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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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Congressional Gold Medals, 1776-2010
Members of Congress and their staff frequently ask questions concerning the nature, history, and contemporary application of the process for awarding Gold Medals. This report responds to congressional inquiries concerning this process, and includes a historical examination and chronological list of these awards. It is intended to assist Members of Congress and staff in their consideration of future Gold Medal proposals, and will be updated as Gold Medals are approved. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33031/
Puerto Rican Statehood: Effects on House Apportionment
This report looks at House of Representative distribution between states if Puerto Rico were to gain statehood. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99016/
Resolutions of Inquiry: An Analysis of Their Use in the House, 1947-2011
This report examines the use of resolutions of inquiry in the House of Representatives from 1947 to 2011. A resolution of inquiry is a measure that formally calls on the executive branch to provide specified factual information to Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99012/
Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Historical Background and Legal Implications
This report provides historical background on the enactment of declarations of war and authorizations for the use of force and analyzes their legal effects under international and domestic law. It also sets forth their texts in two appendices. The report includes an extensive listing and summary of statutes that are triggered by a declaration of war, a declaration of national emergency, and/or the existence of a state of war. The report concludes with a summary of the congressional procedures applicable to the enactment of a declaration of war or authorization for the use of force and to measures under the War Powers Resolution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33037/
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/metadc33061/
No-Fly Zones: Strategic, Operational, and Legal Considerations for Congress
The ongoing uprising in Libya against the government of Muammar al Qadhafi has been the subject of ongoing domestic and international debate about potential international military intervention, including the proposed establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya. This report discusses several related issues for Congress surrounding the strategy, international authorization, congressional authorization, operations, and costs of establishing and maintaining no-fly zones. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33028/
Women in the United States Congress: 1917-2011
This report identifies the names, committee assignments, dates of service, and (for Representatives) congressional districts of the 274 women who have served in Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33033/
Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years
This report provides information on congressional practices with respect to the duration of continuing resolutions, including the use of full-year measures, and focuses particularly on the period covering FY1998-FY2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33045/
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/metadc84029/
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/metadc33034/
Legislative Branch: FY2011 Appropriations
This report gives an overview of the status of FY2011 appropriations and funding issues for the Senate, House of Representatives, and support agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98958/
House Committee Funding Requests and Authorizations, 104th-112th Congresses
This report provides committee funding requests and authorizations as adopted pursuant to primary expense authorizations for House committees in the 104th-112th Congresses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33046/
Egypt in Transition
This report provides a brief overview of the transition underway in Egypt and information on U.S. foreign aid to Egypt. U.S. policy toward Egypt has long been framed as an investment in regional stability, built primarily on long-running military cooperation and sustaining the March 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. Successive U.S. Administrations have viewed Egypt's government as a moderating influence in the Middle East. U.S. policy makers are now grappling with complex questions about the future of U.S.-Egypt relations and these debates are likely to influence consideration of appropriations and authorization legislation in the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99089/
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
This report covers the background and recent history on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). This committee has recently emerged from obscurity due to concerns involving foreign investments in U.S. companies and national security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99094/
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 150 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/metadc83848/
Nigeria: Elections and Issues for Congress
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/metadc99103/
Congressional Budget Resolutions: Historical Information
This report looks at the history and processes of budget resolution in Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99075/
No-Fly Zones: Strategic, Operational, and Legal Considerations for Congress
This report discusses the establishment of no-fly zones and several related issues for Congress surrounding the strategy, including international authorization, congressional authorization, operations, and costs of establishing and maintaining no-fly zones. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97997/
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 (CR). 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/metadc99076/
Membership of the 112th Congress: A Profile
This report presents a profile of the membership of the 112th Congress (2011-2012). 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/metadc40120/
The Congressional Research Service and the American Legislative Process
The Legislative Reference Service, it was charged with responding to congressional requests for information. For more than 50 years, this department assisted Congress primarily by providing facts and publications and by transmitting research and analysis done largely by other government agencies, private organizations, and individual scholars. In 1970, Congress enacted a law transforming the Legislative Reference Service into the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and directing CRS to devote more of its efforts and increased resources to performing research and analysis that assists Congress in direct support of the legislative process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40208/
War Powers Resolution: Presidential Compliance
Two separate but closely related issues confront Congress each time the President introduces armed forces into a situation abroad that conceivably could lead to their involvement in hostilities. One issue concerns the division of war powers between the President and Congress, whether the use of armed forces falls within the purview of the congressional power to declare war and the War Powers Resolution. The other issue is whether or not Congress concurs in the wisdom of the action. A longer-term issue is whether the War Powers Resolution is an appropriate and effective means of assuring congressional participation in actions that might get the United States involved in war. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40210/
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 150 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/metadc83849/
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/metadc98081/
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/metadc93948/
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/metadc40176/
Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years
This report provides information on congressional practices with respect to the duration of continuing resolutions, including the use of full-year measures, and focuses particularly on the period covering FY1998-FY2011. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40197/
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/metadc40220/
Legislative Procedures for Adjusting the Public Debt Limit: A Brief Overview
Almost all borrowing by the federal government is conducted by the Treasury Department, within the restrictions established by a single, statutory limit on the total amount of debt that may be outstanding at any time.1 In a few instances, agencies such as the Tennessee Valley Authority operate within their own borrowing limits established separately in law. For years, the public debt limit has been codified in Section 3101(b) of Title 31, United States Code. Periodic adjustments in the debt limit take the form of amendments to 31 U.S.C. 3101(b), usually by striking the current dollar limitation and inserting a new one. In the past, such changes to the debt limit have been either permanent or temporary. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40254/
Expedited Rescission Bills in the 111th and 112th Congresses: Comparisons and Issues
Expedited rescission bills focus on procedural changes in Congress and typically contain a detailed schedule to ensure immediate introduction of a measure to approve the President's rescission request, prompt reporting by committee or automatic discharge, special limits on floor amendments and debate, and so on. Under expedited rescission, congressional approval is still necessary to rescind the funding, but the fast-track procedures may help to encourage an up-or down vote on the President's proposal. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40104/
Egypt in Transition
This report provides a brief overview of the transition underway and information on U.S. foreign aid to Egypt. U.S. policy toward Egypt has long been framed as an investment in regional stability, built primarily on long-running military cooperation and sustaining the March 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. Successive U.S. Administrations have viewed Egypt's government as a moderating influence in the Middle East. U.S. policy makers are now grappling with complex questions about the future of U.S.-Egypt relations and these debates are likely to influence consideration of appropriations and authorization legislation in the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40200/
Insourcing Functions Performed by Federal Contractors: An Overview of the Legal Issues
Recent Congresses and the Obama Administration have taken numerous actions to promote "insourcing," or the use of government personnel to perform functions that contractors previously performed on behalf of federal agencies. Among other things, the 109th through the 111th Congresses enacted several statutes requiring the development of policies and guidelines to ensure that agencies "consider" using government employees to perform functions previously performed by contractors, as well as any new function. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40153/
Expedited Procedures in the House: Variations Enacted Into Law
Congress enacts expedited, or fast-track, procedures into law when it wants to increase the likelihood that one or both houses of Congress will vote in a timely way on a certain measure or kind of measure. These procedures are enacted as rulemaking provisions of law pursuant to the constitutional power of each house to adopt its own rules. The house to which a set of expedited procedures applies may act unilaterally to waive, suspend, amend, or repeal them. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40178/
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/metadc40221/
Pakistan-U.S. Relations: A Summary
This report summarizes important recent developments in Pakistan and in Pakistan-U.S. relations. These include high-profile political assassinations earlier in 2011, the Raymond Davis affair involving a CIA operative accused of murder in the city of Lahore, and the May killing of Osama bin Laden in the military cantonment city of Abbottabad, among others. Obama Administration engagement with Pakistan has been seriously disrupted by recent events. A brief analysis of the current state of Pakistan-U.S. relations illuminates the main areas of contention and uncertainty. Vital U.S. interests related to links between Pakistan and indigenous American terrorism, Islamist militancy in Pakistan and Islamabad's policies toward the Afghan insurgency, Pakistan's relations with historic rival India, nuclear weapons proliferation and security, and the troubled status of Pakistan's domestic setting are reviewed. Ongoing human rights concerns are briefly summarized, and the report closes with discussion of U.S. foreign assistance to Pakistan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40168/
Pakistan-U.S. Relations: A Summary
This report summarizes important recent developments in Pakistan and in Pakistan-U.S. relations. These include high-profile political assassinations in early 2011; the Raymond Davis affair involving a CIA operative accused of murder in the city of Lahore; and the May killing of Osama bin Laden in the city of Abbottabad, among others. The report also summarizes key issues in the bilateral relationship. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83964/
Qatar: Background and U.S. Relations
This report presents an overview of Qatar's history and recent economic and political developments. The report discusses U.S. relations with Qatar, U.S. military cooperation and foreign assistance, political reform and elections, as well as human rights and social issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40184/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
Restrictions on travel to Cuba have been a key and often contentious component in U.S. efforts to isolate the communist government of Fidel Castro for much of the past 40 years. Under the Bush Administration, enforcement of U.S. restrictions on Cuba travel has increased, and restrictions on travel and on private remittances to Cuba have been tightened. Several legislative initiatives have been introduced in the 109th Congress that would ease restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba. These bills would, among other things, lift overall restrictions on travel to Cuba, lift the overall embargo, and ease restrictions on exporting agricultural commodities to Cuba. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40182/
Nigeria: Elections and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the political climate, development challenges and reform in Nigeria. The report also deliberates the social issues and security concerns of Nigeria. In addition, other issues are considered as Congress provides oversight for over $600 million in U.S. foreign assistance programs to Nigeria. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40225/
Congressional Oversight Manual
Throughout its history, Congress has engaged in oversight of the executive branch - the review, monitoring, and supervision of the implementation of public policy. The first several Congresses inaugurated such important oversight techniques as special investigations, reporting requirements, resolutions of inquiry, and use of the appropriations process to review executive activity. Contemporary developments, moreover, have increased the legislature's capacity and capabilities to check on and check the Executive. Public laws and congressional rules have measurably enhanced Congress's implied power under the Constitution to conduct oversight. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40175/
Federal Employees' Retirement System: Benefits and Financing
One or both houses of Congress may formally express opinions about subjects of current national interest through freestanding simple or concurrent resolutions (called generically "sense of the House," "sense of the Senate," or "sense of the Congress" resolutions). These opinions may also be added to pending legislative measures by amendments expressing the views of one or both chambers. This report identifies the various forms these expressions may take and the procedures governing such actions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83863/
Regulatory Reform Legislation in the 112th Congress
In the 112th Congress, a number of bills have been introduced that would, if enacted, change current requirements in the federal rulemaking process. This report describes each of those bills, notes whether similar legislation has been introduced or acted upon in the past, summarizes the comments of those supporting and opposing the proposed legislation, and provides other relevant information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93873/
Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress
Sovereign debt, also called public debt or government debt, refers to debt incurred by governments. Since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, public debt in advanced economies has increased substantially. A number of factors related to the financial crisis have fueled the increase, including fiscal stimulus packages, the nationalization of private-sector debt, and lower tax revenue. Even if economic growth reverses some of these trends, such as by boosting tax receipts and reducing spending on government programs, aging populations in advanced economies are expected to strain government debt levels in coming years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83966/
Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress
Sovereign debt, also called public debt or government debt, refers to debt incurred by governments. Since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, public debt in advanced economies has increased substantially. A number of factors related to the financial crisis have fueled the increase, including fiscal stimulus packages, the nationalization of private-sector debt, and lower tax revenue. Even if economic growth reverses some of these trends, such as by boosting tax receipts and reducing spending on government programs, aging populations in advanced economies are expected to strain government debt levels in coming years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40171/
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 150 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/metadc83850/
Insourcing Functions Performed by Federal Contractors: An Overview of the Legal Issues
This report provides a brief overview of key legal issues related to recent insourcing initiatives. Recent Congresses and the Obama Administration have taken numerous actions to promote "insourcing," or the use of government personnel to perform functions that contractors previously performed on behalf of federal agencies. Among other things, the 109th through the 111th Congresses enacted several statutes requiring the development of policies and guidelines to ensure that agencies "consider" using government employees to perform functions previously performed by contractors, as well as any new function. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83963/
Legislative Branch: FY2012 Appropriations
This report gives an overview of the status of FY2012 appropriations and funding issues for the Senate, House of Representatives, and support agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93883/
Venezuela: Issues for Congress
The United States traditionally has had close relations with Venezuela, a major supplier of foreign oil, but there has been friction in relations under the government of populist President Hugo Chávez. U.S. officials have expressed concerns about human rights, Venezuela's military arms purchases, its relations with Cuba and Iran, and its efforts to export its brand of populism to other Latin American countries. Declining cooperation on anti-drug and anti-terrorism efforts has also been a concern. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86552/
Congressional Nominations to U.S. Service Academies: An Overview and Resources for Outreach and Management
This report describes statutory requirements for allocating congressional nominations to service academies. It also identifies the qualifications that must be met by potential nominees, as established by statute and each academy. Finally, sample documents that could be used by congressional offices at various stages of the nomination selection process are included. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96659/
House Offset Amendments to Appropriations Bills: Procedural Considerations
This report is an introduction to selected House rules and practices governing the consideration of offset amendments to appropriations measures considered in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union (or Committee of the Whole). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96737/