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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
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
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evolution of the Senate's Role in the Nomination and Confirmation Process: A Brief History

Description: This report discusses the process of Advice and Consent in the Senate. Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution states that the President "shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other Public Ministers and Counsels, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all Other Officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law…."
Date: July 2, 2008
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evolution of the Senate's Role in the Nomination and Confirmation Process: A Brief History

Description: Over time, the Senate has developed a series of procedures to deal with the concerns of its Members on nominations. First is the custom of senatorial courtesy, whereby Senators from the same party as the President might influence a nomination or kill it by objecting to it. This tradition has not always been absolute, but it has allowed Senators to play a fairly large role, particularly in the selection of nominees within a Senator’s home state, such as for district court judgeships.
Date: March 29, 2005
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evolution of the Senate's Role in the Nomination and Confirmation Process: A Brief History

Description: Over time, the Senate has developed a series of procedures to deal with the concerns of its Members on nominations. First is the custom of senatorial courtesy, whereby Senators from the same party as the President might influence a nomination or kill it by objecting to it. This tradition has not always been absolute, but it has allowed Senators to play a fairly large role, particularly in the selection of nominees within a Senator’s home state, such as for district court judgeships.
Date: June 5, 2003
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Senate Committee Hearings: Preparation

Description: Committee hearings allow Senators an opportunity to gather information on, and draw attention to, legislation and issues within a committee’s purview, conduct oversight of programs or agencies, and investigate allegations of wrongdoing. This report contains a checklist that identifies many of the tasks that need to be performed by a full committee and, in most cases, subcommittees in advance of a hearing. Some of the tasks are required by Senate or committee rules; others are common committee practice. Some tasks are usually the responsibility of the committee’s majority staff, some are shared by majority and minority staff, and some are performed by a Senator’s personal office staff.
Date: February 22, 2007
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Senate Committee Hearings: Preparation

Description: Committee hearings allow Senators an opportunity to gather information on, and draw attention to, legislation and issues within a committee’s purview, conduct oversight of programs or agencies, and investigate allegations of wrongdoing. This report contains a checklist that identifies many of the tasks that need to be performed by a full committee and, in most cases, subcommittees in advance of a hearing. Some of the tasks are required by Senate or committee rules; others are common committee practice. Some tasks are usually the responsibility of the committee’s majority staff, some are shared by majority and minority staff, and some are performed by a Senator’s personal office staff.
Date: September 17, 2009
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Senate Committee Rules in the 112th Congress: A Comparison of Key Provisions

Description: This report reviews the requirements contained in Senate rules pertaining to committees; it then explores how each Senate committee addresses 11 specific issues: meeting day, hearing and meeting notice requirements, scheduling of witnesses, hearing quorum, business quorum, amendment filing requirements, proxy voting, polling, nominations, investigations, and subpoenas. In addition, the report looks at the unique provisions some committees have included in their rules in the miscellaneous category.
Date: February 17, 2012
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Special Order Speeches and Other Forms of Non-Legislative Debate in the House

Description: This report briefly discusses non-legislative debate in the House of Representatives, specifically special order speeches, one-minute speeches, and morning hour debate. The purpose of these practices is to permit Members to address the House for specified durations and at specified times of their own choosing, outside the consideration of legislative business.
Date: November 24, 2010
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Amending Process in the Senate

Description: This report summarizes many of the rules, precedents, and practices of the Senate affecting the consideration of amendments to measures on the floor. Much of the information presented here has been extracted from Riddick’s Senate Procedure (Senate Document 101-28) the published collection of Senate precedents.
Date: March 17, 2003
Creator: Palmer, Betsy & Bach, Stanley
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legislative Branch Staffing, 1954-2007

Description: This report provides data and analysis concerning legislative branch staffing levels since 1954. Legislative branch staff include congressional staff, who work in the House or Senate, and legislative agency staff, who work in a legislative branch agency. At present, there is no legislation pending before Congress to change existing staff arrangements in Congress or legislative branch agencies. As policies and issues before Congress continue to proliferate in volume and complexity, new proposals for change in staffing levels or changes in the balance between congressional staff and legislative agency staff may emerge. This report, which will be updated annually, is one of several CRS products focusing on various aspects of congressional operations and administration.
Date: October 15, 2008
Creator: Petersen, Eric R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Members of Congress Who Die in Office: Historic and Current Practices

Description: Since 1973, 84 Members of Congress-69 Representatives, and 15 Senators-have died in office. When a sitting Member dies, the House and Senate carry out a number of actions based on chamber rules, statutes, and longstanding practices. This report discusses these actions.
Date: April 25, 2012
Creator: Petersen, Eric R. & Manning, Jennifer E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Nominations to U.S. Service Academies: An Overview and Resources for Outreach and Management

Description: This report describes statutory requirements for allocating congressional nominations to service academies and identifies the qualifications that must be met by potential nominees, as established by statute and each academy. Sample documents that could be used by congressional offices at various stages of the nomination selection process are included.
Date: January 27, 2009
Creator: Petersen, R. E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Nominations to U.S. Service Academies: An Overview and Resources for Outreach and Management

Description: 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. Finally, sample documents that could be used by congressional offices at various stages of the nomination selection process are included.
Date: November 10, 2015
Creator: Petersen, R. E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department