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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/metadc501773/
Budget Enforcement Procedures: Senate Pay- As-You-Go (PAYGO) Rule
This report discusses the Senate pay-as-you-go, or PAYGO, rule which generally requires that any legislation projected to increase direct spending or reduce revenues must also include equivalent amounts of direct spending cuts, revenue increases, or a combination of the two, so that the legislation does not increase the on-budget deficit over a six-year period and an 11-year period. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505402/
NATO Enlargement: Senate Advice and Consent
This report describes the provisions of the North Atlantic Treaty and of the original Senate debate in 1949 pertinent to enlargement and the procedures that have been followed for each subsequent enlargement proposal. It also discusses what the Senate did with respect to the reunification of Germany in 1990 and the implications of that event for Germany's membership in NATO. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505457/
"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/metadc503504/
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 2010. It focuses on the actual amounts of time that Presidents and the Senate have taken to act after learning about vacancies, selections, etc. (as opposed to the elapsed time between official points in the process). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503546/
Congressional Oversight of Intelligence: Current Structure and Alternatives
This report describes the current select committees on intelligence; characteristics and a model for a possible joint committee; recent actions by Congress; and obstacles affecting legislative oversight in the field. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505458/
House Standing Committee Chairs and Ranking Minority Members: Rules Governing Selection Procedures
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/metadc505400/
The Military Commissions Act of 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 in 2006. After reviewing the history of the implementation of military commissions in the "global war on terrorism," the report provides an overview of the procedural safeguards provided in the MCA. Finally, the report provides two tables 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/metadc503390/
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Role of Congress in Trade Policy
This report presents background and analysis on the development of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which expired on July 1, 2007. The report also includes a summary of the major provisions under the recently expired authority and a discussion of the issues that have arisen in the debate over TPA renewal, as well as policy options available to Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503703/
How Legislation Is Brought to the House Floor: A Snapshot of Parliamentary Practice in the 113th Congress (2013-2014)
This report provides a snapshot of the forms and origins of measures that, according to the Legislative Information System of the U.S. Congress, received action on the House floor in the 113th Congress (2013-2014) and the parliamentary procedures used to bring them up for initial House consideration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503700/
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 committee has experienced since 1967 and discusses the committee's current jurisdiction and procedures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503435/
Franking Privilege: Mass Mailings and Mass Communications in the House, 1997-2014
This report provides an analysis of House Member mass mailings (1997-2008, 2012-2014) and mass communications (2009-2014). Despite significant reductions in congressional mail postage costs over the past 25 years, critics continue to raise concerns about the franking privilege. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626919/
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Role of Congress in Trade Policy
This report presents background and analysis on the development of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which expired on July 1, 2007. The report also includes a summary of the major provisions under the recently expired authority and a discussion of the issues that have arisen in the debate over TPA renewal, as well as policy options available to Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627002/
Appropriations Bills: What is Report Language?
When the Senate or House Appropriations Committee reports an appropriations bill to the full Senate or House, respectively, the committee typically publishes a committee report explaining the bill. This fact sheet provides a brief overview of what these reports entail and the language used within them. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7624/
Authorization for Use of Military Force in Response to the 9/11 Attacks (P.L. 107-40): Legislative History
This report provides a legislative history of the legislation, S.J.Res. 23 , the “Authorization for Use of Military Force” (AUMF), which, as Congress stated in its text, constitutes the legislative authorization for the use of U.S. military force contemplated by the War Powers Resolution. It also is the statute which the President and his attorneys have subsequently cited as an authority for him to engage in electronic surveillance against possible terrorists without obtaining authorization of the special Court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978, as amended. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8970/
Casework in a Congressional Office
This paper presents 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 Member's constituents, and the role of staff and Members in providing casework services. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8162/
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/metacrs1491/
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/metacrs307/
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/