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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Investigative Oversight: An Introduction to the Law, Practice and Procedure of Congressional Inquiry

Investigative Oversight: An Introduction to the Law, Practice and Procedure of Congressional Inquiry

Date: April 7, 1995
Creator: Rosenberg, Morton
Description: This report will provide an overview of some of the more common legal, procedural and practical issues, questions, and problems that committees have faced in the course of an investigation. Following a summary of the case law developing the scope and limitations of the power of inquiry, the essential tools of investigative oversight--subpoenas, staff interviews and depositions, grants of immunity, and the contempt power -- are described. Next, some of the special problems of investigating the executive are detailed, with particular emphasis on claims of presidential executive privilege, the problems raised by attempts to access information with respect to open or closed civil or criminal investigative matters, or to obtain information that is part of the agency deliberative process, and the effect on congressional access of statutory prohibitions on public disclosure. The discussion then focuses on various procedural and legal requirements that accompany the preparation for, and conduct of, an investigative hearing, including matters concerning jurisdiction, particular rules and requirements for the conduct of such proceedings, and the nature, applicability and scope of certain constitutional and common law testimonial privileges that may be claimed by witnesses. The case law and practice respecting the rights of minority party members during the ...
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The Committee System in the U.S. Congress

The Committee System in the U.S. Congress

Date: May 10, 1995
Creator: Hardy-Vincent, Carol
Description: Due to the high volume and complexity of its work, Congress divides its tasks among approximately 44 committees with 154 subcommittees. The House and Senate each has its own committee systems, which are similar. Within chamber guidelines, however, each committee adopts its own rules; thus, there is considerable variation among panels.
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Committee Numbers, Sizes, Assignments, and Staff: Selected Historical Data

Committee Numbers, Sizes, Assignments, and Staff: Selected Historical Data

Date: February 1, 1996
Creator: Vincent, Carol Hardy & Rybicki, Elizabeth
Description: The development of today's committee system is a product of internal congressional reforms, but national forces also have played a role. This report contains data on the numbers and sizes of committees and subcommittees and on Members' assignments since 1945. This report also contains data on committee staff sizes from 1979 through 1995.
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China, Congress, and Sanctions - Findings of a Workshop-Seminar

China, Congress, and Sanctions - Findings of a Workshop-Seminar

Date: April 17, 1996
Creator: Sutter, Robert G & Rennack, Dianne E
Description: None
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Legislative Procedure for Disapproving the Renewal of China's Most-Favored-Nation Status

Legislative Procedure for Disapproving the Renewal of China's Most-Favored-Nation Status

Date: May 31, 1996
Creator: Pregelj, Vladimir N
Description: None
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Conference Committee and Related Procedures: An Introduction

Conference Committee and Related Procedures: An Introduction

Date: July 29, 1996
Creator: Bach, Stanley
Description: Conference committees generally are free to conduct their negotiations as they choose, but they are to address only the matters on which the House and Senate have disagreed. Moreover, they are to propose settlements that represent compromises between the positions of the two houses. When they have completed their work, they submit a conference report and joint explanatory statement, and the House and Senate vote on accepting the report without amendments. Sometimes conference reports are accompanied by amendments that remain in disagreement. Only after the two houses have reached complete agreement on all provisions of a bill can it be sent to the President for his approval or veto.
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Congress' Early Organization Meetings

Congress' Early Organization Meetings

Date: July 30, 1996
Creator: Schneider, Judy
Description: The purposes of these meetings are both educational and organizational. Educational sessions range from legislative procedures and staff hiring to current issues. Organizational sessions elect class officers, party leaders, and chamber officers; name committee representatives and other party officials; and select committee chairmen and often committee members. Such actions are officially ratified at the start of the new Congress.
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The Legislative Process on the House Floor: An Introduction

The Legislative Process on the House Floor: An Introduction

Date: July 30, 1996
Creator: Bach, Stanley
Description: This report discusses the complicated body of rules, precedents, and practices that governs the legislative process on the floor of the House of Representatives.
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House Administrative Reorganization: 104th Congress

House Administrative Reorganization: 104th Congress

Date: September 13, 1996
Creator: Rundquist, Paul S & Tong, Lorraine H
Description: This report discusses the management responsibility for financial, security, and legislative operations.
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Legislative Research in Congressional Offices: A Primer

Legislative Research in Congressional Offices: A Primer

Date: November 8, 1996
Creator: Wellborn, Clay H & Richardson, Sula P
Description: None
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Special Rules in the House of Representatives

Special Rules in the House of Representatives

Date: November 12, 1996
Creator: Bach, Stanley
Description: None
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Casework in a Congressional Office

Casework in a Congressional Office

Date: November 19, 1996
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.
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Clean Air Act Issues

Clean Air Act Issues

Date: December 2, 1996
Creator: McCarthy, James E
Description: None
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How to Obtain Copies of Videotapes of Proceedings of Congress and Network and Cable Television Broadcasts

How to Obtain Copies of Videotapes of Proceedings of Congress and Network and Cable Television Broadcasts

Date: December 18, 1996
Creator: Springer, Michelle M & Turner, Treva
Description: None
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Line Item Veto Act of 1996: Lessons from the States

Line Item Veto Act of 1996: Lessons from the States

Date: December 26, 1996
Creator: Fisher, Louis
Description: None
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Environmental Protection Issues: From the 104th to the 105th Congress

Environmental Protection Issues: From the 104th to the 105th Congress

Date: January 7, 1997
Creator: Lee, Martin R
Description: The continued interest in regulatory reform measures in the final moments of the 104th Congress suggests that the 105th Congress will consider them again. At the same time the fact that the 104th Congress enacted flexibility provisions in drinking water and food safety/pesticides legislation could be an indicator that the 105th Congress may pursue reforms in individual reauthorization legislation rather than in broad regulatory reform bills.
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Congressional Budget Actions in 1997

Congressional Budget Actions in 1997

Date: January 8, 1997
Creator: Keith, Robert
Description: In 1997, during the first session of the 105th Congress, the House and Senate will consider many different budgetary measures. Most of these measures will pertain to FY1998 and beyond, but some measures will make adjustments in the budget for the current fiscal year, FY1997. This issue brief describes House and Senate action on major budgetary legislation within the framework of the congressional budget process and other procedural requirements.
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Grants Work in a Congressional Office

Grants Work in a Congressional Office

Date: January 24, 1997
Creator: Gerli, Merete
Description: Members of Congress often get requests from constituents for information and help in obtaining funds for projects. Many state and local governments, nonprofit social service and community action organizations, private research groups, small businesses, and individuals approach congressional offices to find out about funding, both from the federal government and from the private sector. The success rate in obtaining federal assistance is not high, given the competition for federal funds. A grants staff’s effectiveness often depends on both an understanding of the grants process and on the relations it establishes with agency and other contacts. The following report does not constitute a blueprint for every office involved in grants and projects activity, nor does it present in-depth information about all aspects of staff activity in this area. The discussion is aimed at describing some basics about the grants process and some of the approaches and techniques used by congressional offices in dealing with this type of constituent service.
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How Measures Are Brought to the House Floor: A Brief Introduction

How Measures Are Brought to the House Floor: A Brief Introduction

Date: February 5, 1997
Creator: Saturno, James V
Description: This report presents a brief description of the five methods used to bring proposed legislation to the House floor for consideration.
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Congressional Campaign Spending: 1976-1996

Congressional Campaign Spending: 1976-1996

Date: August 19, 1997
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E
Description: The data in this report reflect spending by congressional candidates from funds donated by individuals, political action committees (PACs), parties, and candidates. Thus, it includes expenditures under candidate control and does not reflect spending on their behalf, with or without their cooperation, by parties, PACs, and other groups.
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Environmental Protection Legislation in the 105th Congress

Environmental Protection Legislation in the 105th Congress

Date: September 18, 1997
Creator: Lee, Martin R
Description: The 105th Congress enacted tax provisions relating to Superfund brownfields sites, transportation- and defense-related environmental provisions, a border smog bill, EPA funding as well as reinstating the tax that supports the Leaking Underground Storage Trust Fund. There were various actions on regulatory reform, the budget resolution, appropriations, highway- and defense-related environmental provisions, Superfund reform bills and underground storage tanks. It is too early to tell if these will be issues for the 106th Congress.
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Continuing Appropriations Acts: Brief Overview of Recent Practices

Continuing Appropriations Acts: Brief Overview of Recent Practices

Date: September 26, 1997
Creator: Streeter, Sandy
Description: This report provides information on the history of continuing resolutions; the nature, scope, and duration of CRs during the last 30 years; the various types of CRs that have been enacted; and an overview of those instances when budget authority has lapsed and a funding gap has resulted.
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Out-of-State Money in the Congressional Elections of 1992, 1994, and 1996: Trends and Policy Issues

Out-of-State Money in the Congressional Elections of 1992, 1994, and 1996: Trends and Policy Issues

Date: September 26, 1997
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E
Description: None
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Environment in Fast Track Trade Authority: Summary of the Clinton Administration Proposal

Environment in Fast Track Trade Authority: Summary of the Clinton Administration Proposal

Date: October 1, 1997
Creator: Fletcher, Susan R
Description: President Clinton has asked Congress for "fast track" authority for implementing future trade agreements; this authority would limit congressional debate and prevent amendments to implementing legislation. Delays in completing this proposal were attributed to difficulties in reconciling conflicting pressures over environment and labor concerns. The President's proposal contains references to environmental concerns, but various interests are likely to seek clarification on these points.
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