January 16, 2007 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
So far this Congress has been spared the brief “pro forma” sessions used to block presidential recess appointments in previous Congresses. Both parties have done it to prevent a president of the other party from filling judicial or executive branch vacancies while Congress is away. A recent court decision however, may change all that.
May 1, 2006By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
March 31, 2008 By Don Wolfensberger,Roll Call Contributing Writer
Part of the debt limit deal last August was a provision mandating that both Houses vote on an amendment to the Constitution to require a balanced budget each year. When the House Judiciary Committee reported a version that required a two-thirds vote to raise taxes, House Republicans reversed the committee in favor a simple majority vote to attract Democrats. In this article from Roll Call's Procedural Politics column, Don Wolfensberger comments that while the procedural acrobatics to make this change were complicated, they still left the amendment short of the two-thirds vote needed for constitutional amendments.
With the recent economic recession, increased unemployment, and plant closings and relocations abroad, trade is becoming an increasingly prominent issue in the nine-way race for the Democratic presidential nomination. How do the President and his trade representative interact with Congress on pending bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations, and how will future trade agreements be affected by the new political mood in Congress and the nation? These are some some of the questions that were posed at this recent Congress Project seminar.