June 15, 2012
Congressional Staffers Value CRS Reports Over Lobbyists
Those of us in the information business generally accept that Congressional Research Service reports are thorough for their topics and unbiased. It seems that congressional staffers agree with that sentiment. The National Journal takes a quick look at one part of survey of congressional staffers and lobbyists and finds that staffers find information from a CRS report valuable by a whopping 86% of respondents. Issue experts are next on the list with the Congressional Budget Office third. Lobbyists rate below Beltway publications, Internet searches and constituents for information. Politico has a broader analysis of the survey results, including charts and graphs.
None of this respect for the CRS stopped the House from a budget vote last week that cut the CRS budget by 1% rather than cutting their own staff, travel, and office expenses. The bill cuts back on repairs to the Capitol dome as well. The Sacramento Bee reports the average congressional office budget is $1.4 million a year. The source of that information? A CRS report. [MG]