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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Casework in a Congressional Office
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3990/
Casework in a Congressional Office
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3989/
Climate Change Legislation in the 109th Congress
Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a continuing issue in the 109th Congress. Bills directly addressing climate change issues range from those focused primarily on climate change research to comprehensive emissions cap-and-trade programs. Additional bills focus on GHG reporting and registries, or on power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, as part of wider controls on pollutant emissions. The bills vary in their approaches to climate change issues. This report briefly discusses the basic concepts on which these bills are based and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research, technology deployment, GHG reporting and registries, and emissions reduction programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7199/
Climate Change Legislation in the 108th Congress
Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been an issue in the 108th Congress, as they have been over the past decade. Bills directly addressing climate change issues range from those focused primarily on climate change research (H.R. 1578 and S. 1164) to comprehensive emissions cap and trading programs for all six greenhouse gases (S. 139 and H.R. 4067). This report briefly discusses basic concepts on which these bills are based, and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research, GHG reporting and registries, and cap and trade programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10056/
Climate Change Legislation in the 108th Congress
Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have been an issue in the 108th Congress, as they have been over the past decade. Bills directly addressing climate change issues range from those focused primarily on climate change research (H.R. 1578 and S. 1164) to comprehensive emissions cap and trading programs for all six greenhouse gases (S. 139 and H.R. 4067). This report briefly discusses basic concepts on which these bills are based, and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research, GHG reporting and registries, and cap and trade programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6136/
Congressional Budget Resolutions: Motions to Instruct Conferees
Both the House and the Senate have procedures whereby the full bodies may issue instructions to conferees on budget resolutions, usually in the form of a motion. The practices of the House and Senate regarding such motions differ markedly in key respects. First, the House resorts to such motions regularly (having considered 10 such motions in the past 12 years), while the Senate seldom uses them. Second, the House has considered only one motion per budget resolution, while the Senate considered five motions on one budget resolution. Finally, the House regards the motion to instruct conferees strictly as a prerogative of the minority party, while the Senate does not. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1439/
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/metadc31318/
Constitutionality of a Senate Filibuster of a Judicial Nomination
This report provides an overview of the major issues which have been raised recently in the Senate regarding the Judicial Nominations, Filibusters, and the Constitution: When a Majority Is Denied Its Right to Consent and in the press concerning the constitutionality of a Senate filibuster (i.e., extended debate) of a judicial nomination. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5765/
Constitutionality of a Senate Filibuster of a Judicial Nomination
This report provides an overview of the major issues which have been raised recently in the Senate regarding the Judicial Nominations, Filibusters, and the Constitution: When a Majority Is Denied Its Right to Consent and in the press concerning the constitutionality of a Senate filibuster (i.e., extended debate) of a judicial nomination. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4026/
Congressional Gifts and Travel: Legislative Proposals for the 109th Congress
The House and Senate examined their rules on the acceptance of gifts and travel expenses. Press accounts of alleged excesses in privately funded congressional travel and gifts, particularly from lobbyists, have provided an impetus for proposed changes in the 109th Congress. This report provides an analysis of the proposals for change introduced or discussed in the 109th Congress and will be updated as events warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8345/
Federal Counter-Terrorism Training: Issues for Congressional Oversight
This report is an overview of the major training activities and facilities of the federal departments and agencies that provide counter-terrorism training. It identifies some of the issues associated with the training, including the following: (1) possible duplication of federal counter-terrorism training programs; (2) determination of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) counter-terrorism training priorities; and (3) possible redundancy and coordination of DHS counter-terrorism training programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10377/
Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years
This report provides information on congressional practices with respect to the duration of continuing resolutions, including the use of full-year measures, and focuses particularly on the period covering FY1998-FY2011. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40197/
Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years
This report provides information on congressional practices with respect to the duration of continuing resolutions, including the use of full-year measures, and focuses particularly on the period covering FY1998-FY2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33045/
Emergency Spending: Statutory and Congressional Rules
Under the Budget Enforcement Act (BEA), there are statutory limits (caps) on the level of federal discretionary spending, enforced by across-the-board spending cuts, known as a sequester. If, however, spending is designated as emergency by both the President and Congress, it will not trigger a sequester, because the caps are adjusted automatically by an amount equal to the emergency spending. Since the BEA was first enacted in 1990, both the House and Senate have supplemented its provisions with additional limitations in their respective rules concerning the use of emergency designations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1443/
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/metacrs6156/
Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights
This report discusses Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights. Relations among major political factions have worsened substantially since late 2011, threatening Iraq's stability and the perception of the achievements of the long U.S. intervention in Iraq. Sunni Arabs, always fearful that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki would seek unchallenged power for Shiite factions allied with him, accuse him of an outright power grab as he seeks to purge the highest-ranking Sunni Arabs from government and to cripple attempts by Sunni-inhabited provinces to achieve greater autonomy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86669/
House Resolutions of Inquiry
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26207/
House Committees: Categories and Rules for Committee Assignments
This report House and party rules, both of which detail procedures for committee assignments. House rules address the election and membership of committees, especially limitations on membership. The Democratic Caucus and Republican Conference rules designate categories of committees (shown below) and specify service limitations in addition to those in the House rules. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29528/
House Contested Election Cases: 1933 to 2005
This report provides a summary of contested election cases from the 73rd Congress through the 109th Congress, 1933 to 2005. The descriptions primarily provide information concerning the nature of the action and the disposition of the case. The summary is limited to only those cases that were considered by the House of Representatives; cases decided at the state level are beyond the scope of this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29532/
Insourcing Functions Performed by Federal Contractors: An Overview of the Legal Issues
Recent Congresses and the Obama Administration have taken numerous actions to promote "insourcing," or the use of government personnel to perform functions that contractors have performed on behalf of federal agencies. Members of the 112th Congress have introduced several measures which seek to ensure that certain contractors have standing to challenge insourcing determinations; would provide for additional review of insourcing determinations that affect small businesses; or could otherwise constrain insourcing initiatives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85391/
History and Authority of the Joint Economic Committee
This report briefly discusses joint committees, which are composed of members from both the House and the Senate. The work of these committees generally involves conducting studies and overseeing aspects of congressional operations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31391/
House Committee Chairs: Considerations, Decisions, and Actions as One Congress Ends and a New Congress Begins
This report 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. The report is divided into the following sections: Transition, Administrative Matters, Committee Organization, Committee Procedure and the Role of the Chair, Procedural Tools for Committee Chairs, Floor Consideration and the Role of the Chair, and Legislative Issues and Agenda. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29716/
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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