Obamacare was able to pass into law because, for a brief period of time, the Democratic Party held the White House, a majority in the House of Representatives and a supermajority in the Senate all at the same time. Obamacare is officially known as the Affordable Care Act.Know More
Obamacare, President Barack Obama's overhaul of the health insurance system, needed to pass through both chambers of Congress to become a law. The seeds for this passing were sown during the 2008 elections. That evening, the Democratic party came away with a 257 to 199 seat advantage in the House, and Obama was elected president.
In the Senate, the Democrats gained eight seats to hold 57 out of 100 seats. At the time, there were two Independent Senators, and each was expected to vote for the law. The Democrats needed one more seat in the Senate to gain a supermajority, which is 60 seats, and ensure that the Republicans would be unable to block the passage with a filibuster.
This 60th seat would come unexpectedly, when Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania switched his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat on April 28, 2009. On December 24, 2009, the Senate passed the Obamacare bill by a 60 to 39 vote. It would take another three months for the House and Senate bills to be reconciled. President Obama signed the ACA into law on March 23, 2010.Learn more about US History
The Great Compromise at the Constitutional Convention ended the debate over congressional representation by establishing a two-branch legislature with each state represented equally in the Senate, and proportionately by population in the House of Representatives. Its debate also addressed how slaves would be counted toward a state's population.Full Answer >
While senators are elected to serve terms of 6 years, members of the House of Representatives are elected to serve terms of only 2 years. There are no limits to how many terms to which members of Congress may be elected.Full Answer >
Those interested in contacting the White House may do so by phone, through a letter or by submitting comments through the White House website. The website provides instructions on each method of contact.Full Answer >
The White House's exterior walls are made of white painted Aquia Creek sandstone that was quarried by slaves. This is the same stone that was used to build the Capitol building.Full Answer >