Talk:111th United States Congress

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2nd session[edit]

I know the 2nd session has not started yet but does anyone know when it is? I think we could possibly put the starting date now...I suppose in a few weeks this will be a moot point anyway though. --Fshoutofdawater (talk) 14:51, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

One year from the day you posted that message, January 3, 2011.
Blindman shady

First veto[edit]

The heading is for major legislation, but do we include President Obama's veto of H.J.Res. 64, the continuing resolution for fiscal year 2010? I think we included all of the Bush vetoes from the 110th Congress, regardless of the subject or type of legislation. It was vetoed December 30, because the bill became unnecessary after the Defense Appropriations bill was signed. The House held an override attempt January 13.DCmacnut<> 22:22, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure. All of Bush's vetoes were of bills significant enough that they would probably have been listed anyway. Might the veto be a "major event"? -Rrius (talk) 22:28, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm torn, too. This New York Times article talks about this being part of the long standing Congress/White House dispute over whether a President can pocket veto legislation when Congress is between sessions. Congress says no, so they held the override vote. But to veto, the President must sign it as vetoed and send it back to Congress. In this case, Obama simply didn't sign the bill (neither approving nor vetoing it), though he still sent it back. THOMAS has changed its description of the veto, having listed it as a pocket veto back in December, but now listing it as a regular veto.
Maybe we could add a "see also" link to List of Barack Obama's vetoes instead. As it stands now, the article wrongly implies there have been no Obama vetoes.DCmacnut<> 22:54, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
The Senate was still in session, so under Wright v. United States, 302 U.S. 583, I'd think the President would be wrong in thinking a pocket veto was possible. In any event, I'm also conflicted, but I keep coming back to the legislation itself not being significant. Maybe we add it and note parenthetically that the veto is why it is significant? -Rrius (talk) 23:47, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion to consolidate health care[edit]

It seems evident that one health care bill is being considered: Affordable Health Care for America Act. Wouldn't it be reasonable to make this the sole bill for health care as there are multiple bills for any subject at any time...
Blindman shady 02:09, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Is Paul Kirk a senator after 1/19/2010?[edit]

I hear that the seating of the senator-elect can be delayed for about 15 days, but does the term of the appointed-senator end immediately after the election? The loser conceded (so there is no contest) which did not happen in MN with Al Franken. user:mnw2000 03:14, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Yes he is. First, there is 2 USC § 36, which says that Kirk remains on the payroll until Brown qualifies (i.e., takes the oath). More important for Wikipedians, the last time this happened was when Kay Bailey Hutchison defeated Bob Krueger. The election was held on June 5, 1993, and Hutchison took the oath on June 14. In the meantime, Krueger continued to sit and vote. See for example Roll Call vote 143 (during the first session of the 103rd Congress), taken on June 10, 1993, regarding S. 3, the Congressional Spending Limit and Election Reform Act of 1993. I'd link to the Congressional Record page, but the old ones aren't in PDF and the html page is just a temporary one. -Rrius (talk) 03:43, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Does qualified mean certified? Scott is clearly qualified (age, residence, etc.). Also, there is no question that he is the senator-elect. Therefore, the language says the the appointed Senator will hold office "a new senator is ËLECTED BY THE PEOPLE". Certification affects when the new senator is seated and can vote, but the appointed senator's term ends when the election is over and there is question who won. However, I think this will be moot based on comments from various Senators. It is, however, an interesting question. BTW, Ted Kennedy himself was seated the next day after his special election. user:mnw2000 12:20, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
Depends on your party. If you're a Democrat in Massachusetts, "qualified" is a very quick process. If you're a Republican, being "qualified" (though it is merely proof of age, residence, and citizenship) can take some time. When he is officially sworn in is when he's in the Senate, and that should be when we add him, as he cannot vote yet. It would be erroneous to list him as someone who can vote.
Blindman shady 17:39, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
"Qualified" does include and always has included taking the oath. You may want to research this before expressing an opinion.In any event, we have proof positive: Kirk voted in the Senate today.[1] Also, once again, Kennedy was elected during a sine die adjournment of the Senate. As a result, Smith's term ended on election day, and Kennedy's began on the day after without regard to taking the oath. That situation, as I mentioned in my prior contribution, is different from the situation here and with Kay Bailey Hutchison. -Rrius (talk) 18:16, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

New Senators[edit]

Scott Brown (R-Mass) and the final results from the Illinois senate race can determine what the 112th US congress may be like. Experts predict the fall of US Senate leader Harry Reid (D-Nev) and be another open seat for the state of Nevada, a "red" state in contrast to Massachusetts being a "blue" state. The state of Illinois may well be purple, due to the Chicago Democrat machine may be breaking down (the cause was the ex-governor Rod Blagojevich scandal) and by the majority of Illinois as a state with more of a Republican-oriented structure. + 71.102.7.77 (talk) 10:11, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

  • Take it up in the election articles, not the 112th Congress. It's a historical article, not a repository for speculation, no matter how likely.—Markles 15:44, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Picture needs to be updated[edit]

File:US House apportionment (20090626).png
This picture, visually depicting current party standings in the House of Representatives needs to be update. Until it is, I will remove it from the article since it is incorrect and therefore provides no useful information. Andy120290 (talk) 03:01, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Resolved

Reformatting[edit]

I reformatted the Member lists because it makes more sense for them to show current membership. Also, I made a few other changes to make it look better: italics, indenting instead of bulleting. --Metallurgist (talk) 05:47, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

  • While I appreciate your Boldness, this is a significant enough change to warrant consensus. We have most of the other articles that are formatted the previous way. Can we discuss and get consensus, first?—Markles 18:26, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
    • I prefer the old version. It does a better job of conveying the chronological changes in each seat. User:Metallurgist says "it makes more sense for [the lists] to show current membership", I have to assume that means "better reflect current membership" because both versions show current membership. I don't see the value of prioritizing current membership because this article will still contain that list after the 112th Congress begins. To justify the change, I think you would have to put forward a case that would also explain why the lists at 110th United States Congress should prioritize last-day membership. -Rrius (talk) 18:54, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Robert Byrd's seat[edit]

Can someone confirm that the appointment for this seat will only serve until a special election in November 2010? It seems this depends on when the seat either becomes vacant (more than 2 1/2 years from end of term or July 7th, 2010) or when the replacement takes office (which can be delayed until after the July 7th date). If it is the latter, the appointment would serve until the Januay 2013. user:mnw2000 15:39, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Still up in the air, as there seems to be a conflict in the law. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/senate/byrds-death-triggers-special-e.html
West Virginia law states that if there is a Senate vacancy more than 2 1/2 years before the incumbent's term ends, a special election would be called for this November. That 2 1/2-year mark is July 3 -- four days from now.

But, as the Post's Paul Kane notes, the language of the law is unclear as it sets up a schedule that would begin the special election process after the "primary next." That means, according to Democrats, in the spring of 2012. Such a schedule would place the special election in November 2012, when Byrd's ninth term would have ended anyway.

So maybe wait on edits?? -Colfer2 (talk) 16:23, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
The first part of that is just wrong; the law does not say anything about "this November". It says an appointee serves until a person is elected at the general election after the next candidate filing period and primary election. The 2010 primary is in the past, so it is impossible to have the election this year unless you start reading lots of things into the statute that aren't there. -Rrius (talk) 16:30, 28 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Let's avoid making this decision ourselves. Let's leave it to other folks to do the legal interpretation, let we violate WP:OR. What we should say, however, that there is a dispute and reference it. Once the dispute is resolved by the responsible parties, then we report that, too.—Markles 20:04, 28 June 2010 (UTC)

Too much enacted legislation[edit]

Some of the acts on the list are virtually unheard of. We really should only have the ones that got some attention, or at the least, have a reasonable article behind the act...
Blindman shady 00:46, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

  • I agree it's a long list of possibly trivial acts. How do we set a standard? In the past, we've said any Act that has a blue-linked article. Can/should we be more restrictive? If so, how?—Markles 01:00, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
    • Here's the list I recommend:
January 29, 2009: Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111–2
February 17, 2009: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111–5'
May 20, 2009: Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111–22
May 22, 2009: Credit CARD Act of 2009, Pub.L. 111–24
June 22, 2009: Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, as Division A of Pub.L. 111–31
June 24, 2009: Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009, including Cash for Clunkers Pub.L. 111–32
October 28, 2009: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, including the Matthew Shepard Act, Pub.L. 111–84
February 12, 2010: Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act, as Title I of Pub.L. 111–139
March 18, 2010: Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act, Pub.L. 111–147
March 23, 2010: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub.L. 111–148
March 30, 2010: Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, including the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, Pub.L. 111–152
July 21, 2010: Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Pub.L. 111–203, H.R. 4173'

I think the bold ones must be there and the others should be there. The others are pretty useless.
Blindman shady 03:18, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

  • Addendum: I don't think we can have "standards" but I think we can reach a consensus on which are imperative that they be there, like the stimulus and health care reform. We've had do-nothing Congresses and really active ones so there can't be a limit.
    Blindman shady 03:22, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
    • The problem is that I disagree with you on the contents of that list and we don't have an objective way to decide who's right. Nor can we possibly develop an ad hoc consensus each time an act is passed. Isn't the blue-linked" standard sufficient even if it adds too many?—Markles 13:23, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
    • As a related issue, we have a large list of proposed bills. Can/should they be further limited? Again, I think the blue-linked standard is flawed, but the best we can do (a.k.a. the "least bad option").13:23, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
      • Let's say the act should have an article behind it. For example, the Travel Promotion act has about 2 or 3 paragraphs; it's a stub. You said it should be blue-linked but stubs should be exempt from that standard.
        The proposed bills will probably be deleted in January 2011. They're only there to let people know what may come. I don't think any other Congresses have a proposed acts section unless they were voted on and failed... Almost all of the proposed acts have notoriety, too.
        Blindman shady 15:46, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
        • Stubs are useful and just short. If the article merits inclusion in Wikipedia, then it will someday get expanded. As to the other issue, the proposed bills should NOT be deleted next year. This is a historical encyclopedia, not a running list of contemporary issues. We kept them after the 110th Congress.—Markles 18:43, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
          • I didn't say stubs were bad but merely that that's where we should draw the line. I think we can agree on most bills. Just because an article exists doesn't merit us listing it as key legislative acts.
            Blindman shady 20:17, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
            • Well, there are over 200 Acts already passed and we've already limited this list (and it is just a list) to 21. We might need to tighten it a little more, but if we remove stubbed-articles then how do future editors of those articles even see that they exist? By putting them on this list we flag them, sort of, for future improvement.—Markles 22:31, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
              • That's not a good reason, ostensibly because that would mean we should put all acts there for people to write about. Some of them I have seen for months and their stub has gotten nothing, mostly because the media has not reported on them and the act itself is simplistic, like the Travel Promotion Act. The way it was reduced down to 21 is because people used discretion, which you said (and I believe also) is not very objective
                Blindman shady 23:26, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
        • Enacted list looks fine to me; I did notice though that Presidential Records Act Amendments was linked to an executive order. Didn't see significant content about a bill in that article (it was repealed by another executive order), so delinked it from here. Jon (talk) 14:24, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010[edit]

Don't forget that this was also a law passed by the 111th Congress and signed into law recently. It's pretty much gone under the radar. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.46.22.159 (talk) 23:43, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

What is the Public Law number? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.46.23.60 (talk) 16:42, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

It's part of 111-211, the Indian Arts and Crafts Amendments Act of 2010. Circéus (talk) 18:52, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

November 2nd change to House[edit]

  • Why did the number or Republican seats in the House rise to 180 on NOVEMBER 2ND?
  • Were they not seated until NOVEMBER 15TH?
  • Won't we change the Senate number as of NOVEMBER 29TH when Mark Kirk is seated?
  • user:mnw2000 22:09, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
    • Federal law states that mid-term vacancies are considered filled in the House of Representatives as of the day of election, 2 U.S.C. § 37. The Senate's a little different, I believe, but I don't have the cite available right now.—Markles 22:56, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
      • Markles is correct. Kirk's resignation from the House was effective at 5 pm today (November 29), which pursuant to 2 U.S.C. § 36 is when his term as Senator officially begins.DCmacnut<> 22:09, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Last membership change today![edit]

Mark Kirk is to be sworn in on 11/29 at 5:30pm. This should be the last membership change in the 111th Congress. That will leave the breakdown to 58/42! user:mnw2000 15:27, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

I just updated the page. Swearing in is next item on Senate agenda. His resignation from the House was effective at 5 pm based on the letter he sent to the governor and speaker on Friday.[2]DCmacnut<> 22:05, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Dead links[edit]

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Merger proposal[edit]

I propose that Special elections to the 111th United States Congress be merged into 111th United States Congress. The information in the former article essentially duplicates that in the latter. - Presidentman talk · contribs Random Picture of the Day (Talkback) 22:26, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

However, the information is essentially the same as the information in the membership changes section. - Presidentman talk · contribs Random Picture of the Day (Talkback) 13:40, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
One article has just a table. The other article has discussions, in paragraphs with references, of the elections. Yes, the essence is the same, but there are sufficient differences to merit two articles.—GoldRingChip 14:53, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

There were never 60 Democrats seated in the Senate at one time[edit]

The following passage is misleading as it includes 2 Independents that were caucusing with the Democrats:

"The Democratic Party theoretically had a 60% filibuster-proof super majority in the Senate for most of the time period between July 7, 2009, when Al Franken (D) won a contested seat, and February 4, 2010, when Scott Brown (R) replaced Ted Kennedy (D). However, Ted Kennedy's terminal illness kept him out of Washington from March 2009 until his death on August 25. The Democrats' 60% supermajority only became a practical reality on September 24 when Kennedy's replacement Scott Brown, was seated." 67.208.148.22 (talk) 21:13, 4 October 2013 (UTC)