How abill becomes a law? American Gov’t MEMORIES!!!!
Turning your idea into a law… During any session of congress there may be as many as 10,000 “ideas” introduced – less than 10% of these ever become a law. - A proposed law presented to the House OR Senate for consideration Bill One Exception: $$ Legislations ALWAYS starts in the House of Representatives…Art. 1, Sec. 7, Cl. 1
Source of Bills • Most start in the Executive Branch • Special Interest Groups • Business • Labor • Agriculture • Private Citizens – ME & YOU • Congressional Standing Committees
Types of Bills • Public Bills – measures that apply to the Nation as a whole Example: Tax Laws or Amendments to the Constitution, etc. • Private Bills – Apply to certain people or places Example: Sheep rancher in Idaho or dealing with the NFL veterans RIDER: Attached unrelated matter
Checkpoint • What is a BILL? • What is the only body that can bring up a bill regarding money? • Where are some of the places that a bill can come from?
Intro in the House (read & numbered) Intro in the Senate Public Hearings if needed Standing Committee Standing Committee Subcommittee Subcommittee Floor Debate & Vote Floor Debate & Vote Conference Committee 2/3s Congressional Vote LAW President VETO!
Committee Actions • Report the bill favorably • “Do-Pass” – THEY LIKED IT • Refuse to report the bill • “Pigeonhole” – LET IT DIE • Report the bill in amended form • “Amended” – CHANGED IT A LITTLE • Report a committee bill • “New Stuff” – MADE THEIR OWN 5) Report the bill with unfavorable recommendation • “No-Pass” – HATED IT
House Actions • Debate– discuss the issues (findings that the Committees and Subcommittees came up with) • Committee of the Whole – Speeds up the process; the entire House acts as a committee rather than a legislative body • Quorum – needed to discuss bills, it means a “majority” of the members must be there
House Actions • After the debate then they: Vote • Types of voting • Voice Vote – most common • Standing Vote – self-explanatory • Teller Vote – Selected members count their party’s vote • Roll-Call Vote – this is now done with computers
Final Step • The Bill is read for a 3rd and final time • One last vote / opportunity for debate • Signed by Speaker • Sent to Senate What does “pigeonhole” mean?
The Next Step… • The Bill will then go to the Senate…here the process is very similar to the path of a bill in the House.
The main difference in the Senate • Debate • House: Formal • Senate: Informal (Free Debate) • Filibuster • Is a part of the debating process • “Talking a bill to death” • Used by “minority” senators to delay or prevent a bill from going further • Monopolizes the Floor Debate Time
More on Filibusters • Huey Long – 15 hours – read the phone book and recipes • Glen Taylor – 8 hours – talked about his kids, Wall Street, baptism, and fishing • THE RECORD – Strom Thurmond – • 24 hours, 18 minutes • The filibuster works, however, they do observe certain rules strictly…like standing, not sitting or leaning
Conference Committee • Rarely can a bill make it thru all of these steps with out some problem… • This is where a Conference Committee comes in handy… • Members from both chambers come together (temporarily) to make any changes that BOTH can agree upon. • Then they re-vote (almost always passes) • Sent to the President for acceptance or rejection COMPROMISE
Presidential Actions 1) Sign into Law 2) Veto – Means “I forbid” in Latin • Can be overridden with 2/3s vote of Congress 3) Do nothing – then it becomes a law 4) Pocket Veto – If Congress adjourns within 10 days of submitting the bill, the President can do nothing, the bill dies.