Legislative Political Glossary

Browse the glossary using this index

Special | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | ALL

Page:  1  2  3  4  (Next)



The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union representing 700,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide and overseas. Workers in virtually all functions of government at every federal agency depend upon AFGE for legal representation, legislative advocacy, technical expertise and informational services.

Source: AFGE. https://www.afge.org/about-us/


The provision of funds, through an annual appropriations act or a permanent law, for federal agencies to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. The formal federal spending process consists of two sequential steps: authorization and then appropriation. Legislation status tables and information about the appropriations process are available on the Senate Appropriations page.


A statutory provision that obligates funding for a program or agency. An authorization may be effective for one year, a fixed number of years, or an indefinite period. An authorization may be for a definite amount of money or for "such sums as may be necessary." The formal federal spending process consists of two sequential steps: authorization and then appropriation.



A legislative proposal that if passed by both the House and the Senate and approved by the President becomes law. Each bill is assigned a bill number. HR denotes bills that originate in the House and S denotes bills that originate in the Senate.


Calendar Wednesday

A procedure in the House of Representatives during which each standing committees may bring up for consideration any bill that has been reported on the floor on or before the previous day. The procedure also limits debate for each subject matter to two hours.


A motion generally used in the Senate to end a filibuster. Invoking cloture requires a vote by 3/5 of the full Senate. If cloture is invoked further debate is limited to 30 hours, it is not a vote on the passage of the piece of legislation.

Committee of the Whole

A committee including all members of the House. It allows bills and resolutions to be considered without adhering to all the formal rules of a House session, such as needing a quorum of 218. All measures on the Union Calendar must be considered first by the Committee of the Whole.

Congressional Record

The Congressional Record is a substantially verbatim account of the remarks made by senators and representatives while they are on the floor of the Senate and the House of Representatives. It also includes all bills, resolutions, and motions proposed, as well as debates, and roll call votes. It is printed for each day the Senate is in session. At the back of each daily issue is the "Daily Digest," which summarizes the day's floor and committee activities.



Corrections Calendar

A list of bills selected by the Speaker of the House in consultation with the Minority leader that will be considered in the House and debated for one hour. Generally, bills are selected because they focus on changing laws, rules and regulations that are judged to be outdated or unnecessary. A 3/5 majority of those present and voting is required to pass bills on the Corrections Calendar.


Discharge Petition

A petition that if signed by a majority of the House, 218 members, requires a bill to come out of a committee and be moved to the floor of the House.

Page:  1  2  3  4  (Next)