United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 24, 2020

§ 166.
Congressional Research Service
(a)
Redesignation of Legislative Reference Service

The Legislative Reference Service in the Library of Congress is hereby continued as a separate department in the Library of Congress and is redesignated the “Congressional Research Service”.

(b)
Functions and objectives
It is the policy of Congress that—
(1)
the Librarian of Congress shall, in every possible way, encourage, assist, and promote the Congressional Research Service in—
(A)
rendering to Congress the most effective and efficient service,
(B)
responding most expeditiously, effectively, and efficiently to the special needs of Congress, and
(C)
discharging its responsibilities to Congress;
and
(2)
the Librarian of Congress shall grant and accord to the Congressional Research Service complete research independence and the maximum practicable administrative independence consistent with these objectives.
(c)
Appointment and compensation of Director, Deputy Director, and other necessary personnel; minimum grade for Senior Specialists; placement in grades GS–16, 17, and 18 of Specialists and Senior Specialists; appointment without regard to civil service laws and political affiliation and on basis of fitness to perform duties
(1)
After consultation with the Joint Committee on the Library, the Librarian of Congress shall appoint the Director of the Congressional Research Service. The basic pay of the Director shall be at a per annum rate equal to the rate of basic pay provided for level III of the Executive Schedule under section 5314 of title 5.
(2)
The Librarian of Congress, upon the recommendation of the Director, shall appoint a Deputy Director of the Congressional Research Service and all other necessary personnel thereof. The basic pay of the Deputy Director shall be fixed in accordance with chapter 51 (relating to classification) and subchapter III (relating to General Schedule pay rates) of chapter 53 of title 5, but without regard to section 5108(a) of such title. The basic pay of all other necessary personnel of the Congressional Research Service shall be fixed in accordance with chapter 51 (relating to classification) and subchapter III (relating to General Schedule pay rates) of chapter 53 of title 5, except that—
(A)
the grade of Senior Specialist in each field within the purview of subsection (e) of this section shall not be less than the highest grade in the executive branch of the Government to which research analysts and consultants, without supervisory responsibility, are currently assigned; and
(B)
the positions of Specialist and Senior Specialist in the Congressional Research Service may be placed in GS–16, 17, and 18 of the General Schedule of section 5332 of title 5, without regard to section 5108(a) of such title, subject to the prior approval of the Joint Committee on the Library, of the placement of each such position in any of such grades.
(3)
Each appointment made under paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection and subsection (e) of this section shall be without regard to the civil service laws, without regard to political affiliation, and solely on the basis of fitness to perform the duties of the position.
(d)
Duties of Service; assistance to Congressional committees; list of terminating programs and subjects for analysis; legislative data, studies, etc.; information research; digest of bills, preparation; legislation, purpose and effect, and preparation of memoranda; information and research capability, development
It shall be the duty of the Congressional Research Service, without partisan bias—
(1)
upon request, to advise and assist any committee of the Senate or House of Representatives and any joint committee of Congress in the analysis, appraisal, and evaluation of legislative proposals within that committee’s jurisdiction, or of recommendations submitted to Congress, by the President or any executive agency, so as to assist the committee in—
(A)
determining the advisability of enacting such proposals;
(B)
estimating the probable results of such proposals and alternatives thereto; and
(C)
evaluating alternative methods for accomplishing those results;
and, by providing such other research and analytical services as the committee considers appropriate for these purposes, otherwise to assist in furnishing a basis for the proper evaluation and determination of legislative proposals and recommendations generally; and in the performance of this duty the Service shall have authority, when so authorized by a committee and acting as the agent of that committee, to request of any department or agency of the United States the production of such books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, and documents as the Service considers necessary, and such department or agency of the United States shall comply with such request; and further, in the performance of this and any other relevant duty, the Service shall maintain continuous liaison with all committees;
(2)
to make available to each committee of the Senate and House of Representatives and each joint committee of the two Houses, at the opening of a new Congress, a list of programs and activities being carried out under existing law scheduled to terminate during the current Congress, which are within the jurisdiction of the committee;
(3)
to make available to each committee of the Senate and House of Representatives and each joint committee of the two Houses, at the opening of a new Congress, a list of subjects and policy areas which the committee might profitably analyze in depth;
(4)
upon request, or upon its own initiative in anticipation of requests, to collect, classify, and analyze in the form of studies, reports, compilations, digests, bulletins, indexes, translations, and otherwise, data having a bearing on legislation, and to make such data available and serviceable to committees and Members of the Senate and House of Representatives and joint committees of Congress;
(5)
upon request, or upon its own initiative in anticipation of requests, to prepare and provide information, research, and reference materials and services to committees and Members of the Senate and House of Representatives and joint committees of Congress to assist them in their legislative and representative functions;
(6)
to prepare summaries and digests of bills and resolutions of a public general nature introduced in the Senate or House of Representatives;
(7)
upon request made by any committee or Member of the Congress, to prepare and transmit to such committee or Member a concise memorandum with respect to one or more legislative measures upon which hearings by any committee of the Congress have been announced, which memorandum shall contain a statement of the purpose and effect of each such measure, a description of other relevant measures of similar purpose or effect previously introduced in the Congress, and a recitation of all action taken theretofore by or within the Congress with respect to each such other measure;
(8)
to develop and maintain an information and research capability, to include Senior Specialists, Specialists, other employees, and consultants, as necessary, to perform the functions provided for in this subsection; and
(9)
to comply with the requirements of, and provide information and technological assistance consistent with, section 124 1
1
 See References in Text note below.
of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2018.
(e)
Specialists and Senior Specialists; appointment; fields of appointment
The Librarian of Congress is authorized to appoint in the Congressional Research Service, upon the recommendation of the Director, Specialists and Senior Specialists in the following broad fields:
(1)
agriculture;
(2)
American government and public administration;
(3)
American public law;
(4)
conservation;
(5)
education;
(6)
engineering and public works;
(7)
housing;
(8)
industrial organization and corporation finance;
(9)
international affairs;
(10)
international trade and economic geography;
(11)
labor and employment;
(12)
mineral economics;
(13)
money and banking;
(14)
national defense;
(15)
price economics;
(16)
science;
(17)
social welfare;
(18)
taxation and fiscal policy;
(19)
technology;
(20)
transportation and communications;
(21)
urban affairs;
(22)
veterans’ affairs; and
(23)
such other broad fields as the Director may consider appropriate.
Such Specialists and Senior Specialists, together with such other employees of the Congressional Research Service as may be necessary, shall be available for special work with the committees and Members of the Senate and House of Representatives and the joint committees of Congress for any of the purposes of subsection (d) of this section.
(f)
Duties of Director; establishment and change of research and reference divisions or other organizational units, or both
The Director is authorized—
(1)
to classify, organize, arrange, group, and divide, from time to time, as he considers advisable, the requests for advice, assistance, and other services submitted to the Congressional Research Service by committees and Members of the Senate and House of Representatives and joint committees of Congress, into such classes and categories as he considers necessary to—
(A)
expedite and facilitate the handling of the individual requests submitted by Members of the Senate and House of Representatives,
(B)
promote efficiency in the performance of services for committees of the Senate and House of Representatives and joint committees of Congress, and
(C)
provide a basis for the efficient performance by the Congressional Research Service of its legislative research and related functions generally,
and
(2)
to establish and change, from time to time, as he considers advisable, within the Congressional Research Service, such research and reference divisions or other organizational units, or both, as he considers necessary to accomplish the purposes of this section.
(g)
Budget estimates

The Director of the Congressional Research Service will submit to the Librarian of Congress for review, consideration, evaluation, and approval, the budget estimates of the Congressional Research Service for inclusion in the Budget of the United States Government.

(h)
Experts or consultants, individual or organizational, and persons and organizations with specialized knowledge; procurement of temporary or intermittent assistance; contracts, nonpersonal and personal service; advertisement requirements inapplicable; end product; pay; travel time
(1)
The Director of the Congressional Research Service may procure the temporary or intermittent assistance of individual experts or consultants (including stenographic reporters) and of persons learned in particular or specialized fields of knowledge—
(A)
by nonpersonal service contract, without regard to any provision of law requiring advertising for contract bids, with the individual expert, consultant, or other person concerned, as an independent contractor, for the furnishing by him to the Congressional Research Service of a written study, treatise, theme, discourse, dissertation, thesis, summary, advisory opinion, or other end product; or
(B)
by employment (for a period of not more than one year) in the Congressional Research Service of the individual expert, consultant, or other person concerned, by personal service contract or otherwise, without regard to the position classification laws, at a rate of pay not in excess of the per diem equivalent of the highest rate of basic pay then currently in effect for the General Schedule of section 5332 of title 5, including payment of such rate for necessary travel time.
(2)
The Director of the Congressional Research Service may procure by contract, without regard to any provision of law requiring advertising for contract bids, the temporary (for respective periods not in excess of one year) or intermittent assistance of educational, research, or other organizations of experts and consultants (including stenographic reporters) and of educational, research, and other organizations of persons learned in particular or specialized fields of knowledge.
(i)
Special report to Joint Committee on the Library

The Director of the Congressional Research Service shall prepare and file with the Joint Committee on the Library at the beginning of each regular session of Congress a separate and special report covering, in summary and in detail, all phases of activity of the Congressional Research Service for the immediately preceding fiscal year, and shall include in the report a description of the efforts made by the Director to make additional Congressional Research Service products that are not confidential products or services available to the Librarian of Congress for publication on the website established and maintained under section 124 1 of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2018.

(j)
Authorization of appropriations

There are hereby authorized to be appropriated to the Congressional Research Service each fiscal year such sums as may be necessary to carry on the work of the Service.

(Aug. 2, 1946, ch. 753, title II, § 203, 60 Stat. 836; Oct. 28, 1949, ch. 782, title XI, § 1106(a), 63 Stat. 972; Pub. L. 91–510, title III, § 321(a), Oct. 26, 1970, 84 Stat. 1181; Pub. L. 99–190, § 133, Dec. 19, 1985, 99 Stat. 1322; Pub. L. 106–57, title II, § 209(b), Sept. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 424; Pub. L. 115–141, div. I, title I, § 154(b)(7), (d), Mar. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 789, 790.)
cite as: 2 USC 166