WHO’S IN CHARGE HERE?Speaker of the House Elected leader of the House De facto leader of his or her party Interprets rules & sets the agenda 3 rd in line of Presidential Succession Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)
WHO’S THE LEADER OF THE SENATE?President of the Senate – Vice President Presiding of ficer Cannot debate Votes only in case of tiePresident pro tempore Presides in VP’s absence Elected by majority party 4 th in presidential succession Vice President Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) Joe Biden
PARTY FLOOR LEADERS: HOUSE Legislative strategists
PARTY WHIPS Assistant floor leaders Keep tabs on the rank and file members Majority & Minority Whips in both Houses
COMMITTEE CHAIRS Leaders of standing committees Majority party Set committee agendas and hearings Most powerful people you’ve never heard of Seniority rule
COMMITTEES: CONGRESS AT WORK The fate of most bills decided here. Some more influential than others. Which Committees are coveted? Does the state you represent influence the committee you want?StandingSelectJoint & Conference
WORK OF COMMITTEES Investigate & oversee federal agencies Consider bills related to their area of policy First place a new bill goes Majority party holds more seats Divided into several subcommittees
HOUSE RULES COMMITTEE How powerful is the Rules Committee? “Traffic cop” of the House Most bills must go through this before reaching the floor
SELECT COMMITTEES Specific purpose & limited time Appointed by the Speaker or Pres of Senate Designed to investigate a current matter. Example? Watergate Committee Iran -Contra Committee
WHAT’S A BILL? Proposed law All tax bills must star t in the HouseTypes of Bills & Resolutions Bill: proposed law (most appropriations) Joint Resolution: force of law; special circumstances Concurrent Resolution: position on an issue; no force of law Resolution: of ten trivial matter s of one house; no force of law The House “hopper” into which all bills are placed.
THE BILL IN COMMITTEE Most die here (pigeonholed) “Mark up”: bills are changed and modified (riders) Hearings may be heldCommittee Options Report favorably Report an amended bill Report unfavorably (rare – why?) Report a substituted bill
THE BILL ON THE FLOOR If favorable out of committee, bill goes on appropriate calendar. To get to the floor, must pass Rules Committee (House) Most bills considered by Committee of the Whole (House) Limited “debate” now occurs“Move the Previous Question” Vote taken (Voice, Electronic) If passed, sent to other House Conference Committee Electronic Voting Machines appear on the backs of chairs inside the House chamber. Members insert a card and then cast their vote.
THE BILL IN THE SENATE Similar procedure as House Rules less formal & less strict. Why? Few restrictions on debate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyeJ55o3El0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pl3sgKj6oTQ
THE FILIBUSTER “talk a bill to death” Monopolize the floor until Senate drops the Bill No restrictions on content; Can’t stop talking Requires 60 votes to stop (cloture)Silent Filibuster Threat of a filibuster Is the filibuster unconstitutional?http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the -fix/wp/2013/02/14/the-silent-filibuster-explained/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1_9nSzG_hk (Rand Paul)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD -lFCsYOPs (Mr. Smith) (4:15)
PRESIDENT ACTSFour Presidential Options Sign (becomes law) Allow to become law without signing (no action for 10 days) Pocket Veto (Congress adorns within these 10 days, bill dies)Veto Refuse to sign Returns to house of origin with Veto Message 2/3 vote of each house can override h t t p : / / h i s t o r y. h o u s e . g o v / I n s t i t u t i o n / P r e s i d e n t i a l - Ve t o e s / P r e s i d e n t i a l - Ve t o e s /