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The Lawmaking Process

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  1. The Lawmaking Process

  2. Terms and Sessions • 2 year period which follows elections • 1/3 of the Senate and all of the House are elected every two years • Senate=6 year term • House=2 year term • 112th Congress Link

  3. When and Where does Congress Meet? • Floor Action=time when members discuss and vote on bills

  4. Senate Chamber

  5. House Chamber

  6. When and Where does Congress Meet? • Emergencies • President may call Congress to a special session if they are in recess • Confirm appointments, ratify treaties

  7. When and Where does Congress Meet? • Joint Session • The Senate and House meet together • Used for special occasions—not for lawmaking • State of the Union Address

  8. Congressional Rules • Loyalty to one’s own chamber • Respect • Specialization • Reciprocity

  9. How a Bill Becomes a Law

  10. Speaker of the House • Presides over debates=determines who can speak, how long to spend on each item, etc. • Influences committee assignments • Speaker of House=John Boehner

  11. House Majority Leader • Strategist and party spokesman • Moves legislation through the House • Majority Leader=Eric Cantor

  12. House Minority Leader • Organizes opposition to the majority party • Spokesman for minority party • House Minority Leader=Nancy Pelosi

  13. Party Whips • Assistant floor leaders • Find out, sway opinions of party members • Republican= Kevin McCarthey • Democrat= Steny Hoyer

  14. Senate Leaders • President of the Senate • President Pro Tempore • Senate Majority Leader • Senate Minority Leader • Senate Whips

  15. President of the Senate • Vice President always holds this position • Has little authority other than casting the deciding vote in a tie • President of the Senate=Joe Biden

  16. President Pro Tempore • Takes the place of the President of the Senate in case of absence • Signs legislation passed by Senate • President Pro Tempore=Daniel Inouye

  17. Senate Majority Leader • True leader of the Senate • Develops a game plan for advancing his/her party’s legislation • Senate Majority Leader=Harry Reid

  18. Senate Minority Leader • Leads opposition to Majority Party • Senate Minority Leader=Mitch McConnell

  19. Senate Whips • Sways opinions, and also assistant Senate Majority/Minority Leader • Republican=John Kyl • Democrat=Dick Durban

  20. Library of Congress • Largest library in the world (97 million books)

  21. References • Senate Chamber http://www.politicalinformation.net/encyclopedia/Senate_in_session.jpg • House Chamber http://www.davidpride.com/USA/DC/images/Capitol_house.jpg • Leadership Positions www.house.govwww.senate.gov