Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Expedited Procedures Governing Senate Consideration of Legislation Waiving a Restriction Related to the Military Service of the Secretary of Defense
This report discusses the Section 179 of the Further Continuing and Security Assistance Appropriations Act, 2017 (P.L. 114-254), which establishes expedited or "fast track" parliamentary procedures governing Senate consideration of legislation that would waive a legal restriction related to the prior military service of the Secretary of Defense.
The Budget Reconciliation Process: Stages of Consideration
This report discusses the budget reconciliation process which allows Congress to use an expedited procedure when considering legislation that would bring existing spending, revenue, and debt limit laws into compliance with current fiscal priorities established in the annual budget resolution.
Questions of Privilege in the House
This report describes and discusses the difference between privileged business and questions of privilege.
Presidential Appointee Positions Requiring Senate Confirmation and Committees Handling Nominations
This report identifies, by Senate committee, presidentially-appointed positions requiring Senate confirmation based on referrals as of the date of passage of S. 679, which became P.L. 112-166 on August 10, 2012.
Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills: FY1970-FY2017
This report is a research aid that lists the Department of Defense (DOD) authorization bills (Table 1) and appropriations bills (Table 2) for FY1970-FY2017. This report includes all the pertinent information on the passage of these bills through the legislative process: bill numbers, report numbers, dates reported and passed, recorded vote numbers and vote tallies, dates of passage of the conference reports with their numbers and votes, vetoes, substitutions, dates of final passage, and public law numbers.
Agency Final Rules Submitted on or After June 13, 2016, May Be Subject to Disapproval by the 115th Congress
This report discusses the possibility of the new Congress and the new President to overturn agency final rules of the Obama Administration issued after early June 2016.
Considering Measures in the House Under the One-Hour Rule
This report discusses the fundamental rule of the House of Representatives governing debate is the one-hour rule.
Defense Primer: A Guide for New Members
This report describes the power of the Congress over the armed forces, including the power to "to raise and support Armies," "to provide and maintain a Navy," "to make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces" and "to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States.... "
Venezuela: Background and U.S. Relations
This report examines the political and economic situation in Venezuela and U.S.-Venezuelan relations. It is divided into three main sections -- political background, current political and economic environment, U.S. relations and policy -- and also includes introductory and outlook information.
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.
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.
Women in Congress, 1917-2016: Biographical and Committee Assignment Information, and Listings by State and Congress
This report includes biographical information for the 313 women who have been elected or appointed to Congress including names, committee assignments, dates of service, listings by Congress and state, and (for Representatives) congressional districts.
Evolution of the Meaning of "Waters of the United States" in the Clean Water Act
This report outlines how the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (BCTPAA) regulates the eligibility of covered trade agreements for expedited consideration, describes the operation of the statutory expedited procedures for considering implementing bills, and discusses how Congress may use the procedural mechanisms established by the act, as well as other pertinent rules of each chamber, to retain a substantial measure of control over legislation to implement covered trade agreements.
Acquisition Reform in the House and Senate Versions of the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act
This report focuses on the sections of the House and Senate versions of the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4909 and S. 2943, respectively) that appear closely linked to the respective armed services committees' stated efforts to reform the acquisition system. For purposes of this analysis, CRS selected 31 sections of the House bill and 67 sections of the Senate bill.
Congress's Early Organization Meetings
This report discusses Congress's 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.
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 of Representatives during its first formal session in a new Congress, and serves as a guide for those participating in or watching these proceedings.
Overview of Funding Mechanisms in the Federal Budget Process, and Selected Examples
This report explains various funding mechanisms used to fund federal programs and activities including timelines for budgetary decisionmaking and processes (e.g., committees); it illustrates the mechanisms with examples of how they have been applied in practice. How a particular funding mechanism is structured requires tradeoffs between the frequency of congressional review and the predictability of funding for the program.
Statutorily Required Federal Advisory Committees that Began Operations in FY2015
This report discusses the establishment of the federal advisory committees--sometimes called task forces, panels, commissions, working groups, boards, councils, or conferences.
Congressional Salaries and Allowances
This report provides basic information on congressional salaries and allowances. First, the report briefly summarizes the current salary of Members of Congress, limits on their outside earned income and honoraria, and applicable health insurance and retirement benefits. Second, it provides information on allowances available to Representatives and Senators to support them in their official and representational duties as Members. Third, it provides the salaries and allowances available to the Speaker of the House and the Vice President, as President of the Senate, and lists the salaries of congressional officers and officials and committee staff.
Midnight Rules: Congressional Oversight and Options
This report discusses "midnight rulemaking," referring to the phenomenon during the final months of recent presidential administrations when federal agencies have typically issued a larger number of rules relative to comparable time periods earlier in the administration. It likely occurs because the outgoing presidential administration wants to achieve certain policy goals before the end of its term.
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.
The Nunn-McCurdy Act: Background, Analysis, and Issues for Congress
This report examines the the Nunn-McCurdy Act, which requires the Department of Defense (DOD) to report to Congress whenever a major defense acquisition program experiences cost overruns that exceed certain thresholds. As a result of the Nunn-McCurdy Act, Congress has increased visibility into the cost performance of the acquisition stage of MDAPs. However, some analysts suggest that Nunn-McCurdy is not a sufficiently comprehensive reporting mechanism.
Venezuela: Background and U.S. Relations
This report examines the political and economic situation in Venezuela and U.S.-Venezuelan relations. It is divided into three main sections -- political background, current political and economic environment, U.S. relations and policy -- and also includes introductory and outlook information.
Expulsion, Censure, Reprimand, and Fine: Legislative Discipline in the House of Representatives
This report discusses the processes of expulsion and censure in the House of Representatives. The House is expressly authorized within the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 5, clause 2) to discipline or "punish" its own Members. It is designed as a measure to protect the institutional integrity of the House of Representatives, its proceedings and its reputation.
Clean Water Act Issues in the 108th Congress
This report discusses issues regarding the Clean Water Act. Prospects for legislative initiatives to comprehensively amend the Clean Water Act (CWA) have stalled for some time over whether and exactly how to change the law, and Congress has recently focused legislative attention on narrow bills to extend or modify selected CWA programs, rather than taking up comprehensive proposals. For example, the 108th Congress enacted one bill amending the CWA, legislation to reauthorize the National Estuary Program (H.R. 4731, P.L. 108-399).
Legislative Branch: FY2017 Appropriations
The first section of this report provides an overview of the consideration of FY2017 legislative branch appropriations, with subsections covering each action. It is followed by a section on prior year actions and funding, which contains historical tables. The report then addresses the FY2017 budget requests, requested administrative language, and selected funding issues for individual legislative branch agencies and entities.
House Committee Reports: Required Contents
This report discusses house rules and statutes that detail several substantive requirements for items to be included in reports accompanying bills reported from committees. It provides a table that lists each rule with the requirement and applications.
Legislative Procedures for Adjusting the Public Debt Limit: A Brief Overview
This report discusses the procedure for adjusting the public debt limit. Nearly all of the outstanding debt of the federal government is subject to a statutory limit, which is set forth as a dollar limitation in 31 U.S.C. 3101(b). From time to time, Congress considers and passes legislation to adjust or suspend this limit.
Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990-2016
This report contains information on actions taken that affect the salaries for members of Congress, broken down by year and starting with the establishment of the Ethics Reform Act adjustment procedure (1990). It also provides background on the most recent developments and information on other related floor action.
"Sense of" Resolutions and Provisions
This report discusses specific kinds of resolutions by which 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 expressing the views of one or both chambers may be included in other legislation upon introduction or subsequently added by amendment. This report identifies the various forms these expressions may take and the procedures governing such actions.
House Committee Chairs: Considerations, Decisions, and Actions as One Congress Ends and a New Congress Begins
This report covers the period from the House's early organization meetings in November to approximately March or April following the convening of a new Congress.
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This report is a list of about 200 congressional liaison offices, 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.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
This report discusses major decisions on clean air issues facing the courts and the executive branch in 2006. One focus will be EPA's recent proposal to strengthen air quality standards for fine particles. Other issues of continuing interest are EPA's 2005 decisions limiting interstate transport of air pollution and establishing cap-and-trade systems for emissions from coal fired power plants, and the agency's proposed changes to New Source Review.
Particulate Matter (PM2.5): Implementation of the 1997 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)
Particulate matter (PM), including fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and larger, but still inhalable particles (PM10), is one of the six principal pollutants for which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) under the Clean Air Act (CAA). This report outlines the implementation process for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS and describes issues raised as EPA and states develop implementation strategies.
Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: FY2007 Appropriations
This report is a guide to one of the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It summarizes the status of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity.
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.
Calling Up Business on the Senate Floor
This report outlines processes or customs most often used by the Senate and then discusses some procedures less often used to call up business. The Senate takes up measures and matters under procedures set in Senate rules and by long-standing customs, thereby giving it flexibility in setting its floor agenda.
Private Bills: Procedure in the House
This report briefly discusses private bills, which are bills providing benefits to specified individuals (including corporate bodies). Individuals sometimes request relief through private law when administrative or legal remedies are exhausted, but Congress seems more often to view private legislation as appropriate when no other remedy is available, and when enactment would, in a broad sense, afford equity.
Sponsorship and Cosponsorship of House Bills
This report briefly discusses the processes of sponsoring, cosponsoring, and gaining cosponsors for bills in the House of Representatives.
Senate Rules Affecting Committees
This report identifies and summarizes the provisions of the Senate's standing rules, standing orders, precedents, and other directives that relate to legislative activity in the Senate's standing committees. It covers four main issues: committee organization, committee meetings, hearings, and reporting.
Amendments in the Senate: Types and Forms
This report briefly describes the various types of amendments that take place in the Senate. It has sections describing distinctions among amendments, degrees of amendments, forms of amendments, and the scope of amendments.
Senate Committees: Categories and Rules for Committee Assignments
This report briefly examines Senate Rule XXV and party conference rules that address committee assignments. It includes a table for A, B, and C committees with an overview of limitations and procedures.
House Committee Markup: Vehicle for Consideration and Amendment
This report discusses aspects of the process by which House committees mark up and report legislation. The markup begins with the chair calling up a particular measure for consideration by the committee. The next action depends on the nature of the "markup vehicle" (i.e., the text that the chair intends for the committee to amend and report), which may be different from the measure laid before the panel for consideration. The vehicle can come before the committee in several different forms, each of which has its own procedural and political consequences.
Continuing Resolutions: Overview of Components and Recent Practices
The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the components of Continuing Resolutions (CRs) and a longitudinal analysis of recent congressional practices. Consequently, the data and analysis in this report are inclusive of all appropriations acts entitled or otherwise designated as providing continuing appropriations. The first section of this report explains six of the possible main components of CRs: coverage, duration, funding rate, restrictions on new activities, anomalies, and legislative provisions. The second section discusses the enactment of regular appropriations prior to the start of the fiscal year and the number of regular appropriations bills enacted through a CR since FY1977. The third section analyzes variations in the number and duration of CRs enacted each fiscal year since FY1997, the most recent fiscal year that all regular appropriations were enacted on time. Finally, the fourth section of this report discusses the features of the 15 CRs that provided funding through the remainder of the fiscal year since FY1977. A list of all CRs enacted between FY1977 and FY2016 is provided at the end of this report in Table 4.
Provisions of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3762
This report includes a table listing all provisions in H.R. 3762 and the Senate amendment to H.R. 3762 that would amend or repeal Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions. It also provides a brief explanation of the provisions included in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3762.
Grants Work in a Congressional Office
Report discussing grants requests for federal funds made to members of Congress by their constituents. It provides a general overview, information provided to constituents about grant funding, letters of support for grant seekers, federal assistance opportunities, proposal writing, following up on requests, announcements of grant awards, foundations and corporate grants, and additional grant-related resources.
Party Leaders in Congress, 1789-2003: Vital Statistics
This report presents tables that provide historical data including service dates, party affiliation, and other information, for 15 House and Senate party leadership posts. This information has been updated to reflect leadership changes in the 107th Congress.
Bills and Resolutions: Examples of How Each Kind Is Used
This report briefly describes the process by which Congress seeks to pass a law. During this process Congress uses a bill or joint resolution, which must be passed by both houses in identical form, that is then presented to the President for his approval or disapproval.
Congress and the Budget: 2016 Actions and Events
This report seeks to assist in (1) anticipating what federal budget-related actions might occur within the year 2016, and (2) staying abreast of budget actions that occur this year. It provides a general description of the recurrent types of budgetary actions, and reflects on current events that unfold in each category during 2016. In addition, it includes information on certain events that may affect Congress's work on the budget, such as the President's budget request and the Congressional Budget Office's budget and economic outlook.
Congressional Record: Its Production, Distribution, and Accessibility
This report briefly discusses how the Congressional Record is created and distributed. The Congressional Record is the most widely recognized published account of the debates and activities in Congress and it often reflects the intent of Congress in enacting legislation.