Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Consent to Adjourn

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article I.5.4: “Because the Constitution required the participation of both houses to transact business, neither house can adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other.” Each house has the right to demand that the other house is available and functioning except for intervals shorter than three days.

This provision was put in the Constitution to keep the Congress of the United States from acting as the Parliament in England. One of the English houses would adjourn for long periods of time without the consent of the other house - most often to prevent objectionable legislation from passing. Our Founders did not want this same behavior in our Congress.

The Senate and the House of Representatives must agree upon adjournment. If agreement cannot be reached, the President can order the adjournment of Congress. This is the only control that the President has over the adjourning of Congress.

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