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Legislative Branch & Bill becomes law
Transcript of Legislative Branch & Bill becomes law
The Legislative & Executive Branches The U.S. Congress Focus Question: Why does the Constitution give Congress certain powers? Focus Question:
What is the JOB of Congress? How Congress Works EVERY Law follows the same process How a Bill Becomes a Law Congress &
the President Gerrymander: An oddly-shaped
district drawn to increase the voting
power of one specific group of people.
Why do people think this should be illegal?
Who would it benefit?
Who would it hurt? Census determines the number from each state
Apportionment-- Term that refers to the number of representatives assigned to a state based upon its population
Divide members by states House Membership 30 Years Old
Live in State they Represent
US citizen for 9 years Senate Every two years an entirely new Congress is sworn in during the month of January. Can be called into special sessions by President
Whenever he feels necessary Congressional Sessions Why do you think the franking privilege is a benefit to U.S. Congressmen? Congressional Benefits Georgia Senator Richard Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson are Republicans. Who do they represent?
Saxby Chambliss was elected in 2002.
When will he be up for re-election?
Johnny Isakson was elected in 2004.
When will he be up for re-election? House Terms House of Representatives The Senate is based on equal representation, with two Senators from every state (today) The House of Representatives is based on population Great Compromise of 1787
3 Branches of government
“Upper” house Organization POPULATION BASED Member Requirements: 25 years old
Live in state they represent
US citizen for 7 years 2 Year Terms (Unlimited) Term limitations: Idea that legislators should be held to a maximum number of years. 435 Members:
Divided between 50 states & DC Each member represents one certain district -- closer to the people
Represents constituents (citizens) EQUAL REPRESENTATION Member Requirements Terms 6 Year Terms -- Unlimited Staggered elections every two years (1/3 elected) 100 Members - 2 from Each State Senators represent WHOLE State Salary : Approx $150K/year Budgets for staff
Office space @ Capital Franking-privileges: Right of a Congressman to send job-related mail without postage Limited Immunity: Legal protection to speak freely while in Congress Limitations:
Censure Each Congress serves two years and is given a # Entire Congress is elected every two years Meets from Jan - Nov/Dec Why is it important for the Senate to approve all Presidential appointments and treaties? Approves Presidential Appointments
Supreme Court justices, federal judges, ambassadors - checks and balances
Approves ALL Treaties
Acts as jury in Impeachment cases
The impeachment trial occurs in the Senate Powers of the Senate Additional Powers When the founders created our federal government, they wanted a limited government. How did they achieve this when they drafted the plan for the Legislative Branch?
What sorts of things should Congress be able to control? What sorts of things should they NOT be allowed to control? Limited Government How is having the “power of the purse” an influential power of the House of Representatives?
How does that give them more power? Powers of the House Implied Powers Why do you think declaring war, making money, and regulating trade (both inside and outside the United States) are left ONLY to the federal government?
What sorts of problems might we run into if these powers were reserved? What about if they were concurrent? Expressed Powers No real power for 3rd party groups Other Limits Powers of Congress Article One
Defines HOW Congress will work Powers of Congress Expressed (listed)
Implied ("Necessary & Proper "Clause)
Inherent (Creating a National Government
for the United States) Certain powers are DENIED to Congress Expressed
Exclusive All the SAME Examples: Declare war & form army
Regulate foreign trade
Regulate interstate trade Powers given to Congress by the Necessary and Proper Clause Elastic Clause -- Congress can stretch powers to meet needs Interpretation of the Constitution LOOSE INTERPRETATION Examples: Creation of Air Force
"Bailout" plan Investigate Reviews laws, government activities, special investigations Propose Amendments By a 2/3 vote in BOTH Houses Impeach Can charge (possibly remove) federal official with wrongdoing in office
Judge Appropriation Bills "Power of the Purse" -- ALL revenue producing bills MUST be introduced in the House of Representatives Picks President if no winner in Electoral College Begins Impeachment Process Impeachment is a two-part process.
Part One: The House acts as a grand jury, surveying the evidence to decide if there is enough to officially charge the official with committing something illegal. If the house finds enough evidence, they will officially charge the official. That is the impeachment.
Part Two: The Senate will hold a trial for the federal official to determine whether or not that official will be removed from office and potentially serve time in jail. The Senate, then, acts as the jury in the process.
Therefore, it is possible for a President to be impeached but not removed from office. We have had two Presidents impeached, but we have never removed a President from office. 10th Amendment Reserved powers for the states
Congress cannot interfere with reserved powers Checks and Balances System Judicial can declare laws unconstitutional
President can veto laws Two Party System Committee Government The Library of Congress is an essential tool for Congressional operations. In researching new bills, the Library of Congress helps to gather historical facts, arguments, and old related bills for the discussion on the new bill. Staff Support What do you think Congress would be like, and achieve, if there were not rules? Congressional Rules House Majority Whip;
Kevin McCarthy House Majority Leader:
Eric Cantor Senate Minority Leader:
Mitch McConnell Senate Democratic Whip:
Richard Durbin Senate Majority Leader:
Harry Reid House Minority Leader:
Nancy Pelosi Congressional Leadership Senate Committee Chairpersons – ALWAYS from majority party House Committee Chairpersons – ALWAYS from majority party Minority Whip Team Majority Whip Team Majority Whip Team Minority Whip Team Minority Party Whip Majority Party Whip Minority Leader Majority Leader Minority Party Whip Majority Party Whip Minority Leader Majority Leader President Pro Tempore – Always from MAJORITY party, day-to-day leader Vice President – Rarely attends and only votes in a tie Speaker of the House – Always from MAJORITY party Congressional Leadership Senate Leaders House Leaders Committee Membership Developed to help Congress operate Everyone has a different opinion & different goals House has more rules than Senate WHY??? Parliamentary Procedures Both Houses of Congress use a formal system of debate, which keeps the debate orderly Congressional Leaders Selected from majority party Speaker of the House Runs the House of Representatives
3rd in line to be President
Sets the calendar & schedules bills for debate Vice President Official leader
Only votes in a tie
Rarely present President Pro-Tempore Mostly symbolic position
Given to the longest serving Senator from the majority party Majority Leader Each House chooses a leader of the majority party to be the floor leader Minority Leader Each House picks a minority party member to be its floor leader Party Whip Each party in each House -- to keep track of voting on important issues Gets party members to vote with the rest of the political party House of Representatives Senate Personal staff of each member of Congress Run home and DC offices Committee staff who function as experts in the committee's area Gather info for speeches and meetings Library of Congress Congressional Research Office gathers facts/arguments for bills General Accounting Office Investigates and reports on government spending
Looks for ways to improve government spending Government Budget Office Predicts costs of government programs Which group plays the largest role recently?? Based on Seniority Party leaders make committee assignments Majority party of each house appoints the chairperson of each committee Chair: Decides when committees meet, what bills will be studied, and forms subcommittees Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Energy and Natural Resources
Environment and Public Works
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Rules and Administration
Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Senate Special Committee on Aging
United States Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control Agriculture
Education and the Workforce
Energy and Commerce
Oversight and Government Reform
Science, Space, and Technology
Transportation and Infrastructure
Ways and Means
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Joint Committee on the Library
Joint Committee on Printing
Joint Committee on Taxation
Joint Economic Committee Joint Committees Senate Committes House Committees Committees divide the work load of Congress Committee membership important to Representatives Standing Committees: Permanent committees of Congress who study, revise, and pass legislation Continue from session to session Select Committees: Committees which study temporary problems in society Joint Committees: Committees which involve members of both Houses of Congress working together Sent to President Voice – yea/no
Standing – stand up if you agree (counted), then opposite
Roll-call: Congressional vote where each legislator is called out and a vote recorded—mostly done electronically today Voting Additional measures which are not related to the original bill
In the Senate only House or Senate If changes are needed, the subcommittee will meet to mark up the bill. Subcommittee members vote to accept or reject the changes. If the subcommittee accepts the bill, the bill is sent back to the full committee for approval or rejection. Sub-Committee After the idea for a bill is developed and the text of the bill is written, a Member of Congress must officially introduce the bill in Congress by becoming the bill's sponsor. Representatives usually sponsor bills that are important to them and their constituents. Becoming a Bill Four basic types of legislation: bills; joint resolutions; concurrent resolutions; and simple resolutions.
A private bill affects a specific person or organization rather than the population at large.
A public bill is one that affects the general public. How It Starts Checks and balances
If Congress really wants a bill, can go against President Over-Riding a Veto Same Bill Must Pass The bill is released from the committee, along with a report explaining the provisions of the bill. Committee Split Process Members get to voice their opinions on the bill
Time is often limited in debates in the House
Too many people
Senate has no time limits on their debate:
Senator can talk a bill to death
Does not have to be related to the bill – can talk about anything
Cloture vote: Vote to end filibuster
Each party given equal opportunity to speak about the bill Debate The committee debates on and marks up the proposed bill, and may or may not make changes to it. Committee members vote to accept or reject the changes made during the markup session. Action that places a bill to the side without a vote – ignore the bill and let it die Committee Starts as an IDEA May come from ANYONE Only Members of Congress can introduce a bill MUST pass BOTH Houses of Congress In EXACTLY the SAME FORM ANY Changes -- New Vote Sponsored by a member of Congress Draft Form Studied & Changed Introduced into Congress Given title & number Bill assigned to a committee Chairperson decides whether to study the bill or throw it out Committee has 3 options: Send bill to next stage
Kill the bill
Pigeonhole the bill Studies the bill in-depth Good/bad, who it will effect, public reaction . . . Public hearings: Meetings held by legislative committees in order to allow public comments and information to be given to legislative committees -- how will public respond to new law?? Same three options Send on
Pigeonhole BACK to full committee Discuss findings & changes of the sub-committee Committee votes to send bill to full House or Senate Bill is read to full House or Senate for the first time Get general reaction Party Leaders try to schedule debate time for bill Members research merits of bill Riders may be attached FILIBUSTER Members debate the bill. Rules in place -- special rules may be added Second reading -- Amendments may be offered Third Reading THE VOTE is ready . . . After debate -- vote scheduled Who is now busy?? Three Types of Votes: Both houses of Congress MUST pass the same bill Bill not the same -- Conference committee will meet Conference Committee: Special committee made up of legislators from the House & Senate who try to work out differences in bill that passed both houses in different forms Bill must be voted on in new form Four Options: #1 - Sign it into Law President agrees - no changes #2 - Pocket Veto Process where President does not sign a bill. Congress has adjourned & after 10 days the bill dies. #3 - Veto the Bill President kills the bill #4 - Not Sign the Bill Becomes law in 10 days -- only when Congress is in session Congress CAN override the veto 2/3 vote REQUIRED in EACH house to override Difficult to acheive