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House Committee Chairs: Considerations, Decisions, and Actions as One Congress Ends and a New Congress Begins
This report covers the period from the House's early organization meetings in November to approximately March or April following the convening of a new Congress.
Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies
This report is a list of about 200 congressional liaison offices, 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.
Clean Air Act Issues in the 109th Congress
This report discusses major decisions on clean air issues facing the courts and the executive branch in 2006. One focus will be EPA's recent proposal to strengthen air quality standards for fine particles. Other issues of continuing interest are EPA's 2005 decisions limiting interstate transport of air pollution and establishing cap-and-trade systems for emissions from coal fired power plants, and the agency's proposed changes to New Source Review.
Particulate Matter (PM2.5): Implementation of the 1997 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)
Particulate matter (PM), including fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and larger, but still inhalable particles (PM10), is one of the six principal pollutants for which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) under the Clean Air Act (CAA). This report outlines the implementation process for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS and describes issues raised as EPA and states develop implementation strategies.
Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: FY2007 Appropriations
This report is a guide to one of the regular appropriations bills that Congress considers each year. It summarizes the status of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels, and related congressional activity.
Congressional Nominations to U.S. Service Academies: An Overview and Resources for Outreach and Management
This report describes statutory requirements for allocating congressional nominations to service academies. It also identifies the qualifications that must be met by potential nominees, as established by statute and each academy.
Calling Up Business on the Senate Floor
This report outlines processes or customs most often used by the Senate and then discusses some procedures less often used to call up business. The Senate takes up measures and matters under procedures set in Senate rules and by long-standing customs, thereby giving it flexibility in setting its floor agenda.
Private Bills: Procedure in the House
This report briefly discusses private bills, which are bills providing benefits to specified individuals (including corporate bodies). Individuals sometimes request relief through private law when administrative or legal remedies are exhausted, but Congress seems more often to view private legislation as appropriate when no other remedy is available, and when enactment would, in a broad sense, afford equity.
Sponsorship and Cosponsorship of House Bills
This report briefly discusses the processes of sponsoring, cosponsoring, and gaining cosponsors for bills in the House of Representatives.
Senate Rules Affecting Committees
This report identifies and summarizes the provisions of the Senate's standing rules, standing orders, precedents, and other directives that relate to legislative activity in the Senate's standing committees. It covers four main issues: committee organization, committee meetings, hearings, and reporting.
Amendments in the Senate: Types and Forms
This report briefly describes the various types of amendments that take place in the Senate. It has sections describing distinctions among amendments, degrees of amendments, forms of amendments, and the scope of amendments.
Senate Committees: Categories and Rules for Committee Assignments
This report briefly examines Senate Rule XXV and party conference rules that address committee assignments. It includes a table for A, B, and C committees with an overview of limitations and procedures.
House Committee Markup: Vehicle for Consideration and Amendment
This report discusses aspects of the process by which House committees mark up and report legislation. The markup begins with the chair calling up a particular measure for consideration by the committee. The next action depends on the nature of the "markup vehicle" (i.e., the text that the chair intends for the committee to amend and report), which may be different from the measure laid before the panel for consideration. The vehicle can come before the committee in several different forms, each of which has its own procedural and political consequences.
Continuing Resolutions: Overview of Components and Recent Practices
The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the components of Continuing Resolutions (CRs) and a longitudinal analysis of recent congressional practices. Consequently, the data and analysis in this report are inclusive of all appropriations acts entitled or otherwise designated as providing continuing appropriations. The first section of this report explains six of the possible main components of CRs: coverage, duration, funding rate, restrictions on new activities, anomalies, and legislative provisions. The second section discusses the enactment of regular appropriations prior to the start of the fiscal year and the number of regular appropriations bills enacted through a CR since FY1977. The third section analyzes variations in the number and duration of CRs enacted each fiscal year since FY1997, the most recent fiscal year that all regular appropriations were enacted on time. Finally, the fourth section of this report discusses the features of the 15 CRs that provided funding through the remainder of the fiscal year since FY1977. A list of all CRs enacted between FY1977 and FY2016 is provided at the end of this report in Table 4.
Provisions of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3762
This report includes a table listing all provisions in H.R. 3762 and the Senate amendment to H.R. 3762 that would amend or repeal Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions. It also provides a brief explanation of the provisions included in the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3762.
Grants Work in a Congressional Office
Report discussing grants requests for federal funds made to members of Congress by their constituents. It provides a general overview, information provided to constituents about grant funding, letters of support for grant seekers, federal assistance opportunities, proposal writing, following up on requests, announcements of grant awards, foundations and corporate grants, and additional grant-related resources.
Party Leaders in Congress, 1789-2003: Vital Statistics
This report presents tables that provide historical data including service dates, party affiliation, and other information, for 15 House and Senate party leadership posts. This information has been updated to reflect leadership changes in the 107th Congress.
Bills and Resolutions: Examples of How Each Kind Is Used
This report briefly describes the process by which Congress seeks to pass a law. During this process Congress uses a bill or joint resolution, which must be passed by both houses in identical form, that is then presented to the President for his approval or disapproval.
Congress and the Budget: 2016 Actions and Events
This report seeks to assist in (1) anticipating what federal budget-related actions might occur within the year 2016, and (2) staying abreast of budget actions that occur this year. It provides a general description of the recurrent types of budgetary actions, and reflects on current events that unfold in each category during 2016. In addition, it includes information on certain events that may affect Congress's work on the budget, such as the President's budget request and the Congressional Budget Office's budget and economic outlook.
Congressional Record: Its Production, Distribution, and Accessibility
This report briefly discusses how the Congressional Record is created and distributed. The Congressional Record is the most widely recognized published account of the debates and activities in Congress and it often reflects the intent of Congress in enacting legislation.
The Presidential Veto and Congressional Procedure
This report provides a brief overview of procedures involved in vetoing a bill and the ways Congress can respond to a presidential veto. Presidential vetoes are a rejection of legislation approved by majorities in both houses of Congress. Vetoes and congressional efforts to override them are often the reason for, or a reflection of, conflict between Congress and the President. The threat of a presidential veto can prompt the modification of bills moving through the legislative process. Tabular data are provided on the number of presidential vetoes exercised by each President from George Washington to William Clinton.
Days Reserved for Special Business in the House
This report provides a table and general guidelines for business that has privileged consideration on specified days in the House of Representatives. It includes some information about related procedures.
Committee Assignment Process in the U.S. Senate: Democratic and Republican Party Procedures
This report focuses primarily on how Senators are elected to standing committees. It includes information about how standing committee sizes and ratios are set; the classification of committees for assignment purposes, and the chamber limitations on committee service; procedures that each party uses to recommend Senators and how the full chamber approves these recommendations; and the processes used to appoint Senators to non-standing committees.
Parliamentary Reference Sources: House of Representatives
This report discusses the availability and format of three types of parliamentary reference materials: official sources such as the House Rules and Manual and the published precedents; publications of committees and offices of the House; and documents prepared by House party and leadership organizations. It also reviews some principles of House parliamentary procedure that are important to consider when using information from parliamentary reference sources.
Omnibus Appropriations Acts: Overview of Recent Practices
This report provides pertinent background information, reviews the recent enactment of omnibus appropriation measures, and briefly addresses several issues raised by their use.
Clean Water Act Issues in the 109th Congress
This report discusses various issues in the 109th Congress pertaining to water infrastructure and water quality standards. Legislative initiatives to comprehensively amend the Clean Water Act (CWA) have stalled for some time as interested parties have debated whether and exactly how to change the law. Congress has recently focused legislative attention on narrow bills to extend or modify selected CWA programs, rather than taking up comprehensive proposals.
Congressional Roll Call and Other Record Votes: First Congress Through 108th Congress, 1789 Through 2004
This report is a compilation of information on roll call and other record votes taken in the House of Representatives and Senate from the first Congress through the 108th Congress, 1789 through 2004.
House and Senate Rules of Procedure: A Comparison
This report compares selected House and Senate rules of procedure governing various stages of the legislative process: referral of legislation to committees; scheduling and calling up measures; and floor consideration. The appendices provide sources of additional information about House and Senate rules of procedure.
Amendments in Disagreement
This report briefly summarizes the process of amendments between the House of Representatives and the Senate, which occurs if the House and Senate approve differing versions of a measure. The House and Senate must approve an identical version of a measure before it may be presented for the President's approval or veto. If the House and Senate approve differing versions of a measure, the differences must first be resolved.
The House Amendment Tree
This report discusses the House amendment tree, a chart that depicts the maximum number and types of amendments that may be offered to a measure before any amendment is voted upon.
Revenue Legislation in the Congressional Budget Process
This report discusses revenue legislation, which may include changes to individual and corporate income taxes, social insurance taxes, excise taxes, or tariffs and duties. Congressional consideration of revenue legislation is governed by various constitutional provisions and procedural rules.
Hearings in the House of Representatives: A Guide for Preparation and Procedure
The report describes provisions of House rules that pertain to hearings; citations to these rules are included for reference. While House rules generally apply to committees and subcommittees, it is House Rule XI that contains many provisions specific to hearings. House rules set the general framework in which committees hold hearings.
The President Pro Tempore of the Senate: History and Authority of the Office
This report traces the constitutional origins and development of the office of President pro tempore of the Senate, reviews its current role and authority, and provides information on Senators who have held this office -- and the more recently-created subsidiary offices -- over the past two centuries.
Preparation for Senate Committee Markup
This report briefly discusses the preparation which precedes the legislative stage during which a committee chooses the language of a measure it expects to report to the Senate, called "markups." Markups are carefully planned in advance to insure that the requirements of Senate rules have been met, political decisions have been made, and administrative issues have been addressed.
How Special Rules Regulate Calling up Measures for Consideration in the House
This fact sheet describes how a special rule -- a House resolution that regulates consideration of a specific legislative measure named in the resolution -- may set terms for consideration by Representatives. It includes information about the system of privilege, forms of consideration, and how the rules are used to manage the agenda.
Senators' Official Personnel and Office Expense Account (SOPOEA): History and Usage
This report provides a history of the Senators' Official Personnel and Office Expense Account (SOPOEA) and an overview of recent developments, including funding levels. It also analyzes actual SOPOEA spending patterns in selected years. The allowance is provided on a fiscal year basis (i.e., October 1-September 30) in the annual legislative branch appropriations bills.
National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN) for Law Enforcement
This report provides a brief history of how the current National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN) system evolved and operates. It includes information about issues that may be of concern to Members and committees of the 107th Congress, such as whether expanding NIBIN to include new gun purchases could be construed as a step toward a national gun registry system. The report also summarizes bills introduced in the 107th Congress related to NIBIN.
The Discharge Rule in the House: Recent Use in Historical Context
This report discusses the "discharge rule" of the House of Representatives, which provides a means by which a majority of Members may bring to the floor for consideration a measure that has not been reported from committee.
Sponsorship and Cosponsorship of Senate Bills
This report discusses the sponsorship and co-sponsorship of Senate bills. A Senator who introduces a bill or other measure in the Senate is called its sponsor. Senators may together submit a bill, but the first-named Senator is considered the chief sponsor; the others are considered cosponsors.
Membership of the 109th Congress: A Profile
This report presents a profile of the membership of the 109th Congress. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age and length of service, occupation, religious affiliation, female and minority Members, foreign-born Members, and military service.
Legislative Research in Congressional Offices: A Primer
This report discusses the process of conducting legislative research: deciding the scope, collecting the information and evaluating sources. Members of Congress need many kinds of information and analysis to support their legislative, oversight, and representational work, including both quick facts, or information to improve their understanding of a complex set of issues.
Congressional Overrides of Presidential Vetoes
This report discusses Congress' power to override presidential vetoes. The President's veto authority is among his most significant tools in legislative dealings with Congress. It is effective not only in preventing the passage of legislation undesirable to the President, but also as a threat, sometimes forcing Congress to modify legislation before it is presented to the President.
Senate Committee Reports: Required Contents
This report briefly describes Senate rules and statutes that specify information that must be included as part of the written report about the purposes and provisions of a proposed measure. Senate committees also may include additional items in their reports.
The Motion to Recommit in the House of Representatives
This report provides an overview of House rules and precedents governing the motion to recommit and describes procedural and political effects of the motion. The motion to recommit provides a final opportunity for the House to affect a measure before passage, either by amending the measure or sending it back to committee. The motion to recommit is often referred to as "the minority's motion," because preference in recognition for offering a motion to recommit is given to a member of the minority party who is opposed to the bill.
Assignments to Senate Subcommittees
This report discusses the rules and process for establishing subcommittees. One of the first orders of business for Senate committees is deciding whether to establish subcommittees, and if so, determining their number, sizes, party ratios, chairs, ranking minority members, and other members. There are no direct limits on the number of subcommittees that may be created.
Floor Consideration of Conference Reports in the Senate
This report briefly discusses procedure regarding conference reports in the Senate.
Disapproval of Regulations by Congress: Procedure Under the Congressional Review Act
This report discusses the Congressional Review Act of 1996, which established expedited (or "fast track") procedures by which Congress may disapprove a broad range of regulatory rules issued by federal agencies by enacting a joint resolution of disapproval. For initial floor consideration, the Act provides an expedited procedure only in the Senate.
Senate Committee Rules in the 114th Congress: Key Provisions
This report first provides a brief overview of Senate rules as they pertain to committee actions. It 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.
Sponsorship and Cosponsorship of House Bills
This report discusses the sponsorship and co-sponsorship of House bills. A Representative who introduces a bill or other measure in the House is called its sponsor. Under House Rule XII, clause 7, several Members together may submit a bill, but the first-named Representative is considered the chief or primary sponsor; the others are considered cosponsors.
Amendments Between the Houses
This report briefly summarizes the process of amendments between the House of Representatives and the Senate, which occurs if the House and Senate approve differing versions of a measure. An exchange of amendments between the houses resolves these differences.