Adjournment sine die
photo credit: KalasMannen
Final adjournment of an annual or two-year session of Congress. Adjournment without fixing a definite day for reconvening; literally “adjournment without a day.” A session can continue when, under the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, it automatically terminates. Both chambers (House and Senate) must agree to a concurrent resolution for either chamber to adjourn for more than three days.
Sine Die: Senate Adjourns
A “term of Congress” or “Congress” lasts for two years, with each year constituting a separate session. The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 (Pub.L. 91-510) requires Congress to adjourn sine die no later than July 31 of each year unless there is a declared war, or unless Congress otherwise provides. In odd-numbered years, the Congress must take an August recess if it fails to adjourn by July 31. Neither the House nor the Senate may adjourn for more than three days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays) without the concurrence of the other Chamber.
Terms and Sessions of Congress
- Chapter 2.G. Concurrent Resolutions; Chapter 8.J. Recess and Adjournment in Congressional Procedure
- Adjournment sine die – Wikipedia
- Table Showing the Terms of Congress from 1789 to Present – HobnobBlog
- “Reorganization of the House of Representatives: Modern Reform Efforts,” CRS Report RL31835 (75-page PDF)
- “Reorganization of the Senate: Modern Reform Efforts,” CRS Report RL32112 (45-page PDF)
- “Lame Duck Sessions of Congress, 1935-2020 (74th-116th Congresses),” CRS Report R45154 (36-page PDF)
- “Lame Duck Sessions of Congress, 1935-2004 (74th-108th Congresses),” CRS Report RL33677 (39-page PDF)
- “Lame Duck Sessions of Congress, 1935-2016 (74th-114th Congresses),” CRS Report R45154 (33-page PDF)
- “The Vacancies Act: A Legal Overview,” CRS Report R44997 (43-page PDF)
- “House Committee Chairs: Considerations, Decisions, and Actions as One Congress Ends and a New Congress Begins,” CRS Report RL34679 (35-page PDF)
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