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Articles on US Congress

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Vice President Mike Pence reads the final electoral vote counts declaring Joe Biden the next U.S. president during a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 7, 2021. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The Electoral Count Act of 1887 is showing its age – here’s how to help Congress certify a presidential election with more certainty

Concerned about problems in counting Electoral College votes that determine the next president, lawmakers are considering changes to the Electoral Count Act. What is the act, and what’s wrong with it?
Reporters waiting outside a private meeting between advisers to President Biden and Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema about the Build Back Better Act on Capitol Hill, Sept. 30, 2021. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Don’t care about the Build Back Better Act? Hearing people’s personal stories might change that

A quarter of Americans don’t know how they feel about the Build Back Better Act. Focusing on Americans’ individual stories – and not just political theater – could help fuel civic engagement.
Parents and activists who support transgender rights rally before a school board meeting on Aug. 10, 2021, in Ashburn, Virginia. Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Trans people have a long history in Appalachia – but politicians prefer to ignore it

The ongoing debate over transgender rights in rural America frames transness as a nascent movement, ignoring a long undercurrent of transgender history that is all but forgotten.
You know they’re waiting, just anticipating … for CBO figures they don’t yet possess. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Congress is waiting on the CBO for its Build Back Better report – but how did fiscal scorekeepers come to be so powerful in politics?

Five Democrats are refusing to vote on a signature bill until the Congressional Budget Office delivers its full cost estimate. For a small agency, the CBO can hold a lot of legislative sway.
Congress has asked many questions of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg but has done little to regulate Facebook. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

3 ways Congress could hold Facebook accountable for its actions

Pressure is mounting on Congress to take action on Facebook. Our panel of experts offers their top priorities: user control of data, banking-like oversight and resources to close the digital divide.
The $1 trillion bill was a heavy lift for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (center). Next up: the budget reconciliation bill known as Build Back Better. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Congress passes $1T infrastructure bill – but how does the government go about spending that much money?

The government uses a process called public procurement. A professor of public policy explains how the process works and how it is increasingly used to achieve social goals.
U.S. Reps. Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney, chair and vice chair of the committee investigating the Capitol insurrection, after voting to hold Steve Bannon in criminal contempt. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Steve Bannon is held in criminal contempt of Congress, pushing key question over presidential power to the courts

Donald Trump asked his former presidential aides not to testify before a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection – testing the limits of congressional oversight.
The Denali Highway as it crosses the Susitna River. Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Infrastructure bill passed by Congress promises billions for bridge repair – rural Alaska shows the growing need as temperatures rise

Alaska is warming faster than any other U.S. state, and that’s causing problems, a team of bridge engineers and social scientists explains. The infrastructure bill in Congress would offer some help.
Another door closes on federal police reform. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Federal police reform talks have failed – but local efforts stand a better chance of success

Months of bipartisan talks in Congress aimed at reaching consensus over policing reforms have ended with no agreement. Two policing scholars argue that federal efforts are better placed focusing on supporting local measures.

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