Secret Sessions of the House and Senate: Authority, Confidentiality, and Frequency

Secret Sessions of the House and Senate: Authority, Confidentiality, and Frequency

Date: November 30, 2011
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Description: Secret, or closed, sessions of the House and Senate exclude the press and the public. They may be held for matters deemed to require confidentiality and secrecy-such as national security, sensitive communications received from the President, and Senate deliberations during impeachment trials. Although Members usually seek advance agreement for going into secret session, any Member of Congress may request a secret session without notice. When the House or Senate goes into secret session, its chamber and galleries are cleared of everyone except Members and officers and employees specified in the rules or designated by the presiding officer as essential to the session. After the chamber is cleared, its doors are closed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Senate Committee Rules in the 112th Congress: A Comparison of Key Provisions

Senate Committee Rules in the 112th Congress: A Comparison of Key Provisions

Date: February 17, 2012
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Description: This report reviews the requirements contained in Senate rules pertaining to committees; it then explores how each Senate committee addresses 11 specific issues: meeting day, hearing and meeting notice requirements, scheduling of witnesses, hearing quorum, business quorum, amendment filing requirements, proxy voting, polling, nominations, investigations, and subpoenas. In addition, the report looks at the unique provisions some committees have included in their rules in the miscellaneous category.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Introducing a House Bill or Resolution

Introducing a House Bill or Resolution

Date: November 24, 2010
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Description: This report briefly discusses the procedure for introducing a bill or resolution in the House of Representatives.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Sponsorship and Cosponsorship of House Bills

Sponsorship and Cosponsorship of House Bills

Date: November 24, 2010
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Description: This report briefly discusses the processes of sponsoring, cosponsoring, and gaining cosponsors for bills in the House of Representatives.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Special Order Speeches and Other Forms of Non-Legislative Debate in the House

Special Order Speeches and Other Forms of Non-Legislative Debate in the House

Date: November 24, 2010
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Description: This report briefly discusses non-legislative debate in the House of Representatives, specifically special order speeches, one-minute speeches, and morning hour debate. The purpose of these practices is to permit Members to address the House for specified durations and at specified times of their own choosing, outside the consideration of legislative business.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Presidential Appointments, the Senate's Confirmation Process, and Proposals for Change, 112th Congress

Presidential Appointments, the Senate's Confirmation Process, and Proposals for Change, 112th Congress

Date: July 8, 2011
Creator: Carey, Maeve P.
Description: The responsibility for populating top positions in the executive and judicial branches of government is shared, with the President having the power of appointment and the Senate having the power of advice and consent. This report provides a brief background on advice and consent issues, an overview of the appointment process in both the executive and legislative branches, and a brief discussion of recent concerns about the system. Next, the report explores the events in the 112th Congress leading up to the introduction and Senate action on S. 679 and S.Res. 116, and concludes with an analysis of the two measures.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Supreme Court Nominations: Senate Floor Procedure and Practice, 1789-2011

Supreme Court Nominations: Senate Floor Procedure and Practice, 1789-2011

Date: March 11, 2011
Creator: Beth, Richard S. & Palmer, Betsy
Description: This report examines the ways in which the Senate has handled the 160 Supreme Court nominations the President has sent to the Senate. As the purpose of this report is to examine the forms taken by Senate proceedings on these 160 nominations, it treats each nomination as a separate case. It is not couched in terms of the smaller number of different individuals nominated or the ultimate outcome the confirmation process may have had for each individual.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Evolution of the Senate's Role in the Nomination and Confirmation Process: A Brief History

Evolution of the Senate's Role in the Nomination and Confirmation Process: A Brief History

Date: March 29, 2005
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Description: Over time, the Senate has developed a series of procedures to deal with the concerns of its Members on nominations. First is the custom of senatorial courtesy, whereby Senators from the same party as the President might influence a nomination or kill it by objecting to it. This tradition has not always been absolute, but it has allowed Senators to play a fairly large role, particularly in the selection of nominees within a Senator’s home state, such as for district court judgeships.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Evolution of the Senate's Role in the Nomination and Confirmation Process: A Brief History

Evolution of the Senate's Role in the Nomination and Confirmation Process: A Brief History

Date: June 5, 2003
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Description: Over time, the Senate has developed a series of procedures to deal with the concerns of its Members on nominations. First is the custom of senatorial courtesy, whereby Senators from the same party as the President might influence a nomination or kill it by objecting to it. This tradition has not always been absolute, but it has allowed Senators to play a fairly large role, particularly in the selection of nominees within a Senator’s home state, such as for district court judgeships.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Supreme Court Nominations: Senate Floor Procedure and Practice, 1789-2009

Supreme Court Nominations: Senate Floor Procedure and Practice, 1789-2009

Date: June 5, 2009
Creator: Beth, Richard S. & Palmer, Betsy
Description: This report discusses Senate procedure relating to Supreme Court nominations from 1789 to the present, but excluding the June 1, 2009 nomination of Sonia Sotomayor.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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