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Civics Unit 2 Portfolio

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Catherine Arvin

on 13 October 2014

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Transcript of Civics Unit 2 Portfolio

American government is a democracy which means that the people hold the power. This allows citizens to influence government in many ways. Firstly, citizens can vote for who they want to be represented by in government. Every citizen’s vote counts and they choose who is elected into positions of power based on which candidates got the most votes. Citizens can also influence the opinions of their representatives by writing them letters or emails or even offering ideas for bills.
The House of Representatives is one of two houses in the legislative branch of America’s government. It consists of 435 representatives. The number of representatives a state has is based on the population of that state. Representatives influence the lawmaking process with their power to present bills to be considered. Representatives also each belong to committees that discuss and change bills. Finally, when a bill is put up for a vote on the floor of the house, representatives vote on it and their votes go toward whether or not the bill continues on in the process.
House Minority Whip
The house minority whip is a member of the House of Representatives. He or she belongs to the minority party in the house. In our current congress, the 113th, the minority party is the democratic party. The minority whip’s job is important because he or she makes sure that the house’s members of the minority are present for votes and vote in accordance to the party’s policy. More pressure is put on the minority whip as opposed to the majority whip due to the simple fact that the minority party has less members, and therefore it is more important for minority members to vote true to their alignment.
There are 100 members in the second house in congress, the senate. There are two members for each state, regardless of population. Senators, like Representatives, can present bills. They also belong to committees and can edit or kill bills during that stage. They also have the ability to vote on bills to decide whether the pass on to the next stage in the process or are killed.
The president of the United States is the head of the executive branch of the government. He influences the lawmaking process in a big way. If a bill passes through both houses of congress it moves to the desk of the president. The president can either approve the bill or veto it. Essentially, the president is the last barrier in a bill’s journey to becoming a law.
1. Which person or group do you think has the most influence on legislation? Give
specific facts to support your answer.
I think that the president has the most influence on the lawmaking process. The president has the last say on whether or not a bill becomes a law. It’s his or her signature that causes those rules to go into effect and that is why he or she is the most powerful person in the process.
2. What are possible advantages to having so many different groups participate in
the lawmaking process?
While having so many obstacles to overcome does make the lawmaking process a bit slow and inefficient at times, the difficulty is important. The layers of trials a bill must go through before it becomes a law make it impossible for a bill to be passed that’s a disadvantage to the country. A bill is tested at every turn of the process as lawmakers make sure that the bill is worthy of becoming a law.
3. What are some of the disadvantages of having so many different groups
participate in the lawmaking process?
With so many groups involved in the process, the efficiency is greatly hindered. The process could become caught up on technicalities with so many people trying to find flaws. With so many barriers to cross, a bill takes a long time to become a law.

Works Cited
1. http://www.braintraining101.com/how-to-memorize-names-of-large-groups-of-people/
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vance_McAllister
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steny_Hoyer
4. http://votesmart.org/candidate/661/mary-landrieu
5. http://www.biography.com/people/barack-obama-12782369
Any citizen can participate in the lawmaking process.
This is David Vitter, the representative of Louisiana's 5th congressional district, the one I live in.
This is Steny Hoyer, the current house minority whip.
Barack Obama is the current President of the United States.
This is one of the current Senators of the state of Louisiana, Mary Landrieu.
Full transcript