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Defense Primer: A Guide for New Members

Description: This report discusses series of short primers developed by CRS to give Members of Congress an overview of key aspects of the Department of Defense and how Congress exercises authority over it. A consolidated list of these primers is contained in this report, along with links to each document.
Date: October 4, 2017
Creator: Kapp, Lawrence
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Field Hearings: Fact Sheet on Purposes, Rules, Regulations, and Guidelines

Description: This report outlines the basic facts on what a Congressional field hearing is and the rules authorizing and regulating them along with current examples of field hearings from the 115th Congress.
Date: September 18, 2017
Creator: Heitshusen, Valerie & Petersen, R. Eric
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Consideration of Resolutions to "Censure" Executive Branch Officials

Description: This report summarizes the parliamentary procedures the House and Senate might use to consider a resolution to censure or condemn an executive branch official and provides links to additional reading material on the subject.
Date: September 14, 2017
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

House Rules Manual: Summary of Contents

Description: This report provides a brief summary of the contents of the "House Rules and Manual" that governs the procedures of the House of Representatives.
Date: August 31, 2017
Creator: Schneider, Judy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Health Coverage: Is the Government Contribution in Limbo?

Description: This report first provides an overview of the statutory framework governing congressional health coverage and the current Office of Personnel Management (OPM) rule, and then addresses certain legal considerations that may come into play should the Trump Administration take action to modify this existing rule.
Date: August 24, 2017
Creator: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report presents background information and issues for Congress on the overarching U.S. foreign policy issue of the U.S. role in the world. Certain statements and actions from the Trump Administration have led to uncertainty about the Administration's intentions regarding the future U.S. role, and have intensified an ongoing debate among foreign policy specialists, strategists, policymakers, and the public about what that role should be. This report includes (particularly in its appendixes) references to other CRS products that provide more in-depth discussions of specific policy and program areas bearing on the U.S. role.
Date: August 17, 2017
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald & Moodie, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Violence Against Members of Congress and Their Staff: Selected Examples and Congressional Responses

Description: This report discusses instances of violence against Members of Congress and their staffs, and provides brief descriptions of a selected list of incidents and previous legislation passed to increase security after attacks. It also includes a list of current legislative proposals in response to the June 14, 2017 attack on Republican Members of Congress at a Congressional baseball game practice in Alexandria, Virginia.
Date: August 17, 2017
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric & Manning, Jennifer E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense--Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the shift in the international security environment from a post Cold-War era to a new one with new priorities, strategies, and needs and implications for U.S. defense policy. Topics discussed include past security environments and indicators of a new one and various areas of defense policy affected.
Date: August 16, 2017
Creator: O'Rourke, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Commemorative Coins: Background, Legislative Process, and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the commemorative coin program that allows coins to be created for special events such as centennials and sold at or above face value to raise money for the sponsoring organization. Topics discussed are the history of the program, Congressional procedures for approval of a coin, design processes, and policy issues and implications for Congress to consider.
Date: August 15, 2017
Creator: Straus, Jacob R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies

Description: This report consists of a list of about 200 congressional liaison offices intended to help congressional offices in placing telephone calls and addressing correspondence to government agencies. Entries are arranged alphabetically in four sections: legislative branch; judicial branch; executive branch; and agencies, boards, and commissions.
Date: August 10, 2017
Creator: Crane-Hirsch, Audrey Celeste
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legislative Branch Appropriations: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report responds to frequently asked questions about legislative branch appropriations. Frequently asked questions include the items that are funded within this bill; development, presentation, and consideration of the legislative branch budget requests; the legislative branch budget in historical perspective; and recent actions.
Date: August 8, 2017
Creator: Brudnick, Ida A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Senate Committee Rules in the 115th Congress: Key Provisions

Description: This report first provides a brief overview of Senate rules as they pertain to committee actions. The report then provides tables that summarize selected, key features of each committee's rules in regard to 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 selected unique provisions some committees have included in their rules in the miscellaneous category. The tables represent only a portion of each committee's rules, and provisions of the rules that are substantially similar to or essentially restatements of the Senate's Standing Rules are not included. This report will be not be updated further during the 115th Congress.
Date: July 24, 2017
Creator: Heitshusen, Valerie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defining Readiness: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses how differing uses of the term "readiness" affect congressional debate, but does not evaluate the current state of the U.S. military or provide a conclusive definition of readiness. It also considers how the different uses of the term readiness relate to certain issues: Is there a readiness crisis? What should the U.S. military be ready for? How should readiness be measured? How does the FY2018 budget request affect the U.S. military's readiness?
Date: June 14, 2017
Creator: Rumbaugh, Russell
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Venezuela: Background and U.S. Policy

Description: 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.
Date: June 14, 2017
Creator: Ribando Seelke, Clare
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congress's Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure

Description: This report examines the source of the contempt power, reviews the historical development of the early case law, outlines the statutory and common law basis for Congress's contempt power, and analyzes the procedures associated with inherent contempt, criminal contempt, and the civil enforcement of subpoenas. The report also includes a detailed discussion of two recent information access disputes that led to the approval of contempt citations in the House against then-White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder. Finally, the report discusses both non-constitutional and constitutionally based limitations on the contempt power.
Date: May 12, 2017
Creator: Garvey, Todd
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Selected Homeland Security Issues in the 115th Congress

Description: This report outlines an array of homeland security issues that may come before the 115th Congress. After a brief discussion of the definitions of homeland security, the homeland security budget, and the role of homeland security actors in the intelligence community, the report divides the specific issues into five broad categories: Counterterrorism and Security Management; Border Security and Trade; Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery; Cybersecurity; and DHS Management Issues. Each of those areas contains a survey of topics briefly analyzed by Congressional Research Service experts. The information included only scratches the surface of most of these selected issues. More detailed information on these topics and others can be obtained by consulting the CRS reports referenced herein, or by contacting the relevant CRS expert.
Date: May 11, 2017
Creator: Painter, William L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Constitutional Points of Order in the Senate

Description: This report identifies 17 constitutional points of order that have been raised and received a Senate vote since 1989. Eleven of these cases were disposed of negatively.
Date: April 24, 2017
Creator: Heitshusen, Valerie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electing the Speaker of the House of Representatives: Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report briefly poses and answers several "frequently asked questions" in relation to the floor proceedings used to elect a Speaker of the House. Current practice for electing a Speaker, either at the start of a Congress or in the event of a vacancy (e.g., death or resignation), is by roll-call vote, during which Members state aloud the name of their preferred candidate. Members may vote for any individual. If no candidate receives a majority of votes cast, balloting continues; in subsequent ballots, Members may still vote for any individual.
Date: April 24, 2017
Creator: Heitshusen, Valerie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Introduction to the Legislative Process in the U.S. Congress

Description: This report introduces the main steps through which a bill (or other item of business) may travel in the legislative process--from introduction to committee and floor consideration to possible presidential consideration. However, the process by which a bill can become law is rarely predictable and can vary significantly from bill to bill. In fact, for many bills, the process will not follow the sequence of congressional stages that are often understood to make up the legislative process.This report presents a look at each of the common stages through which a bill may move, but complications and variations abound in practice.
Date: April 7, 2017
Creator: Heitshusen, Valerie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile

Description: This report presents a profile of the membership of the 115th Congress (2017-2018) as of March 13, 2017. 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.
Date: March 13, 2017
Creator: Manning, Jennifer E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department