Senate Appropriators FY2017 Language on the Congressional Research Service

The May 19, 2016, Senate  Appropriations Committee's report carries this language regarding the Congressional Research Service.

Congressional Research Service
salaries and expenses

Appropriations, 2016....................................    $106,945,000
Budget estimate, 2017...................................     $114,408,000
Committee recommendation................................     $106,945,000

The Committee recommends an appropriation of $106,945,000 for the Congressional Research Service. The recommendation is equal to the fiscal year 2016 appropriation and $7,463,000
below the fiscal year 2017 request.

Congressional Research Service Modernization.--The Committee recognizes the tremendous value that the Congressional Research Service [CRS] has added to Congress by providing objective, authoritative, nonpartisan, and confidential research and analysis on the breadth of policy issues considered during each legislative session since its inception in 1914. CRS has developed a 5-year strategic plan to help the agency ``adapt to the challenges of change and
identify opportunities to optimize its service to Congress'' (CRS Strategic Plan, iii) in the years 2016-2020. However, it is not clear how CRS plans to modernize in a resource constrained environment while fulfilling the priority needs of Congress. While the increase requested in fiscal year 2017 includes support for 22 additional full-time equivalents that purports to improve service to Congress, bringing on board new employees in the midst of this budget stagnation may not be a practical or cost-effective solution to optimize service. The Committee directs CRS to examine ways in which the internal structure of the organization may be improved to meet the challenges of the ever-changing Congressional environment and provide a report to the Committee on a proposed restructuring within 120 days of enactment of this act. The report should include recommended changes to staffing, pay levels, the management structure, technology, and research priorities in order to create and support the workflow, products, and services that best meet Congress' needs.

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Full text of S. Rept. 114-258 Legislative Branch Appropriations, 2017, may be found at https://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/114th-congress/senate-report/258/1.