245 votes

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

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 ...
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  • 1,953
145 votes

Why do members of Congress in committee hearings ask witnesses the same question multiple times?

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 ...
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141 votes
Accepted

Is it true that "Trump did not have a serious opportunity to offer his side of the story" in the House impeachment proceedings?

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 ...
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  • 25.7k
120 votes
Accepted

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?

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 ...
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113 votes
Accepted

Is the Senate Compelled to Acquit Trump?

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 ...
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  • 2,856
112 votes
Accepted

Why are congressional votes not secret?

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 &...
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  • 4,068
106 votes

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

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 ...
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  • 857
96 votes

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

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 ...
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  • 53.8k
85 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
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77 votes

Why do members of Congress in committee hearings ask witnesses the same question multiple times?

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 ...
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74 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
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70 votes
Accepted

How can a single member of the House derail a Congressional bill?

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 ...
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  • 3,510
66 votes
Accepted

Is the creation of new states via partitioning really possible in the US? Are there any precedents to this?

Short Answer What is legally required to partition a U.S. State? Under the U.S. Constitution, a partition of a state must be approved by Congress in a simple law, and by any state whose territory is ...
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  • 52.8k
60 votes
Accepted

In the United States, why aren't both legislative chambers involved in the Supreme Court confirmation process?

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 ...
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  • 92.7k
59 votes

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

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-...
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  • 32.4k
59 votes

Can Congress end the government shutdown without the President's agreement?

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, ...
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  • 44.2k
58 votes

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

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 ...
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  • 88k
58 votes
Accepted

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

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: ...
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  • 81.4k
56 votes
Accepted

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

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 ...
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  • 8,083
53 votes

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

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 ...
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  • 82.1k
53 votes

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

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, ...
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  • 8,464
51 votes
Accepted

Can the President of the US limit First Amendment rights?

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 ...
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  • 25.7k
50 votes

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?

It's really pretty simple: leverage. Democrats want things in the next relief bill that Republicans don't. If the Democrats don't block a smaller bill that only does what Republicans want, once that ...
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  • 3,975
48 votes

Why do Senators and Representatives miss so many votes?

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 ...
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  • 5,261
46 votes
Accepted

In the US, what is the role of and relationship between federal law and state law?

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 ...
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  • 7,444
45 votes
Accepted

Why is Beto O'Rourke still a US Representative despite not running for re-election to the House?

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. ...
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  • 45.7k
45 votes
Accepted

What could the US federal government do to reform the police?

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 ...
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  • 8,464
44 votes

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

@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 ...
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  • 18.1k

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