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Writing of the Declaration of Independence

Congressional Research Service (CRS)


The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is a department within the Library of Congress whose job it is to provide objective and nonpartisan research and analysis to the members of the U.S. Congress.


CRS Definition


“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, 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.”


“The Congressional Research Service (CRS) works exclusively for the United States Congress, providing policy and legal analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation. As a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, CRS has been a valued and respected resource on Capitol Hill for more than a century.


CRS is well-known for analysis that is authoritative, confidential, objective and nonpartisan. Its highest priority is to ensure that Congress has 24/7 access to the nation’s best thinking.”



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