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FY2004 Appropriations for First Responder Preparedness: Fact Sheet

Description: This report provides an overview of FY2004 appropriations for state and local terrorism preparedness. Preparedness may be defined as enhancing a state or local government’s capability to respond effectively to a terrorist attack, particularly one involving a weapon of mass destruction (WMD).
Date: July 24, 2006
Creator: Reese, Shawn
Item Type: Report

Why Has the Economy Become Less Volatile?

Description: 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.
Date: April 11, 2007
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Item Type: Report

Points of Order, Rulings, and Appeals in the Senate

Description: The Senate’s presiding officer typically does not have responsibility for pro-actively ensuring that matters under consideration comply with the rules. Instead, Senators may enforce the Senate’s legislative rules and precedents by making points of order whenever they believe that one of those rules or precedents is, or is about to be, violated. This report briefly discusses the process by which a point of order is raised and ruled upon.
Date: September 29, 2006
Creator: Heitshusen, Valerie
Item Type: Report

The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act

Description: President George W. Bush signed the Postal Enhancement and Accountability Act (P.L. 109-435) on December 20, 2006. This report briefly describes Congress’s pursuit of postal reform, summarizes the major provisions of the new postal reform law, and identifies possible P.L. 109-435 oversight issues for Congress.
Date: January 22, 2007
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Item Type: Report

Pay-As-You-Go Procedures for Budget Enforcement

Description: “Pay-as-you-go” (PAYGO) procedures play an important role in enforcing budget policies with respect to the consideration of revenue and direct spending legislation. Generally, the purpose of PAYGO procedures is to discourage or prevent the enactment of legislation that would cause, or increase, a deficit or reduce a surplus.
Date: December 31, 2007
Creator: Keith, Robert
Item Type: Report

Presidential Transitions: Background and Federal Support

Description: This report discusses the Presidential Transition Act, which authorizes funding for the General Services Administration (GSA) to provide suitable office space, staff compensation and other services associated with the transition process.
Date: February 11, 2008
Creator: Smith, Stephanie
Item Type: Report

Membership of the 108th Congress: A Profile

Description: This report presents a profile of the membership of the 108th Congress. Included is information on numbers of Members, party affiliation, average age and length of service, occupations, religious affiliation, military service, female and minority Members, and foreign-born Members.
Date: July 28, 2004
Creator: Amer, Mildred L.
Item Type: Report

The Economic Effects of Spending on Homeland Security

Description: 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.
Date: November 27, 2001
Creator: Cashell, Brian W.
Item Type: Report

Taxes and Offshore Outsourcing

Description: The impact of taxes on international trade and foreign investment has had a place in tax policy debates for decades, although its prominence has waxed and waned. The debate has tended to grow more heated during times of domestic economic weakness and high unemployment ; questions arise during such times over whether taxes contribute to such weakness by discouraging exports (or encouraging imports) or by encouraging U.S. firms to move abroad. In recent months, the debate over international taxation again became prominent as a part of the wider debate over “outsourcing.” With taxes, the debate asks how the current tax system likely affects outsourcing, and whether alternative tax policies designed to limit the phenomenon might be desirable. This report applies economic analysis to both questions.
Date: December 15, 2004
Creator: Brumbaugh, David L.
Item Type: Report

Tax Deductions for Catastrophic Risk Insurance Reserves: Explanation and Economic Analysis

Description: According to the Insurance Services Office, Inc., (ISO), the property/casualty (p/c) insurance industry paid $62.2 billion in catastrophe losses from 24 disasters and more than 4.4 million claims in 2005, making 2005 the most costly year for catastrophe losses. This report begins by providing some background on the market for catastrophe insurance. It continues by describing the proposal for tax-deductible reserve accounts as set forth in H.R. 164/S. 926 of the 110th Congress, and concludes by providing an economic analysis of the plan.
Date: June 5, 2008
Creator: King, Rawle O.
Item Type: Report

Tax Gap: Administration Proposal to Require Information Reporting on Merchant Payment Card Reimbursements

Description: The high current and forecast budget deficits as well as pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) procedures have resulted in congressional and executive branch interest in raising additional revenue through proposals for improved tax compliance. The Bush Administration’s FY2009 budget includes a proposal (the proposal) to require each payment card processor to inform the IRS on the net dollar amount paid to reimburse each merchant (i.e., seller) for his payment card receipts in a calendar year. Payment cards consist of both credit cards and debit cards. This report examines the proposal by describing current law, presenting the proposal contained in the FY2009 budget, describing the structure of the payment card industry, analyzing the justifications for the proposal, explaining the criticisms of the proposal, and offering concluding observations.
Date: April 28, 2008
Creator: Bickley, James M.
Item Type: Report

Entitlements and Appropriated Entitlements in the Federal Budget Process

Description: Entitlements are programs that require payments to persons, state or local governments, or other entities if specific eligibility criteria established in the authorizing law are met. Entitlement payments are legal obligations of the federal government, and eligible beneficiaries may have legal recourse if full payment under the law is not provided. This report provides a brief explanation of spending for entitlements, including so-called appropriated entitlements, and discusses the congressional procedural constraints on legislation affecting such entitlement spending.
Date: September 2, 2008
Creator: Heniff, Bill. Jr.
Item Type: Report

Tax Gap: Proposals in the 110th Congress to Require Brokers to Report Basis on Publicly Traded Securities

Description: Recent and projected large deficits and the need for revenue to offset spending or tax reduction proposals generated congressional and executive branch interest in different proposals to reduce the tax gap; and consequently, raise additional revenue. Proposals in the 110th Congress to require brokers to report adjusted basis on publicly traded securities sold by individuals are examined in this report.
Date: October 8, 2008
Creator: Bickley, James M.
Item Type: Report

Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

Description: Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th Congress and those that are pending in the 108th Congress. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital (and traditional) copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders.
Date: August 2, 2004
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Item Type: Report

Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

Description: Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th Congress and those that are pending in the 108th Congress. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders.
Date: December 18, 2003
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Item Type: Report

The Copyright Doctrine of Fair Use and the Internet: Caselaw

Description: This report examines the evolving copyright doctrine of fair use within the context of copyrighted works published or placed on the Internet. American courts have been examining the various property rights of copyright owners concurrently with the unauthorized use of these copyrighted materials by Web site operators, Internet consumers, access providers, and other interested parties. This report analyzes the early fair use copyright cases concerning Internet use, as well as the most recent judicial interpretations.
Date: March 30, 2000
Creator: Weimer, Douglas R.
Item Type: Report

Extradition To and From the United States: Overview of the Law and Recent Treaties

Description: “Extradition” is the formal surrender of a person by a State to another State for prosecution or punishment. Extradition to or from the United States is a creature of treaty. The United States has extradition treaties with over a hundred of the nations of the world. International terrorism and drug trafficking have made extradition an increasingly important law enforcement tool. This report is a brief overview of federal law in the area and of the adjustments in recent treaties to make them more responsive to American law enforcement interests.
Date: September 30, 2003
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Item Type: Report

Federal and State Quarantine and Isolation Authority

Description: This report provides an overview of federal and state public health laws as they relate to the quarantine and isolation of individuals, a discussion of constitutional issues that may be raised should individual liberties be restricted in a quarantine situation, and federalism questions that may arise where federal and state authorities overlap. In addition, the possible role of the armed forces in enforcing public health measures is discussed, specifically whether the Posse Comitatus Act would constrain any military role, and other statutory authorities that may be used for the military enforcement of health measures.
Date: January 23, 2007
Creator: Swendiman, Kathleen S. & Elsea, Jennifer K.
Item Type: Report

Congressional Budget Resolutions: Selected Statistics and Information Guide

Description: This report provides current and historical information on the budget resolution. It provides a list of the budget resolutions adopted and rejected by Congress since implementation of the Budget Act, including the U.S. Statutes-at-Large citations and committee report numbers, and describes their formulation and content. The report provides a table of selected optional components, a list of reconciliation measures, and information on the number of years covered by budget resolutions.
Date: February 26, 2008
Creator: Heniff, Bill, Jr. & Murray, Justin
Item Type: Report

ERISA’s Impact on Medical Malpractice and Negligence Claims Against Managed Care Plans

Description: 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.
Date: February 21, 2008
Creator: Shimabukuro, Jon O.
Item Type: Report