Federal Deficits, Growing Debt, and the Economy in the Wake of COVID-19 (CRS R46729)

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused a swift and deep economic downturn from which the country has yet to fully recover. In response to COVID-19, the federal government enacted expansionary fiscal policy to provide relief and stimulus to the economy. Several bills were enacted in FY2020, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security … Read more

Asylum Processing at the Border: Legal Basics (CRS LSB10582)

Recent statistics and reports from the southern border show a sharp increase in the arrival of non-U.S. nationals (called “aliens” under governing law) who lack visas or other valid entry documents. (This Sidebar generally refers to such aliens encountered at the cusp of entry into the United States as “undocumented migrants” to distinguish them from … Read more

Recent CRS Reports – February 2021

Considering Legislation on the House Floor: Common Practices in Brief, CRS Report R43424, February 26, 2021 (13-page PDF) “Legislative Branch: FY2021 Appropriations,” CRS Report R46469, February 26, 2021 (40-page PDF) “Availability of Legislative Measures in the House of Representatives (The “72-Hour Rule”),” CRS Report RS22015, February 25, 2021 (12-page PDF) “U.S. Capitol Attack and Law … Read more

“Agency Rescissions of Legislative Rules,” CRS Report R46673

Federal administrative agencies carry out their statutorily prescribed responsibilities in many ways. Perhaps most significantly, agencies may, pursuant to congressionally delegated authority, promulgate rules with the force of law, commonly known as “regulations,” “substantive rules,” or “legislative rules.” The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) establishes the procedural framework with which agencies generally must comply when issuing … Read more

Recent CRS Reports, January 2021

“The U.S. Income Distribution: Trends and Issues,” CRS Report R44705 (55-page PDF) “Federal Criminal Law: January 6, 2021, Unrest at the Capitol,” CRS Legal Sidebar LSB10564 (9-page PDF) “Cybersecurity Concerns Related to the Recent Breach of U.S. Capitol Security,” CRS Insight IN11572 (5-page PDF) “Domestic Terrorism and the Attack on the U.S. Capitol,” CRS Insight … Read more

Regular Order (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms   ‘Regular Order’: Lawmaking The Old-Fashioned Way | Ron’s Office Hours | NPR   Many contemporary lawmakers urge a return to “regular order” lawmaking. In general, the regular order refers to a traditional, committee-centered process of lawmaking, very much in evidence during most of the … Read more

The “Regular Order”: A Perspective (CRS R46597)

Many contemporary lawmakers urge a return to “regular order” lawmaking. In general, the regular order refers to a traditional, committee-centered process of lawmaking, very much in evidence during most of the 20th century. Today, Congress has evolved to become largely a party-centered institution. Committees remain important, but they are less important than previously as “gatekeepers” … Read more

Final Action by the Senate on Supreme Court Nominations During Presidential Election Years (1789-2020) (CRS IN11519)

Senate Confirmation of Supreme Court Nominations During Presidential Election Years As shown by Figure 1, 17 (81%) of 21 Supreme Court nominations that received final action by the Senate during past presidential election years were confirmed. A majority of the nominations confirmed by the Senate during presidential election years occurred in either the 18th or … Read more

Consumer Credit Reporting, Credit Bureaus, Credit Scoring, and Related Policy Issues (CRS R44125)

The consumer data industry—generally referred to as credit reporting agencies or credit bureaus—collects and subsequently provides information to firms about the behavior of consumers when they participate in various financial transactions. Firms use consumer information to screen for consumer risks. For example, lenders rely upon credit reports and scores to determine the likelihood that prospective … Read more

Supreme Court Appointment Process: Senate Debate and Confirmation Vote (CRS R44234)

The procedure for appointing a Justice to the Supreme Court is provided for in the U.S. Constitution in only a few words. The “Appointments Clause” in the Constitution (Article II, Section 2, clause 2) states that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint … Judges … Read more