INTRODUCTION

Day 1 – Introduction: The United States Congress And Its Place In Constitutional Government – Guest Essayist: Professor William Morrisey

Day 2 – Introduction Part 2: The United States Congress Today – Guest Essayist: Professor William Morrisey

CONGRESS: THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

Day 3 – Beginnings of The United States Congress as the Legislative Branch – How and Where Congress Began Meeting, Purpose and Founders’ Vision for a Bicameral Congress – Guest Essayist: Tony Williams

Day 4 – Beginnings of The United States Congress as the Legislative Branch Part 2 – How and Where Congress Began Meeting, Purpose and Founders’ Vision for a Bicameral Congress – Guest Essayist: Marc Clauson

Day 5 – House History – Purpose of the United States House of Representatives as the immediate will of the people and how it differs from the Senate – Guest Essayist: Scot Faulkner

Day 6 – Senate History – Purpose of the United States Senate, known as the upper house, the “cooling factor” or “sober, second thought” as it relates to the United States House of Representatives – Guest Essayists: James Legee

Day 7 – The First Congress meets March 4, 1789, in New York City with a new Constitution in effect during the first Congress of the United States: From 1789 to today; How, when and why Congress convenes – Guest Essayist: Tony Williams

Day 8 – Legislative Branch – Of the three branches of American government: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial as established in the United States Constitution, the most important, Legislative, the branch of the people whose primary role is lawmaking – Guest Essayist: James Legee

Day 9 – Legislative Branch – Why the Legislative Branch is listed first in Article I of the United States Constitution – Guest Essayist: James Best

Day 10 – Form of Government – What it means to have a republican form of government and why this structure mattered to America’s Founders and Framers of the Constitution in Article IV, Section 4 –Guest Essayist: Professor Joerg Knipprath

Day 11 – The Declaration of Independence and the United States Congress – Guest Essayist: Gary Porter

Day 12 – Articles of Confederation – The first written constitution of the United States, lead to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, how the early Congress wanted to represent the people and avoid becoming a tyranny – Guest Essayist: George Landrith

Day 13 – Articles of Confederation – Congress wielded all three powers: Legislative, Judicial, and Executive, that were later separated – Guest Essayist: Dan Cotter

Day 14 – Articles of Confederation – What the Framers thought of the Articles of Confederation and why they did not last – Guest Essayist: Patrick Garry

Day 15 – Bill of Rights – In a letter from Thomas Jefferson to James Madison he writes, “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth” on designing an effective government that remains in the hands of the American people by placing limits on Congressional governing – Guest Essayist: Andrew Langer

Day 16 – Bill of Rights – Placing Limits on Congressional Governing, Part 2  – Guest Essayist: Gary Porter

Day 17 – Bill of Rights – Placing Limits on Congressional Governing, Part 3– Guest Essayist: Patrick Garry

Day 18 – Bill of Rights – Congressman James Madison addresses the House in 1789 on Amendments to the United States Constitution, and guides the Bill of Rights through the United States House of Representatives – Guest Essayist: Tony Williams

FEDERALIST PAPERS ON CONGRESS

Day 19 – Federalist No. 10 – Political stability v. instability and the necessities for good government in the relationship between American citizens and those among them who serve as members of Congress – Guest Essayist: Richard Wagner

Day 20 – Federalist No. 51 and 53 – The necessities for good government in regards to checks and balances between the branches of government: How the American people hold Congress accountable – Guest Essayist: Joerg Knipprath

Day 21 – Federalist No. 62 and 63 – Powers vested in the Senate, order and soundness of Congress: The Senate as a stable body, for a sense of national character responsible to the people – Guest Essayist: Joseph Knippenberg

Day 22 – Federalist No. 62  – The Structure and Role Of The Senate – Guest Essayist: Forrest Nabors

Day 23 – Federalist No. 63  – The Senate and our National Character – Guest Essayist: Forrest Nabors

THE GREAT DEBATES

Day 24 – Culture of Debates on the House and Senate Floors – How congressional debate has changed throughout the over 200 years of Floor proceedings; importance of decorum and civil debate especially in the Senate – Guest Essayist: Scot Faulkner

Day 25 – Statesmanship and the Great Debates – Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, and John C. Calhoun with distinguished oratory about the Constitution and American Union in the early 1800s – Guest Essayist: Brian Pawlowski

Day 26 – The Great Debates – The Decision of 1789: Separation of powers, and the dispute between Congress and the President on removal of presidential appointees – Guest Essayists: David Alvis and Flagg Taylor

Day 27 – The Great Debates – Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and the role of Congress in the creation and constitutionality of the National Bank – Guest Essayist: Joerg Knipprath

Day 28 – The Great Debates – Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and the role of Congress in the creation and constitutionality of the National Bank, Part 2– Guest Essayist: Tony Williams

Day 29 – The Great Debates – Congress and the Missouri Compromise of 1820 – Guest Essayist: Daniel A. Cotter

Day 30 – The Great Debates – 1830 Senate speech by Senator Robert Hayne and Daniel Webster’s reply to Robert Hayne’s speech – Guest Essayist: Joerg Knipprath

Day 31 – The Great Debates – 1830 Senate speech by Senator Robert Hayne and Daniel Webster’s reply to Robert Hayne’s speech, Part 2 – Guest Essayist: Joerg Knipprath

Day 32 – Freedom of Speech within Congressional Debates – John Quincy Adams and his epic struggle against the Gag Rule in the 1840s – Guest Essayist: Tony Williams

Day 33 – The Great Debates – Stephen A. Douglas (1813-1861) who served as a congressman and senator from Illinois, was instrumental in the Compromise of 1850 and Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854; known as “the Little Giant” – Guest Essayist: Daniel A. Cotter

Day 34 – The Great Debates – League of Nations Senate debate of 1919; Wilson, Lodge, and the fight over the Versailles Treaty and congressional prerogative over declaration of war. Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) from New Jersey served as 28th President of the United States. Henry Cabot Lodge (1850-1924) served as a congressman and senator from Massachusetts – Guest Essayist: Tony Williams

Day 35 – The Great Debates – Entry into WWII and the America First debate – Guest Essayist: James Legee

Day 36 – The Great Debates – The Nineteenth Amendment – Guest Essayist: Cleta Mitchell

Day 37 – The Great Debates Entry into WWII and the America First debate, Part 2 – Guest Essayist: James Legee

Day 38 – The Great Debates – Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Guest Essayist: Daniel A. Cotter

BIOGRAPHIES OF PROMINENT CONGRESSMEN IN AMERICAN HISTORY

Day 39 – John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) – Served as the sixth President of the United States 1825-1829, a Massachusetts congressman and senator – Guest Essayist: Brian Pawlowski

Day 40 – Henry Clay (1777-1852) – Served as Speaker of the House under President John Quincy Adams and senator, from Kentucky, and leader of the Whig party – Guest Essayist: Samuel Postell

Day 41 – John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) – Served as the nation’s seventh Vice President of the United States to Presidents John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, a South Carolina congressman and senator, Part 1 – Guest Essayist: Joerg Knipprath

Day 42 – John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) – Served as the nation’s seventh Vice President of the United States to Presidents John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, a South Carolina congressman and senator, Part 2 – Guest Essayist: Joerg Knipprath

Day 43 – Daniel Webster (1782-1852) – Served as a New Hampshire congressman and senator, and in the Cabinet as secretary of state under Presidents William Henry Harrison and John Tyler; known as “The Great Orator,” Part 1 – Guest Essayist: Joerg Knipprath

Day 44 – Daniel Webster (1782-1852) – Served as a New Hampshire congressman and senator, and in the Cabinet as secretary of state under Presidents William Henry Harrison and John Tyler; known as “The Great Orator,” Part 2 – Guest Essayist: Joerg Knipprath

Day 45 – Thomas Hart Benton (1782-1858) – Served as a congressman and senator; elected in 1820, one of the first two Missouri senators, recognized as a Senate leader for the Presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren administrations – Guest Essayist: Ben Phibbs

Day 46 – James G. Blaine (1830-1893) – Served as Secretary of State, appointed by Presidents James Garfield and Benjamin Harrison, a representative and senator from Maine – Guest Essayist: Daniel A. Cotter

Day 47 – Thomas Brackett Reed (1839-1902) – Served as Speaker of the House, a congressman and state senator from Maine; known for “Reed’s Rules” and being a very influential House Speaker – Guest Essayists: Joseph Postell and Samuel Postell

Day 48 – Samuel Rayburn (1882-1961) – Served as a congressman from Texas, Speaker of the House of Representatives – Guest Essayist: Patrick Cox

Day 49 – Howard Worth Smith (1883-1976) – Served as a congressman from Virginia, Rules Committee chairman – Guest Essayist: Bruce Dierenfield

Day 50 – Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) (1908-1973) – Served as 36th President of the United States; Vice President to John F. Kennedy; congressman from Texas, Senate Minority and Majority Leader; known for his progressive “Great Society” programs – Guest Essayist: Daniel A. Cotter

Day 51 – Mike Mansfield (1903-2001) – Served as a congressman, and Senate Majority Leader from Montana – Guest Essayist: James Legee

Day 52 – Robert Taft (1889-1953) – Served as a state representative and United States senator from Ohio; son of President William Howard Taft – Guest Essayist: Tony Williams

Day 53 – Thomas Philip, Jr. (Tip) O’Neill (1912-1994) – Served as a congressman from Massachusetts as Democratic Whip, Majority Leader, and Speaker of the House – Guest Essayist: Daniel A. Cotter

Day 54 – Henry J. Hyde (1924-2007) – Served as a congressman from Illinois, Majority Leader and Chair of the Judiciary Committee – Guest Essayist: Gary Porter

Day 55 – Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003) – Served as a senator from New York; Democratic Party Leader in Congress – Guest Essayist: Daniel A. Cotter

Day 56 – Newt Gingrich (1943) – Served as a congressman from Georgia, Speaker of the House, and Republican Whip; led the 1994 Contract with America – Guest Essayist: Scot Faulkner

BOOKS

Day 57 – Book: The Challenge of Congressional Representation by Richard F. Fenno, a summary –  Guest Essayist: The Honorable Frank Reilly

REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT

Day 58 – Magna Carta, (The Great Charter), Parliament and the origins of representative Congress – Guest Essayist: Marc Clauson

Day 59 – Holding power accountable: Magna Carta, Parliament, and the origins of representative Congress – Guest Essayist: Scot Faulkner

Day 60 – Virginia House of Burgesses and colonial legislatures as the basis for consent and American self-government – Guest Essayist: Joerg Knipprath

Day 61 – Representative Government – How Congress is designed by America’s Founders so a king could not rule, but instead the American people rule within a civil society – Guest Essayist: James D. Best

Day 62 – Barbara Jordan (1936-1996) – Congresswoman and Judiciary Committee Member from Texas – Guest Essayist: Patrick Cox

Day 63 – “Rule of Law Applies to Congress, Too” – Meaning of the Rule of Law and its importance to the functions of Congress in representing the American people – Guest Essayist: Adam MacLeod

Day 64 – Rule of Law: Accountable, Not Arbitrary, in Regards to Representing the American People – Guest Essayist: Marc Clauson

Day 65 – Rule of Law and Separation of Powers: Preservers of Liberty – Guest Essayist: Richard Wagner

Day 66 – Rule of Law as the Bedrock of American Society – Guest Essayist: Gary Porter

Day 67 – Rule of Law: Do Our Laws Apply to All? Guest Essayist: Gary Porter

CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS

Day 68 – Election of Congress – Significance of House and Senate Members elected directly by the people: Congressional districts, population, how the number of constituents affects representation – Guest Essayist: Joerg Knipprath

Day 69 – Election of Congress – Why the election method matters for the stability and continuity of representative government – Guest Essayist: Gary Porter

SPECIAL – Day 70 – A Memorial Day message by Constituting America Founder and Co-chair, Janine Turner

Day 71 – Campaign Finance – Laws related to campaign finance, a history and impact on running for Congress – Guest Essayist: The Honorable Frank M. Reilly

Day 72 – Counting the Personal Cost – Impact that running for elected office, and serving in Congress, has on the members and their families – Guest Essayist: James D. Best

Day 73 – Midterms – What a midterm election involves and why they are important for successful functioning of Congress – Guest Essayist: Scot Faulkner

Day 74 – The Great Compromise of 1787 – Maintained fairness of the bicameral, proportional representation, provided each small state the same voting power as each large state, under the Constitution – Guest Essayist: Robert McDonald

CONGRESSIONAL POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Day 75 – Federalism – Legislative power of Congress and the state and local levels – Guest Essayist: Patrick Garry

Day 76 – Federalism especially in regards to the Senate, legislative power and the Constitution – Guest Essayist: Andrew Langer

Day 77 – Oversight – Congress and federal bureaucracy – Guest Essayist: Richard Wagner

Day 78 – Budget – How Congress uses its power over the budget to make policy, and the constitutional problems that arise in the budget process – Guest Essayist: Amanda Hughes

Day 79 – Congressional Powers During War – The United States Congress versus the Confederate Congress during the Civil War – Guest Essayist: James D. Best

Day 80 – Congress, Declarations of War and authorization of force and War Powers Act e.g., Korea, Vietnam, Iraq – Guest Essayist: Andrew Langer

Day 81 – Treaty – How treaties have evolved and how Congress must decide on treaties – Guest Essayist: Tony Williams

Day 82 – Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances, and Impeachment: Presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton – Guest Essayist: Andrew Langer

ROLES IN CONGRESS

Day 83 – Roles of Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, House and Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, and Whip, for an effective Congress (Part 1) – Guest Essayist: Amanda Hughes

Day 84 – Roles of Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, House and Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, and Whip, for an effective Congress (Part 2) – Guest Essayist: Amanda Hughes

Day 85 – Congressional Aides: How staff who assist members of Congress help them understand bills – Guest Essayist: Scot Faulkner

RULES IN CONGRESS

Day 86 – Rules of the United States House of Representatives and Senate – History and purpose of how rules are decided – Guest Essayist: Amanda Hughes

LEGISLATIVE PROCESS

Day 87 – Length of Legislation – Why bills have grown significantly in length over the history of the United States Congress – Guest Essayist: Marc Clauson

Day 88 – Germane – What should and should not be placed in a bill to keep legislation easy to understand and appropriate – Guest Essayist: James D. Best

Day 89 – Ideas of Liberty – The spirit that enabled a people to transform their ideas of liberty into a new concept of constitutional government for a free people – Guest Essayists: W. David Stedman and LaVaughn G. Lewis

Day 90 – Introducing Legislation – Where do ideas for bills come from? – Guest Essayist: Amanda Hughes

Day 91 – Committee Process – Purpose and process of legislative committees in the House of Representatives and Senate – Guest Essayists: Joe Postell and Sam Postell

Day 92 – Constitutional Muster – Hearings and the Committee Process – How representative government happens during committee hearings – Guest Essayist: Scot Faulkner

Day 93 – From Committee to the Floor for a Vote – Role of the American people in the congressional committee process – Guest Essayist: Amanda Hughes

Day 94 – Will They Agree? When legislation must go to a conference committee after the House and Senate – Guest Essayist: Amanda Hughes

Day 95 – Sign or Not Sign Into Law? Getting a bill from introduction in Congress to the President’s desk: How easy should it be? – Guest Essayist: Gary Porter

Day 96 – How a Bill Becomes Law – Guest Essayist: Amanda Hughes

SPECIAL – Happy Independence Day! Read the Declaration of Independence With Your Family and Friends! – by Constituting America Founder and Co-chair, Janine Turner

GRIDLOCK IN CONGRESS

Day 97 – Gridlock – Why Congress is so contentious, and how the clash over views in heated debates by opposing sides can pave the way for, or destroy passage of good laws – Guest Essayist: Richard Wagner

Day 98 – Partisanship and Violence in Congress – The caning of Charles Sumner (1811-1874) who served as a senator and abolitionist from Massachusetts – Guest Essayist: George Landrith

Day 99 – Revolt of 1910 against House Speaker Joseph Cannon (1836-1926) whose powers as House Speaker were removed in 1910. Cannon, a congressman from Illinois, also served as Conference Chair – Guest Essayist: Joseph Postell and Samuel Postell

Day 100 – Filibuster – History of the filibuster, today as used only by the Senate, its purpose and effects on the legislative process – Guest Essayist: Frank Reilly

Day 101 – Transformation of the Parties – How the Democratic and Republican parties have changed throughout the history of the United States, and the effects on Congress – Guest Essayist: Tony Williams

CONTEMPORARY ISSUES

Day 102 – Congress and the rise of the progressive administrative state – Guest Essayist:  Marc Clauson

Day 103 – Direction of power, Congress, and the rise of the progressive administrative state – Guest Essayist: Patrick Garry

Day 104 – Role of Congress as representative government and the rise of the progressive administrative state – Guest Essayists: Joe Postell and Samuel Postell

Day 105 – Lobbying – The influence of lobbyists on the old system, when political bosses were in charge; and now, when candidates need campaign dollars – Guest Essayist: Amanda Hughes

Day 106 – Technology – Impact made on and by Congress from ink and quill to use of electronic voting, the Internet, and televised Floor proceedings – Guest Essayist: Scot Faulkner

Day 107 – Press – How media coverage affects the legislative process – Guest Essayist: Amanda Hughes

Day 108 – Concluding Essay: The Old Senate – Guest Essayist: William Morrisey

 

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