3 Step #1: Introducing A Bill Anyone may introduce a BillIn the House of Representatives:Hand Bill to a clerkDrop Bill into a “hopper” (tradition from UK)In the Senate:Being recognized by the presiding officer and announcing the bill’s introductionBill is numbered and sent to a printer
4 Step #1: Introducing A Bill Types of Bills:Public- public affairsPrivate-a person pressing a financial claim against the governmentSeeking special permission for something (citizenship)(once numerous)Types of ResolutionsSimple (passed by either house)Example - establishing the rules under which each body will operateTypes of Resolutions (Cont)b) Concurrent Resolution-Settles housekeeping and procedural matters that impact both housesBoth Simple and Concurrent are not signed by the president and do not have the force of lawc) Joint Resolutions-Requires approval of both houses + the signature of the PresidentEssentially, same as lawOften used to propose constitutional amendments…
5 Step #2: Study By Committee Bill referred to a committee by either;Speaker of the HousePresiding officer of the SenateRules govern which committee will get a billRules vary per house
6 Step #2a: Study By Sub-Committee 2. Referred to a Sub-committeeSub Committees are the research arm of the larger, Full/Standing CommitteeMultiple Referral vs. Sequential ReferralWhat happens in a subcommittee?Witnesses appearEvidence is takenQuestions are askedHearings used toInform membersPermit interest groupsBuild public supportSample Testimony3. After hearing, sub-committee “marks up” bill
7 Step #2: Study By Committee 4. Back to the Standing Committee for a possible voteIf majority of the committee votes to report a bill out of committee, it goes onAccompanied by a report that explains:Why the committee favored itWhy they wish to see its amendments, if any, adoptedb) If the committee does not report favorably on the bill, the bill diesNote about Committees:Committees may hold bills hostage!Discharge PetitionHouse – 218 signaturesSenate – motionLast 100 years – attempted times, successful 24 timesAre we done yet? I’m bored
8 Out of Committee…onto Rules 5. Bill must be placed on calendar before it can go before the house againThough it goes on the calendar,Not considered in orderorNecessarily at all6. Moves onto Rules Committee
9 Rules CommitteeAdopt a rule to govern the procedures under which the bill will be consideredClosed Rule:sets strict time limits on debateforbids the introduction of amendments from the floor (except if offered by sponsoring committee)Open Rule:Permits amendmentsRestrictive Rule:Permits some amendments but not othersExceptions to the Rules:In House:Member can move that the rules be suspendedRequires 2/3 voteA discharge position can be filedHouse can use the “Calendar Wednesday Procedure”Rules are in place to prevent “riders”Provision added to legislation that is not germane to the bill’s purpose“Christmas Tree” BillPurpose of Riders?
10 Step #3: Floor Debate THE HOUSE THE SENATE Discussed by “Committee of the Whole”Whoever is present at the timeQuorum for C.W.: 100 ppl (usually 218)Speaker chooses presiderCommittee debates, amends, decides final shapeDuring this time, no riders allowed- unless related to bill’s purposeTime for debate divided evenly5 minutes per person“Quorum Call”- time stallerNo rule limiting debateSenators can speak as long as they wantRemarks need not be relevantAnyone can offer an Amendment at anytimeAmendments need not be germaneOften had many ridersNo Committee of the WholeIf house has passed a bill, Committee hearing can be waived in SenateSenate Filibuster- time staller
11 Step #3: Floor Debate THE SENATE (continued) Filibuster -The use of obstructionist tactics, especially prolonged speechmaking, for the purpose of delaying legislative action.Strom Thurmondset a record in 1957 by filibustering the Civil Rights Act of 1957 for 24 hours and 18 minutes, although the bill ultimately passed. Thurmond broke the previous record of 22 hours and 26 minutes set by Wayne Morse (I-OR) in 1953 protesting the Tidelands Oil legislation.Visited a steam room before his filibuster in order to dehydrate himself so he could drink without urinating. An aide stood by in the cloakroom with a pail in case of emergency.“Cloture Rule- parliamentary procedure by which debate is ended and an immediate vote is taken on the matter under discussion.Requires 16 Senators for petitionMotion is voted on 2 days after petition is introducedTo pass, 3/5 of Senate membership is needed- 60 SenatorsIf passed, each Senator is limited to 1 hour of debateAfter that, total debate can only = 100 hours (including role call)vs.
12 Step #3: Floor Debate Cloture (Continued) Double Tracking- One way to keep Senate going during clotureDisputed bill is shelved temporarily so that the Senate can get other work done
13 Step #4 Voting THE HOUSE The Senate Voice Vote-Yea vs NayDivision (Standing Vote)-Stand and be counted(in both, members names are not recorded)Teller Vote-the members pass between two tellers..yeas first, nays secondUsually recordedRole Call Vote-Yea or Nay to people’s namesCan be done at the request of 1/5 of reps presentThe SenateNo teller vote and not electronic counters
14 Step #5 (Sometimes): Reconciling Different Bills If a bill passes the house differently in the House than in the Senate, differences must be reconciled.If changes minor, last house may refer back to first house to accept alterationsIf differences are major, bill goes to conference committee:Each house votes to make committeeMembers picked by chairperson of the House + Senate Committees that have been handling the bill3-15 members per house (depending on bill)Decision must be approved by majority of all membersBill goes back to each house to accept or reject
15 Step #6: Off To The White House If bill is accepted by both houses, goes to PresidentPresident’s options:Sign or vetoIf President signs, Bill becomes a law!If President vetos, bill goes back to CongressCongress can override with a 2/3 vote of members present in each house (if quorum exists)Vote must be a roll call
16 Review… Who can propose a bill? How is a resolution different from a bill?SimpleConcurrentIn which house do “bills for raising revenue” get proposed? Why?Why is it cool to be on the ways and means committee?What does an appropriation mean?Os multiple referral of a bill better than the traditional way of referring a bill?Is the discharge petition useful in speeding things up?Why is adopting a closed rule most common in the House, not in the Senate?How is the “Committee of the Whole” different from a quorum?What are some differences that exist as far as Floor Debate in each house?What is a filibuster?Does cloture help move things along?What are the advantages/disadvantages of a teller vote?Does Congress take too long to accomplish its goal?Are there too many members concerned with self interest?