Glossary of American Government- how a bill is passed

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finding number of Congressman and cong. districts in state
every 10 years a census is taken, total population/435= 550,000 people/ per Congressional district
step 2
take population of Florida= 10mill/435= 25 representatives, if a state has 25.5 Congressman the House of Representatives would decide which states get the representative
step 3
the state of Florida decides where districts- 550,000 voters- district- stay in district for 10 years
Bill Nelson- Senator Martinez- Senator of entire state

who can submit a bill?
a congressman or senator
a bill can be for anything
December 2008- 110 Congress
every Congress lasts 2 years

Where does the Bill first go to?
Bill goes to Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the house
- gives bill a #
- the lower the # the more important the bill
- assigns bill to atleast one standing committee with jurisdiction over bill
However, Pelosi can keep the bill if she wants to

Standing Committee
a majority of democrats in standing committee- democratic majority leader- Ranking member is Republican- if Democrats hold a majority of seats in house and as a result the standing committee has a democratic majority
Where does the Bill go after Nancy Pelosi sends the bill to committee?
chairman hands bill to the correct subcommittees and at least 4 subcomittees
What happens when the bill goes to the appropriate subcommittee?
Dale holds hearing. Dale decides who will speak at public hearings Congressmen can ask questions
information on bill is made public
51% vote of the house members there.
If killed, the bill is dead and can not go on
A partly line vote means the majority party (democrats) will win all the time

If the bill passes it goes back to the full committee

What happens at full committee?
debates bill- public
it takes the recommendations of the subcommittee
log rolling is when house members vote for each other's bill (scratch back)
full committee can markup the bill- change anything they want
also add a rider to bill- anything they want

What is a rider/earmark?
can be anything- unrelated to bill
once attached to bill- you vote for bill- you vote for rider
way of getting something passed that may not have passed on its own
also called pork or pork barrel

What is a poison pill rider?
amendment is so bad- placed on bill to block bill
democrat get an amendment to fund abortion placed on bill
no republicans will vote for bill
- it kills bill

after full committee what happens?
back to the committee
if committee passes bill by 51 % it moves on
if not then bill is killed
it is dead
will not rise again

What happens after a bill is passed by the full committee?
all bills that pass the standing committees go the rules committee
this committee guards the gate to the house chamber
What does the rules committee decide?

when the bill is discussed on house floor
open rule- amendments can be added on floor
amount of time the bill will be debated ( usually no more than an hour)
yes- be nice to these people for they can delay your bill

What happens after the Rules Committee presides over the bill?
called the committee of the whole
they come in and have 20 minutes to vote- only informal discussion
must pass by 51%
only half done- has to go to senate

Step 1: majority leader
president of the senate- its technical leader is the vice president of the United States
The majority leader of the senate is the real leader- he handles all the decisions about what goes on in the Senate
What happens after the Committee of the Whole votes 51% for it?
Senator Reid (Dem.) controls the Senate
he assigns the bill a new number
he sends bill off to at least 1 standing committee

What does Chairman Kennedy do?
usually in the second chamber there are no hearings.
Bill will stay in full committee

What does the Senate Committee?
they can simply vote on the bill as it came to them from the house= 51% to pass
or they can mock up the bill
or they can add riders to the bill
then they can pass it by 51%
if it does not pass by 51% it is dead

is there a rules committee in the senate?
Where does the bill go to after Senate Committee passes the bill?
the majority leader, schedules the Senate floor debate
if a Senator asks for consideration he usually receives it
each senator is allowed to talk about the bill on the floor
all 100 of senator can talk

What is a filibuster?
this is a technique only used in the Senate.
it is a way for a small number of senators to get a bill killed when most of the senators want to pass the bill
What is the purpose of filibuster?
no other actions can take place on the Senate floor while you are talking
the majority leader can call the senate in a 24-7 session ( you need 5-8 senators for this reason)
if you are successful the majority leader will withdraw the bill from the floor and it will not pass

What is a cloture vote?
if 66% of the senators vote to end the filibuster then the filibuster is over
this is called a cloture vote
after the cloture vote the senate will then vote on the bill
bill passes- filibuster is destroyed

Where does it go after the bill is sent back to the majority leader and passes?
if the senate passes the bill by 51% it moves on- to the President
if it doesn't the bill is killed
if the Senate has changed the bill by
1. marking it up
2. attaching a rider

If the bill is changed on the Senate floor where does the bill go?
the bill goes to a conference committee
is an ad hoc committee- different member meet at different times
the majority leader and the house speaker will determine who is on the committee
their goal is to reconcile the bill
if they can't- the bill is dead

What happened when the bill is reconciled by conference committee what happens?
it goes back to original house
right to house floor
closed rule/ passes with 51%
the on to second chance directly to Senate floor closed
closed rule/vote 51%
then on to the president

what can the pres do?
1. sign it within 10 days- becomes law
2. wait 10 days- do nothing and it becomes a law
3. veto bill (no)

veto override
goes back to original house
straight to floor
2/3 vote yes- goes to Senate
in the senate- same thing
straight to the senate floor
2/3 vote eyes- bill is law even without the president signing it

can the house of representatives have more than 435 people?
no, a law was passed to keep the number the same, the states would get a proportional amount of representatives to the state population
What happens on a presidential election year?
1 pres, 33 senators, and 435 representatives are voted into office
What happens on a mid-term election?
33 senators, 435 representatives
Martinez- replaced by 2010
Nelson- replaced in 2012

Congressional districts
don't have to follow county lines or boundaries
Republicans favor republican- State legislatures set up the districts so that the composition of each congressional district favors the republican party
duties of Congress
1. pass bills into laws- authorization

2. approve all federal spending- appropriation

3. watch over the federal government- oversight to make sure it does what it is supposed to do
4. to investigate national problems- investigation

5. senate- approve appointments, judges, and treaties

Standing committee is one that meets all the time Congress is in session.
The leading republic on all committees will be Republicans for the next two years

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