Congressional Research Office

February 14, 2012 318 No of hits
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Congressional Research Office

When the nation was first formed and barely stretched up and down the East Coast congressmen likely took care of their own research needs. Fast forward a couple of centuries and the nation--not to mention the world--has become so complex that the United States Congress decided that it needed help keeping up to date on all the topics and issues that could arise, hence the creation of the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

The concept for the CRS originated back in 1914 with a pair of congressmen from Wisconsin, Senator Robert LaFollette and Representative John M. Nelson. Working from the theory that the acquisition of knowledge would make for a better informed legislature, they pushed to have something included in the appropriations of all three branches to create a reference/research division of the Library of Congress. This new division of the Library would be responsible for responding to research requests made by Congress.

The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 renamed the division the Legislative Reference Service. At that time its purpose was geared more towards responding to information request using data and research from other agencies and outside sources. Following the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 its purpose shifted to doing more research of its own.

As of 2007 the CRS had a budget of approximately $100,786,000 and a staff of around 900 people. It's organized into six divisions that are all divided further as deemed necessary. The six divisions are: American Law, Domestic Social Policy, Foreign Affairs Defense and Trade, Government and Finance, Information Research, and Resources, Science, and Industry.

In 2000 the CRS fielded close to 600,000 requests for information. Data and analysis provided by the agency is always of a non-partisan nature. The CRS never makes policy recommendations; it just provides Congress with the info needed so that they can develop the right policies.

Tags:   Congressional Research Office   CRS   Senator Robert LaFollette   Representative John M. Nelson   Legislative Reference Service   Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946  

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When the nation was first formed and barely stretched up and down the East Coast congressmen likely took care of their own research needs. Fast forward a couple of centuries and the nation--not to mention the world--has become so complex that the United States Congress decided that it needed help...

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