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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Spending Reconciliation Directives to the Senate Finance Committee in Congressional Budget Resolutions
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War Powers Resolution: Presidential Compliance
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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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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/
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/
Trade Promotion Authority: Possible Vote on Two-Year Extension
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Terrorist Attacks and National Emergency Declaration
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Revenue Reconciliation Directives to the Senate Finance Committee in Congressional Budget Resolutions
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The Presidential Veto and Congressional Procedure
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House Rules Changes Affecting the Congressional Budget Process in the 109th Congress (H.Res.5)
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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/
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/
Legislative Procedure for Disapproving the Renewal of China's Most-Favored-Nation Status
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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/
Compendium of Precedents Involving Evidentiary Rulings and Applications of Evidentiary Principles from Selected Impeachment Trials
At the present time, there are no binding rules of evidence or set of evidentiary principles to be applied in Senate impeachment trials. Rather, recourse is taken to the evidentiary rules and principles applicable in contemporaneous court proceedings and to precedents from past impeachment trial to provide guidance for Senate Impeachment Trial Committees or for the full Senate on evidentiary questions which arise in the impeachment context. This report compiles evidentiary precedents from the Senate impeachment trials of Judges Harry E. Claiborne, Halsted Ritter, Harold Louderback, and Charles Swayne. The evidentiary rulings and principles gleaned from this examination are arranged in subject matter categories, and within those categories, in reverse chronological order by trial. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3/
Sexual Assaults Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ): Selected Legislative Proposals
This report discusses the military-related cases involving sexual assaults by U.S. service members that have resulted in increased public and congressional interest in military discipline and the military justice system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227923/
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. Entries are arranged alphabetically in four sections: legislative branch; judicial branch; executive branch; and agencies, boards, and commissions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86530/
Venezuela: Issues for Congress
The United States traditionally has had close relations with Venezuela, a major supplier of foreign oil, but there has been friction in relations under the government of populist President Hugo Chávez. U.S. officials have expressed concerns about human rights, Venezuela's military arms purchases, its relations with Cuba and Iran, and its efforts to export its brand of populism to other Latin American countries. Declining cooperation on anti-drug and anti-terrorism efforts has also been a concern. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86552/
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. Entries are arranged alphabetically in four sections: legislative branch; judicial branch; executive branch; and agencies, boards, and commissions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86529/
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/
Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report discusses the U.S. policy toward the Central Asia. It provides background information and most recent developments in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. U.S. objectives have included promoting free markets, democratization, human rights, energy development, and the forging of East-West and Central Asia-South Asia trade links. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86653/
Reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act
This report describes the changes that were made by the FISA Amendments Act within the context of the government's authority to conduct surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122252/
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/
Considering Legislation on the House Floor: Common Practices in Brief
This report provides a brief overview that describes the most common ways legislation is considered on the House floor, the types of questions most likely to be voted on, and the opportunities for legislative debate that are most frequently used by Members. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc284519/
House Committee on Ethics: A Brief History of Its Evolution and Jurisdiction
This report briefly outlines the background of ethics enforcement in the House of Representatives, including the creation of both the Select Committee on Ethics and the Committee on Ethics. The report also focuses on various jurisdictional and procedural changes that the House Committee on Ethics has experienced since 1967, and discusses the committee's current jurisdiction and procedures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287957/
Proposals to Reform “Holds” in the Senate
This report examines, over a more than three decade period, a wide range of proposals to reform holds. In general, the objective of these recommendations is not to abolish holds but to infuse more accountability, uniformity, and transparency in their use and to make it clear that holds are not a veto on the majority leader's prerogative of calling up measures or matters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93963/
Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report discusses sovereign debt, which is also called public debt or government debt, and refers to debt incurred by governments. The first section provides background information on sovereign debt, including why governments borrow, how sovereign debt differs from private debt, why governments repay their debt (or not), and how sovereign debt is measured. The second section examines the shift of concerns over sovereign debt sustainability from emerging markets in the 1990s and 2000s to advanced economies following the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, and the challenges posed by high debt levels. The third section analyzes the different policy options governments have for lowering debt levels. It also discusses the current strategy being used by most advanced economies -- fiscal austerity -- and concerns that have been raised about its global impact. Finally, the fourth section analyzes issues of particular interest to Congress, including comparisons between U.S. and European debt levels, how efforts to reduce debt levels could impact the U.S. economy, and policy options available to Congress for engaging on this issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc267837/
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/
House Rules Manual: Summary of Contents
This report provides a description of house rules and manuals. The first section of the House Manual identifies the more substantive rules changes made by the House resolution adopting the rules of the current Congress. Also identified are citations to volumes of precedents referenced in the parliamentarian's annotations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc267875/
Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990-2013
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, from 1990-2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282341/
Reducing Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Military Retirees and the Bipartisan Budget Act: In Brief
This report discusses the reduction of cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for military retirees through the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA). It includes an overview of the changes, demographics of military retirees, and potential effects of the changes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282295/
Venezuela: Issues for Congress
This report covers the issues Venezuela poses for Congress. It examines the Venezualian political situation, its economic conditions, the United States policy toward Venezuela, and the legislative initiatives of the 111th Congress regarding this foreign nation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98952/
"Holds" in the Senate
This report discusses a wide range of proposals aimed at reforming holds (an informal practice among Senators to communicate policy views and scheduling preferences) to infuse more accountability, uniformity, and transparency in their use and to make it clear that holds are not a veto on the majority leader's prerogative of calling up measures or matters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306510/
H.R. 3080 and S. 601: Comparison of Select Provisions and Conference Developments
This report discusses the conference report H.Rept. 113-449 that would resolve differences between H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA 2013), and S. 601, the Water Resources Development Act of 2013 (WRDA 2013). Both bills represented omnibus authorization legislation for water resource activities, principally associated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc306555/
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/metadc83850/
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/metadc83848/
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/metadc83849/
Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83966/
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/
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, this report reviews the recent enactment of such measures and briefly addresses several issues raised by their use. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93987/
Regulatory Reform Legislation in the 112th Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93873/
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/
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/
Committee Numbers, Sizes, Assignments, and Staff: Selected Historical Data
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26109/
Social Security's Treatment Under the Federal Budget: A Summary
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26075/
Speed of Presidential and Senate Actions on Supreme Court Nominations, 1900 - 2009
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/metadc26230/
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/
War Powers Resolution: Presidential Compliance
Two separate but closely related issues confront Congress each time the President introduces armed forces into a situation abroad that conceivably could lead to their involvement in hostilities. One issue concerns the division of war powers between the President and Congress, whether the use of armed forces falls within the purview of the congressional power to declare war and the War Powers Resolution. The other issue is whether or not Congress concurs in the wisdom of the action. A longer-term issue is whether the War Powers Resolution is an appropriate and effective means of assuring congressional participation in actions that might get the United States involved in war. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33055/
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/