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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Congressional Staff: Duties and Functions of Selected Positions

Congressional Staff: Duties and Functions of Selected Positions

Date: November 4, 2010
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric
Description: The United States Congress conducts several types of activities for which it employs staff. These activities include assisting Members in official responsibilities in personal, committee, leadership, or administrative office settings. This report focuses on positions in House and Senate personal offices (Member staff), and provides sample position descriptions for 14 positions with similar job titles in each chamber. This report, which will be updated as warranted, is one of several CRS products focusing on various aspects of congressional operations and administration. Others are listed within this report.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
"Dear Colleague" Letters: A Brief Overview

"Dear Colleague" Letters: A Brief Overview

Date: January 4, 2005
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric
Description: “Dear Colleague” letters are official correspondence distributed in bulk to Members in both chambers. Primarily, they are used by one or more Members to persuade others to cosponsor or oppose a bill (generally, prior to introduction). Dear Colleague letters might also inform Members of an event connected with congressional business, of new or modified House procedures, or of some other matter. The use of the phrase “‘Dear Colleague’ letter” to refer to a widely distributed letter among Members dates at least to the start of the 20th century. New technologies and expanded use of the Internet have increased the speed and facilitated the process of preparing Dear Colleague letters.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
House Committee Funding Requests and Authorizations, 104th-109th Congresses

House Committee Funding Requests and Authorizations, 104th-109th Congresses

Date: May 3, 2005
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Pages of the United States Congress: History, Background Information, and Program Administration

Pages of the United States Congress: History, Background Information, and Program Administration

Date: August 30, 2011
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric
Description: For more than 180 years, messengers known as pages have served the United States Congress. Several incumbent and former Members of Congress as well as other prominent Americans have served as congressional pages. This report takes a look at the history and current status of Congressional pages. It also details how a student can apply to be a page, and what factors lead to a successful application.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Representatives and Senators: Trends in Member Characteristics Since 1945

Representatives and Senators: Trends in Member Characteristics Since 1945

Date: February 17, 2012
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric
Description: Questions about the characteristics of Members of Congress, including their age, education, previous occupations, and other descriptors, are of ongoing interest to Members, congressional staff, and constituents. Some of these questions may be asked in the context of representation, in efforts to evaluate the extent to which Members of Congress reflect their constituencies and the nation at large. In other instances, questions arise about how the characteristics of Members have changed over time, which may speak in part to the history of Congress. This report provides profiles of Senators and Representatives in selected Congresses since 1945. It includes data based on Representatives and Senators serving on the first day of the 79th, 82nd, 87th, 92nd, 97th, 102nd, and 107th–112th Congresses for several demographic characteristics, as well as the tenure of Member service in Congress. The characteristics discussed include age, including the oldest and youngest Members of the House and Senate; congressional service tenure; sex; previous occupation; race and ethnicity; education; religion; and military service.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Roles and Duties of a Member of Congress

Roles and Duties of a Member of Congress

Date: November 4, 2010
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric
Description: This report briefly describes the roles, expectations, and duties of a Member of Congress, namely representation, legislation, and constituent service and education, as well as political and electorcal activities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Selected Privileges and Courtesies Extended to Former Members of Congress

Selected Privileges and Courtesies Extended to Former Members of Congress

Date: December 5, 2014
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric
Description: This report discusses the courtesies and privileges afforded to Members of the House and Senate, after they leave office.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Senate Committee Funding Resolutions, 109th Congress, and Funding Authorizations 104th-109th Congresses

Senate Committee Funding Resolutions, 109th Congress, and Funding Authorizations 104th-109th Congresses

Date: February 25, 2005
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Continuity of Congress: Enacted and Proposed Federal Statutes for Expedited Election to the House in Extraordinary Circumstances

Continuity of Congress: Enacted and Proposed Federal Statutes for Expedited Election to the House in Extraordinary Circumstances

Date: August 9, 2005
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric & Richardson, Sula P
Description: This report is one of several CRS products related to congressional continuity and contingency planning.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congressional Continuity of Operations (COOP): An Overview of Concepts and Challenges

Congressional Continuity of Operations (COOP): An Overview of Concepts and Challenges

Date: January 14, 2003
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric & Seifert, Jeffrey W
Description: This report discusses the circumstances surrounding COOP planning, including provisions for alternative meeting sites and methods for conducting House and Senate meetings and floor sessions when Capitol facilities are not available.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congressional Continuity of Operations (COOP): An Overview of Concepts and Challenges

Congressional Continuity of Operations (COOP): An Overview of Concepts and Challenges

Date: March 25, 2005
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric & Seifert, Jeffrey W
Description: This report discusses the circumstances surrounding COOP planning, including provisions for alternative meeting sites and methods for conducting House and Senate meetings and floor sessions when Capitol facilities are not available.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Representatives and Senators: Trends in Member Characteristics Since 1945

Representatives and Senators: Trends in Member Characteristics Since 1945

Date: January 27, 2014
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric; Brudnick, Ida A.; Garrett, R. Sam; Manning, Jennifer E.; Straus, Jacob R. & Wilhelm, Amber Hope
Description: This report provides profiles of Senators and Representatives in selected Congresses since 1945. It includes data based on Representatives and Senators serving on the first day of the 79th-113th Congresses for several demographic characteristics such as age (including the oldest and youngest Members of the House and Senate), sex, previous occupation, race and ethnicity, education, religion, and military service.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
House Committee Funding Requests and Authorizations, 104th-112th Congresses

House Committee Funding Requests and Authorizations, 104th-112th Congresses

Date: March 24, 2011
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric; Garrett, R. Sam & Hemlin, Erin
Description: This report provides committee funding requests and authorizations as adopted pursuant to primary expense authorizations for House committees in the 104th-112th Congresses.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
International Travel by Congress: Legislation in the 111th Congress, Background, and Potential Policy Options

International Travel by Congress: Legislation in the 111th Congress, Background, and Potential Policy Options

Date: August 31, 2010
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric; Lisbeth, Terrence L.; Gracias, Mabel & Reynolds, Parker H.
Description: International travel by Members of Congress and their staff is an issue of longstanding interest among some members of the public, media outlets, and Members. Questions regarding the purposes and destinations of international travel by Congress frequently arise, as do questions about the ability to track the costs and benefits of such travel. This report provides information and analysis on the use of foreign currency expended in support of congressional travel to international destinations that is paid for with appropriated funds and authorized by the House or Senate; on measures related to international travel by Congress introduced in the 111th Congress, and administrative actions related to international travel taken by the House; and on potential options for Congress related to international travel by Members and staff. This report does not provide data on travel costs borne by executive agencies that support congressional travel, as those data are not publicly available.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Administrative Issues Related to a Change in Majority in the House of Representatives

Administrative Issues Related to a Change in Majority in the House of Representatives

Date: November 3, 2010
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric; Manning, Jennifer E. & Brudnick, Ida A.
Description: This report briefly describes how a change in majority leadership in the House of Representatives -- such as the incoming new majority that will assume control of House operations at the beginning of the 112th Congress in January 2011 -- could affect House rules, committees, and administrative and legislative operations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Violence Against Members of Congress and Their Staff: Selected Examples and Congressional Responses

Violence Against Members of Congress and Their Staff: Selected Examples and Congressional Responses

Date: January 25, 2011
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric; Manning, Jennifer E. & Hemlin, Erin
Description: This report describes legislation introduced in the 112th Congress related to violence against members and congressional staff, provides examples of violence in which members of Congress were the apparent target, and some actions Congress has taken based in part on those incidents. This report comes in the aftermath of a recent attack in Tucson, Arizona, in which congressional staff and several constituents were injured or killed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
House of Representatives and Senate Staff Levels in Member, Committee, Leadership, and Other Offices, 1977-2010

House of Representatives and Senate Staff Levels in Member, Committee, Leadership, and Other Offices, 1977-2010

Date: August 10, 2010
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric; Reynolds, Parker H. & Wilhelm, Amber H.
Description: This report provides staffing levels in House and Senate Member, committee, leadership, and other offices since 1977. Data presented here are based on staff listed by chamber entity (offices of Members, committees, leaders, officers, officials, and other entities) in telephone directories published by the House and Senate.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Nigeria

Nigeria

Date: February 12, 2010
Creator: Ploch, Lauren
Description: This report discusses the political climate, development challenges and reform in Nigeria. The report also considers the social issues and security concerns of Nigeria. In addition, other issues are mentioned, as Congress provides oversight for over $600 million in U.S. foreign assistance programs to Nigeria.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Nigeria

Nigeria

Date: February 20, 2009
Creator: Ploch, Lauren
Description: This report discusses the current political climate of Nigeria and the resulting issues for Congress. Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, with an estimated 146 million people, is one of the United States government's key strategic partners on the continent.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Nigeria: Elections and Issues for Congress

Nigeria: Elections and Issues for Congress

Date: May 17, 2011
Creator: Ploch, Lauren
Description: This report discusses the political climate, development challenges and reform in Nigeria. The report also deliberates the social issues and security concerns of Nigeria. In addition, other issues are considered as Congress provides oversight for over $600 million in U.S. foreign assistance programs to Nigeria.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Nigeria: Elections and Issues for Congress

Nigeria: Elections and Issues for Congress

Date: April 1, 2011
Creator: Ploch, Lauren
Description: This report discusses the political climate, development challenges and reform in Nigeria. The report also considers the social issues and security concerns of Nigeria. In addition, other issues are mentioned, as Congress provides oversight for over $600 million in U.S. foreign assistance programs to Nigeria.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Nigeria: Elections and Issues for Congress

Nigeria: Elections and Issues for Congress

Date: January 19, 2012
Creator: Ploch, Lauren
Description: This report discusses the political climate, development challenges and reform in Nigeria. The report also considers the social issues and security concerns of Nigeria. In addition, other issues are mentioned, as Congress provides oversight for over $600 million in U.S. foreign assistance programs to Nigeria.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Piracy off the Horn of Africa

Piracy off the Horn of Africa

Date: April 21, 2009
Creator: Ploch, Lauren; Blanchard, Christopher M.; O'Rourke, Ronald; Mason, R. C. & King, Rawle O.
Description: This report discusses recent attacks -- including those on U.S.-flagged vessels -- in the waters off the Horn of Africa, which have brought new U.S. and international attention to the long-standing problem of piracy in the region.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Casework in a Congressional Office

Casework in a Congressional Office

Date: July 12, 2001
Creator: Pontius, John S
Description: This report and its appendices present a general overview of congressional office procedures associated with handling casework and the assistance provided by a Member of Congress to help constituents in their dealings with federal agencies. It discusses options for assisting Members’ constituents and the role of Members and staff in providing casework services.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department