Rules andRegulations Congress and the Legislative Process
Blocking the VoteI propose that the entire classhas to sing “Friday” on everyFriday or else you will fail.
What is a filibuster?• Definition: Unlimited debate to halt action in the SENATE • This is only a power that the Senate has not the House of Representatives • Why do this? • To postpone the ability to pass legislation • If postponed long enough potential that no vote will be called
Why filibuster? • Some insist that filibuster is unfair • Others say it protects minority against rule of majority • Filibusters elevate visibility of an issue • Have potential to inspire compromise
Filibuster Restrictions• Keep the floor as long as you hold the floor • Can’t stop talking ever • Can’t eat or drink • Can’t sit down • Can’t lean on anything• The record for the longest individual speech goes to South Carolinas J. Strom Thurmond who filibustered for 24 hours and 18 minutes against the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
Blocking a Filibuster • Cloture – Vote to end a filibuster • Must be at least 60 Senators that agree in order for a cloture to pass • Originally was a 2/3 majority of the Senate, but decreased after the 57 day filibuster from Southern Congressman trying to block the vote on the Civil Rights Act 1964
House Rules Committee• Responsible for determining under what rule other bills will come onto the floor• A Rule is a simple resolution of the HoR to permit the immediate consideration of a legislative measure and to prescribe conditions for its debate and amendment.• Very powerful committee and controlled by majority party
House Rules Committee• Examples of Power: • There might be a limit on the number or types of amendments (proposed changes to the bill) • Determines the amount of speaking time assigned on each bill or resolution • If the leadership wants a bill pushed forward quietly, there might be no debate time scheduled • If they want attention, they might allow time for lengthy speeches in support of the bill
Senate Rules &Administrations Committee• Not as powerful as House of Representatives • Does not set limits of debate on legislative proposals• Why? • Senate has tradition of unlimited debate • House has limits on debate because of its size (435 people vs. 100 people)
Appropriations Committee• Within both the House and Senate• In charge of setting the specific expenditures of money by the government - BUDGET• One of the most powerful committees• Members are seen as influential • Often members sit on no other committees • Have greater ability to utilize pork barrel spending
Other Committees• Policy Committees (sampling) • Education and the Workforce • Ethics • Foreign Affairs • Transportation and Infrastructure • Agriculture • Energy and Commerce
How a Bill Becomes a Law The Journey of a Bill
NOTE TAKING and the Y-CHART • In each step, by the appropriate letter, label the step and fill in the general description of that step’s action. • In a different color ink (or pen vs. pencil), summarize our example by the arrow. I’ll have this listed in red on each slide and the underlined info may be all you need to write (it may be all you can fit). • You should wait until each part of the explanation is detailed before writing; write as much or little as you need to understand each step in this process.
I think the state of A. IDEA Michigan would benefit from juniors and seniors not having school on Fridays This idea can come from you, lobbyists, corporations, interest groups- tell your congressperson! Then they must introduce it. This can happen in either the House or the Senate. If in the House, it will get a number H.R. ####. If in the Senate, it will get a number S. #### The House Subcommittee holds hearings & marks up the bill before voting.(Don’t write this…) Key definition: marking up a bill means editing a bill’s info. House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education holds hearings and adds an amendment: the federalgovernment will reimburse the states for the cost of less busses on Fridays. The Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee then votes on the bill.
B. COMMITTEE ACTION/INACTION• Each house has committees that consider bills.• Hearings/Markup/Votes (editing)• They can pigeonhole the bill (and it will die)- 85%- MOST DIE HERE• New amendment proposed: only ½ the costs will be covered by the government. After passing that amendment, the House Education and Labor Committee votes to pass the bill. J and S S
C. VOTING TO REPORT BILL• House Rules Committee sets rules for and schedules the debate in the full US House. • The Speaker, Majority and Minority Leaders get together to set rules for the debate (limited to four hours) and schedules the bill’s vote for two weeks from now.
D. FLOOR ACTIVITY• The Speaker decides which bills are presented and how long they get to debate• The whole House debates• The bill is debated and voted on in the House (all 435 members).• Before voting on the bill, a new amendment has been added: Seniors have to pass the ACT junior year first. The bill then is passed by a majority in the House. You get 2 hours! Debate, ya’ll!
Passed? Let’s send it on over to the Senate!• Go through all the same steps- a new Senate version is written though.• - E. Assign a number• - F. Committee action• - G. Vote to report• - H. Floor Activity + Debate + Vote
E.• Senate Subcommittee holds hearings, marks up the bill• Looking at the original proposal, the Subcommittee on Children and Families adds an amendment: Seniors must do 10 hours of community service a month on Fridays. The Subcommittee then passes the bill.
F.• The Senate Committee holds hearings, marks it up, and makes changes.• The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions votes to delete the Senate Subcommittee’s amendment (the community service)—it’s too hard to enforce. With the bill back in its original format, the Education Committee votes to pass the bill.
G. • Senate Leadership clears the bill and puts it on the calendar.• The Senate Majority Leader and Minority Leader meet to schedule the bill. There are no limits to debate in the Senate. The bill is scheduled for seven weeks from now.
H.• The bill is debated and voted upon in the full Senate for the 1st time. A majority of votes is needed to pass the bill.• The US Senate decides to add an amendment that sets a requirement of passing a national standardized test the first three years of high school in order to skip on Fridays.The Senate votes in favor of the bill.
In the Senate:• Debate in the Senate is unlimited! Filibusters can be used by the minority to block the bill. A filibuster! Crikey, this could • 60 Senators must agree to end last forever! the debate (cloture)• The Senate Rules Committee is much weaker than the House’s
I. CONFERENCE- resolve those differences• Both Houses compromise to form ONE bill. The new version will edit some of the previous sections!• Let’s say: The Senate made the bill only apply to females in Government class.• The House made the bill apply only to A students in Calculus.• We have two different bills!• The Conference Committee decides to have the bill apply to students who have A’s in Government class
J. REVISION• Revised bill from Conference Committee is voted on again in each House• The House Rules Committee clears the bill a 2nd time!• The House Leadership schedules a 2nd vote for four and a half weeks from now.
K- Another Vote- House• Vote again- both houses must pass with a simple majority (51%)• The bill is voted on by the House for a 2nd time.• By a 244-189 margin, the bill passes the House.
L-Another Vote- Senate• The Senate Leadership clears the bill a 2nd time!• The Majority and Minority Leaders schedule the bill for a vote six weeks from now.
M- VOTES PASS• The bill is voted on by the Senate for a 2nd time• It passes, 57-42!
N. SEND TO MR. PREZ’s DESK• Can sign it- bill becomes law • Can include signing statements- say how a law should be enforced• Can Veto it- bill is rejected • Must include reasons and recommendations for correction If vetoed, Congress can override the veto with a 2/3 vote• Can refuse to sign • If Congress is IN session, bill becomes a law in 10 days • If Congress NOT in session, bill dies after 10 days- Pocket Veto. Gov class, you are rad! I will sign this bill!
BILL BECOMES LAW!• We are lucky:• A federal law that each state must follow• 4% of bills become laws