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simple resolution

A resolution used to settle housekeeping and procedural matters that affect both houses but not having the force of law.

voice vote

A method of voting used in both houses in which members vote by shouting yea or nay.

double tracking

A procedure to keep the Senate going during a filibuster; the disputed bill is shelved temporarily.

conference committees

A special type of joint committee appointed to resolve differences in the House and Senate versions of a piece of legislation.

pork barrel legislation

A bill that has many riders.

quorum call

A calling of the role in either house of Congress to determine whether the number of members in attendance meets the minimum number required to conduct official business.

Twenty-fifth Amendment

Legislation that specifies the conditions and order of succession to the presidency and vice presidency when the president leaves office before completion of his term.

White House Office

Presidential staff who oversee the policy interests of the president.

Office of Management and Budget

The organization responsible for preparing the federal budget and for central clearance of legislative proposals from federal agencies.

impoundment of funds

A presidential refusal to spend money appropriated by Congress.

line-item veto

The power of some governors (and the president in a limited way between 1996 and 1998) to veto portions of a bill instead of having to veto the entire bill.

electoral college

A legal system by which states select electors who then vote for the president and vice president.

Article II

A statement that defines the constitutional powers of the president.

divided government

A government in which one party controls the White House and another party controls one or both houses of Congress.

lame duck

A politician who is still in office after having lost a reelection bid.

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