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

Understanding Legislative Language

If you are new to lobbying and advocacy, legislative language can be confusing and complex. Below is a guide to help introduce you to some of the most common terms you will encounter on Capitol Hill. photo credit: CarbonNYC Adopted-used for conference reports Agreed to-used for amendments, simple resolutions and concurrent resolutions Concur-used for an … 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

The Basics of Special Rules in the House of Representatives

When a measure comes to the House floor under means other than through certain routine measures, it may reach the floor as the result of a special rule. A special rule establishes guidelines for the consideration of the measure as well as time for general debate and any limits on the amendment process. photo credit: … Read more

A Brief Overview of the Rules of Congress

At times it seems as though Congress is disorganized, but in reality Congress operates according to a set of internal rules that are meant to provide operational structure. These rules begin with basics that are outlined in the Constitution. Each chamber of Congress also has written rules and extensive precedents that are derived from the … Read more

Understanding Federal Legislative History

Legislative history involves the proceedings in Congress that relate to a law before it was actually enacted. This can include official reports prepared by congressional committees as well as official statements that are issued by members of Congress. Legislative history may also include testimony given at legislative hearings, and different versions of the text of … 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