Subchapter I General
Subchapter II House of Representatives
Subchapter III Senate

Terms Used In U.S. Code > Title 2 > Chapter 47 - Congressional Ethics

  • Advice and consent: Under the Constitution, presidential nominations for executive and judicial posts take effect only when confirmed by the Senate, and international treaties become effective only when the Senate approves them by a two-thirds vote.
  • agency: has the meaning given that term in section 551(1) of title 5. See 2 USC 1602
  • Allegation: something that someone says happened.
  • Amendment: A proposal to alter the text of a pending bill or other measure by striking out some of it, by inserting new language, or both. Before an amendment becomes part of the measure, thelegislature must agree to it.
  • Annuity: A periodic (usually annual) payment of a fixed sum of money for either the life of the recipient or for a fixed number of years. A series of payments under a contract from an insurance company, a trust company, or an individual. Annuity payments are made at regular intervals over a period of more than one full year.
  • antitrust law: means the Sherman Act (15 U. See 15 USC 3503
  • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
  • Appellate: About appeals; an appellate court has the power to review the judgement of another lower court or tribunal.
  • Appraisal: A determination of property value.
  • Appropriation: The provision of funds, through an annual appropriations act or a permanent law, for federal agencies to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. The formal federal spending process consists of two sequential steps: authorization
  • Arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
  • Assets: (1) The property comprising the estate of a deceased person, or (2) the property in a trust account.
  • association: when used in reference to a corporation, shall be deemed to embrace the words "successors and assigns of such company or association" in like manner as if these last-named words, or words of similar import, were expressed. See 1 USC 5
  • Attachment: A procedure by which a person's property is seized to pay judgments levied by the court.
  • Bankruptcy: Refers to statutes and judicial proceedings involving persons or businesses that cannot pay their debts and seek the assistance of the court in getting a fresh start. Under the protection of the bankruptcy court, debtors may discharge their debts, perhaps by paying a portion of each debt. Bankruptcy judges preside over these proceedings.
  • Baseline: Projection of the receipts, outlays, and other budget amounts that would ensue in the future without any change in existing policy. Baseline projections are used to gauge the extent to which proposed legislation, if enacted into law, would alter current spending and revenue levels.
  • Beneficiary: A person who is entitled to receive the benefits or proceeds of a will, trust, insurance policy, retirement plan, annuity, or other contract. Source: OCC
  • Bequest: Property gifted by will.
  • Board: means the National Recording Preservation Board. See 2 USC 1741
  • Caucus: From the Algonquian Indian language, a caucus meant "to meet together." An informal organization of members of the legislature that exists to discuss issues of mutual concern and possibly to perform legislative research and policy planning for its members. There are regional, political or ideological, ethnic, and economic-based caucuses.
  • Centers: means the Cooperative Research Centers established under section 3705 or 3707 of this title. See 15 USC 3703
  • Chairperson: means the Chairperson of the Council. See 12 USC 5311
  • Clearinghouse: means the Clearinghouse for State and Local Initiatives on Productivity, Technology, and Innovation established by section 3704a of this title. See 15 USC 3703
  • client: means any person or entity that employs or retains another person for financial or other compensation to conduct lobbying activities on behalf of that person or entity. See 2 USC 1602
  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Concurrent resolution: A legislative measure, designated "S. Con. Res." and numbered consecutively upon introduction, generally employed to address the sentiments of both chambers, to deal with issues or matters affecting both houses, such as a concurrent budget resolution, or to create a temporary joint committee. Concurrent resolutions are not submitted to the President/Governor and thus do not have the force of law.
  • Conference report: The compromise product negotiated by the conference committee. The "conference report" is submitted to each chamber for its consideration, such as approval or disapproval.
  • Congressional Record: The substantially verbatim account of daily proceedings in Congress. It is printed for each day Congress is in session. At the back of each daily issue is the "Daily Digest," which summarizes the day's floor and committee activities.
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • corporation: includes associations, joint-stock companies, and insurance companies. See 26 USC 7701
  • county: includes a parish, or any other equivalent subdivision of a State or Territory of the United States. See 1 USC 2
  • covered executive branch official: means &mdash. See 2 USC 1602
  • covered legislative branch official: means &mdash. See 2 USC 1602
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
  • Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
  • Docket: A log containing brief entries of court proceedings.
  • domestic: when applied to a corporation or partnership means created or organized in the United States or under the law of the United States or of any State unless, in the case of a partnership, the Secretary provides otherwise by regulations. See 26 USC 7701
  • Donor: The person who makes a gift.
  • Embezzlement: In most states, embezzlement is defined as theft/larceny of assets (money or property) by a person in a position of trust or responsibility over those assets. Embezzlement typically occurs in the employment and corporate settings. Source: OCC
  • employee: means any individual who is an officer, employee, partner, director, or proprietor of a person or entity, but does not include&mdash. See 2 USC 1602
  • Entitlement: A Federal program or provision of law that requires payments to any person or unit of government that meets the eligibility criteria established by law. Entitlements constitute a binding obligation on the part of the Federal Government, and eligible recipients have legal recourse if the obligation is not fulfilled. Social Security and veterans' compensation and pensions are examples of entitlement programs.
  • Equitable: Pertaining to civil suits in "equity" rather than in "law." In English legal history, the courts of "law" could order the payment of damages and could afford no other remedy. See damages. A separate court of "equity" could order someone to do something or to cease to do something. See, e.g., injunction. In American jurisprudence, the federal courts have both legal and equitable power, but the distinction is still an important one. For example, a trial by jury is normally available in "law" cases but not in "equity" cases. Source: U.S. Courts
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Ex officio: Literally, by virtue of one's office.
  • Executive session: A portion of the Senate's daily session in which it considers executive business.
  • Fair market value: The price at which an asset would change hands in a transaction between a willing, informed buyer and a willing, informed seller.
  • Federal agency: means any executive agency as defined in section 105 of title 5 and the military departments as defined in section 102 of such title, as well as any agency of the legislative branch of the Federal Government. See 15 USC 3703
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: A government corporation that insures the deposits of all national and state banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System. Source: OCC
  • Federal laboratory: means any laboratory, any federally funded research and development center, or any center established under section 3705 or 3707 of this title that is owned, leased, or otherwise used by a Federal agency and funded by the Federal Government, whether operated by the Government or by a contractor. See 15 USC 3703
  • Federal Reserve System: The central bank of the United States. The Fed, as it is commonly called, regulates the U.S. monetary and financial system. The Federal Reserve System is composed of a central governmental agency in Washington, D.C. (the Board of Governors) and twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks in major cities throughout the United States. Source: OCC
  • Fiduciary: A trustee, executor, or administrator.
  • Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
  • Forbearance: A means of handling a delinquent loan. A
  • Foreclosure: A legal process in which property that is collateral or security for a loan may be sold to help repay the loan when the loan is in default. Source: OCC
  • foreign: when applied to a corporation or partnership means a corporation or partnership which is not domestic. See 26 USC 7701
  • foreign entity: means a foreign principal (as defined in section 1(b) of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (22 U. See 2 USC 1602
  • foreign nonbank financial company: means a company (other than a company that is, or is treated in the United States as, a bank holding company) that is&mdash. See 12 USC 5311
  • foreign trust: means any trust other than a trust described in subparagraph (E) of paragraph (30). See 26 USC 7701
  • Forgery: The fraudulent signing or alteration of another's name to an instrument such as a deed, mortgage, or check. The intent of the forgery is to deceive or defraud. Source: OCC
  • Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
  • Garnishment: Generally, garnishment is a court proceeding in which a creditor asks a court to order a third party who owes money to the debtor or otherwise holds assets belonging to the debtor to turn over to the creditor any of the debtor
  • Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • including: when used in a definition contained in this title shall not be deemed to exclude other things otherwise within the meaning of the term defined. See 26 USC 7701
  • individual: shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development. See 1 USC 8
  • Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
  • Interest rate: The amount paid by a borrower to a lender in exchange for the use of the lender's money for a certain period of time. Interest is paid on loans or on debt instruments, such as notes or bonds, either at regular intervals or as part of a lump sum payment when the issue matures. Source: OCC
  • Invention: means any invention or discovery which is or may be patentable or otherwise protected under title 35 or any novel variety of plant which is or may be protectable under the Plant Variety Protection Act (7 U. See 15 USC 3703
  • Joint committee: Committees including membership from both houses of teh legislature. Joint committees are usually established with narrow jurisdictions and normally lack authority to report legislation.
  • Joint resolution: A legislative measure which requires the approval of both chambers.
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Juror: A person who is on the jury.
  • Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
  • Liabilities: The aggregate of all debts and other legal obligations of a particular person or legal entity.
  • Librarian: means the Librarian of Congress. See 2 USC 1741
  • Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
  • Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
  • lobbying activities: means lobbying contacts and efforts in support of such contacts, including preparation and planning activities, research and other background work that is intended, at the time it is performed, for use in contacts, and coordination with the lobbying activities of others. See 2 USC 1602
  • lobbying contact: means any oral or written communication (including an electronic communication) to a covered executive branch official or a covered legislative branch official that is made on behalf of a client with regard to&mdash. See 2 USC 1602
  • lobbying firm: means a person or entity that has 1 or more employees who are lobbyists on behalf of a client other than that person or entity. See 2 USC 1602
  • lobbyist: means any individual who is employed or retained by a client for financial or other compensation for services that include more than one lobbying contact, other than an individual whose lobbying activities constitute less than 20 percent of the time engaged in the services provided by such individual to that client over a 3-month period. See 2 USC 1602
  • Made: when used in conjunction with any invention means the conception or first actual reduction to practice of such invention. See 15 USC 3703
  • Majority leader: see Floor Leaders
  • media organization: means a person or entity engaged in disseminating information to the general public through a newspaper, magazine, other publication, radio, television, cable television, or other medium of mass communication. See 2 USC 1602
  • Member of Congress: means a Senator or a Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress. See 2 USC 1602
  • Minority leader: See Floor Leaders
  • Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
  • Mortgage loan: A loan made by a lender to a borrower for the financing of real property. Source: OCC
  • National Credit Union Administration: The federal regulatory agency that charters and supervises federal credit unions. (NCUA also administers the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, which insures the deposits of federal credit unions.) Source: OCC
  • nonbank financial company: means a U. See 12 USC 5311
  • Nonprofit institution: means an organization owned and operated exclusively for scientific or educational purposes, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. See 15 USC 3703
  • nonrecognition transaction: means any disposition of property in a transaction in which gain or loss is not recognized in whole or in part for purposes of subtitle A. See 26 USC 7701
  • Oath: A promise to tell the truth.
  • oath: includes affirmation, and "sworn" includes affirmed. See 1 USC 1
  • Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
  • officer: includes any person authorized by law to perform the duties of the office. See 1 USC 1
  • organization: means a person or entity other than an individual. See 2 USC 1602
  • Outlays: Outlays are payments made (generally through the issuance of checks or disbursement of cash) to liquidate obligations. Outlays during a fiscal year may be for payment of obligations incurred in prior years or in the same year.
  • Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
  • paid or accrued: shall be construed according to the method of accounting upon the basis of which the taxable income is computed under subtitle A. See 26 USC 7701
  • partner: includes a member in such a syndicate, group, pool, joint venture, or organization. See 26 USC 7701
  • Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
  • partnership: includes a syndicate, group, pool, joint venture, or other unincorporated organization, through or by means of which any business, financial operation, or venture is carried on, and which is not, within the meaning of this title, a trust or estate or a corporation. See 26 USC 7701
  • person: shall be construed to mean and include an individual, a trust, estate, partnership, association, company or corporation. See 26 USC 7701
  • person or entity: means any individual, corporation, company, foundation, association, labor organization, firm, partnership, society, joint stock company, group of organizations, or State or local government. See 2 USC 1602
  • Personal property: All property that is not real property.
  • Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
  • Power of attorney: A written instrument which authorizes one person to act as another's agent or attorney. The power of attorney may be for a definite, specific act, or it may be general in nature. The terms of the written power of attorney may specify when it will expire. If not, the power of attorney usually expires when the person granting it dies. Source: OCC
  • Precedent: A court decision in an earlier case with facts and law similar to a dispute currently before a court. Precedent will ordinarily govern the decision of a later similar case, unless a party can show that it was wrongly decided or that it differed in some significant way.
  • President pro tempore: A constitutionally recognized officer of the Senate who presides over the chamber in the absence of the Vice President. The President Pro Tempore (or, "president for a time") is elected by the Senate and is, by custom, the Senator of the majority party with the longest record of continuous service.
  • Probate: Proving a will
  • Probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
  • Public debt: Cumulative amounts borrowed by the Treasury Department or the Federal Financing Bank from the public or from another fund or account. The public debt does not include agency debt (amounts borrowed by other agencies of the Federal Government). The total public debt is subject to a statutory limit.
  • Public law: A public bill or joint resolution that has passed both chambers and been enacted into law. Public laws have general applicability nationwide.
  • public official: means any elected official, appointed official, or employee of&mdash. See 2 USC 1602
  • publication: has the meaning given such term in section 101 of title 17. See 2 USC 1741
  • Quorum: The number of legislators that must be present to do business.
  • Ranking minority member: The highest ranking (and usually longest serving) minority member of a committee or subcommittee.
  • Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
  • Recess: A temporary interruption of the legislative business.
  • Registry version: means , with respect to a sound recording, the version of a recording first published or offered for mass distribution whether as a publication or a broadcast, or as complete a version as bona fide preservation and restoration activities by the Librarian, an archivist other than the Librarian, or the copyright legal owner can compile in those cases where the original material has been irretrievably lost or the recording is unpublished. See 2 USC 1741
  • Remainder: An interest in property that takes effect in the future at a specified time or after the occurrence of some event, such as the death of a life tenant.
  • Remand: When an appellate court sends a case back to a lower court for further proceedings.
  • Rescission: The cancellation of budget authority previously provided by Congress. The Impoundment Control Act of 1974 specifies that the President may propose to Congress that funds be rescinded. If both Houses have not approved a rescission proposal (by passing legislation) within 45 days of continuous session, any funds being withheld must be made available for obligation.
  • Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
  • Secretary: means the Secretary of Commerce. See 15 USC 3703
  • Secretary: means the Secretary of the Treasury or his delegate. See 26 USC 7701
  • Secretary of the Treasury: means the Secretary of the Treasury, personally, and shall not include any delegate of his. See 26 USC 7701
  • Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.
  • shareholder: includes a member in an association, joint-stock company, or insurance company. See 26 USC 7701
  • sound recording: has the meaning given such term in section 101 of title 17. See 2 USC 1741
  • State: shall be construed to include the District of Columbia, where such construction is necessary to carry out provisions of this title. See 26 USC 7701
  • State: means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States. See 2 USC 1602
  • Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
  • Statute of limitations: A law that sets the time within which parties must take action to enforce their rights.
  • stock: includes shares in an association, joint-stock company, or insurance company. See 26 USC 7701
  • Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
  • subscription: includes a mark when the person making the same intended it as such. See 1 USC 1
  • substituted basis property: means property which is&mdash. See 26 USC 7701
  • Summons: Another word for subpoena used by the criminal justice system.
  • taxable year: means the calendar year, or the fiscal year ending during such calendar year, upon the basis of which the taxable income is computed under subtitle A. See 26 USC 7701
  • taxpayer: means any person subject to any internal revenue tax. See 26 USC 7701
  • Temporary restraining order: Prohibits a person from an action that is likely to cause irreparable harm. This differs from an injunction in that it may be granted immediately, without notice to the opposing party, and without a hearing. It is intended to last only until a hearing can be held.
  • Testify: Answer questions in court.
  • Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
  • Tort: A civil wrong or breach of a duty to another person, as outlined by law. A very common tort is negligent operation of a motor vehicle that results in property damage and personal injury in an automobile accident.
  • trade or business: includes the performance of the functions of a public office. See 26 USC 7701
  • Training technology: means computer software and related materials which are developed by a Federal agency to train employees of such agency, including but not limited to software for computer-based instructional systems and for interactive video disc systems. See 15 USC 3703
  • transaction: includes a series of transactions. See 26 USC 7701
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
  • Trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.
  • United States: when used in a geographical sense includes only the States and the District of Columbia. See 26 USC 7701
  • United States person: means &mdash. See 26 USC 7701
  • vehicle: includes every description of carriage or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on land. See 1 USC 4
  • Venue: The geographical location in which a case is tried.
  • Veto: The procedure established under the Constitution by which the President/Governor refuses to approve a bill or joint resolution and thus prevents its enactment into law. A regular veto occurs when the President/Governor returns the legislation to the house in which it originated. The President/Governor usually returns a vetoed bill with a message indicating his reasons for rejecting the measure. In Congress, the veto can be overridden only by a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and the House.
  • Writ of certiorari: An order issued by the Supreme Court directing the lower court to transmit records for a case for which it will hear on appeal.
  • writing: includes printing and typewriting and reproductions of visual symbols by photographing, multigraphing, mimeographing, manifolding, or otherwise. See 1 USC 1