Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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House Committee Hearings: Witness Testimony

Description: This report briefly discusses the witness testimony process in House of Representatives committee hearings. Witnesses before House committees must generally file advance copies of their written testimony with the committee and then limit their oral testimony to brief summaries (Rule XI, clause 2(g)(5)). A question-and-answer period usually follows a witness's opening statement. Following hearings, committees usually publish the transcripts of witness testimony and questioning.
Date: August 10, 2015
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Types of Committee Hearings

Description: This report describes the four types of congressional committee hearings: legislative, oversight, investigative, and confirmation. Hearings may be held on Capitol Hill or elsewhere (e.g., a committee member's district or state, or a site related to the subject of the hearing). These latter hearings are often referred to as field hearings.
Date: August 10, 2015
Creator: Heitshusen, Valerie
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legislative Procedures for Adjusting the Public Debt Limit: A Brief Overview

Description: This report discusses the procedure for adjusting the public debt limit. Nearly all of the outstanding debt of the federal government is subject to a statutory limit, which is set forth as a dollar limitation in 31 U.S.C. 3101(b). From time to time, Congress considers and passes legislation to adjust or suspend this limit.
Date: August 6, 2015
Creator: Heniff, Bill, Jr.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

How Measures Are Brought to the Senate Floor: A Brief Introduction

Description: This report discusses the two basic methods that are used by the Senate to bring legislation to the floor for consideration: The Senate, at the majority leader's request, (1) grants unanimous consent to take up a matter, or (2) agrees to his motion to proceed to consider it. Both methods are derived from the basic premise that the Senate as a body may decide what matters it considers. The Senate may also use the same two methods to bring up executive business (nominations and treaties).
Date: August 5, 2015
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Filling the Senate "Amendment Tree"

Description: This report discusses the filing process of "Amendment trees": diagrams that have developed over decades of Senate practice as a way of visualizing certain principles of precedence that govern the offering of, and voting on, amendments in the chamber.
Date: July 28, 2015
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Spending and the Budget Control Act Limits

Description: This report discusses the Budget Control Act, which sets limits on defense spending between fiscal years 2012 and 2021 and possible measures to avoid a sequester. 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.
Date: July 22, 2015
Creator: Belasco, Amy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

House Office of Congressional Ethics: History, Authority, and Procedures

Description: This report describes the history and rationale behind the creation of the House Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), its operations, and its relationship with the House Committee on Ethics, and potential options available for Congress if further amendments to the House ethics process are desired.
Date: July 22, 2015
Creator: Straus, Jacob R.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Omnibus Appropriations Acts: Overview of Recent Practices

Description: Omnibus appropriations acts have become a significant feature of the legislative process in recent years as Congress and the President have resorted more frequently to their use to bring action on the regular appropriations cycle to a close. Following a discussion of pertinent background information, this report reviews the recent use of such measures and briefly addresses several issues that their use raises.
Date: July 15, 2015
Creator: Tollestrup, Jessica
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA): Frequently Asked Questions

Description: The issue of TPA reauthorization raises a number of questions regarding TPA itself and the pending legislation. This report addresses a number of those questions that are frequently asked, including the following: What is trade promotion authority? Is TPA necessary? What are trade negotiating objectives and how are they reflected in TPA statutes? What requirements does Congress impose on the President under TPA? Does TPA affect congressional authority on trade policy?
Date: July 2, 2015
Creator: Fergusson, Ian F. & Beth, Richard S.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Appointment and Confirmation of Executive Branch Leadership: An Overview

Description: This report begins by explaining the three distinct stages that comprise the advice and consent process, which is the means through which most of these positions are filled. The report then provides an overview of recess appointments and briefly discusses other options that are available to Presidents for temporarily filling vacant advice and consent positions. Finally, it discusses certain types of statutory provisions that Congress has applied selectively to specific advice and consent positions in the executive branch.
Date: June 22, 2015
Creator: Hogue, Henry B. & Carey, Maeve P.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legislative Research for Congressional Staff: How to Find Documents and Other Resources

Description: This report is one of a series of reports on legislative process and research; it is intended to serve as a finding aid to sources of information, such as documents, news articles, analysis, contacts and services, used in legislative research.
Date: June 22, 2015
Creator: Cornell, Ada S.; Greene, Michael & Hanson, Laura A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Members' Representational Allowance: History and Usage

Description: This report provides a history and overview of the Members' Representational Allowance (MRA) and examines spending patterns over selected years--2005, 2006, 2007, 2011, and 2012. The data exclude non-voting Members, including Delegates and the Resident Commissioner, as well as Members who were not in Congress for the entirety of the session. Information is provided on total spending and spending for various categories. The data collected demonstrate that, despite variations when considering all Members, many Members allocate their spending in a similar manner.
Date: June 22, 2015
Creator: Brudnick, Ida A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Comparison of H.R. 1560 and H.R. 1731 as Passed by the House

Description: This report compares provisions in two bills in the House of Representatives that address information sharing and related activities in cybersecurity. Both bills focus on information sharing among private entities and between them and the federal government.
Date: June 18, 2015
Creator: Fischer, Eric A. & Logan, Stephanie M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Comparison of Legislative Proposals in the 114th Congress

Description: This report compares two House bills and one Senate bill that address information sharing and related activities in cybersecurity. The report consists of an overview of those and other legislative proposals on information sharing, along with selected associated issues, followed by a side-by-side analysis of the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015 (NCPAA), the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (PCNA), and the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA).
Date: June 18, 2015
Creator: Fischer, Eric A. & Logan, Stephanie M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Role of Congress in Trade Policy

Description: 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.
Date: June 15, 2015
Creator: Fergusson, Ian F.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA): Frequently Asked Questions

Description: This report provides background information Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), and discusses U.S. trade negotiating objectives, procedures for congressional-executive notification and consultation, and expedited legislative procedures.
Date: June 12, 2015
Creator: Fergusson, Ian F. & Beth, Richard S.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conference Reports and Joint Explanatory Statements

Description: 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.
Date: June 11, 2015
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Membership of the 114th Congress: A Profile

Description: This report presents a profile of the membership of the 114th Congress (2015-2016). 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: June 11, 2015
Creator: Manning, Jennifer E.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legislative Branch Agency Appointments: History, Processes, and Recent Actions

Description: This report contains information on the legislative branch agency heads' appointment processes, length of tenures (if terms are set), reappointment or removal provisions (if any), salaries and benefits, and most recent appointments.
Date: June 10, 2015
Creator: Brudnick, Ida A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990-2015

Description: 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.
Date: June 8, 2015
Creator: Brudnick, Ida A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cuba Sanctions: Legislative Restrictions Limiting the Normalization of Relations

Description: This report provides background information Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), and discusses U.S. trade negotiating objectives, procedures for congressional-executive notification and consultation, and expedited legislative procedures.
Date: June 5, 2015
Creator: Rennack, Dianne E. & Sullivan, Mark P.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Comparison of H.R. 1560 and H.R. 1731 as Passed by the House

Description: This report compares provisions in two bills in the House of Representatives that address information sharing and related activities in cybersecurity. This report consists of an overview of those and other legislative proposals on information sharing, along with selected associated issues, followed by a side-by-side analysis of the two House bills as passed.
Date: June 4, 2015
Creator: Fischer, Eric A. & Logan, Stephanie M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department