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

Basic Guide to Party Leadership in Congress

Party leadership is responsible for bringing efficiency and order to the legislative body. Party leaders have partisan and institutional functions. The responsibility of the majority leadership is to set the agenda as well as determine legislative priorities and political strategies, assess support for legislation, schedule measures for floor action and round up votes for the … 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

Stage of Disagreement (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Stage of Disagreement: Stage at which one chamber formally disagrees with an amendment proposed by the other chamber and insists on its own amendment. A measure generally cannot go to conference until this stage is reached.   “Disagreement and Civil Dialogue in American Politics and … Read more

Recede and Concur with an Amendment (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Recede: Motion by one chamber to withdraw from its previous position during amendments between the chambers. Recede and Concur: Motion to withdraw from a position and agree with the other chamber’s position. Recede and Concur with an Amendment: Motion to withdraw from a position and … Read more

The 7 Types of Congressional Hearings

If you have been called to testify before a Congressional hearing or think that you might be called to do so in the future, it can be helpful to have a basic understanding of the various types of Congressional hearings and their purposes. photo credit: Tarter Time Photography The main purpose of any Congressional hearing … Read more

War Power and Military Establishment Clauses – Article I Section 8, Clauses 11, 12, 13 and 14 of the Constitution

The United States Constitution The War and Military Establishment Clauses are among Congress’ enumerated powers found in the Constitution of the United States, Article. I. Section. 8., clauses 11, 12, 13, and 14:     Obama’s Unprecedented War Powers Claims     (Clause 11 – War power) [The Congress shall have Power] To declare War, … Read more

“Second” (CongressionalGlossary.com)

Second: The number of members required to indicate support for an action. such as calling for a vote.   The Bicameral Congress: Crash Course Government and Politics #2     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 … Read more

A Guide to Understanding the Presidential Budget

See President’s Budget (CongressionalGlossary.com) The president’s budget, officially known as the Budget of the United States Government, is required by law to be submitted “On or after the first Monday in January but not later than the first Monday in February of each year.” (31 USC 1105). The budget contains estimates for spending as well … Read more