Category Archives: US Congress

What is the Nuclear Option?

In a post last week the issue of the filibuster and cloture motion was considered:

US Government in Focus – What is a Filibuster and a Cloture Motion?

Within this article, it was noted that the cloture motion was the only way to stop a filibuster. However, there is another way. It is so drastic that it is nicknamed the ‘Nuclear Option’. However, given the Federal Shutdown that has engulfed the US Government in the last few days, it has been muted by some, including President Trump:

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Will the GOP and Democrats be able to avoid a Federal Shutdown?

A sign on the National Mall tells visitors of the closures do to the federal government shutdown in Washington

If the US Congress fails to pass a bill which funds the Federal Government, it results in a Federal Shutdown. During a shutdown all government services that are not deemed to be essential are closed. This can mean that hundreds of thousands of Federal bureaucrats are sent home, without pay. They will not be allowed to work until a new funding agreement has been reached.

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What is Gerrymandering?

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Image from The Washington Post.

Gerrymandering is the process of redrawing political boundary lines to give a party a numerical advantage over its opponents. Imagine, there was a hypothetical state called ‘New Devonshire’ of 50 people, as represented above. To start with 30 are Democrats and 20 are Republicans. Luckily, in this state, all the Republicans live in one area and all the Democrats live in another!

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Advice and Consent Powers

There are a number of powers in the US Constitution that are exclusively granted to the two different houses of Congress. These include:

House of Rep

House of Representatives

  • Can begin impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States.
  • Elects the President if the Electoral College is tied or no candidates reach a majority.
  • Power to introduce legislation that deals with revenue and taxes

 

 

US Senate

Senate

  • Tries impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States.
  • Elects the Vice-President of the United States if the Electoral College is tied or no candidates reach a majority.
  • Reviews and ratifies Presidential Appointments.
  • Ratifies International Treaties by a two-thirds majority.

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