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Questions tagged [congress]

Questions usually involving the federal legislative body of the United States, but may be applicable to the appropriately named legislative body of any other country, eg. Mexico, Brazil, Peru, etc.

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Deferential attitude at congressional hearings

Why are the subjects of congressional hearings so submissive at these hearings? Take the recent US congressional hearing with the CEO of Google. I found Sundar Pichai extremely patient, calm and ...
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106 views

Congressional closed meeting and transcript release

What is the rationale of having a "closed" congressional hearing (viz: Comey testifying Dec 7 2018) AND asserting that his testimony (via transcript) will be released 24 hours later?
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What could an infrastructure bill look like?

With the incoming congress, a lot of talk has happened that infrastructure is something the republicans and democrats could come together on. What are some key aspects of infrastructure that they ...
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1answer
172 views

Can the US Congress prevent a military action against Iran?

I'd like to know if Trump decides to carry out a military action against Iran, can it be prevented by the Congress? In other words, I want to know which steps are needed to declare war (approval by ...
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1answer
50 views

Data on vote and seats

I'm looking for a data on: Nationwide data from 1946 on Democrat and Republican share of the national vote Share of the seats in Congress in the same period. Would it be possible to collect the same ...
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1answer
123 views

How often does Congress try to overturn Marbury v. Madison?

Two out of the three sections of H.R. 6784 (the "Manage our Wolves Act") have clauses stating that they aren't subject to judicial review (I suppose Congress is fine with having the judiciary muck ...
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1answer
106 views

Has any member of Congress served concurrently in State Office?

The Constitution's ineligibility clause prohibits Senators and Representatives from also serving in the Executive or Judicial Branch. Has there ever been a situation where a Senator or Representative ...
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1answer
316 views

What instruments does the House of Representatives have to control the executive branch of government?

The US election is mostly over and the Democrats have gained a majority in the House of Representatives, while the Republicans have got a majority in the Senate. What political instruments (for ...
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3answers
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What would be the effect of a change in the US Senate?

The 2018 midterms seem likely to flip the US House of Representatives from a Republican to a Democratic majority. This change would impact the Trump/Republican agenda. Apparently much less likely, the ...
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2answers
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Maxine Waters “passed 3 bills in Congress in 27 years”?

It is asserted here (time stamp 10:04) that My opponent [referring to Maxine Waters] only passed 3 bills in Congress in 27 years. Is this true and how does an average person like me verify this ...
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1answer
58 views

When did the tradition of Capitol-building-lawn comments start?

After a number of highly-contested partisan votes in Congress, opposition parties have been known to show their strong disagreement by holding press conferences in front of the Capitol building with ...
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1answer
163 views

Why is the US federal government allowed to shutdown?

According to Wikipedia from October 1 to October 17, 2013, the United States federal government entered a shutdown: (..) curtailed most routine operations because neither legislation ...
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134 views

Legality of “seat sharing” in congressional districts

Define a "shared" congressional district system to be one where in any district the top two candidates are elected and each get a fractional vote in Congress according to their share of the vote. E.g....
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1answer
139 views

How do you get a seat in the confirmation hearings?

How does one get a seat into the confirmation hearings? In watching the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, there seems to be a sort of spectrum of people allowed in the room. The people sitting on the right ...
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2answers
400 views

What is the point of congressional confirmation hearings?

This year has seen no shortage of seemingly pointless hearings, where candidates make fools of themselves only to still be appointed to their designated role anyways. Some notable examples: Betsy ...
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2answers
178 views

Why would filibuster work if opposition has more than enough votes to pass bill?

If the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed in the Senate with an overwhelming vote of 73–27, then why would a filibuster even matter? This is my reasoning, which I know is incorrect, hence the ...
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1answer
108 views

Is the US President empowered to unilaterally revoke security clearance of sitting members of congress?

From what little I've learned recently there is a procedure to revoke security clearance for anyone. That procedure involves establishing a justifiable rationale for the revocation. However, ...
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1answer
131 views

What's the ratio of treaties ratified by Congress to other forms of international agreements the US is part of?

An NBC opinion piece says by former Senator Russ Feingold states: There have been relatively few treaties considered by Congress in recent decades, in part because executive agreements and regular ...
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1answer
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Rights of foreign national to lobby congress members

Can someone who is living in the United States on a temporary work visa lobby the Congressman in their district to create or pass a bill in Congress? Would they have to become a registered foreign ...
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1answer
338 views

Were Nancy Pelosi's claims ever called treasonous?

In 2009 Nancy Pelosi claimed that CIA lied to Congress about its use of water boarding. She was the Speaker of the House of Representatives at the time. CIA countered her claim and argued that she ...
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5answers
273 views

What would it take for the Senate to auto-consent to an appointment?

This question and some of its answers got me thinking: What would it take for the Senate to make a rule so that its own (future) inaction on an appointment caused that appointment to be confirmed ...
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1answer
513 views

Is the “pairing” procedure used in the US Congress?

In the UK Parliament, there is a procedure whereby two MPs from opposite sides of the House can agree to both be absent for a vote, thereby preserving the same balance of votes as if both had attended....
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390 views

Why is this reply by Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein funny? [closed]

During the congressional hearing of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on June 28th, Mr. Rosenstein was asked the following question: Did you threaten to subpoena their [staffers on the House ...
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1answer
90 views

Policy on disclosing “closed door” testimony before a House Committee

As I understand it, Peter Strzok is to appear to day before the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to provide sworn testimony. Link here Press reports have ...
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1answer
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Has the Hastert rule always been a thing in US Congress?

The US House of Congress has a rule currently where the leadership will not bring legislation up for a vote unless a majority of their own party supports it. This "Hastert rule", in my understanding, ...
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1answer
106 views

To what extent does the Governor of a US State have official interactions with Senate and House members from that state?

Naturally, the various politicians from a State have some interaction with one another for the sake of furthering their State's interests. They probably coordinate even more commonly if they are from ...
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2answers
6k views

Why was Congress able to create an Air Force without a constitutional amendment?

Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution enumerates the powers of Congress and includes the creation of military forces: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use ...
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273 views

Do either the Feinstein bill or the Cruz bill repeal Trump's zero tolerance policy on immigration?

A few months ago, Attorney General Jeff Sessions implemented a "zero tolerance policy", requiring the Department of Justice to criminally prosecute every single person caught crossing the border ...
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1answer
95 views

Is it normal for House session videos to error, and are there alternative websites that host them?

I've been looking for the House of Representatives legislative session video on May 23, but when I try to see it I get an error: The system was unable to find the content that you requested. The ...
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1answer
211 views

What is the constitutionality of having official Christian chaplains in the House and Senate?

In U.S. Congress, both the House and Senate have their own chaplain, who typically say a prayer in the chamber when it convenes for the day. All chaplains in the House and Senate since the chamber's ...
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1answer
197 views

Could Nayirah be prosecuted by the USA government?

Nayirah gave false testimony used by the President of the United States George H. W. Bush to justify the first Gulf War. She lied to the Congressional Human Rights Caucus at the age of 15 making ...
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3answers
842 views

What would be needed for the US congress to start a new 9/11 investigation?

On May 11th, 2018 a request was made by one the many 9/11 for truth platforms ae911truth.org which is endorsed by nearly 3000 architects and engineers to the US congress to reopen a new 9/11 ...
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2answers
412 views

What happens when someone from the DoJ is held in contempt of congress?

Background In the United States, when someone is held in contempt of congress, the cases tend to be referred to the DoJ (at least since 1935). However, in recent memory, there have been a couple ...
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1answer
95 views

Is there any provision for Non-Disclosure for Congressmen demanding temporary documents of an ongoing investigation?

Context (highlight mine): But House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), one of Trump’s leading allies on the Hill, privately urged Republican colleagues Tuesday to consider ...
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Are there written rules regarding redactions in Congressional documents?

Redactions within some of the recently declassified Congressional documents (for example here) are entirely reasonable efforts to protect national security as provided by the Executive Order 13526. ...
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181 views

Can anyone explain why part of this Classification Designation is redacted?

In a previous question here the question was asked about redactions in a congressional report. One answer stated that "only documents released under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request need to ...
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4answers
12k views

Can members of the US Congress lie during debate without penalty?

If a bill is being debated in the Senate or House, are there any rules or laws which prevent a member of congress from simply lying while making a speech for or against a bill? I'll propose this (...
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1answer
199 views

Who (and why) redacts congressional reports and under what authority?

The once "TOP SECRET" House of Representatives majority report from the House Select Committee on Intelligence regarding "Russian Active Measures"has been released here. It appears that it has been ...
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1answer
197 views

Can confirmations be revoked?

In the US, the Congress has the power of Advice and Consent to the President. As such, it has the power to vote up or down the heads of the departments whom he nominates. This is on the theory that, ...
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4answers
4k views

Why is there a significant difference between religious makeup of the legislative body and that of adult population in US?

According to this article there seem to be quite a difference between religion of Congress members and that of general population: The religious makeup of the legislative body is overwhelmingly and ...
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1answer
1k views

Could the Speaker of the House become president if he wasn't born in the USA?

To quote the constitution: No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States I also read that ...
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779 views

Can a Member of Congress be “Impeached”?

On a tangent to the initial question posed in How can a Senator be removed from office during a term for medical reasons? the possiblity that a sitting member of the Senate might be "impeached" has ...
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266 views

Can a Congress member allow a non-member to ask questions / argue during a testimony before the Congress?

Mark Zuckerberg recently testified before Congress about Cambridge Analytica data scandal: He testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee for nearly five hours. It was his second and ...
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5answers
8k views

Why is the US Congress getting involved in the privacy issues at Facebook?

Mark Zuckerberg is testifying in the US Congress this week about issues surrounding privacy at Facebook. However it's not clear to me why the legislative branch would become involved in such minute ...
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1answer
395 views

Why didn't the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights pass congress?

Why didn't the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights get through the U.S. Congress in 2012?
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91 views

As a private citizen working with people with disabilities, how can I request a hearing for HR1120?

I recently heard about this proposed and sponsored bill earlier this morning when I was getting additional information for a deaf-blind adult. I, being a one of a few number of people who are ...
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176 views

Have congressional hearings any effect concerning military scandals?

While I was researching the topic of the F-35 I noticed a certain pattern in military politics which comes up again and again. In the TFX program Boeing was the clear winner of the Request For ...
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3answers
1k views

Does Congress formally offer training to inexperienced legislators?

Everyone in Congress came from somewhere. It's possible that they were once in local or state government or active in major social causes, but that's not a safe assumption. The problems and ...
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0answers
84 views

Why was Grand Staircase-Escalante never upgraded from a Monument to a Park?

Historically many U.S. national monuments were upgraded to national parks after a few years, e.g. Grand Canyon (monument 1908, park 1919), Jackson Hole (monument 1943, park 1950) or Glacier Bay (...
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218 views

Why isn't congress helping in upgrading Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)?

It seems that the technology used for elections in the US is decades old and an easy target for different kinds of attacks. Not upgrading the EVMs increases the possibility of attack vectors on EVMs. ...