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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Military Commissions Act of 2009 (MCA 2009): Overview and Legal Issues

The Military Commissions Act of 2009 (MCA 2009): Overview and Legal Issues

Date: May 13, 2013
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federalism, State Sovereignty, and the Constitution: Basis and Limits of Congressional Power

Federalism, State Sovereignty, and the Constitution: Basis and Limits of Congressional Power

Date: February 1, 2008
Creator: Thomas, Kenneth R.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The U.S. Secret Service: An Examination and Analysis of Its Evolving Missions

The U.S. Secret Service: An Examination and Analysis of Its Evolving Missions

Date: July 31, 2008
Creator: Reese, Shawn
Description: 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).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
House Standing Committee Chairs and Ranking Minority Members: Rules Governing Selection Procedures

House Standing Committee Chairs and Ranking Minority Members: Rules Governing Selection Procedures

Date: October 7, 2014
Creator: Schneider, Judy
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congressional Review Act: Disapproval of Rules in a Subsequent Session of Congress

Congressional Review Act: Disapproval of Rules in a Subsequent Session of Congress

Date: September 3, 2008
Creator: Copeland, Curtis W. & Beth, Richard S.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Medical Loss Ratio Requirements Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Issues for Congress

Medical Loss Ratio Requirements Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Issues for Congress

Date: August 26, 2014
Creator: Kirchhoff, Suzanne M.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Role of Home State Senators in the Selection of Lower Federal Court Judges

Role of Home State Senators in the Selection of Lower Federal Court Judges

Date: February 11, 2013
Creator: Rutkus, Denis Steven
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
How Legislation Is Brought to the House Floor: A Snapshot of Parliamentary Practice in the 112th Congress (2011-2012)

How Legislation Is Brought to the House Floor: A Snapshot of Parliamentary Practice in the 112th Congress (2011-2012)

Date: April 15, 2013
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congress as a Consumer of Intelligence Information

Congress as a Consumer of Intelligence Information

Date: January 15, 2009
Creator: Cumming, Alfred
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congress as a Consumer of Intelligence Information

Congress as a Consumer of Intelligence Information

Date: January 28, 2010
Creator: Cumming, Alfred
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
An Overview of the Presidential Pardoning Power

An Overview of the Presidential Pardoning Power

Date: January 7, 2009
Creator: Burrows, Vanessa K.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Proposed Train and Equip Authorities for Syria: In Brief

Proposed Train and Equip Authorities for Syria: In Brief

Date: December 3, 2014
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M. & Belasco, Amy
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress

Date: June 21, 2010
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Description: 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. The Navy's proposed FY2012 budget requests funding for the procurement of four LCSs. Current issues for Congress concerning the LCS program include changes or potential changes to the composition of LCS mission modules announced by the Navy in January 2011, the combat survivability of the LCS, and hull cracking on LCS-1. Congress's decisions on the LCS program could affect Navy capabilities and funding requirements, and the shipbuilding industrial base.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congressional Roll Call Votes on the Keystone XL Pipeline

Congressional Roll Call Votes on the Keystone XL Pipeline

Date: January 22, 2015
Creator: Cunningham, Lynn J. & Cook, Beth
Description: This report provides roll call vote data related to the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline that would transport oil sands crude from Canada and shale oil produced in North Dakota and Montana to a market hub in Nebraska for further delivery to Gulf Coast refineries. Voting information is listed chronologically and broken down by chamber, Congress, and type of legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years

Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years

Date: May 13, 2010
Creator: Keith, Robert
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Budget Enforcement Procedures: Senate Pay- As-You-Go (PAYGO) Rule

Budget Enforcement Procedures: Senate Pay- As-You-Go (PAYGO) Rule

Date: January 12, 2010
Creator: Heniff, Bill, Jr.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
NATO Enlargement: Senate Advice and Consent

NATO Enlargement: Senate Advice and Consent

Date: January 15, 2010
Creator: Garcia, Michael John
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
"Holds" in the Senate

"Holds" in the Senate

Date: March 19, 2015
Creator: Oleszek, Mark J.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Speed of Presidential and Senate Actions on Supreme Court Nominations, 1900-2010

Speed of Presidential and Senate Actions on Supreme Court Nominations, 1900-2010

Date: April 21, 2010
Creator: Garrett, R. Sam & Rutkus, Denis Steven
Description: 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).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congressional Oversight of Intelligence: Current Structure and Alternatives

Congressional Oversight of Intelligence: Current Structure and Alternatives

Date: January 25, 2010
Creator: Kaiser, Frederick M.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
House Standing Committee Chairs and Ranking Minority Members: Rules Governing Selection Procedures

House Standing Committee Chairs and Ranking Minority Members: Rules Governing Selection Procedures

Date: March 20, 2015
Creator: Schneider, Judy
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Military Commissions Act of 2009: Overview and Legal Issues

The Military Commissions Act of 2009: Overview and Legal Issues

Date: April 6, 2010
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Role of Congress in Trade Policy

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Role of Congress in Trade Policy

Date: January 23, 2015
Creator: Fergusson, Ian F.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
How Legislation Is Brought to the House Floor: A Snapshot of Parliamentary Practice in the 113th Congress (2013-2014)

How Legislation Is Brought to the House Floor: A Snapshot of Parliamentary Practice in the 113th Congress (2013-2014)

Date: February 13, 2015
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department