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Sessions of Congress

The annual series of meetings of a Congress is called a session. Each Congress generally has two sessions, based on the constitutional mandate that Congress assemble at least once a year. In addition, a meeting of one or both houses is a session. And the Senate and House of Representatives is said to be in session on any particular day when it is meeting.


        Sessions Overview: What is all this talk about Sessions?
        Dates of Sessions of Congress (present-1789)
        Years of the 1st through-Current Congress
        Saturday Sessions (present-1968)
        Sunday Sessions (present-1861)
        All-Night Sessions of the Senate (1915-present)

Types of Sessions

    Closed Sessions   Definition

            The Senate Opens Its Doors, Dec 9, 1795
            "Dear Diary," Oct 17, 1803

    Joint Sessions   Definition

            Joint Sessions and Meetings of Congress
            Churchill Addresses Congress, Dec 26, 1941
        State of the Union Address
            About the State of the Union Address
            Cabinet Members who did not Attend the State of the Union Address (Since 1984*)
            Opposition Responses (1966-present)

    Lame Duck Sessions   Definition

            Lame Duck Sessions (present-1933)
            The First Monday in December, Dec 2, 1793
            A Dramatic Session, Jul 4, 1861
            Ten Senators Expelled, Jul 11, 1861
            "Turnip Day" Session, Jul 26, 1948

Recess & Adjournment

            The August Recess: An Overview
            Escaping the Summer's Heat Jul 27, 1956
            Recess Appointments: Frequently Asked Questions (pdf) (CRS)

Related Items   Calendars & Schedules