Being a Legislative Drafter

There is often a misconception that drafting legislation is merely about writing, when the truth of the matter is that drafting legislation more accurately and frequently involves identifying, presenting and then resolving issues. Those issues could be related to policy or they might involve a technicality. Therefore, the most critical part of the legislative drafter’s … Read more

Taxing and Spending Power – Article I Section 8, Clause 1 of the Constitution

The United States Constitution Also see “Amendment 16 (Sixteenth Amendment – Income Tax)“ The Taxing and Spending Clause is found in the Constitution of the United States, Article. I. Section. 8., clause 1: (Clause 1 – Power to tax and spend) [The Congress shall have Power] To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, … Read more

Understanding Congressional Sessions and How they Work

Congress has the responsibility of drafting as well as debating and sending bills to the President to be signed into law. Legislative business is handled by the 100 Senators and 435 Representatives through Congressional sessions. photo credit: lindsay.dee.bunny Congress is mandated by the Constitution to convene a minimum of once per year (U.S. Constitution, Article … Read more

How to Contact Congress

Congress receives more than 86.9 million pieces of snail mail annually, and more than 200 million emails each year. How effective are these communications? Joshua Tauberer, the creator of research tool GovTrack says that in his personal experience: […] what Congressional staff say is that two things happen with letters and other communications. First, Representatives … Read more

Joint Explanatory Statement of Managers (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Joint Explanatory Statement of Managers Portion of the conference report providing the history, explanation, and intent of the conferees. The conference report and joint explanatory statement are two distinct documents. The conference report contains a formal statement of the procedural actions the conferees took and … Read more

Disagree (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Disagree: To reject an amendment of the other chamber. See: Stage of Disagreement (CongressionalGlossary.com); Amendments Between the Houses (Chambers) / Insist / Amendments in Disagreement / Amendments in Technical Disagreement (CongressionalGlossary.com). Also see Conference Committee Engrossed Measure Joint Resolution Privilege Unanimous Consent § 6.70 House … Read more

The Constitution of the United States, Article. I. Section. 7. Revenue Bills, Legislative Process, Presidential Veto

The United States Constitution Article. I. (The Legislative Branch) Section. 7. (Revenue Bills, Legislative Process, Presidential Veto) All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills. Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, … Read more

The Constitution of the United States, Article. I. Section. 5. Membership, Rules, Journals, Adjournment

The United States Constitution Article. I. (The Legislative Branch) Section. 5. (Membership, Rules, Journals, Adjournment) Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may … Read more

The Constitution of the United States, Article. I. Section. 4. Elections, Meetings

The United States Constitution Article. I. (The Legislative Branch) Section. 4. (Elections, Meetings) Note: Article I, section 4, was modified by section 2 of the 20th amendment. The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any … Read more