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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Congressional Oversight of Intelligence: Current Structure and Alternatives
This report describes the Select Committees on Intelligence and then the former Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, often cited as a model for a counterpart on intelligence. The study also sets forth proposed characteristics for a joint committee on intelligence, differences among these, and their pros and cons. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503567/
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/
Points of Order in the Congressional Budget Process
This report summarizes the points of order currently in effect under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as amended, as well as related points of order established in various other measures that have a direct impact on budget enforcement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503373/
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This report is a list of about 200 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/metadc503375/
Offices and Officials in the Senate: Roles and Duties
This report outlines the officers of the Senate, including brief information about the history of each office, examples of their roles and duties, and election or appointment information about the current incumbent. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503385/
House Committee Markups: Manual of Procedures and Procedural Strategies
This manual examines procedures and strategy related to committee markups and provides sample procedural scripts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503407/
Foreign Heads of State Addressing Congress
This report discusses the historical precedent for an addresses Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made before a joint meeting of Congress on March 3, 2015. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503473/
Legislative Planning: Considerations for Congressional Staff
This report presents some of the factors usually considered in preparing a legislative or office action plan. The information is provided in three sections: (1) an overview which lays out summary consideration, (2) questions to consider in preparing an outline for a project, and (3) a sample action plan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503455/
U.S. Assistance Programs in China
This report examines U.S. foreign assistance activities in the People's Republic of China (PRC), undertaken by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The report also discusses related foreign operations appropriations, policy history, and legislative background. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503430/
Protection of Classified Information by Congress: Practices and Proposals
This report discusses safeguards in place to protect controlled information and proposals for change of some of the mechanisms in place. Congress uses classified national security and other controlled information to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities, particularly overseeing the executive, appropriating funds, and legislating public policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503587/
The Nunn-McCurdy Act: Background, Analysis, and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the debate regarding the effectiveness of the Nunn-McCurdy Act, which requires the Department of Defense (DOD) to report to Congress whenever a major defense acquisition program experiences cost overruns that exceed certain thresholds. The purpose of the act was to help control cost growth in major defense systems by holding the appropriate Pentagon officials and defense contractors publicly accountable and responsible for managing costs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503557/
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report discusses the Navy's plans regarding the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). The LCS is a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages. The Navy wants to field a force of 55 LCSs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503290/
Nigeria
This report discusses the political climate, development challenges and reform in Nigeria. The report also considers the social issues and security concerns of Nigeria. In addition, other issues are mentioned, as Congress provides oversight for over $600 million in U.S. foreign assistance programs to Nigeria. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503552/
Congressional Membership and Appointment Authority to Advisory Commissions, Boards, and Groups
This report contains a compilation of commissions and boards that demonstrate the range of alternative membership-appointment structures. It includes any statutorily-created advisory entity (boards, advisory panels, etc.) whose membership scheme mandates the participation of members of Congress either as potential members or as participants in the process of appointing the membership. For each entity, information on the purpose, duration, appointment structure, and term of appointment is provided. Finally, information on the involvement of members of Congress in the appointment process is presented in a series of tables. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503564/
House Committee Funding Requests and Authorizations, 104th-113th Congresses
This report describes the House Committee funding process provides tables for each of the Congresses from the 104th through the 113th containing committee funding requests and authorizations as adopted pursuant to primary expense authorizations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503529/
National Security Letters: Proposals in the 113th Congress
This report reprints the text of the five National Security Letter (NSL) statutes as they now appear and as they appeared prior to amendment by the USA PATRIOT Act. A National Security Letter (NSL) is roughly comparable to an administrative subpoena, used by various intelligence agencies to demand certain customer information from communications providers, financial institutions, and consumer credit reporting agencies under the Right to Financial Privacy Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the National Security Act, and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503508/
House Committee Reports: Required Contents
This report discusses house rules and statutes that detail several substantive requirements for items to be included in reports accompanying bills reported from committees, as noted in this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503311/
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/
Congressional Member Organizations: Their Purpose and Activities, History, and Formation
This report examines the historical development and contemporary role of congressional Member organizations (CMOs) in the House and informal Member groups in both the House and the Senate. It discusses the differences between CMOs and informal Member groups, and the reasons Members form these groups with a step-by-step guide for House Members and staff who might be interested in forming a CMO. The report also presents the rise and fall of legislative service organizations (LSOs), the House's decision in 1995 to issue regulations for establishing CMOs and governing their behavior, and the subsequent regulation of CMOs in the House by the Committee on House Oversight/Committee on House Administration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503319/
Senate Committee Hearings: Witness Testimony
This report discusses rules regarding witness testimony before Senate committees. It includes brief descriptions of rules for oral testimony, questioning of witnesses, and hearing transcription. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503649/
Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2015
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503668/
One-Minute Speeches: Current House Practices
This report examines current House practices governing recognition for one-minute speeches, the delivery of "one minutes," and their insertion in the Congressional Record. The report also discusses various uses of one minutes and reform proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503657/
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/
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503714/
Locate an Agency or Program Within Appropriations Bills
This report, generated from House and Senate Appropriations Committee published materials, is intended as a resource to guide individuals seeking to verify sources of appropriations for selected federal agencies and programs. It is not a definitive or comprehensive listing of all federal agencies, programs, projects, or activities that appear in annual appropriations measures from year to year. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503702/
Guide to Individuals Seated on the Senate Dais
This report briefly discusses the seating of the members of senate chamber in the Capitol. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503719/
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/
Congressional Oversight: An Overview
This report highlights several reasons for the expansion of the federal government; discuss a few definitions of oversight; spotlight three essential purposes of oversight; comment upon a few oversight laws and rules; review several important oversight techniques; and identify several incentives and disincentives to the conduct of congressional oversight. The report concludes with summary observations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503466/
Guide to Individuals Seated on the Senate Dais
This report is a brief summary of House and Senate procedures for reaching agreement on legislation. It discusses the provisions of House Rule XXII and Senate Rule XXVIII as well as other applicable rules, precedents, and practices. The report focuses on the most common and customary procedures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503497/
Federal Grants to State and Local Governments: A Historical Perspective on Contemporary Issues
This report provides a historical synopsis of the evolving nature of the federal grants-in-aid system, focusing on the role Congress has played in defining the system's scope and nature. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503336/
Proposed Train and Equip Authorities for Syria: In Brief
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501886/
Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Agency Travel Card Programs
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 travel card legislation introduced or enacted in the 111th Congress, and concludes with observations on the information available to Congress for oversight of agency travel card programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501820/
Availability of Legislative Measures in the House of Representatives (The "Three-Day Rule")
This report discusses house rules that govern the length of time legislative measures which must be available to Members before being considered on the floor. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501888/
Congressional Oversight Manual
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) developed the Congressional Oversight Manual over 30 years ago. Over the years, CRS has assisted many Members, committees, party leaders, and staff aides in the performance of the oversight function: the review, monitoring, and supervision of the implementation of public policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501895/
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501529/
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report discusses current issues for Congress concerning the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program including the program's mission modules, the combat survivability of the LCS, hull cracking and engine problems on LCS-1, and corrosion on LCS-2. The LCS is a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501540/
Constitutional Points of Order in the Senate
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501515/
Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Agency Travel Card Programs
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501532/
Secret Sessions of the House and Senate: Authority, Confidentiality, and Frequency
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501698/
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate Program: Background and Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501620/
Congressional Careers: Service Tenure and Patterns of Member Service, 1789-2015
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501897/
Congressional Roll Call Votes on the Keystone XL Pipeline
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501859/
The War Powers Resolution: After Thirty-Six Years
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501937/
Speakers of the House: Elections
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501928/
Congressional Salaries and Allowances: In Brief
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501848/
Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Agency Travel Card Programs
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501534/
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/metadc501504/
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This report provides a list of roughly 200 congressional liaison offices with phone numbers, addresses, and other contact information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501725/
Qualifications of Members of Congress
This report discusses the qualifications required to hold the office of U.S. Senator or Representative to Congress that are established and set out within the U.S. Constitution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501785/