Congressional Research Service
United States federal agency
The Congressional Research Service (CRS), known as Congress's think tank, is a public policy research institute of the United States Congress. As a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, CRS works primarily and directly for Members of Congress, their Committees and staff on a confidential, nonpartisan basis.
Its staff of approximately 600 employees includes lawyers, economists, reference librarians, and social, natural, and physical scientists. In fiscal year 2016, CRS was appropriated a budget of roughly $106.9 million by Congress.Despite numerous attempts to override a policy of "[limiting] dissemination to Members of Congress" from 1952 until 2018, "publication" was restricted; now "CRS makes non-confidential reports available on its website."CRS is joined by two major congressional support agencies. The Congressional Budget Office provides Congress with budget-related information, reports on fiscal, budgetary, and programmatic issues, and analyses of budget policy options, costs, and effects. The Government Accountability Office assists Congress in reviewing and monitoring the activities of government by conducting independent audits, investigations, and evaluations of federal programs. Collectively, the three agencies employ more than 4,000 people.As of mid-March 2019, CRS announced that it was adding "the back catalog of older CRS reports" and also introducing new publicly available reports, such as its "two-page executive level briefing documents."
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