119

The majority party in the House of Representatives gets to appoint the Chairman of every sub-committee in the House, there are many of these. These chairmen are all Republicans, but will soon all be Democrats, every one of them. The ruling party needs no excuse to replace them, and all chairmen are always appointed from the ruling party. Each of these ...


69

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 ...


62

Polling data -- which is what is being analyzed by organizations like FiveThirtyEight -- indicates that Democrats are likely to win a majority in the House of Representatives. Polling data is the best and most objective way to predict the outcome. However, there is no certainty. FiveThirtyEight gives Republicans a >12% chance of keeping the House. That's ...


60

The State of the Union speech is purely a tradition. There are no laws regarding it, although there may be rules within each house of Congress that address it. The only requirement is specified in the Constitution (Article II, Section 3): [The president] shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to ...


60

why the House of Representatives needed to pass a resolution to condemn Trump's tweets? It did not need to. It wanted1 to. Many people in government have criticized Trump's tweets before [...]. For example, [...] Elizabeth Warren quickly condemned his tweets A single representative by him/herself has no power. All of their power is to vote to get ...


60

Because four were completely irrelevant to the question at hand, two were superfluous, and two actually did testify. Let's go through the list for fun. Hunter Biden. It would stretch credibility that Trump or one of his cohorts would have directly informed Hunter Biden that they were attempting to determine what criminal activity he did. You don't tell ...


51

No, the House of Representatives does not have the power to overrule a Senate veto. Article I, Section 7 is quite clear that a bill needs to pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate in order to become law. The two-chamber Congress was designed as a compromise between those founders who wanted every person to have an equal say in American ...


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 ...


41

This is explicitly stated in US tax law. From 26 U.S. Code § 6103. Confidentiality and disclosure of returns and return information: (f) Disclosure to Committees of Congress (1) Committee on Ways and Means, Committee on Finance, and Joint Committee on Taxation Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the ...


41

Washington Post: Who is Bill Taylor, and why does his public testimony matter in the impeachment inquiry? In brief, the Washington Post lays out his pertinence as follows. As the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, he had a unique vantage point: Key figures in pushing Trump’s Ukraine policy were open with Taylor as they tried to get Ukraine to do Trump’s ...


40

Southern Democrats In 1972, most southern states were overwhelmingly Democrat. But these Southern Democrats had a different ideology than Northern Democrats. They were more conservative, particularly on moral issues (e.g. sex outside marriage and abortion bad). Democratic presidential candidates tended to have Northern Democratic ideologies. As a result,...


36

It depends on how exactly you count. For example, not contesting a seat because you are running for Governor is not really "retiring", nor is losing your primary. Among those not contesting their seats, "FiveThirtyEight" counts 26 pure Republican retirements and 8 Democrats. This is higher than average and obviously skewed but not truly exceptional. In ...


31

As the answers in Does the US require a House vote to begin an impeachment inquiry? point out, House rules never required a vote to start an impeachment inquiry. In both previous impeachments, however, the House did pass an inquiry resolution in order to give themselves additional subpoena power in order to better carry out the inquiry. This is not ...


29

Article of impeachment If there is evidence that the president is hindering the investigation into his own conduct then the House of Representatives could write and article of impeachment on that. Another answer by PoloHoleSet goes into more detail quoting the chair of the House Intelligence Committee stating that discouraging witnesses to appear and the ...


26

Explicit consequences of the Democrats taking the House: All new laws passed for the next 2 years will require the acquiescence of the Democratic Leadership of the House to get moved on, and at least some Democrats supporting them. All House congressional committees will now have a majority of Democrats on them. Republicans will no longer be able to block ...


24

Because the current perception is that both sides see more advantages to being able to campaign on what they'd do if only the voters would hand them control of the House, Senate, and Presidency than they do in compromising and campaigning on the fact that they got something done. If no bill passes, Democrats can campaign on the need to overhaul policing and ...


23

Reuters has a bit of background: In 1924, Congress awarded itself the power to obtain tax returns. Previously only the president could disclose them. The change came during a bribery scandal involving federal officials and Wyoming oil field leases known as the Teapot Dome scandal. The law was crafted in part to help Congress investigate wealthy ...


23

It actually changes quite a few things. None would be make or break, but they address talking points and bring formality. According to electoral-vote.com/'s summation: It will give the investigation a bit more formality, and thus a stronger legal footing It will allow many future hearings to be public, rather than behind closed doors It authorizes the ...


23

but does he actually have any information that is helpful? New events came to light today: Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, revealed for the first time that his staff members overheard President Donald Trump speaking on the phone to another diplomat about investigations. Taylor, as the acting ambassador to Ukraine, would be aware of how formal ...


20

Yes. There is a moment during the SOTU where the Sergeant at Arms "presents the President of the United States" to the the Speaker. This is a formal matter as no one is allowed on the House (Or Senate, but it's much too small of a chamber for the purposes of the SOTU) floor without the leadership's approval. Thus, the President must be invited and can be ...


18

While there could be other motivations involved, my answer will focus on the security-related reasons in postponing the State of the Union. Other motivations not publicly stated are speculative. In Speaker Pelosi’s letter to President Trump, Pelosi cited that the Security of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen designated State of the Union addresses as ...


17

The reason that there were fewer ballots cast in the house and the reason there were fewer votes for democratic candidates is that in many US house districts there is only one party on the ballot. Here's a map of the phenomenon. Democrats voted for the president in these districts, but had no House of Representatives candidate to vote for, so the total vote ...


16

The position that Democrats will probably win the House is supported by data. This is what RCP says about the House predictions: 202 likely or leaning Democrat, 39 toss-ups, 194 likely or leaning Republican. This means, in all reasonable likelihood, Democrats could win up to a 47-seat majority, as bad as a 31-seat minority, and on average will probably win ...


16

In order to provide full context for this situation, it is important to understand that there are several trends in how Congress behaves that produces confusing results like this: Voters preferences are becoming more politically extreme in both parties, resulting in more Representatives who get elected to Congress to represent a sort of ideological purity ...


15

A single lawmaker didn't really veto the bill. What they "vetoed" was an instant, immediate, as-is passage of the legislation. The process is called "unanimous consent" where the idea is that, if no one objects, the bill is passed. Fast and easy. It can still pass, but it will have to go through the usual process including scheduled debate time for the ...


15

It's symbolic with a political twist. Picture three scenarios: A significant number of Republicans acknowledge that yeah, Trump's tweets were basically racist and ought to be condemned. This case will weaken Trump's position significantly, in that it'll show Republicans no longer supporting him. (Unlikely IMHO.) A significant number of Republicans instead ...


14

SJuan76's answer addresses the political dynamics of a non-binding resolution like this very well, but it is also worth noting that this is not a joint political intervention that acts wholly independently of their regular duties. The tweets in question are direct attacks on Members of Congress themselves. While I don't think there is any explicit duty for ...


13

In theory, the House and the Senate merely tweak the White House budget, whose main use in essence is to sketch out the latter's priorities. And frankly, that's more or less what occurs when the House and Senate are on the same wavelength as the White House. In practice, the three aren't on the same wavelength more often than not. This results in a lot of ...


13

Someone has to write the test. The United States, in particular, has a long and sordid history of imposing "literacy tests" on voters. These were used to disenfranchise ex-slaves (and black people more generally) after the civil war (and continuing on for a century thereafter). The general approach was to exempt white people from the test, while requiring ...


13

In the normal process of things, Congress would refer to this as 'criminal contempt' and refer the matter to the Department of Justice for the Attorney General to prosecute those who had defied subpoenas, with the end result being fines and jail time for those who violated the subpoena. Unfortunately, given William Barr's behavior towards obstructing the ...


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