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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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Latin America and the Caribbean: U.S. Policy and Key Issues for Congress in 2012

Latin America and the Caribbean: U.S. Policy and Key Issues for Congress in 2012

Date: February 14, 2012
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Description: 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 upcoming events in the region in 2012 that could have an impact on developments in several countries or on U.S. relations with the region.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congressional Commissions: Overview, Structure, and Legislative Considerations

Congressional Commissions: Overview, Structure, and Legislative Considerations

Date: February 15, 2012
Creator: Glassman, Matthew Eric
Description: This report provides an overview and analysis of congressional advisory commissions, information on the general statutory structure of a congressional commission, and a catalog of congressional commissions created since the 101st Congress.
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
Senate Committee Rules in the 112th Congress: A Comparison of Key Provisions

Senate Committee Rules in the 112th Congress: A Comparison of Key Provisions

Date: February 17, 2012
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Description: This report reviews the requirements contained in Senate rules pertaining to committees; it then explores how each Senate committee addresses 11 specific issues: meeting day, hearing and meeting notice requirements, scheduling of witnesses, hearing quorum, business quorum, amendment filing requirements, proxy voting, polling, nominations, investigations, and subpoenas. In addition, the report looks at the unique provisions some committees have included in their rules in the miscellaneous category.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction

The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction

Date: February 23, 2012
Creator: Tollestrup, Jessica
Description: Congress annually considers several appropriations measures, which provide funding for numerous activities, for example, national defense, education, and homeland security, as well as general government operations. Congress has developed certain rules and practices for the consideration of appropriations measures, referred to as the congressional appropriations process. This report looks at this process as well as the three types of appropriates measures: regular appropriations bills, continuing resolutions, and supplemental appropriations bills.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress

Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress

Date: February 29, 2012
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.
Description: Sovereign debt, also called public debt or government debt, refers to debt incurred by governments. Since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, public debt in advanced economies has increased substantially. A number of factors related to the financial crisis have fueled the increase, including fiscal stimulus packages, the nationalization of private-sector debt, and lower tax revenue. Even if economic growth reverses some of these trends, such as by boosting tax receipts and reducing spending on government programs, aging populations in advanced economies are expected to strain government debt levels in coming years.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
African American Members of the United States Congress: 1870-2012

African American Members of the United States Congress: 1870-2012

Date: March 6, 2012
Creator: Manning, Jennifer E.
Description: A history and current status report of African Americans in Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Contracting and Subcontracting with Small Businesses: Issues in the 112th Congress

Federal Contracting and Subcontracting with Small Businesses: Issues in the 112th Congress

Date: March 7, 2012
Creator: Manuel, Kate M.
Description: Congress has generally broad authority to impose requirements upon the federal procurement process, or the process whereby agencies obtain goods and services from the private sector. One of the many ways in which Congress has exercised this authority is by enacting measures intended to promote contracting and subcontracting with "small businesses" by federal agencies. This report describes and analyzes measures that Members of the 112th Congress have enacted or proposed in response to particular issues pertaining to small business contracting and subcontracting.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congressional Budget Resolutions: Historical Information

Congressional Budget Resolutions: Historical Information

Date: March 13, 2012
Creator: Heniff, Bill, Jr.
Description: A look at the history and processes of budget resolution in Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congressional Oversight of Agency Public Communications: Implications of Agency New Media Use

Congressional Oversight of Agency Public Communications: Implications of Agency New Media Use

Date: March 14, 2012
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Description: This report intends to assist Congress in its oversight of executive branch agencies' public communications. Here, "public communications" refers to agency communications that are directed to the public.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department