The 112th Begins!

January 5, 2011
by Jen Maurer, Sr. Policy Associate

Today, the 112th Congress of the United States was sworn in. There are 96 new representatives in the Republican-controlled House and 37 new senators (still controlled by Democrats), which means we have to start working immediately on educating them about RESULTS and our issues. We won’t receive committee assignments for another 1–2 weeks for the Republicans and 3–4 weeks for the Democrats, and given the number of new members, we expect there to be significant turnover, especially in the House.

Some changes of note:

  • On Thursday there will be a reading of the Constitution on the House floor.
  • All proposed bills must be accompanied by a “Constitutional Authority Statement” explaining the specific section of the Constitution that empowers Congress to enact the legislation.
  • All bills must be posted online for three days before a vote (previously they had to be made available, but were not required to be posted).
  • Text of legislation must be posted online 24 hours before committee mark-up (no previous requirement).
  • Joint budget resolutions do not automatically increase the debt limit.
  • Spending increases have to be offset by cuts, not by increasing taxes (previously both were available options).

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