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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Constitutional Points of Order in the Senate

Constitutional Points of Order in the Senate

Date: December 17, 2014
Creator: Heitshusen, Valerie
Description: In general, the Senate's presiding officer does not take the initiative in enforcing Senate rules and precedents. Instead, a Senator may raise a point of order if he or she believes the Senate is taking (or is about to take) an action that violates the rules. In most circumstances, the presiding officer rules on the point of order on advice of the Parliamentarian; that ruling is typically subject to an appeal on which the Senate votes (unless the appeal is tabled or withdrawn). Pursuant to Rule XX, however, in certain circumstances a point of order is not ruled on by the presiding officer but is instead submitted to the Senate for its decision. A point of order that a pending matter (a bill or amendment, for example) violates the U.S. Constitution presents one such circumstance. This report explains Senate rules, precedents, and practices in regard to these constitutional points of order, including an analysis of recent cases in which such a point of order has been raised, and will be updated as events warrant.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Agency Travel Card Programs

Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Agency Travel Card Programs

Date: May 13, 2009
Creator: Hatch, Garrett
Description: This report begins by discussing the structure of agency travel card programs, and then discusses weaknesses in agency controls that have contributed to waste, fraud, and abuse. It concludes with observations on the information available to Congress for oversight of agency travel card programs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Secret Sessions of the House and Senate: Authority, Confidentiality, and Frequency

Secret Sessions of the House and Senate: Authority, Confidentiality, and Frequency

Date: December 30, 2014
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Description: This report discusses secret, or closed, sessions of the House and Senate, which exclude the press and the public. They may be held for matters deemed to require confidentiality and secrecy--such as national security, sensitive communications received from the President, and Senate deliberations during impeachment trials. Although Members usually seek advance agreement for going into secret session, any Member of Congress may request a secret session without notice.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate Program: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: February 9, 2015
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 for countering mines, small boats, and diesel-electric submarines, particularly in littoral (i.e., near-shore) waters.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congressional Careers: Service Tenure and Patterns of Member Service, 1789-2015

Congressional Careers: Service Tenure and Patterns of Member Service, 1789-2015

Date: January 3, 2015
Creator: Glassman, Matthew E. & Wilhelm, Amber H.
Description: This report presents data on Member tenure and a historical analysis of tenure trends. During the 19th century, the average service of Representatives and Senators remained roughly constant, with little or no change over time; the average years of service was slightly higher for the first half of the century than during the second. During the late 19th and through the 20th century, the average years of service for Senators and Representatives steadily increased.
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
The War Powers Resolution: After Thirty-Six Years

The War Powers Resolution: After Thirty-Six Years

Date: April 22, 2010
Creator: Grimmett, Richard F.
Description: This report discusses and assesses the War Powers Resolution and its application since enactment in 1973, providing detailed background on various cases in which it was used, as well as cases in which issues of its applicability were raised.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Speakers of the House: Elections

Speakers of the House: Elections

Date: January 7, 2015
Creator: Beth, Richard S. & Heitshusen, Valerie
Description: This report provides data on elections of the Speaker in each Congress since 1913, when the House first reached its present size of 435 Members. During that period (63rd through 114th Congresses), a Speaker was elected five times with the votes of less than a majority of the full membership.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congressional Salaries and Allowances: In Brief

Congressional Salaries and Allowances: In Brief

Date: December 30, 2014
Creator: Brudnick, Ida A.
Description: This report provides basic information on congressional salaries and allowances and recent developments. First, the report briefly summarizes the current salary of Members of Congress; limits or prohibitions on their outside earned income, honoraria, and tax deductions; options for life and health insurance; and retirement benefits. Second, the report provides information on allowances available to Representatives and Senators to support them in their official and representational duties.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Agency Travel Card Programs

Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Agency Travel Card Programs

Date: March 15, 2010
Creator: Hatch, Garrett
Description: This report begins by discussing the structure of agency travel card programs, and then discusses weaknesses in agency controls that have contributed to waste, fraud, and abuse. It then examines relevant legislation introduced or enacted in the 111th Congress, including the Government Charge Card Abuse Prevention Act of 2009 (H.R. 2189 and S. 942), and concludes with observations on the information available to Congress for oversight of agency travel card programs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department