Appropriation / Cardinals of Congress (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Appropriation / Cardinals of Congress   David Hawkings’ Whiteboard: How Appropriations is Supposed to Work   Appropriation: Provision of law that provides authority for federal agencies to obligate funds and to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. Appropriations for the federal government … Read more

Whip, Majority Whip, Minority Whip (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Whip, Majority Whip, Minority Whip In addition to the majority and minority party leaders, each party elects assistant leaders, or “Whips.” Assistants to the floor leaders who are also elected by their party conferences. The majority and minority whips (and their assistants) are responsible for … Read more

Well (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Well Open space in front of the House chamber between members’ seats and the podium. Members in the House may speak from lecterns in the well. A censure resolution requires the member to go to the well of the House, where the presiding officer, normally … Read more

Without Objection (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Without Objection   Senate Judiciary Committee w/Alberto Gonzales-7/24/07 Pt13   Used in lieu of a vote on non-controversial motions, amendments or bills that may be passed in either the House or Senate if no member voices an objection. Voting in the Senate is by voice, … Read more

Presiding Officer (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Presiding Officer photo credit: Wonderlane Senate: A majority-party senator who presides over the Senate and is charged with maintaining order and decorum, recognizing members to speak, and interpreting the Senate’s rules, practices and precedents. House: The Speaker is the presiding officer in the House of … Read more

Yield / Yielding / Yield for a Question? (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Yield / Yielding / Yield for a Question? photo credit: OnTask When a member has been recognized to speak by the presiding officer, no other member may speak unless he obtains permission from the member recognized. This permission is called yielding and is requested in … Read more

Petition Box (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Petition Box photo credit: feeliz A “petition box” is mentioned in older House documents. The “petiton box” was not a physical box in the House, but a method of handling private bills. [It is not necessary that leave should be asked of the House to … Read more

A Note About Usage: “Congress” (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms The United States Congress consists of two separate legislative bodies: the House of Representatives and the Senate. Jointly these two separate legislative bodies are referred to as “Congress”. Congress meets in the United States Capitol building. Congress, n. A body of men who meet to … Read more

Calendar of Business (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Calendar of Business An agenda or list of business eligible for floor consideration. Each chamber decides which measures are discussed, and in what order, in accordance with its rules and practices. The Senate has two calendars, the Executive Calendar for treaties and nominations, and the … Read more

Filibuster / Unlimited Debate (CongressionalGlossary.com)

Filibuster / Unlimited Debate Creative Commons License photo credit: PatrickRohe When a senator is recognized to speak on a pending measure, few limitations are placed on her. Debate is generally unlimited on all pending measures. A senator may yield to another senator for a question, but the senator still controls the floor. One of the … Read more