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Writing:Issues sections for Congress

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Main article: Congress Project writing guidelines

This page is a content-and-style guide about how to write an Issues section for articles about Congress.

The Issues section may include a variety of information. Because of this, it is usually best to break the section down into subheadings.

Subheadings

Common "Issues" subsections include:

Legislative actions

This subsection should cover the major categories of legislation, the incumbent's stance on the issues and key votes from the 113th Congress dealing with the issues and the incumbent.

The first section should be a templated overview of the 113th Congress so far and should include the percentage of bills that have been passed. Additionally, on senator pages it should include the percentage of executive confirmations. This should be templated so that it can be changed easily.

Following the first section should be at least five other sections, one for each major issue group (National Security, Economy, Immigration, Healthcare, Social Issues). These should contain anything that pertains to both the member and the issue. This information could include: things the member said about the issue in the last election, official stance on the issue from office website and key votes cast by the member on bills that fall into the issue category.

Following the 113th Congress subheading, a Previous congressional sessions subheading should be included if necessary. This section would incorporate any votes or issues from prior sessions currently listed on the page.

Code

Copy the following code, adding in anything relevant under each issue section.

===Legislative actions===
====113th Congress====
[[File:CongressLogo.png|100px|left|link=Portal:Congress]]
{{113thVotes
|Lastname=
|Passed=
|Total=
|Date=
|Sen=
|SenTotal=
|Ref=
}}

====National security====

====Economy====

====Immigration====

====Healthcare====

====Social issues====

====Previous congressional sessions====

Template

The template should be filled in as follows with information from this Link: Currently it shows 22 public bills enacted into law out of 4,315 bills introduced. It also shows 6,933 confirmations out of 15,798 nominations.

{{113thVotes
|Lastname= Last name of member
|Passed= Number of bills passed by congress (22)
|Total= Total number of proposed bills (4315)
|Date=Date listed on the reference (August 1, 2013)
|Sen=Number of executive appointments confirmed by senate (6933 but should only be filled in for senators)
|SenTotal=Total number of nominations received by senate (15798 but should only be filled in for senators)
|Ref=Reference (<ref>[http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/Resumes/current.pdf ''Congressional Record'', "Resume of Congressional Activity," accessed August 1, 2013]</ref>)
}}

Example

Shutdown wording

Economy

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[1] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[2] XMEMBERX voted XTOAPPROVEX/XAGAINSTX the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[3]

Voted "No" The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[4] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. XMEMBERX voted XFORX/XAGAINSTX HR 2775.[5]

Senate wording:

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funds the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[6] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. XMEMBERX voted with the XPARTYX Party XFORX/XAGAINSTX the bill.[7]

Templates for Farm Bill & budgets

Please put both under Economy section:

Farm Bill (2014)

Senate:

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=113&session=2&vote=00021

House:

http://clerk.house.gov/floorsummary/floor.aspx?day=20140129&today=20140212

Budget (2014)

House:

Senate:

These are the links to the votes:

Campaign themes

The most recent campaign issues section should go above the Legislative actions section.

This subsection includes a candidate's campaign themes.

  • Campaign themes are usually listed on his or her campaign website, sometimes under an "Issues" or "Platform" tab. In addition, news articles will sometimes list one or two campaign themes for a candidate. Be sure to reference the source or sources.
  • Use bullet points for each issue.
  • Summarize the candidate's stance in unbiased language. Be as brief and specific as possible, given the information available.
  • You may use direct quotes from the politician's website, but be sure to use quotation marks and references.
  • You do not have to include every issue listed on a politician's website. Instead, you may choose some of the issues and introduce the bullet points with "According to (politician's) website, his/her campaign themes include:"

This subsection includes important legislation a politician has sponsored.

  • You can search the Library of Congress's THOMAS for legislative information, including a search of bills sponsored by each member of congress.
  • You do not need to include every bill sponsored by an individual.

Presidential preference

This subsection lists the politician's endorsement for president.

Note: Percentage vote with party used to be included in the Issues section but now belongs in the Analysis section.

Controversies

This subsection lists controversies during a federal official's term of office.

Usage

Here is some basic text to use in some Issues subsections: ==Issues==

===Political positions===

NAME's political philosophy is BLANK.<ref>[INSERT LINK ''NAME campaign website'' "TITLE," Accessed DATE]</ref>

===Campaign themes===

According to his/her website, NAME's campaign platform includes<ref>[INSERT LINK ''NAME campaign website'' "TITLE," Accessed DATE]</ref>

Examples

For example "Issues" sections:

See also

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