Now that we’ve passed election season, things are pretty much wrapping up in the legislative branch. The House has already adjourned and will start a new session on January 3, 2009, according to the resolution . The Senate is still in session and will meet this month, but without the House they will probably not push any measures forward.
Congress works in two-year sessions. This is the end of what’s called the 110th Congress
, or the 110th session of Congress since the country began. When Congress resumes in 2009, it’ll be the 111th Congress, filled with several new senators and representatives, new committee assignments, and a clean legislative calendar. Bills don’t carry over from one session to the next, so the numbering begins at one again. We’ll see a new H.R. 1, S. 1, etc. as the legislating begins.
Any bill introduced in 2007-2008 that wasn’t passed has to be formally introduced again next year as a new bill if it’s going to be considered. It’ll start again at the beginning of the committee process. It’s relatively common for Members of Congress to re-introduce some of their unsuccessful bills again.
The President needs to sign any bills presented to him before the Senate adjourns, or those bills die as well, I think.
Not much will be happening at GovTrack until then. I have some changes in the works, but I will hold off on any announcements until the new Congress. Looking forward to seeing you on the flip side!