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Articles on US Congress

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Former Vice President Mike Pence is seen presiding over the counting of the votes on Jan. 6, 2021, during a hearing of the House January 6 committee in Washington, D.C., on June 16, 2022. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Jan. 6 hearings highlight problems with certification of presidential elections and potential ways to fix them

The attempt by Donald Trump’s supporters to reverse the 2020 presidential election results shows the need to update the nation’s landmark law for counting presidential votes.
Two political conservatives, Greg Jacob, former counsel to Vice President Mike Pence, and Michael Luttig, a retired judge who was an adviser to Pence, testified to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack . AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Jan. 6 committee hearings show what went right, not just what went wrong

Coverage of the House Jan. 6 hearings focuses on what went wrong that led up to Trump supporters’ laying siege to the US Capitol. A government scholar looks at what went right, both then and now.
Greg Jacob, who was counsel to former Vice President Mike Pence, and Michael Luttig, a retired federal judge, testified about the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Michael Reynolds/Pool Photo via AP

The Jan. 6 hearings are tailor-made for social media – that doesn’t mean they’re reaching a wide audience

Today’s media landscape is a far cry from the days of Watergate. A media scholar looks at the challenge the Jan. 6 committee faces in getting the hearings to break through in the age of TikTok.
A video image shows the U.S. Capitol grounds being breached as the House Jan. 6 committee holds its first public hearing. Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP

Jan. 6 hearing gives primetime exposure to violent footage and dramatic evidence – the question is, to what end?

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol held its first hearing to present what it has learned during its almost year-long probe. Three scholars analyze the event.
Ade Osadolor-Hernandez of Students Demand Action speaks at a rally outside the U.S. Capitol in May 2022. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

US tragedies from guns have often – but not always – spurred political responses

Congress tends to be most likely to act after an assassination or assassination attempt of historic proportions or mass shootings. But sometimes lawmakers do nothing beyond debate new measures.
Nine of the 48 candidates for Alaska’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives participate in a debate on May 12, 2022, at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage. Loren Holmes / ADN

Primaries are getting more crowded with candidates, and that’s good news for extremists and bad news for voters

The number of candidates running in party primaries has ballooned since 2010. That may result in extreme, inexperienced or controversial nominees who do not represent a majority of voters.
Chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee Sam Ervin sits with Chief Counsel Sam Dash, Sen. Howard Baker, staffer Rufus Edmiston and others as they listen to a witness during the Watergate hearings. Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

What 5 previous congressional investigations can teach us about the House Jan. 6 committee hearings

The public hearings of the House Jan. 6 investigative committee will deal with unprecedented events in American history, but the very investigation of these events has strong precedent.
Mississippi state legislators review an option for redrawing the state’s voting districts at the state Capitol in Jackson on March 29, 2022. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Supreme Court allows states to use unlawfully gerrymandered congressional maps in the 2022 midterm elections

A ruling by the US Supreme Court to allow unlawful maps to be used in the midterm elections will affect who gets elected to the House of Representatives and may determine control of Congress.
The front page of the local newspaper in Uvalde, Texas, on May 26, 2022. Allison Dinner/AFP via Getty Images)

Why gun control laws don’t pass Congress, despite majority public support and repeated outrage over mass shootings

The nature of elected office combines with the lasting priorities of public opinion to put gun control on the back burner, even in times when it does get massive public attention.
Ukrainian refugees wait near the U.S. border in Tijuana, Mexico. AP Photo/Gregory Bull

How race and religion have always played a role in who gets refuge in the US

Four scholars of race, religion and immigration explain how US refugee and asylum policy has long been racially and religiously discriminatory in practice.

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