What are CRS Reports?
The Franklin Pierce Law Center IP Mall is pleased to offer the full text of intellectual property, cyberlaw and electronic commerce publications of the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the 741-person, $68 million-per-year "think tank" that works exclusively for Members and committees of the United States Congress. CRS is part of the legislative branch of the federal government. CRS, which is a department of the Library of Congress, works exclusively as a nonpartisan analytical, research, and reference arm for Congress. The CRS mission is to support an informed national legislature.
The Congress turns to CRS first when it is in need of legislative research, analysis, or information in addressing the issues of the Nation. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is the public policy research arm of the U.S. Congress. CRS works exclusively and directly for all Members and committees of the Congress. Throughout the legislative process, CRS provides analysis, research, and information services that asset to be objective, nonpartisan, and confidential, thereby contributing to an informed national legislature.
CRS was created by an Act of Congress; it has provided specialized research and information services to Congress since 1914. Originally named the Legislative Reference Service, it was renamed the Congressional Research Service by the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970. The Act specified CRS responsibilities and mandated that CRS expand its analytical capabilities to meet the needs of Congress, especially service to its committees.
Availability of CRS Reports...public information prepared at public expense on public matters of importance.
Update March 2007
The availability of CRS Reports has become controversial in recent sessions of Congress. Currently, Members of Congress are permitted to provide constituents with copies of CRS reports and issue briefs upon request.
Members of Congress have repeatedly introduced that would establish a centralized web site through which the public could access CRS reports and documents. "Providing citizens access to products they paid for opens up the federal government and educates the American public," Senator McCain said. "Congress should streamline the process through which the public obtains, copies of these highly regarded research documents as we enter the 21st century." Under legislative proposals, CRS documents would be posted on Library of Congress' THOMAS website (thomas.loc.gov) shortly after they are made available to members of Congress.
Several commercial and noncommercial services make attempts to fill the need for public access to this information. Penny Hill Press http://www.pennyhill.com/ has a topically arranged bibliography of recent CRS reports available at modest prices. The reports presented at this site were purchased from Penny Hill Press which has created a customized profile for the IP Mall and ships all current CRS reports on a standing order basis.
Congressional Research Service Index includes citations to CRS reports 1916-present. A CD-ROM index entitled Congressional Research Service Reports is available via the Congressional Masterfile. Several libraries own comprehensive collections on microfilm and microfiche.
Select a CRS Report
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