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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Informing Congress: The Role of the Executive in Times of War and Military Conflict, 1941-2001
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Omnibus Appropriations Act: Overview of Recent Practices
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Presidential Advisers' Testimony Before Congressional Committees: An Overview
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Biennial Budgeting: Issues and Options
Biennial budgeting is a concept that may include several variations. It may involve multiyear authorizations, two-year budget resolutions, or two-year appropriations, or some combination of the three. Most proposals incorporate all three factors. This report presents the view of proponent and critics of biennial budgeting. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7495/
Debt-Limit Legislation in the Congressional Budget Process
The gross federal debt consists of the debt held by the public plus the debt held by government accounts. Almost all of the gross federal debt is subject to a public debt limit, as set forth in statute (31 U.S.C. 3101).This report considers legislation needed to change the public debt limit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7499/
House Rules Changes Affecting the Congressional Budget Process in the 109th Congress (H.Res.5)
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Committee System Rules Changes in the House, 109th Congress
This fact sheet details changes in the committee system contained in H.Res. 5, the rules of the House for the 109th Congress, agreed to by the House January 4, 2005, and the Speaker’s announced policies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7463/
Availability of Legislative Proposals in the House of Representatives (The "Three-Day Rule")
House rules govern the length of time legislative proposals must be available to Members prior to being considered on the floor. For measures reported from committee, the committee report must have been available for three calendar days. Conference reports must also have been available for three calendar days, and special rules for considering measures for one legislative day. The House, however, also has several means by which it can choose to waive these availability requirements and call up, debate, and vote on a measure in a single calendar day, even if the text of the measure was not made available prior to consideration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7462/
Revenue Reconciliation Directives to the Senate Finance Committee in Congressional Budget Resolutions
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Revenue Reconciliation Directives to the Senate Finance Committee in Congressional Budget Resolutions
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The Congressional Budget Process: A Brief Overview
The term “budget process,” when applied to the federal government, actually refers to a number of processes that have evolved separately and that occur with varying degrees of coordination. This overview, and the accompanying flow chart, are intended to describe in brief each of the parts of the budget process that involve Congress, clarify the role played by each, and explain how they operate together. They include the President’s budget submission, the budget resolution, reconciliation, sequestration, authorizations, and appropriations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7396/
Climate Change Legislation in the 109th Congress
Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a continuing issue in the 109th Congress. Bills directly addressing climate change issues range from those focused primarily on climate change research to comprehensive emissions cap-and-trade programs. Additional bills focus on GHG reporting and registries, or on power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, as part of wider controls on pollutant emissions. The bills vary in their approaches to climate change issues. This report briefly discusses the basic concepts on which these bills are based and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research, technology deployment, GHG reporting and registries, and emissions reduction programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7450/
PAYGO Rules for Budget Enforcement in the House and Senate
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House Rules Changes Affecting Floor Procedures in the 109th Congress
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Changing Senate Rules: The "Constitutional" or "Nuclear" Option
This report indicates possible attempts to curtail the use of filibusters in the Senate, perhaps in the 109th Congress. Some have suggested that proponents of this idea may invoke something called the “nuclear” or “constitutional” option in Senate floor procedure to try to end a filibuster without the need for 60 votes or to amend the cloture rule (Rule XXII) itself. This report presents several possible scenarios that would require one or more of the Senate’s precedents be overturned or interpreted otherwise than in the past. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7428/
Pakistan's Domestic Political Developments
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Pakistan's Domestic Political Developments
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Pakistan's Domestic Political Developments
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The Mid-Session Review of the President’s Budget: Timing Issues
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Congress’s Power Under the Commerce Clause: The Impact of Recent Court Decisions
This report will first review the current Supreme Court case law with respect to the Commerce Clause. Second, it will examine the analysis used and the results of the three lower court opinions. Finally, two areas of tension that appear to exist within the Court’s jurisprudence, and the potential implications that resolution of these conflicts may have on congressional power under the Commerce Clause will be examined. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7382/
Congressional Budget Actions in 2004
During the second session of the 108th Congress, the House and Senate considered many different budgetary measures. Most of them pertained to FY2005 (referred to as the “budget year”) and beyond. In addition, some made adjustments to the budget for FY2004 (referred to as the “current year”). This report describes House and Senate action on major budgetary legislation within the framework of the congressional budget process and other procedural requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7377/
Proposals to Amend the Senate Cloture Rule
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Congressionally Chartered Nonprofit Organizations ("Title 36 Corporations"): What They Are and How Congress Treats Them
This report discusses a category of congressionally chartered nonprofit organizations that have as their purpose the promotion of patriotic, charitable, educational, and other eleemosynary activities . Title 36 of the United States Code, where such corporate organizations are listed with their charters, was re-codified by law in 1998 (EL 105-225). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7367/
Clean Water Act Issues in the 109th Congress
Congress has recently focused legislative attention on narrow bills to extend or modify selected Clean Water Act (CWA) programs, rather than taking up comprehensive proposals. In the 109th Congress, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has approved S. 1400, a bill authorizing $20 billion in federal grants to capitalize state clean water infrastructure loan programs. Also, a House committee has approved bills to reauthorize several Clean Water Act programs: H.R. 624 would provide $1.5 billion in grants over six years for sewer overflow projects; H.R. 1359 would extend a pilot program for alternative water source projects; H.R. 1721 would reauthorize coastal water quality programs; and H.R. 3963 would extend the Long Island Sound Program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7412/
Clean Water Act Issues in the 109th Congress
Congress has recently focused legislative attention on narrow bills to extend or modify selected Clean Water Act (CWA) programs, rather than taking up comprehensive proposals. In the 109th Congress, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has approved S. 1400, a bill authorizing $20 billion in federal grants to capitalize state clean water infrastructure loan programs. Also, a House committee has approved bills to reauthorize several Clean Water Act programs: H.R. 624 would provide $1.5 billion in grants over six years for sewer overflow projects; H.R. 1359 would extend a pilot program for alternative water source projects; H.R. 1721 would reauthorize coastal water quality programs; and H.R. 3963 would extend the Long Island Sound Program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7411/
Clean Water Act Issues in the 109th Congress
Congress has recently focused legislative attention on narrow bills to extend or modify selected Clean Water Act (CWA) programs, rather than taking up comprehensive proposals. In the 109th Congress, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has approved S. 1400, a bill authorizing $20 billion in federal grants to capitalize state clean water infrastructure loan programs. Also, a House committee has approved bills to reauthorize several Clean Water Act programs: H.R. 624 would provide $1.5 billion in grants over six years for sewer overflow projects; H.R. 1359 would extend a pilot program for alternative water source projects; H.R. 1721 would reauthorize coastal water quality programs; and H.R. 3963 would extend the Long Island Sound Program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7410/
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
Major amendments to the Clean Air Act were among the first items on the agenda of the 109th Congress, with S. 131 (the Clear Skies Act) scheduled for markup by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee March 9. The most prominent air quality issues discussed in this report are; Clear Skies / Multi-Pollutant Legislation, Mercury from Power Plants, New Source Review (NSR), MTBE and Ethanol, Ozone Nonattainment Area Deadlines, Conformity of Transportation Plans and SIPs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7409/
Trade Promotion Authority: Possible Vote on Two-Year Extension
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Agricultural Issues in the 109th Congress
A number of issues affecting U.S. agriculture are receiving attention during the 109th Congress. Some are related to new initiatives or to unfinished legislation from the 108th Congress; others have been the focus of ongoing congressional oversight. The agriculture committees are required by the FY2006 budget resolution to report legislation this year that reduces spending on mandatory food and agriculture support programs by $3 billion over the next five years. Other issues of importance to agriculture during the 109th Congress include the possible reauthorization of an expiring dairy support program; multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations; concerns about agroterrorism, food safety, and animal and plant diseases (e.g., “mad cow” disease and Asian soybean rust); high energy costs; environmental issues; and a number of agricultural marketing matters. Although the current (2002) farm bill (P.L. 107-171) generally does not expire until 2007, the agriculture committees could begin hearings on a new measure later this year. This report will be updated if significant developments ensue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7333/
Membership of the 109th Congress: A Profile
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Department of Homeland Security: Options for House and Senate Committee Organization
With the passage of H.R. 5710, to create a new Department of Homeland Security, Congress has begun discussions regarding the appropriate congressional structure to conduct oversight and fund the new department. Section 1503 of the legislation states the sense of Congress that each chamber should review its committee structure in light of the reorganization of the executive branch. This report addresses some of the options currently being discussed and provides information on legislation in the 107th Congress that attempts to alter the current committee system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7041/
The First Day of a New Congress: A Guide to Proceedings on the Senate Floor
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Executive Order 12919: Emergency Powers of the President
Executive Order 12919 concerns industrial preparedness during times of war and national emergency. This brief report uses simple language to describe what Executive Order 12919 does. It is intended to clarify common misunderstandings about the Order’s purpose and scope. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6974/
Suspension of Budget Enforcement Procedures During Hostilities Abroad
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The Budget Reconciliation Process: House and Senate Procedures
The budget reconciliation process is an optional procedure that operates as an adjunct to the budget resolution process established by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. The chief purpose of the reconciliation process is to enhance Congress’s ability to change current law in order to bring revenue, spending, and debt-limit levels into conformity with the policies of the annual budget resolution. Reconciliation is a two-stage process. First, reconciliation directives are included in the budget resolution, instructing the appropriate committees to develop legislation achieving the desired budgetary outcomes. The second step involves consideration of the resultant reconciliation legislation by the House and Senate under expedited procedures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7304/
Commonly Used Motions and Requests in the House of Representatives
This report identifies the most commonly used motions and requests available to Members during proceedings in the House of Representatives. The report divides the motions and requests into seven broad categories, based on when the motion or request is in order and who can make the motion or request. Daily Business is the category that includes items that are routine to the conduct of business in the House each day, such as the motion to adjourn. Decorum and Privilege covers issues of the rights and privileges of Members and the House and how Members conduct themselves on the floor. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7104/
The Capitol Visitor Center: An Overview
This report presents the cost of the center, the most extensive addition to the Capitol since the Civil War, and the largest in the structure’s more than 200-year history, is now estimated to be at least $555 million. The project is being financed with appropriated funds, and a total of $65 million from private donations and revenue generated by the sale of commemorative coins. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7263/
Congressional Access to Executive Branch Information: Legislative Tools
This report begins by reviewing the precedents established during the Washington Administration for withholding documents from Congress. Close examination reveals that the scope of presidential privilege is often exaggerated. Congress had access to more documentation than is commonly believed and might have had more had it pressed for it. Subsequent sections focus on various forms of congressional leverage: the power of the purse, the power to impeach, issuing congressional subpoenas, holding executive officials in contempt, House resolutions of inquiry, GAO investigations, and blocking nominations, all of which may force executive officials to release documents they would otherwise want to keep private and confidential. Even if Presidents announce perfectly plausible grounds for withholding documents, they may have to comply with the congressional will to achieve other more important goals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6983/
The Budget Reconciliation Process: The Senate's "Byrd" Rule
Reconciliation is a procedure under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 by which Congress implements budget resolution policies affecting mainly permanent spending and revenue programs. The principal focus in the reconciliation process has been deficit reduction, but in recent years reconciliation has encompassed revenue reduction generally and spending increases in selected program areas. The Byrd rule provides six definitions of what constitutes extraneous matter for purposes of the rule (and several exceptions thereto), but the term is generally described as covering provisions unrelated to achieving the goals of the reconciliation instructions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7261/
The Budget Reconciliation Process: The Senate's "Byrd" Rule
Reconciliation is a procedure under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 by which Congress implements budget resolution policies affecting mainly permanent spending and revenue programs. The principal focus in the reconciliation process has been deficit reduction, but in recent years reconciliation has encompassed revenue reduction generally and spending increases in selected program areas. The Byrd rule provides six definitions of what constitutes extraneous matter for purposes of the rule (and several exceptions thereto), but the term is generally described as covering provisions unrelated to achieving the goals of the reconciliation instructions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7099/
The Budget Reconciliation Process: Timing of Legislative Action
Reconciliation is a procedure under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 by which Congress implements budget resolution policies affecting mainly permanent spending and revenue programs. The principal focus in the reconciliation process has been deficit reduction, but in recent years reconciliation has encompassed revenue reduction generally and spending increases in selected program areas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7255/
Points of Order in the Congressional Budget Process
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USA PATRIOT Act Sunset: A Sketch
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Terrorist Attacks and National Emergency Declaration
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Climate Change Legislation in the 109th Congress
Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a continuing issue in the 109th Congress. Bills directly addressing climate change issues range from those focused primarily on climate change research to comprehensive emissions cap-and-trade programs. Additional bills focus on GHG reporting and registries, or on power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, as part of wider controls on pollutant emissions. The bills vary in their approaches to climate change issues. This report briefly discusses the basic concepts on which these bills are based and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research, technology deployment, GHG reporting and registries, and emissions reduction programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7199/
Congressional Budget Actions in 2005
During the first session of the 109th Congress, the House and Senate will consider many different budgetary measures. Most of them will pertain to fiscal year (FY) 2006 and beyond, but some will make adjustments to the budget for FY2005. As the session progresses, this report will describe House and Senate actions on major budgetary legislation within the framework of the congressional budget process and other procedural requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7186/
Latin America and the Caribbean: Issues for the 109th Congress
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Mexico-U.S. Relations: Issues for the 109th Congress
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Evolution of the Senate's Role in the Nomination and Confirmation Process: A Brief History
Over time, the Senate has developed a series of procedures to deal with the concerns of its Members on nominations. First is the custom of senatorial courtesy, whereby Senators from the same party as the President might influence a nomination or kill it by objecting to it. This tradition has not always been absolute, but it has allowed Senators to play a fairly large role, particularly in the selection of nominees within a Senator’s home state, such as for district court judgeships. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7052/
Black Members of the United States Congress: 1870-2005
Forty three black or African-American Members serve in the 109th Congress; 42 in the House of Representatives, one in the Senate. There have been 117 black Members of Congress: 112 elected to the House and five to the Senate. The majority of the black Members (90) have been Democrats; the rest (27) have been Republicans. This report includes alphabetical listing of black members, selected biographical information, and committee assignments during their tenure in office. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7142/