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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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…… 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).

Biden in action not sure what though
Biden in Action… (not sure what though…)

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