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How Our Laws Are Made<br />January 18th, 2010<br />Presented by:  Tim Deacon<br />
The U.S. Congress<br />2<br />The Congress of the United States of America<br />One of the most practical safeguards of th...
The U.S. Congress<br />3<br />The House of Representatives:<br /><ul><li>Designed to be closer to people             .
Elected by the people
435 members (since 1911)
Must be 25 years old, citizen for 7 years, resident in state (when elected)
Smaller districts
State populations during census determines number from each state
2 year term
Entire body elected every 2 years           .
Revenue bills must originate in the house</li></ul>The Senate:<br /><ul><li>Designed to be removed from the people
Originally elected by state legislatures
100 members
Must be 30 years old, citizen for 9 years, resident of state (when elected)
Elected on an at large basis
There are two Senators from each state
6 year term
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How Our Laws Are Made

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Civics Lesson on how a bill becomes a law.

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Transcript of "How Our Laws Are Made"

  1. 1. How Our Laws Are Made<br />January 18th, 2010<br />Presented by: Tim Deacon<br />
  2. 2. The U.S. Congress<br />2<br />The Congress of the United States of America<br />One of the most practical safeguards of the American democratic way of life is this legislative process with its emphasis on the protection of the minority, allowing ample opportunity to all sides to be heard and make their views known. The fact that a proposal cannot become a law without consideration and approval by both Houses of Congress is an outstanding virtue of our bicameral legislative system. The open and full discussion provided under the Constitution often results in the notable improvement of a bill by amendment before it becomes law or in the eventual defeat of an inadvisable proposal.<br />
  3. 3. The U.S. Congress<br />3<br />The House of Representatives:<br /><ul><li>Designed to be closer to people .
  4. 4. Elected by the people
  5. 5. 435 members (since 1911)
  6. 6. Must be 25 years old, citizen for 7 years, resident in state (when elected)
  7. 7. Smaller districts
  8. 8. State populations during census determines number from each state
  9. 9. 2 year term
  10. 10. Entire body elected every 2 years .
  11. 11. Revenue bills must originate in the house</li></ul>The Senate:<br /><ul><li>Designed to be removed from the people
  12. 12. Originally elected by state legislatures
  13. 13. 100 members
  14. 14. Must be 30 years old, citizen for 9 years, resident of state (when elected)
  15. 15. Elected on an at large basis
  16. 16. There are two Senators from each state
  17. 17. 6 year term
  18. 18. 1/3 up for election every 2 years = more continuity and stability
  19. 19. Advising and consenting to treaties and certain Presidential nominations</li></li></ul><li>The U.S. Congress<br />4<br />The House of Representatives:<br /><ul><li>Compensation:
  20. 20. Member $174,000
  21. 21. Leaders $193,400
  22. 22. Speaker $223,500
  23. 23. Personal Staff:
  24. 24. 18 permanent and 4 non-permanent aides
  25. 25. Perks:
  26. 26. Travel allowance
  27. 27. Office space
  28. 28. Franking privileges
  29. 29. Foreign travel
  30. 30. Health Insurance
  31. 31. Retirement pensions
  32. 32. Legislative immunity
  33. 33. Cannot be arrested or detained while going to or from a session of Congress</li></ul>The Senate:<br /><ul><li>Compensation
  34. 34. Member $174,000
  35. 35. Leaders $193,400
  36. 36. Personal Staff:
  37. 37. Between 26 and 60 aides (depending on size of state)
  38. 38. Perks:
  39. 39. Travel allowance
  40. 40. Office space
  41. 41. Franking privileges
  42. 42. Foreign travel
  43. 43. Health Insurance
  44. 44. Retirement pension
  45. 45. Legislative immunity
  46. 46. Cannot be arrested or detained while going to or from a session of Congress</li></li></ul><li>5<br />How Our Laws Are Made<br />Floor Action<br />Conference Committee Action<br />The President<br />The Bill Becomes A Law<br />Introduce<br />Committee Action<br />The process of passing a bill into law is one of deep complexity. It is a lengthy process which has many blockades in its course.<br />There are six steps which help to explain the stages and process of law making. These steps include:<br /><ul><li>the bills introduction to legislation
  47. 47. the committee action
  48. 48. the floor action
  49. 49. the conference committee action
  50. 50. the President action (or inaction)
  51. 51. the bill becoming a law</li></li></ul><li>6<br />Someone has a “great” idea…<br />Floor Action<br />Conference Committee Action<br />The President<br />The Bill Becomes A Law<br />Introduce<br />Committee Action<br />IDEA<br />Concerned Citizen, Organization, Group, or Legislature Suggest Change<br />House of Representatives<br /> Senate <br />PROPOSAL DRAFTED<br />There are four (4) types of proposals.<br />TYPES of PROPOSALS:<br />BILL – used for most legislation. Can be either public or private. Originate in House or Senate.<br />JOINT RESOLUTION – Originate in House or Senate. Joint resolution may include a preamble before the resolving clause.<br />CONCURRENT RESOLUTION – a matter affecting the operation of both houses. Usually not a legislation. <br />SIMPLE RESOLUTION – a matter affecting the operation of only one of the houses. Usually not a legislation. <br />PLACE BILL IN HOPPER<br />HAND BILL TO CLERK OF THE HOUSE<br /> ASK PERMISSION OF PRESIDING OFFICER TO INTRODUCE BILL<br />NO<br />GRANTED?<br />TABLE BILL UNTIL NEXT DAY<br />YES<br />INTRODUCE BILL<br />INTRODUCE BILL<br />ASSIGN A NUMBER (HR – 1)<br />ASSIGN A NUMBER<br /> (S – 1)<br />
  52. 52. 7<br />What is (and isn’t) in the bill…<br />Floor Action<br />Conference Committee Action<br />The President<br />The Bill Becomes A Law<br />Introduce<br />Committee Action<br />House of Representatives<br /> Senate <br />REFER BILL TO COMMITTEE(S) BY SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE<br />(May be split among committees)<br />REFER BILL TO COMMITTEE(S) BY PRESIDING OFFICER OF THE SENATE<br />(May be split among committees)<br />PLACE BILL ON COMMITTEE CALENDAR<br />PLACE BILL ON COMMITTEE CALENDAR<br />HOLD HEARINGS<br />HOLD HEARINGS<br />SEND BILL TO SUB-COMMITTEES<br />SEND BILL TO SUB-COMMITTEES<br />SUB-COMMITTEES MAKES REVISIONS AND ADDITIONS<br />SUB-COMMITTEES MAKES REVISIONS AND ADDITIONS<br />SUB-COMMITTEES REPORT FINDINGS TO FULL COMMITTEE<br />SUB-COMMITTEES REPORT FINDINGS TO FULL COMMITTEE<br />COMMITTEE COMPLETES WRITTEN REPORT AND SENDS TO HOUSE<br />COMMITTEE COMPLETES WRITTEN REPORT AND SENDS TO SENATE<br />
  53. 53. 8<br />Let’s talk about this bill and then vote on it…<br />Floor Action<br />Conference Committee Action<br />The President<br />The Bill Becomes A Law<br />Introduce<br />Committee Action<br />House of Representatives<br /> Senate <br />BILL IS PLACED ON CALENDAR<br />Placed in order that they are received. Scheduled based on importance.<br />LIMITED DEBATE<br /> (Limited by rules formulated by Rules Committee.) Entire committee debates and amends bill. Debate guided by sponsoring committee with equal time for both parties.<br />VOTE ON BILL<br />VOICE VOTE – Say “Aye” or “Nay.”<br />DIVISION VOTE – Stand and be counted.<br />RECORDED VOTE – Recorded electronically.<br />FAIL<br />PASS<br />PASS OR FAIL?<br />SEND TO SENATE<br />BILL DIES<br />
  54. 54. 9<br />Let’s talk about this bill and then vote on it…<br />Floor Action<br />Conference Committee Action<br />The President<br />The Bill Becomes A Law<br />Introduce<br />Committee Action<br />House of Representatives<br /> Senate <br />BILL IS PLACED ON CALENDAR<br />Placed in order that they are received. Scheduled based on importance.<br />BILL IS PLACED ON CALENDAR<br />Placed in order that they are received. Scheduled based on importance.<br />LIMITED DEBATE<br /> (Limited by rules formulated by Rules Committee. Entire committee debates and amends bill. Debate guided by sponsoring committee with equal time for both parties.<br />UNLIMITED DEBATE<br /> Debate is unlimited unless Cloture is invoked. (60% of the full senate agrees on ending discussion) Members can speak as long as they wish, often using a filibuster to “talk a bill to death.” <br />VOTE ON BILL<br />VOTE ON BILL<br />VOICE VOTE – Say “Aye” or “Nay.”<br />DIVISION VOTE – Stand and be counted.<br />RECORDED VOTE – Recorded electronically.<br />PASS<br />FAIL<br />PASS<br />FAIL<br />PASS OR FAIL?<br />PASS OR FAIL?<br />SEND TO SENATE<br />SEND TO PRESIDENT<br />BILL DIES<br />BILL DIES<br />HOWEVER, BEFORE SENDING A BILL TO THE PRESIDENT, THE HOUSE AND SENATE MUST BE IN AGREEMENT, WITH JUST ONE BILL.<br />
  55. 55. 10<br />What if the Senate and House Disagree?<br />Floor Action<br />Conference Committee Action<br />The President<br />The Bill Becomes A Law<br />Introduce<br />Committee Action<br />House of Representatives<br /> Senate <br />FORM CONFERENCE COMMITTEE - Members from both chambers form committees to discuss and work out differences.<br />WORK OUT DIFFERENCES (COMPROMISE) - Can’t we just work together.<br />REWRITE A BILL AGREEABLE TO BOTH HOUSES. PREPARE A CONFERENCE REPORT.<br />SEND CONFERENCE REPORT AND NEW BILL TO HOUSE AND SENATE.<br />PASS<br />FAIL<br />FAIL<br />PASS<br />PASS OR FAIL?<br />PASS OR FAIL?<br />SEND TO PRESIDENT<br />SEND TO SENATE<br />FLOOR ACTION<br />FLOOR ACTION<br />BILL DIES<br />BILL DIES<br />
  56. 56. 11<br />It is now up to the President…<br />Floor Action<br />Conference Committee Action<br />The President<br />The Bill Becomes A Law<br />Introduce<br />Committee Action<br />The Office of The President<br />BILL REVIEWED<br />BILL SIGNED<br />BILL VETOED<br />(“I Forbid”)<br />BILL NOT SIGNED<br />BILL WILL BECOME LAW<br />SENT BACK TO CONGRESS WITH EXPLANATION<br />IS CONGRESS IN SESSION?<br />NO<br />YES<br />BILL DIES<br />BILL WILL BECOME LAW<br />House of Representatives<br /> Senate <br />YES<br />YES<br />NO<br />NO<br />2/3 IN FAVOR?<br />2/3 IN FAVOR?<br />SEND TO SENATE<br />BILL WILL BECOME LAW<br />BILL DIES<br />BILL DIES<br />
  57. 57. 12<br />…and finally, it becomes law.<br />Floor Action<br />Conference Committee Action<br />The President<br />The Bill Becomes A Law<br />Introduce<br />Committee Action<br />The Office of The President<br /> Congress <br />BILL SIGNED BY PRESIDENT<br />BILL NOT SIGNED BY PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS HAS ADJOURNED<br />VETO OVERRIDDEN BY CONGRESS<br />THE BILL BECOMES LAW<br />LAW ASSIGNED OFFICIAL NUMBER<br />
  58. 58. 13<br /><ul><li>I’m just a bill,
  59. 59. Yes, I’m only a bill,
  60. 60. And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill.
  61. 61. Well, it’s a long, long journey
  62. 62. To the capital city,
  63. 63. It’s a long, long wait
  64. 64. While I’m sitting in committee
  65. 65. But I know I’ll be a law someday . . .
  66. 66. At least I hope and pray that I will,
  67. 67. But today I’m still just a bill.
  68. 68. {Interlude}</li></li></ul><li>14<br /><ul><li>I’m just a bill,
  69. 69. Yes I’m only a bill,
  70. 70. And I got as far as Capitol Hill.
  71. 71. Well, now I’m stuck in committee
  72. 72. And I sit here and wait
  73. 73. While a few key Congressmen
  74. 74. Discuss and debate
  75. 75. Whether they should
  76. 76. Let me be a law…
  77. 77. Oh how I hope and pray that they will,
  78. 78. But today I am still just a bill.
  79. 79. {Interlude}</li></li></ul><li>15<br /><ul><li>I’m just a bill,
  80. 80. Yes I’m only a bill,
  81. 81. And if they vote for me on Capitol Hill,
  82. 82. Well then I’m off to the White House
  83. 83. Where I’ll wait in a line
  84. 84. With a lot of other bills
  85. 85. For the President to sign.
  86. 86. And if he signs me then I’ll be a law . . .
  87. 87. Oh, how I hope and pray that he will,
  88. 88. But today I am still just a bill.
  89. 89. {Interlude}</li></li></ul><li>16<br /><ul><li>No! But how I hope and I pray that I will,
  90. 90. But today I am still just a bill!
  91. 91. {Interlude}</li></li></ul><li>17<br />Acknowledgementfor Song<br /><ul><li>School House Rocks website.
  92. 92. http://media.atlantic-records.com/media/schoolhouse_rock_rocks/schoolhouse_rock_rocks/bill.wav</li>
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