Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Congress' Early Organization Meetings
The purposes of these meetings are both educational and organizational. Educational sessions range from legislative procedures and staff hiring to current issues. Organizational sessions elect class officers, party leaders, and chamber officers; name committee representatives and other party officials; and select committee chairmen and often committee members. Such actions are officially ratified at the start of the new Congress.
Engrossment, Enrollment, and Presentation of Legislation
Engrossment, enrollment, and presentation of legislation are technical components of the legislative process. They attest to the accuracy of bill texts, confirm passage by the House and Senate, and confirm delivery of the bills to the President for his review.
Bills and Resolutions: Examples of How Each Kind is Used
This report provides background information regarding the bill and joint resolution, which must be passed by both houses in identical form, then presented to the President for his approval or disapproval.
Bills, Resolutions, Nominations, and Treaties: Origins, Deadlines, Requirements, and Uses
In addition to bill and/or joint resolution this report presents two other acts of congress; 1) nominations and 2) treaties. It also discusses the characteristics and uses of six different kind of business before Congress, such as designation, origin, deadline for action, requirements for approval, and use.
Post Employment, "Revolving Door," Restrictions for Legislative Branch Members and Employees
This report provides a brief discussion of the post-employment restrictions, often called "revolving door" laws, that are applicable to members, officers, and employees of Congress after they leave congressional service or employment.
Messages, Petitions, Communications, and Memorials to Congress
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Investigative Oversight: An Introduction to the Law, Practice and Procedure of Congressional Inquiry
This report will provide an overview of some of the more common legal, procedural and practical issues, questions, and problems that committees have faced in the course of an investigation. Following a summary of the case law developing the scope and limitations of the power of inquiry, the essential tools of investigative oversight--subpoenas, staff interviews and depositions, grants of immunity, and the contempt power -- are described. Next, some of the special problems of investigating the executive are detailed, with particular emphasis on claims of presidential executive privilege, the problems raised by attempts to access information with respect to open or closed civil or criminal investigative matters, or to obtain information that is part of the agency deliberative process, and the effect on congressional access of statutory prohibitions on public disclosure. The discussion then focuses on various procedural and legal requirements that accompany the preparation for, and conduct of, an investigative hearing, including matters concerning jurisdiction, particular rules and requirements for the conduct of such proceedings, and the nature, applicability and scope of certain constitutional and common law testimonial privileges that may be claimed by witnesses. The case law and practice respecting the rights of minority party members during the investigative process is also reviewed. The report concludes with a description of the roles played by the offices of House General Counsel and Senate Legal Counsel in such investigations.
Grants Work in a Congressional Office
Members of Congress often get requests from constituents for information and help in obtaining funds for projects. Many state and local governments, nonprofit social service and community action organizations, private research groups, small businesses, and individuals approach congressional offices to find out about funding, both from the federal government and from the private sector. The success rate in obtaining federal assistance is not high, given the competition for federal funds. A grants staff’s effectiveness often depends on both an understanding of the grants process and on the relations it establishes with agency and other contacts. The following report does not constitute a blueprint for every office involved in grants and projects activity, nor does it present in-depth information about all aspects of staff activity in this area. The discussion is aimed at describing some basics about the grants process and some of the approaches and techniques used by congressional offices in dealing with this type of constituent service.
How to Follow Current Federal Legislation and Regulations
This report provides a listing of the key primary and secondary sources from which current information can be obtained, as well as suggested sources of further information.
Constitution of the United States; Recent Writings: Bibliography-in-Brief
This bibliography contains recent publications discussing the history, development, and application of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Special Elections and Membership Changes in the 103d Congress, First Session
This report provides information on membership changes in the first session of the 103d Congress through special elections for vacancies in the House of Representatives and appointments and special elections for vacancies in the Senate .
Environmental Protection Issues: From the 104th to the 105th Congress
The continued interest in regulatory reform measures in the final moments of the 104th Congress suggests that the 105th Congress will consider them again. At the same time the fact that the 104th Congress enacted flexibility provisions in drinking water and food safety/pesticides legislation could be an indicator that the 105th Congress may pursue reforms in individual reauthorization legislation rather than in broad regulatory reform bills.
Solid Waste Issues in the 105th Congress
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One-Minute Speeches: Current House Practices
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Salaries and Allowances: The Congress
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Decorum in House Debate
The basic standards of decorum that govern remarks made in the House of Representatives are described in this report. The report also discusses the procedure for "words taken down" and other mechanisms used in the House for enforcing these standards. The standards and mechanisms covered here include those set forth in House rules, related sections of Jefferson's Manual, published precedents, and supplementary policy statements by the Speaker. Also provided are examples from the 103rd-105th Congress of words spoken in House floor debate that led to one or more enforcement mechanisms being invoked.
Amendments Between the Houses
This report briefly summarizes the process of amendments between the House of Representatives and the Senate, which occurs if the House and Senate approve differing versions of a measure. An exchange of amendments between the houses resolves these differences.
Legislative Powers of Congress: A Brief Reference Guide
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Points of Order, Rulings, and Appeals in the House of Representatives
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Privileged Business on the House Floor
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Questions of Privilege in the House
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Term Limits for Members of Congress: State Activity
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Special Rules in the House of Representatives
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Congressional Budget Actions in 1997
In 1997, during the first session of the 105th Congress, the House and Senate will consider many different budgetary measures. Most of these measures will pertain to FY1998 and beyond, but some measures will make adjustments in the budget for the current fiscal year, FY1997. This issue brief describes House and Senate action on major budgetary legislation within the framework of the congressional budget process and other procedural requirements.
The Committee System in the U.S. Congress
Due to the high volume and complexity of its work, Congress divides its tasks among approximately 44 committees with 154 subcommittees. The House and Senate each has its own committee systems, which are similar. Within chamber guidelines, however, each committee adopts its own rules; thus, there is considerable variation among panels.
How Measures Are Brought to the House Floor: A Brief Introduction
This report presents a brief description of the five methods used to bring proposed legislation to the House floor for consideration.
Procedural Distinctions Between the House and the Committee of the Whole
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Special Rules and Waivers of House Rules
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Congressional Oversight
Congressional oversight of policy implementation and administration, which has occurred throughout the U.S. government experience under the Constitution, takes a variety of forms and utilizes various techniques. These range from specialized investigations by select committees to annual appropriations hearings, and from informal communications between Members or congressional staff and executive personnel to the use of extra congressional mechanisms, such as offices of inspector general and study commissions. Oversight, moreover, is supported by a variety of authorities—the Constitution, public law, and chamber and committee rules—and is an integral part of the system of checks and balances between the legislature and the executive
Secret Sessions of Congress: A Brief Historical Overview
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Persian Gulf War: Defense-Policy Implications for Congress
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Introducing a House Bill or Resolution
This report discusses the primary steps for drafting a bill in the House. Ideas and recommendations for legislation may come from private sources, such as ordinary citizens or interest groups; executive branch agencies and the White House; state and local initiatives; and, of course, individual Members, committees and other work groups, and party and chamber leaders. Any or all of these entities may also participate in drafting legislation (resolutions as well as bills).
Guiding a Bill Through the Legislative Process
This report describes each stage of the legislative process that legislative assistants may find helpful as they seek to further the progress of a specific bill.
Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill: Fact Sheet on Structure, Content, and Process
This report discusses the legislative branch appropriations bill, which is one of the regular appropriations bills that Congress normally enacts each year for the fiscal year beginning on October 1. The report provides budget authority, which is statutory authority to spend specified amounts of money, for expenditures of the legislative branch for the fiscal year, including salaries.
Fast Track for Trade Agreements: Procedural Controls for Congress and Proposed Alternatives
This report discusses the fast track trade procedures in the Trade Act of 1974 operate as procedural rules of the House and Senate, and the statute itself declares them to be enacted as an exercise of the constitutional authority of each house to determine its own rules. These procedures prevent Congress from altering an implementing bill or declining to act, but permit it to enact or reject the bill. By these means Congress retains authority to legislate in the areas covered, yet affords the President conditions for effective negotiation.
Congressional Budget Act Points of Order
Title III of the Congressional Budget Act (CBA) of 1974 (P.L. 93-344), as amended, establishes the points of order that are used to enforce congressional budget procedures and substantive provisions of a budget resolution. These points of order prohibit certain congressional actions and consideration of certain legislation.
Congressional Budget Act Points of Order
Title III of the Congressional Budget Act (CBA) of 1974 (P.L. 93-344), as amended, establishes the points of order that are used to enforce congressional budget procedures and substantive provisions of a budget resolution. These points of order prohibit certain congressional actions and consideration of certain legislation.
Allocations and Subdivisions in the Congressional Budget Process
This report briefly explains how the annual budget resolution sets forth total spending and revenue levels, which are then allocated to the appropriate House and Senate committees, which in turn help Congress determine how best to enforce spending once a budget resolution is adopted.
House Administrative Reorganization: 104th Congress
This report discusses the management responsibility for financial, security, and legislative operations.
The Congressional Budget Process Timetable
The Congressional Budget Act (CBA) of 1974 (P.L. 93-344), as amended, establishes the congressional budget process, which coordinates the legislative activities on the budget resolution, appropriations bills, reconciliation legislation, revenue measures, and other budgetary legislation. Section 300 of this act provides a timetable (see Table 1) so that Congress may complete its work on the budget by the start of the fiscal year on October 1.
The Congressional Budget Process Timetable
The Congressional Budget Act (CBA) of 1974 (P.L. 93-344), as amended, establishes the congressional budget process, which coordinates the legislative activities on the budget resolution, appropriations bills, reconciliation legislation, revenue measures, and other budgetary legislation. Section 300 of this act provides a timetable (see Table 1) so that Congress may complete its work on the budget by the start of the fiscal year on October 1.
Overview of the Congressional Budget Process
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Congressional Gold Medals 1776-1999
Since the American Revolution, Congress has commissioned gold medals as its highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions. These medals should not be confused with the Medal of Honor, which is presented “in the name of the Congress of the United States,” and is often referred to as the Congressional Medal of Honor. Regulations for the Medal of Honor are established by the armed services. Congressional Gold Medals, conversely, can only be approved by Congress. This report provides a response to such inquiries and includes a historical examination and chronological list of these awards intended to assist Members of Congress in their consideration of future proposals to award Congressional Gold Medals. It will be updated annually.
Sponsorship and Cosponsorship of House Bills
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Appropriations for FY1999: Legislative Branch
Appropriations are one part of a complex federal budget process that includes budget resolutions, appropriations (regular, supplemental, and continuing) bills, rescissions, and budget reconciliation bills. This report is a guide to one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress passes each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Legislative Branch Appropriations.
Points of Order in the Congressional Budget Process
No Description Available.
How to Obtain Copies of Videotapes of Proceedings of Congress and Network and Cable Television Broadcasts
No Description Available.
Congressional Campaign Spending: 1976-1996
The data in this report reflect spending by congressional candidates from funds donated by individuals, political action committees (PACs), parties, and candidates. Thus, it includes expenditures under candidate control and does not reflect spending on their behalf, with or without their cooperation, by parties, PACs, and other groups.
Fiscal Year 1998 Continuing Resolutions
Congress annually considers 13 regular appropriations bills providing funding for agency operations. If any of these bills are not enacted by the start of the fiscal year (October 1), the nonessential activities of the agencies funded in the outstanding bills must cease. In those years in which all 13 bills are not enacted by the deadline, Congress adopts measures continuing funding until the regular bills are enacted. This report discusses these measures, which are referred to as continuing resolutions.
House Committee Hearings: Scheduling and Notification
Each House committee has authority to hold hearings whether the House is in session, has recessed, or has adjourned (Rule XI, clause 2(m)(1)(A)). Regardless of the type of hearing, or whether a hearing is held in or outside of Washington, hearings share common aspects of planning and preparation. this report discusses the issues a committee faces in deciding whether to schedule a hearing.