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Questions tagged [congress]

A congress is typically the legislative of body of a country, but without the executive powers of a parliament or president. Use with a relevant country tag.

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What other countries besides the US have mechanics that allow the minority to block legislation?

Filibustering gives disproportionate leverage to minorities in the Senate. These, in turn, lead to bills not passing or often not even getting past subcommittees. Are there any other instances of this ...
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If Congress discards a state's electoral votes, does it change the number needed for a majority?

According to the 12th Amendment, a majority of "whole number of Electors appointed" is needed to elect a US President or Vice President, or else it's thrown into a contingent election by the House (...
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How can a single Member of the House block a Congressional bill?

I read a news article today that claims that a Congressional bill to provide disaster relief to US communities has been derailed, because a single Member of the House of Representatives objected to it....
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Why are some parties not accepting the 2019 election results in India? [closed]

The non-BJP parties like Congress and the Mahagathbandhan are not willing to accept their defeat in the general elections of 2019. What reasons do these parties state for not accepting the election ...
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Why are lawsuits between the President and Congress not automatically sent to the Supreme Court

When the United State Congress and the President are involved in a legal fight together, the resulting legal case originates in a US District Court for DC, as was the case for United States v. Nixon. ...
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Has the White House addressed what brought H.R. 312 to Trump’s attention?

President Trump tweeted this yesterday: Republicans shouldn’t vote for H.R. 312, a special interest casino Bill, backed by Elizabeth (Pocahontas) Warren. It is unfair and doesn’t treat Native ...
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What happens if the US Attorney General refuses to comply with the legislative branch?

Similar to question Is there precedent or are there procedures for a US president refusing to concede to an electoral defeat? but in reference to specifically the attorney general. As a side note, ...
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Did any US Congressmen use their free speech privileges to publish classified material since the Pentagon Papers?

In 1971, Senator Mike Gravel famously used his Congressional free speech privileges to publish a classified report on US activities in Vietnam, later dubbed "the Pentagon Papers". Did any members of ...
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How can a citizen change an existing law — who can the bill be submitted to

its known that in order to make or change a law, a bill is needed which is introduced to congress and the senate etc.... The question: If a citizen is directly affected by a current "unfair" law and ...
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Why did the US and UK choose different solutions to the problem of an undemocratic upper house?

Both the US and the UK formerly had an upper legislative house which wielded considerable power despite being elected by government officials rather than the people (the Senate) or completely ...
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Do Senate committees really ever interview low-level nominees?

Does the United States Senate actually take the time to interview low level nominees like nominees for low military general ranks (Brig. General) or really specific roles that require senate ...
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Why didn't Mueller have to submit a report to Congress?

Ken Starr had to submit a report directly to Congress, pursuant to 28 USC 595 (c) Why didn't Mueller have to do this?
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What political barriers prevent the legalization of Marihuana on the federal level in the United States?

Multiple US states have legalized the recreational use of Marihuana. Why is US federal law still anti-marijuana? A Democratic president, Barack Obama, was in office for 8 years and could have started ...
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1answer
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Who in the US actually “sends” astronauts to the Moon? The executive or the legislative branch?

The sources cited in this question and in the news mention that in a recent speech to the US space council, vice president Pence announced that NASA should land astronauts on the south pole of the ...
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1answer
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Can the US President recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights for the USA or does that need an act of Congress?

President Trump has tweeted that the USA should "fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights" - directly contradicting United Nations Security Council Resolution 497 from 1981. Can ...
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1answer
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What happens if the border wall resolution veto is not overridden by Congress?

After the veto, if Congress does not overturn, what are the options to prevent the national emergency declaration from moving forward?
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1answer
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How do vetoes affect re-votes in US Congress?

I would think that a president challenging the will of congress would cause congress to vote differently out of principle but am curious if this is true. Throughout history, what is the percentage ...
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To what extent did the elections of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib reflect a “Sanders effect”?

Left-wing journalist Doug Henwood recently asserted the following about Bernie Sanders: Without his candidacy, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [...] wouldn’t be in Congress, neither would her colleagues ...
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How quick could congress impeach and remove a president from office?

If Congress really needs to and wants to remove a president from office any speculation on how quickly it could be done? I assuming there is such urgency that there is no opposition in the House ...
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Why do members of Congress in committee hearings ask witnesses the same question multiple times?

I must've seen at least 3 Congressmen ask Michael Cohen, President Trump's former personal attorney, who Individual 1 was, despite the fact that in the beginning he had already said it was Donald ...
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1answer
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Is the timing of the US-North-Korea summit in Vietnam and Michael Cohen's testimony in Congress coincidence?

Both event happened more or less at the same time. I wonder if this is a coincidence or actually a coordinated set of events? In particular, was the summit arranged by Trump at the same time as the ...
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1answer
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How Could Michael Cohen Stand to Benefit by Lying to Congress Again [closed]

Today Michael Cohen testified before the House Oversight Committee about his dealings as president Trumps personal attorney. He also brought with him evidence and testimony alleging Donald Trump had ...
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1answer
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What specific rule(s) prevent US congressional offices from using campaign datasets while doing outreach campaigns?

I'm working on a project where this issue has relevancy and am having difficulty finding the specific rules for the US House of Representatives that are behind the following assertion: "Though ...
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1answer
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Wording to request support for Bill stuck in US House committee?

Supposing a letter-writing campaign was launched to support a particular house bill, including the H.R. #; and that bill had a notable number of sponsors; and was referred to a committee, in which the ...
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Congressional oaths of office

Is it a requirement of holding congressional office that one must swear an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States?
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Can the US states veto Congress legislation?

As said in the title: Can the US states veto laws approved by the Congress? For instance, the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 while it gave 90% of the funding from a Highway Trust Fund, however, ...
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What happens if the state delegations tie on a presidential vote?

If no candidate gets a majority of electoral votes in the United States, states each get one vote for who becomes president. What happens if 25 states vote for the Democrat and 25 vote for the ...
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1answer
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How to donate to most likely minor party congressional candidate in the US?

I would like to see non-major-party candidates elected to congress. I don't care which state, and I don't much care what their platform is. Are there any political organizations whose mission is to ...
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Can the Speaker of the House of Reps be replaced?

What are the requirements to replace the speaker of the House?
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2answers
299 views

Who is counted for representation in the US Congress?

I was reading an article about the citizenship question on the decennial US census. The article said that including the citizenship question would discourage immigrants from participation in the ...
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1answer
217 views

What is the next portion of the US government that will be shutdown?

Currently, it appears that around 25% of the US government is shutdown. To the best of my understanding, this is because different departments funding expires at different times. What does the ...
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1answer
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Can the US Congress allocate funds conditionally?

Could Congress allocate funds for a project or agency, but add a restriction that the funds cannot be used until some other criteria is met? For example (purely hypothetically, of course): Could ...
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3answers
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Can Congress end the government shutdown without the President's agreement? [duplicate]

Negotiations over the current US government shutdown have, as far as I've heard, mainly been between the President and Congressional Democrats. So far, Republicans in Congress seem to be siding with ...
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Have members of Congress missed a paycheck during this shutdown?

It is my impression (perhaps incorrect) that Congressional operations has already been funded through the end of this fiscal year, consequentially not impacted directly by this current shutdown. ...
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Senate bypass Majority Leader

According to this answer citing the senate website: Senate rules also permit a measure to be placed directly on the calendar when introduced or received from the House. This process permits ...
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Power of the House of Representatives [closed]

The Republican Party had control of the Presidency, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, but were held hostage by the Democrats. Now the Democrats have the House and everyone acts like they ...
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Why is 3/4 of the US federal government unaffected by a shutdown?

I don't understand why the shutdown only affects a portion of the government. Where does the rest get its funding and why isn't it bound by the same dependency on congressional approval?
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1answer
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Why were US Congresional election results regularly overturned in the early 20th century?

This graphic from a FiveThirtyEight article shows dozens of Congressmen were removed from office during the first four decades of the 20th century due to having election results overturned. Why was ...
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1answer
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Do any members of Congress support a British-style socialized healthcare system?

A number of Democratic members of Congress, Senator Bernie Sanders being the most prominent, support a Canadian-style single-payer system where doctors and hospitals are private, but health insurance ...
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What happens if the House passes an identical CR to the one the Senate recently passed? [duplicate]

On December 20, 2018, the Senate passed a Continuing Resolution to keep the government open. It did not include funding for a border wall. Rather than make it to the House floor though, there were ...
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Why is presidential approval needed for Congress to end a war it did not approve?

On December 13th, 2018, the Senate voted to end US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. This NPR article states, "the House would have to pass the resolution by year's end and President Trump ...
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1answer
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Can the Senate vote again on the bill to fund “The Wall” after the new members of Senate are sworn in?

Currently the house has approved and signed a bill funding "the wall." Senate has not approved. New members are sworn in January. Can the bill then be approved and submitted to be signed by the ...
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1answer
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Will NORAD Santa tracker be affected by the government shutdown?

If the government shutdown that started about 12 hours ago (at the moment of writing the question) will continue (and probably will) later than 24 december, than what will happen with NORAD Santa ...
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1answer
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Can't congress override Trump's assumed veto of the temporary spending bill?

The senate unanimously passed a spending bill a few days ago to keep the government funded until mid-February. Trump stated that he will veto it because it doesn't include funding for a wall. There is ...
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3answers
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Why do bills with a veto-proof majority in Congress go to the President?

If a bill receives a veto-proof vote in Congress, why does it go to the President to sign or veto, only to go back to Congress in the case of a veto, instead of immediately becoming law? The ...
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1answer
289 views

Why does the FIRST STEP Act have bipartisan support?

Note: misconceptions/challenged statements from a previous edit are struck through viz. insight from an answer. There's been a campaign for US federal prison reform for decades. It's long had a lot ...
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1answer
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Why is Beto O'Rourke still a US Representative despite not running for re-election to the House?

O'Rourke was an incumbent in the House who then ran for election to the Senate and lost. Shouldn't he then no longer be part of Congress, since he only ran in one race and did not win? Why does he ...
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3answers
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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 ...