42 Facts About United States Congress


United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States.

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The vice president of the United States has a vote in the Senate only when senators are evenly divided.

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Term United States Congress can refer to a particular meeting of the legislature.

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United States Congress reflects us in all our strengths and all our weaknesses.

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United States Congress is essentially charged with reconciling our many points of view on the great public policy issues of the day.

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Congress of the United States serves two distinct purposes that overlap: local representation to the federal government of a Congressional district by representatives and a state's at-large representation to the federal government by senators.

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United States Congress is directly responsible for the governing of the District of Columbia, the current seat of the federal government.

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United States Congress had executive but not legislative authority, and the federal judiciary was confined to admiralty and lacked authority to collect taxes, regulate commerce, or enforce laws.

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System of seniority, in which long-time members of United States Congress gained more and more power, encouraged politicians of both parties to seek long terms.

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Lame duck reforms according to the Twentieth Amendment reduced the power of defeated and retiring members of United States Congress to wield influence despite their lack of accountability.

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President Roosevelt pushed his agenda in United States Congress by detailing Executive Branch staff to friendly Senate committees.

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United States Congress enacted Johnson's Great Society program to fight poverty and hunger.

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The Watergate Scandal had a powerful effect of waking up a somewhat dormant Congress which investigated presidential wrongdoing and coverups; the scandal "substantially reshaped" relations between the branches of government, suggested political scientist Bruce J Schulman.

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From 2007 to 2008,175 members of United States Congress received "half or more of their campaign cash" from PACs.

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Norman Ornstein suggested that media prominence led to a greater emphasis on the negative and sensational side of United States Congress, and referred to this as the tabloidization of media coverage.

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On January 6,2021, the United States Congress gathered to confirm the election of Joe Biden, when supporters of the outgoing president, Donald Trump, violently entered the building.

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Sections One through Six describe how United States Congress is elected and gives each House the power to create its own structure.

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United States Congress has implied powers derived from the Constitution's Necessary and Proper Clause.

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Congress can borrow money on the credit of the United States, regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the states, and coin money.

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United States Congress has an important role in national defense, including the exclusive power to declare war, to raise and maintain the armed forces, and to make rules for the military.

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Some critics have charged that United States Congress has in some instances failed to do an adequate job of overseeing the other branches of government.

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United States Congress has the exclusive power of removal, allowing impeachment and removal of the president, federal judges and other federal officers.

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United States Congress is slow, open, divided, and not well matched to handle more rapid executive action or do a good job of overseeing such activity, according to one analysis.

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Constitution concentrates removal powers in the United States Congress by empowering and obligating the House of Representatives to impeach executive or judicial officials for "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors".

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Some members of United States Congress are elected by their peers to be officers of these committees.

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The Library had mostly law books when it was burned by a British raiding party during the War of 1812, but the library's collections were restored and expanded when United States Congress authorized the purchase of Thomas Jefferson's private library.

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United States Congress has alternated between periods of constructive cooperation and compromise between parties, known as bipartisanship, and periods of deep political polarization and fierce infighting, known as partisanship.

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Term of United States Congress is divided into two "sessions", one for each year; United States Congress has occasionally been called into an extra or special session.

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The Constitution requires United States Congress to meet at least once each year and forbids either house from meeting outside the Capitol without the consent of the other house.

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Joint sessions of the United States Congress occur on special occasions that require a concurrent resolution from House and Senate.

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Generally, members who have been in United States Congress longer have greater seniority and therefore greater power.

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Voting within United States Congress can take many forms, including systems using lights and bells and electronic voting.

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Incumbent members of United States Congress running for reelection have strong advantages over challengers.

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Critics contend that members of United States Congress are more likely to attend to the needs of heavy campaign contributors than to ordinary citizens.

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Since members of United States Congress must advertise heavily on television, this usually involves negative advertising, which smears an opponent's character without focusing on the issues.

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We would not have survived as a nation without a United States Congress that represented the diverse interests of our society, conducted a public debate on the major issues, found compromises to resolve conflicts peacefully, and limited the power of our executive, military, and judicial institutions.

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Also, members of United States Congress often appear self-serving as they pursue their political careers and represent interests and reflect values that are controversial.

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Scandals, even when they involve a single member, add to the public's frustration with United States Congress and have contributed to the institution's low ratings in opinion polls.

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Since 2006, United States Congress has dropped ten points in the Gallup confidence poll with only nine percent having "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in their legislators.

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Franking privilege allows members of United States Congress to send official mail to constituents at government expense.

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From 1789 to 1815, members of United States Congress received only a daily payment of $6 while in session.

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United States Congress has been criticized for trying to conceal pay raises by slipping them into a large bill at the last minute.

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