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

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.
Date: November 24, 2010
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: November 30, 2011
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: This report discusses the process of Advice and Consent in the Senate. Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution states that the President "shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other Public Ministers and Counsels, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all Other Officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law…."
Date: July 2, 2008
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Senate Committee Hearings: Preparation

Description: Committee hearings allow Senators an opportunity to gather information on, and draw attention to, legislation and issues within a committee’s purview, conduct oversight of programs or agencies, and investigate allegations of wrongdoing. This report contains a checklist that identifies many of the tasks that need to be performed by a full committee and, in most cases, subcommittees in advance of a hearing. Some of the tasks are required by Senate or committee rules; others are common committee practice. Some tasks are usually the responsibility of the committee’s majority staff, some are shared by majority and minority staff, and some are performed by a Senator’s personal office staff.
Date: February 22, 2007
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Senate Committee Hearings: Preparation

Description: Committee hearings allow Senators an opportunity to gather information on, and draw attention to, legislation and issues within a committee’s purview, conduct oversight of programs or agencies, and investigate allegations of wrongdoing. This report contains a checklist that identifies many of the tasks that need to be performed by a full committee and, in most cases, subcommittees in advance of a hearing. Some of the tasks are required by Senate or committee rules; others are common committee practice. Some tasks are usually the responsibility of the committee’s majority staff, some are shared by majority and minority staff, and some are performed by a Senator’s personal office staff.
Date: September 17, 2009
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Changing Senate Rules: The "Constitutional" or "Nuclear" Option

Description: This report indicates possible attempts to curtail the use of filibusters in the Senate, perhaps in the 109th Congress. Some have suggested that proponents of this idea may invoke something called the “nuclear” or “constitutional” option in Senate floor procedure to try to end a filibuster without the need for 60 votes or to amend the cloture rule (Rule XXII) itself. This report presents several possible scenarios that would require one or more of the Senate’s precedents be overturned or interpreted otherwise than in the past.
Date: May 26, 2005
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: March 29, 2005
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: June 5, 2003
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Commonly Used Motions and Requests in the House of Representatives

Description: This report identifies the most commonly used motions and requests available to Members during proceedings in the House of Representatives. The report divides the motions and requests into seven broad categories, based on when the motion or request is in order and who can make the motion or request. Daily Business is the category that includes items that are routine to the conduct of business in the House each day, such as the motion to adjourn. Decorum and Privilege covers issues of the rights and privileges of Members and the House and how Members conduct themselves on the floor.
Date: November 30, 2004
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: February 17, 2012
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

9/11 Commission Recommendations: The Senate Confirmation Process for Presidential Nominees

Description: On July 22, 2004, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, known as the 9/11 Commission, issued its final report, detailing the events up to and including the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks upon the United States. The 9/11 Commission recommended that the Senate adopt rules requiring hearings and votes to confirm or reject national security nominees within 30 days of their submission at the start of each new presidential administration. Implementing the commission's proposal would involve imposing new restrictions on both the power of committee chairs to control the agenda of their committees and the rights of Senators to delay or block nominations through holds and extended debate. This report discusses in detail this proposal, how it could be implemented, and the potential effects of its implementation.
Date: March 23, 2005
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

9/11 Commission Recommendations: The Senate Confirmation Process for Presidential Nominees

Description: On July 22, 2004, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, known as the 9/11 Commission, issued its final report, detailing the events up to and including the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks upon the United States. The 9/11 Commission recommended that the Senate adopt rules requiring hearings and votes to confirm or reject national security nominees within 30 days of their submission at the start of each new presidential administration. Implementing the commission's proposal would involve imposing new restrictions on both the power of committee chairs to control the agenda of their committees and the rights of Senators to delay or block nominations through holds and extended debate. This report discusses in detail this proposal, how it could be implemented, and the potential effects of its implementation.
Date: November 22, 2004
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Senate Rules Affecting Committees

Description: This report identifies and summarizes the provisions of the Senate's standing rules, standing orders, precedents, and other directives that relate to legislative activity in the Senate's standing committees. It covers four main issues: committee organization, committee meetings, hearings, and reporting.
Date: February 28, 2003
Creator: Bach, Stanley & Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Senate's Calendar of Business

Description: This report provides a summary of the contents of the Senate's Calendar of Business, which lists bills, resolutions, and other items of legislative business that are eligible for floor consideration.
Date: January 4, 2005
Creator: Palmer, Betsy & Bach, Stanley
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Amending Process in the Senate

Description: This report summarizes many of the rules, precedents, and practices of the Senate affecting the consideration of amendments to measures on the floor. Much of the information presented here has been extracted from Riddick’s Senate Procedure (Senate Document 101-28) the published collection of Senate precedents.
Date: March 17, 2003
Creator: Palmer, Betsy & Bach, Stanley
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department