November 8, 2005
Recent CRS Reports on Congressional Issues
SPEAKER HASTERT'S PLAN TO OFFSET SPENDING: A PROCEDURAL PERSPECTIVE
CRS Publication Date: 10/26/2005
Document No.: RL33127
Author(s): Robert Keith, Government and Finance Division
Abstract: This report provides background on the "Hastert Plan" to enact legislation offsetting the increased budget costs stemming from relief and reconstruction efforts associated with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Following a background section and a brief tally of potential costs to be offset, the report examines the various procedures that could be used to formalize and implement the plan. Other offset plans that have been offered are not addressed specifically in this report, but they likely would involve some or all of the same procedures discussed here.
CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE: APPOINTMENT AND TENURE OF THE DIRECTOR AND DEPUTY DIRECTOR
CRS Publication Date: 10/18/2005
Document No.: RL31880
Author(s): Robert Keith, Government and Finance Division; and Mary Frances Bley, Information Research Division
Abstract: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was established by Title II of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-344; July 12, 1974; 2 U.S.C. 601-603). The organization officially came into existence on February 24, 1975, upon the appointment of the first director, Alice Rivlin. CBO's mission is to support the House and Senate in the federal budget process by providing budgetary analysis and information in an objective and nonpartisan manner. Specific duties are placed on CBO by various provisions in law, particularly Titles II, III, and IV of the 1974 Congressional Budget Act, as amended. In addition to preparing annual reports on the economic and budget outlook and on the President's budget proposals, CBO provides cost estimates of legislation, scorekeeping reports, assessments of unfunded mandates, and products and testimony relating to other budgetary matters. The Legislative Branch Appropriations Act for FY2006 (P.L. 109-55), enacted into law on August 2, 2005, provided an appropriation of $35,459,000 to CBO for the fiscal year, an amount expected to support a staff of about 235 full-timeequivalent (FTE) positions. Six persons so far have served as CBO director - Alice Rivlin, Rudolph Penner, Robert Reischauer, June O'Neill, Dan Crippen, and Douglas Holtz-Eakin. Three different deputy directors, Edward Gramlich, James Blum, and Barry Anderson, served as acting director for periods amounting in total to about two years. The current CBO director, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, was appointed on February 5, 2003, to the four-year term that began on January 3 of that year. The current deputy director, Donald B. Marron, was appointed in October 2005.
CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET ACTIONS IN 2005
CRS Publication Date: 10/17/2005
Document No.: RL32791
Author(s): Bill Heniff, Jr., Government and Finance Division
Abstract: During the week of September 12, 2005, the chairmen of the Senate and House Budget Committees announced a delay in the reconciliation process so that authorizing committees could devote their attention to Hurricane Katrina-related legislation. It is expected that the Senate and House Budget Committee will markup a spending reconciliation bill the week of October 24 and 31, respectively. When FY2006 began on October 1, the House had passed 11, and the Senate had passed eight, of the regular appropriations acts for FY2006. Only two of these had been signed into law. Consequently, Congress passed and President Bush signed into law a continuing resolution (H.J.Res. 68, P.L. 109-77) to provide temporary appropriations through November 18, 2005, for agencies and programs funded in the remaining regular appropriations acts not yet enacted. Since the start of the fiscal year, Congress has cleared another regular appropriations act for the President, and the Senate has passed another one.
SPEED OF PRESIDENTIAL AND SENATE ACTIONS ON SUPREME COURT NOMINATIONS, 1900-2005
CRS Publication Date: 10/18/2005
Document No.: RL33118
Author(s): R. Sam Garrett and Denis Steven Rutkus, Government and Finance Division
Abstract: This report provides information on the amount of time taken to act on all Supreme Court nominations occurring between 1900 and the present. It focuses on the actual amounts of time that Presidents and the Senate have taken to act (as opposed to the elapsed time between official points in the process). For example, rather than starting the nomination clock with the official notification of the President of a forthcoming vacancy (e.g., via receipt of a formal retirement letter), this report focuses on when the President first learned of a Justice's intention to leave the Court (e.g., via a private conversation with the outgoing Justice), or received word that a sitting Justice had died. Likewise, rather than starting the confirmation clock with the transmission of the official nomination to the Senate, this report focuses on when the Senate became aware of the President's selection (e.g., via a public announcement by the President).
MEMBERSHIP OF THE 109TH CONGRESS: A PROFILE
CRS Publication Date: 09/28/2005
Document No.: RS22007
Author(s): Mildred L. Amer, Government and Finance Division
Abstract: This report presents a profile of the membership of the 109th Congress. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members. This includes data on party affiliation; average age and length of service; occupation; religious affiliation; female and minority Members; foreign-born Members; and military service.
All reports available from GalleryWatch.com
Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati Law Library
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