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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Procedures for Contested Election Cases in the House of Representatives
Under the U.S. Constitution, each House of Congress has the express authority to be the judge of the "elections and returns" of its own Members. Although initial challenges and recounts for the House are conducted at the state level, under the state's authority to administer federal elections, continuing contests may be presented to the House, which, as the final arbiter, may make a conclusive determination of a claim to the seat. This report describes these procedures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29688/
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/
Presidential Appointments to Full-Time Positions in Executive Departments During the 110th Congress, 2007-2008
This report explains the process for filling positions to which the President makes appointments with the advice and consent of the Senate (PAS positions). It also identifies, for the 110th Congress, all nominations to executive-level full-time positions in the 15 departments. Profiles of the departments provide information regarding their full-time PAS positions and related appointment activity during the 110th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29638/
Omnibus Appropriations Acts: Overview of Recent Practices
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, the report reviews the recent enactment of such measures and briefly addresses several issues raised by their use. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462299/
The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction
Congress annually considers several appropriations measures, which provide discretionary funding for numerous activities--such as national defense, education, and homeland security--as well as general government operations. Appropriations acts are characteristically annual and generally provide funding authority that expires at the end of the federal fiscal year, September 30. These measures are considered by Congress under certain rules and practices, referred to as the congressional appropriations process. This report discusses the various aspects of this process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491371/
Rules and Practices Governing Consideration of Revenue Legislation in the House and Senate
This report provides an overview and analysis of the most consequential revenue-specific rules that apply during the process of developing and considering revenue legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491283/
Congressional Budget Office: Appointment and Tenure of the Director and Deputy Director
This report discusses the means through which the Director and Deputy Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) are appointed and briefly lists the people who have held the two positions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491313/
Deprivation of Honest Services as a Basis for Federal Mail and Wire Fraud Convictions
The United States Supreme Court in Skilling v. United States construed the honest services branch of the federal mail and wire fraud statutes to reach no more than cases involving bribery or kickbacks. The mail and wire fraud statutes, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341 and 1343, impose criminal penalties for the use of mail or interstate wire communications to deprive another of money or property through a "scheme or artifice to defraud." This report discusses wire and mail fraud and examines relevant court cases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491069/
Congressional Franking Privilege: Background and Recent Legislation
This report discusses the congressional franking privilege, which dates from 1775 and allows Members of Congress to transmit mail matter under their signature without postage. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491206/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491409/
Congressional Official Mail Costs
The congressional franking privilege allows Members of Congress to send official mail via the U.S. Postal Service at government expense. This report provides information and analysis on the costs of franked mail in the House of Representatives and Senate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491523/
Proposed Train and Equip Authorities for Syria: In Brief
This report reviews the authority granted in H.J.Res. 124 and explores similarities and differences among the H.J.Res. 124 authority, the President's requests, and other proposals that may be considered by Congress, including during anticipated consideration of FY2015 full-year appropriations or defense authorization (H.R. 4435/S. 2410) legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491440/
Election Year Restrictions on Mass Mailings by Members of Congress: How H.R. 2056 Would Change Current Law
Current law prohibits the franking of mass mailings by Senators fewer than 60 days, and by House Members fewer than 90 days, prior to any primary or general election in which the Member is a candidate. This report discusses H.R. 2056, which would amend Title 39, United States Code, by altering the prohibition for both Senators and House Members to the period starting 90 days prior to any primary and ending on the day of the general election, unless the Member has made a public announcement that the Member will not be a candidate for reelection to any federal office. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491122/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491450/
The Committee Markup Process in the House of Representatives
This report focuses on the markup stage of the legislative process in committee. It discusses the selection of the text to be marked up, the procedures for proposing and debating amendments to that text, the voting and quorum procedures that govern markups, and the final stages of ordering the marked-up text reported to the House for its consideration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491641/
Speed of Presidential and Senate Actions on Supreme Court Nominations, 1900-2010
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491564/
Committee Types and Roles
This report briefly describes the function and types of congressional committees and subcommittees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491566/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491580/
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. This report discusses the Byrd rule, which 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/metadc491526/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491394/
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 of these 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 snapshot of the forms and origins of measures which, according to the Legislative Information System of the U.S. Congress (LIS), received action on the House floor in the 110th Congress (2007-2008) and the parliamentary procedures used to bring them up. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491041/
Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990-2014
The report contains information on the pay procedure for members of Congress and recent adjustments. It provides information on previous actions and votes by year. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490942/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490941/
The Office of the Parliamentarian in the House and Senate
This report discusses the Office of the Parliamentarian, which provides expert advice and assistance on questions relating to the meaning and application of that chamber's legislative rules, precedents, and practices, in both the House and Senate. The Speaker began naming a parliamentarian in 1927; the Senate first recognized its parliamentarian in 1935. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490875/
Ebola: 2014 Outbreak in West Africa
This report gives a overview of the West African Ebola outbreak that began in March, 2014. The report discusses the nature of the disease as well as local and international responses to it. The report also briefly examines U.S policy and congressional actions in the wake of the outbreak. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462293/
Reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act
This report describes the changes that were made by the Foreign Intelligence Suveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act within the context of the government's authority to conduct surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463018/
Congressional Redistricting and the Voting Rights Act: A Legal Overview
This report provides a legal overview of two key provisions of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) affecting congressional redistricting — Sections 2 and 5 — and selected accompanying Supreme Court case law. It examines a pending Supreme Court case, Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, challenging the constitutionality of Section 5. It also provides a summary of selected legislation in the 112th and 113th Congresses that would establish additional requirements and standards for congressional redistricting. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462055/
Insourcing Functions Performed by Federal Contractors: Legal Issues
"This report provides a brief overview of key legal issues related to recent insourcing initiatives. While agencies are prohibited by federal law and policy from contracting out functions that are "inherently governmental," other functions could potentially be contracted out. There has long been debate over both general government policies promoting the use of the private sector to perform "commercial functions," and whether specific functions should be performed by government personnel or contractors. However, since 2008, the insourcing initiatives of recent Congresses and the Obama Administration have generated particular controversy.5 Several lawsuits have been filed challenging agencies' determinations to insource particular functions,and broader questions have been raised as to whether agencies' implementation of insourcing runs afoul of civil service, ethics, or small business laws." (p. 1). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463496/
The Military Commissions Act of 2009 (MCA 2009): Overview and Legal Issues
This report provides a background and analysis comparing military commissions as envisioned under the revised Military Commissions Act (MCA) to those established by the MCA 2006. After reviewing the history of the implementation of military commissions in the armed conflict against Al Qaeda and associated forces, the report provides an overview of the procedural safeguards provided in the MCA. Finally, the report provides two charts comparing the MCA as amended by the MCA 2009 to the original MCA enacted in 2006 and to general courts-martial. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463438/
Federalism, State Sovereignty, and the Constitution: Basis and Limits of Congressional Power
The report discusses state and federal legislative power generally, and focuses on a number of these "federalism" cases. Issues addressed include congressional power under the Commerce Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment; limits on congressional powers, such as the Tenth Amendment; and state sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462660/
The U.S. Secret Service: An Examination and Analysis of Its Evolving Missions
This report frames potential policy questions concerning the U.S. Secret Service's (USSS) mission and organization through an examination of the USSS history and its statutory authorities, mission, and present activities within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462764/
House Standing Committee Chairs and Ranking Minority Members: Rules Governing Selection Procedures
This report discusses house rules, Republican Conference rules, and Democratic Caucus rules each detail aspects of the procedures followed in selecting standing committee chairs and ranking minority members. This report summarizes those procedures and lists membership on each party's steering committee. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461957/
Congressional Review Act: Disapproval of Rules in a Subsequent Session of Congress
This report addresses some of the implications of the CRA with regard to agency rulemaking in the final months of a presidential administration. It first notes the practice of increased rulemaking activity during this period, and describes how this practice has been addressed by two White House memoranda issued during the current Bush Administration. The report then briefly identifies key elements of the complex set of time periods established by the CRA — elements that define points during the disapproval process at which various actions may occur. This discussion focuses on the CRA provisions for carrying over the disapproval process into a subsequent session of Congress, and indicates how rules submitted at the end of a Congress may be affected by these provisions. Then, the report identifies the dates in previous sessions of Congress after which rules have (since the enactment of the CRA) been subject to these carryover provisions, and identifies some of the rules that may be issued in the final months of the current Bush Administration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462133/
Medical Loss Ratio Requirements Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Issues for Congress
This report provides a detailed description of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148) requirements for Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) reporting and rebates as specified in regulations, including components of the MLR formula, state flexibility and waivers, and the nature of rebates to policyholders. The report also addresses issues that have been raised about the MLR provisions since the ACA was enacted, namely the treatment of insurance commissions paid to brokers and agents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462995/
Role of Home State Senators in the Selection of Lower Federal Court Judges
This report examines the role that home state Senators, historically and in the contemporary era, have played in the selection of nominees to U.S. district court and circuit court of appeals judgeships. It also identifies issues that have arisen in recent years over the role of home state Senators in the selection process for federal judges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463299/
How Legislation Is Brought to the House Floor: A Snapshot of Parliamentary Practice in the 112th Congress (2011-2012)
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/metadc463133/
Congress as a Consumer of Intelligence Information
This report examines the role of Congress as a consumer of national intelligence and examines several issues that Congress might address in the 111th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462929/
Congress as a Consumer of Intelligence Information
This report examines the role of Congress as a consumer of national intelligence and examines several issues that Congress might address during the second session of the 111th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462949/
An Overview of the Presidential Pardoning Power
This report provides an overview of the scope of the President's pardoning power, the legal effects of a pardon, and the procedures that have traditionally been adhered to in the consideration of requests for pardons. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462432/
Kosovo and U.S. Policy
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs757/
Pakistan's Domestic Political Developments: Issues for Congress
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Pakistan's Domestic Political Developments: Issues for Congress
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Pakistan's Domestic Political Developments: Issues for Congress
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Kosovo and U.S. Policy
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1896/
China: Pending Legislation in the 105th Congress
This report tracks pending human rights legislation, including bills concerning: prison conditions and prison labor exports (H.R. 2195, H.R. 2358); coercive abortion practices (H.R. 2570); China’s policies toward religion (H.R. 967, H.R. 2431); and more general human rights issues (H.R. 2095). Other bills concern Taiwan — in particular, Taiwan’s entry into the World Trade Organization (H.Res. 190) and the U.S. role in helping Taiwan with a theater missile defense system (H.R. 2386). Also, legislation is pending on China’s missile proliferation activities (H.Res. 188), Radio Free Asia broadcasting to China (H.R. 2232), China’s participation in multilateral institutions (H.R. 1712, H.R. 2605), and the activities of China’s military and intelligence services (H.R. 2647, H.R. 2190). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs760/
Pakistan's Domestic Political Developments
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Pakistan's Domestic Political Developments
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Pakistan's Domestic Political Developments
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7426/
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages for countering mines, small boats, and diesel-electric submarines, particularly in littoral (i.e., near-shore) waters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276886/
House Offset Amendments to Appropriations Bills: Procedural Considerations
This report is an introduction to selected House rules and practices governing the consideration of offset amendments to appropriations measures considered in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union (or Committee of the Whole). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31399/