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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/metadc491078/
The First Day of a New Congress: A Guide to Proceedings on the House Floor
This report focuses on the floor activities of the House during its first formal session in a new Congress, and serves as a guide for those participating in or watching these proceedings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491054/
How Legislation Is Brought to the House Floor: A Snapshot of Recent Parliamentary Practice
The House of Representatives has several different parliamentary procedures through which it can bring legislation to the chamber floor. Which of these will be used in a given situation depends on many factors, including the type of measure being considered, its cost, the amount of political or policy controversy surrounding it, and the degree to which members want to debate it and propose amendments. This report provides a snapshot of the forms and origins of measures which, according to the Legislative Information System of the U.S. Congress (LIS), received action on the House floor in the 110th Congress (2007-2008) and the parliamentary procedures used to bring them up. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491041/
Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990-2014
The report contains information on the pay procedure for members of Congress and recent adjustments. It provides information on previous actions and votes by year. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490942/
Navy Aegis Cruiser and Destroyer Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
The Navy has begun a multi-billion dollar program to modernize its 84 existing Aegis cruisers and destroyers over a period of more than 20 years. This report explores this program in detail, including the reasons for the program and the oversight issues it poses for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490941/
Continuing Resolutions: Latest Action and Brief Overview of Recent Practices
This report is divided into two segments. The first section provides the most recent information on the FY2011 continuing resolution. The second segment focuses on the (1) history and recent trends, including the nature, scope, and duration of CRs during the past 35 years; (2) CR types by duration; (3) major substantive legislative provisions included in some CRs; and (4) funding gaps. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490990/
Party Leaders in the United States Congress, 1789-2010
This report briefly describes current responsibilities and selection mechanisms for 15 House and Senate party leadership posts and provides tables with historical data, including service dates, party affiliation, and other information for each. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490989/
The Office of the Parliamentarian in the House and Senate
This report discusses the Office of the Parliamentarian, which provides expert advice and assistance on questions relating to the meaning and application of that chamber's legislative rules, precedents, and practices, in both the House and Senate. The Speaker began naming a parliamentarian in 1927; the Senate first recognized its parliamentarian in 1935. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490875/
Lobbying the Executive Branch: Current Practices and Options for Change
This report outlines the development of registration requirements for lobbyists engaging executive branch officials since 1995. It also summarizes steps taken by the Obama Administration to limit and monitor lobbying of the executive branch; discusses the development and implementation of restrictions placed on lobbying for Recovery Act and EESA funds; examines the Obama Administration's decision to stop appointing lobbyists to federal advisory bodies and committees; considers third-party criticism of current executive branch lobbying policies; and provides options for possible modifications in current lobbying laws and practices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490884/
Proposals to Change the Operation of Cloture in the Senate
This report provides a brief history of the Senate cloture rule, explains its main features and the arguments made by supporters and opponents of these features, outlines a range of proposals to change its operation, and briefly explains the methods by which the Senate might change its rules or practices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490958/
International Travel by Congress: Legislation in the 111th Congress, Background, and Potential Policy Options
International travel by Members of Congress and their staff is an issue of longstanding interest among some members of the public, media outlets, and Members. Questions regarding the purposes and destinations of international travel by Congress frequently arise, as do questions about the ability to track the costs and benefits of such travel. This report provides information and analysis on the use of foreign currency expended in support of congressional travel to international destinations that is paid for with appropriated funds and authorized by the House or Senate; on measures related to international travel by Congress introduced in the 111th Congress, and administrative actions related to international travel taken by the House; and on potential options for Congress related to international travel by Members and staff. This report does not provide data on travel costs borne by executive agencies that support congressional travel, as those data are not publicly available. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490956/
Congressional Careers: Service Tenure and Patterns of Member Service, 1789-2011
The average service tenure of members of the Senate and House of Representatives has varied substantially since 1789. This report presents data on member tenure and a historical analysis of tenure trends. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490913/
Department of Defense Energy Initiatives: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and identifies issues for Congress on Department of Defense (DOD) energy initiatives. DOD spends billions of dollars per year on fuel, and is pursuing numerous initiatives for reducing its fuel needs and changing the mix of energy sources that it uses. DOD's energy initiatives pose several potential policy and oversight issues for Congress, and have been topics of discussion and debate at hearings on DOD's proposed FY2013 budget. Congress' decisions on DOD energy initiatives could substantially affect DOD capabilities, funding requirements, and U.S. energy industries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491036/
Deprivation of Honest Services as a Basis for Federal Mail and Wire Fraud Convictions
The United States Supreme Court in Skilling v. United States construed the honest services branch of the federal mail and wire fraud statutes to reach no more than cases involving bribery or kickbacks. The mail and wire fraud statutes, 18 U.S.C. ยงยง 1341 and 1343, impose criminal penalties for the use of mail or interstate wire communications to deprive another of money or property through a "scheme or artifice to defraud." This report discusses wire and mail fraud and examines relevant court cases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491069/
Congressional Careers: Service Tenure and Patterns of Member Service, 1789-2011
The average service tenure of members of the Senate and House of Representatives has varied substantially since 1789. This report presents data on member tenure and a historical analysis of tenure trends. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491067/
Congressional Franking Privilege: Background and Recent Legislation
This report discusses the congressional franking privilege, which dates from 1775 and allows Members of Congress to transmit mail matter under their signature without postage. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491206/
Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations
This report discusses the President's Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 budget request for the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, which provides funding for the planning, design, construction, alteration, and improvement of facilities used by active and reserve military components worldwide. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491406/
"First Day" Proceedings and Procedural Change in the Senate
In the early weeks of the 112th Congress, the Senate considered proposals to change its Standing Rules, as well as proposals to alter other practices and procedures. Three resolutions that proposed to amend the Senate rules (S.Res. 8, S.Res. 10, as amended, and S.Res. 21, as amended) received votes, but none were agreed to. These three resolutions proposed a variety of changes, chiefly focused on the operation of the Senate's cloture rule (Rule XXII). The proceedings on these measures occurred in the context of a debate over whether or not the start of a new Congress presents a unique opportunity for the Senate to change its Standing Rules without certain constraints presented by its existing rules. This report is intended to provide context for understanding the issues raised by these proceedings, as well as an accounting of actions taken by the Senate at the start of the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491475/
Navy Aegis Cruiser and Destroyer Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
The Navy has begun a multi-billion dollar program to modernize its 84 existing Aegis cruisers and destroyers over a period of more than 20 years. This report explores this program in detail, including the reasons for the program and the oversight issues it poses for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491409/
Selected Privileges and Courtesies Extended to Former Members of Congress
This report discusses the courtesies and privileges afforded to Members of the House and Senate, after they leave office. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491446/
House of Representatives and Senate Staff Levels in Member, Committee, Leadership, and Other Offices, 1977-2010
This report provides staffing levels in House and Senate Member, committee, leadership, and other offices since 1977. Data presented here are based on staff listed by chamber entity (offices of Members, committees, leaders, officers, officials, and other entities) in telephone directories published by the House and Senate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491410/
Speaking on the House Floor: Gaining Time and Parliamentary Phraseology
This report discusses the House rules and precedents that structure Members' opportunities to speak on the floor about pending legislation. Under some circumstances, Members arrange to speak on legislation by communicating with the leaders of the committee that reported the bill. Sometimes the arrangements can be made on the floor during the debate, and at other times they are made prior to floor consideration. The committee leaders from both sides of the aisle manage the consideration of a bill on the floor, under what is known as controlled time, by allocating the debate time among several Members. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491163/
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/metadc491143/
Casework in a Congressional Office: Background, Rules, Laws, and Resources
This report, which will be updated as warranted, discusses House and Senate rules and guidelines, laws, and regulations affecting congressional casework, as well as the role of caseworkers. It also provides sample outlines and document templates for implementing and managing congressional casework. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491118/
House Committee Jurisdiction and Referral: Rules and Practice
This report briefly discusses the factors that determine House committee jurisdiction and more specifically House Rule X. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491127/
Congressional Official Mail Costs
The congressional franking privilege allows Members of Congress to send official mail via the U.S. Postal Service at government expense. This report provides information and analysis on the costs of franked mail in the House of Representatives and Senate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491523/
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/metadc491440/
Election Year Restrictions on Mass Mailings by Members of Congress: How H.R. 2056 Would Change Current Law
Current law prohibits the franking of mass mailings by Senators fewer than 60 days, and by House Members fewer than 90 days, prior to any primary or general election in which the Member is a candidate. This report discusses H.R. 2056, which would amend Title 39, United States Code, by altering the prohibition for both Senators and House Members to the period starting 90 days prior to any primary and ending on the day of the general election, unless the Member has made a public announcement that the Member will not be a candidate for reelection to any federal office. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491122/
Members' Representational Allowance: History and Usage
This report provides a history and overview of the MRA and examines spending patterns in the 109th Congress (2005 and 2006). The data exclude non-voting Members, including Delegates and the Resident Commissioner. Members who were not in Congress for all of 2005, whether the Member left Congress prior to the end of the year or entered any time after the beginning of the session, were also excluded. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491177/
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. International programs supported by U.S. departments and agencies other than the Department of State and USAID, as well as Department of State public diplomacy programs, are not covered in this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491137/
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/metadc491442/
Legislative Branch: FY2015 Appropriations
This report provides an overview of the current status of FY2015 legislative branch appropriations. The report then addresses the FY2015 budget requests, hearings, and funding issues for individual legislative branch agencies and entities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491414/
Navy Aegis Cruiser and Destroyer Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
The Navy has begun a multi-billion dollar program to modernize its 84 existing Aegis cruisers and destroyers over a period of more than 20 years. This report explores this program in detail, including the reasons for the program and the oversight issues it poses for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491450/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491498/
Salaries of Members of Congress: Recent Actions and Historical Tables
This report contains information on the pay procedure and recent adjustments. It also contains historical information on the rate of pay for Members of Congress since 1789; the adjustments projected by the Ethics Reform Act as compared to actual adjustments in Member pay; details on past legislation enacted with language prohibiting the annual pay adjustment; and Member pay in constant and current dollars since 1992. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491439/
Legislative Branch Revolving Funds
Legislative branch revolving funds support the "business-type activities" of the House, Senate, and legislative branch agencies. This report traces the establishment, use, and recent development of these funds. Where available, the current status of funds is provided, using standard federal government budget object classifications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491496/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491283/
Export-Import Bank Reauthorization: Frequently Asked Questions
This report addresses frequently asked questions about Ex-Im Bank, grouped in the following categories: congressional interest and the Ex-Im Bank reauthorization debate; market context; international context; organizational structure and management; programs; statutory requirements and policies; risk management; budget and appropriations; implications of a sunset in authority; and historical and current approaches to reauthorization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491230/
Casework in a Congressional Office: Background, Rules, Laws, and Resources
This report discusses House and Senate rules and guidelines, laws, and regulations affecting congressional casework, as well as the role of caseworkers. It also provides sample outlines and document templates for implementing and managing congressional casework. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491264/
Independent Evaluators of Federal Programs: Approaches, Devices, and Examples
Congress and the executive, as well as outside organizations, have long been attentive to the evaluation of federal programs, with frequent interest paid to the independent status of the evaluator. This interest continues into the current era, with numerous illustrations of the multifaceted approaches adopted and proposed. This report focuses on examples of independent evaluators (IEs): when an evaluation is to be conducted by an entity outside the immediate organization that is responsible for policy implementation, and the entity also is intended to have one or more dimensions of independence. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491231/
Emergency Designation: Current Budget Rules and Procedures
Budgetary legislation is constrained by certain enforcement rules that are generally intended to control spending, revenues, and the deficit. Since 1990, those rules have provided, in various forms, procedural mechanisms allowing Congress to effectively exempt certain budgetary amounts from such constraints by designating a provision in a measure as an emergency requirement. This report provides a brief description of the current rules and congressional procedures associated with the emergency designation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491126/
Latin America and the Caribbean: U.S. Policy and Key Issues for Congress in 2012
This report provides an overview of U.S. policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean in 2012, including the Obama Administration's priorities for U.S. policy and a brief comparison of policies under the Obama and Bush Administrations. It then examines congressional interest in Latin America, first providing an overview, and then looking at selected countries and regional issues and key policy issues faced by Congress in 2012. The final section of the report analyzes several key events in the region that took place in 2012: the Pope's trip to Cuba in March, the sixth Summit of the Americas in April, Mexico's elections in July, and Venezuela's upcoming elections in October. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491124/
Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights
This report discusses the state of Iraqi politics, governance, and human rights, including the worsening relations between local Sunni and Shiite populations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491133/
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 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/metadc491601/
Closing a Congressional Office: Overview of House and Senate Practices
Turnover of membership in the House and Senate necessitates closing congressional offices. The closure of a congressional office requires an outgoing Member of Congress to evaluate pertinent information regarding his or her staff; the disposal of personal and official records; and final disposition of office accounts, facilities, and equipment. This report is designed to address questions that arise when a congressional office is closing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491633/
The Committee Markup Process in the House of Representatives
This report focuses on the markup stage of the legislative process in committee. It discusses the selection of the text to be marked up, the procedures for proposing and debating amendments to that text, the voting and quorum procedures that govern markups, and the final stages of ordering the marked-up text reported to the House for its consideration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491641/
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 the present. It focuses on the actual amounts of time that Presidents and the Senate have taken to act (as opposed to the elapsed time between official points in the process). This report focuses on when the Senate became aware of the President's selection (e.g., via a public announcement by the President). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491564/
Continuing Resolutions: Latest Action and Brief Overview of Recent Practices
This report is divided into two segments. The first section provides the most recent information on the FY2011 continuing resolutions. The second segment focuses on the history and recent trends, including the nature, scope, and duration of CRs during the past 35 years; CR types by duration; major substantive legislative provisions included in some CRs; and funding gaps. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491590/
Committee Types and Roles
This report briefly describes the function and types of congressional committees and subcommittees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491566/
Guide to Individuals Seated on the House Dais
The House of Representatives meets in the House chamber of the Capitol. In the front of the chamber is a three-tiered, elevated dais. This report discusses the seating arrangements and traditions in regards to the dais. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491589/
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