The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is a legislative branch agency of the Library of Congress that provides "Congress with both anticipatory and on-demand research and analysis to support their legislative, oversight, and representational duties." CRS experts work to assist Congress during the entire 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".
The reports produced by CRS cover a wide range of topics, including foreign affairs, health care, environmental policy, labor and employment, transportation, and more. CRS Reports are available from a number of resources, including for free online, on the member databases HeinOnline and ProQuest Congressional, and on the library's Lexis and Bloomberg Law computers.
In 2018, P.L. 115-141 directed the creation of crsreports.congress.gov as a way to provide public access to CRS Reports. Reports are added on a regular basis and include new, updated, and archived reports. Recent additions include the new Single-Family Mortgage Pricing and Primary Market Policy Issues, Net Neutrality Law: An Overview, and Evolving Electric PowerSystems and Cybersecurity, as well as the updated Contaminants of Emerging Concern Under the Clean Water Act, Infrastructure and the Economy, and SBA Small Business Investment Company Program. Select archived reports back to the 1990s are also available.
Before the passage of P.L. 115-141, CRS Reports could be difficult to track down. A number of websites collected various reports and provided (and continue to provide) free access to them. These include CRSreports.com, EveryCRSReport.com, and Congressional Research Service Reports from the University of North Texas.
CRS Reports are also available on the member databases HeinOnline and ProQuest Congressional. Found in the U.S. Congressional Documents library, CRS Reports on HeinOnline include over 52,000 reports dating back to the 1970s. Additional CRS Reports may be available on HeinOnline in the U.S. Federal History Library.
The CRS Reports on ProQuest Congressional begin in 2004. To search just the CRS Reports, use the Advanced Search feature and limit to only "CRS Reports" using the check boxes on the left side. Select older Reports may also be available.
Visitors to the library can also find CRS Reports on the library's Lexis and Bloomberg Law computers. Coverage on Lexis begins in the late 1990s and coverage on Bloomberg Law begins in 2003.