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Special session

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Special session

In a legislature, a special session (also extraordinary session) is a period when the body convenes outside of the normal legislative session. This most frequently occurs in order to complete unfinished tasks for the year (often delayed by conflict between political parties), such as outlining the government's budget for the next fiscal year, biennium, or other period. Special sessions may also be called during an economic downturn in order to cut the budget. In other cases, a special session may be convened to address special topics, or emergencies such as war or natural disaster.

Who calls a special session varies - by vote of the legislature during regular session, by the executive, or by the legislature's speaker or presiding officer. The United Nations has both special sessions and emergency special sessions.

United States

In the United States of America, Article II Section III of the United States Constitution gives the President of the United States the power to "on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses or either of them." [1] This power exists because emergencies that require congressional attention can occur when Congress is not in session. U.S. Presidents have exercised this power 27 times, most recently by Harry Truman in 1948.[2]

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