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Camp Announces Release of the “Green Book”

March 30, 2012

Washington, DC – Today, Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) announced release of the latest version of the Ways and Means “Green Book,” which is officially titled “Background Material and Data on the Programs within the Jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means.”  This document, prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) under the direction of the staff of the Committee on Ways and Means, has served as an important reference for legislators, program administrators, researchers, and the public since it was first published in 1981.

“I am proud to announce the release of this latest version of the Ways and Means ‘Green Book,’ which has helped policymakers and the public better understand the background and impact of U.S. social policy for over three decades.  With this year’s edition we hope to be able to more efficiently issue annual updates of this important resource, which should provide users with more accurate and up-to-date information about social policies and programs. I would like to thank all the tremendous professionals at the Congressional Research Service who contributed to this version of the Green Book, as well as the Committee and Congressional staff who have spent many hours making it available to the public.”

The Green Book combines a description of key health, welfare, retirement, and related programs under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means along with current data on these programs, the populations they serve, and historical information relating to each program. It also contains data and discussion on cross-cutting matters of interest to the Committee, including federal policy affecting low-income households, noncitizen eligibility for federal benefit programs, and social welfare programs in the U.S. territories.

The latest version of the Green Book is available only electronically.  This year’s version charts a new course in the Green Book’s history by highlighting CRS reports made available specifically for this purpose, as well as the continuation of certain charts, graphs and tables that users of prior Green Books have found especially useful.  The release of this version, which is technically the 2011 Green Book since work on its chapters was largely completed last fall, has been delayed due to technical issues related to its publication on the Committee’s website.  It is expected that, beginning with this year, revised versions of the Green Book will be available on a more frequent basis, significantly increasing its utility for readers.  Prior completed versions of the Green Book were published in 2004, 2000, 1998, and 1996, among other years dating back to 1981, and many (but not all) chapters of the 2008 edition have also been available online in recent years.  
This year’s version of the Green Book may be accessed through a link on the Committee’s website.  Additional technological improvements are still in process that will make navigation of the Green Book even easier for readers.