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Federal Congress is the legislative body of the Federation. It is located in the Congress building in Olympus Village on Mars, where it has operated since the Federation's capital moved from Washington, D.C. on Earth circa 2290. There are 500 elected members of Congress called Congressmen, and all Congressmen are expected to attend sessions in person to cast their votes.[1]

Functions

Anyone can run for election to Federal Congress. They do not need to be backed by a political party or minor faction, but it helps. There are two major parties: the Liberals and the Republicans. Corporations generally do push and fund their chosen candidates or parties, as do other special interest groups. Like the President, Congressmen are elected for an eight-year term, with a "vote of no confidence" after four years. If the vote of no confidence succeeds then a full election takes place. A Congressman (or President) cannot serve multiple consecutive terms, though a Congressman can (and often does) become President immediately after a term as a Congressman.[1]

Congressmen spend their days representing their constituency. They can also hold other office as part of government – for example chairing committees etc. They are not allowed to have corporate interests that might conflict with their political roles (though quite often some hide them via their friends, spouses etc, and not all get found out).[1]

Every Federation system has representation at the Congress, but generally a Congressman represents multiple systems, except a few, such as Sol, that have more than one Congressional representative, based loosely on historic population. Phenomenal growth in the outer systems has meant that they have little representation in Congress, and there is frequent discussion about creating many new Congressmen to address this balance, but the various power blocks realise it will change the balance of power away from the core systems, the very people who would have to vote it through – so many agree it is unlikely to happen in the near future.[1]

Congressmen do not change when their system's controlling minor faction changes, and serve until their term is up, but their life could become difficult, so they might resign, triggering a local election.[1]

In certain circumstances, Federal Congress can classify a law as emergency legislation, and if approved by a majority vote, such legislation replaces all preeexisting laws related to the same subject. One piece of emergency legislation was the Domestic Counter-Terrorism Act of 3307, which superseded all of the Federation's extant domestic surveillance laws.[2]

Congressional Streamlining

Federal colonies continued to mature into Congressional members and became accepted as Federal States over the course of the 25th and 26th centuries. However, the ratification of each colonial charter and approval of membership made the governing body of the Federation more and more unwieldy. This meant getting decisions made became more and more of a laborious and time consuming process, increasingly relying on Presidential Influence. Eventually in 2594, Congress passed an Act reducing the total number of congressmen dramatically at the subsequent election round, amid much controversy.[3]

In parallel, the President's fixed four year term was extended to a single eight year term, with a Vote of Confidence by the people after four years. This was to address the problem that increasingly the Presidents were serving two consecutive terms (their limit - a historical limit dating back to pre Federation days), and few credible candidates would stand against them in what increasingly were referred to as the 'mid-term' election.[3]

List of known Congressmen

Current

Name Constituency Other Titles/Positions
Bai Zheng
Faye[4]
Felicia Winters Rhea Shadow President for the Liberal Party
Acting Federal President (formerly)
Secretary of State (formerly)
George Fallside Mars Non-executive director for Core Dynamics
Harlan Turk Duamta
Isolde Rochester Altair Shadow Vice President for the Liberal Party
Jacob Harris
Jefferson[5] Secretary of State for Finance
Kristine Lasky
McRand[4]
Silvia Calhoon Aulin

Former

Name Constituency Other Titles/Positions
Edgar Santiago Shadow Vice President for the Liberal Party
Ethan Naylor Siren Federal Vice President
Jane Garvey[6] Dulos
Jerome Archer Federal Vice President
Secretary of Security (formerly)
Director of the Federal Intelligence Agency (formerly)
Marcus Albertson[7] Sanna
Morgan Unwin[8]
Raul Santorini Tau Ceti Governor of Tau Ceti
Rory Priest[9] Altair
Tyrell Biggs Mars Federal President
Zachary Hudson Nanomam Federal President
Shadow President for the Republican Party (formerly)

Notes

  • Federal Congress has a minor faction of its own in Sol.

References

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