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

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

Joint Explanatory Statement of Managers (CongressionalGlossary.com)

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Joint Explanatory Statement of Managers Portion of the conference report providing the history, explanation, and intent of the conferees. The conference report and joint explanatory statement are two distinct documents. The conference report contains a formal statement of the procedural actions the conferees took and … Read more

The Constitution of the United States, Article. I. Section. 5. Membership, Rules, Journals, Adjournment

The United States Constitution Article. I. (The Legislative Branch) Section. 5. (Membership, Rules, Journals, Adjournment) Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may … Read more