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242 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 ...
Wildcard's user avatar
  • 1,933
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 ...
Michael Benjamin's user avatar
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 ...
divibisan's user avatar
  • 25.9k
119 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 ...
zibadawa timmy's user avatar
114 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 &...
Caleth's user avatar
  • 4,453
112 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 ...
jmoreno's user avatar
  • 3,195
104 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 ...
user14116's user avatar
  • 857
100 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 ...
Ted Wrigley's user avatar
  • 70.2k
84 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 ...
Michael Benjamin's user avatar
76 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 ...
user2752467's user avatar
75 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 ...
Jörg W Mittag's user avatar
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 ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 3,939
68 votes
Accepted

What's the biggest hurdle preventing the passing of a law prohibiting elected officials from trading or owning stocks in the U.S.?

What's the biggest hurdle preventing the passing of a law prohibiting elected officials from trading or owning stocks in the U.S.? The law would need to be passed by the very elected officials who ...
Arcanist Lupus's user avatar
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 ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 81.4k
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 ...
James K's user avatar
  • 121k
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-...
tim's user avatar
  • 37.1k
59 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 ...
Brythan's user avatar
  • 89.8k
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, ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
  • 51.1k
59 votes

Do Congressional representatives and senators read letters we send them?

Letters About Political Issues The vast majority of letters (about pending issues) written to politicians are read by staff members of the politician (who often code similar responses and reply with a ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 81.4k
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: ...
CDJB's user avatar
  • 108k
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 ...
Giter's user avatar
  • 10.2k
54 votes
Accepted

Why didn't Democrats legalize marijuana federally when they controlled Congress?

It would have required a filibuster proof majority in the U.S. Senate (i.e. 60 votes) in addition to a House majority since it was not a fiscal bill or a Presidential nomination to ratify. They also ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 81.4k
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 ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 109k
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 ...
divibisan's user avatar
  • 25.9k
51 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, ...
David Hammen's user avatar
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 ...
Just Me's user avatar
  • 4,787
48 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 ...
reirab's user avatar
  • 8,290
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 ...
Justin Cave's user avatar
  • 6,253

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