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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Ebola: 2014 Outbreak in West Africa
This report gives a overview of the West African Ebola outbreak that began in March, 2014. The report discusses the nature of the disease as well as local and international responses to it. The report also briefly examines U.S policy and congressional actions in the wake of the outbreak. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462293/
Party Leaders in the United States Congress, 1789-2009
This report briefly describes current responsibilities and selection mechanisms for 15 House and Senate party leadership posts and provides tables with historical data, including service dates, party affiliation, and other information for each. Tables have been updated as of the report's issuance date to reflect leadership changes. The report will be updated as changes in House and Senate party leadership positions occur. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462291/
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. It does not identify motions and requests used when the House is in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462261/
Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights
This report discusses the state of Iraqi politics, governance, ethnic tension, and human rights in the wake of American withdrawal. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463006/
Presidential Appointee Positions Requiring Senate Confirmation and Committees Handling Nominations
This report identifies, by Senate committee, presidentially appointed positions requiring Senate confirmation based on referrals as of October 31, 2007. For each committee list, positions are categorized as full- or part-time and then grouped by department or agency. Where nominations have been referred to more than one committee, the organizations and titles are noted under each of the committees to which the nominations were referred. The lists also include the lengths of fixed terms, where applicable. Some commissions, councils, and other multi-member entities are required, by their enabling statutes, to maintain political balance in some way. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462644/
Foreign Aid Reform: Studies and Recommendations
This report gives a brief history of modern U.S. foreign aid and modern legislative efforts to reform foreign aid practices. The report also examines various recommendations from recent studies relating to foreign aid reform. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462653/
Authorization of Appropriations: Procedural and Legal Issues
This report provides a brief explanation of the distinction between authorized and unauthorized appropriations, and its significance for understanding how appropriations and other legislation work in conjunction to determine how agencies may spend appropriated funds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462656/
The Motion to Recommit in the House of Representatives: Effects, Recent Trends, and Options for Change
This report provides an overview of House rules and precedents governing the motion to recommit, examines the use of the motion in the 110th Congress, and discusses arguments both favoring and opposing changing House procedures governing the motion. This report will be updated to reflect any changes in House rules governing the usage of the motion to recommit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462647/
Venezuela: Background and U.S. Relations
This report discusses current Congressional issues in relation to Venezuela, including background on the political situation and recent developments, the economic conditions, relevant U.S. policies, and the legislative initiatives in the 111th and 112th Congresses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462612/
Foreign Assistance Act of 1961: Authorizations and Corresponding Appropriations
This report presents the authorities of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, and correlates those authorities with the operative appropriations measure (division F of P.L. 111-117; 123 Stat. 3312) that funds those authorities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462648/
Congressional Gold Medals, 1776-2008
This report responds to congressional inquiries concerning the nature, history, and contemporary application of the process for awarding Gold Medals, and includes a historical examination and chronological list of these awards. It is intended to assist Members of Congress and staff in their consideration of future Gold Medal proposals, and will be updated as Gold Medals are approved. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462642/
Party Leaders in the United States Congress, 1789-2014
This report briefly describes current responsibilities and selection mechanisms for 15 House and Senate party leadership posts and provides tables with historical data, including service dates, party affiliation, and other information for each. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463045/
The Federal Budget: Current and Upcoming Issues
This report examines changes to the Federal Budget for Fiscal Years 2008-2010. The report considers the factors that have an effect on various budgetary functions and decisions. The report specifically focuses on the effect of the 2007-2008 financial recession on the budget, but also considers more long-term fiscal issues such as health care for retiring Baby-Boomers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463092/
Reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act
This report describes the changes that were made by the Foreign Intelligence Suveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act within the context of the government's authority to conduct surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463018/
H.R. 2: The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009
This report summarizes changes to current law across the major provisions of H.R. 2 that would occur if The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) were enacted. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463003/
Latin America and the Caribbean: U.S. Policy and Key Issues for Congress in 2012
This report provides an overview of U.S. policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean, including the Obama Administration's priorities for U.S. policy and a brief comparison of policies under the Obama and Bush Administrations. It then examines congressional interest in Latin America, first providing an overview, and then looking at selected countries and regional issues and identifying key policy issues facing Congress in 2012. The final section of the report analyzes several key events in the region in 2012: the Pope's trip to Cuba in March, the sixth Summit of the Americas in April, Mexico's elections in July, and Venezuela's upcoming elections in October. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463056/
Army Drawdown and Restructuring: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the new defense strategy, which was unveiled by senior Department of Defense (DOD) leadership based on a review of potential future security challenges, current defense strategy, and budgetary constraints. This strategy will rebalance the Army's global posture and presence, emphasizing where potential problems are likely to arise, such as the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463052/
Congressional Oversight of Intelligence: Current Structure and Alternatives
This report first describes the current select committees on intelligence and then the former Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, often cited as a model for a counterpart on intelligence. The study also sets forth proposed characteristics for a joint committee on intelligence, differences among these, and their pros and cons. The report examines other actions and alternatives affecting congressional oversight in the field. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463049/
The First Day of a New Congress: A Guide to Proceedings on the House Floor
This report focuses on the floor activities of the House during its first formal session in a new Congress, and serves as a guide for those participating in or watching these proceedings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462097/
Party Leaders in the United States Congress, 1789-2013
This report briefly describes current responsibilities and selection mechanisms for 15 House and Senate party leadership posts and provides tables with historical data, including service dates, party affiliation, and other information for each. Tables have been updated as of the report's issuance date to reflect leadership changes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462016/
Venezuela: Background and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the current Congressional issues in relation to Venezuela, including background on the political situation and recent developments, the economic conditions, relevant U.S. policies, and the legislative initiatives in the 113th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462304/
Congressional Redistricting and the Voting Rights Act: A Legal Overview
This report provides a legal overview of two key provisions of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) affecting congressional redistricting — Sections 2 and 5 — and selected accompanying Supreme Court case law. It examines a pending Supreme Court case, Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, challenging the constitutionality of Section 5. It also provides a summary of selected legislation in the 112th and 113th Congresses that would establish additional requirements and standards for congressional redistricting. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462055/
House Committee Funding: Description of Process and Analysis of Disbursements
This report is organized in three sections. The first provides an overview of the committee funding process in the House and analyzes funding levels since 1995. The second reviews House floor and committee action on committee funding in the 112th Congress. The final section summarizes the rules and regulations that structure the use of committee funds, and analyzes actual committee funding spending patterns during five previous years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462083/
U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework and Status of Forces Agreement: Congressional Response
This report is divided into two main parts: the first describes in detail the actions taken by Congress concerning the planned Iraq Agreements, including legislative initiatives and congressional hearings; the second provides a range of options for further congressional action concerning Congress's role in negotiating, executing, and implementing the Iraq Agreements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462024/
Membership of the 111th Congress: A Profile
This report presents a profile of the membership of the 111th Congress. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age and length of service, occupation, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462020/
Clean Coal Loan Guarantees and Tax Incentives: Issues in Brief
This report discusses certain federal financial incentive mechanisms for "clean coal" commercial projects; namely, loan guarantees and tax incentives. At issue for Congress is the extent to which the private sector has used these financial toolsto develop the technology needed for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while continuing to use available domestic coal reserves for electricity generation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462084/
Membership of the 113th Congress: A Profile
This report presents a profile of the membership of the 113th Congress (2013-2014). Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462296/
House Committees: Categories and Rules for Committee Assignments
This report discusses rules for committee assignments in the House of Representatives. House rules address the election and membership of committees, especially limitations on membership. The Democratic Caucus and Republican Conference rules designate categories of committees and specify service limitations in addition to those in the House rules. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462276/
Membership of the 113th Congress: A Profile
This report presents a profile of the membership of the 113th Congress (2013-2014). Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462513/
Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights
This report discusses the state of Iraqi politics, governance, and human rights. Topics include the worsening relations between local Sunni and Shiite populations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462527/
Congressional Member Organizations: Their Purpose and Activities, History, and Formation
This report examines the purpose and activities of Committee on House Administration as congressional Member organizations (CMO) and the reasons Members form them. It also identifies and describes seven CMO types, and it provides an overview of the historical development of informal Member organizations since the first Congress, focusing on their regulation in the House by the Committee on House Oversight/Committee on House Administration, the rise and fall of legislative service organizations (LSOs), and the House's decision in 1995 to issue regulations for establishing CMOs and governing their behavior. It concludes with a step-by-step guide for House Members and staff who might be interested in forming a CMO. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463465/
Insourcing Functions Performed by Federal Contractors: Legal Issues
"This report provides a brief overview of key legal issues related to recent insourcing initiatives. While agencies are prohibited by federal law and policy from contracting out functions that are "inherently governmental," other functions could potentially be contracted out. There has long been debate over both general government policies promoting the use of the private sector to perform "commercial functions," and whether specific functions should be performed by government personnel or contractors. However, since 2008, the insourcing initiatives of recent Congresses and the Obama Administration have generated particular controversy.5 Several lawsuits have been filed challenging agencies' determinations to insource particular functions,and broader questions have been raised as to whether agencies' implementation of insourcing runs afoul of civil service, ethics, or small business laws." (p. 1). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463496/
The Military Commissions Act of 2009 (MCA 2009): Overview and Legal Issues
This report provides a background and analysis comparing military commissions as envisioned under the revised Military Commissions Act (MCA) to those established by the MCA 2006. After reviewing the history of the implementation of military commissions in the armed conflict against Al Qaeda and associated forces, the report provides an overview of the procedural safeguards provided in the MCA. Finally, the report provides two charts comparing the MCA as amended by the MCA 2009 to the original MCA enacted in 2006 and to general courts-martial. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463438/
Continuing Resolutions: Latest Action and Brief Overview of Recent Practices
This report is divided into two segments. The first segment provides the most recent developments on, and selected provisions of, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2009. The second segment focuses on the (1) history and recent trends, including the nature, scope, and duration of continuing resoutions (CRs) during the past 35 years; (2) CR types by duration; (3) major substantive legislative provisions included in some CRs; and (4) funding gaps. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462302/
Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08): Status of Benefits Prior to Expiration
This report summarizes the structure of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) benefits available prior to program expiration at the end of calendar year 2013 and provides the legislative history of the EUC08 program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462319/
Congressional Participation in Article III Courts: Standing to Sue
This report seeks to provide an overview of Congress's ability to participate in litigation before Article III courts. The report is limited to a discussion of Congress's participation in litigation as either a plaintiff (e.g., the party initiating the suit alleging some sort of harm or violation of law) or as a third-party intervener (e.g., a party who is seeking to join litigation already initiated by another plaintiff). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462327/
FY2013 Supplemental Funding for Disaster Relief: Summary and Considerations for Congress
This report analyzes the Administration's request, the House-passed legislation, and the Senate position as reflected in Senate-amended H.R. 1 from the 112th Congress. (The newly constituted Senate has not taken up legislation establishing its position on the supplemental request as of the date of publication.) It includes information on legislative provisions as well as funding levels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462362/
Status of a Senator Who Has Been Indicted for or Convicted of a Felony
This report summarizes the potential consequences, with respect to congressional status, that may result when a sitting Senator is indicted for or is convicted of a felony. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462391/
Sessions, Adjournments, and Recesses of Congress
This report first describes how pertinent rules and practices regulate the daily sessions of Congress and their adjournments and recesses, including discussion of the "legislative day." It then develops a corresponding discussion for the annual sessions of Congress, which addresses, among other things, the use of "pro forma sessions." The report clarifies certain situations in which terms may simultaneously apply in different ways in relation to the daily session and to the annual session. Finally, the report notes some of the most important implications of the occurrence of sessions, adjournments, and recesses in relation to such matters as presidential action on legislation, recess appointments by the President, the operation of statutory expedited procedures ("fast track" procedures), and "lame duck" (post-election) sessions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462523/
One-Minute Speeches: Current House Practices
This report examines current House practices governing recognition for one-minute speeches, the delivery of one minutes, and their insertion in the Congressional Record. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463250/
Changes to Senate Procedures in the 113th Congress Affecting the Operation of Cloture (S.Res. 15 and S.Res. 16)
The 113th Congress; S.Res. 16 made two changes to the standing rules of the Senate. This report explains the provisions of each new standing order and rule. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462697/
First-Term Members of the House of Representatives and Senate, 64th - 113th Congresses
This report provides summary data on the number of Senators and Members of the House of Representatives who first entered Congress between the 64th Congress (1915-1917) and the 113th Congress (2013-2014). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462640/
Limitations in Appropriations Measures: An Overview of Procedural Issues
This report discusses internal congressional rules and procedures regarding money and policy decisions. It begins by explaining the contrasting procedural contexts that influence the consideration of limitation provisions in appropriations measures on the House and Senate floor. Next, it defines the two forms of limitations that have been allowed under House and Senate precedents, with examples of previous purposes that have been allowed. This report then proceeds to identify the variety of substantive challenges that exist in structuring a limitation provision so that it does not constitute legislative language and thereby violate House and Senate rules. Finally, this report concludes by discussing the effect of points of order during floor consideration and the burden of proof that exists for proponents of limitation provisions to successfully overcome procedural objections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462676/
Federalism, State Sovereignty, and the Constitution: Basis and Limits of Congressional Power
The report discusses state and federal legislative power generally, and focuses on a number of these "federalism" cases. Issues addressed include congressional power under the Commerce Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment; limits on congressional powers, such as the Tenth Amendment; and state sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462660/
Congressional Redistricting and the Voting Rights Act: A Legal Overview
This report provides a legal overview of Section 2 of the VRA, a key provision affecting congressional redistricting, and selected Supreme Court case law. It discusses Sections 4 and 5, and the recent Supreme Court decision holding Section 4(b) unconstitutional, Shelby County v. Holder. Section 4 contained a coverage formula that identified states and jurisdictions that were required to gain federal approval or "preclearance" to proposed redistricting plans under Section 5. The report also provides an overview of selected legislation in the 112th and 113th Congresses that would establish additional requirements and standards for congressional redistricting. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462616/
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages for countering mines, small boats, and diesel-electric submarines, particularly in littoral (i.e., near-shore) waters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461955/
Procedural Analysis of Private Laws Enacted:1986-2013
This report examines the broad distinctions among private laws in terms of their subject matter, introduction, sponsorship and co-sponsorship, referral, method of consideration, amendment, and reconciling of differences between the chambers' versions of the bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461938/
The Emoluments Clause: History, Law, and Precedents
This report provides an historical review of the Emoluments Clause, focusing on the debates at the time the clause was drafted, as well as the precedents adopted by Congress and the executive branch with respect to nominations where the issue has arisen. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462765/
The U.S. Secret Service: An Examination and Analysis of Its Evolving Missions
This report frames potential policy questions concerning the U.S. Secret Service's (USSS) mission and organization through an examination of the USSS history and its statutory authorities, mission, and present activities within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462764/
Administering Green Programs in Congress: Issues and Options
This report discusses "green" programs and the higher profile they have gained in the 110th Congress. "Green" programs are those designed to create an environmentally friendly work environment and conserve energy. This report discusses initiatives and policy options that would improve the "greening" process on Capitol Hill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462785/
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