2 Types of Bills Private bills Public bills 30% Resolutions Joint resolutionsConcurrent resolutionsRidersTwo types of Bills introduced in CongressPublic Bills: deal with general matters and apply to the entire nation.They are often controversialUsually receive significant media coverage and may involve issues such as raising or lowering taxes, national health insurance, gun control, civil rights, or abortion.Major public bills account for about 30% of the bills passed in each term of Congress.These may be debated for months before they become a law.
3 Private Bills Deal with individual people or places. Often deal with immigration or naturalization issues.Private Bills: deal with individual people or places. Often involve peoples claims against the government or their immigration problems.There was one private bill that waived immigration requirements so that an American women could marry a Greek man.These types of bills use to be what accounted for a large numbers of the bills coming through Congress. But lately those numbers have inclined.
4 Public Bills General matters Apply to the entire nation About 30% of all billsPublic Bills: deal with general matters and apply to the entire nation.They are often controversialUsually receive significant media coverage and may involve issues such as raising or lowering taxes, national health insurance, gun control, civil rights, or abortion.Major public bills account for about 30% of the bills passed in each term of Congress.These may be debated for months before they become a law.
5 Simple ResolutionsAffects only the one house of Congress that passed it.Used to change procedural rules, etc.Do not need President’s signatureMay pass certain resolutions for unusual or temporary matters.Simple resolution covers matters affecting only one house of Congress and is passed by that house alone. If a new rule or procedure is needed, it is adopted in the form of a resolution.it is not sent to president for signature.
6 House of Representatives SenateHouse of RepresentativesJoint ResolutionsPassed by both houses of CongressUsed to correct errors in laws or appropriate money for a special purposePropose Constitutional AmendmentsDo not require President’s signatureBoth houses must pass a joint resolution:The presidents signature gives the force of the law.May correct a an error in an earlier law, an example is through the appropriate money for special purpose.Also used to propose constitutional amendments which do not require the presidents signature.
7 Concurrent Resolutions Deal with matters of concern to both houses of Congress (but a law is not needed)Date of adjournmentExpress Congress’ opinion about an issueDo not need President’s signatureCovers matters required the action of the house and senate, but on which a law is not needed.Ex: it may set the date for the adjournment of congress, or may express Congress’s opinion about an issue.Both houses may pass resolutions but the presidents signature.They do not have the force of a law.
8 Few Bills Become Laws 5% Only about 5% of bills become laws Why??? Process is complicatedUnless bill has strong support, it will diePolitics kill many billsInterest groups may oppose the billSome bills are just for “show”To appease some supporterTo bring attention to an issue5%It is a very long and complicated process. There was a congressional study done that found that more than 100 specific steps may be involved in passing a law.At many moments it can stop or delay a bill or change it. Because of this it allows the opposing party to have an advantage which allows them to gain support against the bill, amend it or kill it at the different steps along the way.Must be wiling to bargain and compromise with lawmakers and interest groups.Need support for you bill in order to pass. Most major bills have little chance of becoming a law without the needed support.Also some bills are just for “show”to appease some supporters, to bring attention to an issue.So when a bill does not gain popularity the congress member can blame the bills failure on committee or other lawmakers.
10 Writing A Bill Who writes a bill??? Congressman Staff Interest groups The Constitution sets forth only a few of the many steps a bill must go through to become law.Ideas for bills come about from private citizens, interest groups, the president, or officials in the executive branchPeople who write a bill are Congressman, staff, and interest groupsWhile different people can write them, only a member of Congress can introduce a bill in either house of Congress.
11 Introducing A Bill House of Representatives Senate Drop the bill into a hopperAn “HR” number gets assignedBill is assigned to standing committeesSenateSenator must actually read the bill to the SenateAn “S” number gets assignedBill is assigned to standing committeesHouse:A rep must drop a bill into the hopper which is a box near the clerks desk.Depending on what bill number it is its listed as “HR” ex: Hr1, Hr2Process is the first reading of the bill.The bill is then assigned to a standing committeeSenate:The presiding officer of the Senate must first recognize the senator who then formally presents the bill.An “S” number gets assigned to each bill. Ex: S2, S4this process is the first reading of the billThe bill is then assigned to a standing committee.What is a standing committee?
15 Committee Actions Bill is assigned to subcommittee Hearings “Pigeonholing” to kill billsMake changes in billRewrite the billRecommend that the bill be adoptedBill is assigned to committee that deals with that subject matter. With that some chairpersons will send that onto their subcommittees.The committee can hold hearing or It can decide to ignore a bill and simply let it die- this is called “pigeonholing”Most bill die quietly through this process. Committee can also kill a bill by having a majority vote on it.Can also recommend that the bill be adopted as it was introduced, make changes, or completely rewrite the bill before sending it back to the House or Senate for further action.The house and Senate must agree with a committees decision on a bill be that staff is considered experts on subject of the bill. This kind of makes sense with the whole time issue.Committees will then hold hearings on the bill once they decide to act on it.
16 Reporting the Bill Report “Reporting a bill” means to send it to the full House of Representatives or Senate with a report of the committee’s actions.“reporting a bill” means to send it to the full house of representatives or Senate with a report of the committee’s actions.It explains the committees actions, describes the bill, lists the major changes the committee has made, andReport
17 Debate on the FloorUsually most of “debate” has occurred in the committeesThings are added:AmendmentsRidersEarmarks
18 benefit the entire nation. RidersAttached to a billbuthave nothing to do withthe billbenefit the entire nation.
19 RidersExample: The new healthcare bill had a rider that changed the system for providing federal loans to college students.
20 RidersEarmarksA form of rider that appropriates money that benefits only a single district or state.Examples:Money for a new park.Money for a bridge.Money for a library.
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