Procedures of the United States Congress - Wikipedia
Procedures of the United States Congress are established ways of doing legislative business. Congress has two-year terms with one session each year. There are rules and procedures, often complex, which guide how it converts A term of Congress is divided into two "sessions", one for each year; Congress has . The annual series of meetings of a Congress is called a session. based on the constitutional mandate that Congress assemble at least once a year. of Representatives is said to be in session on any particular day when it is meeting. The Congress shall assemble at least once every year, and such meeting shall be on But the Congress was required to meet in December.
The new Congress would then meet for some days, for the inauguration, swearing in new members, and organization. The southwest corner of the United States Capital in Washington. The Constitution forbids Congress from meeting elsewhere. The Constitution forbids either house from meeting any place outside the Capital, or from adjourning for more than three days, without the consent of the other house.
The provision was intended to prevent one house from thwarting legislative business simply by refusing to meet. To avoid obtaining consent during long recesses, the House or Senate may sometimes hold pro forma meetings, sometimes only minutes long, every three days.
Procedures of the United States Congress
The consent of both bodies is required for Congress's final adjournment, or adjournment sine dieat the end of each congressional session. If the two houses cannot agree on a date, the Constitution permits the President to settle the dispute. These sessions include the counting of electoral votes following a Presidential election and the President's State of the Union address.
Other meetings of both House and Senate are called Joint Meetings of Congress, held after unanimous consent agreements to recess and meet. Meetings of Congress for Presidential Inaugurations may also be Joint Sessions, if both House and Senate are in session at the time, otherwise they are formal joint gatherings.
The annual speech is a custom re-established by President Woodrow Wilson. At some time during the first two months of each session, the President customarily delivers the State of the Union Addressa speech in which he assesses the situation of the country and outlines his legislative proposals for the congressional session. The speech is modeled on the Speech from the Throne given by the British monarchand is mandated by the Constitution of the United States—though it is not necessarily required to be delivered each year or in the customary manner.
Thomas Jefferson discontinued the original practice of delivering the speech in person before both houses of Congress, deeming it too monarchical.
Instead, Jefferson and his successors sent a written message to Congress each year. InPresident Woodrow Wilson reestablished the practice of personally attending to deliver the speech; few Presidents have deviated from this custom since.
Joint Sessions and Joint Meetings are traditionally presided over by the Speaker of the House except for the joint session to count electoral votes for President, when the Constitution requires the President of the Senate the Vice President of the United States to preside. Bills and resolutions[ edit ] House Financial Services committee members sit in the tiers of raised chairs, while those testifying and audience members sit below. Ideas for legislation can come from many areas, including members, lobbyists, state legislatures, constituents, legislative counsel, an executive agency such as the president or cabinet officer or executive agency, and the usual next step is for the proposal to be passed to a committee for review.
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Bills are laws in the making. A House-originated bill begins with the letters "H. In the House, it begins with "H.How Often Does The Congress Have To Meet?
It's assigned a number by the Clerk. Then it's referred to a committee. The wording of the final statute is most likely different from this one. The most important executive communication is usually the president's annual message which contains a lengthy budget proposal. Most legislative proposals are introduced as bills, but some are introduced as joint resolutions. There is little practical difference between the two, except that joint resolutions may include preambles but bills may not.
Joint resolutions are the normal method used to propose a constitutional amendment or to declare war. On the other hand, concurrent resolutions passed by both houses and simple resolutions passed by only one house do not have the force of law. Instead, they serve to express the opinion of Congress, or to regulate procedure. In many cases, lobbyists write legislation and submit it to a member for introduction.
Sessions of Congress
Congressional lobbyists are legally required to be registered in a central database. How bills become laws[ edit ] Bills may be introduced by any member of either house. However, the Constitution provides that: Furthermore, the House of Representatives holds that the Senate does not have the power to originate appropriation billsor bills authorizing the expenditure of federal funds. Historically, the Senate has disputed the interpretation advocated by the House.
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However, whenever the Senate originates an appropriations bill, the House simply refuses to consider it, thereby settling the dispute in practice. Inthe 10th Amendment to the Constitution changed the meeting date to January 3, unless Congress passes a law to change the date.
So does Congress actually get three months of vacation each year? - National Constitution Center
When Does Congress Meet? For many years, Congress would meet in December and be done by May. At the time, travel was limited to carriages, horses and ships. Getting to the meeting was not an easy task. When the start of the session moved from December to January, sessions lasted into the summer months. When planes made the trip hours rather than days or weeks, Congress began meeting year-round, with members going home on weekends and holidays. Many members of Congress consider the time at home work as well, since they talk with people from their state while they are there.
Where Does Congress Meet? After the first session of the Sixth Congress, the meeting moved to Washington, D. Originally, the whole of the United States was along the East Coast, making the meeting only a few days' journey from each state. As the country expanded, the length of the journey increased for many representatives.