Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center


What happens if the federal government shuts down?

January 18, 2018 By NCC Staff

Unless Congress passes a temporary funding bill by late Friday night, many federal government services will stop over the weekend. So what is exactly involved in a federal government shutdown?

What’s reconciliation and how does it affect the tax debate?

December 18, 2017 By NCC Staff

Early this week, the House and Senate will likely vote on a huge overhaul to the tax system. So what is the obscure rule that will allow a simple majority of Senators bypass a filibuster and approve the proposed tax changes?

When Congress last used its powers to declare war

December 8, 2017 By NCC Staff

Today marks an important anniversary in American history: the congressional declaration of war on Japan on December 8, 1941. But since then, Congress has rarely used its constitutional power formally issue a war declaration.

On this day: The Senate censures Joseph McCarthy

December 2, 2017 By NCC Staff

December 2 is a landmark day in Senate history, marking that chamber’s historic censure of Joseph McCarthy for his conduct during public hearings.

On this day, Wilson’s own rule helps defeat the Versailles Treaty

November 15, 2017 By

On November 15, 1919, a procedure introduced by Woodrow Wilson to the Senate, the cloture rule, backfired on the President as it helped lead to the defeat of a Versailles Treaty he personally negotiated in Paris.

How Americans fought to restore Veterans Day to November

November 11, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

This Friday, millions of Americans will take time out to honor our military on the traditional time of 11:11 a.m. on November 11. But there was a time when Congress tried to move the holiday, only to face several years of strong public resistance.

That other big partisan gerrymander fight

November 7, 2017 By Lyle Denniston

The Supreme Court Justices are working their way through potential drafts for a ruling on a major Wisconsin case testing the constitutionality of partisan gerrymanders, but there is another big controversy over that question now moving along quite rapidly in lower courts. 

Can a Senator serve in Congress after a conviction in court?

October 20, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

As the Robert Menendez trial winds down, the New Jersey congressional caucus faces an odd scenario if the Senator is convicted of political corruption charges. Should Menendez remain in office if he is found guilty and he then appeals the case?

McConnell ponders giving Senate tradition the “slip”

October 12, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell might allow some Trump judicial nominations to move forward despite objections from home state Senators using a traditional blocking tactic called the blue slip.

Essential online resources for Constitution Day

September 18, 2017 By NCC Staff

With Constitution Day happening today, here’s a look at some essential constitutional resources we use in our quest to explain and understand our founding document.

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