A Guide to Introduced Measures and Other Markups

Whenever hearings are completed a committee may meet to mark up a measure. The language of the original measure will be analyzed line by line or section by section and then marked up or changed and amended. photo credit: withassociates The easiest way to conduct a markup is to use an introduced measure. In this … Read more

Understanding Advanced Statements for Congressional Witnesses

Preparing to testify before Congress can require a significant amount of preparation on the part of the witness. When you are invited to testify before Congress, it is important to understand the advance preparations that must be made and the rules and requirements related to those preparations. photo credit: Daquella manera Committee rules and guidelines … Read more

Senate Confirmation Hearings

Some of the most highly publicized Senate hearings are those held for the purpose of considering presidential nominations. These nominations may include cabinet positions and nominations for other executive branch political offices, federal judges and U.S. diplomatic posts. photo credit: Harvard Law Record Witnesses at nomination and confirmation hearings typically include the individual nominated as … Read more

Congressional Oversight and Investigative Hearings

Although there are many different types of congressional hearings, some of the most well known and often discussed in the media are oversight and investigative hearings. Such hearings may be conducted whenever a committee chooses to do so, although they are often conducted in association with a public policy question or an accountability matter. Oversight … Read more

The Link between the Congressional Committee System and Legislation

Different congressional committees within each chamber of Congress conduct most of the work on legislation, including the preparation that must occur on a bill leading to floor consideration. photo credit: barbourians Bills are referred to congressional committees for any needed further action. In the event a committee decides an issue or a bill has merit, … Read more

The Power of the Majority Party in Congress

There is no getting around the fact that members of the majority party typically decide the most crucial questions presented to Congress. Furthermore, members of the majority party also primarily control what will be considered by their chambers on a daily basis. In the end, the fact that a member can vote does not really … Read more

Understanding “Congressional Culture”

“Congressional culture” is comprised of a mix of youthful staff, optimistic freshman members, cynical reporters, seasoned members, and crusty senators. This can often result in a clash of both the old and new. photo credit: Mr. T in DC In evaluating congressional culture, it is important to understand the working environment of Congress. That environment … Read more

Early Organization Meetings of Congress

Since the mid-1970s, both chambers of Congress have convened early organization meetings in November or December of even-numbered years as a way to prepare for the beginning of the new Congress in January of the following year. Such meetings serve educational as well as social and organizational purposes. photo credit: seeveeaar Educational sessions of early … Read more

The Basics of Special Rules in the House of Representatives

When a measure comes to the House floor under means other than through certain routine measures, it may reach the floor as the result of a special rule. A special rule establishes guidelines for the consideration of the measure as well as time for general debate and any limits on the amendment process. photo credit: … Read more