Appointment and Confirmation of Federal Judges

The power to appoint all federal judges is shared by the president and the Senate. The legal framework for such appointments is established by provisions within the Constitution under Article II, Section 2, Clause 2. photo credit: LithiumP4 Nominations for judicial appointments by the president are transmitted by message to the Senate. The message is … Read more

Basic Federal Budgeting Concepts and Terminology

The federal budget process typically involves a rather complex series of legislative and executive procedures and various financial transactions. photo credit: Evelyn Proimos The term Revenue refers to income that is received by the federal government. (The executive branch also uses receipts as a term for revenue.) Revenue may be raised from a variety of … Read more

The Annual Budget and Appropriations Processes

The president submits a proposed budget to Congress on the first Monday in February, although there can be some flexibility regarding the actual date of this submission. photo credit: mackarus Known as the President’s Budget, this request to Congress is used as the basis for reports prepared by congressional budget committee members and staff. Appropriations … 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

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

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

Congress: Informal Groups, Caucuses, and Congressional Member Organizations (CMO)

Most people are quite familiar with the idea of committees and subcommittees within Congress, but there are also many informal congressional groups. These groups can include informal groups, caucuses and Congressional Member Organizations (CMOs). While they may be called by different names, all of these groups refer to ad hoc social or policy groups that … Read more