The “Regular Order”: A Perspective (CRS R46597)

Many contemporary lawmakers urge a return to “regular order” lawmaking. In general, the regular order refers to a traditional, committee-centered process of lawmaking, very much in evidence during most of the 20th century. Today, Congress has evolved to become largely a party-centered institution. Committees remain important, but they are less important than previously as “gatekeepers” … Read more

Final Action by the Senate on Supreme Court Nominations During Presidential Election Years (1789-2020) (CRS IN11519)

Senate Confirmation of Supreme Court Nominations During Presidential Election Years As shown by Figure 1, 17 (81%) of 21 Supreme Court nominations that received final action by the Senate during past presidential election years were confirmed. A majority of the nominations confirmed by the Senate during presidential election years occurred in either the 18th or … Read more

Supreme Court Appointment and Nomination

“Supreme Court Appointment Process: Consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee,” CRS Report R44236, September 22, 2020 (31-page PDF) “Supreme Court Appointment Process: President’s Selection of a Nominee,” CRS Report R44235, September 28, 2020 (32-page PDF) “Confirmation of U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations During Presidential Election Years: Frequently Asked Questions,” CRS Report R46533, September 18, … Read more

Impeachable Offenses Need not be Criminal Offenses

Despite what Trump’s supporters say, however, the president can commit an impeachable high crime without violating the federal criminal law. To conclude otherwise would be to ignore the original meaning, purpose and history of the impeachment power; to subvert the constitutional design of a system of checks and balances; and to leave the nation unnecessarily … Read more

The Constitution of the United States – Related Materials

The United States Constitution and The Declaration of Independence Pocket Constitution – Related Materials TCNCRM.com / TCNCAM.com If you have suggestions for additional Constitution-related items that should be referenced, please contact us. Thanks to these people who have made suggestions: Prof. W. B. Allen, Prof. Robert McDonald, Toby Dorsey.   Antonin Scalia – On American … Read more

Crony Capitalism / Rent-Seeking / Corporate Welfare / Revolving Door (CongressionalGlossary.com)

Crony Capitalism / Rent-Seeking / Corporate Welfare / Revolving Door Corporate welfare refers to subsidies and regulatory protections that lawmakers confer on certain businesses and industries. When considering budget issues, federal policymakers are supposed to have the broad public interest in mind. Unfortunately, that is not how the federal budget process usually works in practice. … Read more

Zero Based Budgeting (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms “Zero Based Budgeting is a method of budgeting in which all expenses must be justified for each new period. Zero-based budgeting starts from a ‘zero base,’ and every function within an organization is analyzed for its needs and costs. Budgets are then built around what … Read more

Backdoor Authority / Backdoor Spending (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Backdoor Authority / Backdoor Spending A colloquial phrase for budget authority provided in laws other than appropriations acts, including contract authority and borrowing authority, as well as entitlement authority and the outlays that result from that budget authority.   Fiscal Law #1 – Overview   … Read more

Obligation (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Obligation photo credit: smudie A legally binding agreement that will result in outlays, immediately or in the future. A promise to pay. The obligation, the promise to pay, is the initial action in the Federal spending process. Appropriations laws establish whether funds are available to … Read more

Regular Appropriations / Supplemental Appropriations / Continuing Resolutions (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Regular Appropriations / Supplemental Appropriations / Continuing Resolutions There are three types of appropriations bills considered by the Congress. Regular appropriations bills provide funding to agencies for the next fiscal year, which runs from October 1 to September 30. Supplemental appropriations bills provide additional funding … Read more