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“We need to slap a discharge petition on that cromnibus.” Clear as mud? That’s precisely why we’ve created the Dewonkify™ glossary of common terms and phrases used on the Hill and around DC.


An informal practice by which a Senator informs his or her floor leader that he or she does not wish a particular bill or other measure to reach the floor for consideration. The Majority Leader need not follow the Senator’s wishes, but is on notice that the opposing Senator may filibuster any motion to proceed to consider the measure.... Read More

Inside the Beltway

“Inside the Beltway” refers to political and U.S. Government activities and work that occur in the greater Washington, DC, area. “The Beltway” is a term used to describe the geographic area around Washington, DC, that is encircled by Interstate 495.... Read More

Manager’s Amendment

A manager’s amendment is a big amendment containing a number of individual amendments to a piece of legislation offered by the majority or minority Member of Congress managing the debate on the bill. A manager’s amendment is almost always agreed to by both sides in advance.... Read More


A markup may be the most critical part of the congressional legislative process, as it provides a true test of whether a bill can ultimately pass the House or Senate. It is during the markup process where one can truly learn of a legislator’s position (for or against) a bill and what adjustments would be needed to ensure the support of individual committee members.... Read More

Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A pays primarily for inpatient hospital stays, care in skilled nursing facilities, home health care, and hospice care. Medicare Part A began in 1965 and was enacted at the same time as Part B and Medicaid.... Read More

Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B primarily pays for care provided by doctors and other health care professionals, outpatient services, durable medical equipment, home health, and some preventive services. Medicare Part B began in 1965 under the same legislation that enacted Medicare Part A and the Medicaid program.... Read More

Medicare Part C

Medicare Part C is otherwise known as “Medicare Advantage” (formerly “Medicare+Choice”). These are private plans that are approved by Medicare to cover all of the services provided by Part A and Part B. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage for items not otherwise covered by Medicare (like hearing aids and eyeglasses).... Read More

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D is a voluntary benefit that provides outpatient prescription drug coverage to beneficiaries. The Part D benefit is operated through private plans; beneficiaries have the option of choosing either prescription drug coverage as part of their Medicare Advantage plan or as a stand-alone prescription drug plan which can be purchased in addition to traditional Medicare.... Read More