Continuous body: a legislative body, such as the U.S. Senate, that achieves stability by staggering the terms of its members to prevent more than a minority of seats from changing in a single election.
Implied Powers: powers of U.S. government which have not been explicitly granted by the Constitution but that is implied by the necessary and proper clause to be delegated for the purpose of carrying out the enumerated powers.
Direct tax: a tax, such as income tax, that is levied on the income or profits of the person who pays it, rather than on goods or services.
Bankruptcy: the state of being completely lacking in a particular quality or value
Patent: a government authority or license conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention.
Necessary and Proper Clause: allows Congress "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the [enumerated] Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."
Perjury: the offense of willfully telling an untruth in a court after having taken an oath or affirmation.
Speaker of the House: The presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives. The Speaker, a member of the House, is elected by a majority party caucus.
Party Caucus: conference is the name given to a meeting, whether regular or specially called, of all party members in the House. The term "caucus" or "conference" can also mean the organization of all party members in the House.
Standing Committee: a permanent committee that meets regularly.
Joint Committee: made up of members of both chambers of a bicameral legislature. In other contexts, it refers to a committee with members from more than one organization.
Bill: an amount of money owed for goods supplied or services rendered, set out in a printed or written statement of charges.
Concurrent Resolution: a resolution adopted by both houses of a legislative assembly that does not require the signature of the chief executive and that does not have the force of law.
Discharge petition: petition signed by the members of the House of Representatives to bring a bill from committee to the floor for consideration. A discharge petition requires the signature of an absolute majority of the members which is signature of 218 members.
Quorum: the minimum number of members of an assembly or society that must be present at any of its meetings to make the proceedings of that meeting valid.
Filibuster: an action such as a prolonged speech that obstructs progress in a legislative assembly while not technically contravening the required procedures.
Veto: a constitutional right to reject a decision or proposal made by a law-making body.
Constituency: a body of voters in a specified area who elect a representative to a legislative body.
Inherent Powers: powers that Congress and the president need in order to get the job done right. Although not specified in the Constitution, they are reasonable powers that are a logical part of the powers delegated to Congress and the president.
Indirect Tax: a tax collected by an intermediary (such as a retail store) from the person who bears the ultimate economic burden of the tax (such as the consumer).
Naturalization: the admittance of a foreigner to the citizenship of a country.
Eminent Domain: the right of a government or its agent to expropriate private property for public use, with payment of compensation.
Censure: express severe disapproval of (someone or something), typically in a formal statement.
President Pro Tempore: a high-ranking senator of the majority party who presides over the US Senate in the absence of the vice president.
Floor leader: the leader of a party in a legislative assembly.
Select Committee: a small legislative committee appointed for a special purpose.
Conference Committee: a committee of the United States Congress appointed by the House of Representatives and Senate to resolve disagreements on a particular bill. A conference committee is usually composed of senior Members of the standing committees of each House that originally considered the legislation.
Joint Resolution: a resolution passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something.
Committee of the Whole: a device in which a legislative body or other deliberative assembly sits as a single committee with all assembly members being committee members.
Engrossed: having all one's attention or interest absorbed by someone or something.
Cloture: a procedure for ending a debate and taking a vote.
Pocket Veto: an indirect veto of a legislative bill by the president or a governor by retaining the bill unsigned until it is too late for it to be dealt with during the legislative session.
Expressed Powers: those specifically named in the Constitution. They are sometimes called delegated powers or enumerated powers. Since the Framers envisioned the Congress as the most powerful branch, its powers are most clearly expressed in Article I, Section 8.
Consensus: general agreement.
Commerce Power: the power of Congress to regulate foreign commerce, interstate commerce, and commerce with Native American tribes in the U.S. It is the power to regulate; that is, to prescribe the rule by which commerce is to be governed. It also includes the authority to regulate navigation.
Copyright: the exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same.
Impeach: charge (the holder of a public office) with misconduct.
Acquit: free (someone) from a criminal charge by a verdict of not guilty.
Subpoena: a writ ordering a person to attend a court.
Whip: name given to an official of a political party whose task is to ensure party discipline in a legislature. Whips are the party's "enforcers", they invite their MPs to attend votings and to vote according to the official party policy.