United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of the Senate; the Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D. C.. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 100 senators; the House of Representatives has six non-voting members representing Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U. S. Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia in addition to its 435 voting members. Although they cannot vote in the full house, these members can address the house and vote in congressional committees, introduce legislation; the members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms representing the people of a single constituency, known as a "district". Congressional districts are apportioned to states by population using the United States Census results, provided that each state has at least one congressional representative.
Each state, regardless of population or size, has two senators. There are 100 senators representing the 50 states; each senator is elected at-large in their state for a six-year term, with terms staggered, so every two years one-third of the Senate is up for election. To be eligible for election, a candidate must be aged at least 25 or 30, have been a citizen of the United States for seven or nine years, be an inhabitant of the state which they represent; the Congress was created by the Constitution of the United States and first met in 1789, replacing in its legislative function the Congress of the Confederation. Although not mandated, in practice since the 19th century, Congress members are affiliated with the Republican Party or with the Democratic Party and only with a third party or independents. Article One of the United States Constitution states, "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."
The House and Senate are equal partners in the legislative process—legislation cannot be enacted without the consent of both chambers. However, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers; the Senate ratifies treaties and approves presidential appointments while the House initiates revenue-raising bills. The House initiates impeachment cases. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required before an impeached person can be forcibly removed from office; the term Congress can refer to a particular meeting of the legislature. A Congress covers two years; the Congress ends on the third day of January of every odd-numbered year. Members of the Senate are referred to as senators. Scholar and representative Lee H. Hamilton asserted that the "historic mission of Congress has been to maintain freedom" and insisted it was a "driving force in American government" and a "remarkably resilient institution". Congress is the "heart and soul of our democracy", according to this view though legislators achieve the prestige or name recognition of presidents or Supreme Court justices.
One analyst argues that it is not a reactive institution but has played an active role in shaping government policy and is extraordinarily sensitive to public pressure. Several academics described Congress: Congress reflects us in all our strengths and all our weaknesses, it reflects our regional idiosyncrasies, our ethnic and racial diversity, our multitude of professions, our shadings of opinion on everything from the value of war to the war over values. Congress is the government's most representative body... Congress is charged with reconciling our many points of view on the great public policy issues of the day. Congress is changing and is in flux. In recent times, the American south and west have gained House seats according to demographic changes recorded by the census and includes more minorities and women although both groups are still underrepresented. While power balances among the different parts of government continue to change, the internal structure of Congress is important to understand along with its interactions with so-called intermediary institutions such as political parties, civic associations, interest groups, the mass media.
The Congress of the United States serves two distinct purposes that overlap: local representation to the federal government of a congressional district by representatives and a state's at-large representation to the federal government by senators. Most incumbents seek re-election, their historical likelihood of winning subsequent elections exceeds 90 percent; the historical records of the House of Representatives and the Senate are maintained by the Center for Legislative Archives, a part of the National Archives and Records Administration. Congress is directly responsible for the governing of the District of Columbia, the current seat of the federal government; the First Continental Congress was a gathering of representatives from twelve of the thirteen British Colonies in North America. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, referring to the new nation as the "United States of America"; the Articles of Confederation in 1781 created the Congress of the Confederation, a
1798 State of the Union Address
John Adams' Second State of the Union Address was delivered on Saturday, December 8, 1798, in the Congress Hall of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Adams compares the sickness affecting various coastal cities in 1797 to the dispensations of the Tribulation, he called upon the Congress to pass public health laws to prevent the spread of disease through interstate commerce. He suggests the establishment of "a system which, while it may tend to preserve the general health, may be compatible with the interests of commerce and the safety of the revenue." Adams attributes the subsidence of disease to the Divine Providence of the Supreme Being. He notes the nationalism of Americans in dealing with foreign aggression. S. frontiers. Adams begins his address by solemnly expressing his doubts concerning negotiations in Paris, accusing France of insincerity. In 1796 the French Directory rejected Charles Cotesworth Pinckney as the United States Minister Plenipotentiary to France; the Directory passed a decree in January 1797 allowing the "capture and condemnation neutral vessels and their cargoes if any portion of the latter are of British fabric or produce," justifying the institutionalized impressment of American sailors by the French Navy in international waters.
Adams refers to the decree as an, “unequivocal act of war on the commerce of the nations it attacks," and states that if the U. S. has the means it can "reconcile nothing with their interest and honor but a firm resistance." Adams expresses a need to invigorate and extend the U. S. measure of defense, alluding in light of French conduct. Adams parallels his pugnacious comments by confirming his desire for an amicable end to hostilities and insistence that preparation for war is the only way to insure peace. Another ambassador will not be sent to France without, "more determinate assurances that he would be received," because his rejection would be an, "act of humiliation." Before Adams is willing to restore formal relations, France must end depredations and pay reparations for past grievances, "heretofore inflicted on our commerce." The necessity of maritime protection through a navy is formally expressed and exalted through the statements, "no country experienced more sudden and remarkable advantages from any measure of policy than we have derived from the arming for our maritime protection and defense," and “We ought...to...increase of our Navy to a size sufficient to guard our coast and protect our trade.”
The illegal Spanish garrisons in the Natchez and Walnut Hills, mentioned in Adams' previous address, have been evacuated. Two commissioners, one from the United States and one from Spain, outline the 31st degree of north latitude, the border between the United States and Spain. Southern Indians, most Natchez, are preventing official demarcation of the border, either for personal reasons or through clandestine Spanish encouragement. Adams decides that maintaining a commissioner in remote areas of the nation is not worth the cost and states that the commissioner should be recalled. Creek War 1798 State of the Union Address, The American Presidency Project, UC Santa Barbara Corpus of Political Speeches, publicly accessible with speeches from United States, Hong Kong and China, provided by Hong Kong Baptist University Library
Abraham Lincoln was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War, its bloodiest war and its greatest moral and political crisis, he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, modernized the U. S. economy. Born in Kentucky, Lincoln grew up on the frontier in a poor family. Self-educated, he became Whig Party leader, state legislator and Congressman, he left government to resume his law practice, but angered by the success of Democrats in opening the prairie lands to slavery, reentered politics in 1854. He became a leader in the new Republican Party and gained national attention in 1858 for debating and losing to national Democratic leader Stephen A. Douglas in a Senate campaign, he ran for President in 1860, sweeping the North and winning. Southern pro-slavery elements took his win as proof that the North was rejecting the Constitutional rights of Southern states to practice slavery.
They began the process of seceding from the union. To secure its independence, the new Confederate States of America fired on Fort Sumter, one of the few U. S. forts in the South. Lincoln called up volunteers and militia to restore the Union; as the leader of the moderate faction of the Republican Party, Lincoln confronted Radical Republicans, who demanded harsher treatment of the South. Lincoln fought the factions by pitting them against each other, by distributing political patronage, by appealing to the American people, his Gettysburg Address became an iconic call for nationalism, equal rights and democracy. He suspended habeas corpus, he averted British intervention by defusing the Trent Affair. Lincoln supervised the war effort, including the selection of generals and the naval blockade that shut down the South's trade; as the war progressed, he maneuvered to end slavery, issuing the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Lincoln managed his own re-election campaign, he sought to reconcile his damaged nation by avoiding retribution against the secessionists.
A few days after the Battle of Appomattox Court House, he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, on April 14, 1865, died the following day. Abraham Lincoln is remembered as the United States' martyr hero, he is ranked both by scholars and the public as among the greatest U. S. presidents. Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, as the second child of Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln, in a one-room log cabin on Sinking Spring Farm near Hodgenville, Kentucky, he was a descendant of Samuel Lincoln, an Englishman who migrated from Hingham, Norfolk, to its namesake Hingham, Massachusetts, in 1638. Samuel's grandson and great-grandson began the family's westward migration, passing through New Jersey and Virginia. Lincoln's paternal grandfather and namesake, Captain Abraham Lincoln, moved the family from Virginia to Jefferson County, Kentucky, in the 1780s. Captain Lincoln was killed in an Indian raid in 1786, his children, including eight-year-old Thomas, Abraham's father, witnessed the attack.
Thomas worked at odd jobs in Kentucky and in Tennessee, before settling with members of his family in Hardin County, Kentucky, in the early 1800s. Lincoln's mother, Nancy, is assumed to have been the daughter of Lucy Hanks, although no record documents this. Thomas and Nancy married on June 12, 1806, in Washington County, moved to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, they produced three children: Sarah, born on February 10, 1807. Thomas Lincoln leased farms in Kentucky. Thomas became embroiled in legal disputes, lost all but 200 acres of his land in court disputes over property titles. In 1816, the family moved to Indiana, where the survey process was more reliable and land titles were more secure. Indiana was a "free" territory, they settled in an "unbroken forest" in Hurricane Township, Perry County. In 1860, Lincoln noted that the family's move to Indiana was "partly on account of slavery", but due to land title difficulties. In Kentucky and Indiana, Thomas worked as a farmer and carpenter, he owned farms, town lots and livestock, paid taxes, sat on juries, appraised estates, served on country slave patrols, guarded prisoners.
Thomas and Nancy were members of a Separate Baptists church, which forbade alcohol and slavery. Overcoming financial challenges, Thomas obtained clear title to 80 acres of land in what became known as the Little Pigeon Creek Community. On October 5, 1818, Nancy Lincoln died of milk sickness, leaving 11-year-old Sarah in charge of a household that included her father, 9-year-old Abraham, Dennis Hanks, Nancy's 19-year-old orphaned cousin; those who knew Lincoln recalled that he was distraught over his sister's death on January 20, 1828, while giving birth to a stillborn son. On December 2, 1819, Thomas married Sarah "Sally" Bush Johnston, a widow from Elizabethtown, with three children of her own. Abraham became close to his stepmother, whom he referred t
2003 State of the Union Address
The 2003 State of the Union Address was a speech delivered by U. S. President George W. Bush, the 43rd United States President, on Tuesday, January 28, 2003, it outlined justifications for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It began his discussion of the "war on terror" by asserting, as he had before September 11, 2001, that "the gravest danger facing America and the world, is outlaw regimes that seek and possess nuclear and biological weapons." Saddam Hussein was the worst, "a brutal dictator, with a history of reckless aggression, with ties to terrorism, with great potential wealth, will not be permitted to dominate a vital region and threaten the United States." In this context, Bush said, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa," a line which became a source of contention in the Plame affair. The domestic brutality of Hussein and the benefits of liberty and freedom for the Iraqi people were noted near the end of the speech, he began with, "In days of reckoning, we can be confident.
In a whirlwind of change and hope and peril, our faith is sure, our resolve is firm, our union is strong." In the middle of the speech, he said, "In Afghanistan, we helped liberate an oppressed people. And we will continue helping them secure their country, rebuild their society, educate all their children — boys and girls." He ended with, "Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation. The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to humanity." He spoke to the 108th United States Congress. Just before the President addressed Iraq in the speech, he spent five paragraphs addressing his initiative to fight AIDS in Africa; the Democratic response was given by Washington Governor Gary Locke, appointed to be United States Ambassador to China in 2011. State of the Union George W. Bush President of the United States "16 words" – a controversial phrase in George W. Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address Entire 2003 State of the Union address at C-SPAN Entire 2003 State of the Union response at C-SPAN Entire 2003 State of the Union Response Works related to George W. Bush's Third State of the Union Address at Wikisource 2003 State of the Union Address, The American Presidency Project, UC Santa Barbara Audio of Bush's Second State of the Union Address
1975 State of the Union Address
The 1975 State of the Union address was given by President Gerald Ford to a joint session of the 94th United States Congress on January 15, 1975. The speech was the first State of the Union address of President Ford's tenure as president; the president discussed the national debt, the federal budget and the energy crisis. The speech consisted of 4,126 words; the address was broadcast live on television. The Democratic Party response was delivered by Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota and the Speaker of the House Carl Albert of Oklahoma. United States House of Representatives elections, 1974 1973–75 recession, The American Presidency Project, UC Santa Barbara, Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia
1990 State of the Union Address
The 1990 State of the Union address was given by President George H. W. Bush to a joint session of the 101st United States Congress on January 31, 1990; the speech lasted 43 seconds. And contained 3777 words; the Democratic Party response was delivered by House Speaker Tom Foley. Edward J. Derwinski, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, served as the designated survivor. United States House of Representatives elections, 1990, The American Presidency Project, UC Santa Barbara. 1990 State of the Union Address at C-SPAN Full video and audio, Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia
2007 State of the Union Address
The 2007 State of the Union address was a speech given by United States President George W. Bush on Tuesday, January 23, 2007, at 9:13 P. M. EST; the speech was given in front of a joint session of Congress, presided over by Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Dick Cheney in his capacity as President of the Senate. It was the first address to a Democratic-controlled Congress since 1994. Furthermore, the speech marked the second time that a Democrat sat behind President Bush during a joint session of Congress and the first time at a State of the Union address. Traditionally, the Speaker of the House and the Vice President are the only individuals on the rostrum with the President. However, in a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001, following the September 11 attacks nine days earlier, president pro tempore Robert Byrd, a Democrat, took the place of Vice President Cheney, at an undisclosed location; as the first female Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi is the first woman in American history to stand on the podium during a State of the Union address.
President Bush began his address by recognizing new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: And tonight I have a high privilege and distinct honor of my own as the first president to begin the State of the Union message with these words: Madam Speaker. Twelve years President Donald Trump made a reference to Bush's words in the beginning of the 2019 State of the Union address. Since, Nancy Pelosi's first State of the Union serving again as Speaker of the House. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was not present because traditionally a member of the President's cabinet, a designated survivor, does not attend in order to ensure presidential succession in the event of an emergency. Only four Supreme Court Justices attended the speech: Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy. Senator Tim Johnson and Congressman Charlie Norwood were not present because of serious health problems, but were acknowledged with applause. Johnson recovered and returned to work by September, while Norwood died on February 13, 2007.
The President's speech focused on domestic policy and foreign policy. Bush placed emphasis on balancing the federal budget, eliminating excessive earmarks, changing the tax code to replace the existing business tax exemption to workers health insurance premiums with a new personal health insurance deduction, providing health care for needy individuals, expanding health savings accounts. Bush supported "laws that are fair and borders that are secure" in regards to immigration, suggesting a temporary worker program, stating that, "s a result, they won't have to try to sneak in", he suggested resolving the status of current illegal residents "without animosity and without amnesty". Bush said the United States has been dependent on foreign oil for too long, that this chances placing it in hostile situations. Bush asked Congress to work to reduce gasoline usage in the United States by 20 percent over the next ten years, recommended research into alternative fuels, he asked Congress to "double the current capacity" of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
In what appears to be a change of stance, Bush made a connection between energy policy and climate change: "America is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that will enable us to live our lives less dependent on oil. And these technologies will help us be better stewards of the environment, they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change." Bush named plug-in hybrid vehicles as part of his "advanced energy initiative" to help end the United States "addiction to oil." Bush asked Congress to give future federal court nominees a "fair hearing", a "prompt up-or-down vote on the Senate floor." In the realm of education, he asked Congress to renew the No Child Left Behind Act and consider school vouchers, although he never mentioned vouchers by name. A large part of Bush's speech centered on the Iraq War. Bush emphasized that he still stood behind it, stating that, "to win the War on Terror, we must take the fight to the enemy." He stated that the dangers of terrorism have not ended, that it is the government's duty to locate terrorists and protect the American people.
He stated that it was not responsible to leave Iraq yet, as it would put "ourselves in danger and our friends at risk." He emphasized that stability in Iraq is essential, that chaos is the enemy's greatest ally. Bush asked Americans to give the Iraq War a chance, support the troops on the field and "those on their way," a reference to the "surge" strategy involving 20,000 soldiers and Marines sent to Baghdad and al-Anbar, most of which would go to Baghdad. Bush advocated adding to the ranks of the military, he asked Congress to authorize an increase in the Army and Marine active duty forces by 92,000 in the next five years. He spoke of developing a volunteer Civilian Reserve Corps which could help ease the burden on military personnel: "It would give people across America who do not wear the uniform a chance to serve in the defining struggle of our time." The phrase terror appeared 22 times in his speech, highlighting its continuing significance in his administration's foreign policy and political position.
Bush advocated saving the people affected by the conflict in Sudan. He advocated continuing to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. Bush asked for $1.2 billion over the next five years to combat malaria in 15 African countries. Toward the end of his speech, President Bush recognized four distinguished Americans. First, he pointed out a player in the National Basketball Association, he is native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo a