A Guide to Voting on the House Floor

There are four types of votes that occur in the House of Representatives. They are voice, division, yea and nay, and record votes. A voice vote refers to members calling out ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ whenever a question is put in the House. The Speaker will determine the outcome of the vote by the volume of … 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

Rise / Rise and Report (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Rise: In order only in the Committee of the Whole during the amendment stage, it has the effect of terminating or suspending debate on the pending matter. Rise and Report: Term to refer to the culmination of proceedings in the Committee of the Whole. The … Read more

Reapportionment and Redistricting (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Reapportionment and Redistricting Every ten years, following the decennial census, seats in the House are reapportioned among the states based on each state’s population relative to the other states. Also see Apportionment (CongressionalGlossary.com) and Reapportionment / Redistricting (CongressionalGlossary.com)   Reapportionment and Redistricting 3/23/2012   Under … Read more

Congressional Office Organization and Structure

The number and types of congressional offices can be overwhelming for people new to Capitol Hill. The purpose of the various congressional offices is to provide logistical, political and substantive support for members of Congress. Each member of Congress has an individual office, known as their personal office. In addition, they also have at least … 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

Glossary of Legislative Terms: “Amendment Tree”

See Amendment Tree / Filling the Tree (CongressionalGlossary.com)     Courses Congressional Operations Briefing – Capitol Hill Workshop Drafting Federal Legislation and Amendments Writing for Government and Business: Critical Thinking and Writing Custom, On-Site Training Drafting Effective Federal Legislation and Amendments in a Nutshell, Audio Course on CD Congress, the Legislative Process, and the Fundamentals … Read more

Guide to Scheduling and Privilege on the House Floor

In the House, after a measure has been reported from committee, it is placed on a calendar. Whether the measure comes off its respective calendar and receives floor consideration is the responsibility of the majority-party leadership. Leadership is also responsible for influencing the way in which a measure is considered. photo credit: disrupsean There are … Read more

Differences between the House and the Senate

In preparing to work with members of Congress, it is important to understand the differences between the House and the Senate. The more you understand about each chamber of Congress, the better prepared you will be to gain support for your issue. photo credit: Ewan-M At 435 members, the House is the larger chamber. The … Read more