Extent: 2.2 linear ft.
Boxes: 68 - 70
Contents: Congressional Research Service (CRS), and Democratic Study Group (DSG) reports.
Arrangement: Arranged by type of report (CRS, DSG), and then alphabetically by subject and
name of report, or chronologically, as appropriate.
Comprising reports from CRS and DSG, this series provides an overview and syntheses of
topics in reports, that until recently, were not readily available to the general public. (Some
members of Congress have recently begun to put CRS reports on their web sites.) Throughout
Carper's tenure in Congress, CRS and DSG reports were only available to members of Congress
and their staff.
The Democratic Study Group began in the 1950s. This group of activists and liberal-minded Democrats was key in the reform movement in the House, with the goal of making the
House a more open, responsive, and effective institution. DSG was instrumental in bringing
reforms to open committee meetings to the public, and to revamp the power structure of the
House by breaking the cycle of seniority-based leadership, providing junior members a voice in
the legislative process, both in committees and on the House Floor.
The DSG advocated liberal causes in legislation, such as the Civil Rights Amendment in
the 1960s, policy on Central America in the 1980s, and campaign reform in the 1990s. By the
time Carper was elected to Congress, the DSG had become a primary reference source of
legislative information for its members. The DSG served a dual purpose: providing information
on a variety of issues and advocating change through legislation. Members of the DSG paid dues
for the services provided, using their official expenses allowance, and were also encouraged to
assist in paying staff salaries by carrying a DSG staff assistant on their payroll when possible.
The DSG issued a weekly newsletter, free to dues-paying DSG members but also available
to others. Other documents published by DSG included weekly Legislative Reports, which
summarized every bill scheduled for floor action (many of these can be found throughout the
collection and were usually heavily annotated by the legislative assistants); Fact Sheets, which
provided in-depth analysis of major legislation; and Special Reports, which discussed
controversial issues on which members might have to vote. Staff Bulletins, also found in the
collection, and Record Vote Books are two other DSG publications. Examples of all of these
documents are found in this series as well as throughout the entire collection; the DSG
publications in this series are maintained as they were originally filed, in a separate grouping.
They are in chronological order and cover the 102nd Congress, 1991-1992.
Also included is the 1982 Orientation Program for incoming freshmen which gives a
complete overview of the DSG. It is clear that Carper and his staff relied heavily on the
information and research produced by this organization.
With the 1994 election and the resulting Republican majority in the House, legislative
service organizations like the DSG, the Women's Caucus, and the African-American Caucus were
no longer funded. For a while the DSG privatized. It has since come under the umbrella of
Congressional Quarterly, Inc., and now produces the House Action Reports.
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is a nonpartisan department of the Library of
Congress, which provides analytical, research, and reference services in support of the legislative
work of Congress. The CRS produces scholarly papers on a variety of topics, normally at the
request of a member. CRS is available only to members of Congress and their staff. Until very
recently, CRS reports were only available to constituents via a request through their
representative or senator. However, some members of Congress have begun posting selected
reports on their web sites.
In addition to this group of CRS reports, which were filed together separately by Carper's
staff, there are CRS reports filed by subject throughout the collection, used as supporting
documentation for a variety of topics.