Commentary: Why CRS Does Not Publish Its Reports

October
,
2015

The Congressional Research Service provides objective, nonpartisan analyses that enable Senators and Representatives to make informed public policy decisions.

The public policy world these days is filled with biased, distorted, or just plain inaccurate policy analyses. As a chemical engineer, you have undoubtedly noticed some of these biases, distortions, and inaccuracies. You might have asked yourself, “What I’ve read and heard about this issue is either incomplete or biased. Where can I turn to get the most comprehensive, most objective analysis there is on this subject?”

I believe the best source of unbiased, objective, and comprehensive analysis on almost any public policy issue is a Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report. (Speaking of bias, I worked for CRS for 21 years. I loved it.) CRS, which is part of the Library of Congress, was created by Congress to provide it with “information and analysis without partisan bias.” The problem, however, is that CRS does not publish its reports; it makes them available only to members of Congress, congressional committees, and congressional staff. CRS does not even make available to the public...

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