November 7, 2006 — California Representative Nancy Pelosi and Nevada Senator Harry Reid lead the Democratic Party in taking control of both the House and the Senate in the 2006 congressional elections, the first time in 12 years the Democrats secure control of both houses of Congress simultaneously.
This Congress met for 242 days, the fewest since World War II and 12 days fewer than the 80th Congress. As the Congress neared its conclusion, some media commentators labelled this the "Do Nothing Congress,"  a pejorative originally given to the 80th United States Congress by President Harry Truman, although the number of bills passed by Congress is no measure of its success.
The party summary for the Senate remained the same during the entire 109th Congress. On January 16, 2006, Democrat Jon Corzine resigned, but Democrat Bob Menendez was appointed and took Corzine's seat the next day.
Due to resignations and special elections, Republicans lost a net of three seats; Democrats gained one seat; three seats were left vacant; and one seat which was vacant at the beginning of the Congress was filled. All seats were filled though special elections. (See Changes in membership, below.)
In this Congress, Class 1 meant their term ended with this Congress, requiring reelection in 2006; Class 2 meant their term began in the last Congress, requiring reelection in 2008; and Class 3 meant their term began in this Congress, requiring reelection in 2010.
Lists of committees and their party leaders, for members (House and Senate) of the committees and their assignments, go into the Official Congressional Directory at the bottom of the article and click on the link (1 link), in the directory after the pages of terms of service, you will see the committees of the Senate, House (Standing with Subcommittees, Select and Special) and Joint and after the committee pages, you will see the House/Senate committee assignments in the directory, on the committees section of the House and Senate in the Official Congressional Directory, the committee's members on the first row on the left side shows the chairman of the committee and on the right side shows the ranking member of the committee.
14 Women is a 2007 documentary film directed by Mary Lambert and narrated by Annette Bening. The film released on June 14, 2007, and focuses on several female Senators serving in the 109th United States Congress.
The 2005 State of the Union Address was delivered by United States President George W. Bush on Wednesday, February 2, 2005, in Washington, D.C. to a joint session of the U.S. Congress (the House of Representatives and the Senate).
The 2006 State of the Union Address was delivered by United States President George W. Bush at 9 p.m. EST (0200 UTC) on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 to a joint session of the U.S. Congress. The address outlined the President's legislative proposals for the upcoming year and referenced the budget deficit, health care reform, the War on Terror, the Occupation of Iraq, Iran's nuclear program, the rising price of gasoline and the transfer to independent sources of alternative energy, illegal immigration, Hurricane Katrina and the federal response to natural disasters, Avian influenza (H5N1) outbreak, the Abramoff scandal and corruption within the government, the NSA spying controversy, the successful nomination of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, and the Administration's proposed ban on same-sex marriage.
Newly elected Governor of Virginia Tim Kaine gave the Democratic response in English and Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa did so in Spanish.
The Benefit Authors without Limiting Advancement or Net Consumer Expectations (BALANCE) Act of 2003 was a bill that would've amended Title 17 of the United States Code, "to safeguard the rights and expectations of consumers who lawfully obtain digital entertainment." The bill was proposed in the 108th Congress as H.R. 1066 by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). In the 109th Congress, the bill was reintroduced and is numbered H.R. 4536. It has not been introduced into the 110th Congress.
The U.S. Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, 28 U.S.C. Sections 1332(d), 1453, and 1711–1715, expanded subject-matter jurisdiction over many large class-action lawsuits and mass actions taken in the United States.
The bill was the first major piece of legislation of the second term of the Bush Administration. Business groups and tort reform supporters had lobbied for the legislation, arguing that it was needed to prevent class-action lawsuit abuse. President George W. Bush had vowed to support this legislation.
The Act permits federal courts to preside over certain class actions in diversity jurisdiction where the aggregate amount in controversy exceeds $5 million; where the class comprises at least 100 plaintiffs; and where there is at least "minimal diversity" between the parties (i.e., at least one plaintiff class member is diverse from at least one defendant). The court, however, may decline jurisdiction under certain circumstances, and is required to decline jurisdiction in certain others. The Act also directs the Courts to give greater scrutiny to class action settlements, especially those involving corporations.
The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 (CMEA) is federal legislation enacted in the United States on March 9, 2006, to regulate, among other things, retail over-the-counter sales of following products because of their use in the manufacture of illegal drugs:
phenylpropanolamine (no longer OTC due to a proposed increased risk of stroke in younger women)Retail provisions of the CMEA include daily sales limits and 30-day purchase limits, placement of product out of direct customer access, sales logbooks, customer ID verification, employee training, and self-certification of regulated sellers. The CMEA is found as Title VII of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 (H.R. 3199). The last provisions of the law took effect on 30 September 2006.
The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act (CIRA, S. 2611) was a United States Senate bill introduced in the 109th Congress (2005–2006) by Sen. Arlen Specter [PA] on April 7, 2006. Co-sponsors, who signed on the same day, were Sen. Chuck Hagel [NE], Sen. Mel Martínez [FL], Sen. John McCain [AZ], Sen. Ted Kennedy [MA], Sen. Lindsey Graham [SC], and Sen. Sam Brownback [KS].
The bill dealt with immigration reform. It proposed to increase some security along the southern United States border with Mexico, allow long-term illegal immigrants to gain legal status, and to increase the number of guest workers over and above those already present in the U.S. through a new "blue card" visa program. The sponsor of the Bill, Senator Arlen Specter, introduced it on April 7, 2006. It was passed on May 25, 2006, by a vote of 62-36. Cloture was invoked, which limited debate to a 30-hour period. The parallel House Bill H.R. 4437 would have dealt with immigration differently. Neither bill became law because the two Houses were not able to reach an agreement to go to a conference committee. The end of the 109th Congress (January 3, 2007) marked the defeat of both bills.
The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act would establish a pilot program to provide $10 million annually for 200 grants to encourage institutions of higher education to establish and operate a pregnant and parenting student services office. The on-campus office would serve parenting students, prospective student parents who are pregnant or imminently anticipating an adoption, and students who are placing or have placed a child for adoption. It is named in honor of the prominent suffragist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
The Family Entertainment and Copyright Act, Pub. L. 109-9, 119 Stat. 218 (April 27, 2005), is a federal legislative act regarding copyright that became law in the United States in 2005. The Act consists of two subparts: the Artist's Rights and Theft Prevention Act of 2005, which increases penalties for copyright infringement, and the Family Home Movie Act of 2005, which permits the development of technology to "sanitize" potentially offensive DVD and VOD content.
The Family Entertainment and Copyright Act was introduced into the United States Senate (of the 109th United States Congress) on January 25, 2005 by Senator Orrin Hatch (R - Utah), and was signed into law by President George W. Bush on April 27, 2005.
The act provides theater owners and employees with both civil and criminal immunity for questioning suspected violators or detaining them while police are summoned.
The Iran Freedom Support Act (Pub.L. 109–293, 120 Stat. 1344, H.R. 6198, enacted September 30, 2006) is an Act of Congress that appropriated $10 million and directed the President of the United States to spend that money in support of "pro-democracy groups" opposed to the Iranian government. Opponents claimed the bill was a first step towards a US-led invasion of the country.In response to the passage of the bill, President George W. Bush lauded the Congress "for demonstrating its bipartisan commitment to confronting the Iranian regime's repressive and destabilizing activities."
Jessica's Law is the informal name given to a 2005 Florida law, as well as laws in several other states, designed to protect potential victims and reduce a sexual offender's ability to re-offend. A version of Jessica's Law, known as the Jessica Lunsford Act, was introduced at the federal level in 2005 but was never enacted into law by Congress.
The name is also used by the media to designate all legislation and potential legislation in other states modeled after the Florida law. Forty-two states have introduced such legislation since Florida's law was passed.
The law is named after Jessica Lunsford, a young Florida girl who was sexually battered and murdered in February 2005 by John Couey, a previously convicted sex offender. Public outrage over this case spurred Florida officials to introduce this legislation. Among the key provisions of the law was classifying lewd or lascivious molestation on a person under the age of 12 as a life felony, and a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison and lifetime electronic monitoring of adults convicted of lewd or lascivious molestation against a victim less than 12 years old. The statute also requires that if an offender is sentenced to a term of years, he or she must be given lifetime probation following the imprisonment. In Florida, another charge, capital sexual battery is defined as: A person 18 years of age or older who commits sexual battery upon, or in an attempt to commit sexual battery injures the sexual organs of, a person less than 12 years of age commits a capital felony. The charge carries a mandatory life sentence.
This is a complete list of members of the United States Senate during the 109th United States Congress listed by seniority, from January 3, 2005, to January 3, 2007.
Order of service is based on the commencement of the senator's first term. Behind this is former service as a senator (only giving the senator seniority within his or her new incoming class), Vice President, U.S. Representative, Cabinet secretary, or governor of a state. The final factor is the population of his or her state.Senators who were sworn in during the middle of the two-year congressional term (up until the last senator who was not sworn in early after winning the November 2006 election) are listed at the end of the list with no number.
The 109th United States Congress began on January 4, 2005. There were nine new senators (two Democrats, seven Republicans) and 40 new representatives (16 Democrats, 24 Republicans) at the start of its first session.
The American Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act, also known as the Cheeseburger Bill, sought to protect producers and retailers of foods—such as McDonald's Corporation—from an increasing number of suits and class action suits by obese consumers. To date these suits have been turned down by the courts, sometimes in strong terms. The Act was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in March 2005, and did receive a Senate vote. The Act states that food-producing or retailing corporations cannot be legally held responsible for obesity, heart disease, or other health-related issues caused by consumption of their food, save for situations where actual food quality or handling was held responsible for such issues.
The bill was reintroduced in 2005 by Florida Republican Congressman Ric Keller. Keller had taken the maximum level of PAC donations up to $300,000 for his personal campaign funding from restaurants including McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger King. On October 19, 2005, it once again passed the House with a 306-120 vote although Keller actually missed the vote due to being rushed to the hospital after suffering a cardiac arrhythmia. Once again, it failed to achieve a Senate vote.Many state legislatures have considered their own versions of the bill.
The Security and Accountability For Every Port Act of 2006 (or SAFE Port Act, Pub.L. 109–347) was an Act of Congress in the United States covering port security and to which an online gambling measure was added at the last moment. The House and Senate passed the conference report on September 30, 2006, and President Bush signed the Act into law on October 13, 2006.
The Secure Fence Act of 2006 (Pub.L. 109–367), also labelled H.R. 6061, is an Act of the United States Congress which authorized and partially funded the construction of 700 miles (1,125 km) of physical fence/barriers along the Mexican border. It was signed into law on October 26, 2006, by U.S. President George W. Bush, stating "This bill will help protect the American people. This bill will make our borders more secure. It is an important step toward immigration reform."Bill H.R. 6061 was introduced in the House of Representatives on September 13, 2006, by Congressman Peter T. King, Republican of New York, passing 283–138 on September 14, 2006. It passed the Senate 80–19 on September 29, 2006.
Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act was the name of two similar bills that both passed through the United States House of Representatives and Senate, but were both vetoed by President George W. Bush and were not enacted into law.
The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (Pub.L. 109–432, 120 Stat. 2922), includes a package of tax extenders, provisions affecting health savings accounts and other provisions in the United States.
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