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Congressional Research Service

101 Independence Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20540


DIRECTORMary B. Mazanec
Deputy DirectorT.J. Halstead

The Congressional Research Service provides high quality research, analysis, information, and confidential consultation to help the U.S. Congress carry out its legislative, representational and oversight duties.


In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson approved a law to to establish a separate department within the Library of Congress. That department was named the Legislative Reference Service, and its purpose was to serve the legislative needs of the U.S. Congress.

With the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970, the U.S. Congress changed the name of the Legislative Reference Service to the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and expanded its statutory obligations.

The CRS is organized into five research divisions: American Law; Domestic Social Policy; Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade; Government and Finance; and Resources, Science and Industry. Research support services are given to the policy experts in each of the five divisions by the Knowledge Services Group.

The Office of the Director and other infrastructure offices oversee long-term goals and provide management and administrative support.

The CRS has about 600 employees who are based in Washington, DC. More than 400 of them are attorneys, information professionals, and policy analysts working in one of the five research divisions.


The CRS provides comprehensive research and analysis on all legislative and oversight issues of interest to the U.S. Congress. The CRS assists Congress by responding to specific questions and by preparing reports on legislative topics in anticipation of questions and emerging issues. The CRS works with Members, committees, and congressional staff to identify and clarify policy problems and assess the implications of proposed policy alternatives. CRS experts play a role in every stage of the legislative process.

Sources of Information

Annual Reports

The CRS posts its annual reports on the "About CRS" webs page.

Career Opportunities

The CRS hires motivated and talented individuals who can contribute to its unique role in supporting the U.S. Congress. To carry out the CRS's mission, the research divisions rely on attorneys, information professionals, and policy analysts, whose expertise falls within a variety of disciplines. Those disciplines include defense, economics, education, energy, environmental protection, foreign affairs, healthcare, homeland security, immigration, law, public administration, science, and technology.

Contact Information

The "Contact Us" web page contains an electronic comment and question form. CRS staff responds to questions about employment and specific job listings. CRS staff works exclusively for the U.S. Congress; therefore, they do not respond to inquiries pertaining to other subjects.


To mark the centennial of the CRS, communications specialist Cory V. Langley complied the article "CRS at 100—Informing the Legislative Debate Since 1914." The article was published in the May and June 2014 issue of "Library of Congress Magazine," pages 14–18. Accompanying the article is a CRS timeline that runs from 1914 though 2014.


CRS reports are accessible on the website A search tool is available on the "Search CRS Reports" web page.


All queries from Members of Congress and exchanges between them and CRS staff are confidential; all CRS services and products are authoritative; and to the maximum extent that human nature allows, CRS analyses are objective and nonpartisan.

The Sources of Information were updated 12–2020.