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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
House Committee Chairs: Considerations, Decisions, and Actions as One Congress Ends and a New Congress Begins
Report that addresses some of the critical matters a House committee chair confronts from the time of the early organization meetings in November to approximately the spring district work-period in March or April. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228082/
House Committee Hearings: Witness Testimony
This report briefly discusses the witness testimony process in House of Representatives committee hearings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31314/
How Legislation Is Brought to the House Floor: A Snapshot of Recent Parliamentary Practice
The House of Representatives has several different parliamentary procedures through which it can bring legislation to the chamber floor. Which will be used in a given situation depends on many factors, including the type of measure being considered, its cost, the amount of political or policy controversy surrounding it, and the degree to which Members want to debate it and propose amendments. This report provides a statistical snapshot of the forms, origins, and party sponsorship of these measures, and of the parliamentary procedures used to bring them to the chamber floor during their initial consideration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33011/
House Rules and Precedents Affecting Committee Markup Procedures
Markup procedure in standing committee of the House of Representatives generally conform to guidelines the House follows when it conducts business on the floor under a set of procedures known as consideration by the "House as in Committee of the Whole." This report briefly discusses these procedures as they relate to legislative business conducted on the floor and in committee. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31307/
House Rules Committee Hearings on Special Rules
This report briefly discusses the procedure in the House of Representatives for rules committee hearings on special rules. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31313/
A Guide to Major Congressional and Presidential Awards
This report is designed to help congressional offices obtain information about major awards given by Congress and the President. It lists details about the establishment, criteria, selection process, and presentation of each of the major presidential and congressional awards: Congressional Award, Congressional Gold Medal, Medal of Honor, Presidential Citizens Medal, and Presidential Medal of Freedom. Brief entries are provided for additional awards made by the President including two new military medals for service in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT): the GWOT Expeditionary Medal and the GWOT Service Medal. Contact information for the organization responsible for making the award and for more data about an award is provided. References to CRS products on awards are also given. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3939/
A Guide to Major Congressional and Presidential Awards
This report is designed to help congressional offices obtain information about major awards given by Congress and the President. It lists details about the establishment, criteria, selection process, and presentation of each of the major presidential and congressional awards: Congressional Award, Congressional Gold Medal, Medal of Honor, Presidential Citizens Medal, and Presidential Medal of Freedom. Brief entries are provided for additional awards made by the President including two new military medals for service in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT): the GWOT Expeditionary Medal and the GWOT Service Medal. Contact information is provided for the organization responsible for making the award and for more data about an award. References to CRS products on awards are also given. This report will be updated as necessary. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3940/
Navy Aegis Cruiser and Destroyer Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
This report explores a program to modernize the Navy's 84 existing Aegis cruisers and destroyers over a period of more than 20 years and includes the reasons for the program and the oversight issues it poses for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103245/
Navy Aegis Cruiser and Destroyer Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
The Navy has begun a multi-billion dollar program to modernize its 84 existing Aegis cruisers and destroyers over a period of more than 20 years. This report explores this program in detail, including the reasons for the program and the oversight issues it poses for Congress. This report will be updated as events warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29747/
The Legislative Process on the House Floor: An Introduction
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26099/
Congressional Budget Resolutions: Revisions and Adjustments
Following a brief discussion of budget resolutions and the congressional budget process, this report examines the several ways in which budget levels and other matters included in budget resolutions may be revised or adjusted, the authorities that underpin the making of such revisions and adjustments, and actual practices of the House and Senate in this regard. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7601/
Revenue Reconciliation Directives to the Senate Finance Committee in Congressional Budget Resolutions
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Department of Homeland Security: Options for House and Senate Committee Organization
With the passage of H.R. 5710, to create a new Department of Homeland Security, Congress has begun discussions regarding the appropriate congressional structure to conduct oversight and fund the new department. Section 1503 of the legislation states the sense of Congress that each chamber should review its committee structure in light of the reorganization of the executive branch. This report addresses some of the options currently being discussed and provides information on legislation in the 107th Congress that attempts to alter the current committee system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7041/
Trade Promotion Authority: Possible Vote on Two-Year Extension
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Congress’s Power Under the Commerce Clause: The Impact of Recent Court Decisions
This report will first review the current Supreme Court case law with respect to the Commerce Clause. Second, it will examine the analysis used and the results of the three lower court opinions. Finally, two areas of tension that appear to exist within the Court’s jurisprudence, and the potential implications that resolution of these conflicts may have on congressional power under the Commerce Clause will be examined. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7382/
The Mid-Session Review of the President’s Budget: Timing Issues
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Congressional Access to Executive Branch Information: Legislative Tools
This report begins by reviewing the precedents established during the Washington Administration for withholding documents from Congress. Close examination reveals that the scope of presidential privilege is often exaggerated. Congress had access to more documentation than is commonly believed and might have had more had it pressed for it. Subsequent sections focus on various forms of congressional leverage: the power of the purse, the power to impeach, issuing congressional subpoenas, holding executive officials in contempt, House resolutions of inquiry, GAO investigations, and blocking nominations, all of which may force executive officials to release documents they would otherwise want to keep private and confidential. Even if Presidents announce perfectly plausible grounds for withholding documents, they may have to comply with the congressional will to achieve other more important goals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6983/
Terrorist Attacks and National Emergency Declaration
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Evolution of the Senate's Role in the Nomination and Confirmation Process: A Brief History
Over time, the Senate has developed a series of procedures to deal with the concerns of its Members on nominations. First is the custom of senatorial courtesy, whereby Senators from the same party as the President might influence a nomination or kill it by objecting to it. This tradition has not always been absolute, but it has allowed Senators to play a fairly large role, particularly in the selection of nominees within a Senator’s home state, such as for district court judgeships. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7052/
Executive Order 12919: Emergency Powers of the President
Executive Order 12919 concerns industrial preparedness during times of war and national emergency. This brief report uses simple language to describe what Executive Order 12919 does. It is intended to clarify common misunderstandings about the Order’s purpose and scope. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6974/
Omnibus Appropriations Act: Overview of Recent Practices
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Revenue Reconciliation Directives to the Senate Finance Committee in Congressional Budget Resolutions
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House Rules Changes Affecting the Congressional Budget Process in the 109th Congress (H.Res.5)
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"Fast Track" Congressional Consideration of Recommendations of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission
The recommendations of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission will automatically take effect unless, within a stated period after the recommendations are submitted to the House and Senate, Congress adopts a joint resolution of disapproval rejecting them in their entirety. Congressional consideration of this disapproval resolution is not governed by the regular rules of the House and Senate, but by special expedited or “fast track” procedures laid out in statute. This report describes these expedited parliamentary procedures and explains how they differ from the regular legislative processes of Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7636/
Speed of Presidential and Senate Actions on Supreme Court Nominations, 1900-2005
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A Sunset Commission for the Federal Government: Recent Developments
The sunset concept provides for programs and agencies to terminate automatically on a periodic basis unless explicitly renewed by law. In recent years bills to create a federal sunset commission, modeled on the sunset review process in Texas, have been introduced. President Bush called for creation of a federal sunset commission in his FY2006 budget submission. Bills reflecting an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) draft proposal have been introduced (S. 1399, H.R. 3276, H.R. 3277). This report will be updated as events warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7742/
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicare: The 24-Month Waiting Period for SSDI Beneficiaries Under Age 65
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Legislative Procedures for Adjusting the Public Debt Limit: A Brief Overview
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Speaker Hastert's Plan to Offset Spending: A Procedural Perspective
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Spending Reconciliation Directives to the Senate Finance Committee in Congressional Budget Resolutions
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Budget Reconciliation Legislation: Development and Consideration
This report briefly discusses the budget reconciliation process, which is an optional two-step process Congress may use to assure compliance with the direct spending, revenue, and debt-limit levels set forth in budget resolutions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31324/
Congressional Action to Overturn Agency Rules: Alternatives to the "Legislative Veto"
Congress has available a variety of statutory and non-statutory techniques, other than the "legislative veto," that have been used to overturn Federal agency rules, prevent their enforcement, limit their impact, or hinder their promulgation. This survey of the different statutory instruments of congressional control—direct overturn of rules, modification of agency jurisdiction, limitations in authorizing and appropriating statutes, requiring inter-agency consultation, and advance notification to the Congress—discusses a variety of mechanisms that vary in their use and their specificity, range of impact, and length of effect. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8141/
The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction
This report discusses the following aspects of the congressional appropriations process: the annual appropriations cycle; types of appropriations measures; spending ceilings for appropriations associated with the annual budget resolution; and the relationship between authorization and appropriation measures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31309/
The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83836/
Congressional Budget Office: Appointment and Tenure of the Director and Deputy Director
Section 20 1 (a) requires that the selection be made "without regard to political affiliation and solely on the basis of his fitness to perform his duties." Media reports over the years indicate that the CBO director is selected under informal practices in which the House and Senate Budget Committees alternate in recommending a nominee to the Speaker and President pro tempore of the Senate. These reports also indicate that the Speaker and President pro tempore have adhered to the Budget Committees' recommendations in making past selections. To the extent that these practices are informal, there may be disagreement with regard to their operation in the future selection of a CBO director. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8028/
Continuity of Congress: Enacted and Proposed Federal Statutes for Expedited Election to the House in Extraordinary Circumstances
This report is one of several CRS products related to congressional continuity and contingency planning. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9109/
Department of Defense Energy Initiatives: Background and Issues for Congress
This report gives an overview of fuel use by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and its pursuit of numerous initiatives for reducing its fuel needs and changing the mix of energy sources that it uses. The report includes an extensive background on DOD fuel use including how the DOD uses and buys fuel, challenges and risks associated with the DOD's fuel use, DOD energy initiatives, and past legislation that addressed DOD energy use; it also presents issues for Congress and legislative action to be addressed during FY2013. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96725/
Budget Enforcement Procedures: Senate's Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) Rule
The Senate’s “pay-as-you-go,” or PAYGO, rule generally prohibits the consideration of direct spending and revenue legislation that is projected to increase (or cause) an on-budget deficit in any one of three time periods: the first year, the first 5 years, and the second 5 years, covered by the most recently adopted budget resolution. Any increase in direct spending or reduction in revenues resulting from such legislation must be offset by an equivalent amount of direct spending cuts, tax increases, or a combination of the two. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4024/
The Budget Reconciliation Process: The Senate's "Byrd" Rule
Reconciliation is a procedure under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 by which Congress implements budget resolution policies affecting mainly permanent spending and revenue programs. The principal focus in the reconciliation process has been deficit reduction, but in recent years reconciliation has encompassed revenue reduction generally and spending increases in selected program areas. The Byrd rule provides six definitions of what constitutes extraneous matter for purposes of the rule (and several exceptions thereto), but the term is generally described as covering provisions unrelated to achieving the goals of the reconciliation instructions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7099/
The Budget Reconciliation Process: The Senate's "Byrd" Rule
Reconciliation is a procedure under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 by which Congress implements budget resolution policies affecting mainly permanent spending and revenue programs. The principal focus in the reconciliation process has been deficit reduction, but in recent years reconciliation has encompassed revenue reduction generally and spending increases in selected program areas. The Byrd rule provides six definitions of what constitutes extraneous matter for purposes of the rule (and several exceptions thereto), but the term is generally described as covering provisions unrelated to achieving the goals of the reconciliation instructions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7261/
Budget Reconciliation Legislation: Development and Consideration
This report briefly discusses the budget reconciliation process, which is an optional two-step process Congress may use to assure compliance with the direct spending, revenue, and debt-limit levels set forth in budget resolutions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227629/
Congressional Oversight and Related Issues Concerning International Security Agreements Concluded by the United States
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93817/
Congressional Veto of Executive Actions
Statutory provisions by which Congress authorizes a Federal program to be administered by the Executive but retains the legal authority to disapprove all or part of the program before final implementation have become increasingly frequent in recent years. These statutory provisions which subject a variety of proposed executive actions to congressional review are commonly known as "congressional veto" devices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8593/
Congressional Use of Funding Cutoffs Since 1970 Involving U.S. Military Forces and Overseas Deployments
This report provides background information on major instances, since 1970, when Congress has utilized funding cutoffs to compel the withdrawal of United States military forces from overseas military deployments. It also highlights key efforts by Congress to utilize the War Powers Resolution, since its enactment in 1973, to compel the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from foreign deployments. In this review, legislation expressing the “sense of the Congress” regarding U.S. military deployments is not addressed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1442/
Commitee Assignment Process in the U.S. Senate: Democratic and Republican Party Procedures
Because of the importance of committee work, Senators consider desirable committee assignments a priority. After general elections are over, one of the first orders of business for Senate leaders is setting the sizes and ratios of committees. This report describes the process of creating Senate committees, including the nomination process and rules and regulations specifically pertaining to said process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26304/
Conference Reports and Joint Explanatory Statements
The conference report presents the formal legislative language on which the conference committee has agreed. The joint explanatory statement explains the various elements of the conferees’ agreement in relation to the positions that the House and Senate had committed to the conference committee. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1479/
Conference Reports and Joint Explanatory Statements
The conference report presents the formal legislative language on which the conference committee has agreed. The joint explanatory statement explains the various elements of the conferees’ agreement in relation to the positions that the House and Senate had committed to the conference committee. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3963/
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 150 congressional liaison offices is intended to help congressional offices in placing telephone calls and addressing correspondence to government agencies. In each case, the information was supplied by the agency itself and is current as of the date of publication. Entries are arranged alphabetically in four sections: legislative branch; judicial branch; executive branch; and agencies, boards, and commissions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29539/
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 150 congressional liaison offices is intended to help congressional offices in placing telephone calls and addressing correspondence to government agencies. In each case, the information was supplied by the agency itself and is current as of the date of publication. Entries are arranged alphabetically in four sections: legislative branch; judicial branch; executive branch; and agencies, boards, and commissions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29542/
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 150 congressional liaison offices is intended to help congressional offices in placing telephone calls and addressing correspondence to government agencies. In each case, the information was supplied by the agency itself and is current as of the date of publication. Entries are arranged alphabetically in four sections: legislative branch; judicial branch; executive branch; and agencies, boards, and commissions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29541/