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So, there is lots of talk about Congressional Resolutions because of the Green New Deal and Trump’s Border Wall National Emergency. Let’s be real, most of us don’t know what a Congressional Resolution really is.

First if all, a RESOLUTION is defined as “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” That’s in general, but in Congress there are three different types of resolutions: 

SIMPLE RESOLUTIONS: a motion or a decision that deals with the operation of either the House of Representatives or Senate. Unlike other resolutions, they only have to be passed by one house, and do not go to the president for approval. 

These resolutions are used when either house wants to set up a committee, assign someone to a committee, schedule when someone is going to take the floor to speak, and many other organizational matters.  Aside from organization, they can also be used to force members of a house to go on record with a vote of “yay” or “nay” on a specific topic, such as a war or in objection to what the president has done, without proposing a bill. 

It is IMPORTANT to note that since these resolutions cannot become law they are NONBINDING RESOLUTIONS.

CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONS: these resolutions are nonbinding and deal with matters concerning both the House of Representatives and the Senate. These resolutions are voted on by both houses but do not go to the president for approval. Instead, they are signed by the Clerck of the House and Secretary of the Senate if they are approved.

JOINT RESOLUTIONS: this is just like a bill and must be approved by both the Senate and House before it goes before the president to be signed into law or vetoed. If a Joint Resolution gets a majority vote, it is veto-proof.

Joint Resolutions usually deal with matters of the government and are used to make amendments to the constitution (must be ratified by the states), declare war, appropriate government funding, or disapprove   . 

Some Joint Resolutions are privileged, meaning that once they begin in one chamber of Congress the other chamber must bring the resolution to the floor for a vote. Resolutions that disapprove of National Emergencies are privileged.

On February 26, 2019, Representative Joaquin Castro’s Joint Resolution of Disapproval to oppose Trump’s national emergency for his border wall was put on the floor for a vote in the House of Representatives. If it receives a majority vote in both the House and the Senate, it will end Trump’s quest to take funds assigned to other government projects to build his wall.  If you are wondering, yes, the resolution is only one page long, as important as it is. 

 

The National Emergency Manual

Don’t be MINDLESS. Take the time to get all caught up and read the National Emergency Manual.

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