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Department of Homeland Security: Options for House and Senate Committee Organization

Description: With the passage of H.R. 5710, to create a new Department of Homeland Security, Congress has begun discussions regarding the appropriate congressional structure to conduct oversight and fund the new department. Section 1503 of the legislation states the sense of Congress that each chamber should review its committee structure in light of the reorganization of the executive branch. This report addresses some of the options currently being discussed and provides information on legislation in the 107th Congress that attempts to alter the current committee system.
Date: November 21, 2002
Creator: Schneider, Judy & Rundquist, Paul S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Executive Order 12919: Emergency Powers of the President

Description: Executive Order 12919 concerns industrial preparedness during times of war and national emergency. This brief report uses simple language to describe what Executive Order 12919 does. It is intended to clarify common misunderstandings about the Order’s purpose and scope.
Date: October 23, 2000
Creator: Burdette, Robert B
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Budget Reconciliation Process: House and Senate Procedures

Description: The budget reconciliation process is an optional procedure that operates as an adjunct to the budget resolution process established by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. The chief purpose of the reconciliation process is to enhance Congress’s ability to change current law in order to bring revenue, spending, and debt-limit levels into conformity with the policies of the annual budget resolution. Reconciliation is a two-stage process. First, reconciliation directives are included in the budget resolution, instructing the appropriate committees to develop legislation achieving the desired budgetary outcomes. The second step involves consideration of the resultant reconciliation legislation by the House and Senate under expedited procedures.
Date: August 10, 2005
Creator: Keith, Robert & Heniff, Bill, Jr.
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

The Capitol Visitor Center: An Overview

Description: This report presents the cost of the center, the most extensive addition to the Capitol since the Civil War, and the largest in the structure’s more than 200-year history, is now estimated to be at least $555 million. The project is being financed with appropriated funds, and a total of $65 million from private donations and revenue generated by the sale of commemorative coins.
Date: August 12, 2005
Creator: Stathis, Stephen W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Access to Executive Branch Information: Legislative Tools

Description: This report begins by reviewing the precedents established during the Washington Administration for withholding documents from Congress. Close examination reveals that the scope of presidential privilege is often exaggerated. Congress had access to more documentation than is commonly believed and might have had more had it pressed for it. Subsequent sections focus on various forms of congressional leverage: the power of the purse, the power to impeach, issuing congressional subpoenas, holding executive officials in contempt, House resolutions of inquiry, GAO investigations, and blocking nominations, all of which may force executive officials to release documents they would otherwise want to keep private and confidential. Even if Presidents announce perfectly plausible grounds for withholding documents, they may have to comply with the congressional will to achieve other more important goals.
Date: May 17, 2001
Creator: Fisher, Louis
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Budget Reconciliation Process: The Senate's "Byrd" Rule

Description: Reconciliation is a procedure under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 by which Congress implements budget resolution policies affecting mainly permanent spending and revenue programs. The principal focus in the reconciliation process has been deficit reduction, but in recent years reconciliation has encompassed revenue reduction generally and spending increases in selected program areas. The Byrd rule provides six definitions of what constitutes extraneous matter for purposes of the rule (and several exceptions thereto), but the term is generally described as covering provisions unrelated to achieving the goals of the reconciliation instructions.
Date: April 7, 2005
Creator: Keith, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Budget Reconciliation Process: The Senate's "Byrd" Rule

Description: Reconciliation is a procedure under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 by which Congress implements budget resolution policies affecting mainly permanent spending and revenue programs. The principal focus in the reconciliation process has been deficit reduction, but in recent years reconciliation has encompassed revenue reduction generally and spending increases in selected program areas. The Byrd rule provides six definitions of what constitutes extraneous matter for purposes of the rule (and several exceptions thereto), but the term is generally described as covering provisions unrelated to achieving the goals of the reconciliation instructions.
Date: February 19, 2004
Creator: Keith, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Budget Reconciliation Process: Timing of Legislative Action

Description: Reconciliation is a procedure under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 by which Congress implements budget resolution policies affecting mainly permanent spending and revenue programs. The principal focus in the reconciliation process has been deficit reduction, but in recent years reconciliation has encompassed revenue reduction generally and spending increases in selected program areas.
Date: April 7, 2005
Creator: Keith, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Climate Change Legislation in the 109th Congress

Description: Climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a continuing issue in the 109th Congress. Bills directly addressing climate change issues range from those focused primarily on climate change research to comprehensive emissions cap-and-trade programs. Additional bills focus on GHG reporting and registries, or on power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, as part of wider controls on pollutant emissions. The bills vary in their approaches to climate change issues. This report briefly discusses the basic concepts on which these bills are based and compares major provisions of the bills in each of the following categories: climate change research, technology deployment, GHG reporting and registries, and emissions reduction programs.
Date: July 18, 2005
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Budget Actions in 2005

Description: During the first session of the 109th Congress, the House and Senate will consider many different budgetary measures. Most of them will pertain to fiscal year (FY) 2006 and beyond, but some will make adjustments to the budget for FY2005. As the session progresses, this report will describe House and Senate actions on major budgetary legislation within the framework of the congressional budget process and other procedural requirements.
Date: May 12, 2005
Creator: Heniff, Bill, Jr.
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

Black Members of the United States Congress: 1870-2005

Description: Forty three black or African-American Members serve in the 109th Congress; 42 in the House of Representatives, one in the Senate. There have been 117 black Members of Congress: 112 elected to the House and five to the Senate. The majority of the black Members (90) have been Democrats; the rest (27) have been Republicans. This report includes alphabetical listing of black members, selected biographical information, and committee assignments during their tenure in office.
Date: August 4, 2005
Creator: Amer, Mildred L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Budget Resolutions: Selected Statistics and Information Guide

Description: This report provides current and historical information on the budget resolution. It provides a list of the budget resolutions adopted and rejected by Congress since implementation of the CBA, including the U.S. Statutes-at-Large citations and committee report numbers, and describes their formulation and content. The report provides a table of selected optional components, a list of reconciliation measures, and information on the number of years covered by budget resolutions. It also provides information on the consideration and adoption of budget resolutions, including an identification of the House special rules that provided for consideration of budget resolutions; the amendments in the nature of a substitute to the budget resolution considered in the House; the number and disposition of House and Senate amendments to budget resolutions; and dates of House and Senate action on budget resolutions.
Date: August 19, 2004
Creator: Heniff, Bill, Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department