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Congressional Lawmaking: A Perspective On Secrecy and Transparency

Description: The objectives of this report are four-fold: first, to outline briefly the historical and inherent tension between secrecy and transparency in the congressional process; second, to review several common and recurring secrecy/transparency issues that emerged again with the 2011 formation of the Joint Select Deficit Reduction Committee; third, to identify various lawmaking stages typically imbued with closed door activities; and fourth, to close with several summary observations.
Date: November 30, 2011
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Oversight: An Overview

Description: This report highlights several reasons for the expansion of the federal government; discuss a few definitions of oversight; spotlight three essential purposes of oversight; comment upon a few oversight laws and rules; review several important oversight techniques; and identify several incentives and disincentives to the conduct of congressional oversight. The report concludes with summary observations.
Date: February 22, 2010
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The House Amendment Tree

Description: This report discusses the House amendment tree, a chart that depicts the maximum number and types of amendments that may be offered to a measure before any amendment is voted upon.
Date: February 20, 2001
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The House Amendment Tree

Description: This report discusses the House amendment “tree”, which is a chart that depicts the maximum number and types of amendments that may be offered to a measure before any amendment is voted upon.
Date: March 14, 2008
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The House Amendment Tree

Description: This report discusses the House amendment tree, a chart that depicts the maximum number and types of amendments.
Date: September 15, 1998
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The House's Corrections Calendar

Description: This report discusses the establishment of the "Corrections Day," a concept credited to Michigan Governor John Englerwhich, which is a procedure for repealing "the dumbest things the federal government is currently doing."
Date: December 4, 2003
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proposals to Reform “Holds” in the Senate

Description: This report examines, over a more than three decade period, a wide range of proposals to reform holds. In general, the objective of these recommendations is not to abolish holds but to infuse more accountability, uniformity, and transparency in their use and to make it clear that holds are not a veto on the majority leader's prerogative of calling up measures or matters.
Date: December 20, 2007
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proposals to Reform “Holds” in the Senate

Description: “Holds” are an informal senatorial custom unrecognized in Senate rules or precedents. They allow Senators to give notice to their respective party leader that certain measures or matters should not be brought up on the floor. This report examines, over a more than three-decade period, a wide range of proposals to reform holds.
Date: August 31, 2011
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Role of the House Minority Leader: An Overview

Description: This report discusses the role of the House minority leader. The primary goal of the minority leader is to recapture majority control of the house. The minority leader performs important institutional and party functions.
Date: December 12, 2006
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Senate Executive Business and the Executive Calendar

Description: The Senate has responsibilities under both Article I (outlining legislative prerogatives) and Article II of the Constitution. As a result, the upper body handles legislative and executive business differently. This report discusses the Senate’s lawmaking responsibilities under Article I; executive business, which consists of treaties and nominations.
Date: May 19, 2008
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Senate Rules for Committee Markups

Description: This report discusses the committee rules for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which stipulates that, insofar as practicable, “proceedings of the Committee will be conducted without resort to the formalities of parliamentary procedure.”
Date: February 20, 2001
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Unanimous Consent Agreements in the Senate

Description: This report discusses the idea of "unanimous consent" in the Senate. Without its tradition of unanimous consent, the Senate would find it harder to process its complex workload.
Date: March 7, 2005
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Unanimous Consent Agreements in the Senate

Description: This report discusses the idea of "unanimous consent" in the Senate. Without its tradition of unanimous consent, the Senate would find it harder to process its complex workload.
Date: May 19, 2008
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Unanimous Consent Agreements in the Senate

Description: This report discusses the idea of "unanimous consent" in the Senate. Without its tradition of unanimous consent, the Senate would find it harder to process its complex workload.
Date: December 21, 2006
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Unanimous Consent Agreements in the Senate

Description: This report discusses the idea of "unanimous consent" in the Senate. Without its tradition of unanimous consent, the Senate would find it harder to process its complex workload.
Date: February 20, 2001
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Unanimous Consent Agreements in the Senate

Description: This report discusses the idea of "unanimous consent" in the Senate. Without its tradition of unanimous consent, the Senate would find it harder to process its complex workload.
Date: February 20, 2001
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FY2013 Supplemental Funding for Disaster Relief: Summary and Considerations for Congress

Description: This report analyzes the Administration's request, the House-passed legislation, and the Senate position as reflected in Senate-amended H.R. 1 from the 112th Congress. (The newly constituted Senate has not taken up legislation establishing its position on the supplemental request as of the date of publication.) It includes information on legislative provisions as well as funding levels.
Date: January 23, 2013
Creator: Painter, William L. & Brown, Jared T.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Homeland Security Department: FY2012 Appropriations

Description: This report describes the FY2012 appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Total budget authority, including appropriations, fee revenues, and trust funds in the Administration's budget request for DHS for FY2012 amounts to $57,079 million as compared to $55,783 million enacted for FY2011.
Date: September 2, 2011
Creator: Painter, William L. & Lake, Jennifer E.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

9/11 Commission Recommendations: The Senate Confirmation Process for Presidential Nominees

Description: 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.
Date: March 23, 2005
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

9/11 Commission Recommendations: The Senate Confirmation Process for Presidential Nominees

Description: 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.
Date: November 22, 2004
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Changing Senate Rules: The "Constitutional" or "Nuclear" Option

Description: 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.
Date: May 26, 2005
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Commonly Used Motions and Requests in the House of Representatives

Description: This report identifies the most commonly used motions and requests available to Members during proceedings in the House of Representatives. The report divides the motions and requests into seven broad categories, based on when the motion or request is in order and who can make the motion or request. Daily Business is the category that includes items that are routine to the conduct of business in the House each day, such as the motion to adjourn. Decorum and Privilege covers issues of the rights and privileges of Members and the House and how Members conduct themselves on the floor.
Date: November 30, 2004
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department