Government And Political Science. Specifically Term Paper

Someone can file a discharge petition, or the House can use a "Calendar Wednesday" process, which allows the House to bring up any bill for special consideration if it was reported the previous day. Then, the bill goes to the floor for action. The bill is placed on the House or Senate calendar. Once a bill reaches the floor, it is open to debate. Decisions are made as to how long the bill can be debated, and who will debate it. If the House adds amendments, they must be pertinent to the subject of the bill, but in the Senate, they do not have to be pertinent to the bill. Essentially, in the Senate, they can offer one bill as an amendment to another bill, if they choose. Finally, the bills are voted on. If the bill passes in the House, it goes to the Senate, and vise versa. However, if there is a similar bill under consideration by the other body, the bill does not go to them. Instead, the two similar bills go to Conference Committee, where they try to reach a compromise between the bills. If a bill is not passed, it dies, and is no longer valid. If both the Senate and the House pass the bill, it goes to the President for signature. The President can sign the bill, and it becomes law. Alternatively, he can veto the bill, and it goes back to Congress, and the body that originated the bill can try to override the veto with a vote of 2/3 of those present. If Congress is in session, and the President does not sign the bill for 10 days, it automatically becomes law. If Congress adjourns before the 10 days are up and the President does not sign the bill, then it is called a "pocket veto" and the bill does not become law. When the President signs...


There are many steps in the procedure, and each one is meant to weed out frivolous or unwieldy legislation. In addition, the use of committees, mark-ups, and debates ensures that no one person has ultimate power in the passage of a bill, which makes the system more democratic. The difficultly of the procedure also ensures that sloppy or poor bills will have to be overhauled before they pass, which ensures the voters the best possible bills turning into laws, at least most of the time.
Clearly, the political process, particularly re-election, can influence passage of a bill. No one would like to be connected with an unpopular bill, no matter how necessary it is, if the people do not approve of it and election time is close at hand. This hurts the entire political process, because some bills that have merit and are necessary may never pass through Congress because of political aspirations rather than true necessity of the bill. Therefore, even lawmaking can be highly politicized and manipulated when it comes time for re-election, and that is really a disservice to the American people.

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