A Treasure Trove of Information: Online Public Access to CRS Reports

Last month, the Library of Congress launched an online searchable database of Congressional Research Service reports (CRS reports).  CRS reports are written by experts in a particular field. They present a legislative perspective on topics such as agriculture policy, banking regulation, the environment, veteran’s affairs, etc.   Founded over a century ago, the Congressional Research Service’s purpose is to provide Congress with authoritative and confidential research and analysis on the issues before both chambers.  The reports used to be available for a fee, but the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 changed that.  The Act directs the Library of Congress to  make CRS reports publicly available online.   You can access the CRS Reports at crsreports.congress.gov

I ran a couple of test searches on the platform.  A search of the term “environment” retrieved 93 results.  A search for the term “trade” retrieved 102 results.  Like other online tools, there are filters on the left you can use to narrow your result list.  These filters include: topics, authors, and date.  You can also search within your results to retrieve a more refined list.