Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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House Committee Chairs: Considerations, Decisions, and Actions as One Congress Ends and a New Congress Begins
This report addresses some of the critical matters a House committee chair confronts from the time of the early organization meetings in November to approximately the spring district work-period in March or April. The report is divided into the following sections: Transition, Administrative Matters, Committee Organization, Committee Procedure and the Role of the Chair, Procedural Tools for Committee Chairs, Floor Consideration and the Role of the Chair, and Legislative Issues and Agenda.
House Committee Chairs: Considerations, Decisions, and Actions as One Congress Ends and a New Congress Begins
Report that addresses some of the critical matters a House committee chair confronts from the time of the early organization meetings in November to approximately the spring district work-period in March or April.
House Committee Hearings: Witness Testimony
This report briefly discusses the witness testimony process in House of Representatives committee hearings.
How Legislation Is Brought to the House Floor: A Snapshot of Recent Parliamentary Practice
The House of Representatives has several different parliamentary procedures through which it can bring legislation to the chamber floor. Which will be used in a given situation depends on many factors, including the type of measure being considered, its cost, the amount of political or policy controversy surrounding it, and the degree to which Members want to debate it and propose amendments. This report provides a statistical snapshot of the forms, origins, and party sponsorship of these measures, and of the parliamentary procedures used to bring them to the chamber floor during their initial consideration.
House Rules and Precedents Affecting Committee Markup Procedures
Markup procedure in standing committee of the House of Representatives generally conform to guidelines the House follows when it conducts business on the floor under a set of procedures known as consideration by the "House as in Committee of the Whole." This report briefly discusses these procedures as they relate to legislative business conducted on the floor and in committee.
House Rules Committee Hearings on Special Rules
This report briefly discusses the procedure in the House of Representatives for rules committee hearings on special rules.
Navy Aegis Cruiser and Destroyer Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
This report explores a program to modernize the Navy's 84 existing Aegis cruisers and destroyers over a period of more than 20 years and includes the reasons for the program and the oversight issues it poses for Congress.
Navy Aegis Cruiser and Destroyer Modernization: Background and Issues for Congress
The Navy has begun a multi-billion dollar program to modernize its 84 existing Aegis cruisers and destroyers over a period of more than 20 years. This report explores this program in detail, including the reasons for the program and the oversight issues it poses for Congress. This report will be updated as events warrant.
Budget Reconciliation Legislation: Development and Consideration
This report briefly discusses the budget reconciliation process, which is an optional two-step process Congress may use to assure compliance with the direct spending, revenue, and debt-limit levels set forth in budget resolutions.
The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction
This report discusses the following aspects of the congressional appropriations process: the annual appropriations cycle; types of appropriations measures; spending ceilings for appropriations associated with the annual budget resolution; and the relationship between authorization and appropriation measures.
The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction
Congress annually considers several appropriations measures, which provide funding for numerous activities, for example, national defense, education, and homeland security, as well as general government operations. Congress has developed certain rules and practices for the consideration of appropriations measures, referred to as the congressional appropriations process. This report looks at this process as well as the three types of appropriates measures: regular appropriations bills, continuing resolutions, and supplemental appropriations bills.
Department of Defense Energy Initiatives: Background and Issues for Congress
This report gives an overview of fuel use by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and its pursuit of numerous initiatives for reducing its fuel needs and changing the mix of energy sources that it uses. The report includes an extensive background on DOD fuel use including how the DOD uses and buys fuel, challenges and risks associated with the DOD's fuel use, DOD energy initiatives, and past legislation that addressed DOD energy use; it also presents issues for Congress and legislative action to be addressed during FY2013.
Budget Reconciliation Legislation: Development and Consideration
This report briefly discusses the budget reconciliation process, which is an optional two-step process Congress may use to assure compliance with the direct spending, revenue, and debt-limit levels set forth in budget resolutions.
Congressional Oversight and Related Issues Concerning International Security Agreements Concluded by the United States
This report looks at issues arising from disputes between Congress and the executive branch. It begins by providing a general background on the types of international agreements that are binding upon the United States, as well as considerations affecting whether they take the form of a treaty or an executive agreement. Next, the report discusses historical precedents as to the role that security agreements have taken, with specific attention paid to past agreements entered with Afghanistan, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Iraq. The report discusses the oversight role that Congress exercises with respect to entering and implementing international agreements involving the United States.
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 150 congressional liaison offices is 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.
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 150 congressional liaison offices is 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.
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 150 congressional liaison offices is 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.
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 150 congressional liaison offices is 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.
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 150 congressional liaison offices is 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.
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 150 congressional liaison offices is 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.
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 150 congressional liaison offices is 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.
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 150 congressional liaison offices is 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.
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 200 congressional liaison offices is 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.
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This list of about 150 congressional liaison offices is 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.
Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests
This report discusses the U.S. policy toward the Central Asia. It provides background information and most recent developments in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. U.S. objectives have included promoting free markets, democratization, human rights, energy development, and the forging of East-West and Central Asia-South Asia trade links.
Committee on the Budget in the House of Representatives: Structure and Responsibilities
Report describing the structure and responsibilities of the Committee on the Budget in the House of Representatives.
United Nations Reform: Background and Issues for Congress
This report examines reform priorities from the perspective of several key actors, including Members of Congress, the Obama Administration, selected member states, the U.N. Secretary-General, and a cross-section of groups tasked with addressing U.N. reform. It also discusses congressional actions related to U.N. reform and mechanisms for implementing reform, as well as possible challenges facing U.S. policy makers as they consider existing and future U.N. reform efforts.
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Role of Congress in Trade Policy
This report presents background and analysis on the development of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which expired on July 1, 2007. The report also includes a summary of the major provisions under the recently expired authority and a discussion of the issues that have arisen in the debate over TPA renewal, as well as policy options available to Congress.
Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report discusses sovereign debt, which is also called public debt or government debt, and refers to debt incurred by governments. The first section provides background information on sovereign debt, including why governments borrow, how sovereign debt differs from private debt, why governments repay their debt (or not), and how sovereign debt is measured. The second section examines the shift of concerns over sovereign debt sustainability from emerging markets in the 1990s and 2000s to advanced economies following the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, and the challenges posed by high debt levels. The third section analyzes the different policy options governments have for lowering debt levels. It also discusses the current strategy being used by most advanced economies -- fiscal austerity -- and concerns that have been raised about its global impact. Finally, the fourth section analyzes issues of particular interest to Congress, including comparisons between U.S. and European debt levels, how efforts to reduce debt levels could impact the U.S. economy, and policy options available to Congress for engaging on this issue.
House Rules Manual: Summary of Contents
This report provides a description of house rules and manuals. The first section of the House Manual identifies the more substantive rules changes made by the House resolution adopting the rules of the current Congress. Also identified are citations to volumes of precedents referenced in the parliamentarian's annotations.
Allocations and Subdivisions in the Congressional Budget Process
This report very briefly discusses the allocations and subdivisions portions of the congressional budget process.
Administrative Issues Related to a Change in Majority in the House of Representatives
This report briefly describes how a change in majority leadership in the House of Representatives -- such as the incoming new majority that will assume control of House operations at the beginning of the 112th Congress in January 2011 -- could affect House rules, committees, and administrative and legislative operations.
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress
This report provides background information and potential issues for Congress on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), a relatively inexpensive Navy surface combatant equipped with modular "plug-and-fight" mission packages. The Navy's proposed FY2012 budget requests funding for the procurement of four LCSs.
Deprivation of Honest Services as a Basis for Federal Mail and Wire Fraud Convictions
This report discusses wire and mail fraud and examines relevant court cases.
Conference Reports and Joint Explanatory Statements
This report discusses the function of conference reports and joint explanatory statements in Congress. The conference report presents the formal legislative language on which the conference committee has agreed. The joint explanatory statement explains the various elements of the conferees' agreement in relation to the positions that the House and Senate had committed to the conference committee.
Bypassing Senate Committees: Rule XIV and Unanimous Consent
This report examines the alternative procedures and actions that the Senate uses to bypass committee consideration of bills and joint resolutions. It also provides examples of how the Senate uses these alternative procedures and actions to facilitate consideration and passage of some bills and joint resolutions.
Congressional Oversight and Related Issues Concerning International Security Agreements Concluded by the United States
This report begins by providing a general background on the types of international agreements that are binding upon the United States, as well as considerations affecting whether they take the form of a treaty or an executive agreement. Next, the report discusses historical precedents as to the role that security agreements have taken. The report discusses the oversight role that Congress exercises with respect to entering and implementing international agreements involving the United States.
Congressional Franking Privilege: Background and Recent Legislation
This report discusses the congressional franking privilege, which dates from 1775 and allows Members of Congress to transmit mail matter under their signature without postage.
Rules and Practices Governing Consideration of Revenue Legislation in the House and Senate
This report provides an overview and analysis of the most consequential revenue-specific rules that apply during the process of developing and considering revenue legislation. It highlights certain rules and precedents that apply specifically to revenue measures and distinguishes them into four categories.
Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990-2015
This report discusses the process through which members of Congress are compensated. Members of Congress only receive salaries during the terms for which they are elected. Former Members of Congress may be eligible for retirement benefits. This report contains information on actions taken affecting each pay year since the establishment of the Ethics Reform Act adjustment procedure. It also provides information on other floor action related to pay for Members of Congress.
Defense Spending and the Budget Control Act Limits
This report discusses the Budget Control Act, which sets limits on defense spending between FY2012 and FY2021. The current debate in Congress has centered on whether to adjust the BCA defense caps upward; move base budget spending to accounts designated for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) that are not subject to spending limits; reduce the defense spending in the Administration's request to comply with BCA revised caps; or use some combination of these approaches, all in order to avoid a sequester.
Congressional Oversight and Related Issues Concerning International Security Agreements Concluded by the United States
This report begins by providing a general background on the types of international agreements that are binding upon the United States, as well as considerations affecting whether they take the form of a treaty or an executive agreement. Next, the report discusses historical precedents as to the role that security agreements have taken. The report discusses the oversight role that Congress exercises with respect to entering and implementing international agreements involving the United States.
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.
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Role of Congress in Trade Policy
This report presents background and analysis on the development of TPA, a summary of the major provisions under the expired authority, and a discussion of the issues that have arisen in the debate over TPA renewal. It also explores some of the policy options available to Congress.
Defense Spending and the Budget Control Act Limits
This report discusses the Budget Control Act, which sets limits on defense spending between FY2012 and FY2021. The current debate in Congress has centered on whether to adjust the BCA defense caps upward; move base budget spending to accounts designated for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) that are not subject to spending limits; reduce the defense spending in the Administration's request to comply with BCA revised caps; or use some combination of these approaches, all in order to avoid a sequester.
Sexual Assaults Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ): Selected Legislative Proposals
This report discusses the military-related cases involving sexual assaults by U.S. service members that have resulted in increased public and congressional interest in military discipline and the military justice system.
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Role of Congress in Trade Policy
This report presents background and analysis on the development of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which expired on July 1, 2007. The report also includes a summary of the major provisions under the recently expired authority and a discussion of the issues that have arisen in the debate over TPA renewal. It also explores the policy options available to Congress and will be updated as the congressional debate unfolds.
Trade Promotion Authority and Fast-Track Negotiating Authority for Trade Agreements: Major Votes
Report that profiles significant legislation, including floor votes, that authorized the use of presidential Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) --previously known as fast-track trade negotiating authority --since its inception in 1974. The report also includes a list of floor votes since 1979 on implementing legislation for trade agreements that were passed under TPA fast-track procedures.
Speed of Presidential and Senate Actions on Supreme Court Nominations, 1900 - 2009
This report provides information on the amount of time taken to act on all Supreme Court nominations occurring between 1900 and the present. It focuses on the actual amounts of time that Presidents and the Senate have taken to act (as opposed to the elapsed time between official points in the process). This report focuses on when the Senate became aware of the President's selection (e.g., via a public announcement by the President).
Legislative Procedures for Adjusting the Public Debt Limit: A Brief Overview
Almost all borrowing by the federal government is conducted by the Treasury Department, within the restrictions established by a single, statutory limit on the total amount of debt that may be outstanding at any time.1 In a few instances, agencies such as the Tennessee Valley Authority operate within their own borrowing limits established separately in law. For years, the public debt limit has been codified in Section 3101(b) of Title 31, United States Code. Periodic adjustments in the debt limit take the form of amendments to 31 U.S.C. 3101(b), usually by striking the current dollar limitation and inserting a new one. In the past, such changes to the debt limit have been either permanent or temporary.