What is a Bill?A bill is a proposalIf passed, the bill becomes a lawCongress is in charge of lawmakingOnly a member of House of Senate can proposea billA bill can start in either House or SenateBills starting in the House are typically revenue orappropriations (so having to do with money)Most other bills start in Senate
The ProcessA bill is proposed by a member of Senate orHouseWhichever one then assigns the bill to acommitteeCommittees are run based off of seniorityStanding Committees are permanentcommittees divided into two sections:JointSelect
SenateIf the bill starts in Senate...Bill assigned to a committeeThere will be a Senate Floor DebateThe debate is controlled by the PresidentPro Tempore
StrategiesFilibusterWhen a person talks abill to deathBasically, everyone getstired of hearing theperson talk and justgives inClotureA vote to end a filibusterAbove is Strom Thurmondwith the record of longestfilibuster in 1957
House ofRepresentativesIn this case, if bill passed by senate where itstarted it goes to the HouseHouse assigns the bill to a committeeA debate is held controlled by the President ofthe HouseA vote is taken
PresidentIf the bill is passed by BOTH House andSenate, it is passed along to the PresidentIf the President signs the bill, it becomes lawPresident can veto the billBill goes back to Congress for potential pocketvetoIf 2/3 vote for it to be passed, becomes law
ExampleLet’s follow a billthrough the system tosee how it all worksBill: The drinking ageshould be loweredfrom 21 years of ageto 18 years of age.
The DebateLets acknowledge that we have one of thehighest drinking ages in the world excludingcountries that have prohibited all alcoholconsumption.
Exceptions29 states allow underage alcohol consumption on private, non-selling,premises with parental consent6 states allow underage alcohol consumption on private, non-selling,premises without parental consent25 states allow underage alcohol consumption for religious purposes16 states allow underage alcohol consumption for medical purposes4 states allow underage alcohol consumption for government purposes7 states allow underage alcohol consumption for education purposes3 states allow underage alcohol consumption when reporting medical needdue to underage drinking of another minor11 states allow underage alcohol consumption on selling-premises withparental consent
The DebateOnly 10 states actually fully enforce no alcoholconsumption under 21 without exceptionsOnly 6% of countries worldwide require an ageof 19 or higher for alcohol consumption4% of countries prohibit alcohol consumptionand the remaining 90% are able to drink atage 18 if not sooner
The Debate“Legal Age 21 has not worked. To be sure,drunk driving fatalities are lower now than theywere in 1982. But they are lower in all agegroups. And they have declined just as muchin Canada, where the age is 18 or 19, as theyhave in the United States.”
Age 18 RightsVotingWork Full TimeSue or Be SuedGet MarriedAdopt a ChildJoin the MilitaryGambleSign Legal Documents
ArgumentSo let me get this straight. At age 18 peopleare considered responsible enough to getmarried and raise children, enlist, handlefinancial debts, get loans and live on theirown, gamble, and use tobacco products butare not responsible enough to have analcoholic beverage? If you cannot trust anindividual with a drink, you should not betrusting them with the above, much moreserious, responsibilities.
Picture CitationsThe Modern-Day Filibuster is a Road to Gridlock. Newsday. Web. 9 Apr.2013. <http://www.newsday.com/opinion/the-modern-day-filibuster-is-a-road-to-gridlock-1.3724>.Civics TextbookHigherground Brewery. Web. 9 Apr. 2013. <http://highergroundbrewery.com/>.Lower the Drinking Age; An Argument. The Constant Inconstant. Web. 9 Apr.2013. <http://www.constantinconstant.com/2010/10/08/lower-the-drinking-age-an-argument/>.
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