Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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National Emergency Powers
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National Emergency Powers
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Candidates for Presidential Nomination in 1988: Major Declared Contestants and Campaign Organizations
This report lists the candidates that have withdrawn from the 1988 Presidential race.
Presidential Claims of Executive Privilege: History, Law, Practice and Recent Developments
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Ocean Commissions: Ocean Policy Review and Outlook
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The NATO Summit at Istanbul, 2004
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The NATO Summit at Prague, 2002
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Legislative Procedure for Possible Disapproval of President's Imposition of Safeguard Measures on Imports of Steel
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Iran: Profile of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad was elected June 24, 2005, to a four-year term, becoming the first non-cleric president in 24 years. He defeated former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in a run-off. Prior to his 2005 election to the presidency, Ahmadinejad did not hold an elected office and was a virtual unknown in the international arena. This report covers his background; his victory over the well-known former president Rafsanjani; his remarks about the West, including Israel; and recent visits to Iraq and Latin America.
The Role of the President in Budget Development
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The Role of the President in Budget Development
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Censure of the President by the Congress
Exploring a possible compromise between an impeachment and taking no congressional action, certain Members of Congress and congressional commentators have suggested a congressional “censure” of the President to express the Congress’ disapproval of the President’s conduct which has been the subject of an ongoing independent counsel investigation. This report provides and overview and discussion of the legal basis and congressional precedents regarding a congressional “censure” of the President.
Presidential Elections in the United States: A Primer
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: Overview of Internal and External Challenges
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: Overview of Internal and External Challenges
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Jonathan Pollard: Background and Considerations for Presidential Clemency
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NATO: July 1997 Madrid Summit Outcome
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Item Veto: Budgetary Savings
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The Electoral College: How it Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections
The Constitution assigns each state a number of electors equal to the combined total of the state’s Senate and House of Representatives delegations; at present, the number of electors per state ranges from three to 55, for a total of 538. This report discuses constitutional origins, the electoral college today and explains the allocation of electors and electoral votes.
The Electoral College: How it Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections
The Constitution assigns each state a number of electors equal to the combined total of the state’s Senate and House of Representatives delegations; at present, the number of electors per state ranges from three to 55, for a total of 538. This report discuses constitutional origins, the electoral college today and explains the allocation of electors and electoral votes.
The Electoral College: How it Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections
The Constitution assigns each state a number of electors equal to the combined total of the state’s Senate and House of Representatives delegations; at present, the number of electors per state ranges from three to 55, for a total of 538. This report discuses constitutional origins, the electoral college today and explains the allocation of electors and electoral votes.
The Electoral College: How it Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections
The Constitution assigns each state a number of electors equal to the combined total of the state’s Senate and House of Representatives delegations; at present, the number of electors per state ranges from three to 55, for a total of 538. This report discuses constitutional origins, the electoral college today and explains the allocation of electors and electoral votes.
The Electoral College: Reform Proposals in the 107th Congress
Seven proposals to reform the Electoral College system have been introduced to date in the 107th Congress. H.J.Res. 3 (Representative Green of Texas), and H.J.Res. 5 (Representative Delahunt) would eliminate the electoral college, substituting direct popular election of the President. H.J.Res. 1 (Representative Clyburn), H.J.Res. 18 (Representative Engel), and H.J.Res. 37 (Representative Clement) would incorporate the “district” method of awarding electoral votes, and H.J.Res. 17 (Representative Engel) would provide for proportional award of electoral votes. H.J.Res. 25 (Representative Leach) is a hybrid plan. These measures have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee and await further action.
The Electoral College: Reform Proposals in the 107th Congress
Seven proposals to reform the Electoral College system have been introduced to date in the 107th Congress. H.J.Res. 3 (Representative Green of Texas), and H.J.Res. 5 (Representative Delahunt) would eliminate the electoral college, substituting direct popular election of the President. H.J.Res. 1 (Representative Clyburn), H.J.Res. 18 (Representative Engel), and H.J.Res. 37 (Representative Clement) would incorporate the “district” method of awarding electoral votes, and H.J.Res. 17 (Representative Engel) would provide for proportional award of electoral votes. H.J.Res. 25 (Representative Leach) is a hybrid plan. These measures have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee and await further action.
The Electoral College: Reform Proposals in the 107th Congress
Seven proposals to reform the Electoral College system have been introduced to date in the 107th Congress. H.J.Res. 3 (Representative Green of Texas), and H.J.Res. 5 (Representative Delahunt) would eliminate the electoral college, substituting direct popular election of the President. H.J.Res. 1 (Representative Clyburn), H.J.Res. 18 (Representative Engel), and H.J.Res. 37 (Representative Clement) would incorporate the “district” method of awarding electoral votes, and H.J.Res. 17 (Representative Engel) would provide for proportional award of electoral votes. H.J.Res. 25 (Representative Leach) is a hybrid plan. These measures have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee and await further action.
The Electoral College: Reform Proposals in the 108th Congress
American voters elect the President and Vice President of the United States under a complex arrangement of constitutional provisions, federal and state laws, and political party practices known as the electoral college system. Despite occasional close elections, this system has delivered uncontested results in 46 of 50 elections since adoption of the 12th Amendment, effective in 1804. Throughout this period, nevertheless, it has been the subject of persistent criticism and many reform proposals. Related measures fall into two basic categories: those that would eliminate the electoral college and substitute direct popular election of the President and Vice President, and those that would retain the existing system in some form and correct perceived defects.
The Electoral College: Reform Proposals in the 108th Congress
American voters elect the President and Vice President of the United States under a complex arrangement of constitutional provisions, federal and state laws, and political party practices known as the electoral college system. Despite occasional close elections, this system has delivered uncontested results in 46 of 50 elections since adoption of the 12th Amendment, effective in 1804. Throughout this period, nevertheless, it has been the subject of persistent criticism and many reform proposals. Related measures fall into two basic categories: those that would eliminate the electoral college and substitute direct popular election of the President and Vice President, and those that would retain the existing system in some form and correct perceived defects.
The Electoral College: Reform Proposals in the 108th Congress
American voters elect the President and Vice President of the United States under a complex arrangement of constitutional provisions, federal and state laws, and political party practices known as the electoral college system. Despite occasional close elections, this system has delivered uncontested results in 46 of 50 elections since adoption of the 12th Amendment, effective in 1804. Throughout this period, nevertheless, it has been the subject of persistent criticism and many reform proposals. Related measures fall into two basic categories: those that would eliminate the electoral college and substitute direct popular election of the President and Vice President, and those that would retain the existing system in some form and correct perceived defects.
Election of the President and Vice President by Congress: Contingent Election
The 12th Amendment to the Constitution requires that candidates for President and Vice President receive a majority of electoral votes (currently 270 or more of a total of 538) to be elected. If no candidate receives a majority, the President is elected by the House of Representatives, and the Vice President is elected by the Senate. This process is referred to as contingent election and is the topic of discussion in this report.
Election of the President and Vice President by Congress: Contingent Election
The 12th Amendment to the Constitution requires that candidates for President and Vice President receive a majority of electoral votes (currently 270 or more of a total of 538) to be elected. If no candidate receives a majority, the President is elected by the House of Representatives, and the Vice President is elected by the Senate. This process is referred to as contingent election and is the topic of discussion in this report.
Supreme Court Nominations, 1789 - 2005: Actions by the Senate, the Judiciary Committee, and the President
The process of appointing Supreme Court Justices has undergone changes over two centuries, but its most basic feature -- the sharing of power between the President and Senate -- has remained unchanged. To receive a lifetime appointment to the Court, a candidate must first be nominated by the President and then confirmed by the Senate. Table 1 of this report lists and describes actions taken by the Senate, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the President on all Supreme Court nominations, from 1789 to the present. The table provides the name of each person nominated to the Court and the name of the President making the nomination. It also tracks the dates of formal actions taken, and time elapsing between these actions, by the Senate or Senate Judiciary Committee on each nomination, starting with the date that the Senate received the nomination from the President.
Supreme Court Nominations, 1789-2005: Actions by the Senate, the Judiciary Committee, and the President
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Nomination and Confirmation of the FBI Director: Process and Recent History
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National Emergency Powers
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Recess Appointments of Federal Judges
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Direct Assaults Against Presidents, Presidents-Elect, and Candidates
Direct assaults against Presidents, Presidents-elect, and candidates have occurred on 15 separate occasions, with five resulting in death. Ten incumbents (about 24% of the 42 individuals to serve in the office), including four of the past six Presidents, have been victims or targets. Four of the ten (and one candidate) died as a result of the attacks. This report identifies these incidents and provides information about what happened, when, where, and, if known, why.
Presidential Appointments, the Senate's Confirmation Process, and Proposals for Change, 112th Congress
The responsibility for populating top positions in the executive and judicial branches of government is shared, with the President having the power of appointment and the Senate having the power of advice and consent. This report provides a brief background on advice and consent issues, an overview of the appointment process in both the executive and legislative branches, and a brief discussion of recent concerns about the system. Next, the report explores the events in the 112th Congress leading up to the introduction and Senate action on S. 679 and S.Res. 116, and concludes with an analysis of the two measures.
Presidential Appointments, the Senate's Confirmation Process, and Proposals for Change, 112th Congress
The responsibility for populating top positions in the executive and judicial branches of government is shared, with the President having the power of appointment and the Senate having the power of advice and consent. This report provides a brief background on advice and consent issues, an overview of the appointment process in both the executive and legislative branches, and a brief discussion of recent concerns about the system. Next, the report explores the events in the 112th Congress leading up to the introduction and Senate action on S. 679 and S.Res. 116, and concludes with an analysis of the two measures.
9/11 Commission Recommendations: The Senate Confirmation Process for Presidential Nominees
On July 22, 2004, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, known as the 9/11 Commission, issued its final report, detailing the events up to and including the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks upon the United States. The 9/11 Commission recommended that the Senate adopt rules requiring hearings and votes to confirm or reject national security nominees within 30 days of their submission at the start of each new presidential administration. Implementing the commission's proposal would involve imposing new restrictions on both the power of committee chairs to control the agenda of their committees and the rights of Senators to delay or block nominations through holds and extended debate. This report discusses in detail this proposal, how it could be implemented, and the potential effects of its implementation.
S. 3521, the Stop Over Spending Act of 2006: A Brief Summary
S. 3521, the Stop Over Spending Act of 2006, proposes several changes to the congressional budget process. This report provides a brief summary of the major provisions of S. 3521.
The Advisory Panel's Tax Reform Proposals
In early 2005, the President appointed a tax reform advisory panel to formulate tax reform proposals. The report of the President’s Advisory Panel on Tax Reform, issued in November 2005, recommended two reform plans to consider: 1) a revised income tax, referred to as the simplified income tax (SIT); and 2) a consumption tax coupled with a tax on financial income, referred to as the growth and investment tax (GIT). This report discusses the provisions and implications of these two taxes in detail.
Submission of the President's Budget in Transition Years
At the time of a presidential transition, one question commonly asked is whether the outgoing or incoming President submits the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Under past practices, outgoing Presidents in transition years submitted a budget to Congress just prior to leaving office and incoming Presidents usually revised them. President George W. Bush has indicated that he will not submit a budget for FY2010, which is subject to a deadline of Monday, February 2, 2009. The Office of Management and Budget will prepare a current services baseline from which the incoming Administration can develop its budget proposals.
Presidential Transition Act: Provisions and Funding
The Presidential Transition Act of 1963 (PTA), as amended, authorizes funding for the General Services Administration (GSA) to provide suitable office space, staff compensation, and other services associated with the presidential transition process. The President's FY2009 budget proposal included $8.52 million in funding for the 2008-2009 presidential transition. This report outlines facets of the PTA, as well as the details of the FY2009 budget appropriations for the 2008-2009 presidential transition.
The Electoral College: An Overview and Analysis of Reform Proposals
Following the closely contested presidential election of 2000, it is anticipated that Congress may revisit the issue of Electoral College reform. Although some reforms could be effected through federal or state statutes, most would require overcoming the considerable hurdles encountered by proposed constitutional amendments: two-thirds approval by both houses of Congress, followed by ratification by three-fourths (38) of the states, usually within a period of seven years.
The Electoral College: An Overview and Analysis of Reform Proposals
Following the closely contested presidential election of 2000, it is anticipated that Congress may revisit the issue of Electoral College reform. Although some reforms could be effected through federal or state statutes, most would require overcoming the considerable hurdles encountered by proposed constitutional amendments: two-thirds approval by both houses of Congress, followed by ratification by three-fourths (38) of the states, usually within a period of seven years.
A Change in Direction for Seoul? The Impeachment of South Korea's President
This report discusses the Constitutional Court decision for impeachment of the former President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye. The decision was the latest development in a corruption scandal that has engulfed South Korean politics and the business world since October 2016, and comes against the backdrop of North Korean missile tests.
The Electoral College: How It Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections
This report provides information about the electoral college including its origins, who makes up the college today, the 2012 presidental election, and calls for the reform of the electoral college.
Recess Appointments: Frequently Asked Questions
This report supplies brief answers to some frequently-asked questions regarding recess appointments. These are appointments to high-level policy-making positions in federal departments which are generally confirmed by the Senate. When the Senate is in recess, the President may make a temporary appointment, called a recess appointment, to any such position without Senate approval.
Executive Order 13438: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq
This report provides a brief history of the development of presidential powers in peacetime. It discusses some of the issues that might be raised in light of the contrast between the executive order's broad language and its narrow aim (supplementation of sanctions applicable to Al Qaeda and former Iraqi regime officials to cover terrorists operating in Iraq). It also examines the reach of the executive order and provides legal analyses of some of the constitutional questions raised in the courts by similar sanctions programs, noting that the broad language of the executive order is not unprecedented.
The Presidential Records Act: Background and Recent Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and examines policy options related to the capture, maintenance, and use of presidential records.