241

Why couldn't they pass a single one of their many, previously-successful proposals under a Republican president? The simple answer is that you're measuring "successful" by how many votes were garnered in Congress. This is a slippery measure. Voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act when the sitting President (Obama) is guaranteed to veto your repeal is ...


145

You're assuming that the questions are asked solely for the public record. Here's another reason... Members of Congress want video of themselves asking good questions that will be broadcast by their local news media and / or used in campaign commercials. And another... Often times you'll notice that committee seats are empty during hearings. That's ...


142

Absolutely Not – the White House had ample opportunities to present a defense The House Judiciary Committee gave The White House the opportunity to present a public defense from either Trump or his lawyers: The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee asked President Trump on Friday whether he intends to mount a defense during the committee’s consideration ...


120

What makes you think they could simply "pass another one later"? They've already tried that and failed. They wanted a 4th piece of relief legislation back when both chambers quickly passed three pieces, and have passed more since (and tons of other non-covid bills as well). But the Senate basically acted like it (and all that other stuff) never ...


113

Impeachment is a political act. There is no crime so heinous for which members of either house could be found criminally or civilly liable for voting no on impeachment. There is also nothing so pure and beneficial which they are forbidden from using as justification for impeachment. The President could be impeached by the House on the grounds the ...


108

No one has attempted to "rein in or remove the President" because he has not been found to have done anything illegal. These "politically motivated sackings" were not of elected officials or even people appointed by congress. They were political appointees in the executive branch, which the President is in charge of. Obama replaced ...


107

Because Congress is accountable to their constituents. You are only accountable to yourself. If how they vote is secret, there's no way of holding them to the promises they made. They could just say "someone else voted it down, sorry" at the next election and you couldn't know that was a lie.


95

It's worth pointing out that Trump is not a 'leader' in the normal, political sense of the term, and his power doesn't lie in typical sociopolitical authority. Trump is (to borrow someone else's analogy) the Golden Idol that a certain segment of American society bows down to. They carry him before them as an icon and cry out that he is their leader, but ...


84

Generally speaking, anything that a member of Congress says during a speech or debate in Congress is protected by the U.S. Constitution from lawsuits and criminal prosecution. This immunity is covered in Article I, Section 6, and is known as the "Speech and Debate Clause". The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services,...


77

Members of Congress may not fully trust the witness. This is especially the case with Michael Cohen, who has been convicted of lying to Congress. Asking a witness about the same thing multiple times makes them more likely to contradict themselves (or their written testimony) if they're lying. Witnesses sometimes dodge questions or give incomplete answers. ...


74

You wrote that you are an outside observer (I live in Europe) As a fellow European, I can somewhat relate. There is an important thing to consider, though: in the US, professional bureaucrats play a lot smaller role than in most European countries. Your profile page states that you are from the UK. In the UK, only the very top bureaucrats are political ...


70

The US house (and other systems) allows for expedited voting via "unanimous consent" - without a proper vote where each member's position is noted, the Speaker simply asks for a voice vote and motions to pass with unanimous consent (which does not mean everyone votes "yes" but rather that anyone who would vote "no" effectively acknowledges that there are ...


68

Apple has long positioned the iPhone as a luxury item and iPhone users are on average wealthier and more willing to spend money in apps. Despite Android devices having a 3:1 market share advantage over iOS, the Apple App Store generated about twice as much revenue as Google Play in 2019. This means that if you want to make money on apps, you're seriously ...


59

If Congress has the 2/3 votes to override a Presidential veto, they can pass any budget they want with zero consideration for what the President thinks. Ever since the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, the President no longer has the authority to refuse spending Congressionally allocated funds. Therefore Republicans are free to end the shutdown by agreeing ...


59

The founders had two models in particularly in mind: the Ancient Roman Senate, and the UK parliament of Monarch/Lords/Commons. In the UK, the House of Lords functioned as a Supreme Court. The founders wanted to separate the powers of the court from the Upper house, but they still wanted the upper house to have a role in approving justices. The expectation ...


58

It's not that the Republicans couldn't pass the AHCA, but that they didn't want to. It is difficult to just repeal the ACA, which is why the Republicans went from a repeal-only to a repeal-and-replace approach. The AHCA was what Trump and Ryan wanted to use as replacement, but it was widely unpopular among Republican and Democratic politicians as well as ...


58

You can write to Senators from those states or you can write to the president or the State department. who might take me seriously in terms of what I have to say about Scientology? My experience writing representatives, as a voter registered in the party of the representative, is that they don't take me especially seriously. They generally send me a ...


58

You are correct, Congress does control the purse strings, and has the final say on this. However, there are ways in which Trump can get around this. Let's first look at what Trump actually announced: Today, I’m instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the World Health ...


56

It's not specifically about Facebook, Zuckerberg, or the "minutiae details of private company's operations", but rather the social media industry as a whole. Essentially, the purpose is for lawmakers to get a first-hand, expert account of the current state of the industry, how effective current laws are and in what ways they potentially failed, and what ...


53

Teamwork and Staff No single representative reads all those pages, but the various committee members look at the parts which are their area of expertise. And then a representative on the Armed Services committee (from either side of the aisle) trusts that his or her party's representatives on the Agriculture committee got the agricultural matters right, and ...


53

Donald Trump's influence on the Republican Party remains very strong because the vast majority of Republican-leaning voters remain convinced that Donald Trump did not lose the election. (For example, this report on a post January 6 poll had three quarters of Republican leaning voters not thinking Biden had won the election. Poll after poll have shown similar ...


51

The reason this isn't a loophole is that The President doesn't have the power to make laws at all, only Congress can do that. Thanks to the vast expansion in the power of the Executive branch in recent decades, Executive Orders certainly seem like laws which The President can make on their own. Legally, though, they are actually just instructions to ...


47

It depends on which votes we're talking about. Votes happen on the House and Senate floor. But they also happen in committees and subcommittees. Most of the actual work of being a legislator happens in committee and subcommittee hearings and conferences where bills are being crafted. If you want to have a meaningful influence on legislation, it's much ...


46

Division of Powers Between State and Federal Governments There are some powers that are reserved solely to the federal government, some that can only be exercised locally or by the states, and yet others which can be (and are) exercised by all of the above. Powers Reserved Solely to the National (Federal) Government Several powers are reserved by the U.S. ...


45

His current term to the US House has not ended yet; it ends on January 3, 2019, which is the start of the next Congress. This is mandated in the 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Section 1. ..., and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article ...


45

How much influence can the federal executive and legislature have on the way in which local policing is done in the USA? The federal government can influence state and local police agencies in the same way that the federal government influences state and local governments in other regards: Threaten to stop supplying the monies the federal government ...


44

@tim has given a good answer in terms of the specific vote. However it's also worth looking at the reason why the Republicans couldn't get behind a replacement. The problem that the Republicans face is that the key elements of Obamacare were actually Republican ideas. This paper from the Heritage Foundation outlines the main points which were later ...


44

The concern about checks and balances is important, but you are misunderstanding how these checks and balances work in the United States government. The FBI is Not a Check on the President The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a federal law enforcement agency located within the executive branch of the government (under the President). The FBI's ...


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