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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