Congressional Research Service reports: Wikis


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Reports by the Congressional Research Service, usually referred to as CRS Reports, are the encyclopedic, public domain research reports written to clearly define issues in a legislative context.[1]. Over 700 new CRS reports are produced each year;[1] almost 4,000 are currently in existence.[1]

While some CRS research and reports may reach the American public, the policy of CRS is to not make them directly available to members of the public; instead, they are "leaked" to the public at the discretion of congressional clients. [2] There have been several attempts to pass legislation requiring all reports to be made available online, most recently in 2003, but none have passed

Instead, the public must request individual reports from their Senators and Representatives in Congress, purchase them from private vendors, or search for them in various web archives of previously-released documents. CRS reports topped the list of the "10 Most-Wanted Government Documents" survey by the Center for Democracy and Technology, 1996.[3]



Other than a passing generic reference to “reports” in its statutory charter, CRS has no mandate for these products.[4] They are created in the context of the overall mission of CRS to provide research support to Congress.[5]

The Library of Congress, the home of CRS, had experimented during the 1940s with unrestricted publication Public Affairs Bulletins, which were produced by staff of the Legislative Reference Service, and devoted to various public policy issues. They were promoted by Archibald MacLeish, the Librarian of Congress, and, among other topics, addressed timely policy issues, such as American national defense. About 100 Public Affairs Bulletins were generated [6] before congressional appropriators ended their production in 1951.[7]

When the Congressional Research Service Review was launched in 1980, it continued for a little more than a decade before congressional appropriators, once again, invoked fiscal closure with the last issue published v. 13 #9 (Sept. 1992). The Review, which was published ten times a year and available to the public by subscription, offered original analytical articles, summaries highlighting CRS research products, and other kinds of assistance to the congressional community.[8]

Copyright status

CRS reports may contain excerpts of material from copyrighted sources. However, this content will be "appropriately credited". Thus, persons seeking public domain content in CRS reports can avoid infringing copyright by paying attention to the internal citations.

The New York Times has written,

"There is no classified information in the reports, nor any copyrighted information."[9]

However, in a passage analyzing its own liability under United States copyright law, the CRS has written that its works may contain copyrighted information, but that these excerpts are always "appropriately credited":

"CRS may incorporate preexisting material in its written responses to congressional requests. Although such material is often from public domain sources, in certain instances the material, appropriately credited, may be from copyrighted sources. To the extent that the material is copyrighted, CRS either: obtains permission for the use; considers its information-gathering function protected by the speech or debate clause; or believes that the use falls under the "fair use" doctrine of the Copyright Act as applied in the context of the legislative process."[10 ]

CRS adds that:

"Although CRS obtains permission to reproduce certain copyrighted works, the permissions are generally based on legislative use and the expectation that dissemination is limited to Members of Congress."[10 ]


CRS written work product includes "CRS Reports," issue briefs, appropriations Reports (usually released as a Long Report), Electronic Briefing Books, Info Packs and Congressional distribution memoranda.[1] The Issue Briefs (IB), no longer than 16 pages, include issue definitions, background and policy analyses, legislation passed and pending, a bibliography of hearings, reports and documents and other congressional actions, a chronology of events, and reference sources. Approximately 150 issue briefs are currently in existence. [1]

Formats of "CRS Reports" include policy analysis, economic studies, statistical reviews, and legal analyses.[1] "Short Reports (RS), typically under 7 pages, or Long Reports (RL), which can include major studies on a particular topic.[1]

How to access CRS Reports

Many but not all CRS reports can be obtained through specialized publishers such as Penny Hill Press, or from web archives such as OpenCRS, which relies on individual submissions to maintain its collection. OpenCRS has also published instructions for US citizens on how to request reports from their member of congress, but neither the Congress nor the CRS are obligated to satisfy such requests. However, as there is no accurate public list or catalog of CRS publications, all unreleased reports are effectively secret.

On February 8, 2009 Wikileaks released 6,780 Congressional Research Service reports, totaling more than 127,000 pages of text. [11]

Over the years, and at the request of CRS, the Joint Committee on the Library has authorized a very limited number of CRS publications for broader distribution through depository libraries, the sales program of the Superintendent of Documents, and to the public through individual purchases. In addition, several CRS products are published as the result of specific statutory authorization: the Digest of General Public Bills and Resolutions (Bill Digest)[12] [which ceased publication in 1990 with the edition covering the 2nd session of the 101st Congress] and three publications for which CRS has been given responsibility by the Librarian of Congress: the Constitution of the United States of America, Analysis and Interpretation (Constitution Annotated);[13] and the national high school and college debate topic manuals.[14]

Congress's attitudes towards CRS confidentiality

CRS annual appropriations legislation

According to the CRS, Congress has historically reserved to itself control over the dissemination of CRS products to the public on the principle that CRS, as an extension of congressional staff, works exclusively for the Congress.[10 ]

A provision has been included in CRS annual appropriations acts since FY1952 requiring approval by one of its two congressional oversight committees for acts of "publication" by the CRS. [15]

The limitation began in the House as a flat prohibition on publications by the Library of Congress using funds appropriated to the Legislative Reference Service (now CRS).

In 1954 a provision was added providing for exception only with the approval of our oversight committees.

The standard appropriations language text which appears annually in the law appropriating funds for the Legislative Branch today reads as follows:[16]

Provided, That no part of such amount may be used to pay any salary or expense in connection with any publication, or preparation of material therefore (except the Digest of Public General Bills), to be issued by the Library of Congress unless such publication has obtained prior approval of either the Committee on House Administration of the House of Representatives or the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate.

Mulhollan notes that the term "publication" in this context has generally been construed to encompass all manner of communicating information to the public, based on the legislative history of the provision (with its concern over diverting CRS (then LRS) resources to providing materials to the public) and subsequent Joint Committee on the Library guidance. [15]

The prohibition appears each year in the annual appropriations act for the Legislative Branch and is intended to preserve the role of CRS as a confidential resource. The appropriations acts, supplemented by other congressional guidance that CRS has received over the years, and supported by judicial opinions, leave to the Members and committees the decision whether and how to place individual CRS products in the public domain. [15]

The CRS notes that Congress has never authorized the wholesale public dissemination of CRS analytical products such as Reports or Issue Briefs (and has seldom authorized publication of other products), whether by CRS or the Congress, but rather has preferred to rely on congressional release of individual products on a case-by-case basis.[2]

1978 proposal by the National Conference of State Legislatures

In 1978, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) issued a proposal under which CRS would have received access to the files of State research materials abstracted by the NCSL, and would have had the opportunity to order copies of desired items for use in answering congressional inquiries. In return, CRS would have provided the NCSL with periodic listings of CRS Reports (called "multiliths" at that time) and with only one copy of those CRS Reports which the NCSL requested. Under this proposal the NCSL also would have gained access to certain files from the Library of Congress's SCORPIO system, including CRS Issue Briefs.

On September 27, 1978, the Joint Committee on the Library held a hearing to consider the proposal. At the hearing, the Committee concluded that any transmission of CRS material contained in SCORPIO to noncongressional users via computer terminal would constitute a "publication" and thus, under the terms of the language contained in CRS's annual appropriations legislation (noted above) would require the prior approval of either the Committee on House Administration or the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. Moreover, members of the Joint Committee expressed serious reservations about any activity that might divert CRS resources and priorities from its statutory responsibilities to Congress. Finally, members of the Committee expressed the view that it was appropriate for Members of Congress, rather than CRS, to determine whether and to what extent various CRS products should be publicly disseminated. As a result, no action was taken to implement the proposed CRS-NCSL exchange.

1980 communication of the Joint Committee on the Library

In a communication dated March 21, 1980, the Joint Committee on the Library released a policy statement regarding the publication of CRS written products:[2]

... Congressional policy that the circulation of CRS materials prepared specifically for congressional use be limited to the Congress, and that the long-standing policy of confidentiality in the work of CRS for individual congressional clients should be maintained. We believe that, as in the past, CRS and its oversight committees should consider the publication of only those CRS products whose release to the general public would be compatible, both in terms of cost and product content, with the CRS's obligations to the Congress.

Reflecting on this passage in 2007, CRS Director David Mulhollan wrote, "It is noteworthy that in this instance the Joint Committee referred to the restriction on "circulation" of CRS materials, making it clear that the term "publication" in the statute is interpreted broadly." [15]

Senate Resolution 396, 96th Cong., 2d Sess. 1980

A March 27, 1980 Senate Resolution (S. Res. 396, 96th Cong., 2d Sess. 1980), occasioned by a subpoena issued in an administrative proceeding for CRS material, reads:[17][18]}}

Whereas, the communications between the Congressional Research Service and the members and committees of the Congress are an integral part of the legislative process and privileged under the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution, [and]...memoranda of the Congressional Research Service are in the custody and under the control of the members and committees for whom they have been prepared, and the Congressional Research Service has no authority to release them to anyone outside the Congress... Resolved, That it is the determination of the Senate that the communications of the Congressional Research Service to the members and committees of the Congress are under the custody and control of the Congress and may be released only by the Congress, its Houses, committees and members, in accordance with the rules and privileges of each House...

This Senate Resolution directed the Senate Legal Counsel to represent the Senate and CRS in respect to a Federal Trade Commission administrative law judge’s “sweeping subpoena [on behalf of oil companies involved in a FTC proceeding] to the Congressional Research Service for documents which discuss the oil industry and governmental policy in relation to it.” Id. The Resolution stated that “the communications between the Congressional Research Service and the members and committees of the Congress are an integral part of the legislative process and privileged under the Speech or Debate Clause of the Constitution.”

Senate Majority Leader Byrd, in introducing the Resolution, noted CRS’ role in advising members and committees on legislative issues and that CRS “thereby provides a service to the Members and committees of Congress which is equivalent to that performed by the staffs of Members and committees."[18]

1990 - Senate authorizes its Legal Counsel to challenge a subpoena of CRS

A decade later, Senate Legal Counsel was authorized by resolution to challenge a subpoena that was issued in a case in the U.S. Tax Court to an American Law Division attorney. The subpoena sought both testimony and documents relating to a memorandum the attorney had prepared for a Senator on certain tax questions that had been posed by a constituent. In introducing the resolution, the Senate Majority Leader reiterated the importance of "protecting the work done by CRS in preparing communications to the Members and committees of Congress":[19]

A committee or Member of the Senate, of course, may determine to make available to the public a report or memorandum which the Congressional Research Service has provided to the committee or Senator. Senator McClure, in this case, sought to assist his constituent in that way. Nevertheless, even when a final product prepared by CRS is released to the public, it is important to protect the confidentiality of CRS's preparatory work in order to encourage the freest possible exploration by CRS of issues about which committees or Members seek information or advice. It would be detrimental to the free flow of information and advice within the Congress to subject lawyers and other analysts at CRS to examination outside of the Congress about the basis of their communications to committees and Members.

Congressional efforts to make reports public

There have been numerous attempts to pass legislation requiring the CRS to make its products available on a public web site, including the introduction of bills in 1998, 1999, 2001, and 2003.[1] All have so far failed to pass. Publicly stated reasons for this include legal liability for CRS findings, copyright issues, and increased CRS workload. However, it is far more more likely that the members of Congress who commission CRS reports wish to maintain control over the distribution of any potentially sensitive conclusions.[1]

In 1998, then-Chairman of the Rules Committee Senator John Warner (R-VA) and Ranking Member Wendell Ford (D-KY) disseminated CRS products through the Committee's website, taking the position that it is appropriate "for Members and Committees to use their web sites to further disseminate CRS products," and, in fact, encouraging them to do so.[20] Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD) was the first to respond to this suggestion, putting almost 300 CRS products on his website. The CRS products are no longer accessible on this website.

Legislation that would make CRS Reports to Congress, Issue Briefs, and Authorization and Appropriations Reports available over the Internet has been introduced every Congress by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) or Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) since 1998. This initiative enjoys support from the leadership of both parties in the Senate. (The legislation proposed in the 107th Congress, Senate Resolution 21, was co-sponsored by Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), and Trent Lott (R-MS).) Bills have also been introduced in the past in the House by Representative Shays and Representative Jim DeMint (R-SC), and at least two Representatives - Representative Shays and Representative Mark Green (R-WI) - have placed many CRS products on their own websites in an attempt to make some CRS products available to the public.[21]

“Reports are produced by the Congressional Research Service staff for the education of members of Congress,” Kyle Anderson, a spokesman for the House Administration Committee, which has jurisdiction over the issue in the House, wrote in an e-mail message to the New York Times. “Just as other memos produced by staffers for members of Congress aren’t made public, these are not.”[22]

Mr. Schwartz made it clear, however, that the organization was seeking the public release of only reports the research service produces, not the memorandums it also writes for members of Congress.[22]

A spokesman for Senator Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat and chairman of the Senate Rules Committee as of 1999, said Mr. Schumer was “aware of the arguments for making these reports public” and was reviewing the current policy. [22]

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, who makes several of the reports available on his Web site, has on several occasions proposed legislation to make the reports public. “For too long, C.R.S. reports have been available to the public only on a haphazard basis,” Mr. Lieberman said in an e-mail message to the New York Times. “These reports inform members of Congress and their staffs on a wide range of issues. The American people, who pay for these reports, should be able to learn from this same expert analysis.”[22]

CRS positions and public responses

1999 CRS Report: CRS's view on "Issues Associated With The Wholesale Release Of CRS Products To The Public"

In its 1999 report, "Congressional Policy Concerning the Distribution of CRS Written Products to the Public," the CRS described what it viewed as both "institutional issues" and "legal issues" regarding the public distribution of CRS products.[10 ]

Institutional issues
1. Limited resources. CRS noted that any services provided to non-congressional entities would necessarily come "only at the expense of direct support of the Congress." While acknowleding that "the direct and indirect costs associated with disseminating Reports and Issue Briefs are difficult to estimate with precision," CRS nevertheless held that "it is clear that significant resources would have to be diverted from congressional services."
For example, with wider product distribution, particularly to users of the Internet/World Wide Web, CRS is more likely to get calls, comments, and requests for additions and changes that would place a burden on CRS analysts, distracting them from their work for Congress. In particular, outside parties may judge and question CRS papers on the basis of standards other than the standards CRS has developed to meet congressional needs (e.g., timeliness, non-partisanship, balance, objectivity). It is reasonable to anticipate that the volume of communications between CRS and the public, currently manageable, would rise substantially and affect the Service's ability to meet the needs of congressional requester. Any mechanisms developed by CRS to shield analysts from these demands would of course also involve resource commitments.[10 ]
2. Distraction from congressional audience. The report expressed concern that if future reports were made public, CRS analysts might be distracted from their duties to craft their products for the Congressional audience; "CRS analysts might become more conscious of the need to address views, methods, disciplines, and expectations of noncongressional professional peers, with the result that CRS written work could shift away, or appear to shift away, from its current emphasis on the congressional audience;" conversely, Members might react by increasing the number of confidential requests that they place -- thus requiring CRS to write more tailored responses, and
diminish[ing] the ability of CRS analysts to prepare reports that are generally available to Congress and that serve a broader congressional audience. With this increase in tailored analysis would come the necessity of duplicating more analysis because of the demand of those Members who request that their examination of a legislative proposal remain confidential at that point in the legislative process.[10 ]
3. Interest group pressure. The report expressed concern that "Enhanced internal mechanisms would have to be developed to ensure that communications with interested parties did not deflect CRS analysts from producing products that are free from advocacy and bias, resulting in a further diversion of resources from direct service to Congress."[10 ]
4. A precedent undermining confidentiality of Congressional resources generally. The report expressed concern that "[t]he release by Congress of CRS Reports and Issue Briefs may set a precedent leading to greater pressure to have studies prepared by congressional staff for Members’ exclusive use (e.g., committee staff studies distributed to entire committee membership) to be disseminated directly to the general public. It might be difficult for Congress to articulate a convincing rationale for granting public access to the Service’s work but denying equivalent access to materials prepared by other shared staff (e.g., committee staff) that are distributed to more than one Member. Thus, a policy of providing Members’ constituents with the same materials that Members themselves draw upon to make legislative decisions could have serious implications for the functions of staff and their relationship with Members."[10 ]
Legal issues
1. More litigation, less protection from speech or debate clause immunity. The report expressed concern that, if the CRS transitioned from "the current practice of limited distribution" to "widespread electronic dissemination to the general public", this could increase the risk of "a variety of administrative and judicial proceedings" for "[t]hose engaged in public distribution of CRS products, as well as CRS analysts who prepare the products," in which "litigants might seek, for purposes of discovery, the files of CRS analysts or ... damages or injunctive relief barring further distribution of a particular report or issue brief [or] damages in suits alleging copyright infringement." Furthermore, the defendants in these cases might lose their immunity under the Speech and Debate Clause of the Constitution. Since its 1972 ruling in United States v. Brewster, the Supreme Court has limited that immunity to "legislative acts,"[23] which were distinguished from a range of activity described as "entirely legitimate" but unprotected by the speech or debate clause because it was considered to be "political in nature."[24] "The dissemination (by Members and/or their aides, by CRS, or by a congressionally designated entity) to the general public of CRS products would not be viewed as a legislative act but would be considered to be an exercise of Congress' representational function, for which speech or debate immunity is not available.[25]" To support this argument, the report noted that in several cases relevant to the applicability of speech or debate immunity to the public distribution of CRS products, the Court has relied on the dichotomy established in Brewster to hold that congressional activities intended to inform the general public are outside the scope of the speech or debate clause. Notably, in Doe v. McMillan, the Court found that the clause might not protect the Public Printer and the Superintendent of Documents from liability for distribution of a committee report, which contained material alleged to have invaded individual privacy rights, beyond "the legitimate legislative needs of Congress...."[26][10 ]
2. Related litigation burdens. The report expressed concern that "widespread distribution of CRS products" would cause "an increase in public awareness of the research and analysis prepared by the Service for Congress," which "could escalate the efforts of litigants to obtain, for purposes of discovery, CRS analysts' files," including "information and data used to develop CRS Reports and Issue Briefs" as well as "related material from the Service's files."
  • Even where Speech or Debate Immunity provides a valid defense in such discovery proceedings, the report notes that
even in those cases in which CRS succeeded in defending against discovery efforts, the litigation would place a burden on CRS and other congressional resources and could put judges in the position of arbitrating disputes Discovery attempts to obtain CRS file materials have often been defended by the offices of House General Counsel or Senate Legal Counsel. ... Claims of speech or debate immunity would be subject to review by the courts, potentially including in camera inspection of material as to which a claim of privilege is made and segregation of protected from non-protected material. Arguably, this type of judicial sifting of legislative branch materials would impinge upon the interest in confidentiality served by the speech or debate clause.
  • In addition, the report noted two reasons that "it is uncertain whether Congress would prevail in litigating such matters." First, it is possible that a court would not precisely differentiate among the information in the superficially similar types of documents in a CRS subject file and would grant litigants access not only to publicly available information but also to confidential communications between the Service and congressional offices. Second, in previous instances in which CRS has been involved in litigation or agency proceedings, the judicial or agency decision has emphasized that CRS performs a legislative function and that its staff functions as an adjunct of Member and committee staff.[27] With wider dissemination of CRS products to the general public, this longstanding perception of the Service and the nature of its communications to the Congress could be altered, eventually putting at risk speech or debate protection for the Service’s confidential work. In other words, extensive involvement by CRS in the direct public information function could lead courts and administrative agencies to reconsider their perception of CRS as playing a significant and unique support role in the legislative process, and thus some day might hamper a claim of immunity even in an instance in which CRS was fulfilling its legislative function.[28]
3. Risk of copyright infringement. The report noted that CRS reports "in certain instances" may contain "appropriately credited" material from copyrighted sources. In these instances, the CRS either: obtains permission for the use; (generally based on legislative use and the expectation that dissemination is limited to Members of Congress); considers its information-gathering function protected by the speech or debate clause; or believes that the use falls under the "fair use" doctrine of the Copyright Act as applied in the context of the legislative process. Although "[t]he copyright statute does not expressly include congressional use of copyrighted works as a fair use," "both the House and Senate Reports on the Copyright Act of 1976 include the "reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports" among examples of fair use."[29] The legislative history also contains an observation that publication of copyrighted material in Congressional documents would constitute fair use "[w]here the length of the work or excerpt published and the number of copies authorized are reasonable under the circumstances, and the work itself is directly relevant to a matter of legitimate legislative concern..."[30] Thus, in an infringement action, a court might regard the publication of copyrighted material in a Congressional document for legitimate legislative purposes as a "fair use." If, however, the use is outside of such legislative purposes, it is possible that a traditional fair use analysis might result in liability for copyright infringement. Wider dissemination outside the confines of Congress would further complicate the "fair use" question.
Moreover, if CRS products were generally available to the public, the construction of these products may be affected, with the potential consequent loss when material, such as copyrighted maps or graphs, may be withheld in the writing of the paper with the foreknowledge that the paper could be widely disseminated and thereby subject to different “fair use” guidelines than those applicable to work for legislative use only. Therefore, public availability may perforce shape selected CRS products so that their contents no longer bring to bear the best information and analysis to assist Members in their decisionmaking.
In summary, where permission has been granted to CRS to use copyrighted material, it has likely been based on legislative purpose and limited to selective distribution of hardcopy by Members of Congress. If access is broadened to wholesale release to members of the general public, such release may be outside the scope of "legitimate legislative purpose." If a CRS product, containing substantial copyrighted material (albeit with appropriate credit) is made available to the general public without permission and outside the confines of traditional fair use, liability is possible. In this regard, distinctions can be made between the selective distribution of hardcopy CRS products by Members and Committees and wholesale, potentially world-wide distribution of CRS products on the Internet. Violation of any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner may give rise to an action for copyright infringement. Although the extent of copyright owners’ rights in the online environment is still evolving, wholesale distribution of CRS products via the Internet - unlike the current practice - would likely implicate copyright owners’ performance and public display rights, as a matter of direct infringement, and may implicate rights [31] of reproduction and public distribution either as a matter of direct, vicarious or [32] contributory infringement. On the other hand, under a “fair use” analysis, there is likely less effect upon the potential market of the copyright owner in the case of selective hardcopy distribution than in the case of wholesale distribution on the Internet. Selective distribution of hardcopy CRS products by Members may not constitute “publication” in the copyright sense.[33]

1997 CRS memorandum

In a December 1997 memorandum, the CRS summarized the "Legal Issues Presented by Proposals for the General Release of CRS Products to the Public":[34]

  • Speech and debate immunity: Reducing "substantial role in the legislative process". Such proposals might "cause the judiciary and administrative agencies to reassess their perception of CRS as playing a substantial role in the legislative process, and thereby might endanger a claim of [Speech and Debate Clause] immunity even in an instance in which CRS was fulfilling its legislative mission (e.g., by preparing a confidential memorandum for a Member on a pending bill.)"[35]
  • Libel, slander, and defamation. CRS also believes that slander or libel actions might occur more frequently if CRS products were put on the Internet, because more people would read CRS products and know of their existence.
  • Confidentiality of CRS files. CRS believes that broader dissemination of CRS products would likely inspire more litigants who wish to obtain, for purposes of discovery, the files of CRS analysts. This might, CRS argues, cause the public release of correspondence between Members of Congress and CRS.
  • Copyright infringement. CRS argues that it might be subject to claims of copyright infringement if CRS products were available on the Internet. CRS sometimes incorporates copyrighted work into its reports and products. (Elsewhere, the CRS notes that these inclusions are always "appropriately credited".)[10 ]


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Congressional Research Service.

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Guide to CRS Reports on the Web
  2. ^ a b c "The Congressional Research Service and the American Legislative Process". Congressional Research Service. 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-25.  
  3. ^ 10 Most Wanted Government Documents
  4. ^ See 2 U.S.C. § 166(d)(4).
  5. ^ Government Information Quarterly Volume 26, Issue 3, July 2009, Pages 437-440
  6. ^ Government Information Quarterly Volume 26, Issue 3, July 2009, Pages 437-440
  7. ^ See 65 Stat. 398.
  8. ^ Government Information Quarterly Volume 26, Issue 3, July 2009, Pages 437-440
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Congressional Policy Concerning the Distribution of CRS Written Products to the Public". Congressional Research Service. March 9, 1999. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  11. ^ Change you can download: a billion in secret Congressional reports
  12. ^ 2 U.S.C. 166(d)(6).
  13. ^ 2 U.S.C. 168.
  14. ^ 44 U.S.C. 1333.
  15. ^ a b c d Mulhollan, David. "Memo RE: "Access to CRS Reports" To: All CRS STaff". Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  16. ^ For example, for the 1997 version of this provision, see Pub. L. 105-55, 111 Stat. 1190 (1997).
  17. ^ 126 Cong. Rec. S3162 (daily ed. March 27, 1980).
  18. ^ a b 126 Cong. Rec. 6892 (March 27, 1980).
  19. ^ 136 Cong. Ree. S7112 (daily ed. May 24, 1990).
  20. ^ Letter from Chairman John Warner and Ranking Member Wendell H. Ford, Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, to Senate Colleagues, June 10, 1998.
  21. ^ "Congressional Research Service Products: Taxpayers Should Have Easy Access". Project on Government Oversight. February 10, 2003. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  22. ^ a b c d Strom, Stephanie (May 4, 2009). "Group Seeks Public Access to Congressional Research". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-27.  
  23. ^ U.S.Constitution, Art. 1, § 6, clause 1.
  24. ^ 408 U.S. 501, 509, 512 (1972).
  25. ^ See, e.g., Doe v. McMillan, supra; Hutchinson v. Proxmire, 443 U.S. 111 (1979).
  26. ^ Doe v. McMillan, 412 U.S. 306, 324 (1973)(emphasis added). The Court remanded for a determination as to whether the extent of distribution by the Public Printer and the Superintendent of Documents had exceeded "the legitimate legislative needs of Congress, and hence the limits of immunity." Id. On the remand, the lower courts upheld the claim of immunity as to the Public Printer and Superintendent of Documents (374 F. Supp. 1313 (D.D.C. 1974), aff'd, 566 F.2d 713 (D.C.Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 969 (1978)), but the court of appeals expressly reserved the question of the availability of immunity "in a case where distribution was more extensive...." 566 F.2d at 718. Apparently the only copies distributed outside the federal government in the events that precipitated the suit in McMillan were approximately 172 of 796 copies that had been distributed to various federal agencies.
  27. ^ See Webster v. Sun Oil, 731 F.2d 1 (D.C.Cir. 1984) and 790 F.2d 157 (D.C.Cir. 1986)(communications to CRS analyst are within scope of common law privilege for communications to a legislative body); In re Exxon Corporation, 95 F.T.C. 919 (1980)(FTC subpoena for CRS documents barred by speech or debate immunity and separation of powers doctrine; CRS performs an "essentially legislative function").
  28. ^ See, Doe v. McMillan, note 9, supra.
  29. ^ See H.R. Rep. No. 1476, 94th Cong., 2d Sess. 65 (1976); S. Rep. No. 473, 94th Cong., 1st Sess. 61-62 (1975) quoting REPORT OF THE REGISTER OF COPYRIGHTS ON THE GENERAL REVISION OF THE U.S. COPYRIGHT LAW, 87th Cong., 1st Sess. 24 (Comm. Print 1961) (hereafter REGISTER'S REPORT).
  30. ^ See H.R. Rep. No. 1476, Id. at 73.
  31. ^ 17 U.S.C. §§106(4),(5).
  32. ^ 17 U.S.C. §106(1), (3)
  33. ^ 17 U.S.C. §§101,106(3).
  34. ^ Congressional Research Service, 4 December 1997. ("CRS Memorandum"). Quoted in part by the Congressional Accountability Project at
  35. ^ CRS Memorandum at 6.

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