A handy guide to all Congress happenings on both sides of the aisle. Thank goodness for this political body that keeps Presidential power in check.
Bryan Watch: Oct 22-25
This Wednesday, while the rest of Congressional Republicans were busy voting when they weren’t obstructing justice, Rep. Steil had a photo opportunity with Vice President Mike Pence. As a result, Steil missed votes on a bill to protect the 2020 elections against interference by foreign governments.
Bryan Watch: Oct 15-18
Congress is back in session after a two week break, so time once again to look at our Representative in Washington has been up to. A fairly slow week, with only nine votes.
Bryan Watch: Sept Week 3
A major bodyslam for Donald Trump this week regarding the whistleblower complaint of August 12. In a unanimous vote of 421 to zero, the House demanded that Acting Director of National Intelligence Maguire immediately stop stonewalling and send the complaint to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. They also demanded that Maguire protect the whistleblower from any retaliation by the Trump administration (House Resolution 576, RC 548, Sep 25). This follows a similar vote by the Senate on Tuesday. Trump has literally not got a soul in Congress willing to defend him on the whistleblower issue.
Bryan Watch: Sept II
Fairly slow week for Congress this second week back. There were only ten votes this week. The National Defense Authorization Act (the budget for the Pentagon) is currently in conference between the House and Senate to resolve differences. A motion to close portions of the conference (end debate on parts of the bills everyone agreed on) passed 407 to 4 (RC 532, Sep 17). The four dissenters were Justin Amish (MI) and Tom Massie (KY) from the conservative side and Earl Blumenauer (OR) and Rashida Tlaib (MI) from the liberal side.
Bryan Watch: Sept Week 1
Bryan Watch - Sept 2019: Week 1 They're back! The House is back from their six-week recess, so it is time once again to look at what Rep. Steil (R_WI) and his colleagues have been up to.
The New Congress
The 116th Congress is run by 67 Democrats and 44 Republicans, to which I say, good. For once, Congress has some diversity. Yes, there is the occasional black representative, but see, my own people, Hispanics, have historically been underrepresented. The New York Times is a publication I got my free subscription to because my dabbling in real journalism is going nowhere without access to information like the type found in The New York Times. Okay, we have 101 fresh Representatives in the House, mostly white, although there are some people of color.
Does Congress as a Body Truly Represent the Average American
The question of whether Congress is representative is one that most Americans don’t think twice about. After all, Congress filled with its Congressmen and Senators was designed to be representative of the people in their districts and states. The fact of the matter is that there are other motivations behind the actions Congress takes. While they might want to represent the people, they also represent their own interests, as well as the interests of their sponsors. In addition, Congress as a whole does not accurately represent the demographics of the people. So while members of Congress may take actions to ensure that they are reelected, I do not believe that they represent the people to the best of their ability or accurately.
Bryan Watch: Late July
It was a relatively slow week in Congress. And it will be even slower in coming weeks, as Congress is on vacation until September.
The House of Representatives
The House makes up half of Congress as the government’s legislative branch. The House has 325 voting members, their positions are based on the population of the 50 states. A representative is referred to as a congressman or congresswoman. The number of voters for the House was set at 435 on August 8, 1911, in effect since 1913. The number of representatives per state is proportionate to the population. Article one, Section two of the Constitution has provided for the minimum and maximum sizes for the House of Representatives, as there are five delegates representing the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The Way Congress Works
Congress is the legislative body of the United States government. Our lawmakers make decisions that affect us on a federal level, and federal generally refers to the entire country. Individual state law is different from multi-national law that affects the entire country. Each state in the Union is represented by two law makers from the state. There are two chambers that make up Congress, the House of Representatives, and the Senate. Congress has 535 voting members, and 100 Senators. There are six non-voting members representing Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, The Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.
United States Congress
There are three branches of government, judicial, legislative, and executive. The President leads the executive branch, while the judicial branch's highest office is the Supreme Court of the United States. Congress has the power to make laws, as the legislative branch of the United States system of governance. Congress is the only branch of the government elected by the people. The people have given Congress the power to make the laws, to declare war, and to raise public money, as well as to impeach and try federal officers. Congress approves or impeaches the President, and has the power to approve treaties negotiated by the executive branch, as well as help out with oversight and major investigations.
The California State Legislature
The California State Legislature is made up of the California State Assembly and 80 members. The California State Senate has 40 members, with both houses of the legislature convening at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. I want to serve the California State Legislature as a member someday because it is one of ten full-time state legislatures in the United States. The State assembly consists of 61 Democrats, and 18 Republicans with one vacancy, while the Senate is composed of 29 Democrats, and 11 Republicans. There was a brief period between 1995 and 1996 where Republicans ran the show, the Democrats have run the California Assembly since the 1970 election.