The Congressional Research Service (CRS) serves as shared staff to congressional committees and Members of Congress. CRS experts assist at every stage of the legislative process — from the early considerations that precede bill drafting, through committee hearings and floor debate, to the oversight of enacted laws and various agency activities.
CRS approaches complex topics from a variety of perspectives and examines all sides of an issue. Staff members analyze current policies and present the impact of proposed policy alternatives.
CRS services come in many forms:
- reports on major policy issues
- tailored confidential memoranda, briefings and consultations
- seminars and workshops
- expert congressional testimony
- responses to individual inquiries
With public policy issues growing more complex and political debate turning more contentious, the need for insightful and comprehensive analysis has become vital. Congress relies on CRS to marshal interdisciplinary resources, encourage critical thinking and create innovative frameworks to help legislators form sound policies and reach decisions on a host of difficult issues. These decisions will guide and shape the nation today and for generations to come.
Last Updated: 01/04/2012