The Congress

Dr. Christopher S. Rice
The First Congress
Federal
Hall,
NYC
# of Members

65
26

SENATE

HOUSE
# of Members

435

100
65
26

SENATE

HOUSE
435

# of Members

1912 >

100
65
26

SENATE

HOUSE
PROBLEM:
Can representatives effectively
represent that many people and the
diversity that entails?
Volume of Business

# of Responsibilities
Volume of Business

# of Responsibilities
(cc) 2007 Flickr user Lance Johnson
(cc) 2007 Flickr user Lance Johnson
(cc) 2008 Flickr User charsplat
(cc) 2007 Flickr user Joe Lanman
Congress has become more

institutionalized
Congress has become more

professionalized
Who is Congress, Anyway?
80%
(cc) Flickr user vidrio
The American People

CONGRESS
(cc) 2006 flickr user mahalie
The numbers in the 112th Congress:
HOUSE
AfricanAmericans
Jews
Hispanics
AsianAmericans
ArabAmericans
Native
Americans
Wom...
SENATE
51 Democrats, 2 Independents,
47 Republicans

193 Democrats
242 Republicans

HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES
Does CLASS matter?
Thinking About Representation:

The Senate
2
100
Ratios and Inequities:

Small vs. Large States
17%
135?
Larry Sabato, “A More Perfect Constitution”
10 - 2
15 - 1
25 - 0
A Senator for D.C.?
National Senators?
10
Electoral Districts:
The House of Representatives
435
1000?
Reapportionment

The number of seats in the
House of Representatives
allotted to a state changes every
10 years based on c...
The Power and
Influence of State
Legislatures
Sushicircus © 2006 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sushicircus/292399888/
Wesberry v. Sanders (1964)
Supreme Court ruled principle of
“one person, one vote” applied to
congressional districts.
RESULT: congressional districts
all now approximately the same
size.
The Problem of
“Mid-Decade”
Redistricting
Gerrymandering
When district boundary lines
are drawn to ensure the
election of a particular party,
group or person.
Racial gerrymandering
& “Majority Minority”
districts
Incumbency
Today’s U.S. Congress is
considered the world’s
foremost example of a
“professional legislature.”
R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Fenno’s Paradox
Citizens invariably rate their
members of Congress far more
favorably than they rate the
Congress as a who...
Advantages of Incumbency
(cc) 2007 Flickr user smenzel

Franking Privilege
Travel Budget
(cc) 2006 Flickr user John Wardell (Netinho)
+
Constituent Service
The problem of

“Safe Incumbency”
The problem of “Safe Incumbency”
• Competitive vs. Non-competitive
districts.
• This tends to have a negative effect
on de...
The problem of “Safe Incumbency”
• Competitive vs. Non-competitive
districts.
• This tends to have a negative effect
on de...
The problem of “Safe Incumbency”
• Competitive vs. Non-competitive
districts.
• This tends to have a negative effect
on de...
The problem of “Safe Incumbency”
• Competitive vs. Non-competitive
districts.
• This tends to have a negative effect
on de...
112th Congress

113th Congress
The problem of “Safe Incumbency”
• Competitive vs. Non-competitive
districts.
• This tends to have a negative effect
on de...
How a Bill Becomes a Law
How a Bill Becomes a Law
• Types of Legislation
• Introducing a Bill
• Committee Action
• Floor Action
• Conference Commit...
Types of Legislation
• Bill
– Designated H.R. or S., followed by a
number assigned in the order in which
bills are introdu...
Types of Legislation
• Bill
– Designated H.R. or S., followed by a
number assigned in the order in which
bills are introdu...
Types of Legislation
• Bill
– Designated H.R. or S., followed by a
number assigned in the order in which
bills are introdu...
Types of Legislation
• Bill
– Designated H.R. or S., followed by a
number assigned in the order in which
bills are introdu...
Introducing a bill
• Bills may only be introduced by a
member of Congress. (Who writes it is
another matter.)
• Sponsor: l...
Introducing a bill
• Bills may only be introduced by a
member of Congress. (Who writes it is
another matter.)
• Sponsor: l...
Introducing a bill
• Bills may only be introduced by a
member of Congress. (Who writes it is
another matter.)
• Sponsor: l...
Introducing a bill
• Bills may only be introduced by a
member of Congress. (Who writes it is
another matter.)
• Sponsor: l...
Introducing a bill
• Bills are introduced differently in
each chamber:
– House – member introduces a bill by
placing it in...
Introducing a bill
• Bills are introduced differently in
each chamber:
– House – member introduces a bill by
placing it in...
Introducing a bill
• Bills are introduced differently in
each chamber:
– House – member introduces a bill by
placing it in...
Introducing a bill
• Bills are introduced differently in
each chamber:
– House – member introduces a bill by
placing it in...
Committee Action
• After introduction, bill referred to
appropriate standing committee.
• Most bills die at this stage. Wh...
Committee Action
• After introduction, bill referred to
appropriate standing committee.
• Most bills die at this stage. Wh...
Committee Action
• After introduction, bill referred to
appropriate standing committee.
• Most bills die at this stage. Wh...
Committee Action
• After introduction, bill referred to
appropriate standing committee.
• Most bills die at this stage. Wh...
Committee Action
• After introduction, bill referred to
appropriate standing committee.
• Most bills die at this stage. Wh...
Committee Action
• After introduction, bill referred to
appropriate standing committee.
• Most bills die at this stage. Wh...
Committee Action
• Final Committee Action
• But what if the bill gets stuck in
committee?
– In both houses of Congress the...
Committee Action
• Final Committee Action
• But what if the bill gets stuck in
committee?
– In both houses of Congress the...
Committee Action
• Final Committee Action
• But what if the bill gets stuck in
committee?
– In both houses of Congress the...
Committee Action
• Final Committee Action
• But what if the bill gets stuck in
committee?
– In both houses of Congress the...
Committee Action
• Final Committee Action
• But what if the bill gets stuck in
committee?
– In both houses of Congress the...
Committee Action
• SO, bills can be brought to floor
despite committee rejection, but
this is EXTREMELY rare.
Floor Action
• After being reported to the parent
chamber by a standing committee, a
bill must be scheduled for floor actio...
Floor Action
• After being reported to the parent
chamber by a standing committee, a
bill must be scheduled for floor actio...
Floor Action
• After being reported to the parent
chamber by a standing committee, a
bill must be scheduled for floor actio...
Floor Action
•House – process much more
complex due to size.
– Uncontroversial, less important bills
can be called up, pas...
Floor Action
•House – process much more
complex due to size.
– Uncontroversial, less important bills
can be called up, pas...
Floor Action
•House – process much more
complex due to size.
– Uncontroversial, less important bills
can be called up, pas...
Floor Action
• Suspension of the Rules
– Upon recognition, committee chair moves
to consider a bill under suspension.
– If...
Floor Action
• Suspension of the Rules
– Upon recognition, committee chair moves
to consider a bill under suspension.
– If...
Floor Action
• Suspension of the Rules
– Upon recognition, committee chair moves
to consider a bill under suspension.
– If...
Floor Action
• Suspension of the Rules
– Upon recognition, committee chair moves
to consider a bill under suspension.
– If...
Floor Action
• Rules Committee
– Important legislation (usually
controversial) goes to the Rules
Committee before going to...
Floor Action
• Rules Committee
– Important legislation (usually
controversial) goes to the Rules
Committee before going to...
Floor Action
• Rules Committee
– Important legislation (usually
controversial) goes to the Rules
Committee before going to...
Floor Action
• Rules Committee
– Important legislation (usually
controversial) goes to the Rules
Committee before going to...
Floor Action
• Rules Committee
– Important legislation (usually
controversial) goes to the Rules
Committee before going to...
Floor Action
• Open vs. Closed Rule
– Open Rule – members can propose
amendments relevant to any of the bill’s
sections.
–...
Floor Action
• Open vs. Closed Rule
– Open Rule – members can propose
amendments relevant to any of the bill’s
sections.
–...
Floor Action
• Open vs. Closed Rule
– Open Rule – members can propose
amendments relevant to any of the bill’s
sections.
–...
Floor Action
• Open vs. Closed Rule
– Open Rule – members can propose
amendments relevant to any of the bill’s
sections.
–...
Floor Action
• If rule is accepted, bill is considered on
the floor by the full chamber.
• After debate on proposal, voting...
Floor Action
• If rule is accepted, bill is considered on
the floor by the full chamber.
• After debate on proposal, voting...
Conference Committee
• Conflicting versions must be rewritten
so that a single bill gains the approval
of both houses.
• Bi...
Conference Committee
• Conflicting versions must be rewritten
so that a single bill gains the approval
of both houses.
• Bi...
Conference Committee
• Conflicting versions must be rewritten
so that a single bill gains the approval
of both houses.
• Bi...
Presidential Action
• For a bill to pass it must receive the
support of a simple majority (50% + 1)
of the House or Senate...
Presidential Action
• For a bill to pass it must receive the
support of a simple majority (50% + 1)
of the House or Senate...
Presidential Action
• There are FOUR (4) possible actions
the president may take:
–
–
–
–

Sign the bill and it becomes la...
Presidential Action
• There are FOUR (4) possible actions
the president may take:
–
–
–
–

Sign the bill and it becomes la...
Presidential Action
• There are FOUR (4) possible actions
the president may take:
–
–
–
–

Sign the bill and it becomes la...
Presidential Action
• There are FOUR (4) possible actions
the president may take:
–
–
–
–

Sign the bill and it becomes la...
Presidential Action
• There are FOUR (4) possible actions
the president may take:
–
–
–
–

Sign the bill and it becomes la...
Conclusion
• Legislation is an extremely complex
process. You can understand why so
relatively little of it ever gets made...
Conclusion
• Legislation is an extremely complex
process. You can understand why so
relatively little of it ever gets made...
Conclusion
• Legislation is an extremely complex
process. You can understand why so
relatively little of it ever gets made...
Conclusion
• There are an amazing number of
points in the obstacle course at which
a bill can be shot down. How on earth
d...
Conclusion
• There are an amazing number of
points in the obstacle course at which
a bill can be shot down. How on earth
d...
PS 101 The Congress fall 2013
PS 101 The Congress fall 2013
PS 101 The Congress fall 2013
PS 101 The Congress fall 2013
PS 101 The Congress fall 2013
PS 101 The Congress fall 2013
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PS 101 The Congress fall 2013

  1. 1. The Congress Dr. Christopher S. Rice
  2. 2. The First Congress
  3. 3. Federal Hall, NYC
  4. 4. # of Members 65 26 SENATE HOUSE
  5. 5. # of Members 435 100 65 26 SENATE HOUSE
  6. 6. 435 # of Members 1912 > 100 65 26 SENATE HOUSE
  7. 7. PROBLEM: Can representatives effectively represent that many people and the diversity that entails?
  8. 8. Volume of Business # of Responsibilities
  9. 9. Volume of Business # of Responsibilities
  10. 10. (cc) 2007 Flickr user Lance Johnson
  11. 11. (cc) 2007 Flickr user Lance Johnson
  12. 12. (cc) 2008 Flickr User charsplat
  13. 13. (cc) 2007 Flickr user Joe Lanman
  14. 14. Congress has become more institutionalized
  15. 15. Congress has become more professionalized
  16. 16. Who is Congress, Anyway?
  17. 17. 80% (cc) Flickr user vidrio
  18. 18. The American People CONGRESS
  19. 19. (cc) 2006 flickr user mahalie
  20. 20. The numbers in the 112th Congress: HOUSE AfricanAmericans Jews Hispanics AsianAmericans ArabAmericans Native Americans Women SENATE 42 0 27 12 29 2 9 2 0 1 1 0 71 17
  21. 21. SENATE 51 Democrats, 2 Independents, 47 Republicans 193 Democrats 242 Republicans HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
  22. 22. Does CLASS matter?
  23. 23. Thinking About Representation: The Senate
  24. 24. 2
  25. 25. 100
  26. 26. Ratios and Inequities: Small vs. Large States
  27. 27. 17%
  28. 28. 135? Larry Sabato, “A More Perfect Constitution”
  29. 29. 10 - 2 15 - 1 25 - 0
  30. 30. A Senator for D.C.?
  31. 31. National Senators?
  32. 32. 10
  33. 33. Electoral Districts: The House of Representatives
  34. 34. 435
  35. 35. 1000?
  36. 36. Reapportionment The number of seats in the House of Representatives allotted to a state changes every 10 years based on changes in population determined by the Census.
  37. 37. The Power and Influence of State Legislatures
  38. 38. Sushicircus © 2006 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sushicircus/292399888/
  39. 39. Wesberry v. Sanders (1964) Supreme Court ruled principle of “one person, one vote” applied to congressional districts.
  40. 40. RESULT: congressional districts all now approximately the same size.
  41. 41. The Problem of “Mid-Decade” Redistricting
  42. 42. Gerrymandering When district boundary lines are drawn to ensure the election of a particular party, group or person.
  43. 43. Racial gerrymandering & “Majority Minority” districts
  44. 44. Incumbency
  45. 45. Today’s U.S. Congress is considered the world’s foremost example of a “professional legislature.”
  46. 46. R-E-S-P-E-C-T
  47. 47. Fenno’s Paradox Citizens invariably rate their members of Congress far more favorably than they rate the Congress as a whole.
  48. 48. Advantages of Incumbency
  49. 49. (cc) 2007 Flickr user smenzel Franking Privilege
  50. 50. Travel Budget (cc) 2006 Flickr user John Wardell (Netinho)
  51. 51. +
  52. 52. Constituent Service
  53. 53. The problem of “Safe Incumbency”
  54. 54. The problem of “Safe Incumbency” • Competitive vs. Non-competitive districts. • This tends to have a negative effect on democracy in several ways: – – – Reduces Congress’ response to political change, doesn’t normally change direction that much election to election. Even when the American public is extremely dissatisfied with Congress, elections generally tend to produce only a small turnover. Weakens public’s influence on Congress (low accountability).
  55. 55. The problem of “Safe Incumbency” • Competitive vs. Non-competitive districts. • This tends to have a negative effect on democracy in several ways: – – – Reduces Congress’ response to political change, doesn’t normally change direction that much election to election. Even when the American public is extremely dissatisfied with Congress, elections generally tend to produce only a small turnover. Weakens public’s influence on Congress (low accountability).
  56. 56. The problem of “Safe Incumbency” • Competitive vs. Non-competitive districts. • This tends to have a negative effect on democracy in several ways: – – – Reduces Congress’ response to political change, doesn’t normally change direction that much election to election. Even when the American public is extremely dissatisfied with Congress, elections generally tend to produce only a small turnover. Weakens public’s influence on Congress (low accountability).
  57. 57. The problem of “Safe Incumbency” • Competitive vs. Non-competitive districts. • This tends to have a negative effect on democracy in several ways: – – – Reduces Congress’ response to political change, doesn’t normally change direction that much election to election. Even when the American public is extremely dissatisfied with Congress, elections generally tend to produce only a small turnover. Weakens public’s influence on Congress (low accountability).
  58. 58. 112th Congress 113th Congress
  59. 59. The problem of “Safe Incumbency” • Competitive vs. Non-competitive districts. • This tends to have a negative effect on democracy in several ways: – – – Reduces Congress’ response to political change, doesn’t normally change direction that much election to election. Even when the American public is extremely dissatisfied with Congress, elections generally tend to produce only a small turnover. Weakens public’s influence on Congress (low accountability).
  60. 60. How a Bill Becomes a Law
  61. 61. How a Bill Becomes a Law • Types of Legislation • Introducing a Bill • Committee Action • Floor Action • Conference Committee • Presidential Action
  62. 62. Types of Legislation • Bill – Designated H.R. or S., followed by a number assigned in the order in which bills are introduced. • Joint Resolution – Designated H.J. Res. Or S.J. Res. • Concurrent Resolution – Designated H. Con. Res. Or S. Con. Res. • Resolution – Designated H. Res. Or S. Res.
  63. 63. Types of Legislation • Bill – Designated H.R. or S., followed by a number assigned in the order in which bills are introduced. • Joint Resolution – Designated H.J. Res. Or S.J. Res. • Concurrent Resolution – Designated H. Con. Res. Or S. Con. Res. • Resolution – Designated H. Res. Or S. Res.
  64. 64. Types of Legislation • Bill – Designated H.R. or S., followed by a number assigned in the order in which bills are introduced. • Joint Resolution – Designated H.J. Res. Or S.J. Res. • Concurrent Resolution – Designated H. Con. Res. Or S. Con. Res. • Resolution – Designated H. Res. Or S. Res.
  65. 65. Types of Legislation • Bill – Designated H.R. or S., followed by a number assigned in the order in which bills are introduced. • Joint Resolution – Designated H.J. Res. Or S.J. Res. • Concurrent Resolution – Designated H. Con. Res. Or S. Con. Res. • Resolution – Designated H. Res. Or S. Res.
  66. 66. Introducing a bill • Bills may only be introduced by a member of Congress. (Who writes it is another matter.) • Sponsor: lawmaker who introduces a bill. • Tax bills MUST be introduced in the House first, other types may originate in either house. • Bills may be introduced simultaneously in the two chambers of Congress, or may be introduced at different times.
  67. 67. Introducing a bill • Bills may only be introduced by a member of Congress. (Who writes it is another matter.) • Sponsor: lawmaker who introduces a bill. • Tax bills MUST be introduced in the House first, other types may originate in either house. • Bills may be introduced simultaneously in the two chambers of Congress, or may be introduced at different times.
  68. 68. Introducing a bill • Bills may only be introduced by a member of Congress. (Who writes it is another matter.) • Sponsor: lawmaker who introduces a bill. • Tax bills MUST be introduced in the House first, other types may originate in either house. • Bills may be introduced simultaneously in the two chambers of Congress, or may be introduced at different times.
  69. 69. Introducing a bill • Bills may only be introduced by a member of Congress. (Who writes it is another matter.) • Sponsor: lawmaker who introduces a bill. • Tax bills MUST be introduced in the House first, other types may originate in either house. • Bills may be introduced simultaneously in the two chambers of Congress, or may be introduced at different times.
  70. 70. Introducing a bill • Bills are introduced differently in each chamber: – House – member introduces a bill by placing it in the hopper. – Senate – member must announce a bill after being recognized by the presiding officer (first reading). • After introduction, bill given the designation discussed above.
  71. 71. Introducing a bill • Bills are introduced differently in each chamber: – House – member introduces a bill by placing it in the hopper. – Senate – member must announce a bill after being recognized by the presiding officer (first reading). • After introduction, bill given the designation discussed above.
  72. 72. Introducing a bill • Bills are introduced differently in each chamber: – House – member introduces a bill by placing it in the hopper. – Senate – member must announce a bill after being recognized by the presiding officer (first reading). • After introduction, bill given the designation discussed above.
  73. 73. Introducing a bill • Bills are introduced differently in each chamber: – House – member introduces a bill by placing it in the hopper. – Senate – member must announce a bill after being recognized by the presiding officer (first reading). • After introduction, bill given the designation discussed above.
  74. 74. Committee Action • After introduction, bill referred to appropriate standing committee. • Most bills die at this stage. Why? • Committee Chair passes the bill on to the appropriate subcommittee. – Hearings – Markup – Subcommittee reports to the full committee.
  75. 75. Committee Action • After introduction, bill referred to appropriate standing committee. • Most bills die at this stage. Why? • Committee Chair passes the bill on to the appropriate subcommittee. – Hearings – Markup – Subcommittee reports to the full committee.
  76. 76. Committee Action • After introduction, bill referred to appropriate standing committee. • Most bills die at this stage. Why? • Committee Chair passes the bill on to the appropriate subcommittee. – Hearings – Markup – Subcommittee reports to the full committee.
  77. 77. Committee Action • After introduction, bill referred to appropriate standing committee. • Most bills die at this stage. Why? • Committee Chair passes the bill on to the appropriate subcommittee. – Hearings – Markup – Subcommittee reports to the full committee.
  78. 78. Committee Action • After introduction, bill referred to appropriate standing committee. • Most bills die at this stage. Why? • Committee Chair passes the bill on to the appropriate subcommittee. – Hearings – Markup – Subcommittee reports to the full committee.
  79. 79. Committee Action • After introduction, bill referred to appropriate standing committee. • Most bills die at this stage. Why? • Committee Chair passes the bill on to the appropriate subcommittee. – Hearings – Markup – Subcommittee reports to the full committee.
  80. 80. Committee Action • Final Committee Action • But what if the bill gets stuck in committee? – In both houses of Congress there are ways to force bills to the floor, even if committees have not approved the bill. – Discharge Petition – Attach the bill as an amendment to another bill.
  81. 81. Committee Action • Final Committee Action • But what if the bill gets stuck in committee? – In both houses of Congress there are ways to force bills to the floor, even if committees have not approved the bill. – Discharge Petition – Attach the bill as an amendment to another bill.
  82. 82. Committee Action • Final Committee Action • But what if the bill gets stuck in committee? – In both houses of Congress there are ways to force bills to the floor, even if committees have not approved the bill. – Discharge Petition – Attach the bill as an amendment to another bill.
  83. 83. Committee Action • Final Committee Action • But what if the bill gets stuck in committee? – In both houses of Congress there are ways to force bills to the floor, even if committees have not approved the bill. – Discharge Petition – Attach the bill as an amendment to another bill.
  84. 84. Committee Action • Final Committee Action • But what if the bill gets stuck in committee? – In both houses of Congress there are ways to force bills to the floor, even if committees have not approved the bill. – Discharge Petition – Attach the bill as an amendment to another bill.
  85. 85. Committee Action • SO, bills can be brought to floor despite committee rejection, but this is EXTREMELY rare.
  86. 86. Floor Action • After being reported to the parent chamber by a standing committee, a bill must be scheduled for floor action. • Senate – in the Senate this process is easier, more informal. – – – Unrestricted debate and the Senate. Filibuster Cloture
  87. 87. Floor Action • After being reported to the parent chamber by a standing committee, a bill must be scheduled for floor action. • Senate – in the Senate this process is easier, more informal. – – – Unrestricted debate and the Senate. Filibuster Cloture
  88. 88. Floor Action • After being reported to the parent chamber by a standing committee, a bill must be scheduled for floor action. • Senate – in the Senate this process is easier, more informal. – – – Unrestricted debate and the Senate. Filibuster Cloture
  89. 89. Floor Action •House – process much more complex due to size. – Uncontroversial, less important bills can be called up, passed unanimously with little debate. – suspension of the rules.
  90. 90. Floor Action •House – process much more complex due to size. – Uncontroversial, less important bills can be called up, passed unanimously with little debate. – suspension of the rules.
  91. 91. Floor Action •House – process much more complex due to size. – Uncontroversial, less important bills can be called up, passed unanimously with little debate. – suspension of the rules.
  92. 92. Floor Action • Suspension of the Rules – Upon recognition, committee chair moves to consider a bill under suspension. – If a 2/3 majority of those voting agree, the bill is considered on the floor. – Debate is limited to 40 minutes (20 pro, 20 con), no amendments considered, and a 2/3 majority needed to pass the legislation. – Done Nov. 2, 2005 on H.R. 1606 Online Freedom of Speech Act.
  93. 93. Floor Action • Suspension of the Rules – Upon recognition, committee chair moves to consider a bill under suspension. – If a 2/3 majority of those voting agree, the bill is considered on the floor. – Debate is limited to 40 minutes (20 pro, 20 con), no amendments considered, and a 2/3 majority needed to pass the legislation. – Done Nov. 2, 2005 on H.R. 1606 Online Freedom of Speech Act.
  94. 94. Floor Action • Suspension of the Rules – Upon recognition, committee chair moves to consider a bill under suspension. – If a 2/3 majority of those voting agree, the bill is considered on the floor. – Debate is limited to 40 minutes (20 pro, 20 con), no amendments considered, and a 2/3 majority needed to pass the legislation. – Done Nov. 2, 2005 on H.R. 1606 Online Freedom of Speech Act.
  95. 95. Floor Action • Suspension of the Rules – Upon recognition, committee chair moves to consider a bill under suspension. – If a 2/3 majority of those voting agree, the bill is considered on the floor. – Debate is limited to 40 minutes (20 pro, 20 con), no amendments considered, and a 2/3 majority needed to pass the legislation. – Done Nov. 2, 2005 on H.R. 1606 Online Freedom of Speech Act.
  96. 96. Floor Action • Rules Committee – Important legislation (usually controversial) goes to the Rules Committee before going to the floor. – Rules Committee attaches a rule to all bills which specifies conditions of debate. – It determines: •If and/or when it should be sent to the floor •If and/or how long debate is allowed •Can bill be amended (open vs. closed rule)
  97. 97. Floor Action • Rules Committee – Important legislation (usually controversial) goes to the Rules Committee before going to the floor. – Rules Committee attaches a rule to all bills which specifies conditions of debate. – It determines: •If and/or when it should be sent to the floor •If and/or how long debate is allowed •Can bill be amended (open vs. closed rule)
  98. 98. Floor Action • Rules Committee – Important legislation (usually controversial) goes to the Rules Committee before going to the floor. – Rules Committee attaches a rule to all bills which specifies conditions of debate. – It determines: •If and/or when it should be sent to the floor •If and/or how long debate is allowed •Can bill be amended (open vs. closed rule)
  99. 99. Floor Action • Rules Committee – Important legislation (usually controversial) goes to the Rules Committee before going to the floor. – Rules Committee attaches a rule to all bills which specifies conditions of debate. – It determines: •If and/or when it should be sent to the floor •If and/or how long debate is allowed •Can bill be amended (open vs. closed rule)
  100. 100. Floor Action • Rules Committee – Important legislation (usually controversial) goes to the Rules Committee before going to the floor. – Rules Committee attaches a rule to all bills which specifies conditions of debate. – It determines: •If and/or when it should be sent to the floor •If and/or how long debate is allowed •Can bill be amended (open vs. closed rule)
  101. 101. Floor Action • Open vs. Closed Rule – Open Rule – members can propose amendments relevant to any of the bill’s sections. – Closed Rule – only certain sections of the bill open to amendment, or amendments not allowed. • Assuming Rules Committee recommends a rule, the floor votes on accepting or rejecting the rule.
  102. 102. Floor Action • Open vs. Closed Rule – Open Rule – members can propose amendments relevant to any of the bill’s sections. – Closed Rule – only certain sections of the bill open to amendment, or amendments not allowed. • Assuming Rules Committee recommends a rule, the floor votes on accepting or rejecting the rule.
  103. 103. Floor Action • Open vs. Closed Rule – Open Rule – members can propose amendments relevant to any of the bill’s sections. – Closed Rule – only certain sections of the bill open to amendment, or amendments not allowed. • Assuming Rules Committee recommends a rule, the floor votes on accepting or rejecting the rule.
  104. 104. Floor Action • Open vs. Closed Rule – Open Rule – members can propose amendments relevant to any of the bill’s sections. – Closed Rule – only certain sections of the bill open to amendment, or amendments not allowed. • Assuming Rules Committee recommends a rule, the floor votes on accepting or rejecting the rule.
  105. 105. Floor Action • If rule is accepted, bill is considered on the floor by the full chamber. • After debate on proposal, voting on amendments, floor decides whether to adopt the bill.
  106. 106. Floor Action • If rule is accepted, bill is considered on the floor by the full chamber. • After debate on proposal, voting on amendments, floor decides whether to adopt the bill.
  107. 107. Conference Committee • Conflicting versions must be rewritten so that a single bill gains the approval of both houses. • Bills reported from conference committee MUST be voted up or down on the floors of the House and Senate. No amendments or further changes allowed. • Negotiation – theory and practice.
  108. 108. Conference Committee • Conflicting versions must be rewritten so that a single bill gains the approval of both houses. • Bills reported from conference committee MUST be voted up or down on the floors of the House and Senate. No amendments or further changes allowed. • Negotiation – theory and practice.
  109. 109. Conference Committee • Conflicting versions must be rewritten so that a single bill gains the approval of both houses. • Bills reported from conference committee MUST be voted up or down on the floors of the House and Senate. No amendments or further changes allowed. • Negotiation – theory and practice.
  110. 110. Presidential Action • For a bill to pass it must receive the support of a simple majority (50% + 1) of the House or Senate members voting on it. • If this standard is met on a bill in the same form in both houses, it goes on to the President for his consideration.
  111. 111. Presidential Action • For a bill to pass it must receive the support of a simple majority (50% + 1) of the House or Senate members voting on it. • If this standard is met on a bill in the same form in both houses, it goes on to the President for his consideration.
  112. 112. Presidential Action • There are FOUR (4) possible actions the president may take: – – – – Sign the bill and it becomes law. Veto the bill and return it to Congress. Take no action and the bill will become law after ten (10) days. Pocket Veto – Take no action and if Congress adjourns within ten (10) days, the bill dies without his signature.
  113. 113. Presidential Action • There are FOUR (4) possible actions the president may take: – – – – Sign the bill and it becomes law. Veto the bill and return it to Congress. Take no action and the bill will become law after ten (10) days. Pocket Veto – Take no action and if Congress adjourns within ten (10) days, the bill dies without his signature.
  114. 114. Presidential Action • There are FOUR (4) possible actions the president may take: – – – – Sign the bill and it becomes law. Veto the bill and return it to Congress. Take no action and the bill will become law after ten (10) days. Pocket Veto – Take no action and if Congress adjourns within ten (10) days, the bill dies without his signature.
  115. 115. Presidential Action • There are FOUR (4) possible actions the president may take: – – – – Sign the bill and it becomes law. Veto the bill and return it to Congress. Take no action and the bill will become law after ten (10) days. Pocket Veto – Take no action and if Congress adjourns within ten (10) days, the bill dies without his signature.
  116. 116. Presidential Action • There are FOUR (4) possible actions the president may take: – – – – Sign the bill and it becomes law. Veto the bill and return it to Congress. Take no action and the bill will become law after ten (10) days. Pocket Veto – Take no action and if Congress adjourns within ten (10) days, the bill dies without his signature.
  117. 117. Conclusion • Legislation is an extremely complex process. You can understand why so relatively little of it ever gets made. • Passing a single statute requires going through two chambers (which have more than 200 committees & subcommittee). • Usually requires support of members of both parties as well as interest groups
  118. 118. Conclusion • Legislation is an extremely complex process. You can understand why so relatively little of it ever gets made. • Passing a single statute requires going through two chambers (which have more than 200 committees & subcommittee). • Usually requires support of members of both parties as well as interest groups
  119. 119. Conclusion • Legislation is an extremely complex process. You can understand why so relatively little of it ever gets made. • Passing a single statute requires going through two chambers (which have more than 200 committees & subcommittee). • Usually requires support of members of both parties as well as interest groups
  120. 120. Conclusion • There are an amazing number of points in the obstacle course at which a bill can be shot down. How on earth does anything get done? • But somehow, it does. Remember, the Founders designed the process so that it WOULD be difficult to get things done.
  121. 121. Conclusion • There are an amazing number of points in the obstacle course at which a bill can be shot down. How on earth does anything get done? • But somehow, it does. Remember, the Founders designed the process so that it WOULD be difficult to get things done.

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