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Congressional Gifts and Travel, Legislative Proposals for the 109th Congress
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China and "Falun Gong"
This report discusses the “Falun Gong” movement, which led to the largest and most protracted public demonstrations in China since the democracy movement of 1989. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) government, fearful of a political challenge and the spread of social unrest, outlawed Falun Gong in July 1999. Despite a massive government campaign against them and harsh punishments meted out to many followers, Falun Gong members continued to stage demonstrations for over two years.
Secret Sessions of Congress: A Brief Historical Overview
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Committee Controls of Agency Decisions
Congress has a long history of subjecting certain types of executive agency decisions to committee control, either by committees or subcommittees. Especially with the beginning of World War II, the executive branch agreed to committee controls as an accommodation that allowed Congress to delegate authority and funds broadly while using committees to monitor the use of that discretionary authority. These committee-agency arrangements took the form of different procedures: simply notifying the committee, obtaining committee approval, "coming into agreement" understandings, and using the congressional distinction between authorization and appropriation to exercise committee controls. This report explains how and why committee vetoes originated, the constitutional objections raised by the executive branch, the Court’s decision in Chadha, and the continuation of committee review procedures since that time.
Colleges and Universities Attended by Senators of the 109th Congress
This report identifies the colleges and universities attended by Senators serving in the 109th Congress. Where available in published sources, the degrees earned are also listed.
Proper Scope of Questioning of Supreme Court Nominees: The Current Debate
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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.
Tactical Aircraft Modernization: Issues for Congress
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Secret Sessions of the House and Senate
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Invoking Cloture in the Senate
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Legislative Branch: FY2006 Appropriations
This report is a guide to the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House Committee on Appropriations and Senate Subcommittee on Legislative Branch of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. It summarizes the current legislative status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related legislative activity.
Constitutionality of a Senate Filibuster of a Judicial Nomination
This report provides an overview of the major issues which have been raised recently in the Senate regarding the Judicial Nominations, Filibusters, and the Constitution: When a Majority Is Denied Its Right to Consent and in the press concerning the constitutionality of a Senate filibuster (i.e., extended debate) of a judicial nomination.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicare: The 24-Month Waiting Period for SSDI Beneficiaries Under Age 65
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A Sunset Commission for the Federal Government: Recent Developments
The sunset concept provides for programs and agencies to terminate automatically on a periodic basis unless explicitly renewed by law. In recent years bills to create a federal sunset commission, modeled on the sunset review process in Texas, have been introduced. President Bush called for creation of a federal sunset commission in his FY2006 budget submission. Bills reflecting an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) draft proposal have been introduced (S. 1399, H.R. 3276, H.R. 3277). This report will be updated as events warrant.
Reconciliation Instructions in the FY2006 Budget Resolution
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Spending Reconciliation Directives to the Senate Finance Committee in Congressional Budget Resolutions
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Speed of Presidential and Senate Actions on Supreme Court Nominations, 1900-2005
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Kosovo's Future Status and U.S. Policy
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"Fast Track" Congressional Consideration of Recommendations of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission
The recommendations of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission will automatically take effect unless, within a stated period after the recommendations are submitted to the House and Senate, Congress adopts a joint resolution of disapproval rejecting them in their entirety. Congressional consideration of this disapproval resolution is not governed by the regular rules of the House and Senate, but by special expedited or “fast track” procedures laid out in statute. This report describes these expedited parliamentary procedures and explains how they differ from the regular legislative processes of Congress.
Summary of Joint Committee on Taxation's Staff Proposals Relating to Charitable Contributions
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Speaker Hastert's Plan to Offset Spending: A Procedural Perspective
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Legislative Procedures for Adjusting the Public Debt Limit: A Brief Overview
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Appropriations Bills: What is Report Language?
When the Senate or House Appropriations Committee reports an appropriations bill to the full Senate or House, respectively, the committee typically publishes a committee report explaining the bill. This fact sheet provides a brief overview of what these reports entail and the language used within them.
Consolidating Intelligence Appropriation and Authorization in a Single Committee: 9/11 Commission Recommendation and Alternatives
This report focuses on the commission’s proposal, to consolidate appropriation and authorization functions in the existing Senate and House Select Intelligence Committees. The report (1) describes the proposal; (2) compares it to the existing committee system; (3) describes a 19th century precedent for consolidation; (4) provides selected arguments in favor of consolidation as well as against; (5) discusses two alternatives to consolidating authorization and appropriation functions: a Joint Committee on Intelligence and separate intelligence appropriations subcommittees in the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations; and (6) describes current legislation.
Senate Rule XIV Procedures for Placing Measures Directly on the Senate Calendar
This report describes the Senate Rule XIV, para. 2, which requires that bills and resolutions have three readings before passage, and that they be read twice before being referred to committee.
Congressional Budget Resolutions: Revisions and Adjustments
Following a brief discussion of budget resolutions and the congressional budget process, this report examines the several ways in which budget levels and other matters included in budget resolutions may be revised or adjusted, the authorities that underpin the making of such revisions and adjustments, and actual practices of the House and Senate in this regard.
Homeland Security Act of 2002: Legislative History and Pagination Key
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Congress and the Courts: Current Policy Issues
The purposes of this report are to examine the Congress-court connection along several discrete, but overlapping, dimensions. First, the constitutional authority of Congress and the judiciary is summarized briefly. Second, the report highlights the court’s role as legislative-executive “umpire” and federal-state “referee” in our constitutional system. Third, the report discusses the court’s part in statutory interpretation as well as the diverse ways Congress may “check and balance” the judiciary. Fourth, the paper reviews several current controversies associated with the judicial nominations process. Fifth, the state of play with respect to the so-called “nuclear” or “constitutional” option for ending judicial filibusters is discussed along with the compromise that so far has averted use of this procedural maneuver in the Senate. Finally, the report closes with several observations about the judicial nominations process.
House Committee Funding Requests and Authorizations, 104th-109th Congresses
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Senate Committee Funding Resolutions, 109th Congress, and Funding Authorizations 104th-109th Congresses
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Appropriations Subcommittee Structure: History of Changes from 1920-2005
This report details the evolution of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees’ subcommittee structure from the 1920s to the present.
Informing Congress: The Role of the Executive in Times of War and Military Conflict, 1941-2001
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Omnibus Appropriations Act: Overview of Recent Practices
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Presidential Advisers' Testimony Before Congressional Committees: An Overview
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Biennial Budgeting: Issues and Options
Biennial budgeting is a concept that may include several variations. It may involve multiyear authorizations, two-year budget resolutions, or two-year appropriations, or some combination of the three. Most proposals incorporate all three factors. This report presents the view of proponent and critics of biennial budgeting.
Debt-Limit Legislation in the Congressional Budget Process
The gross federal debt consists of the debt held by the public plus the debt held by government accounts. Almost all of the gross federal debt is subject to a public debt limit, as set forth in statute (31 U.S.C. 3101).This report considers legislation needed to change the public debt limit.
House Rules Changes Affecting the Congressional Budget Process in the 109th Congress (H.Res.5)
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Committee System Rules Changes in the House, 109th Congress
This fact sheet details changes in the committee system contained in H.Res. 5, the rules of the House for the 109th Congress, agreed to by the House January 4, 2005, and the Speaker’s announced policies.
Availability of Legislative Proposals in the House of Representatives (The "Three-Day Rule")
House rules govern the length of time legislative proposals must be available to Members prior to being considered on the floor. For measures reported from committee, the committee report must have been available for three calendar days. Conference reports must also have been available for three calendar days, and special rules for considering measures for one legislative day. The House, however, also has several means by which it can choose to waive these availability requirements and call up, debate, and vote on a measure in a single calendar day, even if the text of the measure was not made available prior to consideration.
Revenue Reconciliation Directives to the Senate Finance Committee in Congressional Budget Resolutions
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Revenue Reconciliation Directives to the Senate Finance Committee in Congressional Budget Resolutions
No Description Available.
The Congressional Budget Process: A Brief Overview
The term “budget process,” when applied to the federal government, actually refers to a number of processes that have evolved separately and that occur with varying degrees of coordination. This overview, and the accompanying flow chart, are intended to describe in brief each of the parts of the budget process that involve Congress, clarify the role played by each, and explain how they operate together. They include the President’s budget submission, the budget resolution, reconciliation, sequestration, authorizations, and appropriations.
Climate Change Legislation in the 109th Congress
Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a continuing issue in the 109th Congress. Bills directly addressing climate change issues range from those focused primarily on climate change research to comprehensive emissions cap-and-trade programs. Additional bills focus on GHG reporting and registries, or on power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, as part of wider controls on pollutant emissions. The bills vary in their approaches to climate change issues. This report briefly discusses the basic concepts on which these bills are based and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research, technology deployment, GHG reporting and registries, and emissions reduction programs.
PAYGO Rules for Budget Enforcement in the House and Senate
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House Rules Changes Affecting Floor Procedures in the 109th Congress
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Changing Senate Rules: The "Constitutional" or "Nuclear" Option
This report indicates possible attempts to curtail the use of filibusters in the Senate, perhaps in the 109th Congress. Some have suggested that proponents of this idea may invoke something called the “nuclear” or “constitutional” option in Senate floor procedure to try to end a filibuster without the need for 60 votes or to amend the cloture rule (Rule XXII) itself. This report presents several possible scenarios that would require one or more of the Senate’s precedents be overturned or interpreted otherwise than in the past.
Pakistan's Domestic Political Developments
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Pakistan's Domestic Political Developments
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Pakistan's Domestic Political Developments
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The Mid-Session Review of the President’s Budget: Timing Issues
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