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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress

Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress

Date: May 26, 2011
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
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.
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Omnibus Appropriations Acts: Overview of Recent Practices

Omnibus Appropriations Acts: Overview of Recent Practices

Date: August 25, 2010
Creator: Tollestrup, Jessica
Description: This report discusses Omnibus appropriations acts, which have become a significant feature of the legislative process in recent years as Congress and the President have used them more frequently to bring action on the regular appropriations cycle to a close. Following a discussion of pertinent background information, this report reviews the recent enactment of such measures and briefly addresses several issues raised by their use.
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Regulatory Reform Legislation in the 112th Congress

Regulatory Reform Legislation in the 112th Congress

Date: May 25, 2011
Creator: Copeland, Curtis W.
Description: In the 112th Congress, a number of bills have been introduced that would, if enacted, change current requirements in the federal rulemaking process. This report describes each of those bills, notes whether similar legislation has been introduced or acted upon in the past, summarizes the comments of those supporting and opposing the proposed legislation, and provides other relevant information.
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Congressional Oversight and Related Issues Concerning International Security Agreements Concluded by the United States

Congressional Oversight and Related Issues Concerning International Security Agreements Concluded by the United States

Date: June 7, 2012
Creator: Garcia, Michael John & Mason, Chuck R.
Description: This report looks at issues arising from disputes between Congress and the executive branch. It begins by providing a general background on the types of international agreements that are binding upon the United States, as well as considerations affecting whether they take the form of a treaty or an executive agreement. Next, the report discusses historical precedents as to the role that security agreements have taken, with specific attention paid to past agreements entered with Afghanistan, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Iraq. The report discusses the oversight role that Congress exercises with respect to entering and implementing international agreements involving the United States.
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The Legislative Process on the House Floor: An Introduction

The Legislative Process on the House Floor: An Introduction

Date: November 26, 2008
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Description: This report is an introductory and selective explanation of the rules, procedures, and practices by which the House of Representatives considers public bills and resolutions on the floor. After discussions of the nature of House rules, the differences between the House and the Committee of the Whole, and limitations on debate, the report describes five different ways in which the House may consider, perhaps debate and amend, and then vote on whether to pass legislation. The report also discusses the House's calendars and its order of business, the special rules reported by the Rules Committee, House consideration of Senate amendments and conference reports, and the rules and constitutional requirements affecting voting and quorum procedures.
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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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Social Security's Treatment Under the Federal Budget: A Summary

Social Security's Treatment Under the Federal Budget: A Summary

Date: March 20, 2002
Creator: Koitz, David Stuart
Description: The treatment of Social Security in the federal budget is often confusing. In legislation enacted in 1983, 1985, and 1990, Social Security was excluded from official budget calculations and largely exempted it from congressional procedures for controlling budget revenues and expenditures. However, because Social Security represents more than a fifth of federal revenues and expenditures, it often is included in summaries of the government's financial flows, or what is referred to as the "unified" budget.
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Speed of Presidential and Senate Actions on Supreme Court Nominations, 1900 - 2009

Speed of Presidential and Senate Actions on Supreme Court Nominations, 1900 - 2009

Date: May 29, 2009
Creator: Garrett, R. Sam & Rutkus, Denis Steven
Description: This report provides information on the amount of time taken to act on all Supreme Court nominations occurring between 1900 and the present. It focuses on the actual amounts of time that Presidents and the Senate have taken to act (as opposed to the elapsed time between official points in the process). This report focuses on when the Senate became aware of the President's selection (e.g., via a public announcement by the President).
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House Resolutions of Inquiry

House Resolutions of Inquiry

Date: June 17, 2009
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Description: The resolution of inquiry is a simple House resolution that seeks factual information from the executive branch. This report explains the history, procedure, specific uses of resolutions of inquiry, and notes recent increases in their usage. The examples in this report demonstrate that, historically, even when a resolution of inquiry is reported adversely from a committee and tabled on the floor, it has frequently led to the release of a substantial amount of information from the Administration.
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