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Good Day! Please take out a sheet of paper and title it: How a Bill Becomes a Law Assignment 10.

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Presentation on theme: "Good Day! Please take out a sheet of paper and title it: How a Bill Becomes a Law Assignment 10."— Presentation transcript:

1 Good Day! Please take out a sheet of paper and title it: How a Bill Becomes a Law Assignment 10

2 Warm-Up Draw a Circle Map and list everything that comes to mind when you think about how a law is made in Congress. How a bill becomes a law

3 Bill Becomes a Law As many as 10,000 bills (proposed laws) introduced in the House and Senate during a term of Congress but fewer than 10% become law Most bills are born in the executive branch or from pressure/special interest groups (i.e. business, labor, agriculture) Most bills are not read in their entirety (too long) In each House (The House and Senate) bills only need to pass by a majority before going onto the President

4 Bills in the HOUSE Bills are assigned numbers as they are introduced (Ex: H.R = 3,410 th bill introduced to the House in this session of Congress) or S310 if in the Senate Bills receive a short title – a brief summary of its principal contents A bill needs to go through 3 readings before the final vote –- Most dont make it that far b/c its a long process

5 1 st Reading [House]: Bills in Committees After the the bill is introduced to the whole House (also known as the full committee), The Speaker refers the bill to the appropriate standing (permanent) committee Committees sort through bills and only work on those they judge worthwhile -- Most bills die here!! Committees usually do most of their work through subcommittees

6 1 st Reading [House]– Continued : Returns to the Full Committee (Whole House) Once a bill is approved by the subcommittee it goes back to the full committee The full committee then chooses to: –Favor it = goes to Congress floor for debate –Refuse the bill = dies –Report bill in amended (changed) form –Report totally new bill committee has substituted for old one

7 Tree Map Create a Tree Map! Draw it and fill out everything you learned about the 1 st Reading How a Bill Becomes a Law 1 st Reading2nd Reading3rd Reading

8 The 2 nd Reading [House]: The Bill on the Floor (Full Committee) [A] Here the bill is read section by section: –As each section is read, amendments (changes) may be offered –Votes are taken on each section –One bill may be up to hundreds of pages => Basically, it takes a really long time!!

9 2 nd Reading [House]– continued : [B] General Debate on the Floor Debate: The House (because of its size) has limits –Cannot speak for more than one hour without unanimous consent –Speaker can force anyone who strays from the subject to give up the floor –At any time any member may call to move the previous question, which means, the House must vote on the issue -- This is the only motion used to close debate

10 2 nd Reading [House] – continued : [C] Voting Speaker calls for ayes and noes Standing vote Roll-call vote Computerized vote

11 Complete your tree map branch for the 2 nd Reading

12 The 3 rd Reading [House] : Final Steps Once a bill is approved at a second reading, it is then read a third time and a final vote is taken – Must pass by a majority vote! If approved at the third reading, it is signed by the Speaker of the House An aid then carries it to the Senate and places it on the Senate Presidents (V.Ps) desk for Senate approval

13 Finally, complete your tree map branch for the 3rd Reading

14 Bills in the Senate Very similar to the House process (still goes through 3 readings) Less formal and rules are less strict Because the Senate is more prestigious, they are allowed more freedom, especially in debate

15 Debate = main difference between process in the House & Senate Highly restricted in House; almost completely unrestricted in Senate Senators may speak on the floor for as long as they want…Includes reading Auntie Maes old family recipe for Beef Stew There is NO rule that they speak only to the subject of the measure at hand They may not move the previous question to end debate as in the House Debate is only brought to a close by unanimous consent Freedom of debate is meant to encourage fullest possible discussion of matters on the floor Can be abused by the filibuster

16 Filibuster – talk a bill to death Used to prevent Senate action (i.e. voting) on a measure Monopolizes the Senate floor Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk = major weapon Senators try to beat filibuster by going into all day & night sessions (get out the coffee and cots!) Rules: –cannot lean on desk or walk about as they speak –Cloture Rule is only thing that can check the filibuster

17 Cloture Rule Only thing that can limit debate in the Senate Can only be brought into play by a special procedure: –Must vote to invoke it –Vote must be taken two days after a petition by 16 members of the Senate –60 members must approve it –Then no more than 30 hours of floor time may be used on the measure – then it must go to a final vote Basically…Its not easy to invoke –Senators want to keep the tradition of free debate –Dont want to take away the power of the filibuster

18 Conference Committees The House & Senate often pass different versions of the same bill The bill must then go to a conference committee made up of members of both the House & Senate to come to a consensus This is the most strategic stage in the legislative process

19 The President!! (home stretch) Four Options: –Sign it = becomes law –Veto = returned to Congress; can override with 2/3 vote –May allow it to become law without signing it by not acting on it for 10 days –Pocket Veto = if Congress adjourns its session within 10 days of submitting the bill and the President does not sign it the measure dies

20 Complete a double bubble map to compare and contrast the bill law process in the House and the Senate. Senate House

21 A Basic Review:

22 Create a Flow Map containing as many steps as you believe should be included for a bill to become a law **You may include sub-steps below**

23 Debriefing: Review Questions What is the main way the process differs in the House and the Senate? Explain Why. Why do only 10% of bills actually become laws? Where do most bills originate? Why do most Senators not want to overuse the Cloture Rule?


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