Trade with Sub-Saharan Africa, and More from CRS

Newly updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has not authorized for broad public distribution include the following.

U.S. Trade and Investment Relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa: The African Growth and Opportunity Act and Beyond, June 26, 2012

The Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI): Budget Authority and Request, FY2010-FY2013, July 27, 2012

Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress, July 26, 2012

Housing for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS, July 3, 2012

Federal Pollution Control Laws: How Are They Enforced?, July 7, 2012

Cuba: Issues for the 112th Congress, July 20, 2012

The Executive Budget Process, and More from CRS

New reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has not made readily available to the public include these.

The Executive Budget Process: An Overview, July 27, 2012

“Amazon” Laws and Taxation of Internet Sales: Constitutional Analysis, July 26, 2012

The Obama Administration’s Proposal to Establish a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, July 25, 2012

Moving to a Territorial Income Tax: Options and Challenges, July 25, 2012

An Overview and Comparison of Senate Proposals to Extend the “Bush Tax Cuts”: S. 3412 and S. 3413, July 25, 2012

State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2013 Budget and Appropriations, July 23, 2012

Military Service Records and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources, updated July 26, 2012

Climate Change and the Law, and More from CRS

New reports from the Congressional Research Service that have not been made otherwise available to the public include these.

Climate Change and Existing Law: A Survey of Legal Issues Past, Present, and Future, July 2, 2012 (published July 19)

A Brief Overview of Actions Taken by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in Its First Year, July 18, 2012

Conflict Minerals in Central Africa: U.S. and International Responses, July 20, 2012

Midnight Rulemaking, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has declined to make publicly available online include these.

Midnight Rulemaking, July 18, 2012

An Analysis of the Distribution of Wealth Across Households, 1989-2010, July 17, 2012

Oil Sands and the Keystone XL Pipeline: Background and Selected Environmental Issues, July 16, 2012

Defense Surplus Equipment Disposal: Background Information, July 18, 2012

Nigeria: Current Issues and U.S. Policy, July 18, 2012

The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy, July 17, 2012

Timor-Leste: Political Dynamics, Development, and International Involvement, July 3, 2012

FY2013 Defense Authorization and Appropriations, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that have not been made readily available to the public include the following.

Defense: FY2013 Authorization and Appropriations, July 13, 2012

The Unified Command Plan and Combatant Commands: Background and Issues for Congress, July 17, 2012

LIBOR: Frequently Asked Questions, July 16, 2012

The 2001 and 2003 Bush Tax Cuts and Deficit Reduction, July 16, 2012

Guatemala: Political, Security, and Socio-Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations, June 26, 2012

China and Internet Freedom, and More from CRS

Among the latest Congressional Research Service reports that have not been made readily available to the public are the following.

China, Internet Freedom, and U.S. Policy, July 13, 2012

Department of Defense Implementation of the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative: Implications for Federal Information Technology Reform Management, July 12, 2012

Confirmation of U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations in Presidential Election Years
, July 12, 2012

Congressional Liaison Offices of Selected Federal Agencies, July 12, 2012

Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues, July 12, 2012

An Analysis of Charitable Giving and Donor Advised Funds, July 11, 2012

Article V Conventions to Amend the Constitution, and More from CRS

The Congressional Research Service has just produced a second report concerning “Article V Conventions” by which state legislatures can try to initiate amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

“The Article V Convention for proposing amendments was the subject of considerable debate and forethought at the Constitutional Convention [in 1787],” the new report says. “The founders clearly intended it as a balance to proposal of amendments by Congress, providing the people, through their state legislatures, with an alternative means to consider amendments, particularly if Congress was unable or unwilling to act on its own. Since it is one of the few provisions of the Constitution that has never been implemented, however, the Article V Convention presents many questions for Congress.”

See The Article V Convention for Proposing Constitutional Amendments: Historical Perspectives for Congress, July 10, 2012.  The earlier Article V report on Contemporary Issues for Congress, noted yesterday, is here.

Other new and updated CRS reports that have not been made readily available to the public include the following.

Abortion: Judicial History and Legislative Response, July 9, 2012

Higher Education Tax Benefits: Brief Overview and Budgetary Effects, July 10, 2012

Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, July 10, 2012

Yesterday, Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives that make non-confidential CRS reports publicly available on a congressional website.  If the resolution is approved, the public would have authorized access to most CRS reports and would no longer have to rely on unauthorized access.  See “New Bill Would Open CRS Reports to Public” by Daniel Schuman of the Sunlight Foundation.

A Convention to Amend the Constitution, and More from CRS

Article V of the U.S. Constitution prescribes two ways by which the Constitution can be amended:  Either Congress may propose amendments for ratification by the states, or else a majority of state legislatures may ask Congress to call a convention for considering amendments.

A new report by the Congressional Research Service examines the possibility of a convention to amend the Constitution.  That option has never been used in practice but, CRS says, it could become newly appealing under present circumstances.

“Various contemporary developments could contribute to a renewal of congressional interest in the Article V Convention alternative,” the new CRS report said.  “The emergence of Internet and social media-driven public policy and issue campaigns has combined with renewed interest in specific constitutional amendments, and the Article V Convention procedure in general, as a means of bypassing perceived policy deadlock at the federal level.”

However, “The Constitution provides only a brief description of the Article V Convention process, leaving many details that would need to be considered if a convention were to become a serious prospect.”

A copy of the new CRS report was obtained by Secrecy News.  See The Article V Convention to Propose Constitutional Amendments: Contemporary Issues for Congress, July 9, 2012.

Other new and updated CRS reports that have not been approved by Congress for broad public access include the following.

Health Care: Constitutional Rights and Legislative Powers, July 9, 2012

U.S. Postal Service: Background and Analysis of H.R. 2309 and S.1789 in the 112th Congress, July 9, 2012

Conventional Prompt Global Strike and Long-Range Ballistic Missiles: Background and Issues, July 6, 2012

Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information, June 26, 2012