DemDaily: The Guide to 2018

November 1, 2017

As Congress prepares to go home for the Thanksgiving holiday in a few weeks and, soon after, close out the first session of the 115th Congress, many have aleady shifted their focus to the 2018 House Legislative Calendar -- just released today.

A new Congress begins at noon January 3rd of each odd-numbered year following a general election. A Congress lasts for two years (one election cycle), with each year constituting a separate session. A Congressional Calendar is an agenda or list of measures or motions awaiting possible action by the House.

If you are a lobbyist or activist whose life centers around our nation's Capitol, or just planning your trip to DC (you can go watch the House in Session) -- here's a little background on the calendar and how it works!

US House of Representatives 2018 Legislative Calendar


When a House committee reports "out" a measure (or proposed bill), it is placed on one of several calendars or lists. If a measure is not on one of the calendars, it is either awaiting action by the House committee(s) to which it was originally referred -- or it is being held "at the Speaker's table" for motions that may pass by voice or unanimous consent, without first going to committee.

The public House Calendar puts into calendar-form all that information, as well as the voting and floor schedule, and days the House is "in session" or home for a monthly "District Work Period" attending to constitutent business. There are also two more lengthy adjournments for summer recess and winter break.

"To enact a conservative agenda, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has increased the average number of days we will be in session by the equivalent of more than three legislative weeks - particularly during the first part of the year."   - House Majority Leader's Office



In releasing the 2018 Calendar, set by the controlling Republican majority, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) criticized the lack of legislative accomplishments in the first session, and called on Republicans to use the second session more effectively than the first.

"Next year, House Republicans should choose to work with Democrats rather than continuing to pursue everything in a partisan fashion, which has only exposed their deep divisions and mired the House in chaos and dysfunction."  - House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer

The gridlock in Congress, and between GOP leaders and President Trump, is good news for Democrats, who expect to benefit from the chaos at the ballot box next November. In the interim, check the calendar for the latest updates.

"If we do nothing, if tax reform crashes and burns, if Obamacare nothing happens, we could face a bloodbath." - Ted Cruz



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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: Offices of House Majority Leader and Democratic Whip, CRS, Wikipedia,

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