COVID-19 and China: A Chronology of Events (December 2019-January 2020) (CRS R46354)

In Congress, multiple bills and resolutions have been introduced related to China’s handling of a novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, that expanded to become the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic. This report provides a timeline of key developments in the early weeks of the pandemic, based on available public reporting. It also considers … Read more

The Prior Practice of Proxy Voting in House Committee (CRS IN11372)

In order to increase physical distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the House scheduled consideration of a resolution during the week of April 20, 2020, that would have temporarily authorized the use of “proxy” voting on the chamber floor. Speaker Nancy Pelosi subsequently indicated that consideration of the resolution was postponed pending an examination … Read more

Apportionment and Redistricting Following the 2020 Census (CRS IN11360)

The census, apportionment, and congressional redistricting are interrelated processes that occur every decade. The U.S. Constitution provides that a decennial census determines the distribution of U.S. House seats across states, though the federal government today also uses census data for other purposes, such as distributing funding to states and localities. The process of dividing House … Read more

Congressional Oversight Provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136) (CRS R46315)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136) includes a variety of oversight provisions designed to increase the information available to Congress regarding the federal government’s implementation of the CARES Act and response to the COVID-19 pandemic more generally. Specifically, the CARES Act: establishes a Congressional Oversight Commission, establishes a Special Inspector … Read more

Constitutional Considerations of Remote Voting In Congress (CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10447)

COVID-19 has had an impact on almost every facet of American life. Congress has not been spared. Largely because the risk of transmission of the disease is highest in concentrated groups, there have been calls to alter the internal operation of the two chambers to introduce “social distancing” into the legislative process. One high-profile suggestion—intended … Read more

The Coronavirus Relief Fund (CARES Act, Title V): Background and State and Local Allocations

Summary: The sudden decline in economic output following the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has significantly altered the fiscal outlook for state and local governments. A sizable share of economic output derives from state and local government activity. These governments are generally required to balance their operating budgets every one or two years. Early evidence … Read more

Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?

  Should I Defer My Social Security Payout?   Social Security’s income and outlays are accounted for through two federal trust funds: the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund. Under their intermediate assumptions and under current law, the Social Security trustees project that the DI … Read more

Presidential Transitions: Issues Involving Outgoing and Incoming Administrations (CRS RL34722)

The crux of a presidential transition is the transfer of executive power from the incumbent to the President-elect. Yet the transition process encompasses a host of activities, beginning with pre-election planning and continuing through inauguration day. The process ensures that the federal government provides resources to presidential candidates’ transition teams, and, eventually, the President-elect’s team; … Read more

The Congressional Review Act (CRA) (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms   Congressional Review Act: A new idea to eliminate Obama’s agency regulations   The Congressional Review Act (CRA) is an oversight tool that Congress may use to overturn a rule issued by a federal agency, in some cases, rules issued in a previous session of … Read more