-rate system set up at Bretton Woods, its breakdown in the 1970s, the current system of managed floating and, finally, proposals to return part or all the way to a more fixed-rate system.
Date: January 12, 1995
Creator: Reifman, Alfred
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department