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Committees. …… and Congress at Work. Congress Convenes. January 3 rd , at noon. (Odd # years). House of Representatives: A clerk calls to order and checks for newly elected Representatives. Are they there?

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committees

Committees

…… and Congress at Work

congress convenes
Congress Convenes
  • January 3rd, at noon. (Odd # years).
  • House of Representatives:
    • A clerk calls to order and checks for newly elected Representatives. Are they there?
    • Members to be: Choose the Speaker of the House. S/he will take an oath of office and then swear in the rest of the members….
what else happens on opening day
What else happens on Opening Day?
  • The House elects…..
    • A clerk
    • A Sergeant at Arms
    • Doorkeeper
    • Post Master
    • Chaplain
  • Adopt rules and organize the Committees?
so we know about the house now what about the senate
So, we know about the House… now what about the Senate?!?
  • Not as extensive as the House.
    • Why? They are a continuous body.
      • Only 1/3rd new/re-elected members each term.
      • New or re-elected members are just sworn in
      • Vacancies are filled
presidential state of the union message
Presidential: State of the Union Message
  • Mr. P outlines the administration’s plans and policies.
    • May make a few suggestions and recommendations on legislation.
  • Why does he do this? Because it’s in the Constitution! Mandated Speech in Article 2, Section 3.
speaker of the house
Speaker of the House
  • Nancy Pelosi
  • Has 2 duties:
    • Keeps Order
    • Presides over all sessions.
  • Allowed to vote and debate on any matter….
    • Rarely do… except when there’s a tie… then they are required to.
  • The most influential person in the House.
pelosi in action
Pelosi in Action…
  • Nancy Pelosi and the Health Bill…
president of the senate
President of the Senate
  • Mr. VP Joe Biden
    • In the Constitution that the President of the Senate is the VP of the United States.
  • Votes in case of a tie.
  • Recognize members.
  • If absent-President Pro Tempore presides over the Senate…. (they are voted on by the Senate and a member of the Majority Party).
floor leaders
Floor Leaders.....
  • In the House and Senate have a majority and a minority floor leader… and their chosen by party colleagues.
    • Whips???? Assistant floor leaders. Make sure party members are voting the way they are supposed to be… “Whip” into good, obeying party members
  • The Party Caucus: Closed meetings of each party in each house… they deal with:
    • Party organization
    • Selection of Floor Leaders
    • Committee Membership
committee chairpersons
Committee Chairpersons
  • Decide…..
    • When their committees will meet
    • Which bills they will consider
    • Whether or not to hold public hearings
    • What witnesses to call upon
seniority rules
Seniority Rules
  • Unwritten rule or “custom”
  • Most important posts are awarded according to terms of service….
    • Are you serious?!?
seniority rule
Seniority Rule
  • Criticisms….
    • Ignores Ability.
    • Discourages young members.
    • Encourages constant re-election of “stale” members.
  • Defenders…
    • Ensures experience in key posts.
    • Minimizes conflict within the party.
standing committees
Standing Committees
  • The permanent groups to which all similar bills are sent.
  • House has 19 standing committees; Senate has 17 standing committees.
    • House members can only serve on one.
    • Senate members can serve on two.
  • Speaker of the House and President of the Senate decide where to assign a bill. Which appropriate committee?
    • Example: For any taxes  Ways and Means
house rules committee
House Rules Committee
  • Police Authority of the House of Representatives.
  • Manages the flow of bills for the full house by scheduling their consideration.
  • In the Senate… Majority House Leader takes on this role.
select committees
Select Committees
  • Special groups… set up for specific purposes… for a limited period of time.
  • Members appointed by Speaker of the House or President of the Senate.
  • Usually chosen to conduct special investigations.
    • Example: Senate Watergate Committee 1973.
        • What was that guys name again? Which President?
          • O that’s right…. Nixon!
joint committees
Joint Committees
  • Members of Both Houses make these committees up.
    • Judiciary, Budget, Small Business, Veteran’s affairs.
  • Typically permanent groups that serve on a regular basis.
conference committees
Conference Committees
  • A bill has to be passed in identical form by both the Senate and the House….before it can go to the President.
  • A bill can pass in different forms during the first phase.
    • Conference committees are created to iron out the differences on the bills.
    • Compromise bill is created.
how a bill becomes a law

How a Bill Becomes a Law…

Bill Simulation Activity

bill simulation steps
Bill Simulation Steps
  • Assign Roles
    • 4 total committees
      • 2 for House
      • 2 for Senate
    • Two readers (1 for bill one, 1 for bill two.)
    • Speakers for bill one—3
    • Speakers for bill two—3
simulation continued
Simulation Continued
  • Bill is read to class
  • Split into four groups
    • Talk about the bills for 2-5 minutes.
  • Conduct hearings
    • Speakers testify about the bill.
    • Committee members ask one question of each speaker.
    • Vote on whether or note to proceed with the bill.
  • Mark up time.
    • Meet for 5 minutes to revise the bills to your liking.
simulation continued1
Simulation Continued
  • Reconvene
    • All house members come together
    • All Senate members come together.
    • Each side introduces their versions.
  • Floor consideration (yay/nay)
    • If bill doesn’t pass… it dies.
    • If it does pass… on to the Conference Committee we go.
  • Conference Committee
    • Nominate/vote on members (two from each group).
    • Work out the differences on the passed bills.
simulation steps continued
Simulation steps continued
  • Vote again
    • Conference Committee has one bill.
    • If it passes, it goes to the President who can:
      • Veto
      • Pass
      • Pocket Veto
      • Ignore it 10 days, and it automatically passes.
how a bill becomes a law house style
How a Bill becomes a Law…(House style)
  • 1st reading
  • Goes to a committee and then a subcommittee.
  • Reviewed
  • Back to full committee
    • Report favorably
    • Amend it
    • Unfavorably
    • Totally redo it
    • Pigeonhole (refuse to report it)
  • Placed on the calendar for floor debate
house passing a bill
House… passing a bill
  • Read a second time
  • Floor debate…. With a very strict time limit.
  • Voting
    • Voice vote
    • Standing vote
    • 1/5 quorum asks for a teller vote
    • Role-call vote
  • Read a 3rd time and signed by Speaker
  • Sent to Senate President
a bill in the senate
A Bill in the Senate…
  • Bill read
  • Given title
  • Referred to a Committee.
    • Called to floor by Majority Leader
  • Floor Debate…. Unlimited
    • Filibuster… only in the Senate
    • Cloture Rule…. Take 4/5 to end a filibuster
  • Conference Committee: smoothes out differences between the House and the Senate
  • Goes to Mr. P
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