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

The President’s Nominations to Federal Courts

Because appointments to Federal District and Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the Supreme Court, are lifetime appointments, the Senate plays a constitutional (Article. II. Section. 2.) and active role in such appointments. The stakes in judicial appointments are often seen as being quite high by most senators. photo credit: maveric2003 The president typically consults senators … 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

Understanding Filibusters in Congress

Filibusters are made possible in part due to Senate rules providing that when a senator is recognized to speak regarding a pending measure there are few limitations. Debate is typically unlimited regarding pending measures. Once a senator is recognized, she can yield to another senator for the purpose of a question, but the senator that … Read more

Understanding Cloture in Senate Floor Proceedings

Filibusters may be ended by one of two ways: either through negotiation among senators or through a process known as invoking cloture. Cloture is the only procedure by which the Senate can end debate without rejecting the measure under consideration at the same time. Creative Commons License, Photo credit: Robbie1 Several stages for invoking cloture … 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

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

Advice for Congressional Interns

Are you contemplating a stint as a Congressional intern? Most of these internships are not paid, but the competition for them is still high. Some of the most powerful people in Washington began their careers as interns on Capitol Hill. Former Vice President Dick Cheney began his political career as an intern for Rep. William … Read more

Goodwin, Byrd, and the Filibuster

Carte Goodwin (D-WV) was sworn in Tuesday as an interim replacement of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), who passed away on June 28 while in office. At 36 years old, Sen. Goodwin is the youngest current Senator, and is filling the shoes of the man who was the oldest and, as we mentioned yesterday, the longest-serving Senator. … Read more