Questions tagged [congress]

Questions about the U.S. Congress – the federal legislative body consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate (also [us-senate]).

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Can Congress' rules be unconstitutional?

I'm very interested in U.S. Constitutional law and do a lot of mock government. One of the questions that I have been considering is whether it is possible for a rule Congress sets for its proceedings ...
Vaughn's user avatar
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Does the United States Constitution impose an obligation on Congress to pass a budget?

Does the United States Constitution impose an obligation on Congress to pass a budget?
Jen's user avatar
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What happens when Congress violates the Constitution through inaction?

The Constitution sets down rules for how Congress can operate, and what it may, may not, or must do. If a President does not do something the Constitution requires them to do, they can be impeached ...
interfect's user avatar
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Constitutionality of restricting a Senator's speech for unruly behaviour or unparliamentary language

I spend a lot of time participating in mock Congress's and U.S. governments and recently a question came up regarding the constitutionality of Senate rules that prohibit a Senator from making ...
Vaughn's user avatar
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Why is Medicare not included in the entities of policy change for CMS?

See this link. https://www.medicaid.gov/federal-policy-guidance/index.html Why is Medicare not included in this list? The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is responsible for ...
JustBeingHelpful's user avatar
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Does Eli Beer commit an offence and can he be prosecuted for it? [closed]

In this video Eli Beer (the head of Israeli EMS) tells ostensibly of personally witnessing many very gratuitous and gruesome, cruel war crimes like opening a pregnant woman’s stomach and stabbing the ...
TylerDurden's user avatar
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Can a US government agency create a private company outside of Congress or rulemaking?

Can a US government agency such DoD create a private company by simple mandate, without either going through formal rulemaking or without an act of Congress? Specifically, to create a single company ...
RagingGolem's user avatar
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A way of electing representative to the Congress of the United States

In an answer to this question, someone cites this federal law: [2 U.S. Code § 2c][1] - Number of Congressional Districts; number of Representatives from each District In each State entitled in the ...
Michael Hardy's user avatar
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Are there any limitations on a congressperson's freedom of speech in Congress?

The Speech and Debate Clause of the Constitution protects senators' and representatives' right to freedom of speech when debating in Congress, separately from the First Amendment freedom of speech ...
Someone's user avatar
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How to find specific bill voted into Congress that changed FAFSA (2023)?

According to studentaid.gov starting in 2024, "the new need analysis formula removes the number of family members in college from the calculation". Where can I find which bill introduced to ...
Jeff's user avatar
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In the American Congress, how does a motion come forward to be voted on without the support of the Speaker or Senate majority leader)?

At least in the Senate it´s easier given the majority leader is not the chair, that would be the president pro tempore or the vice president. But in general, how does this happen if push comes to ...
R-Obsessive's user avatar
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Are legislators ever asked to explain their intent in Supreme Court cases?

I recently started to listen to recordings of arguments before the Supreme Court. I am not a lawyer so I don't completely follow everything, but I noticed right away that a lot of arguments deal with ...
guero64's user avatar
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What happens legally if a majority of both houses of Congress disappear? [closed]

In the mass-dissapearance scenario from my previous question, what happens legally if both houses of Congress are in session and a majority of both houses disappear? Is Congress unable to do business ...
Someone's user avatar
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Can Congress secretly pass a bill

Supposed some Congress members thought it would be necessary to pass a bill without telling the public about national security. For example, if a war broke out and Congress wanted to allocate money to ...
Joe's user avatar
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When do new members get sworn in as congress people?

I have seen two sources (one was LA Times) state that new members are not sworn in until after a speaker is elected. If that is correct, how do the results of an election get reflected in that key ...
George White's user avatar
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I am a US citizen but have never lived in the US. Who is my Congress member?

This seemed like the most appropriate SE site to ask this question. If you can think of anywhere better please feel free to migrate it there. I was born outside the United States to American parents, ...
H.Rappeport's user avatar
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Would it actually be bribery for Congress to "bribe" the President?

Congress could "bribe" the President to sign a bill by including a Presidential pay raise in it, although the raise would not take effect until after an election (i.e. only works in the ...
Someone's user avatar
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Could Congress "bribe" the President to sign a bill by including a presidential pay raise?

If Congress wanted to pass a law that they expected the President to be reluctant to sign, could they legally "bribe" the President to sign the bill by including a Presidential pay raise in ...
Someone's user avatar
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Does the Speech and Debate clause immunize speeches against civil liability? (NDAs, libel, non-disparagement agreements, etc.)

Suppose a Senator, Representative, non-voting delegate, or their staff makes a disclosure in their their official capacity that violates an otherwise valid non-disclosure agreement (NDA) or other ...
Viktor's user avatar
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10 votes
4 answers
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Could one house of Congress completely shut down the other house by passing a large number of frivolous bills?

Suppose that for some reason, the House of Representatives wants to stop the Senate from doing anything. Could they accomplish that by passing hundreds of frivolous bills, so the Senate would be stuck ...
Someone's user avatar
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Can a chamber of Congress pass a bill that the other chamber passed in the past?

This is essentially a civics question, but I cannot find the answer anywhere. Could, for instance, the Senate of the 117th Congress take up a bill that was passed by the House of the 116th Congress, ...
Ben I.'s user avatar
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Could Congress pass a law restricting their own ability to pass laws?

Suppose the First Amendment had never been ratified. Could Congress pass a bill with the same wording, but also prohibiting then from repealing it?
Someone's user avatar
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Why did Donald Trump waive executive privilege allowing Bannon to testify

I was wondering why Donald Trump would waive Bannon's executive privilege in reference the the Jan 6th committees investigations. It doesn't seem like it would be in HIS best interest, especially if ...
Evan Crooks's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
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Is it illegal for Congress to pass an unconstitutional law?

If Congress passes a law and SCOTUS strikes it down, are there any consequences for Congress other than the law not being enforceable?
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Durability of Federal legislation protecting abortion rights in US

Recently the Supreme Court of the United States, through Dobbs, has restored the right of States to prohibit abortion. Supporters of reproductive freedoms have since renewed calls upon Congress to ...
brainchild's user avatar
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3 answers
10k views

If Congress passed a bill written in a language other than English, would it be valid?

Suppose Congress passed a bill written in Spanish and the President signed it. Everything about the bill and the procedures by which it was written and passed were completely normal, other than the ...
Someone's user avatar
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Why there isn't any law resulting from the Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2019?

It was stated that no later than 2 years, law must be created according to this bill. I can't find the law anywhere. Talking about this bill: H.R.2231 - Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2019
brikas's user avatar
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32 votes
8 answers
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Can bills (the documents of laws/legislation) have pictures? Or text only? Can images become part of the legal code?

Asking out of plain curiosity. I tried googling, but just couldn't find a combination of keywords that didn't bring up irrelevant results. Laws become law when the congress approves of a "bill&...
Hemsy19's user avatar
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If Roe is overturned, could Congress still protect abortion rights?

If the Supreme Court does decide to overturn Roe and leave abortion up to the states, would passing the Women's Health Protection Act allow Congress to pre-empt any state laws prohibiting abortion, or ...
BakedAlaska624's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is there double jeopardy protection for a Contempt of Congress conviction?

So a person is subpoenaed by Congress to provide documents and give a deposition. The person refuses, is indicted and convicted. Can the person then be subpoenaed again for documents and testimony and ...
spring's user avatar
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Can the US Congress or Executive unilaterally change interstate compacts after they're established?

There are some notable compacts such as the Great Lakes compact, Atlantic Fisheries compact, etc… that seem to require a large amount of authority to enforce in practice. Theoretically it makes sense ...
M. Y. Zuo's user avatar
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1 answer
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Members of Congress are subject to a host of restrictions that carefully distinguish between their official functions and campaign functions

This question stems from an answer to another question here. In it, a DOJ official is quoted as saying: Members of Congress are subject to a host of restrictions that carefully distinguish between ...
T Battel's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can Congress disqualify people from Federal office?

Could the US Congress enact legislation to prevent specific individuals from being elected to federal government offices?
Patrice Bauman's user avatar
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3 answers
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If a House member is barred from the House for not wearing a face mask, does that House member's constituents lose their representation in Congress?

I am wondering if a House member is barred from entering the House side of the U.S. Capitol Building for him/her choosing not wearing a face mask, while that House member is barred from the House side ...
user57467's user avatar
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9 votes
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What does "Congress having occupied the field" mean?

I've run across the phrase "Congress having occupied the field" in legal writings recently. Can someone explain this? My question relates to The Common Law Right of Access to Public Records....
Burt_Harris's user avatar
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In the US Reconciliation procedure, wherein the text allows for separate bills for revenue, spending & debt for each year?

In the Reconciliation procedure, as passed in the bill here: Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974. Wherein the exact text here is the interpretation that bills each for revenue, ...
Dehbop's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Can someone plead the fifth regarding impeachment?

Recently, former president Trump turned down the opportunity to testify at his own impeachment hearing. However, given the magnitude of the charges, could he be compelled to testify by subpoena? Or ...
Pyrotechnical's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
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(U.S.A.) Removing senators not from your state

Background example: People in California want to remove a senator from Kentucky. Can this be performed? How can it be performed?
Thomas Matthews's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
152 views

Impeach Pence if he deviates while counting presidential ballots

If Vice President Pence deviates from simply announcing the ballots from the Electoral College on January 6, 2020, and instead attempts to unilaterally reject some ballots, can the House of ...
Gerard Ashton's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
85 views

Can states legally leave entire areas unrepresented in Congress?

Suppose, for example, that the Utah state legislature decides Salt Lake City shouldn't get US House representation, so they draw the congressional districts such that no district's boundaries include ...
moonman239's user avatar
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1 answer
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Can the US Congress subpoena witnesses for any arbitrary reason?

This question was prompted by the headline on October 15, 2020 that the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on whether to subpoena the CEO of Twitter for suppressing certain political content. This ...
Matthew James Briggs's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
7k views

Will the next Congress (2021) be sworn in on a Sunday?

The 20th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives ...
DrSheldon's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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Have US Congressional reapportionment formulas ever been codified?

Over the centuries there have been several methods used for calculating the number of representatives each state gets in Congress. From what I have read, though, the results of the apportionment are ...
Anger Density's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

How can the US House of Representatives transition to be elected by proportional representation? Would editing "PL 2 USC 2c" work?

Here is context for my question: I am a student studying political science. I am researching policy that could be used to dismantle the stranglehold that the Democratic and Republican parties have on ...
Julian Cooper's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

What ever happened to the Nixon Pocket veto case?

What ever happened to the Nixon Pocket veto case? This is the case where members of congress sued over President Nixon's recess veto of a spending bill.
Naftali Tzvi's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
378 views

In the show "Designated Survivor," all Congressman but 1 are killed, and the President desperately wants to nominate a new Congress. Why?

Why is it so important to the excecutive branch that there is a full Congress? Can action not be taken by the sole remaining Congressman, or is the problem that this Congressman would have way too ...
user30654's user avatar
38 votes
3 answers
14k views

Was it illegal for Nancy Pelosi to tear up her copy of the State of the Union address?

President Trump has claimed it was illegal for Nancy Pelosi to tear up her copy of his State of the Union address, as it was an official document. Is there any law stating that it is illegal to tear ...
Sdarb's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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A better tool for reading law than congress.gov

I am looking at the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019, and interested in discovering how much spending the budget covers. Early in the bill, there is a reference to existing legislation: "--Section 251(c)...
Charlie's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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Under what rule do bills etc. die (US Congress)?

It is generally accepted that when a bill (for example) is introduced in one house of Congress, it must be approved by both houses before that Congress adjourns. A bill approved by one house cannot be ...
user6726's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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Legal consequences of complying with a house subpoena?

I keep seeing in the news that, at the president's order, people are ignoring subpoenas from the house of representatives, citing executive privilege. So what legal bite does the president have if ...
Jon's user avatar
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