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Yes, Pamela, they reuse them

Pamela (holding sign) and Pastor Manning

As a educational feature of Obama Conspiracy Theories, we sometimes answer general questions for the public. This question comes from Pamela, posting on the Orly Taitz web site. Pamela is having a problem searching for material at the congressional web site, thomas.gov. Pamela writes:

I am pretty sure that they [the United States Senate] do not repeat numbers for their Resolutions or Bills.

Actually, Pamela, they do. In each session of Congress, they start over from numero uno otherwise the numbers would get very large because many, many bills are introduced in Congress every year. When searching for a bill by number, you need to know the year.

The search bar on the main page at thomas.gov is labeled “Legislation in Current Congress.” Every 2 years, we get a new Congress! Isn’t that exciting! But that means a little extra work for you because you will have to click the “Advanced Search” link for older information. The current Congress is the 111th, and the one serving from 2007-2008 was the 110th. (See the tutorial below on how to compute the Session of Congress.)

For the particular search you had in mind, Senate Resolution 511 about John McCain (an important American leader), you will need to select the 110th Congress since that resolution was from 2008. Right below Enter Search, you can select “Bill Number.” Now a Senate Resolution isn’t a bill, and so they use a special prefix, “S.RES” for Senate RESolution. In this case you can enter “S.RES.511” for the Bill number, and it will go right to the resolution you want. It’s easy once you get the hang of it.

To see number reuse in action, you can search in the 109th Congress and find that Senate Resolution 511 was “a resolution commending and supporting Radio Al Mahaba, the 1st and only radio station for the women of Iraq” sponsored by Senator Clinton.


Tutorial: Computing the Session of Congress

Members of the House of Representatives serve two year terms, and that period makes up a “session”. You will have to do a little arithmetic to figure out the session by the year. It’s really fun do to.

Just take the year and subtract 1787 (the year the Constitution was written) Divide that by 2 and throw away the fraction and voila, you have the session. 2006 – 1787 = 219. Divide by 2 and you get 109.5 (don’t forget to discard the fraction) and the answer is the 109th Congress.

Read Pamela Barnett’s full comment: Hi, All.

I wanted to get a new printout of Senate Resolution 511 that declared John McCain a Natural Born Citizen so I went to  www.thomas.loc.gov and entered in SR 511 and it pulled up a completely unrelated document.  I am pretty sure that they do not repeat numbers for their Resolutions or Bills.  It is no coincidence that they are most likely trying to wipe from history a Resolution that would define Obama as not Constitutionally qualified.
I finally found the original SR 511 on an advanced search using the term Natural Born Citizen.
Please let me know if my conclusions are wrong.  If it turns out to be something a hat tip would be appreciated.
Thanks,

Pamela Barnett

It turns out to be nothing, but a tip’o’the’hat to ye anyway!

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13 Responses to Yes, Pamela, they reuse them

  1. avatar
    AnotherBird August 12, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    The systems isn’t that hard to use, and it is easy to find. On the page above the search box is the text “Legislation in Current Congress” in big blue letter. However, it can be understandable for a person not understanding how to use the system for the first time.

  2. avatar
    misha August 13, 2010 at 12:00 am #

    As long as Manning is in the picture:

    Manning is a convicted felon, like Spiro Agnew.

    Manning holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from his own ATLAH Theological Seminary, an unaccredited institution.

    Manning burgled homes, mostly on Long Island. He spent about three and a half years in prison in New York and Florida for burglary, robbery, larceny, criminal possession of a weapon, and other charges before his release in 1978.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_David_Manning

  3. avatar
    DaveH August 13, 2010 at 8:16 am #

    Sadly, this tutorial will go to waste when it comes to Pammy. No birfer likes to be told that they’re wrong and they don’t like to be told how to do something. Pammy would prefer to think that they system was ‘scrubbed’ (one of their favorite words to use when it comes to finding information on the internet and then they can’t find it…).

  4. avatar
    too_fast August 13, 2010 at 9:10 am #

    The year “1787” has absolutely nothing to do with it!

    The first session of Congress began on March 4th 1789. It has nothing to do with when the Constitution was written.

  5. avatar
    history August 13, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    1787???

    1787 (the year the Constitution was written) is irrelevant.

    We started operating under our new Constitution on March 4th 1789. The first session began on that date.

    The math works out, but it has nothing to do with when the Constitution was written.

    Here’s one for the historians:
    What were the first three significant legislative acts performed by our new Congress?

  6. avatar
    Majority Will August 13, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    history: 1787???1787 (the year the Constitution was written) is irrelevant.We started operating under our new Constitution on March 4th 1789. The first session began on that date.The math works out, but it has nothing to do with when the Constitution was written.Here’s one for the historians:
    What were the first three significant legislative acts performed by our new Congress?

    Significant is subjective.

    June 1, 1789: An act to regulate the time and manner of administering certain oaths.
    July 4, 1789: Hamilton Tariff
    July 27, 1789: United States Department of State, was established, originally named the Department of Foreign Affairs
    August 7, 1789: Department of War was established
    September 2, 1789: United States Department of the Treasury was established,
    September 24, 1789: Judiciary Act of 1789, ch. 20, which created the Supreme Court,, District courts, Circuit courts, District attorneys, and the Attorney General
    March 1, 1790: Made provisions for the first Census
    March 26, 1790: Naturalization Act of 1790

    et alia

  7. avatar
    Sef August 13, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    The correct formula is INT((year-1789)/2)+1 The “+1” is because the 1st Congress was not the “0th” Congress.

  8. avatar
    history August 13, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    Will, good answer.

    Sef, Your math is almost correct. However, it wasn’t until 1934 that Congress always convened on Jan 3. I.e. the first session ran from 1789-1791. This continued until 1934, at which time sessions would only cover a two year period.

  9. avatar
    Majority Will August 13, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    history: Will, good answer.Sef,Your math is almost correct. However, it wasn’t until 1934 that Congress always convened on Jan 3. I.e. the first session ran from 1789-1791. This continued until 1934, at which time sessions would only cover a two year period.

    I please to aim.

  10. avatar
    Sef August 13, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    history: Will, good answer.Sef,Your math is almost correct. However, it wasn’t until 1934 that Congress always convened on Jan 3. I.e. the first session ran from 1789-1791. This continued until 1934, at which time sessions would only cover a two year period.

    Yes, I know that, but didn’t want to take the time to put in all the special cases. For the question at hand it works.

  11. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 13, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    Sef: The correct formula is INT((year-1789)/2)+1 The “+1‘ is because the 1st Congress was not the “0th” Congress.

    I know. I struggled between completeness and simplicity. In the end I wanted something that would be simple enough for Pamela to understand. Thomas.gov only goes back to the 93’rd Congress anyway. What I didn’t realize until just after I published the article is that Thomas.gov already has a conversion chart. http://www.thomas.gov/home/faqlist.html#10

  12. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 13, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    history: 1787 (the year the Constitution was written) is irrelevant.

    You missed the point of the article. 1787 was just an arbitrary number to make the formula work for the years that are available on Thomas.gov. Saying that it was the year the Constitution was written is just a memory device to help remember the constant. The article was written for an audience of children using Thomas.gov.

  13. avatar
    Sef August 14, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    A hallmark of birthers is that they do not fully think through their actions & ideas. Does Pamela actually think that in the whole history of the United States there had only been 510 Senate Resolutions before this one? Engage brain before acting!