Questions tagged [congress]

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

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120
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7answers
29k views

Why couldn't Republicans who voted to repeal Obamacare so many times under Obama do it under a Republican president?

I seem to recall that Republicans voted to amend or repeal Obamacare dozens of times when Obama was president. It was a meme that they had so many better ideas about health care. They seemed to be ...
76
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8answers
14k views

Why does Donald Trump wield influence over Republican Congressmen & Senators?

Given that Donald Trump lost the recent Presidential election, why is it that congressmen continue to visit Mar-A-Lago? In what way is Donald Trump a power broker? What is it that congressmen seek ...
76
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5answers
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Is it true that "Trump did not have a serious opportunity to offer his side of the story" in the House impeachment proceedings?

I was just reading the editorial Trump Should Be Removed from Office in Christianity Today, and I was struck by this quote (emphasis mine): Let’s grant this to the president: The Democrats have had ...
71
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4answers
25k 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 (...
55
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6answers
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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 ...
53
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12answers
19k views

Why hasn't the US political system taken recourse against Trump for his politically motivated firings?

The answers to this question - What reasons may Donald Trump have had for firing FBI Director James Comey? - appear to suggest that there is widespread certainty that the sacking was politically ...
46
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5answers
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Why is lying to Congress a crime?

Why is it considered a crime if you lie while testifying before Congress, but Representatives seem to be able to say whatever they want without repercussions?
45
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7answers
6k views

How do politicians scrutinize bills that are thousands of pages long?

The recently passed stimulus bill is said to be 5,593 pages long, and allocates $900 billion in funds. It's no surprise that there was no chance to read or amend the bill. The logistics of revising a ...
42
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1answer
6k views

Where does Trump's authority to cut funding to WHO come from, if Congress controls spending?

I always thought that Congress controlled US government spending; the so called "power of the purse". However, on April 14th, Trump gave a press conference during which he signalled that he would ...
41
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4answers
10k views

Why are Democrats blocking COVID-19 pandemic relief bills with the objection that it's not enough instead of passing it and then passing another?

I read an article that said that the most recent COVID-19 relief bill was not passed because Democrats didn't think it was enough. The article is here: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/11/gops-coronavirus-...
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7answers
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What could the US federal government do to reform the police?

There is a widespread belief that policing in the USA suffers from systemic racism. Let us suppose that Joe Biden gets elected President and decides that this is a priority. Let us also suppose that ...
40
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1answer
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Is the creation of new states via partitioning really possible in the US? Are there any precedents to this?

Background: The Senate provides as much representation to Wyoming with a population of 580,000, as California with 39.5 million inhabitants. According to [1] State Rural Exurban Suburban Urban ...
36
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4answers
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In the US, what is the role of and relationship between federal law and state law?

(This is an attempt at a canonical question about an important distinction in US law and politics that is different than many other countries. It was suggested by this comment on another question. I'm ...
35
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6answers
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In the United States, why aren't both legislative chambers involved in the Supreme Court confirmation process?

I'm following the situation around the recent Supreme Court vacancy left by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As a non-American, what's strange to me is that confirming a new SCOTUS Justice ...
35
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5answers
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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 ...
34
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2answers
5k views

Why are congressional votes not secret?

In general, a person in the United States has the right to vote. As far as I can tell, this vote is private—no one else knows who you voted for. Why are the votes in congress public? Wouldn't it help ...
34
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2answers
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How can a single member of the House derail 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....
34
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3answers
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What's to stop the House majority party from voting to expel every member of the House minority party from committees?

Marjorie Taylor Greene was expelled by the House of Representatives this week from committee assignments after her comments on conspiracy theories. The vote passed by 230-199 with 11 Republicans ...
34
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3answers
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Can the US president unilaterally hurt Congress members financially?

Recently, the US president posted yet another tweet, stating that: If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end ...
34
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1answer
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If one party controls the house and 2/3 of the senate, what's to stop them taking the presidency?

From my understanding (Wikipedia), the House of Representatives can impeach the president with a simple majority. The Senate can then convict the president with a supermajority (2/3 of the Senate). ...
33
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3answers
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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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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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6answers
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What can be done about a US president who refuses to co-operate with an impeachment panel?

Is it possible to prevent a sitting US President from hindering an impeachment investigation against him or her? The Washington Post just reported that: Trump personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani ...
28
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6answers
8k views

As a non-U.S. citizen, who can I write to in the U.S. government about a corrupt organization?

I am a South African citizen and was involved in Scientology for some years. I have recently been watching Leah Remini's exposé documentary series on Scientology and I would like to get the Church of ...
28
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7answers
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Is there a way that Congress could secretly vote on approving a potential war?

The US killed Soleimani without notifying Congress, which a lot of people in Congress are angry about. There are fears this could start a war, which would constitutionally require congressional ...
28
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1answer
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What prevents a single senator from passing a bill they want with a 1-0 vote?

As a follow-up to this question, the answer there indicates that by the rules set by the Senate, a quorum is assumed to be present unless someone requests a roll-call vote. Because of this rule, the ...
28
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1answer
3k views

Could a Senator commit perjury if they swear the oath at the impeachment trial in the senate?

A Senator is on record of having explicitly stated "I'm not an impartial juror" in regards to the upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate. Another Senator said, "I am trying to give a pretty clear ...
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3answers
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Is the Senate Compelled to Acquit Trump?

Given congress's recent decision to bar witnesses and evidence from being presented as part of President Trump's impeachment trial, are members of the Senate compelled to acquit based on lack of ...
25
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10answers
6k views

Is it true that Republicans have an unfair geographical advantage in elections for the House of Representatives?

I'm not from the U.S. but someone told me that the Republican Party had an unfair advantage in elections for the House of Representatives. This advantage would be geographic. The voters who usually ...
24
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3answers
6k views

Can Trump force Congress to delay the Nov. 3, 2020 general US elections?

This is related to today's news that Trump mentioned the idea of delaying the election in one of his tweets. I understand that the president cannot legally change the election date, but according to ...
24
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2answers
6k views

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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5answers
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What power does the Vice President really have?

According to the Constitution, the Vice President is the head of the Senate, but doesn't really explain what that means except to say that he doesn't get to vote except to break a tie. Aside from ...
23
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4answers
8k views

Are members of the military allowed to wear civilian clothes when testifying in Congress?

The question is sparked by the attention that media has to military personnel wearing dress uniform when testifying in front of a US Congress committee, calling it "pulling the soldier card" in regard ...
23
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4answers
3k views

Why does the US Congress have two chambers?

Why does the US have separate houses (House of Representatives and Senate) to form Congress? Put another way, what is the reasoning behind a bicameral legislature in the USA?
23
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3answers
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Did Obama notify Congress (the Intelligence committees in particular) that the bin Laden raid was ongoing?

Trump said recently that he did not notify Congress that the raid on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was ongoing because Trump feared a leak from Congress. So he only notified Congress after the US ...
22
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4answers
5k 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 ...
21
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1answer
4k views

Why was Apple included in a Congressional hearing about anti-trust?

As a German I am watching the reports of the hearing in Congress with interest (Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple). But it is not clear to me why Apple was also summoned. The iPhones have a market ...
21
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5answers
5k views

Can the President of the US limit First Amendment rights?

The First Amendment to the US Constitution reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, ...
21
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1answer
2k views

Which act of Congress authorized the Ukrainian aid which was allegedly withheld?

According to multiple media sources, U.S. aid to Ukraine was authorized by Congress. I am having difficulty identifying precisely which act would have authorized the specific aid which the Trump ...
20
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5answers
5k views

What does "bipartisan support" mean in the United States?

Is there a definition of "bipartisan support"? For the Senate in the US, when can you claim a bill was supported/passed by bipartisanship, and when you can't claim thus?
20
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2answers
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Was the whistle-blower's (12 Aug 2019) complaint deemed credible?

Despite rhetoric to the contrary, did the Inspector General (Michael Atkinson- IGIC) determine that the whistle-blower's complaint appeared credible? This question can be answered factually. The ...
20
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
20
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1answer
2k views

Where do I find when the next congressional hearing about an issue I'm following is? (e.g. Gamestop)

How do I find out when the next US congressional hearing is regarding ___? This is not a question for discussing current events surrounding Gamestop and Robinhood. I expected "when is the next ...
20
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1answer
854 views

How applicable is the "Biden rule" to McConnell's arguments?

Mitch McConnell recently cited the "Biden rule" as justification for rejecting a SCOTUS nomination. What are the parallels between the current situation, and the situation when Biden made the cited ...
19
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4answers
4k views

Does the US require a House vote to begin an impeachment inquiry?

Does the US require a House vote to begin an impeachment inquiry? News sources such as this CNN article seem to show a disagreement between the White House saying that a House vote is required, while ...
19
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5answers
6k views

How many people would it take for California to run the country?

Every ten years, the census reapportions Congressional representation. There are 385 seats in the House that are "up for grabs" based on each state's population. Since a majority in the House is 218 ...
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3answers
3k views

Is there any equivalent to the background checks required in professional spheres for those who seek public office?

Every job offer I receive comes with the provision that I pass a background check, to which I have no choice but submit. It was said of one politician that they wouldn't be allowed to work at a 7-...
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3answers
4k views

What are the limits on an impeached and not convicted president?

What, if any, are the limits on an impeached and not convicted president?
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5answers
9k views

What are the possible punishments for an impeached USA president?

In the United States of America, if the House of Representatives passes articles of impeachment against the sitting president, and the Senate finds the president to be guilty, what are the options to ...
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2answers
4k views

What is the Legal Process if Electoral Certificates are Damaged?

Plenty of interesting questions have arisen related to the unprecedented riot at the Capitol in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021. In a recent report printed in the New Yorker, Keith Stern, a ...

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