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 Standing Committees  Subcommittees  Select or special committees  Joint Committee  Conference Committee.

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Presentation on theme: " Standing Committees  Subcommittees  Select or special committees  Joint Committee  Conference Committee."— Presentation transcript:

1  Standing Committees  Subcommittees  Select or special committees  Joint Committee  Conference Committee

2  Permanent committees that handle most legislative business.  Study legislation of a particular area (homeland security or foreign affairs)  Gather information through hearings and investigations.  Subcommittees  Subcommittees – Do all of the work for standing committees  Review proposed legislation  Most bills die in this committee

3  Temporary  Assigned to investigate specific problems  Make recommendations to Congress based on their investigations. Joint Committees  Made up of members of the House and Senate.  Deals with issues of interest to both chambers Conference Committees  Temporary  Formed to iron out differences between two versions of a bill passed by the House and Senate.  Both chambers must pass identical versions of a bill for it to become a law

4  Oversight – they oversee executive agencies to make sure they carry out the laws as passed.  Confirmation – must confirm key officials appointed by the President  Impeachment – House can impeach a federal official, Senate conducts a trial  Ratification – must approve all treaties negotiated by the president.  Override – Can vote to override a veto  Amendment –can propose an amendment to the constitution, even if it means reversing a ruling of the Supreme Court


6  About 10,000 bill are introduced per year.  Each is given a number and assigned to a committee.  There are 22 committees in the House and 15 committees in the Senate

7  Members of Congress  Executive Branch  Outside groups or citizens

8  Only a member of Congress can introduce a bill in the House or Senate.  The bill is then sent to the appropriate committee.  Once in committee, the chair can keep the process going or sit on it.

9 Legislative hearings begin.  The purpose is to hear expert testimonies and gather information from individuals who are interested in the proposed legislation  The chair person can schedule hearings that never end or get the hearings done quickly

10  Committee members mark up or decide on the final language of a bill.  One third of the members must be present to mark up a bill Difficulties: Act as delegates – they want to address the interests of their home districts Act as trustees – make decisions that are good for the country.

11  They vote to send the bill to the full committee.  If the vote is “no” by the full committee then the process is repeated by the full committee.  If the vote is “yes” then the bill gets sent to the House or Senate.

12  In the House, this committee acts as a “traffic cop”  It can move the bill along to be voted on quickly  OR it can stall the bill  Once the bill proceeds, the HRC sets the rules for debate

13  Closed Rule: severely limits debate to ensure a bill passes quickly  Open Rule: allows for floor debate and the introduction of amendments that could kill the bill.

14  Speaker of the House and the majority leader decide which bills will be debated, who will speak and for how long.  Power of Recognition- no one can stand to speak without being recognized by the Speaker or majority leader.

15  General debate is usually limited to one hour.  30 minutes to each party Unlimited Senate Debate Senators have to agree to limit debate if they want to keep it short and sweet. Otherwise, once recognized a senator may speak about anything for any length. If the minority party wants to block a bill, they can begin a filibuster.

16  A senator can speak for hours to stop a bill from passing  The longest Filibuster was done in 1957 by Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. He spoke for 24 hours and 18 minutes. At first he talked about the bill but then began reading his favorite recipes and finally reading out of the phone book to stop passing the civil rights act.

17  Cloture was set up in 1917 to end a filibuster  It must have three-fifths majority to end a filibuster or 60 votes.  They can place a hold on a debate, which signals the lawmakers intention to filibuster if the bill goes to debate.

18  In the House, each change must be relevant to the bill.  In the Senate, senators can attach unrelated changes called riders.  Some bills attract so many riders, it is called a Christmas Tree Bill

19  Voting in the house and senate happens in 3 ways:  Voice Vote ( aye or nay)  Standing Vote (first supported stand then opponents stand)  Roll-Call Vote ( each members vote is officially recorded)

20 If they can’t agree, then the Bill goes to a Joint Conference Committee to work out a compromise.

21  Has 10 days not counting Sundays to do one of the following:  Sign the bill into law.  Veto the bill  Take no action and at the end of 10 days the bill becomes law.  A Pocket veto happens when a bill is on the Presidents desk and Congress adjourns before he acts the bill does not become a law.  Bill can still become law with a two thirds vote in each chamber.

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