Lobbyists and interest groups play an active role in the American legislative process. Information on lobbyist registrations and on interest groups in general is available from a variety of online and printed sources, including files available for public inspection. This report is a guide for locating governmental sources that maintain files on lobby groups, their registrations, and finances. Also included in this report are nongovernmental sources that offer background information on the lobbyists and interest groups who focus on legislation in Washington.
In an attempt to expand oversight of federal spending, including earmarks, S. 2590 would provide the public with access to an online database containing information about entities that are awarded federal grants, loans, and contracts. This report summarizes S. 2590, compares it to H.R. 5060, and outlines the arguments in favor of the bill and those critical of it. The final section discusses the implications of using the Federal Assistance Award Data System (FAADS) and the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) to populate the bill’s proposed database.
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.