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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Pairing in Congressional Voting: The House

Pairing in Congressional Voting: The House

Date: August 25, 2015
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Description: 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.
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Quorum Requirements in the House: Committee and Chamber

Quorum Requirements in the House: Committee and Chamber

Date: August 25, 2015
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Description: This report discusses minimum quorum requirements established by House Rule XI, clause 2 for eight areas of committee activity.
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Automatic Continuing Resolutions: Background and Overview of Recent Proposals

Automatic Continuing Resolutions: Background and Overview of Recent Proposals

Date: August 20, 2015
Creator: Tollestrup, Jessica
Description: 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.
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House Committee Hearings: Witness Testimony

House Committee Hearings: Witness Testimony

Date: August 10, 2015
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Description: 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.
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Types of Committee Hearings

Types of Committee Hearings

Date: August 10, 2015
Creator: Heitshusen, Valerie
Description: 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.
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Legislative Procedures for Adjusting the Public Debt Limit: A Brief Overview

Legislative Procedures for Adjusting the Public Debt Limit: A Brief Overview

Date: August 6, 2015
Creator: Heniff, Bill, Jr.
Description: 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.
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How Measures Are Brought to the Senate Floor: A Brief Introduction

How Measures Are Brought to the Senate Floor: A Brief Introduction

Date: August 5, 2015
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Description: 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).
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Filling the Senate "Amendment Tree"

Filling the Senate "Amendment Tree"

Date: July 28, 2015
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Description: 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.
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Defense Spending and the Budget Control Act Limits

Defense Spending and the Budget Control Act Limits

Date: July 22, 2015
Creator: Belasco, Amy
Description: 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.
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House Office of Congressional Ethics: History, Authority, and Procedures

House Office of Congressional Ethics: History, Authority, and Procedures

Date: July 22, 2015
Creator: Straus, Jacob R.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department