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United States Congress: Facts and Figures

19-12-2017

Congress is the legislative branch of the US system of government and is divided into two chambers: the House of Representatives (lower chamber) and the Senate (upper chamber). The formal powers of Congress are set out in Article 1 of the US Constitution, and include making laws, collecting revenue, borrowing and spending money, declaring war, making treaties with foreign nations, and overseeing the executive branch. Elections to the US Congress occur in November every second year, with the Congress ...

Congress is the legislative branch of the US system of government and is divided into two chambers: the House of Representatives (lower chamber) and the Senate (upper chamber). The formal powers of Congress are set out in Article 1 of the US Constitution, and include making laws, collecting revenue, borrowing and spending money, declaring war, making treaties with foreign nations, and overseeing the executive branch. Elections to the US Congress occur in November every second year, with the Congress convening the following January. The current, 115th, Congress was elected in November 2016 and was convened in January 2017. The US has a long-standing two-party system, which means that nearly all members of Congress belong to either the Republican or Democratic Parties, while independent members (if any) generally align or sit with one of the two main parties. At the most recent US Congressional and Presidential elections, in November 2016, the Republican Party retained its majority in both houses of Congress, as well as winning the White House. This EPRS Briefing is designed to provide key facts and figures about the US Congress as an institution, including relevant comparisons with the European Parliament (EP). The back page contains a map showing the location of the various Congressional buildings on Capitol Hill, home to the Congress in Washington DC.

Provisions governing the activity of high political office-holders in election or selection processes: A comparative analysis of the provisions and practices in the EU, its Member States and selected international organisations

16-02-2017

In its resolution of 28 April 2016 on the discharge procedure for the year 2014, the European Parliament instructed the European Parliamentary Research Service to undertake a study including 'a comparative analysis of the legal framework governing the compatibilities of candidates who run for election campaigns in other international organisations and in the Member States (election of prime minister, secretary general, chancellor, etc.)'. This study therefore examines relevant rules on the use of ...

In its resolution of 28 April 2016 on the discharge procedure for the year 2014, the European Parliament instructed the European Parliamentary Research Service to undertake a study including 'a comparative analysis of the legal framework governing the compatibilities of candidates who run for election campaigns in other international organisations and in the Member States (election of prime minister, secretary general, chancellor, etc.)'. This study therefore examines relevant rules on the use of public resources by high political office-holders in electoral/selection processes at EU, international and EU Member State level. An initial version of this study was delivered to the Members of the Committee on Budgetary Control in October 2016. This revised version incorporates some minor changes following final verifications. Nonetheless, the information in this study does not reflect any further possible recent changes in any individual Member State.

Preparing a Harmonized Maternity Leave for Members of the European Parliament - Legal Analysis

20-04-2016

Upon request by the FEMM Committee, the Policy Department has examined the Member States' different national legislations for maternity or parental leave for national members of Parliament. Furthermore, the rules concerning absence and leave for Members of the European Parliament have also been explored. The overview of the European and national rules provide insights in the different ways how maternity or parental leave is regulated for members of parliament at both levels. It concludes that the ...

Upon request by the FEMM Committee, the Policy Department has examined the Member States' different national legislations for maternity or parental leave for national members of Parliament. Furthermore, the rules concerning absence and leave for Members of the European Parliament have also been explored. The overview of the European and national rules provide insights in the different ways how maternity or parental leave is regulated for members of parliament at both levels. It concludes that the provisions of the European Electoral Act prohibit presently the introduction of rules for maternity or parental leave with a possibility of temporary replacement for MEPs.

US Congress: Speaker of the House

27-10-2015

In the wake of the first visit of Pope Francis to the United States in September 2015, John Boehner announced that he would resign one of the most powerful positions in government, the House Speaker, at the end of October. The vote in the House of Representatives for a new Speaker is likely to take place on 29 October and elections for other Republican leadership posts will be held thereafter. John Boehner was first elected to serve as Speaker in November 2010 for the 112th Congress. He was re-elected ...

In the wake of the first visit of Pope Francis to the United States in September 2015, John Boehner announced that he would resign one of the most powerful positions in government, the House Speaker, at the end of October. The vote in the House of Representatives for a new Speaker is likely to take place on 29 October and elections for other Republican leadership posts will be held thereafter. John Boehner was first elected to serve as Speaker in November 2010 for the 112th Congress. He was re-elected by the House in January 2013 for the 113th Congress, and again in January 2015 for the 114th Congress. The House Speaker is the political and parliamentary leader of the House of Representatives. He or she is elected by the House of Representatives and the role is the only House leadership position mentioned in Article 1 of the US Constitution (on the legislature). He or she is possibly the most prominent figure on Capitol Hill. Amongst many roles, the Speaker controls the legislative agenda through the House Rules Committee; appoints members of the majority party to committees; defines the priorities of the majority, raises money for the party and negotiates the terms of legislation with Senate leaders and the US President. This multiplicity of roles is argued to be a permanent source of struggle for the Speaker who has to promote the collective interest of the Chamber while simultaneously serving the interests of the House majority party. Looking back, academics argue that the Speakership has largely changed over time not only due to the institutional changes introduced but also because of the different personalities who have held the position.

Women in parliaments: Proportion of women members compared to the EP

27-02-2014

The InfoGraphic "Women in parliaments" provides information on the proportion of women in national parliaments, compares representation of women in national parliaments with their numbers in the European Parliament and shows the number of women in the EP by political group. It also gives an overview of female representatives in the EP by Member State and outlines the gender quotas applicable to the EP elections in the current legislature.

The InfoGraphic "Women in parliaments" provides information on the proportion of women in national parliaments, compares representation of women in national parliaments with their numbers in the European Parliament and shows the number of women in the EP by political group. It also gives an overview of female representatives in the EP by Member State and outlines the gender quotas applicable to the EP elections in the current legislature.

The European Elections - EU Legislation, National Provisions and Civic Participation

16-02-2009

This study describes both the European framework and national provisions on electoral procedures in the Member States of the European Union, including recent developments such as the creation of European Political Parties and the reform of the Electoral Act of 1976. For each country the most important legal provisions, the electoral system and some outcomes of past elections - such as participation of citizens from other Member States - are presented. The document also provides information sources ...

This study describes both the European framework and national provisions on electoral procedures in the Member States of the European Union, including recent developments such as the creation of European Political Parties and the reform of the Electoral Act of 1976. For each country the most important legal provisions, the electoral system and some outcomes of past elections - such as participation of citizens from other Member States - are presented. The document also provides information sources for further study of national regulations.

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