GAVEL DOWN: Closing out the Week in Congress (Oct. 11-14, 2016)
Short holiday week here…
We're bringing you some congressional procedure as well as what your lawmakers are up to back home!
Let’s talk about the election..no, not that one. Next year your Representatives will cast votes as well, determining who will serve as Speaker of the House.
So how does it work?
Typically, each party nominates a candidate whose name is placed in nomination. Anyone can receive votes, however, whether nominated or not. To be elected speaker, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of votes cast. Roll call votes are repeated until a Speaker is elected.
Who can serve as Speaker?
Anyone! The Speaker does not have to be a member of the House of Representatives. However, the same requirements for serving in the House apply, meaning a candidate must be at least 25 years old and a citizen of the country for the previous seven years.
So what does the Speaker do anyway?
Well, the Speaker is the presiding officer of the House of Representatives, fulfilling administrative and procedural duties such as administering the Oath of Office and nominating committee chairs. The Speaker is the leader of the majority political party in the House and chairs the party’s steering committee, which is determines committee appointments.
Can the Speaker vote?
Yes, the Speaker may debate or vote but typically abstains.
Why do we even have a Speaker?
The position is designated in the Constitution (see Article 1, Section 2).
What’s this I hear about being in line for the presidency?
Well if the president nor vice president are able to serve, the Speaker is next in line. Learn more about the order of succession and how far folks from your state have made it.
Reps. Martha McSally [R, AZ-2] and Mimi Walters [R, CA-45] led a field hearing on opportunities for women in the workplace.
Sen. Jon Tester [D, MT] sent a letter to the NSA Director about security clearance vulnerabilities.
Sen. Jack Reed [D, RI] toured the country's first offshore wind farm.
Rep. Matt Salmon [R, AZ-5] welcomed new granddaughter into the world.
Rep. Steve Cohen [D, TN-9] hosted Congress on Your Corner, bringing his office on the road.
Sen. Ron Johnson [R, WI] sent a letter to President Obama lobbying for flood assistance.
Rep. Suzan DelBene [D, WA-1] spoke on infrastructure reform.
Rep. Dina Titus [D, NV-1] announced federal grant to combat human trafficking in Southern Nevada.
- Senate Finance Democrats released report calling for additional funding for opioid treatment programs.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received record one million public comments on proposed rules on payday and small-dollar loans.
- Federal Communications Commission announced Comcast will pay $2.3 million for wrongfully upping subscribers' bills, bringing two-year investigation to an end with biggest cable fine in FCC history. Earlier this year Senate HSGAC subcommittee held related hearing and published report.
- President Obama wants to send humans to Mars by the 2030s.
- Supreme Court heard arguments over a patent dispute case between Apple and Samsung, the first "design patent" case to reach the Court in 120 years.
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unconstitutional but did not shut down the agency.
- Supreme Court agreed to review lawsuit against former Attorney General John Ashcroft and other top officials in which immigrants said they were racially profiled and illegally detained following 9/11. Court will be more shorthanded than usual as Justices Sotomayor and Kagan recused themselves, leaving the court with six members.
- President Obama is considering "proportional" response to the Russian government's role in cyber hacks.
- First Lady Michelle Obama announced $5 million expansion to her Let Girls Learn initiative, which has amassed more than $1 billion in private sector donations since she launched the effort 18 months ago.
- Obama administration hit final 100 days in office. Take a look back at President Obama's first 100 days.
- State Department published behind the scenes look at its fleet of 3,000 non-tactical, armored vehicles.
- White House released two new reports, saying artificial intelligence should be ethical and augment rather than replace humans.
- Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf stepped down without severance in wake of accounts scandal. Stumpf recently testified before Senate Banking and House Financial Services.
- Mylan will not pay higher Medicaid rebates until April 2017 after reaching $465 million settlement with the Justice Department. Company is also under investigation by the Securities Exchange Commission.
- 33 states and 11 county or local election agencies asked the Department of Homeland Security for help securing elections systems.
- Vermont became the second state (following South Dakota) to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day.
- How do Americans feel about Yahoo surveillance program?
- Hear Aleppo mentioned during the debate? Catch up.
- U.S. police used location data from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to track protesters. Now the companies are blocking the tool responsible.
- The trouble with polling — One 19-year-old in Illinois is throwing off national polling averages.
- How's Tennessee's free college program going?
- British government announced it will begin accepting eligible children from Calais migrant camp in northern France.
- Teenage boy in Saudi Arabia was jailed after flirting with a California woman online. Behavior was in violation of the country's cyber crime laws, going against the country's strict religious laws.
- U.S. launched airstrikes in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen after failed missile attack on U.S. Navy ship.
- Compare gas prices around the world.
- Saudi Arabia's crude oil revenue has fallen by 68% this year.
- 150+ countries are working on a global hydrofluorocarbon deal. State Department said it's "optimistic" that a deal can be struck. (So what are HFCs? We've got you covered.)
Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill does not imply POPVOX endorsement in any way. As always, our goal is to offer one more way to help you stay informed about the complex U.S. legislative system.