U.S. Capitol


In 1914, Congress passed legislation to establish a separate department within the Library of Congress. President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill into law, and CRS, then called the Legislative Reference Service, was born to serve the legislative needs of the Congress.

With the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970, Congress renamed the agency the Congressional Research Service and significantly expanded its statutory obligations. The services provided today by CRS are a direct result of congressional directives and guidance.


To serve Congress with the highest quality of research, analysis, information and confidential consultation to support the exercise of its legislative, representational and oversight duties in its role as a coequal branch of government.

Last Updated: 09/16/2021