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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Congressional Membership and Appointment Authority to Advisory Commissions, Boards, and Groups
This report contains a compilation of commissions and boards that demonstrates 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627234/
Congressional Commissions: Overview, Structure, and Legislative Considerations
This report provides an overview and analysis of congressional advisory commissions, information on the general statutory structure of a congressional commission, and a catalog of congressional commissions created since the 101st Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501704/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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 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/
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/
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/
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/
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 200 congressional liaison offices is intended to help congressional offices in placing telephone calls and addressing correspondence to government agencies. Entries are arranged alphabetically in four sections: legislative branch; judicial branch; executive branch; and agencies, boards, and commissions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503522/
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/
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 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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
Membership of the 113th Congress: A Profile
This report presents a profile of the membership of the 113th Congress (2013-2014). 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/metadc491368/
The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction
Congress annually considers several appropriations measures, which provide discretionary funding for numerous activities--such as national defense, education, and homeland security--as well as general government operations. Appropriations acts are characteristically annual and generally provide funding authority that expires at the end of the federal fiscal year, September 30. These measures are considered by Congress under certain rules and practices, referred to as the congressional appropriations process. This report discusses the various aspects of this process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491371/
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/
Constitutional Points of Order in the Senate
This report explains Senate rules, precedents, and practices in regard to constitutional points of order that are not ruled on by the presiding officer but is instead submitted to the Senate for its decision, including an analysis of recent cases in which such a point of order has been raised, and will be updated as events warrant. The report identifies 16 constitutional points of order that have been raised and received a Senate vote since 1989. Ten of these cases were disposed of negatively. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491604/
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/
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/metadc491596/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
House Committees: Categories and Rules for Committee Assignments
This report discusses rules for committee assignments in the House of Representatives. House rules address the election and membership of committees, especially limitations on membership. The Democratic Caucus and Republican Conference rules designate categories of committees and specify service limitations in addition to those in the House rules. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462276/
Procedural Distinctions Between the House and the Committee of the Whole
This report very briefly explains some of the chief distinctions between consideration in the House operating as the House and consideration in Committee of the Whole. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463104/
House Standing Committee Chairs and Ranking Minority Members: Rules Governing Selection Procedures
This report discusses house rules, Republican Conference rules, and Democratic Caucus rules each detail aspects of the procedures followed in selecting standing committee chairs and ranking minority members. This report summarizes those procedures and lists membership on each party's steering committee. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461957/
Legislative Procedure in Congress: Basic Sources for Congressional Staff
Written for congressional staff, this report identifies and provides details on how to obtain official government sources of information on the legislative process and the rules and procedure of the House and Senate. The report provides references to selected CRS products and offers information on the CRS legislative institutes. A listing of selected supplementary materials is also provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462916/
Limitations in Appropriations Measures: An Overview of Procedural Issues
This report discusses internal congressional rules and procedures regarding money and policy decisions. It begins by explaining the contrasting procedural contexts that influence the consideration of limitation provisions in appropriations measures on the House and Senate floor. Next, it defines the two forms of limitations that have been allowed under House and Senate precedents, with examples of previous purposes that have been allowed. This report then proceeds to identify the variety of substantive challenges that exist in structuring a limitation provision so that it does not constitute legislative language and thereby violate House and Senate rules. Finally, this report concludes by discussing the effect of points of order during floor consideration and the burden of proof that exists for proponents of limitation provisions to successfully overcome procedural objections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462676/
Legislative Support Resources: Offices and Websites for Congressional Staff
This report provides a brief list of telephone numbers, room numbers, and Internet addresses of use to new congressional staffers who work with legislative procedures and conduct legislative research. Internet access restrictions are noted. Some of the websites listed are available only to congressional offices; other sites are restricted further and are only available to House or Senate offices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462406/
Legislative Research for Congressional Staff: How to Find Documents and Other Resources
This report is one of a series of reports on legislative process and research; it is intended to serve as a finding aid to sources of information, such as documents, news articles, analysis, contacts and services, used in legislative research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463200/
Lame Duck Sessions of Congress, 1935-2012 (74th-112th Congresses)
This report discusses how lame duck sessions occur, and the background of the lame duck sessions between 1940 and 2012. A "lame duck" session of Congress occurs whenever one Congress meets after its successor is elected, but before the term of the current Congress ends. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463184/
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/metadc462493/
Authorization of Appropriations: Procedural and Legal Issues
This report provides a brief explanation of the distinction between authorized and unauthorized appropriations, and its significance for understanding how appropriations and other legislation work in conjunction to determine how agencies may spend appropriated funds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462656/
Congressional Participation in Article III Courts: Standing to Sue
This report seeks to provide an overview of Congress's ability to participate in litigation before Article III courts. The report is limited to a discussion of Congress's participation in litigation as either a plaintiff (e.g., the party initiating the suit alleging some sort of harm or violation of law) or as a third-party intervener (e.g., a party who is seeking to join litigation already initiated by another plaintiff). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462327/