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Category Archives: Congress

Congressional Censure and “ No Confidence” Votes Regarding Public Officials

Congressional Censure and “No Confidence” Votes Regarding Public Officials. Jack Maskell, Legislative Attorney; Richard S. Beth, Specialist on the Congress and Legislative Process. June 23, 2016.
“The House and the Senate have, from time to time in the past, proposed and—on some occasions—adopted a resolution which has expressed the body’s disapproval, condemnation, censure, or lack of confidence regarding a particular official in the executive branch of the federal government. Such actions have not been considered as part of the express impeachment authority of the House with in the Constitution (nor the authority to try such impeachments in the Senate), nor have t hey generally been considered as either part of the inherent contempt authority of either house of Congress or the express constitutional authority of each house of Congress to discipline its own Members. Rather, such actions seem to be in the nature of a “sense of the House” or a “sense of the Senate” resolution, whereby a simple resolution is proposed and adopted by one house of Congress, without the concurrence of the other house of Congress, and without a requirement for a “presentment” to the President (as would be required of a “bill”). Such simple resolutions adopted by one house (or concurrent resolutions adopted by both houses) have come to be recognized by parliamentarians as a vehicle to express the opinion and sense of Congress on a nonlegislative matter; and “sense of” the House, Senate, or Congress resolutions concerning a wide range of subjects have been used frequently in the past by the House and Senate. The adoption of a simple or concurrent resolution expressing the House’s or Senate’s “censure,” “condemnation,” or “no confidence” in a particular officer of the federal government does not have any immediate or binding legal import, but does express a particular moral judgment and may have both symbolic as well as political implications…”

The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress

The State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress. R. Sam Garrett, Specialist in American National Government. June 23, 2016. “Major changes have occurred in campaign finance policy since 2002, when Congress substantially amended campaign finance law via the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA). The Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United… Continue Reading

The European Union: Current Challenges and Future Prospects, updated June 21, 2016 (pre-Brexit)

The European Union: Current Challenges and Future Prospects – Kristin Archick. Specialist in European Affairs. June 21, 2016. “The European Union (EU) is a unique partnership in which member states have pooled sovereignty in certain policy areas and harmonized laws on a wide range of economic, social, and political issues. The EU is the latest… Continue Reading

Democrats Issue Benghazi Report and Release Interview Transcripts

News release: “Today, the Democratic Members of the Select Committee on Benghazi issued a 339-page report entitled, “Honoring Courage, Improving Security, and Fighting the Political Exploitation of a Tragedy.”  Democrats also released all of the unclassified interview transcripts in their possession so the American people can read them for themselves….” Continue Reading

Lack of regulatory control over dietary supplements leaves consumers with no safety net

Via The Atlantic – Why ‘Dietary Supplements’ Can Contain Anything – “Six past FDA commissioners regret their inability to ensure safety and purity of products due to the political power of the industry.” Continue Reading

The Appointment Process for U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations: An Overview

CRS report via FAS – The Appointment Process for U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominations: An Overview, Denis Steven Rutkus, Visiting Scholar. June 17, 2016. “In recent decades, the process for appointing judges to the U.S. circuit courts of appeals and the U.S. district courts has been of continuing Senate interest. The responsibility for making… Continue Reading

Foreign Aid: An Introduction to U.S. Programs and Policy

CRS Report via FAS – Foreign Aid: An Introduction to U.S. Programs and Policy – Curt Tarnoff, Specialist in Foreign Affairs; Marian L. Lawson, Specialist in Foreign Assistance Policy. June 17, 2016. “Foreign assistance is a fundamental component of the international affairs budget and is viewed by many as an essential instrument of U.S. foreign… Continue Reading

The Network Neutrality Battles that Will Follow Reclassification

Peha, Jon M., The Network Neutrality Battles that Will Follow Reclassification (March 2015). I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society, Forthcoming. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2797522 “In 2015, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a new set of network neutrality rules for the Internet. In the process, the FCC… Continue Reading

CRS INSIGHT U.S. Circuit Court Vacancies: Overview and Comparative Analysis

Barry J. McMillion, Analyst in American National Government. “This Insight provides comparative historical data related to U.S. circuit court vacancies that existed at the beginning of the three most recent presidencies (Obama, George W. Bush, Clinton), as well as the number of vacancies that existed on June 1 of each President’s eighth year in office.… Continue Reading

CRS – Trends in Child Care Spending from the CCDF and TANF

Trends in Child Care Spending from the CCDF and TANF, Karen E. Lynch, Specialist in Social Policy. June 16, 2016. “The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is the main source of federal funding dedicated primarily to child care subsidies for low-income working families. The term “CCDF” was coined in regulation by the U.S. Department… Continue Reading

The Islamic State’s Acolytes and the Challenges They Pose to U.S. Law Enforcement

The Islamic State’s Acolytes and the Challenges They Pose to U.S. Law Enforcement. Jerome P. Bjelopera, Specialist in Organized Crime and Terrorism. June 13, 2016. “Analysis of publicly available information on homegrown violent jihadist activity in the United States since September 11, 2001, suggests that the Islamic State (IS) and its acolytes may pose broad… Continue Reading

Rand Report – Politically Polarized, Ideologically Complicated

Politically Polarized, Ideologically … Complicated Mapping America’s Ideological Terrain, Part 1 by Joshua Mendelsohn, Michael Pollard – “In April, the Washington Post published an article titled “The Coming Republican Demographic Disaster, in 1 Stunning Chart.” It discusses one of the most notable trends in American politics over the past decade: Republican candidates do consistently worse… Continue Reading