Vocabulary from Oleszek’s Congressional Procedures and the Policy Process

The following list is made up of terms, often italicized, in quotation marks, or in the chapter subheadings, that appear in the indicated chapters of Oleszek. These are not the only terms that you should be familiar with, but they do constitute a basic list that I expect each of you to know. Terms marked with an asterisk are not necessarily explained in the chapters but are explained in class.

Chapter 3—“Preliminary Legislative Action”

legislation or legislative measures*—bills, joint resolutions, concurrent resolutions, simple resolutions

*referral process, simple and multiple referrals—joint, split, sequential, committee of primary jurisdiction

major legislation, “must” or “must-pass” legislation

committee hearings

*committee mark-ups

*committee reports


Chapters 4 & 5—“Scheduling Legislation in the House” and “House Floor Procedure”

*calendars—Union, House, Private, Discharge, District of Columbia Legislation

*suspension of the rules

privileged legislation

*rules—open, closed, modified, waiver, structured, self-executing, multiple-stage, time-structured, bifurcated

discharge, discharge petitions


Calendar Wednesday

the Daily digest

*House leadership

whip notices

fast-track procedures


Steps followed in consideration major bills on the Floor:


(1) adoption of the rule

*(2) resolution into the Committee of the Whole (the House resolves into the Committee of the Whole)

(3) general debate

               *floor managers

               delaying tactics

(4) amending process

               the five-minute rule

               *committee and floor amendments, germaneness, substitute amendments, killer or poison pill amendments

                              *amendment tree—first degree, second degree amendments

               voting on amendments

                              cue givers, rational ignorance

                              voting methods—voice, division, recorded, yea-and-nay; electronic votes

               *Committee of the Whole rises (dissolves)

               *(5) motion to recommit

               (6) moving the previous question

                              the three readings



Chapters 6 & 7—“Scheduling Legislation in the Senate” and “Senate Floor Procedure”

*calendars—General Orders, Executive

*Senate leadership—majority and minority leaders, whips, committees

one-day, two-day rules


*unanimous consent agreements—simple agreements, complex agreements (or time agreements)

track system


legislative and calendar days

*adjourn, recess

*daily order of business—morning hour, morning business

*principle of unlimited debate

*quorum calls

(1) call up measure

(2) debate and amendment

amendments, amendment tree

filibusters, cloture


(3) final passage


Chapter 8—“Resolving House-Senate Differences”


rubber stamp approach

ping-pong approach

preconference strategies

conference committees—

(1) requesting a conference

               (2) selecting and instructing conferees

               (3) bargaining in conference

               (4) filing a conference report

               (5) final action

presidential options—

(1)    sign into law

(2)    constitutional veto

(3)    enact without signature

(4)    pocket veto


Chapter 9—“Legislative Oversight”



legislative veto

authorization-appropriation process

confirmation hearings

Government Accountability Office (“GAO”)

statutory attempts (statutes, inspectors general, annual reports)


Chapter 2—“Congressional Budget Process”


authorization-appropriation process

earmarks—statutory and non-statutory

backdoor authorization

limitation amendments or riders

1974 Budget Act—CBO, Budget committees, timeline, concurrent resolutions

debt limit legislation