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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents
This report provides a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security. Cybersecurity vulnerabilities challenge governments, businesses, and individuals worldwide. Attacks have various targets, depending upon whether the attacker was seeking military intelligence, conducting diplomatic or industrial espionage, engaging in cybercrime, or intimidating political activists; additionally attributing an attack to a specific location can be difficult, which may make responding problematic. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743621/
Pope Francis and Selected Global Issues: Background for Papal Address to Congress
This report provides Members of Congress with background information on Pope Francis and a summary of a few selected global issues of congressional interest that have figured prominently on his agenda. The background section on Pope Francis includes a biographical sketch of his life as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, followed by a brief overview of his papacy thus far. The report then identifies some--but not all--of the global issues of concern to Pope Francis. Those include environmental stewardship, poverty and inequality, peace and diplomacy, and human trafficking. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770584/
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. This report focuses specifically on the Joint Economic Committee. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743463/
Senate Legislative Procedures: Published Sources of Information
The Senate publishes its rules, precedents, and other related information so that Senators and their staff have convenient access to the Senate’s legislative procedures and can gauge how those procedures are likely to apply in various situations. Information about the Senate’s legislative procedures is published in four official documents. This report briefly discusses these documents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc818530/
Amendments in the Senate: Types and Forms
This report briefly describes the various types of amendments that take place in the Senate. It has sections describing distinctions among amendments, degrees of amendments, forms of amendments, and the scope of amendments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743396/
Calendars of the House of Representatives
This report describes the use of "calendars" in the House of Representatives, referring to (1) lists of measures and motions eligible for consideration and (2) documents that contain the eligible motions and information about the status of legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743648/
Delegates to the U.S. Congress: History and Current Status
This report provides historical background on the development of the position of delegate to Congress and on the rights of a delegate once seated. Delegates, representing territories that had not yet achieved statehood, have served in the House since the late 1700s. In the 20th century, the concept of delegate grew to include representation of territories where the United States exercises some degree of control but were not expected to become states. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743638/
House Committee Hearings: Arranging Witnesses
This report briefly discusses the selection of witnesses for House committee hearings. House committees and subcommittees pay careful attention to which viewpoints will be represented, who should testify, and the order and format for presenting witnesses. Witnesses do not have an inherent right to appear at a hearing but must be invited by a committee or subcommittee in order to testify; committees and subcommittees may also subpoena reluctant witnesses to appear at a hearing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743390/
House Committee Hearings: Preparation
This report contains a checklist that identifies many of the tasks that need to be performed for committee hearings. Committee hearings provide Representatives an opportunity to gather information on, and draw attention to, legislation and issues within a committee's purview; conduct oversight of programs or agencies; and investigate allegations of mismanagement or wrongdoing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743655/
House Committee Hearings: Scheduling and Notification
This report briefly discusses scheduling and notification requirements, and practices for House committee hearings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743405/
Pairing in Congressional Voting: The House
This report discusses the practice of "pairing" for votes in the House of Representatives. Under certain procedural circumstances, a Member who is absent during a vote on the House floor may arrange with a Member on the opposite side of a specific question (who will be present) to announce that the Member who is present is forming a "pair" with the absent Member, thus allowing the absent Member to have his intended vote recorded. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743509/
Quorum Requirements in the House: Committee and Chamber
This report discusses minimum quorum requirements established by House Rule XI, clause 2 for eight areas of committee activity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743620/
Automatic Continuing Resolutions: Background and Overview of Recent Proposals
This report provides background on the historical frequency of federal funding gaps and shutdowns. It also discusses features of Automatic Continuing Resolutions (ACRs), arguments for and against ACRs, relevant Congressional actions, and proposals in the 112th through 114th Congresses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743499/
House Committee Hearings: Witness Testimony
This report briefly discusses the witness testimony process in House of Representatives committee hearings. Witnesses before House committees must generally file advance copies of their written testimony with the committee and then limit their oral testimony to brief summaries (Rule XI, clause 2(g)(5)). A question-and-answer period usually follows a witness's opening statement. Following hearings, committees usually publish the transcripts of witness testimony and questioning. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743484/
Types of Committee Hearings
This report describes the four types of congressional committee hearings: legislative, oversight, investigative, and confirmation. Hearings may be held on Capitol Hill or elsewhere (e.g., a committee member's district or state, or a site related to the subject of the hearing). These latter hearings are often referred to as field hearings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743577/
Legislative Procedures for Adjusting the Public Debt Limit: A Brief Overview
This report discusses the procedure for adjusting the public debt limit. Nearly all of the outstanding debt of the federal government is subject to a statutory limit, which is set forth as a dollar limitation in 31 U.S.C. 3101(b). From time to time, Congress considers and passes legislation to adjust or suspend this limit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743341/
How Measures Are Brought to the Senate Floor: A Brief Introduction
This report discusses the two basic methods that are used by the Senate to bring legislation to the floor for consideration: The Senate, at the majority leader's request, (1) grants unanimous consent to take up a matter, or (2) agrees to his motion to proceed to consider it. Both methods are derived from the basic premise that the Senate as a body may decide what matters it considers. The Senate may also use the same two methods to bring up executive business (nominations and treaties). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743383/
Filling the Senate "Amendment Tree"
This report discusses the filing process of "Amendment trees": diagrams that have developed over decades of Senate practice as a way of visualizing certain principles of precedence that govern the offering of, and voting on, amendments in the chamber. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743478/
Defense Spending and the Budget Control Act Limits
This report discusses the Budget Control Act, which sets limits on defense spending between fiscal years 2012 and 2021 and possible measures to avoid a sequester. The current debate in Congress has centered on whether to adjust the BCA defense caps upward; move base budget spending to accounts designated for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) that are not subject to spending limits; reduce the defense spending in the Administration's request to comply with BCA revised caps; or use some combination of these approaches. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743415/
House Office of Congressional Ethics: History, Authority, and Procedures
This report describes the history and rationale behind the creation of the House Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), its operations, and its relationship with the House Committee on Ethics, and potential options available for Congress if further amendments to the House ethics process are desired. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743644/
Omnibus Appropriations Acts: Overview of Recent Practices
Omnibus appropriations acts have become a significant feature of the legislative process in recent years as Congress and the President have resorted more frequently to their use to bring action on the regular appropriations cycle to a close. Following a discussion of pertinent background information, this report reviews the recent use of such measures and briefly addresses several issues that their use raises. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700755/
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA): Frequently Asked Questions
The issue of TPA reauthorization raises a number of questions regarding TPA itself and the pending legislation. This report addresses a number of those questions that are frequently asked, including the following: What is trade promotion authority? Is TPA necessary? What are trade negotiating objectives and how are they reflected in TPA statutes? What requirements does Congress impose on the President under TPA? Does TPA affect congressional authority on trade policy? digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700891/
Appointment and Confirmation of Executive Branch Leadership: An Overview
This report begins by explaining the three distinct stages that comprise the advice and consent process, which is the means through which most of these positions are filled. The report then provides an overview of recess appointments and briefly discusses other options that are available to Presidents for temporarily filling vacant advice and consent positions. Finally, it discusses certain types of statutory provisions that Congress has applied selectively to specific advice and consent positions in the executive branch. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700699/
Legislative Research for Congressional Staff: How to Find Documents and Other Resources
This report is one of a series of reports on legislative process and research; it is intended to serve as a finding aid to sources of information, such as documents, news articles, analysis, contacts and services, used in legislative research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700759/
Members' Representational Allowance: History and Usage
This report provides a history and overview of the Members' Representational Allowance (MRA) and examines spending patterns over selected years--2005, 2006, 2007, 2011, and 2012. The data exclude non-voting Members, including Delegates and the Resident Commissioner, as well as Members who were not in Congress for the entirety of the session. Information is provided on total spending and spending for various categories. The data collected demonstrate that, despite variations when considering all Members, many Members allocate their spending in a similar manner. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700898/
Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Comparison of H.R. 1560 and H.R. 1731 as Passed by the House
This report compares provisions in two bills in the House of Representatives that address information sharing and related activities in cybersecurity. Both bills focus on information sharing among private entities and between them and the federal government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795529/
Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Comparison of Legislative Proposals in the 114th Congress
This report compares two House bills and one Senate bill that address information sharing and related activities in cybersecurity. The report consists of an overview of those and other legislative proposals on information sharing, along with selected associated issues, followed by a side-by-side analysis of the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015 (NCPAA), the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (PCNA), and the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700704/
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/metadc689380/
Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Comparison of Legislative Proposals in the 114th Congress
This report compares two House bills and one Senate bill that address information sharing and related activities in cybersecurity. It also discusses some of the issues that those and other bills address. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689208/
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA): Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides background information Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), and discusses U.S. trade negotiating objectives, procedures for congressional-executive notification and consultation, and expedited legislative procedures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689482/
Conference Reports and Joint Explanatory Statements
This report discusses the function of conference reports and joint explanatory statements in Congress. 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/metadc689175/
Membership of the 114th Congress: A Profile
This report presents a profile of the membership of the 114th Congress (2015-2016). Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age, occupation, education, length of congressional service, religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, foreign births, and military service. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689332/
Legislative Branch Agency Appointments: History, Processes, and Recent Actions
This report contains information on the legislative branch agency heads' appointment processes, length of tenures (if terms are set), reappointment or removal provisions (if any), salaries and benefits, and most recent appointments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821036/
Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990-2015
This report discusses the process through which members of Congress are compensated. Members of Congress only receive salaries during the terms for which they are elected. Former Members of Congress may be eligible for retirement benefits. This report contains information on actions taken affecting each pay year since the establishment of the Ethics Reform Act adjustment procedure. It also provides information on other floor action related to pay for Members of Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689191/
Cuba Sanctions: Legislative Restrictions Limiting the Normalization of Relations
This report provides background information Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), and discusses U.S. trade negotiating objectives, procedures for congressional-executive notification and consultation, and expedited legislative procedures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689504/
Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Comparison of H.R. 1560 and H.R. 1731 as Passed by the House
This report compares provisions in two bills in the House of Representatives that address information sharing and related activities in cybersecurity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689204/
Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Comparison of H.R. 1560 and H.R. 1731 as Passed by the House
This report compares provisions in two bills in the House of Representatives that address information sharing and related activities in cybersecurity. This report consists of an overview of those and other legislative proposals on information sharing, along with selected associated issues, followed by a side-by-side analysis of the two House bills as passed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700817/
Defense Spending and the Budget Control Act Limits
This report discusses the Budget Control Act, which sets limits on defense spending between FY2012 and FY2021. The current debate in Congress has centered on whether to adjust the BCA defense caps upward; move base budget spending to accounts designated for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) that are not subject to spending limits; reduce the defense spending in the Administration's request to comply with BCA revised caps; or use some combination of these approaches, all in order to avoid a sequester. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689404/
The Budget Reconciliation Process: Stages of Consideration
This report discusses the budget reconciliation process which allows Congress to use an expedited procedure when considering legislation that would bring existing spending, revenue, and debt limit laws into compliance with current fiscal priorities established in the annual budget resolution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689459/
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Role of Congress in Trade Policy
This report presents background and analysis on the development of TPA, a summary of the major provisions under the expired authority, and a discussion of the issues that have arisen in the debate over TPA renewal. It also explores some of the policy options available to Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689415/
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA): Frequently Asked Questions
The issue of Trade Promotion Authority ("TPA") reauthorization raises a number of questions regarding TPA itself and the pending legislation. This report addresses a number of those questions that are frequently asked. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689200/
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. It highlights certain rules and precedents that apply specifically to revenue measures and distinguishes them into four categories. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689378/
Invasive Species: Issues in Brief
This report discusses issues for congress regarding whether new legislative authorities and funding are needed to address issues related to invasive species and their increasing economic and ecological impacts on such disparate matters as power plant operations, grazing lands, and coral reef fishes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689465/
Earmark Disclosure Rules in the House: Member and Committee Requirements
This report outlines the major administrative responsibilities of Members and committees of the House of Representatives associated with the chamber's earmark disclosure rules. Earmark disclosure rules in both the House and Senate were implemented with the stated intention of bringing more transparency to congressionally directed spending. The administrative responsibilities associated with these rules vary by chamber. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689316/
Bypassing Senate Committees: Rule XIV and Unanimous Consent
This report examines the alternative procedures and actions that the Senate uses to bypass committee consideration of bills and joint resolutions. It also provides examples of how the Senate uses these alternative procedures and actions to facilitate consideration and passage of some bills and joint resolutions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689134/
Defense Spending and the Budget Control Act Limits
This report discusses the Budget Control Act, which sets limits on defense spending between FY2012 and FY2021. The current debate in Congress has centered on whether to adjust the BCA defense caps upward; move base budget spending to accounts designated for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) that are not subject to spending limits; reduce the defense spending in the Administration's request to comply with BCA revised caps; or use some combination of these approaches, all in order to avoid a sequester. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689467/
Motions to Proceed to Consider Measures in the Senate: Who Offers Them?
This report examines motions to proceed to consider items of legislative business ("measures"); it does not cover nominations or treaties ("executive business"). Motions to proceed to legislative business are normally debatable unless the underlying measure is "privileged," which includes conference reports and measures subject to statutory expedited procedures. The data in this report do not distinguish between debatable and non-debatable motions to proceed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689512/
United Nations Reform: Background and Issues for Congress
This report examines reform priorities from the perspective of several key actors, including Members of Congress, the Obama Administration, selected member states, the U.N. Secretary-General, and a cross-section of groups tasked with addressing U.N. reform. It also discusses congressional actions related to U.N. reform and mechanisms for implementing reform, as well as possible challenges facing U.S. policy makers as they consider existing and future U.N. reform efforts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689516/
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA): Frequently Asked Questions
This report provides background information Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), and discusses U.S. trade negotiating objectives, procedures for congressional-executive notification and consultation, and expedited legislative procedures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627189/
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/