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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Electoral College: How it Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections
The Constitution assigns each state a number of electors equal to the combined total of the state’s Senate and House of Representatives delegations; at present, the number of electors per state ranges from three to 55, for a total of 538. This report discuses constitutional origins, the electoral college today and explains the allocation of electors and electoral votes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5857/
The Electoral College: An Overview and Analysis of Reform Proposals
Following the closely contested presidential election of 2000, it is anticipated that Congress may revisit the issue of Electoral College reform. Although some reforms could be effected through federal or state statutes, most would require overcoming the considerable hurdles encountered by proposed constitutional amendments: two-thirds approval by both houses of Congress, followed by ratification by three-fourths (38) of the states, usually within a period of seven years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1631/
The Electoral College: An Overview and Analysis of Reform Proposals
Following the closely contested presidential election of 2000, it is anticipated that Congress may revisit the issue of Electoral College reform. Although some reforms could be effected through federal or state statutes, most would require overcoming the considerable hurdles encountered by proposed constitutional amendments: two-thirds approval by both houses of Congress, followed by ratification by three-fourths (38) of the states, usually within a period of seven years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5853/
Recess Appointments of Federal Judges
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Presidential Elections in the United States: A Primer
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Jonathan Pollard: Background and Considerations for Presidential Clemency
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The Electoral College: Reform Proposals in the 108th Congress
American voters elect the President and Vice President of the United States under a complex arrangement of constitutional provisions, federal and state laws, and political party practices known as the electoral college system. Despite occasional close elections, this system has delivered uncontested results in 46 of 50 elections since adoption of the 12th Amendment, effective in 1804. Throughout this period, nevertheless, it has been the subject of persistent criticism and many reform proposals. Related measures fall into two basic categories: those that would eliminate the electoral college and substitute direct popular election of the President and Vice President, and those that would retain the existing system in some form and correct perceived defects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4402/
The Electoral College: How it Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections
The Constitution assigns each state a number of electors equal to the combined total of the state’s Senate and House of Representatives delegations; at present, the number of electors per state ranges from three to 55, for a total of 538. This report discuses constitutional origins, the electoral college today and explains the allocation of electors and electoral votes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs955/
The Electoral College: How it Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections
The Constitution assigns each state a number of electors equal to the combined total of the state’s Senate and House of Representatives delegations; at present, the number of electors per state ranges from three to 55, for a total of 538. This report discuses constitutional origins, the electoral college today and explains the allocation of electors and electoral votes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1634/
The Electoral College: How it Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections
The Constitution assigns each state a number of electors equal to the combined total of the state’s Senate and House of Representatives delegations; at present, the number of electors per state ranges from three to 55, for a total of 538. This report discuses constitutional origins, the electoral college today and explains the allocation of electors and electoral votes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs4395/
Election of the President and Vice President by Congress: Contingent Election
The 12th Amendment to the Constitution requires that candidates for President and Vice President receive a majority of electoral votes (currently 270 or more of a total of 538) to be elected. If no candidate receives a majority, the President is elected by the House of Representatives, and the Vice President is elected by the Senate. This process is referred to as contingent election and is the topic of discussion in this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs956/
Election of the President and Vice President by Congress: Contingent Election
The 12th Amendment to the Constitution requires that candidates for President and Vice President receive a majority of electoral votes (currently 270 or more of a total of 538) to be elected. If no candidate receives a majority, the President is elected by the House of Representatives, and the Vice President is elected by the Senate. This process is referred to as contingent election and is the topic of discussion in this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1635/
Legislative Procedure for Possible Disapproval of President's Imposition of Safeguard Measures on Imports of Steel
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National Emergency Powers
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National Emergency Powers
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The Advisory Panel's Tax Reform Proposals
In early 2005, the President appointed a tax reform advisory panel to formulate tax reform proposals. The report of the President’s Advisory Panel on Tax Reform, issued in November 2005, recommended two reform plans to consider: 1) a revised income tax, referred to as the simplified income tax (SIT); and 2) a consumption tax coupled with a tax on financial income, referred to as the growth and investment tax (GIT). This report discusses the provisions and implications of these two taxes in detail. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9482/
9/11 Commission Recommendations: The Senate Confirmation Process for Presidential Nominees
On July 22, 2004, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, known as the 9/11 Commission, issued its final report, detailing the events up to and including the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks upon the United States. The 9/11 Commission recommended that the Senate adopt rules requiring hearings and votes to confirm or reject national security nominees within 30 days of their submission at the start of each new presidential administration. Implementing the commission's proposal would involve imposing new restrictions on both the power of committee chairs to control the agenda of their committees and the rights of Senators to delay or block nominations through holds and extended debate. This report discusses in detail this proposal, how it could be implemented, and the potential effects of its implementation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7850/
S. 3521, the Stop Over Spending Act of 2006: A Brief Summary
S. 3521, the Stop Over Spending Act of 2006, proposes several changes to the congressional budget process. This report provides a brief summary of the major provisions of S. 3521. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9483/
Nomination and Confirmation of the FBI Director: Process and Recent History
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VH-71 Presidential Helicopter Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the VH-71 program, which is intended to provide 23 new presidential helicopters to replace the current fleet of 19 aging presidential helicopters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689255/
VH-71/VXX Presidential Helicopter Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the VH-71 program that is intended to provide 23 new presidential helicopters to replace the current fleet of 19 aging presidential helicopters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689182/
VH-71 Presidential Helicopter Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the VH-71 program which is intended to provide 23 new presidential helicopters to replace the current fleet of 19 aging presidential helicopters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689118/
VH-71/VXX Presidential Helicopter Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the VH-71 program, which is intended to provide 23 new presidential helicopters to replace the current fleet of 19 aging presidential helicopters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689408/
Supreme Court Nominations, 1789 - 2005: Actions by the Senate, the Judiciary Committee, and the President
The process of appointing Supreme Court Justices has undergone changes over two centuries, but its most basic feature -- the sharing of power between the President and Senate -- has remained unchanged. To receive a lifetime appointment to the Court, a candidate must first be nominated by the President and then confirmed by the Senate. Table 1 of this report lists and describes actions taken by the Senate, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the President on all Supreme Court nominations, from 1789 to the present. The table provides the name of each person nominated to the Court and the name of the President making the nomination. It also tracks the dates of formal actions taken, and time elapsing between these actions, by the Senate or Senate Judiciary Committee on each nomination, starting with the date that the Senate received the nomination from the President. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10346/
Supreme Court Nominations, 1789-2005: Actions by the Senate, the Judiciary Committee, and the President
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Impeachment: An Overview of Constitutional Provisions, Procedure, and Practice
This report focuses on the American impeachment process, which places in the legislative branch the authority to remove the President, Vice President, and other federal civil officers in the executive and judicial branches upon a determination that such officers have engaged in treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. This report summarizes impeachment proceedings in the 111th Congress, examines relevant constitutional provisions, and provides a brief historical overview. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31311/
The Presidential Records Act: Background and Recent Issues for Congress
Report discussing the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and examines policy options related to the capture, maintenance, and use of presidential records. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227637/
Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act: Legal Requirements for Federal and State Roles in Declarations of an Emergency or a Major Disaster
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The Role of the President in Budget Development
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The Role of the President in Budget Development
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Ocean Commissions: Ocean Policy Review and Outlook
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Presidential Appointments, the Senate's Confirmation Process, and Proposals for Change, 112th Congress
The responsibility for populating top positions in the executive and judicial branches of government is shared, with the President having the power of appointment and the Senate having the power of advice and consent. This report provides a brief background on advice and consent issues, an overview of the appointment process in both the executive and legislative branches, and a brief discussion of recent concerns about the system. Next, the report explores the events in the 112th Congress leading up to the introduction and Senate action on S. 679 and S.Res. 116, and concludes with an analysis of the two measures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98005/
Presidential Appointments, the Senate's Confirmation Process, and Proposals for Change, 112th Congress
The responsibility for populating top positions in the executive and judicial branches of government is shared, with the President having the power of appointment and the Senate having the power of advice and consent. This report provides a brief background on advice and consent issues, an overview of the appointment process in both the executive and legislative branches, and a brief discussion of recent concerns about the system. Next, the report explores the events in the 112th Congress leading up to the introduction and Senate action on S. 679 and S.Res. 116, and concludes with an analysis of the two measures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98004/
VH-71 Presidential Helicopter Program: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the VH-71 program, which is intended to provide 23 new presidential helicopters to replace the current fleet of 19 aging presidential helicopters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700672/
Presidential Transition Act: Provisions and Funding
The Presidential Transition Act of 1963 (PTA), as amended, authorizes funding for the General Services Administration (GSA) to provide suitable office space, staff compensation, and other services associated with the presidential transition process. The President's FY2009 budget proposal included $8.52 million in funding for the 2008-2009 presidential transition. This report outlines facets of the PTA, as well as the details of the FY2009 budget appropriations for the 2008-2009 presidential transition. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10816/
Iran: Profile of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad was elected June 24, 2005, to a four-year term, becoming the first non-cleric president in 24 years. He defeated former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in a run-off. Prior to his 2005 election to the presidency, Ahmadinejad did not hold an elected office and was a virtual unknown in the international arena. This report covers his background; his victory over the well-known former president Rafsanjani; his remarks about the West, including Israel; and recent visits to Iraq and Latin America. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10687/
Submission of the President's Budget in Transition Years
At the time of a presidential transition, one question commonly asked is whether the outgoing or incoming President submits the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Under past practices, outgoing Presidents in transition years submitted a budget to Congress just prior to leaving office and incoming Presidents usually revised them. President George W. Bush has indicated that he will not submit a budget for FY2010, which is subject to a deadline of Monday, February 2, 2009. The Office of Management and Budget will prepare a current services baseline from which the incoming Administration can develop its budget proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10559/
Executive Branch Reorganization and Management Initiatives: A Brief Overview
This report provides a brief overview of recent executive branch reorganization actions and related management initiatives. It reviews the relevant plans and preparations of President-elect Barack Obama as the new Administration transitions to assuming management of the executive branch. Briefly examined, as well, are the organization and management efforts of the most recent regimes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743550/
Presidential Permit Review for Cross-Border Pipelines and Electric Transmission
This report focuses on the Presidential Permit review processes for cross-border energy infrastructure as implemented by the Department of State, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and The Department of Energy (DOE). These permits have been required for the construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of certain facilities that cross the United States borders with Canada and Mexico. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743439/
VH-71 Presidential Helicopter Program
This report discusses VH-71 presidential helicopter, which has experienced noteworthy cost increases and schedule delays, which have generated controversy and scrutiny. The VH-71 is intended to replace the President's current operational fleet of helicopters, consisting of 11 VH-3D Sea Kings and 8 VH-60N Night Hawks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743569/
Former Presidents: Pensions, Facilities, and Services
The Former Presidents Act (72 Stat. 838) of 1958 provides financial and practical means to those who have served as President of the United States and still retain certain implicit public duties. In 1958, the cost of former Presidents to the public was an estimated $64,000. In FY84, approximately $27 million will be spent on benefits to former Presidents and their widows. Operation and maintenance of Presidential Libraries was approximately $14.9 million in FY83. This report discusses increasing concerns regarding the amounts and the types of expenditures that have been made. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8872/
Presidential Records: Issues for the 111th Congress
This report analyzes President Barack Obama's first executive order (E.O. 13489), which rescinded E.O. 13233, and discusses its departure from the policies of the previous administration. Additionally, this report examines H.R. 35 and its possible legislative effects on the presidential records policies of the Obama Administration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795676/
Recess Appointments Made by President George W. Bush, January 20, 2001- October 31, 2008
This report identifies recess appointments made by President George W. Bush from the time he took office on January 20, 2001, through October 31, 2008. Basic descriptive statistics regarding these appointments are also provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795620/
National Emergency Powers
This report the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601-1651) that eliminated or modified some statutory grants of emergency authority, required the President to declare formally the existence of a national emergency and to specify what statutory authority, activated by the declaration, would be used, and provided Congress a means to countermand the President's declaration and the activated authority being sought. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8912/
National Emergency Powers
This report the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601-1651) that eliminated or modified some statutory grants of emergency authority, required the President to declare formally the existence of a national emergency and to specify what statutory authority, activated by the declaration, would be used, and provided Congress a means to countermand the President's declaration and the activated authority being sought. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8844/
National Emergency Powers
This report the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601-1651) that eliminated or modified some statutory grants of emergency authority, required the President to declare formally the existence of a national emergency and to specify what statutory authority, activated by the declaration, would be used, and provided Congress a means to countermand the President's declaration and the activated authority being sought. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8545/
Final Senate Action on U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations During a President's Eighth Year in Office
This report, in light of continued Senate interest in the judicial confirmation process during a President's final year in office, provides statistics related to Senate action on U.S. circuit and district court nominations during the eighth year of the George W. Bush, Clinton, and Reagan presidencies. The eighth year of a presidency is significant, in part, because it is the final opportunity for a President to appoint individuals as U.S. circuit and district court judges. Such judges have what effectively has come to mean life tenure, holding office "during good Behaviour." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824723/
Federal Recess Judges
This report discusses the recess clause and takes a look at the history of recess appointments. Under Article II of the Constitution, the President is empowered "to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session." Presidents have used the recess appointment power on more than 300 occasions to place judges on the district, appellate, and U.S. Supreme Court level. This practice slowed after the 1950s, but recent recess appointments to federal appellate courts (the Fourth, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuits) have revived a number of constitutional issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824639/
President Clinton’s Vetoes
This report provides a table outlining the bills vetoed by President William Jefferson Clinton's two terms in office. It includes an overview and the bill number, date, title, and override attempts for each veto. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822349/
The President-Elect: Succession and Disability Issues During the Transition Period
Procedures governing replacement of a President or Vice President-elect during the transition period depend on when the events that might lead to a temporary or permanent replacement occur. This report describes the general election process by which American voters directly choose members of the electoral college and indirectly choose the President and Vice President. This report also describes the so-called "lame duck" period between the election and the incoming President's inauguration, specifically regarding questions of disability or resignation by a President or Vice President-elect during this time. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10828/